This week is National Women’s Week – celebrating the incredible women who have “made it” as professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs; particularly those who are doing all they can to disrupt their industries, smashing through the glass ceilings of, say, franchising.
InXpress Watford’s Neena Gupta is one such woman. She’s found a way to make her business more profitable, by investing in women’s strengths. “When I first started my InXpress business, I was struggling to recruit.” Neena explains. “I was interviewing incredibly talented women, but they wanted to work specific hours around their children. At the time, though I wanted to employ someone full-time. But quickly realised I wanted to find a way of working with them, around the restrictions they presented.”
The result was for InXpress Watford to develop a job-share opportunity, offering two women the position, drawing on their strengths. “I hired Vicki and Claire at the same time. One works in the morning, and the other in the afternoon. We also tailored the job around them. Vicki doesn’t like telesales, but has a phenomenal knowledge, and is excellent with customers. Claire love telesales. Neither feels the pressure of doing something they aren’t good at. They work like a tag-team – outside work as well, as they’ve found a way to provide child-care cover for each other, by doing the school run around work. I am seeing sustainable growth for my business as a result of changing my mindset. It’s a win-win!”
InXpress encourages its franchisees to give back to the community, and Neena has found the ideal way for her to do this, whilst achieving her own personal goal for business development. “It was my dream to set-up a new company every five years, and be in a position to offer five mums their own opportunity at business. It comes from the idea it’s better to teach a man how to fish, rather than to keep giving him a fish.” Neena says.
“If I found somebody, it became a question of where can I use their skill set for my business. For example, I found an amazing graphic designer, and created a limited company for her. I also found a lady who is literally an excel master queen! So, she does all the book-keeping and admin for the graphic designer, as well as the other businesses. It also works well for InXpress. Six of the other franchisees also use her graphic design skills, on a pay-as-you-go basis. So, it’s created a workable solution both for her, and for InXpress.”
And for those who remember Neena from a previous blog post, will know one of Neena’s own strengths lies in her ability for mentoring. In Giving Back to other women in business in this way, she is able to focus on what she thrives on, I love pushing people to their limits, and challenging them, in order to bring out the best in them – that’s where the magic happens.”