From Project Manager to Head of Operations, Steven Smith’s Copy House Journey
Steven Smith is part of the furniture here at Copy House. He started his journey with us in April 2020 as a Project Manager. Since then, he has contributed to the transformation of the business, and he has been an integral part of our phenomenal growth.
In May 2021, Steven took on a more senior position and not long after, he became the first Head of Operations at Copy House.
“Becoming the Head of Operations felt natural. Although I wanted to stay as a project manager, I also wanted to grow personally and see the company expand. So taking on this new role was the best way to push myself and learn more, as well as push the company to new heights.”
Steven’s Journey to Becoming a Project Manager
Prior to working at Copy House, Steven was a thriving Accounts Manager for numerous companies. He applied for the position of Project Manager for Copy House as he saw the potential the business had as a start-up and wanted to apply his knowledge and experience to the upcoming technology content marketing agency.
As Steven joined Copy House during the pandemic, there was a lot of uncertainty circulating. Nonetheless, Copy House was going through a transition whereby we were repositioning from a generalist content marketing agency to a content marketing agency specialising in the niche area of technology and FinTech.
For this reason, there was not a foundation of processes in place to assist copywriters and clients. That is where Steven came in. His role as a Project Manager was to build a seamless process that the team could familiarise themselves with and make their role easier
As the company rapidly grew, these processes would have to constantly change and adapt to the growing business.
“At the start, we were a small team of 4 people, so it was much simpler to track things via Google Sheets. However, as the team started to grow, Google Sheets became very inefficient, and there was a lot that could go wrong. Therefore, we moved to Clickup.
Now that we’re a team of 30 and counting, ClickUp has also served its purpose, and it’s time for us to move to a project management tool fit for this exponential growth.”
“Steven has a great technical knowledge of project management tools and organisational systems — stuff that blows my mind, to be honest!
He’s proven time and again that he has the ability to build systems and tools that work. Over the last two years, we’ve successfully worked with spreadsheets and we’ve also worked with more complex tools like ClickUp. Moving forward, Steven is still making sure we have the best processes in place to fully optimise productivity and take Copy House further.”
A Day In The Life of the Head of Operations
As Steven is now Head of Operations, his role goes beyond the senior project manager’s typical duties.
Steven is in charge of all processes and makes sure that the team has the resources they need to execute their job as effectively as possible.
This includes observing the time it takes to do particular tasks and using this data to schedule tasks and distribute work efficiently. It also includes managing company time and ensuring the team has room for travel, volunteer work, events and taking part in the Employee Assistance Programme or training programs.
Steven is also constantly on the lookout for where more resources are required. For example, larger projects may need additional people. It is up to Steven’s discretion whether Copy House must hire more staff or shuffle existing employees around.
As well as that, Steven also ensures that the company as a whole runs seamlessly to maximise overall efficiency. For example, when it comes to bringing in new clients, there is an on-boarding process involved where the client goes through several stages before the team can produce content for them.
Here, Steven makes sure that everyone knows what to do and when, so the client is never left in the dark, and Copy House can maximise efficiency.
His main challenge this year was finding a process that prioritised communication and streamlined the content process.
At the end of 2021, a pod system was introduced to help distribute work and manage internal and external affairs better. We currently have two pods, and each pod has a project manager, accounts manager, senior and junior copywriters and a content designer.
Having this system in place helps maximise efficiency and supports communication. This is exactly what Steven was striving to achieve and will continue to work on in the coming year.
“I enjoy the challenge that comes with problem-solving and finding more effective and efficient ways to do things. The main challenge we’ve had to overcome this year is growing pains.
For instance, things that once worked for us no longer do because of our growth. Therefore, we’ve had to find new ways of adapting and evolving. This way, we do not strain our writers or fall short in providing a quality service.”
“Steven is an asset to Copy House. His drive and skill to solve intricate problems have pushed Copy House forward. When creating the pod system, we immediately noticed a better line of communication and ease in how we internally operate.
Steven has worked exceptionally hard, and he has fit in perfectly to his new role as Head of Operations.”
Advice for Aspiring Project Managers
“If there were one piece of advice I would give an aspiring project manager or someone looking to work within operations, it’s to think beyond your role and put yourself in other people’s shoes so you can truly understand what they’re going through.
Another thing to consider is how and when you can upskill. Whether it’s a LinkedIn course or a project management program, constantly learning new ways to improve your skill set and add value to your job is a must!”
Working With Copy House
Copy House is rapidly expanding and constantly looking for new talent and a fresh perspective. We are proud of our company culture and how welcoming, inclusive and diverse it is.