How This Stand-Up Comedian Grew a Million Dollar Sales Consulting Business

How This Stand-Up Comedian Grew a Million-Dollar Sales Consulting Business

Kyle Vamvouris says he had an “unconventional journey” to becoming the founder of a million-dollar business, but that’s probably an understatement. In this interview, he shares his fascinating journey and the behind-the-scenes details of growing a successful consulting business.

There’s a lot to take away from this interview. One of the surprising details involves cold email and how it played a key role in growing Vouris. Kyle also shares the simple, yet effective approach to content marketing and SEO that continues to drive new clients.

And don’t miss Kyle’s advice about the need to refine your offering, and how a major pivot helped him to turn the corner.

👇 Key Takeaways

  • Kyle explains how his experience as a stand-up comedian helps him as an entrepreneur.
  • He started the business after seeing the need firsthand through a sales job.
  • Kyle made a critical pivot six months into the business, which led to a breakthrough.
  • He shares why it’s important to hire experts rather than take a low-budget approach.

Overview

Business Name: Vouris
Website URL: https://www.vouris.com/
Founder: Kyle Vamvouris
Business Location: Pleasanton, California
Year Started: 2020
Number of Employees/Contractors/Freelancers: 8

How much revenue does Vouris generate?

$1.6 million revenue in 2023.

Tell us about yourself and your business.

I have an unconventional journey that led me to where I am today with my Vouris. I went to a community college for two years before dropping out to pursue my passion for stand-up comedy. My parents weren’t happy, but it made me very resilient and quick on my feet, which are great skills for entrepreneurship. 

I did standup comedy for five years total before stumbling upon an opportunity at a B2B SaaS company as a Sales Development Representative (SDR), where I excelled. I was promoted to an Account Executive (AE) role, and I later had the privilege of running a few sales teams. Throughout my career, I saw how broken many sales teams are, which ignited my passion for helping founders build world-class sales teams. 

In 2020, I founded Vouris, a company dedicated to assisting B2B businesses in building efficient sales processes. Vouris’ mission is to drive the growth of B2B companies by providing expert guidance and frameworks for building reliable, repeatable growth.

Vouris Website

How does your business make money?

We work as an on-demand Go-To-Market (GTM) executive team that our clients plug into their company to build their entire GTM org. For that, we charge a flat monthly retainer that’s much less than hiring a full-time executive. 

What was your inspiration for starting the business?

At first, the company was more focused on training sales reps. What I found, was that the founders I worked with got more value from the operations and strategy support I was giving them. It was also driving better results than meeting with their sales team.

This led to me realizing that if I was going to be able to help in a meaningful way, I had to support my clients with their sales process holistically. So after 6 months, I made the pivot and since then have built over 70 B2B sales teams. 

How and when did you launch the business?

I started the business in July of 2020 when I created the LLC. From there we created our website and started doing outreach to get customers. 

How much money did you invest to start the business?

I was able to start the business with a little less than $2,000 and savings to live off of. I did not pay myself for the first 10 months so I could reinvest in the business. It was stressful because I was the sole income earner for my family of 4. 

How did you find your first few clients or customers?

I met my first 3 clients through friends and former coworkers. From there most of our customers came from doing cold email campaigns and blog posts I wrote a year before when I was blogging as a hobby. 

Tell us about your first year in business.

I was working from when I woke up to when the sun set when I first started the business. It was a big leap for me and I needed to become profitable so I could pay my bills and not eat through all of my savings. It took 10 months before I could pay myself $50k a year, which was a little less than our expenses. Most of my time was spent on trying to get customers and servicing our customers, which was very challenging to juggle as we grew. 

What strategies did you use to grow the business?

The main strategy I used to grow was content marketing via SEO (search engine optimization). What I did was look up very specific questions that 50-100 people were searching on Google every month. These keywords were a lot less competitive and gave our site a lot of authority. Finally, we ranked on the first page of Google for B2B sales consulting, and that drove a lot of business our way. 

Vouris Content Marketing

The next approach I used early on was cold outreach. My primary channel was cold email, so I tested a bunch of campaigns and found one that worked well. I would tweak the copy and change the lists to keep things going. This helped us get most of our early customers which built the foundation for the company. 

Tell us about your team.

We have 8 employees, with 6 being full-time W2. The entire team is remote, which has worked well for us. The team is also incredibly experienced, which I believe is our secret sauce. I have found that hiring people who have deep subject matter expertise makes delivering a great service a lot easier. 

What are your future plans for the business?

Right now we’re working on refining our offering so we can better attract our ideal customers. Because what we do is so specific, not a lot of companies are the right fit for our service. As we refine our offering more, we get better at speaking the language of our best-fit customers. 

In addition to our efforts in refining our offer, we’re working on partnerships. We have found that working closely with a few partners has been a great way for us to meet potential customers. Because our partners work closely with the customer already, it helps us better understand their business so we can make sure they’re a good fit and move faster. 

How did you make the transition from side hustle to full-time?

First, I focused on getting two customers while I had a full-time job. This way I had the means to pay business expenses when I went full-time. Once the customer work got difficult to manage with my full-time job, I took the business full-time. 

There’s no other option than to take the leap, which is what I did. But having a customer or two makes it a lot easier. I will say that having a place to work uninterrupted was super helpful. A room in your house or a small office somewhere. I find having a dedicated workspace makes me a lot more productive. 

What was the turning point when you knew your business was successful?

The reality is your business is successful when you decide it is. This number will be different for everyone and is more psychological than anything else. To give it a firm milestone, I would say that a business is successful when it can pay its bills and the personal bills of the founder.

Think about how amazing it is it have a business, that you started, that pays all your bills. Chairish it. 

How much traffic does your website receive, and what are your primary sources?

We get roughly 5,500 visitors a month and 80% of that is from organic search The rest is from social media and email marketing.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned growing the business?

The biggest barrier is the psychology of the founder. The biggest enemy you will face is yourself and your self-worth. Too many business owners tie their self-worth to the success of the business, which causes them to suffer. 

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Payroll challenges during our first wave of growth were the biggest. I had to hire people to be able to take on more customers, so I felt like I was stretching. Meanwhile, our accounts receivables were piling up because we didn’t have a good billing process. This compounded and we found ourselves in a situation where it looked like we were not going to make payroll. 

I panicked and called all our customers who had past due invoices and was able to collect the amount we needed the day before payroll went through. Ever since that experience I’ve taken accounts receivables very seriously. 

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Embrace the now. The more you keep looking towards an outcome, the more challenging the journey will be. 

What is your favorite quote?

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt 

If you had to start from scratch, where would you begin?

Probably exactly what I did. Find a problem that I have expertise in solving and offer a service to help people solve it. The main two benefits are low startup costs and high price. 

What are some of your favorite books, blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels?

Books:

Podcasts:

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