Learn from Fast Growing 7-8 Figure Online Retailers and eCommerce Experts

EPISODE 345 54 mins

Strategy Sprints for eCommerce Leaders

About the guests

Simon Severino

Kunle Campbell

Simon Severino helps business owners in SaaS and Services run their company more effectively which results in sales that soar. Trusted by Google, Roche, Consilience Ventures, Amgen, AbbVie. He created the Strategy Sprints™ Method that doubles revenue in 90 days by getting owners out of the weeds. TEDx speaker, Contributor to Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine, member of the SVBS Silicon Valley Blockchain Society.

On today’s episode, Kunle is joined by Simon Severino, Founder of Strategy Sprints, a brand that focuses on providing over 200 different blueprints to increase effectiveness, grow revenue, and secure business resilience to effectively scale your brand.

Who said scaling was an afternoon walk in the park? CEOs, founders, and employees go through hardships to see a company grow, but once they feel that growth, things start to get a little tricky. For the CEO, it’s like a maze to get things on the right track.

You built your company from the ground up. You’re seeing growth and now it’s time to scale. Old tricks won’t work this time. It’s time to climb the ladder and start building another floor. For that, you’ll need the assistance of Strategy Sprints to continue cementing that future.

Strategy Sprints is duly focused on helping its clients to see through their journey to growth. Their secret sauce consists of different set habits, one-on-one coaching, and over 200 different blueprints to suit your industry and goals. 

In this episode, Kunle and Simon talk about the twelve-step sprint process. You will get to hear about how you would smartly grow a business without you being constantly present to oversee everything. This is a great episode for business owners looking to work on their business and not in the business.

Here is a summary of some of the most important points made:

  • Strategy Sprints provides one-on-one coaching with over 200 different blueprints to suit your company’s needs.
  • Start with 50 small venture partners and 1 big venture partner to have a weekly joint affiliate campaign.
  • “If nothing is in your control, what really is in your control?”
  • Having a daily habit, a weekly habit and a monthly habit in place keeps things in place and thus, leaving things still running without too much supervision from the CEO.
  • As your company is growing, keep things simple.

Covered Topics:

On today’s interview, Kunle and Simon discuss:

  • Simon’s Professional Backstory
  • Firing Himself
  • The 90-Day Strategy Sprint
  • Focusing on Data Points
  • The Meaning of Two Levels Above Fulfillment & a CEO’s Duty
  • The Final Step
  • Simon’s Book


  • 08:32 – Simon’s Professional Backstory:
    • Starting with growth consulting
    • Coaching executives one-on-one
    • Continuing a tiresome lifestyle and balancing family time
  • 10:58 – Firing Himself:
    • Getting a business coach
    • Simon’s insights from his past
    • Working on the business
  • 16:10 – The 90-Day Strategy Sprint:
    • Daily Habit: Two reflective questions and finding patterns
    • Daily Habit: Everybody becoming a leader
    • Weekly Habit: Understanding the numbers
    • Challenges with eCommerce
    • Weekly Habit: Adapting to new things
  • 25:07 – Focusing on Data Points:
    • Key metrics to have in an eCommerce dashboard
    • Setting the target and hitting that goal
  • 30:34 – The Meaning of Two Levels Above Fulfillment & a CEO’s Duty:
    • The company vision
    • Hiring and the onboarding process
    • Monthly Habit: Competitive analysis
    • The six steps of competitive analysis
    • Building the company culture and the Job Scorecard
  • 41:41 – The Final Step:
    • Keep things simple as you grow
    • Limiting the project number during the 90 days
  • 47:25 – Simon’s Book:
    • The book’s target market
    • One-on-one coaching


  • With their 90-day process, you can see a massive change in your company’s growth.
  • eCommerce gathers too many fancy data points instead of focusing on three marketing, three sales, and three operations metrics.
  • Selling the wrong people, the wrong way with the wrong price can negatively affect leverage, positioning, and comparison to competitors.
  • A CEO’s duty is to first know their vision, hire and onboard the right people, do competitive analysis, and build the right culture.

Links & Resources:

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This episode is brought to you by:

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In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about Strategy Sprints for eCommerce leaders. It’s a great episode you do not want to miss.

Welcome to the 2X eCommerce Podcast. The 2X eCommerce Podcast is dedicated to digital commerce insights for retail and eCommerce teams. Each week on this podcast, we interview either a commerce expert, a founder of a digitally native consumer brand, or a representative from the best-in-class commerce SaaS product. Giving them a tight remit to give you ideas to test right away in your brand so you can improve commerce growth metrics such as conversions, average order value, repeat customers, your audience size, and ultimately, your Gross Merchant Value or sales. We are here to help you sell more sustainably to your market, audience, customers, and what have you.

Speaking of which, this episode is an interview I had with Simon Severino. He is an author of a book called Strategy Sprints and he’ll be here to talk about how to apply Strategy Sprints from an eCommerce standpoint. His background is SaaS and services, but there are lessons to be learned from that methodology. What I’ve personally found is that eCommerce businesses that take on a SaaS approach to growth tend to do better. I have seen people from a SaaS background migrate to D2C and they’re doing well, whether it’s from the service standpoint or from a startup standpoint.

Whether you’re built-in or whether you’re servicing a builder, the data-driven insights from SaaS give you an advantage. That’s why I had Simon come on to the show to shed some light. He has worked with companies like Google, the pharmaceutical company called Roche, Consilience Ventures, and several other enterprises and fast-growing startups. He has a methodology to help you double sales in 90 days. This is not a one size fits all methodology as you can imagine.

However, he has a twelve-step sprint process that could be applicable to yourself. He breaks down most of the twelve over this conversation. He is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to growth. I was quite impressed with a lot of what he discusses. Right after the conversation, I reached out to my business partner, Ayo, and I was like, “Ayo, we need somebody like him to be an executive coach while we’re building out our portfolio of brands.”

If you don’t know yet, I run a commerce platform where we’re building a consumer brand platform through acquisitions. Ayo is more the M&A guy and I’m the growth guy, the eCommerce guy. We synergize to build this portfolio of brands. I was like, “At some point, we would need to sit down with someone like him because he’s so knowledgeable.”

We talked about scalability, two levels of fulfillment, how to fire yourself from a sales marketing and operation standpoint, form, fit, and function, finding a better position, so front-row dad and not a weekend daddy. Also, how’d you smartly grow a functional business without necessarily you being that bottleneck in it with practical advice. That’s all I would say for now. It was compelling. Enjoy the conversation and I shall catch you on the other side. Cheers.

Simon, welcome to the 2X eCommerce podcast show.

I’m excited to be here.

You have a bit of a backstory. Before we jump into the intros, what were your beginnings like professionally?

Do you want to learn all about the miserable past life of Simon? Okay. Like most entrepreneurs that are reading, I’m passionate about something so I started to act. My thing was growth consulting, helping people double their revenue. I’m about all things sales, all things marketing. I fly around, I coach people, and I help them solve their big problems. They’re proud, I am proud. I fly back home.

The first year went well. I did $500,000 in revenue. I feel like it went well and then my wife and friends go, “Simon, nothing is going well. We miss you. You’re pale and miserable. If you’re here, you’re just sleeping. This is not the Simon we want. Get yourself together, Simon. We don’t need the super revenues. We need you back.” I was like, “You’re right. Give me one more year.” I had a couple of years to get smarter. I was not running the business, the business was running me. It was clear.

The business was coaching. It was consulting.

I applied to BMW and helped them land one product in that one market better than their competitors. Launching a product and crushing it in that market from concept to execution is my thing. I coach executives one to one, I fly there, we solve the problem, and I don’t go home before it’s sold. I would fly every week to Bavaria for one client to Paris for another client to New York for another client to San Francisco for another client. I had no life. I was solving the problems of my clients, but who was solving mine?

It reminds me of a classic therapist. A lot of therapists have this issue. They normally will put a way for them to get counseling. Going back to that, how long did you manage to continue with this lifestyle? What was your family’s situation at the time of the start-up to the point in time you decided, “This is not the way.”

I’ve tried to get some time because I know it’s tough to solve that. I knew the solution is I have to fire myself from operations and I need to get two levels above fulfillment. That was clear. I had to take the business model to a more scalable position. What I did is get my friends and my wife to buy me more time so I said, “I just finished this project.” They were like, “Simon, that was the third project,” and I go, “You are right. I’m going to fire myself.”

At that point, I also became a father so I wanted to be here. I had to find a better solution. I didn’t want to be a weekend daddy. I said I wanted to be a front-row dad, somebody who is here. When you have your events and new ones are there to be here, I want to be there, front row. I had to buckle up and change gears. I got myself a business coach and I said, “Can you help me scale? Can you get me two levels above fulfillment?” I found help. We went through six months of super intense coaching and at the end of it, I fired myself from operations.

I was studying different other industries. That’s maybe one insight from that period. First, you have to fire yourself from operations. Whatever you’re doing, divide your business into marketing, sales, and operations. If you are the founder or in the executive team, you are in none of them. You don’t do marketing, you don’t do sales, you don’t do operations. Operations means fulfillment. Whatever you’re shipping, you don’t ship. You either outsource it or you create a department inside your company.

If you have a department, you make them end-to-end responsible in their report every seven days about all marketing numbers, sales numbers, and operations numbers. We will go later on into the details of how to create that dashboard of those reports in a healthful way. The first step, if you’re still in 1 of those 3 activities working in marketing, sales, or operations, you have to get out if you want to be around in the next few years because somebody needs to work on the business.

On the form, fit, and function of the marketing process, on the form, fit, and function of the sales process, on the form, fit, and function of how you onboard clients, get referrals from them, and make them become super fans and ambassadors of your brand. All these things are working on the business. I’m not yet speaking about joint ventures that you definitely want to start, small joint venture partners, 50 per year so that you can do a weekly joint venture affiliate promotion campaign. Having 50 people promote you per year.

I knew the solution is I have to fire myself from operations. Click to Tweet

You want to also have one big joint venture partner. Our current joint venture partner is Google. It’s an amazing win-win-win. Google has a program called Grow with Google. They want to help small and medium businesses grow. They don’t have the time and capacity to coach each of those small businesses that enrolls for the program, but they want to ensure that their clients get the best of the best and they grow.

They bring small and medium businesses. We coach them and everybody wins. Who is your dream list with the top 100 big joint venture partners that are in your field? They are a platform or they are somebody who has the same target audience, but different offers and you want to team up with them because that’s the smartest way of promoting each other.

Our audience is predominantly in the direct-to-consumer eCommerce space. A lot of them, in order to get to where they are in revenue, have had to roll up their sleeves in the past to get involved in the marketing of their businesses. The sales and marketing are fused into one when you think about it, due to the fact that promotions on paid media or organic, the sales go on with the markets.

How do they divorce themselves from that function, especially if acquisition has been the main way and they’ve been able to do it the main way of acquiring customers or growing up until now? How do they do it effectively so nothing breaks that could fundamentally affect their free cashflows? What would you suggest to these eCommerce operators and founders?

We are doing this every week, it’s the 90-day Strategy Sprints program. I can share with you the rough sketch of the three things that we do. There are three habits and three strategies that we implement with them. The three habits, daily habit, weekly habit, monthly habit, they answer the question, what the heck is in your control when nothing is in your control? Because the markets do whatever they want.

If you cannot control the markets because life changes, in that region, there is a war starting, that changes everything for your client’s needs and that changes everything for your supply chain, your product, your campaigns. If nothing is in your control, what really is in your control? There are three things. The daily habit is everybody in the team, starting with you, write down how they are allocating their time today, and then in the evening, they get two reflective questions if they use our templates that they can download at StrategySprints.com.

In the evening, before they shut down their computer and design the daily flow of tomorrow, they will be asked two things. “Of all the things that I did today, which one will I delegate tomorrow? If I could live more freely and more intentionally, what would I do tomorrow?” Two simple questions. If you do this every day, you will soon find patterns. That thing that you find there, you will want to have more time for and that thing that you find there that you can delegate, you will now find out if you cut it, outsource it, automate it, or delegate it in that order. That’s a daily practice.

If you start it as the CEO, it trickles down. We have everybody in the team up to customer service doing it because everybody should be a leader. I have my team right now interviewing people. I don’t even know who they’re hiring. I can trust them so much because that’s trickled down. We did it for months and for years together. I was always doing it in front of them. All the governance tools that I expect them to do, I do myself every day and I show them how I’m doing them, so now everybody’s a leader. I could exit my company today and it would still run because we have implemented the daily habit.

The weekly habit is, what are the marketing numbers, sales numbers, and operations numbers that we want to have every seven days? Not every month from your CRM. By seven days, I mean we want to talk about it every seven days for half an hour to learn from it. What does it mean? What do we do more? What do we do less? It’s a real-time dashboard. For example, your marketing numbers. How many people were on the site? How many did buy? How many hopped off before cart completion? Let’s say a cart hop off. Sales numbers might be your currency. How many deals closed? How many purchases?

It’s easier in the context of eCommerce to get these data points, particularly the first few you spoke to because they’re easy. In eCommerce, the ultimate action is purchase, then you have to initiate checkouts, you have add-to-carts, you have product views, and then you also have the ability to know how many emails have been recaptured or SMS.

How many executive teams talk about it for half an hour every seven days, learn from that, and change strategy and strategy execution every seven years?

That data capture is so important.

One of the problems in eCommerce is that they gather too many data points and too many fancy data points, not the real important ones. They will gather 180 data points instead of focusing on the three marketing metrics, the three sales metrics, and the three operations metrics. When I say operation metrics, how many people refer you to somebody else, client referrals? How many colleague referrals, affiliate marketing numbers every seven days? How many affiliates sent an email to their list that converted? How much did it convert? What was the email open rate? What was the email conversion rate?

From marketing numbers, sales numbers, and ops numbers, change the strategy and execution plan. Your whole team in all countries is aligned. Everybody has one goal for that week and they’re all working towards that goal. They report about that goal. They don’t just report what they did and what the outcome was, but also what they propose to improve and which part of the SOP manual they did improve based on what they learned this week. That’s an agile company.

You have to do reports to determine how quickly you can adapt to new stuff. New stuff means three things. It means velocity, resilience, and agility. Velocity is not just the speed of how much you sell. Velocity is, are you as a whole company moving in the right direction at the right speed? Because you can sell a lot of stuff online, but it’s maybe the wrong stuff or it’s at the wrong price. That’s why velocity in physics has both direction and price.

There are times when you can sell a lot of stuff, but you are maybe selling to the wrong people in the wrong way at the wrong price. That will decrease your positioning strength, your leverage, and your comparison to competitors. When you get the price down, for example, it’s hard to get it up again. Sometimes, maybe you are selling a lot, but of the wrong things to the wrong people the wrong way at the wrong price. That’s the velocity check.

We want to have this discussion every seven days. If you have it monthly or bi-monthly, the moment you catch the weak signal, it’s too late to react. This is why businesses go out of business. They don’t catch the weak signals early enough. You want to have the 0.3% variation from your four weeks moving average and last four weeks moving average, you want to have it today. This is, for example, something that I don’t see in dashboards. When people show me that in eCommerce, I don’t see the four weeks moving average and the last four weeks moving average compared to this week. Usually, it’s not a standard function of data collection.

In 20 years of coaching CEOs, it’s something I’ve learned the hard way. You need this because otherwise, you don’t see the slight variations, I call them the weak signals, that will tell you early, “Oops, there is a surprise coming up. There is a 0.3%-plus working better. What is it? Is it a product? A process? The timing? The creative? The positioning? The ads? What is it exactly?” Yes, you want to have a ton of data, but you need to focus on the right few data points. It must be a few data points, otherwise, you don’t see this, and it must be quick in terms of four weeks moving average compared to this week.

What data points should we focus on?

“Once a month, we need you guys to check yourself against competition. What are our three main competitors doing? What else can the client do? Do we need to change something or not change something?”

From a dashboard standpoint, what key metrics should we have in an eCommerce dashboard, particularly for a direct-to-consumer brand?

Pick three marketing numbers, three sales numbers, and three ops numbers. They depend on the maturity level of your company, how long have you been in business, and the maturity level of your products. It’s different if they are 3 months old or 3 years old. It’s different in terms of revenue, profitability, or if it’s a one-off or a subscription. If it’s a subscription in ops, you need the churn rate per cohort. If it’s a one-off, you need the profitability, you need the cashflow.

These are times to have defendable moats and to crush them. Click to Tweet

Pick your three numbers. The most important thing is three for marketing, three for sales, and three for ops. The next thing is four weeks moving average of the last four weeks, four weeks moving average of the four weeks before, and then this week, and you compare that delta. The next thing is you ask your team, “What’s your target? If our number right now is four per week, what’s your target?” Let them set the goals. Accept everything that is above five.

You should always have an increment, but they tell you the ambition level. They might say nine, take it. They might say five, take it also because it’s not important. What’s important is that next week is higher than this week. In our dashboards, they have two colors. We have the blue one, which is the current, and we have the red one, which is target. The only important thing is that the target is always slightly higher and everybody sees it on one dashboard every day. If your team doesn’t see it, you have the overview but they don’t have the overview.

Let’s say they are improving one little part. They’re coding the cart. If they don’t know what they’re doing, they don’t know when it’s finished. It’s as simple as that. They need to have the definition of done and they need to set it. They will only know if they know their three marketing numbers, the three sales numbers, and the three ops numbers that you as a whole team are working towards. That’s why it’s important that it’s just 3 x 3. Everybody in your team, even if it’s a VA in a country far away from you and they’re coding the cart, will know exactly when the cart is done because it will contribute to 1 of these 3 numbers going up.

You talked about earlier on in our conversation having two levels above fulfillment. Do you want to break down exactly what you mean? Because these were one of the lever points that enabled you to get your time back.

If you’re the CEO, there are only five things that you need to do. The first one is the company vision in three years. Write it down on five pages. What’s the purpose? Who is working with you in three years on the team side? Who is working with you on the customer side? How do you change their life? When the consumer gets home, how do they look like? When they go to dinner, what do they tell their spouse? What do they tell their kids how your product made a little moment better? Are they excited? Are they more relaxed? Are they more open?

Describe the impact that you have on your customers, your suppliers, and your colleagues, why people want to work with you, which kind of people want to work with you, and how it feels to work with you. If you wouldn’t do what you do, people would miss it. What exactly will they miss? Describe that on five pages. That’s the company’s vision. It’s important and that’s your job as a CEO.

The second job is hiring. That’s probably the most important and also the hardest part. That’s why in my book, Strategy Sprints, the last two chapters, chapter 12 and chapter 13, are my hiring checklist, my hiring blueprints. It took me eighteen years to find a good hiring process from posting it to interviewing people to demoing people to having their first contract to expanding their contract to a longer position.

Define all metrics involved there, what to look at, what is a waste of time for you and for them, what matters, how to filter people out, and how to onboard them the right way so that when you have them on the team, they don’t jump off after three months. I had all of these things. I had hired the wrong people because I was in a hurry. I had hired the right people but lost them early after four months because I had no SOP for the onboarding part. I was just improvising every onboarding.

They saw confusion on your end. They’re like, “I’ve been hired, but what am I going to do?” You’re not prepared for them.

Either it sucks too much time out of you because we have to coach all of them or they’re lost and confused and they move forward. If they’re good people, they will be bored and they go, “This is unprofessional. I’m an excellent person. I can do better than this.”

“I deserve better.”

That’s why you need onboarding processes for each role. I know this is a boring thing. If we are CEOs, that’s the last thing that we like to do. It’s the most boring thing on planet Earth to describe all positions in minutiae details how many hours each one takes, what the expectation is, and how often they need to report. I get it, that’s why I was avoiding it and pushing it away. If you avoid it now, these will have their price later on when they jump off. The problem is only the good people will jump off. The non-A players will stick around. You see the problem with it. If you want to cut corners, the shortcut is right here. Strategy Sprints chapter 12 and chapter 13 are the blueprints.

We’re talking about establishing the vision and we’re talking about hiring.

We have vision and we have hiring. The third thing is a quick competitive analysis once a month. That’s our monthly habit. The first question is, even more important than who our top three competitors are, what else can the buyer do? Go on the consumer side and think about what else they can do? Maybe the alternative is not just buying something from your competitors. Maybe the alternative is doing something completely different like doing nothing or hiring Lisa, the intern, to do it instead of buying the product, or renting the product, or borrowing the product. There are so many alternatives to buying your product and that’s the first part.

With our tools, you can do it in half an hour once a month, which is efficient. That’s what you should do, competitive analysis. It’s six steps, but these are the first steps. Alternatives then features, analyze your top ten features. Where are your competitors winning? Where are you winning? Out of that, our tool will calculate the three buckets. Bucket one, you are losing cut costs. Bucket two, you are meh and your competitor is meh, reduce costs. You will not invest more into that product in terms of time or money.

The third bucket, you are winning against your competitor so invest more in it. Let’s say you have saved 20% on the left side of next month’s budget because remember, we plan every seven days, it’s a strategy sprint. You have four times the chance to change next month’s budget. You will take the 20% that you saved on the left side and you will put it on the right side because if you improve the left side, best case, you will have mediocre results and you don’t want to be mediocre, not in these times. These are not times to be mediocre. These are times to have defendable moats and to crush them. Otherwise, everybody can substitute you quickly.

Sometimes people think that defendable moat is at the product level but from what I’m picking up, it’s operational in terms of what you do making your daily habits. These habits are unique in a way that no one else can outwork you, no one else can sort outproduce you.

On the product level, everybody can build something in China, put a label on it, and make it similar to yours. Even Amazon itself will compete with you. They have the data and they will compete with you. If it’s good, they will compete with you and you have no chance unless you have built up a loyal audience and a great story behind the product because the product is half product, half story. If you have a stronger story, you might survive that competition. If you don’t have a great story and the super fans are buying, rebounding, and talking about your staff, then it’s easy for somebody to wipe you out in a minute.

After the competitive analysis, what are the components and habits should high-level CEOs adopt?

It’s the vision, the hiring, the competitive analysis. Number four is culture. You have governance and you need all the rules. What is the minimum standard that if you don’t deliver, you’re out? You have to execute on that. I’m sorry to say that, but you have to fire quickly. This is the hardest part. It’s not complicated. It’s simple and straightforward, but it’s hard to do on an emotional level. I took many rounds until I got it right and did it on a professional level.

It’s tough because we have to be quick and you have to be objective. This goes back to why onboarding is important. In the onboarding, if you use our tool, it’s a spreadsheet, you will write down specifically what your expectations are in terms of quality of time estimations. What do you expect? You will need this document filled out at that moment when you have to fire because otherwise, on what are you basing this decision?

You have to be quick and you have to have that document. We call it the Job Scorecard with all the tasks, expectations, current results, and target. You need to show the delta once and say, “What’s your plan to change that? Go change that.” One week later, “Show me what you changed. Nothing changed.” That sounds hard. If you don’t do it, this will be the signal for everybody else that the standards here are not consequential, and then you’ll have no standards. That was the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire after 700 years of glory. They started to cut corners, and every other empire later on.

What’s the fifth layer? We talked about establishing a vision. Your vision in three years’ time should be five pages. Hiring and firing quickly, competitive analysis on a monthly basis, speaking to features, and also establishing certain metrics to compare yourselves against. The fourth was culture and the governance of your operations, what are the rules and what are your minimum standards. Then having the check facility check back on it to ensure that everything is going along that culture and governance route. What would be the final pillar?

The final one is to keep the whole firm simple while it grows. That sounds easy, but it’s not easy at all. Everybody who has scaled the company knows for each country, there will be one legal situation that pops up and then you will have lawyers, and then you will have a new contract, and then a new SOP, and then a new variation. Things start to get bloated and complicated easily.

All processes are simple, fun, and repeatable. Click to Tweet

It’s important that you keep things simple. Otherwise, your firm will soon feel like a corporation. Believe me, nobody wants to work in a corporation anymore. They never wanted to, but now they have the chance. They can go take the stimulus, buy Bitcoin, and be much happier. It’s important now that we keep things simple. By the way, Bitcoin can make everybody happy right now. Not financial advice. Be quick.

The key to keeping things simple is on two levels. In the SOP manual, make sure things are just five sentences, no screenshots, super simple. All processes are simple, fun, and repeatable. That’s one thing. Make sure if you have a COO, that’s their job. If you don’t, then make it your job for a while. Things need to stay simple as you grow. Otherwise, you will get crazy because every country has a different text and different legal. If you make that overrun you, you will soon be lost in the woods and not see the trees anymore. Keep things simple on the SOP side.

The other side is the number of projects and activities that people run. We help our clients limit the number of projects that they run at a time. We tell them, “Don’t run more than ten projects per quarter.” We always plan 90 days and in those 90 days, we allow ten projects. They have to discuss which are the most important ten projects. There is a helpful triage question to define because when they do the list for the first time, it’s around 50 to 70 projects per refer. Sometimes even 100, 120.

Let’s say they make a list of 60 projects that they are running right now. As a CEO, how can you help all departments slim down and prioritize? We ask three questions. If they hit 1 of those 3 boxes, they stay on the list. If not, they’re off the list for these 90 days. They might go into a backlog but in those 90 days, ten projects and they have to tick 1 of those 3 boxes. “First, does this project increase our sales frequency by 25%?” That means either shortening sales time or cross-selling more.

Second question, does it increase by 25% the price we charge for the same thing? This is important for marketing. Should we do this marketing campaign or not? If we can charge a higher price because the story is better and the positioning is better, yes, but marketing has to show it during those 90 days. Otherwise, no. It’s just an awareness campaign. Don’t waste your time and money on that.

The third, can it increase the conversion rate by 25% out of the existing leads? Same amount of leads on your website, same amount of leads on your platforms, but the conversion rate is 25% higher. That might be from cart to finish or from start to cart, but it must be a relevant conversion metric for you, not just in the awareness or engagement stage, but in the closing, in the purchase zone.

They’re important questions. That 25% is not overwhelming. It’s a good threshold to make net adjustments in the right direction over time. When that accumulates on a quarterly basis, half a year, you see that the bottom line gets a significant uplift twelve months in a financial year.

There is a magic moment in 3 x 25% in this context because it compounds plus 99% revenue per quarter, so you can double revenue four times in a year if you do this consistently. Of course, it takes some discipline. That’s why we have certified Strategy Sprints coaches that can do this one-on-one with you and they come with 274 blueprints.

The content of your book is interesting. You’re published by Kogan Page, which is a friend of ours. Would you say the book speaks specifically to leaders, CEOs, and founders of eCommerce businesses?

It is written for CEOs. Because I’m a CEO, I had to solve my problems in scaling my business and keeping it simple, and I shared my blueprints. I’m getting Amazon reviews that tell me, “I’m a product manager. You helped me so much.” I’m also getting other growth-related roles inside of firms, heads of sales, heads of product, that tell me, “I’m also a revenue responsible end-to-end and I have the same problems. Mapping the value, improving each stage of the value chain, and improving the conversions and the pricing.” There are also other roles. As soon as you are end-to-end responsible for growth and for revenue operations, then this book is for you.

It’s incredible because with what you’ve spoken to those files in our conversation, this is almost like a CEO’s blueprint for growth. that is how I would have titled the book. I’m looking at the table of contents and I’ll read it out. Eliminate the Competition, Nail Your Message on Your Brand, Your Growth Path Plan, Real-Time Decision Making with Strategy Sprints Method. It’s almost like Sprints’ methodology for a CEO doubling their sales. Daily Flow, Find Traction Instead of Destruction in Your Ideal Week, The Value Ladder, Predictable Sales and Reaching More People, Feedbacks. It’s a structured and strategic approach.

Another one is called The Seven Elements of Marketing, Positioning, Traction, Reusable Content Pieces, Email Automation, Retargeted Ad, Unique Mechanisms, Irresistible Offer. Then your assets, 30-Minute Pitch, Hiring. Some are more general but you still see the application in eCommerce. It’s a leadership-driven book. That’s my takeaway from this conversation.

I’d like to thank you for sharing the tip of the iceberg. For those people who want to learn more, they can search for your book. It’s called Strategy Sprints: 12 Ways to Accelerate Growth for an Agile Business. Simon, beyond the book, do you offer workshops specifically for the retail industry, for eCommerce founders looking to increase their productivity?

Yes, we do one-on-one coaching and it’s always in 90-day cycles. It shares the 274 blueprints that we have brought together in Sprint University which many, like you, call the CEO University. It’s about the blueprints and the shortcuts for you so that you survive these funky years and keep crushing it.

What about accountability? Is there a feedback loop over the 90 days with your students, you notch the reporting numbers, and then you’re helping them to fine-tune the way they navigate the boats of businesses?

Absolutely, because we have a dashboard together. If you start a Strategy Sprints, in the first week, the sprint coach will be assigned based on your industry and your goals, and then they will create a game plan after diagnosis. In those game plans, every one of your weeks, the next twelve weeks, will solve one bottleneck that they identified. Say, one bottleneck is the number of conversions from carts to completion, etc.

Each week has one bottleneck to solve and over the twelve weeks, twelve times, you will discuss your dashboard. You will have a dashboard together. You, your whole team, and your sprint coach have one progress tracking dashboard together. You’ll see your marketing numbers, your sales numbers, and your operations numbers moving up slightly every week. You have twelve of these quality control loops and what we measure is velocity. Are you moving in the right direction at the right pace for your growth goals? That has 100% accountability loops because when you know that every seven days, everything will be measured, what makes you more accountable than that, when you know you have your whole and with a coach?

I want to thank you for coming on and sharing the tip of the iceberg of your knowledge. It’s a treasure trove. Thank you. Cheers.

Thank you for doing this. Keep rolling, everybody.

About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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