Having a robust culture is not a luxury in today’s economy. Record low unemployment and the race for talent increases continuously. This episode is how to create an amazing culture. My guest today is Chase Bowers, Founder of Dropified. His company was ranked #55 in the 2019 Inc 5000 list. Chase and I talk about the practical principles of how to create an amazing culture. Chase shares the benefits of it too. We document the steps of how to create an amazing culture that you can follow in today’s interview.
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Chase Bowers: The Transcript
Target Audience: Chase Bowers is the Founder at Dropified. He is also an entrepreneur and the owner of several businesses, from web applications that create solutions for eCommerce store owners to a company in the health and fitness space. Among his other distinctions, Chase has been featured on Inc.com, was a Google Certified Professional and held Google certifications in Adwords, Analytics, Website Optimizer, Advertising Fundamentals, and Advanced Search Certification.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
As you start to grow with your team you almost feel in a way that you’re losing a little bit of control with your company or with your team. You’re not able to be there sitting beside everybody and especially in a remote team like we have. There’s no way I can even cite our customer service making sure they’re holding to the things that I value as a as a leader and do what our developers and the same thing. So you feel like you are losing are you don’t really have the control that you would like. So the big thing about culture is that you have to be very intentional about your culture. You have to create systems and processes around reinforcing it.
[00:00:49].320] – Gene Hammett
Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs. The fastest growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow?
[00:01:05].560] – Gene Hammett
Creating an amazing culture is something that you can be proud of as a leader but you could also be proud of it because the people really do care about having a culture that they’d love to come to work with. There is nothing like you know coming in on Monday and everyone has a higher energy level than they do on a Friday afternoon because they love what they’re doing now creating that kind of culture you may think is out of the reach for you because people just aren’t as engaged as they used to or you may make excuses but you truly can’t intentionally create an amazing culture.
[00:01:38].400] – Gene Hammett
So how do you do it. Well you kind of get some of the right things right and you get to reinforce it over time. I went out into my network to find out companies are really growing fast. And I found Chase Bowers the founder of Dropified. They were number 55 on the ink list in 2019. They grew at just under 5000 percent in three years it was like four thousand nine hundred seventy one percent and they reached five million in revenue that continue to grow from there. But they have created an amazing culture because they’re very intentional about it. Chase talks about some of the keys to that. In our interview. So make sure you don’t miss a moment if you want to create an amazing culture. Here’s the interview with Chase.
[00:02:21].140] – Gene Hammett
Hi Chase, How are you?
[00:02:23].480] – Chase Bowers
Hi Gene, I’m doing good.
[00:02:24].700] – Gene Hammett
Well great to have you here. Growth Think Tank ivory let our audience know a little bit about you and about the company drop aside. But in your own words why did you create this company drop off.
[00:02:36].440] – Chase Bowers
Yeah you know I was actually doing what my customers are doing. I started out doing that and it was really just kind of solving my own problem. I never envisioned this would be what it has become. Yeah. And I started to solve my own problem and started showing it to a few friends and they they said you need to do something with this. So I did and you know we we grew over time and it started with just me and a developer and now we have 30 team member. So it’s definitely a blessing for sure.
[00:03:12].680] – Gene Hammett
Well let’s get to a more specific about what the company has Dropified is a technology company but you work in the e-commerce dropship world. I know you can take a little bit further on that.
[00:03:24].260] – Chase Bowers
Yeah. So if you’re not you’re not familiar with drop shipping. It’s basically let’s say you own a store and you want to sell items but you don’t want to handle the inventory. So what you can do is you can set up a relationship with a manufacturer or a supplier and they can actually ship the items that you want to sell directly from their film center their warehouse to your customers without you ever having to touch the products. So our our software focuses on the drop shipping industry. So we work with store owners.
[00:04:00].920] – Chase Bowers
So Gene, if you were to start a store you would work with drop a 5 to help source product so you’d help find products that you would want to sell. The second big thing we do is when somebody purchases from you we help automate the fulfillment part of it. So we work with the manufacturer. So you actually send the product directly to your customer that you haven’t. And we automate that because we found that this specific type of shipping we’re doing is very tedious and very hands on.
[00:04:31].820] – Gene Hammett
I had an e-commerce business for nine years. Half of my business was dropped ship half of it was my own inventory. I can tell you the challenges on both sides never end.
[00:04:47].830] – Chase Bowers
Yeah. Even in the drop shipping there are there like you said there are pros and cons to both. And we just try to help out with as many of the cons as we can to make it easier and to be able to scale a lot easier.
[00:05:05].310] – Gene Hammett
You had told me before you have about 30 employees get about five million revenue last year that put you at number #55 on the list. That’s almost 5000 percent growth and a lot of companies go. How is that even possible. So what was your response to almost 5000 percent growth.
[00:05:24].100] – Chase Bowers
You know. I would have to be honest I would have never imagined that we would have grown this fast again as I even mentioned earlier. I never set out to kind of do do this it kind of. I mean I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and and was working toward that. I never imagined it would go this fast responses. It’s a little bit of. To be honest it is a little bit of right timing. I feel like an hour. We have just worked on having created a great culture that our entire our team can really just buy into what we’re doing and really f ocus on solving customer’s problems. And I think our audiences really responded to that. I’m a marketing background and early on we’d never even really marketed it because I was just doing that. You know the business owner had it spread through word of mouth and referrals and I think really just being customer focused problem solving focused really attributed to a lot of that early on.
[00:06:30].650] – Gene Hammett
Well I want to zero in on this amazing culture because I think a lot of leaders know the importance of culture but they don’t have it working the way they want to. So when you defined your culture in the early days what were some of the words or how did you really describe what you wanted to create.
[00:06:50].640] – Chase Bowers
Yeah. And I think there is a key thing there that with culture and that you’ve you’ve kind of alluded to and that is head as a as you start to grow with your team. You almost feel in a way that you you’re losing a little bit of control or with your your company or with your team you’re not able to be there sitting beside everybody and especially in a remote team like we have. There’s no way I can be beside our customer service making sure they’re holding to the things that I value as a as a leader and to be with our developers and the same thing.
[00:07:29].680] – Chase Bowers
So you feel like you are losing out. You don’t really have the control that you would like. So the big thing about culture is that. You have to be very intentional about your culture. You have to create systems and processes around reinforcing it. And so we you know when we sat down to think about what our culture wanted to be we kind of threw out the get rid of just a very high level broad words and focused on very specific behaviors. So instead of just putting integrity and you know putting a poster on our wall or just that word we you know we decided to really define what about integrity.
[00:08:19].180] – Chase Bowers
How is it with the practical use of that. And so we would do things like deliver legendary service or bring out the best in others. We would really define what those means and then we go even further than that even write some subtext describing what that might look like. Nothing too long but just something that really defines what that behavior looks like and can elicit further discussion.
[00:08:46].330] – Commentary
Now, Chase just talked about losing control. Have you ever felt that as a leader you’re losing control and so that you hold on to it in inside of meetings and inside of big decisions. Well that may be a bottleneck in your company because if you are not willing to give up some control if not willing to to really let others make decisions and let others lead the business then you are the problem. I say this because I’ve run into this many times before where people think they’re doing the right thing because they’re taking control and getting things done. But if you are the problem you are the bottleneck that you’ve got to look at that and be really aware of what you’re causing. You really want control or do you want others to be able to take control. That’s a big question and leadership I think you want others to take control. You want them to think for themselves. I’m not saying you’re going to have a willy nilly company but you really want others to take control and have the confidence and courage to do that. Now back to the interview with Chase.
[00:09:46].440] – Gene Hammett
You know this is part of the process I take clients through. They have core values which may be somewhere between four and I’ve had some clients and have you know eight or 10 but you have these high level words but the behaviors become the most important part. And that’s what you’re describing is is what would we see in our organization if we were doing it. So give me an example what would you see if you were delivering legendary service.
[00:10:15].130] – Chase Bowers
Yeah. So. Let me in. Let me just even read a little subtext just to give you a picture of what our team kind of serious is. I’ve got it right here so says do the little things as well as the big things that blow people away create extraordinary experiences they’ll tell others about mirror customer satisfaction is for lesser companies create customer loyalty by doing the unexpected. So that’s what we start off with and what’s what’s cool about that is we bring that to the table and then we just open it up for discussion.
[00:10:52].390] – Chase Bowers
We don’t try to just dictate and tell everybody what that looks like. We actually bring it you know we can guide the conversations and but we actually let our team kind of chime in on that what does that look like for our customer service team to deliver legendary service. And what is what’s something unexpected that we can do that fits in our industry and would really blow people away. And it’s pretty amazing just the discussions that happen within that.
[00:11:23].880] – Gene Hammett
Well I love this because I know a lot of companies just don’t take the time to do it. So why do you take time to bring the whole team in to talk about these behaviors.
[00:11:34].080] – Chase Bowers
Yeah. One as I alluded to earlier it gives it gives a sense to me and my business partner can control it not in a bad way. It just lets you know with your company you can you can choose you’re gonna have a culture no matter what. Whether you intentionally create it or it’s haphazardly just happens. And I would rather I’ve been in situations and even early on it just happened. You know the good the bad all of it which is kind of blended in. But when you sit down and you really get it very very intentional and define exactly what what do we what it was I as a leader and what we as a company stand for and what does it look like on a day to day basis.
[00:12:21].730] – Chase Bowers
It really gives gives me as a leader a sense of control that hey I know if we start to reinforce this. It’s almost like I am standing there beside my employee and just have you know say yeah that’s that’s exactly how we want to do it or no that doesn’t really line up with how we act as a company. So one would say control. And the second really quick thing is just you know it gives it gives our team a sense of unity and what I mean by that. Everyone knows on the team after we’ve done these fundamentals they know what with Lowell and I as leaders value in and then they can count on each other.
[00:13:04].840] – Chase Bowers
When you when you haven’t defined it you have one person that’s kind of shining over here and you have another person that just hasn’t isn’t really putting in the effort and it just kind of you know somebody feels like they’re pulling all the weight and somebody is just dragging they might look to somebody else and they’re just dragging them down and then we have a standard that everybody can kind of point to and and lift each other up and say hey this is now this is how we do it.
[00:13:31].060] – Gene Hammett
I remember talking to you before and I’m smiling when I say this chase you have 30 of these.
[00:13:35].400] – Chase Bowers
[00:13:36].820] – Gene Hammett
And that’s the most I’ve heard of anyone having these these frameworks or kind of behaviors, why 30?
[00:13:45].860] – Chase Bowers
You know it was it. It’s funny for us it wasn’t about memorization. That was you know some some companies may want to do that. But for us it was more about internalization. So it wasn’t a set number we didn’t actually set out to have 30. We really just got together and just define what are the most important things and it happened to land on 30 and didn’t really scare me away because I knew again that we were going to be consistently reinforcing these over and over again. And it was more about just getting the discussions happening and internalizing what the values and what the behaviors were.
[00:14:34].620] – Chase Bowers
So yeah 30 is kind of it seems like it was planned or it’s like this nice even number but it really maybe we were like twenty nine and we’re like and then we just need one more to make it even.
[00:14:47].100] – Gene Hammett
You’ve talked about reinforcing it and it’s a term that I would use were clients a lot. How do you reinforce these 30 fundamentals.
[00:14:54].960] – Chase Bowers
Yeah. And it’s a great point reinforcing is huge is probably it when it comes to culture and fundamentals and probably one of the top takeaways or things that you can do to make the biggest impact whether you have 30 fundamentals or 10. So the way we reinforce again we are a remote team. So we have to be very intentional and we have to reinforce a lot because we’re not in an office setting. But the first thing we do we use Slack to communicate to each week we have what’s called the fundamental of the week and we one of our team members it’s not me.
[00:15:36].480] – Chase Bowers
It’s not necessarily law. I mean we’ll jump in on the rotation as well but we actually allow one of our team members to lead that fundamental that week. So let’s say let’s just say this week on a Monday is when it typically happens we’ll have one. There’s one here called practice blameless problem solving and a team member will take that. They’ll take a little subtext and they basically just leave that discussion they that they shared their thoughts about it. They do a deep dive and then they’ll actually try to elicit feedback.
[00:16:11].170] – Chase Bowers
They’ll try to do something unique and fun to get everybody involved. And they’ll do the initial initial post. It’s just a post text post and then everybody. And we encourage this everybody to start commenting on it and given their own feedback their own ideas and how this would take place in their particular department. And so you know that’s the first way we do it. And we also do company meetings where wheels kick off the fundamental of the week created a mobile app that’s very simple but it just lists all the fundamentals and everybody just has installed on their own.
[00:16:48].600] – Chase Bowers
And one thing that’s pretty cool that nothing had one of the biggest impact as far as other than the fundamental the week was in slack there was this app called tacos or taco something like that and we install or we started using it in basically the premise of the tacos where I could award Eugene for anything I give you a taco. So we started out just like letting people acknowledge others just say Hey Gene you did a great job today. And then when we got we got to thinking wouldn’t it be awesome if we could. You know when somebody gives a taco they start to reinforce the fundamentals. And so we would have we would put a lot of focus on this and our meetings we’re gonna start doing tacos sort of reinforcing for fundamentals you need to do at least three per day and just bring in your teammates acknowledge them and then we would even you know we’re gonna reward you for receiving the most tacos and giving out the most tacos at the end of the month. And you know this is something we did for like a year. We did it for a couple of months because after a while we just wanna keep it fresh and mix it up.
[00:17:58].120] – Chase Bowers
But this had a huge impact in getting everybody just initially familiar with the fundamentals and just creating this cool culture where people are look in for it and people are starting to say hey I want to start practicing the fundamentals. I want people to acknowledge me or whether it just creates that. It starts to really create that culture that we’re looking for people acknowledging and receipt.
[00:18:24].360] – Commentary
I don’t know if you caught that but Chase talked about creating these weekly 30 fundamentals. They pick one per week and it’s led by someone on the team. So it’s not always up to the same person. It allows this to be shared across the team and allows them to pick and choose what they want to do to be a part of this process. And whenever they’re the process they have more ownership if they have more ownership you guessed it they’re going to take more ownership in actually making all this work.And when it comes to their time for them to participate almost got tongue tied there. Then you will see exactly the power that this has. So you don’t want to leave these little moments yourself. You want to have moments like this led by the team and so that will really give you something special inside the culture back to the interview with Chase.
[00:19:13].230] – Gene Hammett
I love the fact that you reward for giving the most. So what has that done specifically is just recognized for those that give tacos.
[00:19:24].390] – Chase Bowers
You know it’s it’s really cool to see how that some of the team is embraced. We have one developer Uggie is his name and he loves. I mean he is such a giver and we have several people there like that and you know he’s commented several times you know I actually like giving these compliments and acknowledgments almost more than receiving them now. Kind of a humble guy. I get a little. I don’t like to get a lot of praise or whatever. So it’s just really I think it’s really brought to the surface the the need to acknowledge others and that’s actually one of our fundamentals is celebrate success acknowledge others and I think people when when they when they do that they it’s something that we all want to do anyway.
[00:20:18].400] – Chase Bowers
You know it’s always kind of it’s always on my to do list. You know I need to be more intentional I need to write and let and lift up others encourage others and it’s something that always just gets buried and left behind. But I think when people really just see the fruits and and we encourage that and they’re very intentional about it starts out as like I have to do it and then it turns into a natural thing that just starts to happen.
[00:20:44].600] – Gene Hammett
Going back to this whole amazing culture and you’ve talked about it being intentional so many times I’ve had people going to say make excuses and air quotes they say we don’t have time for these meetings we don’t have time for us to create these little values or behaviors. What would you say to leaders that say they don’t have time for those things.
[00:21:08].770] – Chase Bowers
You know I don’t think any of us really have time to do stuff like this is high level stuff that seems like it doesn’t really make a difference or it’s a long term thing. You know and you know we’re all busy. We’re all super busy we all have a list to do list. But from my perspective this list literally culture has been one of the most impactful things that I’ve ever done at the company. And I say that to everybody. I’m now you know I am a big advocate of culture. And it was something that somebody shared with me just in a in a meeting.
[00:21:49].460] – Chase Bowers
And I knew right away. This is what I wanted. I had a remote team. I didn’t have a good culture. I knew I wanted one. I didn’t have an intentional culture. I’ll say that it wasn’t like it was bad but I did have an intentional culture. I wanted to control and I we implemented this thing as soon as we could. Got together and it’s not that hard to do it again. Setting aside some time defining your behaviors what you believe in. And then just setting up systems to reinforce it. It’s not the cool thing. Yes. Not rocket science it’s just something that.
[00:22:28].760] – Chase Bowers
To me has very has huge impact just on your team. U.S. leadership this unity with your team and there’s just so many benefits. Even if you’re a client facing as well I know some people that will do a fundamental that we do with the clients in the media. And it’s something pretty cool when your client can see you consistently sharing fundamentals are your fundamental that we while other in the room they there’s like a new level of trust and respect I believe as well.
[00:23:03].400] – Gene Hammett
That is a new element to this. A lot of people I think would be self-conscious about. Well I’m to I’m not gonna bring my stuff into the client meeting but I could see how that has a really great effect on them going. You know we spent three minutes on talking about legendary customer service and I felt it from your team. This must be how we’re getting it done. Was there any part of you that was uncomfortable about including that to client meetings?
[00:23:30].630] – Chase Bowers
You know yes I mean a little bit but you know we don’t have a ton of client meetings for us personally. We’ll have you know everyone we’ll have some vendor meetings and things like that but I’ve. So I can’t speak to it too much but this is something I heard share from someone else who who did this same thing and it was pretty good to hear them say just how much of an impact it had and how they came up afterward and out of all the things they talked about their lighting and that is really cool that you do this.
[00:24:06].860] – Chase Bowers
I can see that you know I don’t really see this a lot of companies and I can see that you’re that you practice this you’re actually bringing people into the discussion and talking about this and that makes me disrespect you and trust you more.
[00:24:21].080] – Gene Hammett
Well I appreciate you sharing some details there behind that chase. Tell me or tell the audience where they could find out more information about you.
[00:24:29].270] – Chase Bowers
Yeah. If you drop a fire just go to Dropified.com and you can find all the information you want about there. You can look me up on LinkedIn or Facebook you can network me there I’m not sure I’m actually on Twitter but I’m not I don’t really post a lot right now. I do follow a few people so you can follow me there.
[00:24:53].540] – Gene Hammett
I appreciate you being here at Grow think tank. Thanks for being here.
[00:24:56].700] – Chase Bowers
All right thanks Gene.
[00:24:57].800] – Gene Hammett
Wow what a powerful interview I really love doing this because I get to hear some the day and of applications of how do you create culture as a leader you have to really put some time into a lot of people will want to make excuses about the time it takes to connect with their people but then they’ll spend a lot of time and a lot of energy draining activities when they when the people just aren’t engaged they aren’t getting the work done now executing at the level you expect them to but they’re not taking ownership. So you want to create an amazing culture you’ve got to get really intentional about those things. These are some of the strategies that Chase talked about today but there’s really a lot more details to it. I loved it to connect with you. You’re listening to this right now. You’re probably interested in how to create an amazing culture for yourself. So make sure you reach out to me. @GeneHammett as always lead with courage. I’ll see you next time.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
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