Is your business still focusing on outbound methodology tactics over inbound? Are you misaligned on your values as a company?
In this week’s episode of our podcast, we hosted Aimee Engelmann who is the director of Flipside Group — a B2B growth marketing agency specializing in tech, Consulting, Accounting, Legal and Outsourcing industries.
Prior to that Aimee founded and led a company called Beepo, which was a specialised outsourcing company for the Philippines. Most notable of that was 60% ran by females.
We enjoyed getting to pick Aimee’s brain on how she successfully created and led her businesses, what drives her, and how aligning on values and methodology should be core components for businesses to succeed.
Some of the show highlights include:
- Aimee’s background and why she started her first business
- What does building an inbound business machine do to the evaluation of your business
- Process process process is key
- How empowering a female-led team in a predominantly male space really resonated with Aimee
- Having a clear mindset is crucial to doing well
- What working in other cultures has taught her
Links and Resources
Aimee Engelmann on LinkedIn
Quotes by Aimee
- “But more importantly, software aside, it's the methodology that behind us that as marketers, we like went, Okay, great. Now we've actually got something to work to it puts everyone on the same page.”
- “So our cost per lead and our cost per acquisition became our two most important numbers for our marketing team. And then our conversions was obviously a shared metric between marketing and sales. And pretty much every conversation I had with our marketing team was about those three metrics.”
- “But I think that's business in general. I mean, I found that over the journey, it's a roller coaster.”
- “It's about opening your mind to see yourself to be able to do that and starting to visualize and picture and think and strategize. So, you know, I think mindset is the number one on tip.”
Charles McKay 00:03
Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Beyond Business podcast. My name is Charles McKay. Today I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing interviewing Aimee Engelmann, who has recently just exited her second business and it is a fascinating story. Aimee and I first met in 2016 in Boston and we had a really, really interesting conversation over a couple of beers actually. And ever since then I've been fascinating in watching and seeing how Aimee businesses progressed and also her career. That business was founded off the back of the previous business, which is an agency that was focusing on one particular niche, they got massively impacted in a big way back in the later 2000s. And she had to not pivot but change the way that business operated, and was able to get out of it and then start up the business, Beeopo, that she just exited from. I think it's fascinating that Amy was able to build that inbound business machine without you know they were doing those a lot of those outbound tactics and it just wasn't working so they just doubled down on building the inbound machine and how that probably has a big effect on the exit of the business as well. And another thing that is fascinating she is hired over 60% of the team are actually women and have been become leaders in their industry and leaders in their space in traditionally male dominated space. So I'm going to head over to Amy and myself for what I hope you enjoy is a really good conversation.
Charles McKay 01:38
Amy, what a pleasure it is to have you on this conversation. So tell me where are you sitting on this fine Monday morning?
Aimee Engelmann 01:46
Well, I'm very fortunate to be in a little coastal town in New South Wales actually not too far from you — Kings Clip. So... sun is shining and yeah, no complaints really.
Charles McKay 01:59
Amazing. Amazing how long have you been at King's Clip for and what was the trigger for you to move there?
Yes, sir. We've been down for about four and a half years. And part of the trigger was around, I guess wanting to step back from being customer facing in our business but also just wanting to test out a bit of a lifestyle change. You'll see change while running a business remotely. So we did it for a year. Kept a house in Brisbane, typically how it goes. And then before that year was was out, we were like, No, no, we're staying like, this is now our home.
Charles McKay 02:36
Amazing. It's, it's fascinating. So when was that like to 2000 like 2014 something around then?
Aimee Engelmann 02:45
Yeah, around 14/15. And it was not long after kind of we kicked out our business off which was late 2013. And, you know, one of the things that you do is it stops you from doing all those little, you know, coffee catch ups and just things that people expect I guess these days in business or prior to COVID-19 in business that they expect those sorts of bits and pieces. And you add those all up in a month of all of those informal networking or coffee catch up, and yeah, it forced us to scale our business better, but it also gave us more time.
Charles McKay 03:24
Yeah, wow, especially with a young family.
Charles McKay 03:27
Amazing. So let's um, let's rewind the gears a little bit. So from Brisbane originally, is that right?
Aimee Engelmann 03:37
Yeah, Brisbane and Gold Coast for most of my life. Yeah.
Charles McKay 03:40
Yeah. Cool. So what got you into business? Where was your first business venture? And what did it look like?
Yeah, so in my late 20s, I was in corporate and I really felt like something wasn't quite right in terms of where my career was headed and my... both my parents were very entrepreneurial. So I took a sideways step out of corporate into almost contracting in marketing services, which very quickly led to, to grow a business. So I started growing a marketing agency with the help of an amazing business coach who kind of gave me that little mind, that push, that I needed to go from a contractor into building a business. So that was fun, and that focused mostly on the telecommunications services.
Aimee Engelmann 04:31
And interestingly, back then, in 2008, I ran that business remotely. So I made the decision not to have office even though I was growing an agency. Not to have people you know, coming together every day to work on the client work. I found these amazing... I called the marketing mums, although not all of them were mums. There were women who'd been in marketing roles who wanted to return to work but didn't want to commute to the city. So, you know, the foundation for my staff and therefore the value that we could give to those clients were these amazing marketers that all work from home? So yeah, it's quite unique. Now it sounds very regular normal, of course, but back in 2008 it was a bit different.
Charles McKay 05:17
Yeah. Wow, that's, that's fascinating. So how long did that business run for?
So I ran that till 2015. And it was that business that took me to the Philippines and really opened my eyes to what was happening in you know outside of Australia and happening globally with global resources and hiring people offshore. So, it was really through an instance where my marketing agency was struggling. You know, what I was finding is that we had a very quick decreasing revenue due to some circumstances outside of our control. So we had a 22% drop in revenue almost overnight and I had to find a way to lower my costs and to almost kind of pivot the business and pivot the staff. And so that took me to the Philippines and then subsequently started another business at the same time. So I ran the marketing agency, put it under management, and then exited that in 2015. And then I started my Philippine business in 2013 so I had an overlap.
Charles McKay 06:27
Wow. That's, that's phenomenal doing two separate things at one time is... I can only imagine how busy you were. So with the marketing agency looking at it in, you know, 2008 to 2015. What was that business, you know, other than probably bringing on, you know, lots of marketing collateral for clients and all that sort of thing. But what was the core problem that you identified within that business that you ended up solving for your clients?
Aimee Engelmann 06:54
Yeah, so a lot of those clients in that particular niche, wanted and needed great marketing help, but they were in that in between where they couldn't quite manage the budget for a full time marketing person. So we were that outsourced solution and we were able to help educate and then put in place campaigns that helped drive revenue and profit. And, you know, luckily, because we were working in a niche, we could see what was working, and then we would apply that across. So yeah, it was successful. And it was, you know, it was relatively lean. So we didn't have to carry a lot of costs, because we didn't have that overhead, which means that smaller businesses that access quite senior help at a really kind of a value price point.
Charles McKay 07:42
Yeah, that that makes sense. And when as that business evolved in, you know, 2015 you're able to exit it did the problems like shift at all through that, you know, as that business grew?
Aimee Engelmann 07:56
Look, it didn't. The core thing that we were doing for those clients didn't necessarily change but the way in which we were delivering that value did so we were early days as more traditional sort of forms of marketing and advertising. And then digital was really coming into play in that era. So there was a big switch in the way that we had to go about helping generate revenue and leads and help grow the business.
Charles McKay 08:22
Yeah. Interesting. So talking with... sort we're gonna end up today talking about two businesses and your career journey in a nutshell, which is it is fascinating as well. And we had the pleasure of meeting at Inbound, I think, in 2016, was in 2016? Was that four years ago? Like wow. And it was a fascinating conversation we had around, you know, obviously with that business you're working then it was you know, you were providing outsourced services to businesses in Australia and in the US. With my business, I've got outsourced people and partners that I work with and some of the challenges that go with that... people don't really understand that they think that you just give a scope of work or a project to someone and it's just gonna happen. And I'm sure you've got hundreds of stories around how that doesn't actually, you know, enable doesn't happen in those ways. But going from the marketing agency into providing those outsourced services, what was the opportunity you saw? Like you obviously offshored your marketing agency and sent that offshore to the Philippines but what got you into actually starting you know, this offshore services business? What was the main drive behind it?
Aimee Engelmann 09:40
Yeah, I guess firstly, I had a preconceived idea of of best talent. So I had this very insular view that, you know, the best talent was in Australia and the best marketers, doing the best work was in Australia.
Aimee Engelmann 09:56
So firstly, it was just a, like a complete shift of mindset, which I think then as entrepreneurs creatively, you know, your mind is open to new opportunity. And I guess what I was seeing in terms of trends is the globalization of the workforce. So no longer could an Australian business just choose to have someone in Australia that could choose somewhere in the world. So it was this concept of world's best talent. And, you know, I really loved the fact that there were developing countries where maybe the employment levels were lower, the education would still have a really high standard... really motivated, you know, motivated people that had good education, and that we could really look to, I guess, spread a bit of that employment opportunity. So not necessarily shrinking staff levels in Australia, but opening up more varied work force to include offshore which you know, happened to be a developing country. So, you know, when I went to the Philippines and I met the people, I felt very good about extending that employment opportunity into a different country. Yeah. And that was part of the driver.
Charles McKay 11:13
I think it's a... obviously with what's going on with COVID, everyone's saying you need to localize everything and bring everything back to Australia. And I agree with that, too but I also disagree with so much outsourcing that has been done where it's just been for the price like, oh, let's just ship it to that country or that country because it's cheaper. So can you tell us a little bit about a couple of the stories that you've seen and how that is, like the incorrect way to think of partnering with people and lets... does it... I actually don't think it means internally in Australia or externally anywhere around the world, like, you partner with someone, there's got to be value in it. So what can you share about cost based, you know, partnerships?
Aimee Engelmann 11:56
Yeah, I think there's a real view that offshore equals cheap and that people are going to save money and that's the reason why they do it. Of course, yes, there's cost savings, but I think for businesses, like any partnership, you still have to invest time in training staff and bring them up to speed. So I think where, where organizations are winning at the moment that do have that global footprint and variety of teams, is when you look at things like business continuity and environment that we're in now they can start to have staff and move work around in various countries and to various people and sometimes even various time zones to help them keep things ticking over. So you know, I've seen plenty of businesses that have gone down that road of ah hang on, I think it's it's cheap. And then where they're actually looking at, it ends up being well, who's the best person to send this work to for various reasons for productivity. efficiency. Then it's kind of like a lightbulb moment.... It's like, Okay, this may or may not be, you know, cheaper depending on where the staff member is and how much time is invested in training and development, but I'm actually putting the right work in the right place.
Aimee Engelmann 13:14
So that's I think really get it, like, hang on, I can get someone in the Philippines who loves to do this particular job day in day out. Particularly around compliance I've got a client I've worked with in NDIS who's just got this huge amount of compliance and checking and now that work was not about sending it somewhere cheaper. It was that the Australian staff just got jack of it.. they'd leave their job. And for them, that staff retention issue in Australia that drove them to go hang on, we gotta find an alternative. And so, yeah, it's it's more about finding the right person and linking that to the right path wherever they might be. And sure added bonus, there's bottom line savings, there's efficiency, you can reinvest that cash. Most people reinvest that back into their business anyway, which helps grow employment, you know, in all cases, but yeah, it's it's cost is the sometimes the factor to attract a business but good businesses actually find that it's way way more than that.
Charles McKay 14:19
Yeah. It's it is fascinating and I couldn't agree with you more on, you know, when you start problem solving and putting the right person in the right seat with the right skill set, and remove the barrier, the location. And it's, it's only going to escalate at the minute with COVID like people are gonna go you know what, I don't need someone in Melbourne, I don't need someone in Perth, I don't need somebody in Tasmania, like, it doesn't really matter, there's the technology out there to be able to enable people to do the work. It's just letting go of that limiting belief, I think.
Aimee Engelmann 14:51
Yeah, absolutely. And, yeah, I think it's gonna be super exciting coming out of COVID and seeing how that changes and hopefully what it does for people who are in you know, various roles in Australia is it actually helps them work on the things that they love.
Charles McKay 15:07
Yeah, yeah, totally agree. And, you know, as a client goes through this transformation too... call it, you know, I don't like the word digital transformation, but people are actually doing it now and going, you know what it works as opposed to seven or eight years ago, when, you know, the big tech companies are saying it works, but it didn't work. This actually works now. But you know, instead of calling your workforce because you don't want them doing those mundane tasks anymore, you look at enabling them and training them and upskilling them into the new ways of working and then you don't lose all that IP. I think that's the way that if you've got a really big workforce where you're looking to, you know, digitally transform, it's like, oh, don't get rid of your talent. You need to think of other ways to leverage that talent. And one thing I've think about new say this in politics a lot with the coal industry, it's like, why don't they spend 10 years educating coal on solar or you know, green energy, because they've all got the skill, you just need to retrain them. And then jobs won't actually decrease, they'll go up.
Aimee Engelmann 16:16
Yeah, that's right. Like 100%.
Charles McKay 16:19
Yeah. So, with the offshoring business, the problem that you're solving, you know, is obviously, you can enable, you know, finding the right talents in the right seat and doing that work, and then enable a business to hopefully grow a bit more efficiently. What were some of the problems that you saw, as that business grow and where clients have actually worked this out we're doing and starting to pull the levers on you guys for?
Aimee Engelmann 16:46
Yeah, so the successful ones were really treating you know, partnering with us to treat their offshore team just like they were part of their business. So finding really innovative ways to do their, you know, morning huddle, for example. You know, including the offshore staff in that. Finding really cool way to have quarterly events and include their staff, you know, in those sorts of things, spending time face to face, some businesses even invested in bringing those staff out to Australia for training, changing their jobs types, moving, moving and like any role, you know, you want to grow in a role and take on more, you know, more tasks that are that are challenging and interesting. So upskilling a staff and taking them to more senior position was was absolutely, you know, evident throughout the journey. You know, focusing on on the scalability of the business, so having some junior staff that then became pioneers that created systems and processes and, you know, set those standards as the company grew. And look for us as a as a service provider, we found over the years that we had to really pivot to offer more to our clients and really understand the industries that we were strong in. So when we first started the business, we could pretty much service anyone we had good quality staff, you know, really good premium products, lots of service touchpoints to make sure that the customer got it right. But the landscape became more competitive. So as a business, we had to pivot to say, Okay, how do we add more value. And one of the ways we did that is to pick some industry niches that we thought we could do great work, and actually pre train and give our staff that industry knowledge and do that in advance of actually partnering with a particular client. And a lot of that was done in software. So of course, cloud software became absolutely crucial to what those staff were doing. You know, we were then finding distress on the common software tools that those industries were using and we would pre train those staff to get them to a much higher level of output and understanding and that was one of our kind of that strategic pivot. We stopped that all and sundry approach. So customer acquisition started and our content development focused on these particular industries. And as a result, our cost per lead went down, our cost per acquisition went down, we're able to close opportunities quicker. And it made a significant difference to the, you know, to the bottom line. Yeah. So that was one of the insights for us as we scaled, one of the challenges we had as the landscape became competitive.
Charles McKay 19:29
Yeah. And over in the Philippines a majority of your team, if not, was all the time in the Philippines at that point?
Aimee Engelmann 19:38
Yeah, we ended up with about 12 in Australia and about 50 internal staff in the Philippines and company size was about 420.
Charles McKay 19:48
Yeah, yeah, it's, it's fascinating, this scale of how quickly that can grow. What was some of the eye opening points for you and also the most satisfied components of that business that you didn't think were going to come?
Aimee Engelmann 20:07
So probably eye opening other than culture, which is, you know, fairly straight forward. And, you know, you would expect, the one that I didn't expect was process. Just how astute we needed to be around process and QA. So not not making assumptions about how well a process would be, will be rolled out or stuck to or comply over long periods of time. So that's, that surprised me. A different, different way of thinking and a different way to ensure that staff are all on the same page and undertaking the tasks and activities at the same volume, efficiency, proficiency that's required. So that... I think that made me a better entrepreneur. Because I had to get super super focused on process.
Aimee Engelmann 21:04
And I love this saying I looked around all sorts of corners. So I learned to just look around every corner you know, as we scaled and to never assume that once I put a process in place that it was it was you know done, tick the box, on to the next one so yeah, probably gave my team the shits, frustrated them.
Aimee Engelmann 21:33
But um you know, that was really yeah, like I said it might be a better operator. But that was one I didn't see coming. That requirement to really nail that process.
Charles McKay 21:45
Yeah. Is it true to that in the Philippines like I think whereas in Australia we can be a slightly different as a culture where the process is there, but we'll just cut it out. Ah, no, we don't need to do that... She'll be right mentality as opposed to in the Philippines, it's literally if it's documented in there, I'll do it and if that process is wrong, I'll do it anyway, I won't put my hand up and say this is incorrect.
Aimee Engelmann 22:08
Yeah, I think that's the majority. And it really comes down to and not that they're, that person doesn't have the ability. It's that in Australia, I think problem solving... we're really good problem solvers. So, you know, if we've got instruction A and C we'll pretty much work out what B is, and we'll just go do it. And then there are some cultural norms that mean like spelling out ABC, you know, directly and and really well mean that there's confidence to keep going and and do it at that level. To them sometimes ask for help and say, Oh, I kind of get A and C, but I'm not really sure about B... that sometimes can be a cultural barrier. It's not that that person isn't smart,or they, you know, they can't work it out. But they might not feel confident checking in and raising that because you might be seen to be inconveniencing me because you're asking me, too, reexplain it. So understanding those sorts of things can really help with making sure that, you know, those sorts of instances almost never occur. But, you know, coming back to that question about the most rewarding experience I had over there, one of my first employees in the Philippines was a woman named Mitch. She came into the data reconciliation, like I'm talking about the simplest job of like constructing data and she had people management experience before for a Philippines company, and she's just a standout performer. And over the course of, you know, five and a half years, she basically became, you know, the most senior person in that business. She was responsible for over 200 people, and she was the sort of person who would always think ahead, who would be able to see where those difficulties may lie, jump in, retrain and re adjust, coach. And, you know, incredibly senior and incredibly trusted person in this in the senior leadership team over the years. So I think it's like anything when it comes to managing people in the Philippines, you need to be aware of those cultural norms and how they might get in the way of how you would see something will go but there's talent there that you can really take from the absolute ground level right up to senior management.
Charles McKay 24:25
Yeah, that is amazing to hear that the amount of fostering and also on the flip side, how she has just embraced that and gone, you know, what I want to get on this journey and go with you. Because I think that's a really rewarding thing for any business owner that you can quite create a place and an environment where people are going to succeed. It's not just the boss or you know, the boss, it's going to be the successful one. It's like everyone can be successful in a business these days, as long as it's the framework in place. So that's, that's awesome. So flipping into the business, that business, the offshoring one from you had a start and a pretty clear end date. I think it's a, you know, especially today, we're going into this, and I've talked about this previously on a few podcasts that, you know, you're the custodian of a business you come in, and you should leave it in a better place. I think a lot of CEOs, this is with much bigger companies would have... they'll have a window where they know they're in and they're out and they'll try and get as much as they possibly can out of that business, without necessarily setting it up for success down the track. So having built started and built and then exited a business and you know, by the sounds of it have left it in a better place. What would be something that you would share with someone that wants to exit a business? I'm not saying that that's always the best thing. It really depends on the individual goals of that person. But so that it sets up for success. What are the things that you have to do as a leader to make sure that business will keep going and not just be acquired or, you know, shut down as soon as you're out the door?
Aimee Engelmann 26:00
Yeah, there's all the usual, you know, things that you would expect great people, you know, building for scale. So having those processes so you can step out of the business one day and it still runs, because you don't want to get stuck in it forever once you decide you want to leave. Great, great, technology, of course, underpins that. But, you know, they're the things that you'd expect any business that needs to exit have, but for us our strength of our business, and down to our ability to have a marketing and sales engine that attracted people to come to our business that are interested in our products and services. So, you know, different buyers look for different things. You know, different exits have got all sorts of strategic value. But being a marketer by trade, I think what we ended up doing, you know, at Beepo, which was highly successful was we built this sales, sales and marketing engine that someone could pick up an actually apply to other businesses. So, you know, yes, it was there, you could prove that it runs without a founder.
Aimee Engelmann 27:09
You could prove that it's a system. You can prove that it has value, you can prove exactly the inputs and outputs. If you spend X you'll get Y. So, I think that was like at the core from the commercial point of view about, you know, what was the value? I think on a more personal and professional level, the thing that I'm really, really proud of in the businesses that in the Philippines, there's not a strong history of female leadership in corporations. It's still an environment where, you know, there is... it's not that women leaders are not welcomed. It's just that it's, it's not as frequent. You know, there's still a very, very small minority of senior women in corporate and government positions and so I don't know whether it's because I was a female founder that I ended up with a female majority senior leadership team, and a female majority business. But when we have 60% of the all of the whole business were women, we had a majority female board.
Aimee Engelmann 28:20
We had majority female managers down through the management team. And it's not because we had any policy or any sort of gender specific goals, or just the way it fell. And I don't know whether Yeah, whether it was just being a female founder and the the values and the ethics that I brought to that organization. And I attracted a certain type of people that came to the business that felt that they would have the career opportunities because it was a female founder.
Aimee Engelmann 28:51
But I think that's one of the things I'm most proud of, and you know, the women that I worked with in in some of those positions, We're very, you know, they're kind of groundbreaking in the Philippines... Unmarried about to hit 40. You know, in a in a country where if you're not married off by 25 there's something wrong with you and by choice they're career women. That's something I'm super proud of. You know, there are people, there are relationships that I'll have some of those, you know, ladies for the rest of my life. And that's probably what I'm most proud of from a more kind of personal standpoint.
Charles McKay 29:30
Yeah, that's the two points you brought up a fascinating and it's been an interesting thing I've talked about quite a while around building a sales and marketing machine that is not people reliant, and also potentially advertising reliant, like there's no single source of brake failure in there. And once you build that machine, what that does to the valuation of a business, it's really hard to put a number on it and you know, it doesn't take three months to build, it takes five years to build. But it's awesome to hear that, you know, that was one of the main drivers around it, that, you know, you built this machine that was it's gonna last. And it is set up for success so anyone that acquires and hopefully sees the value in that and replicates it across other units is going to grow the business organically and it's going to compound too. What did that, you know, the first year versus second and third year from your marketing internally look like? Did it, did it start to compound over time?
Aimee Engelmann 30:38
Yeah, it took time. Absolutely. And look, I'm the first to admit that it was, it was pretty average t he first couple of years of business. We were actually doing majority disruptive marketing. We were doing cold calling, we were doing cold reach out. Sure we had great referral network and this constant calls come from referrals and word of mouth
Aimee Engelmann 30:59
but they.. It was probably two years into business that we said no, that's it, we're stopping this outbound. We don't believe it's sustainable and fully invested in the inbound methodology. So we then, you know, got our software and our people in line and fully committed to, you know, taking on HubSpot as a software tool. But more importantly, software aside, it's the methodology that behind us that as marketers, we like went, Okay, great. Now we've actually got something to work to it puts everyone on the same page. It doesn't create an environment that myself as the founder is pushing down a view of how we do things. It's just yeah, here's the methodology. Doesn't it make sense to everyone? Yeah, great.
Aimee Engelmann 31:47
Now, let's get on the bus. Yeah, you know, and anytime someone gets, you know, tries to get off the bus to go down this path. We go, No, hang on. Let's go back to the methodology. This is what we're doing. Get back on. Get back on our bus because we're not going back to that way.
Aimee Engelmann 32:05
So yeah, and then it ended up for us because we had that transparency of data around, you know, what our costs were. And I love data. Like as a marketer, I've, I've kind of enjoyed, you know, probably my product marketing guys just as much as I have my my comms marketing days. So, you know, we look through that data, we get a really good feel of how we're performing. So our cost per lead and our cost per acquisition became our two most important numbers for our marketing team. And then our conversions was obviously a shared metric between marketing and sales. And pretty much every conversation I had with our marketing team was about those three metrics. And sure there was all this other stuff that happened underneath that. Yeah. But yeah, we were able to reduce that cost per lead and our product was acquisition increase, our conversion, but at the same time, launch into niches that we didn't have established brand presence. So, which I think is as unusual, you could probably comment more than me because you probably see a lot more data than what I do. But that that's the crux getting that right to create value for the business. That's, that's where I saw the gear, that's where it all kind of derived from.
Charles McKay 33:21
Yeah, I think there's, there's two really interesting points to it in asking me on, you know, the data, I see there's two components, you've got to get it. If the business owner or the leadership team doesn't get it, they're gonna always default back to the old way, because that's what got them to where they are, and they'll go back and do that tactic and they'll keep doing it and you're never gonna punch through that ceiling doing that. And then, you know, having a methodology like even the inbound methodology. It's, it's still there, the tactics have changed but the methodology at the core is still there and it you know, it just makes so much sense. Especially going forward into what you know the world's gonna start doing if you if you expect to be able to disrupt and cold call people you're just gonna you're gonna die... so those two things you got to believe in it and then not go back to the old way and then have a methodology and just go with it and you're not going to get to where you want he thought you were going to get to but it'll probably compound over time and that's the piece that's interesting the hockey stick does happen but you've just got to suck it up and get into it and you know fail, fail fast, learn and keep going.
Aimee Engelmann 34:34
Yeah, I remember the days when we first started inbound we were like "did we get a lead yesterday? Yes.
Aimee Engelmann 34:40
One lead. Awesome and the sales like the BDMs be like oh my god, we got an inbound lead. And you know and then we get to the point where they lead scoring and you're getting you know, you're getting that volume. You can stop concentrating on quality. And thenyou hear things from sales like Oh yeah. I had a look at the history of that customer on our website and I think it's a really strong lead or it's not a strong lead. You know what guys, do you remember when you didn't even have a lead being handed to you from marketing, like stop obsesssing whether the lead is good or not, just run with it.
Charles McKay 35:18
100% 100%. So flipping into that personal component that you're most proud of, I think that is, you know, truly fascinating. For me, personally, I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people but that's what I do. Like at the end of the day, I just help people and if you can help people in different ways, different aspect, different cultures, you'll learn so much. So that's, you know, amazing and full credit to you to, you know, being that leader of potentially that country and also in Australia. I don't think there's enough female leaders that... look like there's plenty of female leaders don't get me wrong, but there's not enough there should be more and they do get stamped down. But I know that that's been a big shift and it's it's evolving over time. But personally, I love working with people that think differently.
Charles McKay 36:10
And if you're in an organization where it's all of the same people, what do you think you're going to get? You get exactly the same answer. So, and it's really interesting. I had a conversation with a client not that long ago, where he, at the time, he didn't realize that everyone in their whole team, their leadership team in sales, were all the same personality. They like the three or four things, they're all identical. And when you flip that and go, you know what, I want completely different people to look at things in completely different ways then you can actually hire people in the same spot with the same you know, thing what you need is something unique, which is generally values which value base will bring the right people into the business. So is that something that you had established very early on with Beepo that it was like all right, we know our values we know who we stand for, and we know what type of client we're going to work with?
Aimee Engelmann 37:06
Yeah, absolutely. And it's funny how how some things that, you know, are important to you, as a founder starts to flow down in your values, because as a founder, you get to kind of design the values influence them, as, you know, the way that you, you know, you like them, but there's some of them, some of you know, for us, there's all the usual
Aimee Engelmann 37:24
stuff around diversity, teamwork, and, and one of the ones that I loved was around sophistication.
Aimee Engelmann 37:30
So, you know, that was one of our values, when it came to do something like have a look at the office furniture or something like that. And we look at it and, you know, our finance manager would say, Well, here's the budget option. And here's the other option, and I say, Well, what do you think is most sophisticated she'd say Oh, definitely this one, you know?
Aimee Engelmann 37:53
But um, yeah. No, it was very important. We did hire up to those values as well. So our recruitment
Aimee Engelmann 37:59
team got really good at starting to find those people who align to the values, but then also putting some things in place for all of our managers to start to talk about those values and actually create behaviors, and then get an environment where the value is not just being put on the table, but it's how we act and talk and work every day. So, you know, looking to reward and recognize alignment to those values. But also get to a point where when someone was working outside of their values that you hope that others actually go you know, what, that's not the Beepo way. And you know, that's the kind of that's one of the pinnacles in terms of really trying to scale those values to actually look at the day to day behaviours and say hang on guys are we as a team are we working to this? It's not just words on a wall is this how we operate, how we think, how we treat each other?
Aimee Engelmann 38:57
Yes, it's an always work in progress, right in any sort of business. But yeah, it was important to us. I think the thing that I learned over time is spending the time in recruitment to have a value based approach.
Charles McKay 39:10
Yeah. Yeah. I couldn't agree with you more. And I, you know, for our business we actually find when there's, it's a balancing act, there's always... any relationship, there's a balancing act and if there's a break, or the balance becomes too high, there's generally a value disconnect. Generally goes back to our values as well. So flipping into... from you getting started to getting out of that... was all in you know, exiting that business was that your compared to the journey that you played out? Like how bumpy up and down was it as opposed to what was opposed to what you'd set out to do?
Aimee Engelmann 39:49
Yeah, when I started out in the Philippines for the first time. I was like, wow, this is incredible. You know, Australian businesses are going to love expanding their team into the Philippines and, you know, everything's inexpensive. So it's going to be really, you know, easy cash flow ride.
Aimee Engelmann 40:07
And of course, that's never, never the way any business grows. It's not easy and you're in some spend twice as much and it takes twice as long as well than what's on your business plan. But, um, look, I think I think for us growing the business got to a point from a, from a family point of view that it felt like it needed a different approach to scale it and take it to that next level. So particularly needed some extra support for it to exapnd globally. And as CEO, I after six years I've had two kids during that time. So my son was just a year when I started that business and then I had my second son, though. You know, the international travel and the kind of pressure is not really the right word, but probably the expectation that I had for myself in growing, I got to that point where I was like, You know what, I think it's time. So I didn't really know where that time was, I mean, obviously, you generally have to have your IP fairly well developed, and you have to have something of value.
Aimee Engelmann 41:21
So yeah, I think I think there was plenty of ups and downs and plenty of roller coasters and probably three big cycles in terms of the growth and and like a pair back and then another step up, and then a pair back and then another step up. So yeah, some of those were learning, like pivot during that industry pivot. Some things I think that outside of our controls... like an earthquake, that that kind of brought us back a bit on our growth and and, you know, added to our cost base before we could jump up again. So, you know, there's always factors that come into play, and I would say, it's almost like every two years, there would be that step one step back before there was those three steps forward.
Aimee Engelmann 42:08
But I think that's business in general. I mean, I found that over the journey, it's a it's a roller coaster. So, yeah, it's I'm not sure whether... I think I probably intended to be in the business longer, you know, maybe seeing it three to 10 years, but I just felt personally that it was it was time for me to maybe just step back on those expectations for myself. And then that improved our family life and probably the business the greatest opportunity to grow to, to give it someone who could take it to that next level
Charles McKay 42:43
Yeah, totally. I think there's a point to where any business will get to a ceiling, depending on the founder and how much time they can put into that growth and there's I reckon and not being there. But when you start juggling family and life like you I could If it was me in that position, I couldn't put my family below the business. My family's gonna be number one so that would be really challenging. And then how do you if you're going to make that decision? Then how do you get the people around you to do those supporting roles? Sometimes it means someone else needs to buy it or take it over, which makes total sense. You've sort of already pretty much answered this question, but around, you know, what you're trying to do... trying to do to make everything better in a business scenario. So obviously, being a leader of, you know, within the Philippines, and then back in Australia from a, you know, a female leader, but was that your intention? Or was that something that just came up? And you're like, wow, this is something that I'm really passionate about, and going forward, is that something that you're going to keep going, you know, to be working on?
Aimee Engelmann 43:50
Yeah, it's not something that I did intentionally around, you know, the hiring strategy in the Philippines. It just, it just kind of played out that way. Looking back on my career, And even in my marketing agency, I think the way that I set that business up was very female supportive just because of the flexibility and the remote working.
Aimee Engelmann 44:11
I know that that will stay with me and it's not now it's just parents in general. Right. So, yeah, parents, how can you correct right employment opportunities for working parents? And, you know, from now, for the short term, I have a very probably insular and maybe selfish view of how I'm building the business to kind of build around my lifestyle, but you know, the lifestyle that I want for our family is kind of at the top and then nothing's underneath that for where I can add value for clients. We've got a much much smaller employee base. So to have a smaller number of people around us probably more, you know, freelancers, some consultants, part time, but all remote. So you know, again, managing, managing the business around what kind of works for us. So yeah, it's pretty to be brutally honest. It's it's very selfish at this stage, because it's all about, you know, at the core doing what's right for our family and our lifestyle. And there is some other work that I do informally, like I mentor some other people, I'm taking on some advisor roles. So looking at not board positions, but advisors for other entrepreneurs who are growing and exiting their business and going on advisory boards, which I'm really looking forward to. Yeah, and it's kind of keeping it small and low key in a way.
Charles McKay 45:47
I like it. I like it. So if you were to sitting on those advisory boards now and starting to give people advice now, it's a big question. This is a big question. You know, what's the one tip you would give someone but If you're really looking to grow a business or grow your career, like where, where does the fundamental source come from that you've got to get lined up before you're actually going to move forward? What do you think that one thing would be?
Aimee Engelmann 46:14
I think it's mindset. You know, it's not a practical tip and that you know, gotta have the cash or the business plan or the marketing engine. I think it starts with mindset and it's been my personal journey moving out of employment and into business at every step of the way it's been a mindset challenge so before I even grew a business that was, you know, a couple of mil I went to a to this amazing session with a guy called Mark Moses. I told him about my
Aimee Engelmann 46:46
business, he said, add a zero. So if you're thinking about how that was 100 million, open your mind to that and show you it's not necessarily about getting that number. But I can be wrong. It's not about the pressure or the expectation. It's about opening your mind to see yourself to be able to do that, and starting to visualize and picture and think and strategize. So, you know, I think mindset is the number one thing. I think anytime I've struggled with motivation, not knowing where I was fitting in a business, or in my career journey, I've always sought out you know, that that piece around getting my mind fixed and focused on on what that next step is.
Aimee Engelmann 47:36
And, you know, pivotal in my early business phase to actually help me unlock my entrepreneurial spirit was working with the coach on mindset and just to help me give me that push and ask questions. So that's where that's my main, my main piece of advice is around that and then the rest will flow. like there's all that general advice and external resources and coaching and education and all that sort of stuff. But gotta get your mindset you know, ready and that's step one.
Charles McKay 48:11
Yeah, I love it. And I couldn't agree more. I think the the piece that we're in that really interesting phases. So many coaches out there now, it's like who do you listen to who don't you listen to. But at the end of the day, you take your bits and act on it. That's where you're going to actually move forward. Not just look and read and watch, you've got to act as well. Because it's your journey, yeah? So you can't expect anyone else to do it for you. A coach is going to whip you but they won't go and do the hard work. So I think that is a really, really powerful tip.
Charles McKay 48:43
Looking into the future. What does you know, the future for Aimee look like and your family. Tell us a little bit about your current daily routine. I do see that you've been out in the boat a bit doing a bit of rowing. Is that something you did back when you're at school?
Aimee Engelmann 49:00
Yeah, yeah, it's a sport I've done on and off. School was kind of most of the time I've been on the water. Luckily, I live near the river, which is just gorgeous. So just getting back into spending time rowing, which is amazing. I've picked up my niche agency which is Flipside Group, which is just working with a small group of clients on their growth, which is fantastic. Advisor positions and yeah, just enjoying the lifestyle of it. We've been challenged at the moment with homeschooling and bit of a change to to the regular schedule so just been adjusting around that. But yeah, really, I'm in that fortunate position where it's kind of life and work by design. So yeah, really thinking carefully about, you know, where I spend my time, who I spend my time with including in business. And yeah, having like minded people work together. I really love now that I can kind of apply my passion and my energy to other businesses without necessarily being the founder entrepreneur that is looking to grow a massive company again. I love that I work with others to kind of take a piece of the challenge. And yeah, so it's kind of living through them. I'm living the entrepreneurial life through them without having to, you know, to take on take on, you know, risk and major, major challenge. So, I really love that. Some of the people I'm working with I've known for a few years as well which is great. Yeah, I feel very comfortable in that and yeah, that's, that's not planning too far into the future keeping things pretty fluid. Yeah. And just just looking afer health as well like I said... training and yeah relaxing.
Charles McKay 50:59
I love it. I love it. Awesome. Aimee, it's been an absolute pleasure having you on today. I think your experience and your journey venture and business is amazing and now for you to be at that place where you can give back and help others is awesome. So I'll be I'll be looking out to see where you are in the next few years because I'm sure that entrepreneurial bug won't, won't hide for too long.
Aimee Engelmann 51:25
I don't know. Thank you so much for having me as a guest looking forward to listening to more episodes and learning more with you as well.
Charles McKay 51:37
Cool. Thanks Aimee. Appreciate it.