In the Now Podcast: Episode 20
Join Nowspeed's CEO, David Reske, as he engages in discussions with founders, marketers, and CEOs from around the globe. Delving into the realm of marketing and leadership, aiming to unravel the myths and misunderstandings that often surround these topics.
Eric Crews CEO | Crews and Company
What Is The Secret To Frictionless Growth For Your Company?
What is the secret to frictionless growth for your company? In this episode of In The Now, Eric Crews, President and Founder of Crews and Co. smashes the myth that you can be successful growing your business just by focusing on operational excellence. Eric has consulted with dozens of companies over many years and understands that strong operations can only take you so far. In in the conversation, we explore how to create a differentiated business strategy by deciding on where to play and how to win in your market. Watch Eric’s interview with David Reske now!
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In the Now: Eric Crews
Operational excellence is important but not everything. In this new episode of In the Now, Eric Crews, founder and CEO of Crews & co, explains the importance of creating a differentiated business strategy by deciding where to play and how to win in your market.
Read the interview snapshot and listen to the full conversation here.
Nowspeed: Welcome to this edition of In the Now where we focus on uncovering the myths and misunderstandings of marketing and leadership with some of the world’s most interesting people. My name is David Reske and my guest today is Eric Crews. Eric is the founder and CEO of Crews & co. Eric. He will talk about if it is possible to have a frictionless business and still be successful.
Just to get started I’d like you to smash the myth — and we’ve talked about this quite a bit — that you can be successful in an organization just by running a great business operationally, and just doing a great job with operational excellence. How do you feel about that?
Eric: Well, Dave, it’s funny you asked that question. First, thanks for having me, Dave. You’re a wonderful, longtime, very skillful business person, and I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. So, thank you.
So, this is a big topic for us as a consulting company. We focus generally on starting with companies when they’re under their $45 million size. We will get companies that are around $2 million to $50 million, and we try to get them from that size to a larger size. So we’re all about growing businesses and doing whatever we can to help them grow. As a consulting company, we focus on four buckets. We focus on operations, we focus on people, we focus on strategy, and we focus on finance. So, we’re very specific about what we focus on.
This myth in particular is an important one for us because we hold ourselves accountable. Internally, we measure the growth of our companies every quarter, and like I said, we work with about 100 companies internationally. So we built an operating system to help companies with operations, and to get them aligned we use objectives and key results for that. We can get them rowing in the same direction and get all the right people in the right seats, all these nice cliches that consultants use that are really valuable cliches, and it’s a big part of our business. That whole operational side is probably 50% or 60% of what we do. So it’s not that I undervalue those things. In fact, I put a premium on those things.
So, I want to make sure that’s clear: A well run operational company is crucial. But we added Strategy and Finance into our mix because, ultimately, what we’ve been discovering is companies really fall into two categories — what we call commodity-type companies that are usually competing on price or speed or quality. But there’s really no differentiator. Maybe their services are a little better, but they’re commodity companies. We actually own a commodity company, a commercial cleaning company, that we have in addition to the consulting company. We’re really good at what we do. There’s nothing sexy.
And, then, there’s a more differentiated or more unique business that has more of a play in the market. We call it play. So what’s this company? So, what I’ve noticed, and we’ve worked with entrepreneurs for a long time, is that there’s this theory that ifI run a really well-run business. I’m just gonna keep growing. And we’ve learned it’s just not the case. You can grow organically. You can do all those things by running a great business. And you can even grow pretty large by running a great business but these companies that people look up to, idolize, and talk about when talking about great companies, generally speaking, like your Starbucks or Microsoft or Apple, your Tesla, your Disney.
Whoever it is you’re looking at, generally speaking, they’re usually well run but not always, but what they have is they have a strategy that they’re going into the market with. They figured out what they are and where they are playing. So we love a book called, “Playing to Win.” It’s a fantastic book for strategy that’s going to ask you the questions they asked us on this we use in our company. Where are we playing? What’s our market? Who are we selling to? How big is that market? What’s the geography? Where are we playing first? What is our play inside that market? What is going to give us frictionless growth? And, then, we kind of look at that and say, Okay, how big can that play get us? So for our strategy, we want to be the best at, picking an example…”
Make sure to watch the full conversation here.