Simpay, a fintech company, hit the ceiling in 2016 and then experienced 0% growth for the next three years. Lazaros Kalemis, the frustrated owner (and also my husband), wanted to sell. Fortunately, we discovered the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) just in time. Once we began using the EOS Foundational Tools™, the right people in the right seats transformed the business.
When Growth Stopped
Until 2016, Simpay had been included on the Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies list nine times during its 15-year history. Up to that point, year-over-year growth was simply assumed… until revenue growth slowed and then stopped. Lazaros tried everything to turn things around. He read books. He attended seminars. But without an official program, nothing really created lasting change. And Simpay remained stuck at zero revenue growth. Something needed to change, and fast.
Then I read Traction and decided to become an EOS Implementer® to help turn the company around. Most EOS Implementers start out wanting to help small business owners succeed. But for me, the importance of my client succeeding hit much closer to home.
Difficult Leadership Team Adjustments
Before running on EOS, Simpay had nine people on the leadership team. The leaders couldn’t agree on a vision and the implications of having the wrong team became more and more obvious.
Over a two-year period of implementing EOS, the leadership team experienced massive changes. Five people left the organization and two other seats saw turnovers to better align with the company vision. One person remains in their original seat. It became so apparent what we had to do when we realized someone didn’t align with our Core Values. Plus, we started to see the right people sitting in the wrong seats. For example, Simpay’s Integrator® was initially in sales.
And I don’t think we blindsided anybody with the seat changes.
With everyone on the same page, we could look ahead to the future and have open and honest dialogues. This removed a lot of stress. The new leadership team prioritized standardizing processes. From there, things really got transformational.
Simpay could’ve easily been another small-business victim of the spring 2020 global lockdown. With our target market consisting solely of restaurants and bars, the beginning of COVID-19 took revenue to near absolute zero. After all that work, we still could’ve lost everything.
But by having processes and a strong leadership team in place, the company weathered the lockdown. Instead, the company saw a 2% growth from 2019 to 2020, including 100% growth in new customer acquisition during the third quarter alone in 2020. The trend continued with 28% revenue growth from 2020 to 2021. But the biggest leap is expected in 2022 where the company is expecting 300% growth in revenue and 1,000% growth in new account submissions!
In fact, the organization increased both revenue and the number of new customers. This meant the need to go for the triple-double: jumping from 40 employees to more than 120 employees. All in 6 months… during a pandemic. And Simpay projects to expand to 250 employees in the first quarter of 2023.
With each new hire, they kept the company’s core values front and center during the interview process. This way the Right People continue to sit in the Right Seats throughout the company.
Laz tells me all the time, “Thank God you read that book.”
He constantly refers people to EOS. He posts about EOS on social media regularly. And he tells everyone who’ll listen about all that EOS has given us.
I remind him that EOS provided the processes and tools, but Simpay still had to do the work for the results.
How much can your company grow running on EOS?