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Secrets of Success: RapidSpike CEO, Gav Winter

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Ensuring websites create conversion rich opportunities is just one of RapidSpike’s three core offerings

A tech entrepreneur for more than 20 years, Gav Winter has previously founded two major technology consultancies, Gav is an award-winning entrepreneur and leader, and an expert in high-growth strategy. Today he is CEO of next-generation website monitoring company, RapidSpike.

RapidSpike is a next-generation website monitoring platform revolutionising website reliability, performance, and security. As the only solution to capture these three critical aspects of website health, the result is continually optimised customer journeys, greater website resilience, and more conversions – crucial for high-volume businesses transacting online.

Gav takes time out of his busy schedule to share his secrets of success with Business Matters …

What type of businesses do you work with?

The nature of what we do means we can work with pretty much any brand that has online-critical processes – from retail, travel, and gaming to healthcare, policing, and government.

What problem does your company solve?

The web is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year and organisations need to maximise performance, reliability, accessibility, and security if they’re going to lead from the front, enhance the customer experience, and develop genuine brand loyalty.

As such, more than simply website uptime needs to be monitored for businesses to be successful online and create conversion-rich opportunities in today’s digital-first world. Customers now expect websites to perform at a more sophisticated level than ever before.

If you fail, customers will find somewhere else to fulfil what they’re looking for. In today’s world, even marginal gains of 0.1% faster speeds can represent millions of pounds of extra revenue for the UK’s largest brands.

What is your USP?

It must be the depth of data and insight we can provide. RapidSpike knows what it’s good at – and we start in our lane, but it do it really, really well. Let’s face it, websites are rich with just about every statistic under the sun, but we extract the relevant information and understand how to convert it into tangible areas for improvement.

What are your company values? Have you ever had them challenged and if so how have you dealt with it?

Underpinning the company is a sense of responsiveness. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, how big or small the client, or the relative size of the problem, we must be responsive as people, colleagues, partners, and a platform – it’s fundamental to the success of our business.

I wouldn’t say I’ve had them challenged as such, because people join RapidSpike to help our customers do business better. It’s something we’re all incredibly passionate about, and we were all a part of outlining what it is RapidSpike stands for – which I think is important to the long-term future of our organisation.

How do you ensure that you recruit a team that reflects your company values?

For me, it’s about having a willingness to learn, a ‘can-do’ work ethic and a positive mindset. We’re incredibly honest from the very first interaction with a colleague – as we believe alignment works both ways.

An initial telephone interview acts as more of a temperature check, before we conduct the ’16 personalities test’ to see if the candidate’s personality and skills fit the role we’re looking for – as we’re keen to find differences within the team.

Only once we’re sure of a personality and skillset match would we move to an interview. Even then, we start the conversation by encouraging candidates to forget the nerves and not try to answer a question if they don’t know it – as they can learn. Instead, we’d rather spend the time figuring out if we’d both like to work alongside each other.

Are you happy to offer a hybrid working model of home/office post-covid?

We’re completely flexible. Arguably, I’d say we were ‘digital first’ with the only stipulation being that we meet, face-to-face, for collaborative sessions when needed. While there are no rules on the time spent in the office, as a team, there’s an appetite to introduce two set ‘people work’ days per week, whereby we meet somewhere as a team – be it HQ, a coffee shop, or even in a park.

Do you have any tips for managing suppliers and customers effectively?

I think it boils down to three simple but fundamental things, communication, responsiveness, and continuous improvement. Caring what other people think makes a big difference.

If you could ask one thing of the government to change for businesses what would it be?

Create a ThinkTank which brings together actual business leaders from across the UK at varying stages of their careers. Personally, I believe it would be helpful if MPs had experience in the areas they are given to manage too – it shouldn’t simply be the ‘old boys’ club’.

What is your attitude towards your competitors?

They’re a source of inspiration. You can pick up a lot from competitors, and we shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that. Not only can they feed you with ideas, but you can learn from their mistakes too.

Any thoughts on the future of your company and your dreams?

We’re very much focused on growth. Of course, we have many of the same worries as other organisations across the country, with the rising cost of doing business – but it creates an opportunity too, because people want to future-proof their digital real estate. We’re working hard to raise further investment, but for now at least, we’re sustainable as we are.

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