LaDawn Townsend, CEO & Revenue Growth Strategist Of The VOS Group
A southern California native, LaDawn is a Revenue Growth Strategist & Professional Speaker with over twenty years of hands-on experience delivering results to Fortune 100 companies along with both Small & Medium businesses. Her work has resulted in 50% reduction in operating expenses, saving $1.1 million in annual payroll, and 47% improvement in logistics operations and shipping time frames.
After surviving a major corporate lay-off for not only herself, but her bosses and co-workers, she is passionate about working with business owners to increase the revenue in their business and streamline processes to create a stable foundation that deepens the customer base so the company can avoid 'lay-off' trap. She is trained in Six Sigma Green Belt process improvement and Technology Project Management, delivering quantifiable results for her clients. Her career started when, growing up, she worked alongside her family in their business.
Prior to starting your own business, what were you up to?
I’ve come from the corporate world. I spent over twenty years working primarily in the Banking and Technology space. I was a fixer, whatever wasn’t working well for the company and either creating a negative experience for the customer or losing revenue I was brought in to find the solution.
How did you start as an entrepreneur?
I grew up with entrepreneur parents. As early as the age of eight I worked with my family. Our summers were spent learning skills, a trade, traveling and working on projects.
What have been the top three lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
I love this question! I’ve learned so much as a entrepreneur, the three biggest lessons have been to not have a fear of earning money. If you know that you have a skill or product that provides value to other people then it’s your responsibility to bring that out into the world. Money is an energy and it attracts itself to those that work and hold the faith that they will have a profitable business. But the key is to get to work with a strategic plan for your business.
The second lesson is to stop doubting yourself. Fear isn’t the biggest problem, we can learn to overcome fear. It’s when we live in a state of doubt about our ability, now that’s the trap that can take you out of the game.
The third lesson is relationships. You must have a close tribe that will hold you accountable and will call you out when you’re not living up to your full potential.
What led you to corporate coaching?
My firm takes a different spin on coaching. As Revenue Growth Strategists, we look for the root cause of what is causing our clients to leak profit, time & productivity. Once we identify that the answer could vary, it could be issues with their operations, customer service, employees, marketing I could go on.
How the coaching comes into play is through our Executive Development program because a company will only be as successful as the leadership team is growing. We infuse this type of coaching into each of the services that we offer. I was led to this type of coaching because of all of the work I’ve done in my career. I would be called in to fix a department, but it was clear the leaders needed support as well. Giving them the right support in turn supports the company to reach their revenue goals.
How did you know you needed to make a shift from working with individuals to working with companies?
It’s interesting that you ask that. Initially my firm was just focused on Large Enterprises, then we had Small to Medium Business reach out to us. Those that are between $1- $10 million in annual sales, so at that point it became clear that we couldn’t focus on just an industry or type. We really opened up our services to work with the business leaders that are the right fit for us.
What we do is not a cookie cutter solution. We typically have business leaders that have very successful companies but know that there are issues within that are holding them back from hitting the next revenue level. That’s our focus in everything we do, support the revenue goal or helping the leader create the goal.
Over the past few months we have had start-up or new entrepreneurs reach out asking to work with us, we now have online programs and services to support that demographic of business owners that are working towards achieving $100K in sales, are serious about getting there and willing to go all in.
So to answer your question, we work with business leaders of all levels. From Start-ups to Large Enterprises if they are the right fit then we are ready to roll.
Any tips on making a transition like that?
Listen to your instinct and do not pull your skills off the table. Too many women (and men) entrepreneurs that have life experience leave that skill set off the table. I was really guilty of this, I didn’t think Strategy was sexy, I didn’t think anyone needed my services. But, that was all in my own mindset. Once I made a commitment to believe in myself and that what I had to offer others was of value it was game on! I haven’t looked back.
What gaps is your business helping fill within corporate companies?
I fondly refer to myself as the fixer and that is what our firm does. We focus on finding the why a company is not performing at the levels it can. We have clients come to us that have lost significant value in their company, one potential client went from having a business valued at $5.2 million to now hovering around $3.9 million. Others are in position for massive growth but they know they don’t have the infrastructure to support it. We focus on a few main areas; the Client Experience, Operations, Marketing and Team Building. We attack the issue head on while creating a blueprint for our clients to grow over the next 18-36 months.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business that works with other companies?
Come correct! But, seriously if you are dealing with new entrepreneurs, or selling to consumers the first thing I would suggest to do is to make a decision that this isn’t a hobby. What do I mean by that? You must know what your services are going to be along with what you are going to charge. There is a big focus on knowing the ideal client, which you do need to know but that’s not the first thing. The first thing to know is what do you offer that provides value to someone? That’s the very first thing, next go sell it. Too many entrepreneurs are waiting for a magical moment in their business to make a sale. Success isn’t magical it is a reality that can happen when you do the work. Success isn’t a respecter of any one person, it comes to those that take the right steps.
Once I understood that the best way to help my clients was to charge them for my services it changed everything. Then I was able to do the next steps like branding, photos, logo but until I worked with clients I wasn’t clear on exactly what my bigger message was going to be.
The next advice I would give someone is to learn from others that are successful and have receipts to prove it. Align yourself to experts that can give you the specifics you need to grow your business & hold you accountable for you to do your part.
What’s been the best thing about being your own boss?
Freedom Fridays! I’ve learned to listen to the rhythm of my life and for me Fridays are a day that I reconnect with myself and can have more one on one time with my team. Don’t get me wrong we still work and we work hard but to have this one day without back to back meetings, it helps me as the CEO map out the next week.
Being your own boss, for me, is busier now than any day at corporate. I love it but I also look for ways to maximize my time, replenish what I need and avoid burnout.
What legacy do you want to leave behind?
A woman that was not only passionate about having the financial options for her life but also helped others to get theirs. I truly believe we each were created for a purpose and some have a higher calling to serve in bigger ways. It could be building a school, paying for a child to go to college or creating a company to give jobs to those in the community. Whatever it is for each person, I just want to encourage them to not just dream about it, but go get it!
What’s your favorite quote? And, what’s your favorite business book(s)?
“I run in the path of your command” It’s one of my favorite scriptures and I’m probably paraphrasing it but that’s deep within my heart everyday. One of my favorite books is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, a must ready for everyone.