Fully understand your market and pain points.
Make sure your products are fully developed and the best before launching.
Understand your strengths and know when you need to outsource.
Implement empathetic customer service.
Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back!
As a part of my series called “Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Davis.
A former construction engineer, Elizabeth Davis left her career to create the multimillion-dollar hair-care empire, Shedavi. She designed the company to provide natural, botanically-based holistic hair, skin and nail products to women, men and children of all hair types globally.
You can learn more about Davis’ hair care company, Shedavi, at www.shedavi.com.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
A former Construction Engineer, I pivoted my career into hair care after spending 6 years finding a solution to my own hair care needs. I stayed at my 9–5 for 3 years, relying on family to help me with operations before I quit my job as a construction engineer to fully pursue Shedavi.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
One time I used too much sulfur in one of my products. This caused my hair to have a weird smell even though it was amazing on your hair. I had to go back several times to change the formula. This taught me to continue improving. You may not get it right the first time, but you will get it eventually. This also taught me to be patient with myself and my process.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mother. She’s taught me how to properly manage money, how to understand building credit and much more. She encouraged me to be a logical thinker and find what really works. Her mindset is what truly helped me build Shedavi.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Hindsight is 20/20.” My aunt used to say that all the time, and it’s a helpful concept. Having 20/20 vision isn’t about lamenting on what went wrong in the past. It’s about learning from your mistakes and taking stock of your present resources to build your future.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. We’d love to learn a bit about your company. What is the pain point that your company is helping to address?
Our pain point addresses the difficulties of growing hair and retaining length for women of color. I and many others grew up relaxing their hair, at least at some point, into cute styles but could never grow it past their shoulders due to the damage these styles caused. Shedavi products help Black women address the difficulties of growing long, luscious locks through nourishing products and community.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story? When you first started the business, what drove you, what was your primary motivation?
At first, it was my passion and desire to be my own boss that drove me. Though I didn’t know what kind of business I wanted to pursue, I loved hair and the freedom of expression it gave me. Eventually, it just clicked, and I knew this was the business I wanted to create.
What drives you now? Is it the same? Did it change? Can you explain what you mean?
Today, what drives me is the opportunity to provide customers with the best, maintaining a reputation for offering the highest-quality ingredients in our hair, skin and nail products.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
There’s so much that we’re doing to optimize our current products. We plan on expanding in the near future to additional hair products as well as skin, body, beauty and wellness merchandise.
The topic of this series is ‘Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue’. Congratulations! Seven figures is really a huge milestone. In your experience what was the most difficult part of being able to hit your first million-dollars in sales revenue?
It was difficult to grasp a clear understanding of marketing and branding. At first, I was capturing product photos with just a Blackberry and standard camera. Eventually, I learned that I can’t do everything on my own.
Could you share the number one sales strategy that you found helpful to help you reach this milestone?
Digital marketing is so important, and hiring a team of experts just for that purpose was an amazing decision. It not only helped me advertise far beyond my capabilities, but built strong customer relationships. In general, it’s important to outsource what isn’t your strength.
Does your company have a sales team? If yes, do you have any advice about how companies can create very high performing sales teams?
We have a wonderful sales team and my best advice is to offer constant training. All sales representatives should be up-to-date on product information as well as industry best practices. Additionally, managers should always be on the lookout for the best processes and office structure. What works today might not work tomorrow.
Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue.”
- Fully understand your market and pain points.
- Make sure your products are fully developed and the best before launching.
- Understand your strengths and know when you need to outsource.
- Implement empathetic customer service.
- Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back!
What would you advise to another business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth or sales and “restart their engines”?
Learn to pivot quickly. It’s worth trying to save a product or service you believe in, but you should know when to move on to the next solution. Every moment has to be proactive.
In your specific industry what methods have you found to be most effective in order to find and attract the right customers?
Attracting the right customers is about crafting the right message. This means conducting thorough research on your demographic, asking what it is they want — not what you think they want to hear.
Based on your experience, can you share a few strategies to give your customers the best possible user experience and customer service?
People today don’t just want a transaction but an experience. We strive to give that to our customers through community and support using social media and VIP memberships. Here, customers can talk about hair routines and tequinics with friends and feel like they belong somewhere, creating brand loyalty for the company.
As you likely know, this HBR article demonstrates that studies have shown that retaining customers can be far more lucrative than finding new ones. Do you use any specific initiatives to limit customer attrition or customer churn? Can you share some of your advice from your experience about how to limit customer churn?
The answer is stellar customer service. Companies need to be on top of messaging and engage in transparent and empathetic communication. The reason people come back to a brand isn’t just for the product (though that matters). Customers return because they’re connected with your brand. Customer relationships are especially crucial now with more consumers making purchase decisions based on a company’s social footprint.
Wonderful. We are nearly done. Here are the final “meaty” questions of our discussion. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
In business, it’s always a good move to care about your customers’ overall life and practice corporate social responsibility.
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!