Ep. 265 – Rick Elmore: “Build the best relationships you can with your first clients. Those are your lighthouse customers.”
Rick Elmore is an entrepreneur, sales and marketing expert, and former college and professional football athlete. As the Founder and CEO of Simply Noted, Rick developed a proprietary technology that puts real pen and ink to paper to scale handwritten communication, helping businesses of all industries scale this unique marketing platform to stand out from their competition and build meaningful relationships with clients, customers, and employees.
Founded in 2018 and based in Tempe, Arizona, Simply Noted has grown into a thriving company with clients of various sizes across the country including in hospitality, real estate, insurance, nonprofit, franchise, B2B, and others. Rick has served as the company’s CEO since its founding, for more than three years, and has over a decade of sales and marketing industry experience.
most passionate about
- My background is in athletics. I played college and professional American football.
- When I got done, I made the transition into sales and marketing. I started with medical companies in the United States, Stryker and Straumann, and in orthopedics and dental. I had a pretty good career.
- I’m currently doing Simply Noted. We help companies send and automate real, genuine handwritten notes with technology and have been doing that for the last three and a half years.
- We have developed technology – a handwriting robot that puts real pen to paper and helps businesses connect on a more personal level, building relationships with their clients.
Rick’s career and story
- During my MBA, we had to start a project. When I was recruited in college, the coaches who always stood out the most to me were the coaches who sent handwritten notes.
- One year, in 2016, my wife and I had 400 clients. We tried sending out 400 printed holiday cards. All we did was hand-write the envelope and it took us over two weeks.
- I was like, “There has to be a better way.” So, I started researching. I looked up some technologies that were available. It wasn’t until 2017 that I dove into it for a school project, but, really, I’d researched the technology for about a year.
Best advice for entrepreneurs
- A lot of people want to become entrepreneurs or start a business, but they have analysis paralysis, overthink They think, ‘I can’t do it.’ They think they have to have all the answers, but really, it’s just taking that first step and getting started.
- Absolutely build the best relationships you can with those first clients. Those are your lighthouse customers. Those are the risk-takers. Those are the ones who are going to give you an opportunity. You have to make sure everything goes through.
The biggest, most critical failure with customers
- I would say scaling a company is really hard.
- I’m struggling with figuring out how to scale a service like this when you’re selling a $2 and $3 item. We want to help every client out, and we need to figure out an effective, efficient, really personal way of doing that.
Biggest success with customers
- Something that I’m really good at is perseverance, relentless competition. That’s just baked into who I am.
- Being patient is important. When you’re an entrepreneur and starting a business, it’s really hard to be patient because you have bills to pay.
Rick’s recommendation of a tool
- it’s a platform that allows you to automate tasks between software.
Rick’s one key success factor
- The first thing you need is a really good support system. I have a wife and two kids and my parents live in Arizona.
- I absolutely couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for them. It takes time to get a business off the ground. One other thing that’s important is to remember that you fail only when you give up or quit.
Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, I want to ask you: Is there a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?
- I’m an avid outdoorsman. Being in the mountains is where I love to go. I’ve climbed Mount Whitney in the United States and I climb Humphreys, here in Arizona, pretty regularly or a few times a year. I think entrepreneurship can be broken down to what it’s like to climb a mountain.
- Every step gets a little bit harder and challenges you a little bit more. You’re going to be a little bit tired, but you need that inner fire to keep pushing. There will be a lot of times in your journey as an entrepreneur when you feel like you’re getting there and you’re going to make it. Then, you get there and something happens that knocks you back down. You’re like, “Oh my gosh, I thought this was going to make everything easier.”
- I think, as an entrepreneur, it’s false summit after false summit, but there are a lot of great views along the way and you have to appreciate that. You have to enjoy the journey.
The best ways to connect with Rick
- My Website
- Social Media Profiles:
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