Paula Fanning is the Co Founder and Head of Creative at Rock Pamper Scissors, a hairdresser booking app which provides instant on-demand access to individual stylist appointments near you.

Paula’s impressive experience in the tech industry, combined with her love of working in startups and enthusiasm for m-commerce led her to join forces with Mat Braddy (former CMO at Just Eat) in 2014 in their own start up venture.

1. What inspired you to start a business?

Inspirational Woman - Paula FanningI worked with Mat at toptable, I was his wing woman and we supported each other during this time. We parted ways, but always flirted with the idea that one day we would do our own startup. He was busy with Just-Eat and I was busy with Shutl. We were both very familiar with aggregator models (Just-Eat/ toptable) and were looking for something new to round up. We saw a gap in the hair & beauty sector, brainstormed, and came up with the name ‘Rock Pamper Scissors’. (He will say he came up with it but it was definitely me!)

2. What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures.

Success inflates confidence which is great as we need this to strive forward, however it is critical to realise that there can be a number of factors that can lead to success, so although I believe it is important to celebrate our successes it is also just as important to examine them! Failure and success are on equal footing in my opinion in terms of growing a business. Both should trigger further investigation which helps us revise the way we work. We all know that failure is inevitable in life, but how we overcome challenges and use them to our advantage is what really matters. Innovation is key here.

3. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a business owner?

As a startup, rapid growth is the name of the game and for this to happen you need to be able to scale effectively. Knowing when to bring in the right talent and at what level is crucial – the whole thing is a bit of a balancing act. Managing finances to cope with these ever changing demands is paramount.

4. What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?

The main challenge is to create a healthy, safe and inclusive environment in order to be free, to be creative and achieve great things – whilst having fun in the process. I am really proud to be a founder at Rock Pamper Scissors, and as the only female founder, I’m in a strong and influential position as a result.

5. How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?

Part of being a good leader is being a good mentor, the two should go hand in hand. As well as the transferral of important knowledge and skills, mentoring helps to develop a pipeline of future leaders. I have definitely benefited from both good mentoring and also worked in environments where it hasn’t existed. The latter doesn’t work. A healthy business environment should instill this as part of their culture. I am actively involved in mentorship with my team and I’m also looking forward to meeting other females in my position and using my learnings to increase awareness for women to get involved in digital.

6. What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?

There are many benefits to networking; friendships, opportunities, advice and positive influences to name a few. We stand stronger when we stand together. It’s also empowering to have a strong network to draw on for support. There is little point going in with a “what can I get out of this?” attitude as that is going to sink your efforts before you even begin. I feel the real key to successful networking is that it must be authentic!

7. What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, for a business to succeed you need really good people. You need to invest in holding onto these good people and also think how you can attract new ones. The importance of diversity and inclusion in a business is imperative to its future success.
It leads to people being their authentic self at work and thus to contribute more creatively, feel empowered and be much happier as a result. The best thing a startup can do is provide a safe creative environment that embraces innovation at every point.

8. What does the future hold for you?

My aim first and foremost, is to make Rock Pampers Scissors a huge success! Then I’d like to spend more time rowing. I am a member of a rowing club and love to get out on the water as much as possible, I feel it’s good for the soul.

9. What makes Rock Pamper Scissors unique?

Initially it really struck us that no-one had built an excellent app for haircut booking. We believe less than 1% of haircuts are currently booked online which is crazy! By focusing our brand and thinking on the millennial consumers, who require instant access to services right now, we believe we have come up with a compelling approach which will finally solve this dilemma. Our vision is to boost confidence in booking a skilled stylist, confidence in online as the best channel to do this with, and personal confidence for the client by getting the best hair cut.

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