Weaving the customer journey, Eleni Nott: Wevour
By Madhu Sundararajan
Welcome back to the Perfect Pitch Show, where Brandon Burns, Head of Community - Runway HQ, interviews small business founders / entrepreneurs in the field about their ‘secret sauce’ of their successful start-up journey.
In this article, we break down the key lessons from our interview with Eleni Nott, founder of Wevour, Entrepreneur, Co-liaison to the Geelong Angel Investor network and program facilitator at RunwayHQ. Eleni always looks for problems that she can solve and the opportunities the process of solving would deliver. Eleni is happy wearing a lot of hats because these opportunities allow her to constantly improve and learn.
During our interview, Eleni shares a few fascinating personal experiences. We believe these discussion topics will help startups in regional Victoria with tips & tricks in setting up their business.
A typical day in the office
Eleni’s productivity on any given day is based on the priorities from her myriad of activities working with incubators, developers and connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs. Eleni continues, with incubators, she would firstly understand the problems they are solving, their business models, and whether they have validated product-market fit. Secondly, she helps with conceptualizing a compelling narrative, strategies for testing the market and preparing for perfect pitches. Lastly, Eleni would offer expertise with focus groups and journey mapping to develop deep-seeded customer empathy.
During her time with Wevour, Eleni is completely hands-on working closely with the developers to create a great user experience by carving out the complete customer journey. Eleni also does public speaking and presentations across a range of forums. The noteworthy one to quote is the Executive Women forum in Melbourne. She also connects with other aspiring and enterprising women.
10x growth strategies
Eleni is swift to respond with strategies for achieving 10x growth and continuous momentum. Her mantra is quality, customer retention and customer purchasing frequency. Eleni also suggests entrepreneurs to start small, achieve quick wins e.g. provide a turn key solution, hacking the product market fit etc. This helps to carve out the roadmap for getting more strategic to attain 10x growth. Eleni quotes an example in her journey where she failed to validate the product with customers before investing heavily. Eleni did a course correction by carrying out one thing right and making it perfect in a very manual way. This resulted in the benefits she aimed for and helped her carve out a successful roadmap to 10x growth
Developing tenacity as an entrepreneur
When asked about the one key action to undertake to develop tenacity for entrepreneurs to go on to their journey, Eleni says, being in contact with the customers will go a long way in understanding the product-market fit. Eleni continues, it is so easy to be seated behind a computer and develop something without understanding who the customer is. The key would be to have a ‘consultancy mindset’, where feedback both positive and negative, closely informs the life cycle of product development. Further, Eleni adds, that she recognises that this high-touch approach also gives entrepreneurs their ‘spark’, they can refuel themselves with a true sign-off to work towards solving a customer problem.
Reducing anxiety for new start-ups
“Entrepreneurship is not for faint-hearted”, Eleni quotes. Eleni says she has personally dealt with anxiety. “Life will throw umpteen challenges and the key is to take responsibility and look after yourself”. The tips which she suggests are while contacting customers,
- To have a clear objective
- Structure & framework for engaging over phone, email & other channels
- Not to be transactional in your relationships
Eleni likes to quote Runway Mentor, David Villa Rosa, “You have two ears and one mouth, use it in this proportion”, as it is so pivotal to listen to your customers.
Make mistakes, learn from them and move the hell on
Making mistakes are inevitable, Eleni is no different. Eleni adds, by immersing oneself in life’s experiences, they tend to become wiser. Entrepreneurs will have to be led by logic and rationale rather than emotions if they want to be successful especially in partnerships, joint ventures, choosing a supplier etc. A thorough evidence-based analysis to carry the business forward should be kept in mind before making any decision.
Eleni says it is incredibly vital to have all the difficult conversations upfront so as to develop trust amongst stakeholders to strategically achieve 6-month, 1-year and 3-year objectives. She concludes, not to neglect referencing the best practices with respect to shareholder agreements, licensing agreements etc.
All the advice in the world will never help you unless you help yourself – Fred Van Amburgh
Willingness to listen and change is the most important aspect in entrepreneurship, Eleni says. Change being the only constant in life, it is everyone’s responsibility to embrace it. Eleni quotes her early days, when her dad was advising her to take up a lucrative enterprise job rather than venturing into business. His rationale, Eleni continues, was that there will be a lot to learn and the enterprise job rewards with career progression.
Eleni’s secret sauce is for those that follow the entrepreneurship journey they will build their own self-awareness, develop deep empathy for others and gain extraordinary exposure to a wide range of skills, knowledge and people, all of which are invaluable. Eleni’s foray into mentoring and coaching is to provide courage for startups, particularly those looking for a strategic direction forward.
Eleni is looking for constructive feedback on Wevour in June 2020 when the site is live for customers. Eleni concludes, “Reach out and connect with people, even if no one responds, it’s absolutely fine”, at the end of the day, what have you got to lose?
Eleni on Runway Virtual