Market Research Agency DJS Research Ltd was started by Danny Sims in 2001 and has been growing ever since. The company now employs 23 full time staff in addition to running a telephone research unit employing locally based staff to conduct interviews on behalf of their clients.
Through the delivery of excellent service and by developing the skills and resources in the areas of quantitative and qualitative market research DJS has built up a diverse portfolio of clients and a steadily growing flow of inquiries.
Managing High Growth
Managing the rate of growth and addressing the challenges that come with a rapid growing business is an area where Danny and his team sought outside support.
Danny realized early on that in his business having the right team backed up by efficient systems for delivery was key to growth. Ongoing investments across the business have continuously refined the model at the same time as adding capacity to support the growth.
Developing a Growth Strategy
DJS Research already knew how to win and deliver business. Their challenge was to develop the business past the point where most decisions and activities required the direct involvement of a few senior managers. Through a Strategy Workshop, the senior team developed a growth plan that incorporated all the areas of the business where change was required. Using a workshop format the senior team developed and prioritized an action plan. Involving everyone in the process gave a balance of perspectives and brought the team together. Actions were shared across the team ensuring ongoing commitment and focus on implementation.
Systems to Support High Growth
DJS had made investments in on-line marketing, and specialist systems for delivery of market research projects. To support the ongoing rate of growth Danny and his team realized that they needed a company-wide approach for managing leads, inquiries and proposals to ensure that all new inquiries were responded to promptly and professionally. They evaluated a number of options before selecting salesforce.com, a leading cloud based CRM system. Backed by our experience and support they managed the implementation, training and roll-out over a few weeks and now benefit from clear visibility and ownership to respond to every new inquiry. On the back of this investment DJS then went on to implement a new corporate website, email marketing and extended their reach into social media.
Developing the Team
Following the senior managers’ strategic planning workshop, DJS felt that their entire team could benefit from being involved in setting the direction for the company. To achieve this, all members of staff were asked for their input in advance of holding an ‘away day’ that involved all staff from the receptionist to the MD. The away day allowed Danny and the senior team to share their vision while involving the staff in working out the details for how to make the vision come through. At the end of the day DJS had a clear vision, shared with all staff, backed by an action plan that involved everyone in the implementation. All completed in time for canapés and drinks in the bar at 4.30 PM
Growing the Team
The rapid rate of growth and the desire to bring in talented people and help them grow into ‘DJS Research’ staff required a structured approach. Simply waiting for the workload to be excessive before identifying the next staff member was not enough. Danny together with key staff members developed a recruitment pipeline to engage with prospective staff members well in advance of hiring. Once a position was available, DJS already knew the person they would like to hire. This, together with a ‘buddy’ approach to staff induction where new staff works alongside an experienced staff member, has ensured that new staff members are productive and successful quickly following their arrival. The approach is flexible and supports different rates of growth.
Continuing the Journey
DJS Research is continuing the success story and they are now in the process of moving to new premises for the 3rd time in 10 years. Their commitment to organic growth fuelled by engaging staff in decisions and implementation is continuing. They are planning their next ‘away day’ to engage their growing team to coincide with their office move.
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