Building Better Business Systems
With Carrie Richardson
Carrie Richardson is a successful entrepreneur, having scaled three service-based businesses from zero to seven figures in the last ten years. But she got her start in an unexpected place: In a fitness center, cleaning weights at four in the morning.
This is the compelling story of how Carrie earned her sobriety, built multiple award-winning companies, met her husband and started a thriving consulting company. It serves as a great reminder that no matter what rung of the ladder you’re on, you can climb all the way to the top.
Carrie Richardson founded Managed Sales Pros in Winnipeg, MB, Canada in 2013, and Everywhere Managed LLC in Las Vegas, NV in 2016 until its sale in 2020.
Carrie began her business as a solopreneur making phone calls by herself – and the demand for outbound cold calling quickly surpassed her ability to fulfill on her own. Carrie bootstrapped a home-based business into two award-winning niche-focused call centers.
Carrie graduated from the Eureka Project Technology Incubator in 2016, the same year Managed Sales Pros was named the 25th fastest-growing company in Canada by Profit Magazine. Everywhere Managed was founded in 2016 to support US-based technology manufacturers that required US-based outbound sales development teams.
Everywhere Managed hired almost exclusively out of workforce reentry programs in Nevada. Carrie and her team developed a one-of-a-kind on-the-job training program for technology sales. The Everywhere Managed unique approach to employee development earned Carrie an Athena Leadership nomination for advancing women in the workforce. Everywhere Managed was 100% female owned and managed, and all executive team members were promoted from within after being outbound agents. Carrie was inducted into the Las Vegas Women’s Hall of Fame for the achievement, and to date has been the launch pad for two successful entrepreneurs, four sales development leaders (six figure earners with stock in fast-growing tech firms) and has helped over 50 employees move from social assistance to self-sufficiency. In October 2020, the omnichannel marketing agency EBQuickstart acquired Everywhere Managed.
In 2021, Carrie co-founded Richardson & Richardson with her husband Ian to help small business owners create and execute process-driven, repeatable sales and marketing programs after they have solved for all systemic challenges in their business. Carrie has found that most companies start out believing they have a sales or marketing problem, when in reality they are also experiencing financial, service delivery, staffing, and communication challenges that are impacting their ability to win and retain clients. Richardson & Richardson Consulting helps to identify areas for improvement in those areas and beyond.
Carrie’s journey began with a powerful origin story
Carrie always loved selling. She was self-taught, a natural born salesperson. But when she decided to get sober, she faced unexpected obstacles: Sales jobs usually came with boozy lunches that made it easy to fall off the wagon.
Being a determined and process-minded person, Carrie saw that her course had to change. She quit sales and landed a job at a gym with a four a.m. shift.
Carrie had to clean the gym, answer the phones, and stand at the front desk while she worked to become a certified personal trainer. It was hard, humbling work. Setting her ego aside, Carrie meticulously scrubbed the weights clean every morning – and was spotted by the manager.
Soon after, she was called into the office. Thinking she was going to get fired, she was surprised when her manager told her that she deserved a big promotion – with a massive pay raise. Carrie never forgot that moment. Someone gave her a chance and believed in her. Her work was recognized. It inspired her to build companies that truly support people – no matter what they’re going through.
When Carrie left her job at the gym, she decided to return to sales. It wasn’t long before she started her own company staffed with telemarketers niched into the world of IT.
A lesson in giving people a chance
When she started her own call centers, Carrie encountered major staffing challenges. As she jokes herself, nobody grows up wanting to become a telemarketer – and HR was wasting time chasing candidates who did not want the job.
This challenge led Carrie to think creatively. She decided to begin hiring candidates from economic development agencies. Many were coming to work from jail or rehab, and many were experiencing food and housing insecurity. Carrie saw an opportunity to help them succeed.
The call centers hired people who needed positive work experience and even provided food and housing support. Carrie got to watch them build better lives – buying their first cars, getting married, having children and even starting their own businesses. Some of her former employees have launched their very own call centers, using systems they learned working at Everything Managed. After being given a chance herself, Carrie handed out second chances to hundreds of individuals, effectively changing the lives of them and their families.
Carrie’s advice to entrepreneurs: Build it better
Carrie Richardson loves numbers, and she hates wasted time. When asked about her greatest advice for beginning entrepreneurs, she recommends that we focus our marketing efforts on things that produce real, tangible results.
Rather than just shooting out messages on LinkedIn and hoping for a response, Carrie suggests that you take stock of what works for you, and what doesn’t. Is your website working for you? Are your cold calls being answered? Are you getting the results you want? If not, it might be time to refocus your energy – or hire Richardson & Richardson Consulting for professional guidance.
“Most IT companies – like most other companies – start their business and grab a couple clients that are low-hanging fruit. They might take a couple from the previous company they worked for, or they build their business initially by supporting their parents’ friends. But they’re only used to closing referral-based sales appointments. They build up their company entirely from word of mouth and referrals. When these leads stop coming in, they don’t know what to do. By the time they call a company like mine, they should have called a year before!”
“I don’t think you should ignore any opportunity to prospect. Try all of it. Measure it and see if you can improve on it! If you see that sending twenty LinkedIn messages means that two will respond, awesome. How do you get three people to respond? But don’t just send out messages all day, willy-nilly. To me, that’s not sales or marketing because it can’t be measured.”
“Your website should translate to dollars out the bottom of your funnel. But most people aren’t measuring it.”
“Work with professionals up front. Make major investments in viability before you start investing in head count.”
“What are you measuring? What KPI’s are you reporting on? What are your accountability checkpoints?”
“We hired people right out of jail, and right out of rehab. They might not have made it past screening for other jobs. Some were experiencing food insecurity or homelessness. We had a food bank in our office. If you were struggling between paychecks, we had resources. We provided breakfast and lunch for everyone. We helped people pay for apartments.”
“We started watching peoples’ lives change. They would come in to work after getting their hair done, for the first time since starting work for us. They would buy their first car, get married, or have a baby. Watching peoples’ lives change was incredible.”
“We worked with economic development agencies. They had people who were like, ‘Help me find a job! I need to work.’”
“Yeah, this is your job today – but let me tell you about my life. Let me tell you where all of this took me! Cleaning the handles of some weights took me to a job that allowed me to save enough money to train with UFC kickboxers in Thailand. I did so many amazing things. And all of them came from being humble enough to take a job that I thought was a little bit beneath me.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Visit the website for Richardson & Richardson Consulting at https://randr.consulting/
Watch on Youtube: “Make Smart Business Decisions with Carrie Richardson”, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CICPia7wA4
Listen to Carrie and Ian Richardson’s podcast, “What’s Important Now,” on Buzzsprout: https://win.buzzsprout.com/
Connect with Carrie Richardson on LinkedIn at http://LinkedIn.com/in/tinfoilhat2
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