Are you looking to grow your company to six figures? Seven figures? Eight figures? As Yokel Local Co-Founder Darrell Evans explains on the Growth Driven Podcast, hosted by Edwin Dearborn, not all growth is good growth. When businesses don’t properly scale, other parts of the business may suffer. Tune into this episode to learn what it takes to scale effectively and responsibly.
Hey everyone here at Growth Driven, I am with Darrell Evans. Now, Darrell and I — let me tell you a little story. Met on LinkedIn, Lord knows, I don't know when, a year ago, five years ago, we're both in the Bay Area. I was looking for experts on marketing and business. He's in my first tier, reached out to him. He immediately responded, and so I said, Darrell, thank you for being on Growth Driven.
Edwin, I'm happy to be here. We are going to talk product, growth, sales, all the stuff that I geek out on, so I'm excited to be here. Thanks for having me.
From Small Businesses To Multi-Million Dollar Businesses
Yeah, I geek out on this stuff, too. So, before, if you're listening, before we went live, Darrell and I were talking about all of our combat wounds of marketing with small businesses and how we, you know, marketers like ourselves, can actually exceed people's willingness to grow. Meaning: they hit a certain peak and then they don't want the marketing guy anymore, because they're comfortable and why pay for more money when I'm comfortable.
So both of us recently have kind of come to the same conclusion and I'm gonna have Darrell speak to this, which is, we're not looking for just local businesses with a small margin of growth-success mindset. We want national-level type organizations, consultation-based businesses that want to really use a CRM, nurture leads, take people through the buyer's journey, all of these things we're going to go into. If you don't know these words or don't know what we mean or how to connect the dots, I'm gonna have Darrell connect the dots for you clearly today.
So if you are looking to scale nationally, if you're looking to go, “What the hell do I do with my CRM? How do we nurture leads? How do I out-strip my competition? To do it better?” Darrell’s going to speak to all of that. So Darryl, when I went to your website, it was all about local marketing, but you told me that you've kind of gone in a different direction. Tell me why you went that direction and what's happening since?
Yeah, so I appreciate that. When we started our company, Yokel Local Internet Marketing, which is a digital marketing agency and HubSpot partner, based here in Las Vegas, Nevada. We started working with small local businesses. Why was that?
Well, number one, it goes to a couple of things. Number one, my business partner and I grew up in the local professional services space. Both of us had successful careers in multiple industries along that previous 18-year path prior to us getting to this time with our company, which now we're in our 10th year. But number two, it speaks to another thing that I think about when we talk about entrepreneurship and that is entering a marketplace with a minimal viable product or a minimal viable service or a minimal viable offer. You know, you can't be all things to all people when you're first starting a business and it’s a huge mistake that a lot of entrepreneurs make when they're first getting started is they want to go broad, cast a wide net to everybody who could buy their product or service. And I just believe in the opposite I believe in start small, create one product, one server, go straight to the marketplace who needs it, and become successful there, then expand.
So, our story was we started with local businesses, primarily professional services companies, both home professional services, think AC, think landscaping, think pest control, think those kinds of companies. And then think professional services on the educated side of things engineers, lawyers, doctors, accountants, Lasik eye surgeons, cosmetic surgeons, think that on both sides. We never touched a restaurant. We never touched a gym. We never touched some of those companies in the early days, because we wanted to serve those professional service companies who were in the fight serving their customers every single day. And we knew that they didn't have the manpower, the capacity, the skill, or the strategy to take care of acquisition online. So the thing was if they raised their hand and said, “Hey, we need to get our online presence together, start generating business online.” Great, but we know that they're performing their craft throughout the majority of the day, so that means they're not going to be able to figure out Facebook, they're not gonna be able to figure out the first page of Google, they're not going to be able to figure out email, they're not going to be able to figure out you know, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. That's where we come in.
But again, but what happened? About two years in, we realized that a lot of the small companies we were working with, and we love them, we still work with them to this day. What we found though, is that they're willingness to grow through the processes, the systems of going from being a couple $100,000 a year company to a $500,000 a year company to a million-dollar company to a $2 million company, and I can't tell you how many of those case studies we have. It sounds good on paper and the entrepreneur’s dreaming of it every night. They're they're saying all their friends in Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups talk about starting a business and scaling to six figures. Oh, like that's the Holy Grail. I want to go to seven figures. So that's a different conversation and then going from seven to multiple seven, your business changes, your operations change, you as an entrepreneur have to change. And I'm super passionate about this stuff.
But what we found was when we would take a company from a couple 100,000 of revenue to five to a million, we started bumping up against a lot of operational challenges and desire challenges. Two challenges: A) Can they keep fulfilling as well as they did when they were smaller? And number two, do they even have the passion and willingness to get the right coaching mentorship and guidance to change their company? At the million level to go to 2, 3, 5. And what we found in those two, first two and a half years from 2010 and 2013 ish, was that we just didn't, you know, I could say nine and a half maybes, 9.7 out of 10 of our companies, the entrepreneur just wasn't willing to go through it.
"And so it didn't matter how good we were. We got fired sometimes for no other reason other than we were successful. We were successfully helping them grow too fast. And so we had to pivot. 2013 began that mental shift for us."
And again, we love our small businesses. We still work with restaurants and all those types of companies and all the ones I previously mentioned. But we are looking today at companies that can look to go from that 1 million to the 3 million to 5 million. One of our best examples, actually we got several, but one of our, if you’re a local business though and you think like this guy, who came along in 2012, and he recently exited, right? So we took him at four and a half million. He builds everything on the ground up but at four and up from zero to four and a half million, the previous 10 years. And he got to us and we got him to 22 over the next six and he exited about a year and a half ago. And you know for a decent sum. That was a huge situation and here's what he did. He hired us and went to do what he does best. We took care of all the strategy, we brought all the skill, all the talent, all the execution, and drove the ROI. He just got to do his craft all day and at one point he was interviewed, in fact, by his industry magazine.
"And it was hilarious because he told them that we were growing his business via social media. We didn't post on social media probably five times the entire time. That's how much he trusted us. He didn't even know what we were doing. All he knew was sales kept coming and leaving."
Listen to the rest of the interview to learn Darrell's expert insights about how to scale your company profitably and effectively.