Teaching an Old Company New Tricks: How Theresa Smith Is Re-Inventing Her Family’s Business

Theresa Smith focuses on retail sales growth.

Theresa Smith has a few big transitions ahead of her. She is currently in the process of succeeding her father, Phil Catron, as CEO at her company NaturaLawn of America, where she’s currently Marketing Director. A provider of natural, environmentally-friendly lawn care products and services, NaturaLawn today makes 98% of its revenue from its treatment services. But Theresa hopes that under her leadership, the burgeoning retail side of the business will see better sales growth. “I don’t see why the retail side can’t either be equal to the service side of the business or even dwarf it,” she says. “There’s always going to be people who want someone to do their lawn for them, and there’s always going to be people who want to do it themselves.”

The biggest challenge Theresa faces is how to lead her company confidently into this under-served arm of the business. One excellent way to begin is by setting a solid goal for the year.

Stay on Track with One Year Goals

When she attended a Birthing of Giants Fellowship week in September 2017, Theresa set herself the one-year goal of breaking even on the retail line. Within five years she’s hopeful that this side of the business will experience sales growth to account for 15% of its revenue. Speaking to her fellow entrepreneurs at the program has made her more confident about this ambitious goal. “It’s helped give me the confidence that, yes, this is a good idea, and don’t be afraid to fail,” she says. “It’s scary, but it’s true.”

Birthing of Giants is a gathering of entrepreneurs and business owners focused on advanced education via strategy-planning programs. Each program is spearheaded by a team of leading entrepreneurs in American business. These programs, including the One-Day MBA and the Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program, allow fellow entrepreneurs to zero in on the strategies that sustain and enhance business growth.

Leverage Social Media and Online Presence for Better Sales Growth

A few conversations in particular gave Theresa a new perspective on the marketing possibilities of her product. She recalls that one entrepreneur advised against placing all her eggs in one online basket. “He said that Amazon is not the be all and end all, but just another platform like Google to get brand awareness and then direct people back to your website,” she says, “which is something I wanted to do but didn’t know how.” Another entrepreneur gave Theresa some savvy advice about Facebook marketing, which her company had dabbled in but found little success with. “We didn’t put a full effort into it,” she admits. “[They] said you should give it another go, because if you’re not making money on Facebook ads, something’s wrong.”

Working alongside the other entrepreneurs at the program gave Theresa the opportunity to get out of her own head and look at her business with a fresh set of eyes. During such an important transition, this kind of clarity is especially valuable. “This has really helped me get out of my comfort zone, hear good ideas outside of my business model, and stay accountable to the plan,” she says.

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