Women In Business

How to effectively move your business through a period of quick growth

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In a time of quick growth, there are a lot of new hires, training and systems to make sure the organisation can handle the fast progression, while maintaining its reputation and work culture. But there are things you can do to scale up, while minimising growing pains.

  1. Get the right team:  When hiring staff in such a short amount of time, it’s critical to get it right. First step is to really understand what you’re looking for in new team members. If you’re not getting the right candidates, you might need to go back to the job description and change things. We have a rigorous hiring process – first a phone screen, then an at-home test, interview, trial and finally meeting the team to make sure there is a cultural fit. It’s a big investment of time, but it’s worth it, because hiring the wrong people is a huge setback.
  2. Strategic training: It’s important to get your team up to speed quickly on your product or service and how you communicate with your customers. You don’t want to compromise on training just because you’re hiring a lot of people. If you are hiring multiple people into the same role, or similar roles, get them started on the same date so you can do group induction and training. We made sure we had the right training systems in place to induct new people to the business. It’s critical that everyone understands what to do – not just the specifics of their role, but how it fits in to the bigger team.
  3. Consolidation and quality control: A rigorous Quality Assurance program really helps when hiring lots of new people into customer-facing roles because you want to get on top of gaps in skills or knowledge quickly. You should regularly be providing staff with feedback on specific interactions they’ve had with customers; what they’ve done well, and what needs improvement. If you’re doing it across a number of people, you should be able to identify trends, do group training or improve procedures and clarify policies so that you’re continuously improving your business and your team’s workflow.
  4. Provide plenty of support: Alongside a great team of people, it’s critical to make sure you have robust technology and systems to support the team and customers. As you grow, the tools you need may change – this is something we are constantly looking at.
    For example, rather than hiring more people to answer questions, we use data to identify the top issues our customers are contacting us about, then systematically work through the list to see how we can improve our product, so that customers never have this issue in the first place, and we have a great tools that enable customers to self-serve in our Help Centre.
    For those times when we can’t avoid a customer having to contact us, we look at how we can improve our tools and processes for the team so that they can provide swift, efficient and friendly service, making that interaction as good as possible for the customer.
  1. Results focussed: Being a two-sided marketplace, we need to keep both supply and demand growing at roughly the same rate. Each quarter we set clear objectives about growth, and what key results we are aiming for. From there we have cross-functional teams working together to move growth initiatives and tests through from ideation to launch. Once we launch a test, we make sure we come back and review the results. We then decide what the next steps are, and what will have the most impact. Do we want to test another iteration of that same test, or do we move on to the next best idea? We report back monthly to the business on what projects have been delivered and how we are standing with our growth goals.
  2. Seeing the big picture: My role as Chief Operating Officer is to help make sure our day-to-day operations teams work as seamlessly as possible, whilst also ensuring that everyone across operations, customer service, marketing, communications and product are aware and engaged in our company goals, how we are going to work together to achieve that and clearing roadblocks as they come up. I’m basically making sure that we are all pulling in the same direction. It helps to have someone in this role, as it’s hard for busy team leaders and managers who are ‘in the trenches’ to have the time and headspace to take a high-level view.

About Merryn Clancy

merrync@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Merryn Clancy is COO at Car Next Door, a peer to peer car sharing platform which connects car owners with trusted borrowers in their local community., empowering people to save money, reduce waste and build cleaner, greener, better communities.

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