Interview – Glenn Ackroyd

Episode Overview

Behind the scenes interview with Glenn, who started, grew and then sold Ewemove for a sizable exit in under 5 years.

Transcript (Click To Open)

Pieter: Hi there and welcome to this weeks’ episode of the Build a Better Business podcast. My guest today is Glenn Ackroyd who’s one of the co-founders of EweMove Sales and Lettings. And as you will find out, they disrupted the lettings market quite a bit when they first started out some four years ago and were recently bought out by a rather big PLC. Which is the ultimate exit for any business. So here you have Glenn Ackroyd.

Well, Glenn, thank you for joining me today. How are you doing?

Glenn: Not too bad at all, Pieter. Yourself?

Pieter: Yeah, very well, thank you. Very well. So as you may know – you may not – but on the podcast our aim really is to try and help other business owners achieve more, build better businesses, build healthier businesses. So maybe if we can just start off, maybe just tell people a bit more about you, your business background and where you are at the moment.

Glenn: Yes, you are. So a part of history, I started off doing the nine to five working as a lawyer. I did that until I was about 35 years of age and then I got into property in the early noughties. And I became a franchisee and also very shortly after that, because the company I had joined was a company called A Quick Sale. And that was very much aimed at buying [inaudible 00:01:36] investment properties.

So I was looking at creating a portfolio for myself to create a path of income and ultimately allow me to have a better lifestyle. Whilst I was a franchisee, and it would have been about a year or so of doing that, the owner of the business asked me to come on board, take some shares in the business, to buy into the business as well and become a director. So I was a poacher turned gamekeeper, really.

And I did that successfully from probably 2004 to 2008. Built up a nice, sizeable portfolio which was fantastic. You know, the world couldn’t be better. And then all of a sudden had the Northern Rock and Lehman Brothers situation where the credit crunch came along, and the whole business model, so successful to that point, just simply crashed and died with the credit crunch.

Which then meant we had to pivot and change direction. So we did that. It took some time. You know, the initial focus of 2009-10 was to get our portfolios in order and sweat them so the rents were collected efficiently, the proxies were advertised, the repairs dealt with. And then going on from 2010 to 2013, myself and my business partner David Laycock, we were working on a business called National Property Group which was aimed at landlords like ourselves. So large portfolio landlords to maximise and run efficient properties efficiently.

And that’s what we did and we worked away. Which then ultimately we lodged as a franchise. A soft launch piloted in 2013 and we changed the name at that point to EweMove – having the female sheep ewe – Sales and Lettings. And so 2014 onwards, we started franchising the concept, the business, and it was all based upon IT. Creating leads, generating leads using sort of the marketing skills and experience that we’d gleaned, which was all about direct response.

And we became very, very effective at that, which meant that even though we were, you know, sort of a new kid in the block compared to all leaders out there that had been going for hundreds of years, we were able to sort of gain traction and a good foothold to the point where we’ve now got over 110 franchisees. And late in 2017 – it was in 2016, sorry, getting ahead of myself there – late last year, 2016, we were acquired by the property franchise group PLC for a combined deal that was £15 million.

So we’ve sold on now and still working the business, passing it on to the new owners. And then we’ll be going onto pastures new. So that’s me, [Manta Boy 00:04:14]. Other way around.

Pieter: There’s a lot of interesting things in there. One thing I picked up on is where you said around the credit crunch and that that you guys would have to pivot, change the business model and do something else. And, I mean, I remember around that time I was still working. I was still running an electrical contracting business around that time. I saw it a lot from the other side where a lot of our clients who had built up or were busy building up property portfolios simply couldn’t do what they used to do anymore. They couldn’t get the finance, couldn’t get whatever it was they needed.

And I think that’s perhaps unsung but key skill that any business owner needs is the willingness and then ability to actually look at the landscape and say, well, this has changed and therefore I need to change and what I do needs to change.

Glenn: Yes. I mean, that’s just how business life is. If you go into business thinking it’s all going to be rosy and it’ll all be straightforward, that is not the reality. The reality is, you know, you’re going to put everything on the line, you’re going to think it’s the worst decision you’ve ever made. You’re going to regret the fact you ever went into business, wish you were an employed person.

And it’s your ability to get back off the floor, pick yourself up. Yes, you’re going to get challenges. Yes, you’re going to despair. Yes, you’re going to think that there is no way out. But that’s where the creative juices come out because for every problem there’s an opportunity. So the problem of the credit crunch was, well, nobody could get a mortgage and what that meant was, well … You know, the perception was that the housing market had crashed. Well, it hadn’t. The sales market had crashed but people need houses.

So what happened was the rental market boomed. So the pivot was, well, we’ll switch from sales into lettings. We did some sort of fancy-dancey stuff with providing an offer in to tenants who could then build up equity in a house to buy it by building up a deposit over time. That meant we got good quality tenants who were like homeowners. There a long time, they did their own repairs. They were house proud. That meant we had no voids.

So all of these were … You know, don’t get me wrong. We were going through the despair and depression and many, many months of what’s going to happen? The world’s coming to an end. But you just have to try and be creative and think, well, given this situation, what can we do with it? And, you know, that’s what ultimately makes the successful businesses pull though. Because every businesses go through challenges.

Pieter: Yeah, I quite like Daniel Priestley. He uses the saying where he says he likens business to being a boxer, where every match you win, every contest you win, simply gives you the right to be in the next match. And therefore, essentially, the more successful you get in business, the more often you get punched in the face. To a certain extent.

Glenn: Yeah, I mean, and I actually … It’s funny you mention that because I’ve not heard that quote from Daniel but I was at a recent talk and I mentioned boxing and what you can learn from boxing. Because I love boxing and my hero boxer was Nigel Benn. And what you get in business is … I talked about the despair and the dark days and whatever else, and you need that inner desire, that inner will. You know, the reason, the purpose as to why you’re doing this.

It might be your children, your family, whatever it may well be. That even though you’re going through those pits of despair – you’ve got a customer who’s not paid, or whatever it is, or you’ve lost a contract – you have to get up off the floor and do it. And, you know, the best boxers are the ones that have … you know, they get knocked to the floor and they get up again.

You know, just like Anthony Joshua did. He thought he was going to lose but he got up off the floor. And Nigel Benn was a great, great one at doing that. And it’s getting off the floor, the ability to carry on, no matter what, is what you need in business.

Pieter: Yeah, definitely. It also strikes me, I thought about this before you came on the call, that I think you’re sort of in a unique position as a franchisor where you, on the one hand from our perspective of trying to build better businesses, you are building your own business and you’re trying to build better business. But by the same token, because you have franchisees, you’re also trying to get them to build better businesses. And put things in place that enables them to do that. So what kind of things did you do, especially in the early days, and what proved to be successful for both growing your own network but then also for ensuring or at least helping with the success of your franchisees?

Glenn: We set up, literally, a cold start, so we didn’t have any estate agency offering. We were just doing lettings and very locally to us. A very specific niche of portfolio also, not your bread and butter sort of one or two lets which most landlords are. And with that blank canvas, probably … well, not probably, definitely naively it was decided that I was going to be in charge of marketing and my business partner was going to do the finance and systems.

I went in with no marketing experience whatsoever and said, well, I now need to become an expert marketeer. And I joined, as you well know Entrepreneurs Circle very well, because I sounded out that and thought, well, this was, in the UK, the best place to go to learn about marketing. And what they teach you in the core fundamentals there is there’s no point having any business whatsoever being the best lawyer, the best plumber, whatever it may well be, unless you’re an expert marketer.

Because unless you can market and you’ve got leads and you’ve got enquiries and you’ve got business, well, it doesn’t matter. And if you’re brilliant at marketing, well, you will sort out the ability to provide a service. Even if you’ve got too much business coming in, you can always employ more staff or subcontract it. So I learned very, very good principles there, and I suppose benefited from not having any bad habits, not having any marketing experience in the past, because I just absorbed it with all that direct response marketing which, for those who don’t, it’s all about understanding that whatever marketing you put out, you should be able to track it, test it and measure it.

So, you know, if I spend £100 on pay-per-click, for example, I know that our franchisees will get a lead that costs them £12. And for every 7.75 leads currently they get, so about a hundred quid or a bit less, they will get a house for sale instruction from that. And they will then earn, typically, £2,500. So, you know, it’s having that discipline of being able to track, test and measure. And, going on beyond that, understanding the lifetime value of every bit of business that you do.

So I was talking there about the house sale. That’s the value of that to us so you can see the return on investment. And you’d apply the same to lettings as well. And every business needs to grasp these fundamentals because once you sort of unlock that and those disciplines, then you can start applying it to every single thing you do. It’s not the old world case of half of advertising work and half doesn’t, but you don’t know which.

With direct response, you know exactly what works. And when you do, you just turn up the dial on the ones that do and you switch off the ones that don’t do after you’ve tested it in a small way.

Pieter: Yeah, and it’s something that we work a lot with our clients on it as well, is being able to actually say for every lead or every bit of business, like you say, come in, we know exactly where they came from. And we know exactly which bit of marketing brought them in. Because otherwise you can’t run it on a gut feel because we just don’t know. If people come through the door and you’re doing 10 different things, it would be far better to turn five off and divert that spend to the five that are working and then get additional business that way. Otherwise, you may as well just take fivers and chuck them in the fireplace.

Glenn: Yep. And the frightening thing is is when you sort of get into the world of understanding these concepts and you go around and talk to business owners and look at what they’re doing, people don’t do this. You know, I would say about 95% of businesses operate in a world of not having any real grasp of the return on investment from marketing.

So when you do this, people think you’re some sort of, you’re an alchemist, some sage with weird skills from another land. And it’s just the basics of marketing, you know, and understanding it. But the beauty of that is the opportunity because when you can grasp it and do it, it gives you such an enormous competitive edge over everyone else. And you start to soar and fly, and everyone will think, “Oh, what the hell are they doing? It’s amazing.” You know, it’s just applying these principles and learning how it works.

And beyond that, of course, is using tools like Infusion which I know you work a lot with, is where sort of getting the lead, getting the data, so when they’re raising their hands and saying, well, I’m interested in your product. But that is just the starting point. You have to nurture them, build a relationship, keep in contact, and then bring them to a point where they’re ready to buy. And that’s why whenever you build a … You know, we’ve gone from just an office to 108, 110 now, franchisees. It’s increasing all the time.

You have to have systems to scale that. Otherwise you just crash and burn. You know, we’ve got 75,000 enquiries at the moment, all in inquiring about selling houses. If you try, as most agents do, to do this on bits of paper or antiquated calendar systems, you just simply … well, that’s why they fail. They can’t do it. You need a processor system that enables you to scale that and do it really well all the time.

Pieter: Am I correct in saying you guys and part of your model was that both the marketing side and the systems side, and the lead gen and nurture and everything, is done from HQ for all the franchisees, rather than just leaving it up to the franchisee and then to a certain extent, yes, their success is up to them? But on other hand it also affects your brand and the business you’re trying to build.

Glenn: In part, yes. I mean, what we did was we started off in sort of pilot phase and then the launch of the initial franchisees. Saying okay, you’re business owners so we don’t want to dictate down to you like as an employer, employee would want to do. So we’re going to tell you all the various things you can do in marketing. And you must do a number of them to have different sort of colours and different forms of lead generation. And you can decide which ones you want to adopt.

And we had like a buffet we held, a buffet of 11 different lead generation tools. Which ones would you like to do? And what we found was, because we’d left it to to them to decide, they were thinking, oh, I don’t which is best. Should I try this? Should I try that? Then they’ve got to implement it, so it requires them to think about it and do it. And they’re not able to apply the principles of testing and measuring. You know, they’re doing it themselves rather than us controlling it.

And the whole thing actually became a car crash. And those franchisees, some did well and some were just sort of floundering and not doing really well. So we were in probably four months. We thought, okay, we think this and actually start doing the marketing for franchisees. Doing the core. They can always do what they want to do themselves above and beyond that, but it’s a staple diet of, you know, we’re going to give you … you know, the average franchisee, they get about 30, 40 leads a month.

We’re going to do that for you. And if you go out and you do local community events or whatever you do, all of that, well, that’s fine. But we need to give you a solid foundation. So we started off firstly by doing a pay-per-click. So that was a case of putting it on the website, offering valuation reports and tools and guides, marketing in the local area, the franchisee. And that would just start off by Google pay-per-click. Then we extended it to display adverts and bar adverts. And then we went on to Facebook adverts. And then we did Yahoo and Bing, and then did some YouTube, all the time testing and measuring all the way.

Because we were controlling the accounts, we had an outsource company that did it for us. And we could test the results, measure it. We could go up to a franchisee and say look. Originally it was costing us over £100 a lead, and now it’s down to £12 per lead. And that’s because we just refined and got better and better. Better adverts, better leads, et cetera, et cetera, learning as we went. I say learning but that’s working with our pay-per-click team who were absolutely amazing.

So we did that for them. So that was sort of the first thing we did. The other problem that our franchisees would encounter is doing leaflet drops. So they would use a man, local pub, with tattoo, held them for £40 for 10,000. But they’d end up in the local Skip. No tracking. And that involves the point whereby, you know, we now have Royal Mail delivering millions of leaflets every year automatically. All done for the franchisees. And that scale, though, done.

We can track that by having a slightly different telephone number on the leaflet so we know if it rings that number it’s come from the leaflet. A slightly different website URL on there so we know if it’s come from that leaflet. And then we can go back and give the stats and do it that way. And we also do direct mail on behalf of them. So we do a fulfilment of that and we’ve got some other [inaudible 00:16:45].

But all of it, and there’s sort of four key parts – we call it the Lean, Green Marketing Machine – that we do. That, when the franchisees come in, you know, we can say to them the one thing you don’t have to worry about is the leads. You know, your job is then to go out and speak to customers and hopefully sign them up. Then as part of a nurture, any enquiry that comes in … Because we know as well, looking at our stats, there is a typical six month timeline between someone thinking about selling their house … So the natural process for them is I’m thinking about selling my house so what can I afford, where do I want to live, how many bedrooms, what can I get for my current home, what deposit do I need, what do I need to do to my house to get it ready?

You know, it’s a six month timeline between the thinking and the doing. But during that thinking stage and thinking, oh, what’s my house worth, they will go online and and get it with our report. That gives us the ability then to nurture them via email, using the systems we do, and then we build onto that that the franchisees should speak to them. Diary on, you know, depending upon their timeline and their motivation, and keep in contact.

One thing we do make clear is you can’t rely on, you know, an automatic system. Like Infusion, for example, for emails and out pops a customer. In our business, very emotional, it’s a local person with local knowledge. It’s very much down to the face-to-face. So it’s there as, you know, to keep the lead warm and interested, but it does require that personal touch. Which is why part of we automate and part of it is down to the franchisee. And that’s the most important part of it, quite frankly, because it’s the franchisees that that ultimately win out and win the day based upon their skills and face-to-face interaction.

Pieter: Yeah, and the leads you generate and the follow-up is really very much a baseline input rather than actually being the core of it. I would imagine that also your having these marketing systems and your nurture and everything behind it in place, probably there’s two effects of that for a franchise. Is that on the one hand it makes your franchise offering to potential franchisees much stronger. But then also it strengthens the value of your overall franchise, as a franchisor, which is, I imagine, borne out by the value you got when you guys sold out recently.

Glenn: Yeah. I mean, it’s quite interesting. We sort of entered this marketplace probably against all conventional wisdom, because we’ve seen the advent of people like Purplebricks and [Yelp 00:19:11] and HouseSimple come on. Sort of low cost, online agents. And it’s the traditional High St agent, that have done very, very well over many, many years, are now finding it much tougher. Because their fees … typically they charge 1.8% over the house value. Now you’re getting Purplebricks saying, well, we can do it for £1,000. Their model has been questioned.

We can come along and say, well, we don’t need an office or staff because it’s all centrally based. You know, we take all the phone calls as well, provide all the systems for managing sales, and we put it all in and make it simple for them. So if you don’t need an office and you don’t need staff because we’ve got staff here and we can scale that, your costs are very much lower and that becomes attractive. So anybody looking to go into this market – you know, we’ve got competition from all the property franchises out there in estate agency – what we’ve seen is … You know, we’ve been selling 30 franchises, year on year, since we’ve launched. Whereas others have been selling diddly-squat. And they’re traditional brands.

So we’ve come along with a very disruptive model. And what we’re seeing now is, certainly this year, that traditional High St agents who are thinking, well, what is the future, can I sustain my business with the High St, the office, the cost, the staff, are now thinking, well, actually, if I want to compete with Purplebricks, I’ve got to get in with a model that allows me to use my estate agency skills, get rid of the costs and compete. Which is we’re using our service and they’re now jumping ship and coming on board with us. So we’ve seen a big influx.

In fact, now we’re getting more estate agents joining us than non-industry people. For the first time ever.

Pieter: That’s quite interesting.

Glenn: And that’s growing and growing and growing because they see us as the ability to provide the solution to their needs. And what is also very, very reassuring to us is when they come onboard, they say, “Wow, we’ve been doing this for 20 years, 30 years, the marketing you’ve got is incredible.” Because when you think about it, there’s 20 odd thousand estate agents, they’re all cottage industries. They’re not marketing experts. They’re experts at going round, reviving and selling houses and doing a great job locally.

Whereas what we can do under the umbrella of the franchises … Well, we’ve got a team of marketing graduates. We’ve got Google. Google’s number one pay-per-click company in Europe working for us. Across the board, we’ve got the power of the national company which they can then plan into their local area. They become then more efficient and more effective and, you know, they’re just getting leads falling from the sky which they can then go and convert and it’s happy days for them.

Pieter: Yeah, and it’s also a very quick start for them because all the learning you’ve done in the last few years, the results and the benefits of that learning, is available to them right away rather than find that they buy a business model and a brand, which happens with some franchises where you essentially buy a business model and a brand and then you’re on your own. And to a certain extent you almost sort of think, well, actually, why go into a franchise if that is the case?

Because, I mean, the timeless example if you take someone like McDonalds, you spend a fortune getting a franchise and then they still keep telling you how to do it as well. And it’s not a case of, well, you’ve got the name, go and flip some burgers. It’s actually very much dictated from higher up because they know what works. And as long as you do what works and what’s been proven to work, then you will be successful.

Glenn: Yeah. And that’s what we said to people who joined. If you can copy, you can succeed. If you try and reinvent the wheel, then the wheel is going to break and spin off. And that’s they key to us, really. We’ve got a system. And it’s not like you’ve got to be really sort of careful when you speak to people and say, look, trust me, it will work. I sort of use the analogy, and I always worry about when I start saying this it’s going to offend people … but hey ho, I’ll jump in.

So people can’t prove there is a God. You’ve got to have faith. And it used be, as in marketing, you can’t prove marketing works, you’ve got to have faith. Well, when you can prove it works by using data and showing the results … and it’s very, very important that we will show them. Every month we have a webinar with the pay-per-click team. We’ll show the results from the Royal Mail drops. Show them the results of direct mail, et cetera.

So when you then get proof of, well, you spend 12 quid, you get a lead. You do seven and a half leads you get some business. People think, well, I now know it works. I want to chuck more money in because more money spits out the other end. So it’s not faith anymore. It becomes a cause and effect and people will just buy into that. And that’s very, very powerful when you can get that.

Pieter: It’s quite a tricky position to be in as well because on the one hand you want to say to people just do what works and we can prove to you that it works. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Whilst at the same time you can be quite proud of the history of the business and the fact that you guys started it by disrupting the model. To a certain extent due to your own naivety and not actually knowing the market you were going into, to a certain extent.

But there is then, four years down the line, you can rightly say, well, actually, we’ve learnt all of this and you’re better off getting the benefits of all our study and all our testing and our trying things out and failing at different parts.

Glenn: Yeah. And that’s, again, I suppose the beauty of being a franchisor and a franchisee is whenever there is a new idea for marketing, then very often it’s the case that we can try it, first of all, on franchise leads that we generate for ourselves in terms of looking to bring new people into the business as franchisees. So [inaudible 00:24:33], so I will try that. And we’ll spend, say, a couple of grand or whatever on cash.

If it crashes and burns then, you know, we’ve taken a hit on that. If it then succeeds, then what we’ll do is say, okay, that’s worked for us. Let’s now just test it on five franchisees. Let’s just do a little pilot. So we’ll offer our [inaudible 00:24:51], say we’ve done this, it’s worked for us. Here are the results. Do we want to have five people testing it? Now, you’ll often get a lot more than five because it’s, oh, I want to test it. Then we can test it there for a month or so and then, depending on the results, we either refine the test or we then say, good, that’s working. Let’s amplify that. And it goes to the network.

And we did that recently with a new Facebook lead generation tool which affected the scripts. The property from our website’s gone live and push it onto Facebook and shares it locally in the community. We get [inaudible 00:25:21] and we found it was generating clicks. This is incredible at less than a penny a click. And leads at 22 quid. But what it enabled us to do is, you know, we were getting sort of two and three and four thousand people who were engaging with a property coming onto website. Then we were able to re-market to them, all in the local area.

Gosh, that’s amazing. And that’s something that, again, just comes from nowhere. And that was from a Scandinavian company, I think. You know, because you do, as a marketing person, hear so much sort of crap that’s out there and you do sort of think … You’re very, very cynical but you test it and then if it passes the bullshit test, then carry on again and again and again. And then you go. But I suppose once you get into marketing you do get quite excited because if you can find a new nugget, a new gem that’s going to give you a new boost. Because it never stops in terms-

Pieter: Yeah, it is everyone going and you end up … I always find you lose track of how many 14 day trials on different pieces of software and tools and things you’ve got going and keep track of and that. But it is as other people come up with new ideas and better ideas, then you take the benefit from that and try and apply it where you can.

Glenn: Yeah, and what you often find is there’s an idea but if you … You’ll see an idea and you’ll think, ah, but if I do it this way and tweak the idea, it’ll work even better. But, yeah, you might be able take something from one area and put it elsewhere. I’ll give you a good example of that. Dave, my business partner, he got a person in a car and someone sent him a video of looking around the car while he was looking at it. And then we took that idea and used that to do property viewings.

So if people came to a house, we’d do a viewing afterwards of video of the house to remind them. If you’re making an appointment, let’s say, hi Pete, it’s Glenn here, just going to phone the appointment tomorrow at two o’clock. Do a little video using the software that’s built with the app, and that means you’ve got face-to-face communication with me. You know who I am. It builds more relationships. Then sort of see how it works. And that’s again a tool we’ve then implemented from an idea that came to David looking at a car. And that’s the sort of things that you can do and really give you a boost and benefit.

Pieter: Yeah, and try and get ideas from other markets. Not necessarily from your competitors but parallel industries and so on. Actually, there is a piece there. If we mould it into our industry we can use it here and it can be really successful. So you were saying that you guys were bought out at the end of last year. And before we came on the call you mentioned that you are just sort of tying the last few loose ends up and then you’re effectively out the door? What’s your plan? What’s your big focus? What you going to do?

Glenn: Alright, yes, so we’ve got a new MD due to announce very, very shortly. So that’s the last bit of our housekeeping done. In terms of plans, what I’m doing at the moment is keeping a very sort of wide net. I’ve got lots of ideas but the one I want to sort of focus on is something that really excites me from a mental sort of stimulation point of view. Obviously I’m very, very fortunate now with the financial side of my life taken care of. But I don’t want to sort of be one of these sad old men who goes on sort of horrible yachts and wastes away and let their brain cells go.

So I’m trying to look for something very, very stimulating and scalable. So I like the idea of having something where I can get an idea and then just ramp it up again to make it exciting. So there’s stuff in property we can do. There’s stuff on selling online. David, my business partner, says we’re going to do something, we’re going to sell something to someone online is what our new business is. But we don’t know what yet.

There’s lots of things you can do off Amazon and weird things. So we’re keeping an open mind and as and when we form a nest from here, we’ll probably spend three months being course junkies trying to work out the BS from the decent stuff, and then narrowing it down to something we jump into.

Pieter: Inevitably. And I suppose this time round, again, of course you come to it with an awful lot of experience and knowledge and past learning to apply to whatever you do?

Glenn: Yeah, and that’s a great thing, really. Whatever you do do, all the mistakes you make from marketing, business, whatever else, all of them enable you to go on and make less mistakes and make better decisions, make more informed decisions. And I do say, well, going back to 2008 when the credit crunch came and the world came to an end, that actually made me the person I am. You know, you learn so much.

It’s almost, is it necessity is the mother of all invention or something? You know, during the Second World War, the amount of innovation that went on in rocket science and a whole raft of technologies because it forced people to do it. And, you know, in the situation whereby you’re facing losing your house, facing bankruptcy as it was back then, it does cause you to become extremely creative. I worked harder than I ever did before and I do say that that period of my life laid the groundwork for the success I had later on.

So, you know, you’ve got to always look at challenges and adversity as something that actually … You know, the old saying, if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. And that certainly was the case for me.

Pieter: Yeah, and may I … I mean, whether it’s in marketing, business, anything like that, there is this idea which I think is very different from how we necessarily are raised as kids or anything, is that you want to fail and you want to fail as quickly and as often as possible. Because that gets you to the right thing. If you keep testing things and you find that doesn’t work, just move on.

Don’t sit and think about it for too long. If it doesn’t work, move on to the next one. Try the next until you do hit gold. And you say about invention. When things go wrong, I mean, I know it’s now nearly three years ago, almost to the day actually, when I had to make a decision to pull the plug on my previous business. And it was still six, seven weeks later, my daughter was starting private school and the mortgage has to be paid, and all those things are still there. It certainly focuses the mind and you find, well, actually something needs to come out of this and it can’t be me feeling sorry for myself. And you have to move on from that.

Well, that’s brilliant. Thank you so much for your time and for telling me a bit more and everyone a bit more about how you went about growing the business and building what has turned out to be a very successful business, and with a very successful exit. And I wish you all the best for selling something online to someone. Whatever you decide that to be.

Just before I go, if anybody wants to and you are happy for them to do so, how can people get in touch with you?

Glenn: Yes, well, my private email now, because I can’t use my work one because I’ll be soon leaving, is [email protected] You can email me there and I’ll be happy to cover off any questions. And thanks for the interview and thanks for taking the time. I’ve really enjoyed speaking to you.

Pieter: Yeah, that’s great. Thank you very much.

Glenn: All right. Thanks, Pieter.

Pieter K de Villiers

Pieter K de Villiers

Pieter K de Villiers is slightly obsessed with systems. The systems and process automation he builds for small businesses are transformative, to say the least. Pieter is a Co-Founder of Barefoot Digital and the Amazon best-selling author of “Barefoot Business: 3 key systems to attract more leads, win more sales and delight more customers without your business killing you”.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Pieter,
    Very interesting and timely podcast…. thanks for sharing. Would be great to catch up after my short break… will be in touch.


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Pieter K de Villiers

Author: Pieter K de Villiers

Pieter K de Villiers is slightly obsessed with systems. The systems and process automation he builds for small businesses are transformative, to say the least. Pieter is a Co-Founder of Barefoot Digital and the Amazon best-selling author of “Barefoot Business: 3 key systems to attract more leads, win more sales and delight more customers without your business killing you”.