Learning From the Best: Jim McGeever, Rachel Zoe and Kara Goldin’s Top Strategies For Business Growth

By Barney Beal, Content Director

In today’s opening keynote at SuiteWorld, NetSuite Executive Vice President Jim McGeever outlined a series of product enhancements, innovations and a new media network to help businesses grow.

Addressing customers, McGeever said: “If you are Wonder Woman, we are the golden lasso giving you a single version of the truth.�

Preceded by a marching band and joined on stage by successful entrepreneurs Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint, and Rachel Zoe, stylist, designer and editor of the Zoe Report, McGeever’s opening keynote at SuiteWorld18 focused heavily on how NetSuite’s platform and its experience is helping customers succeed.

Goldin founded Hint while trying to overcome a diet soda addiction. While it may have been sugar free, it still wasn’t healthy.

“Mine wasn’t a sugar addiction so much as a sweet addiction,� Goldin confided.

Aspiring to drink plain water instead, Goldin found it too tasteless and began experimenting with adding fruit. Unable to find a similar product on the market, Goldin started Hint and within six months it was on the shelves of Whole Foods stores nationwide.

“Early on when we decided to focus on starting this company, I wanted to focus on the right product and brand,� Goldin said. “A friend we trusted said work with NetSuite and make sure you get it right from the beginning.�

NetSuite has supported Hint’s back office processes, helping it grow to a multi-million dollar business with a goal to reach $1 billion. Among its benefits, NetSuite inventory management has helped Hint ensure its products are manufactured as close to point of distribution as possible, sparing the expense of shipping water across the country. The company’s online operations have now grown to 40 percent of its business, a rarity for a beverage company.

And how has Goldin managed to grow her business so fast, McGeever asked.

“Enjoy what you do every single day, otherwise the days can be long and hard,� she said. “Also, have a purpose. We never started this company to be a beverage company but be an arm to bring out products that are good for our customers.�

SuiteWorld 2018Hint is not alone in its growth. NetSuite customers are already outgrowing their peers across a variety of metrics, McGeever said. Last year, NetSuite customers grew revenue an average of 17 percent. Business listed on the MSCI Emerging, an index of small and midsized businesses, grew 8 percent and the S&P grew 6 percent.

Getting to the next stage of growth can be the most difficult part, McGeever warned.

“These days, it’s not hard to start a business, venture capital funding has never been higher,� he said. “It’s becoming really hard to scale a business. “

McGeever’s essential tips for growing your business 

Successfully scaling depends on a wide range of factors, McGeever said. Every business has constraints on people, time and capital. Businesses need to focus on the ones that really move needle. An early employee at NetSuite, McGeever shared some of the mistakes he’s seen and the lessons learned.

1) Going Global

Expanding globally is an imperative for growth. In fact, NetSuite customers running OneWorld grow at an average of 19 percent, McGeever said. They’re twice the size of customers not on the global platform but still grow faster.

When NetSuite first expanded internationally into the UK in 2002 and into its first non-English speaking market in Japan a few years later, it went with a different focus on products in the UK and a different go to market strategy in Japan. Neither worked.

“You have to take the core of what made you successful and do that,� McGeever said. “It’s too hard to have a different business model or focus. Take core of what made you good and then localize it.�

Cloudflare, an internet performance and security company, knew it had to be a global company from Day One, Chris Merritt, Chief Revenue Officer, said from the SuiteWorld18 stage. It now has three subsidiaries and operates in 150 cities, but that growth presented some specific challenges.

“Keeping your culture the same is one of the most difficult things about going global,� he said. “Think about something simple. If you go into a new office and have new people sitting next to new people none of them really know how to do their job.�

Cloudflare makes a concentrated effort to sit experienced people with new hires to maintain its corporate culture.

NetSuite now operates in 199 countries and today announced localized product capabilities and in-country support for businesses in Germany, France, China, Japan, Brazil and Mexico.

“We’re going local to the core,� McGeever said. “Our goal is to be more German in Germany than SAP.�

2) Break down silos

As businesses grow, they come to find they have departments that are the same size as the whole company was a few years prior. Preserving collaboration between groups is vital, McGeever said. When NetSuite launched SuiteSuccess, “it was one of the most difficult things but also probably one of the most successful things we’ve done,� McGeever said.

He assembled a team of seven people from different departments and instructed them to create a new engagement methodology that would drive time to value faster for customers. And he made it their full-time job.

“If it’s important enough to move the needle, it’s important enough to make it someone’s full time job,� he said.

NetSuite today announced 14 new editions of SuiteSuccess.

3) Focus on the right things

Growth demands focusing on the things that contribute to growth, McGeever said. For Rachel Zoe, that meant learning from mistakes.

“Process is the most important thing as you’re growing a business and defining rules within a company are vital,� she said during a sit down interview with McGeever.

That goes not just for the business, but personally.

“Know what you’re best at and not best at and empower the people around you to fill those voids,� she added. “NetSuite is making it so much better and easier for all parts of the business to be streamlined.�

NetSuite today released a host of enhancements across industries and departments to help business streamline operations and focus on the things that matter.

SuiteWorld18 is currently taking place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas from April 23rd to 26th. Follow @NetSuite on Twitter for live updates. For more information, visit www.netsuitesuiteworld.com. 

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