SBJ: What has been key to your recent growth?
Brett Curry: Part of the growth has been fueled by the pandemic, where e-commerce has been growing at an amazing pace. We serve e-commerce companies exclusively. A lot of our existing clients have had a record year and increased their online advertising. It’s also led to more companies wanting rapid growth and causing them to reach out to us. But we also have been working really hard to attract the right clients. We used to do a lot of in-person trade shows and I would speak at eight to 10 events a year in person. That all shifted virtual. We started our own virtual events. We recently did a YouTube for an e-commerce virtual event that we hosted in partnership with Google. It had almost 1,500 businesses registered. Then I host a podcast called, “eCommerce Evolution,” and that’s been good sending us leads.
SBJ: What is a right client for OMG Commerce?
Curry: We for sure were at a place where we would take any lead we could get. But as we’ve learned what we’re really good at, we want to select the clients we can help the most. We’re looking for rapid-growth e-commerce brands, usually small to midsize, that have some traction already, in the $2 million to $50 million a year in revenue where their primary growth vehicles are online advertising. Usually, our clients are spending $40,000 to $100,000 a month and up in online advertising. With that kind of spend, there’s a lot of data for us to go over and find areas of efficiencies that we can leverage.
SBJ: Is your fast growth sustainable?
Curry: One of the things I’ve told the team is we’ll only get bigger if we can also get better in the process. We want to ask what worked, what didn’t and what’s next in our services to continually improve. We are willing to hit the brakes on growth as needed.
Growing too fast would be when you potentially lose your culture, the things that make you unique and valuable to the client. It’s too fast if we grow to the point we don’t have that level of service from one client to the next. We want to feel stretched a little bit and challenged, but we don’t want to feel overwhelmed.
SBJ: How do you take the temperature on that?
Curry: You feel it during employee check-ins and meetings with department heads. That can really reveal where there might be stress. Obviously you see that in client feedback and client retention.
SBJ: Have your goals changed as business has taken off?
Curry: We have added a creative services department, and that’s a big new initiative for us. We’re doing end-to-end YouTube ad creation – high level, high production value.
SBJ: What is the best/worst business advice you’ve received?
Curry: In the very early days of the pandemic, some people advised to slash expenses, get lean and potentially lay people off. I’m glad we didn’t, because growth happened right after that. We exploded and were ready. I’m just glad we didn’t react or panic based on that advice.
In terms of the best advice, we’re following Amazon’s Bar Raiser Program. The idea is they want to raise the bar of performance with each hire – not just filling a need.
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