Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mary Grothe, CEO of House of Revenue, located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our ideal CEO has hit a revenue plateau and is ready to invest in their entire revenue ecosystem to level up on their journey of scaling between $1M - $10M+. Our comprehensive 12-month revenue scaling program engrains competitive go-to-market and brand strategies and builds up the processes and people required to scale revenue across branding, marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps. Led by a Fractional CRO and 5-7 person revenue growth support team, your revenue engine is built inside your company nothing is rented - you own it, it works, and you take it over in months 10-12 once the new engine gains repeatable traction. We are not meant to be long-term, but the engine we build for you is! Most companies struggle to gain alignment between marketing, sales, and customer success. Their mid-funnel and post-purchase activities become inefficient, the division of labor becomes blurred, and the cost to acquire customers increases. Plus, this lack of alignment bleeds into the sales to customer support handoff, retaining customers, and expanding revenue. We focus on alignment throughout the entire customer lifecycle, including the buyer's journey and customer's journey, so you consistently attract, engage, and delight your customers and holistically scale revenue. No silo approaches here.
As a Fractional CRO with a 5-7 person revenue growth support team, we work with your team to build a strategic and holistic revenue approach where all revenue departments work together. All of our revenue engines are built on HubSpot; we serve B2B technology, SaaS, professional services, manufacturing, and distribution clients, who have a starting annual revenue between $1M - $10M. Some consultants might promise "tons of leads" or "expert sales training" to fix your underperforming sales team. That silo approach doesn't work. You need a growth team that understands all facets of revenue, including branding, marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps.
Tell us about yourself
I am the founder and CEO of House of Revenue® and Fractional CRO of Spotz. I am a faith-based leader, entrepreneur, global keynote speaker, and the host of two podcasts: 'Revenue Radio' and 'Destination Remarkable'. I began my sales career at a Fortune 1000 company, where I quickly advanced from an admin role to being the number one sales representative. By following my natural instincts to always put the customers first and listen to their needs, I was able to drive success for my clients and me and brought in millions of dollars in revenue. Driven to help others achieve success, I founded my first company at the age of 28 and became a business strategist for startups. Over a three-year period, my team was instrumental in helping 36 startups reach profitability. My passion for scaling companies grew. I founded Sales BQ® to expand my reach from startups to companies with $1 million to $3 million in annual recurring revenue.
I recognized that focusing on the sales process alone was no longer enough to successfully scale a company, so we evolved Sales BQ® to House of Revenue® and developed a holistic revenue strategy that integrates sales, marketing, branding, customer success, and revenue operations. House of Revenue® builds unshakeable revenue foundations set for scale by focusing on all aspects of the revenue engine, essentially creating a Chief Revenue Officer service. In the past year, we have helped multiple second-stage growth companies, between $1 million and $10 million in annual recurring revenue, build powerful revenue engines and start their scaling journey. As a faith-based leader, my goal is to inspire and empower others to commit themselves to "do remarkable work," to structure their lives so that they can truly honor their values, and to ask the questions, "What is most important in my life? Do I want to be successful, or do I want to be significant?" I am a global keynote speaker on entrepreneurship and faith-based leadership. I am working on two upcoming books to be published under Forbes.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In the past year, I've been stretched to unimaginable lengths. In 2021, our team adopted our own revenue scaling methodology we use for our clients. In 9 months, we doubled from 12 to 28 employees, with $190k monthly revenue to $420k. We scaled so we could serve more companies. In 2020, we served 9 companies. Most spent $250k+ in our services, on average, we scaled them by $3.2M, nearly doubling them. Our 2021 vision was to serve 18+ companies.
However, I underestimated the stress, strain, and pressure related to rapid growth with a services company, one whose only "product" is people. The labor market became highly competitive. Inflation rose, the top talent now made far more than we budgeted, and I needed to build out a middle management layer, something I've never done. I'm a faith-based CEO and have openly discussed my struggles as a talented, high-performing over-achiever who hustles until burnout. My battle is acting on my calling/purpose versus the flesh side of me that loves to compete, win, make money, and be recognized.
By Q4 2021, I realized scaling my company was something I could do, but maybe something I shouldn't do. I hustled myself into a public nervous breakdown, in Disneyland, with my family. I needed help. I began healing and realized my identity and worth are not tied to my company, title, revenue, employee count, or profit. My identity is as a catalyst for love and kindness in our community. God has given me a platform, a company, an incredible team, and a responsibility to care for them and prove that business can be done differently.
My greatest accomplishments this year were healing, righting the wrongs inside of my business, and securing my mental health. We hired too many employees too fast, a few of whom were not the right fit, and we brought on clients that didn't fit our ICP and were not succeeding. We helped several team members find new jobs outside of our company, paid severance when we couldn't, and also let a few clients out of their contracts.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
During the pandemic, we lost 60% MRR in 3 days when the shutdown began. To stabilize, we canceled our office lease, reduced headcount by one role that wasn't performing, cut ancillary expenses, and brainstormed how to provide such an immense amount of value to our remaining clients they couldn't fathom cutting us. We spent one day reworking our offerings (augmenting services from just sales consulting & training to building full revenue engines for our clients, including branding, marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps) and immediately implemented them, resulting in significant revenue growth for our clients in the midst of a pandemic. In 2020, we helped 9 small businesses between $1M - $15M, on average, double their MRR within 10 months, resulting in an ROI of 1,454% and average annual revenue growth eclipsing $3.2 million.
Then came the CEO Wake-Up Call. After 2.5 years of being the harda$$ CEO, 100-hour workweeks, neglecting my family, and running a cut-throat, 'make it happen at all costs' culture, I shifted my internal compass towards creating a calm and loving culture, redefining our core values to serve first (serve ourselves, serve our teammates, then our clients), scale second, and succeed always. With 9 am - 4 pm workdays, unlimited PTO, and 25+ paid company holidays, our company has never been more profitable and more successful, and our clients have never yielded greater returns.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know why you are in business and who you are for. Get centered on the problem you're solving in the market and build a product or service that undeniably solves that problem better than the competition, is priced appropriately, and is tested and validated by your target market BEFORE you spend thousands of dollars (or more) attempting to scale your business.
- Get right with yourself first. You cannot give what you don't have. If you are not whole and well, you will not be good for anyone or anything. You'll reach burnout early and unintentionally harm others along the path.
- Be smart and conservative. It's easy to get caught up in shiny object syndrome and chase the big numbers, growth awards, and accolades. Stay humble and only spend when you need to. Stay quiet and prove yourself consistently behind the scenes before publicly sharing your playbook or success.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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