Mark Sait talks to Business Matters about why listening to audio books and cycling helps him focus as his company approaches £10m turnover.
What do you currently do at SaveMoneyCutCarbon?
I am the CEO, and in a company like SaveMoneyCutCarbon that can be very different from a normal CEO role. We are what I like to call a zero to 1 movement, that means it has not been done before, unlike many other CEO’s who run a “same as” business, where blueprints, roles and ways of doing things already exist.
This makes my job incredibly exciting but challenging, as we really are building the plane as we hurtle down the runway. At SaveMoneyCutCarbon, we have now truly taken off, with sales approaching £10m and growing fast, therefore, my role is to continually repeat and build on our vision i.e. where the we want to fly the plane and how we are going to get there – I spend a lot of time re-enforcing this with management, staff, customers, investors and suppliers.
Most important to me is our staff and customers I want both to be wowed by working at SaveMoneyCutCarbon and if they are customers at every touch point. We have two key programs at SaveMoneyCutCarbon for staff called Good to Great and for customers our Wow program. We want every customer to think wow when then work with us.
My job as CEO is to provide leadership not management.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I went to a “futures” lecture in Los Angeles, when I was COO of a business with its HQ there. That was nearly 10 years ago and one of the discussions was whether the next war might be over water or energy, not land or religion, followed by a lecture on the early research on this new thing called global warming. It was at this point I thought this would be an amazing space to build a business that could help customers and the planet.
What defines your way of doing business?
“Even better if? ” we are always asking this question across all elements of our business
Who do you admire?
In business, any entrepreneur who keeps going when all the odds are against them and everyone is telling them to give up – and there are a lots of us who have been in this situation, it’s lonely and hard. The difference between a good CEO and great CEO is the great one simply does not give up.
What would you tell your younger self?
Become an entrepreneur as early as you can. You need to fail to succeed, the quicker you learn and the earlier in your life, the longer your “opportunity runway” is.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your career?
As an entrepreneur – get in front of as many customers, suppliers and investors as you can – watch, listen and consider, pick out the positives or where someone does not get what you do, then take this continual source of learning back and use it to simply build a better “mouse trap” than everyone else. If the customer values what you have built, just keep going, it is amazing how many overnight business successes actually took 10 years to build!
How do you continue to grow professionally?
I listen to audio books in the car and read when I get time, which is not often. Then borrow with confidence various aspects and learnings, tailor them and apply them to our business, I have an amazing senior leadership team, so we are always sharing ideas.
Finding a way to think on your own is key – for this I go cycling. I am that MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra) cyclist on the back roads of Suffolk, mumbling to myself as I think through issues and opportunities!
What are you working on now?
We plan to grow SaveMoneyCutCarbon into a major brand, to become simply the “go-to place for business and homes to reduce their energy and water bills.” We have more work to be done on our platform, building out our tools to help businesses and homes to identify the untapped energy and water savings in their buildings.
We are looking to complete a major funding round in 2019 / 20 which will allow us to scale up what we have built, both in the UK and plans for the USA – so I have so much more to deliver at SaveMoneyCutCarbon even with £10 million of sales, our journey is just starting as our opportunity is so huge.