How we doubled our support team to scale our service based business
Being a fast-growing business in the land of the lucky (Australia) has meant we have become well accustomed to facing daily challenges, making mistakes (true story – we make plenty!) and problem-solving on a regular basis.
One such challenge we grappled with was scale.
How could we scale the high-end, service-based and technical offering that we provide to our members?
For many years, we have had a relationship with a graphic designer in Bolivia and a web programmer in Romania, who have been responsible for our website, along with WE Private, Sarah’s blog, The Finn Review and our latest project getrichslow.com.au.
The results have always been great and we have found it to be a more cost-effective way of managing this area of the business.
After becoming decidedly stuck on the scale issue early last year, we began to really challenge ourselves in terms of solving this problem.
We’d already made drastic technology changes (moving from industry-specific software to a variety of heavily-used, flexible and innovative global solutions), which had a marked impact on productivity and our ability to deliver our service more effectively.
But we knew we needed something more.
We knew we needed to build a bigger support team, who were experts at back-office support, technically adept and good communicators, and luckily we discovered Grow my Team, who helped us recruit and build our fabulous team in the Philippines.
We realised it was pretty egotistical of us to think that ONLY Australians were good enough to do the work. There are plenty of great people all over the world who would be exceptional at what we needed.
Due to the differences between the cost of living and wage levels in Australia and the Philippines, we were initially able to offer four people employment, instead of just one person here in Australia.
This quadrupled our support capability almost overnight and finally the scale issue we have faced since 2010 has been resolved.
We now have three locations with both technical specialists and support staff.
Our head office is based in Melbourne with a second Australian office in Sydney. Our international team is working from their home environments and are very important for us here in Australia.
Each one of them supports us in different areas of insurance, compliance, accounting through to administration.
They speak English fluently, have all completed studies relevant to their occupation and have years of experience. Their communication, both internal and with our members, is excellent as is the level of service.
How did we take the first step?
This is the most common question we’re asked by other business owners (and even curious members).
It took us several months to wrap our heads around the idea and shift our limiting belief that the work needed to be done here in Australia.
Firstly, we are a 99% paperless business and a 100% cloud based business.
An internet connection and a laptop are all our team need to be able to operate effectively and efficiently. This was a big plus for us when it came to making the decision to have remote staff. It means that training, access and communications problems already have solutions.
Secondly, we started small.
We worked on the first role we needed to outsource and narrowed it down as much as we could.
Knowing that we could employ four people instead of just one meant we were able to break down the back-office support functions into four areas. Now we weren’t trying to find a superhuman who could keep on top of everything!
We selected an area to focus on initially and wrote down all of the repetitive tasks in that role. We created a brief job description and then focused on the skills the candidate would need.
Thirdly, we designed a training program. We put in the effort to get the new staff member up to scratch as quickly as possible.
This included a daily 30-60min session during the first week of their role teaching the different things required. We also improved all of our systems, processes and checklists to ensure nothing would be missed.
Like any new team member, mistakes happen when learning, and this has all been part of the journey.
The overall result has meant our capacity to service our members have vastly improved. We believe the results of this are only going to increase over time.
We can focus on building a high-calibre team of specialists in Australia with a competent support team. Our international team organises all of the time-consuming paperwork. This enables us to focus more on technical financial strategy, advice, and coaching of our members.
Even though they are in a different country and time zone they are all part of the Wealth Enhancers family.
We chat about personal things and interact with each other every day. In our case, they are certainly not ‘outsource staff’ or an ‘offshore solutions’, they are our simply WE team members who work in a different physical location to us.
They’d love to hear from you, so if you haven’t interacted with any of them yet, check them out here and drop them a line.