Peter Figueredo – Partner at House of Kaizen

I’m really excited about the widespread adoption of recurring-revenue models, or subscription-based models. The ability to deliver a valuable experience to consumers on a regular basis while helping companies build long-term relationships is very exciting.

As a partner at House of Kaizen, Peter Figueredo focuses on strengthening relationships with clients and growing results for clients. Figueredo is head of client services, and his New York City-based team is responsible for client happiness and meeting client goals to achieve long-term engagements and organic growth.

House of Kaizen provides end-to-end digital performance marketing services to clients such as Avis Budget Group, Tiffany & Co., Audible, Red Roof Inn, Businessweek, and Total Gym.

What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?

Most of my time is spent strengthening and growing relationships with clients. I speak to clients often in order to understand their needs and business challenges as well as to get to know them personally. Then I work with our client teams at House of Kaizen to design and execute strategies to meet the goals of our clients.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I have notebooks full of ideas, but many of the ideas never make it further than those notebooks. The keys to bringing ideas to life are focus and commitment. Once we focus on an idea and remove other distractions, we get clarity on the objective. This clarity, and a commitment to allocating the proper resources, allows us to bring great ideas to life.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I’m really excited about the widespread adoption of recurring-revenue models, or subscription-based models. The ability to deliver a valuable experience to consumers on a regular basis while helping companies build long-term relationships is very exciting. I predict that most consumer-focused companies will adopt a recurring-revenue model over the next three years.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I truly care about the people I work with — my clients, partners, and staff. By surrounding myself with people I care about, I feel much more fulfilled after a long day’s work. I have realized that the people around me pick up on this and reciprocate. Relationships built on mutual success and appreciation are much more fruitful and emotionally rewarding.

What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?

I worked in a hospital laundry room during college. I would collect bags of dirty linens from all over the hospital and bring them to the basement to be cleaned. It’s the type of work that should be featured on “Dirty Jobs” because hospital bed linens often come into contact with unpleasant things.

This was a well-paying summer job for me, but it was a career for other staff members. The experience helped me appreciate the hard work done behind the scenes. Our hospital beds don’t magically clean themselves, our recycling does not magically get sorted, and our children’s schools are not self-cleaning.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I am happy to say that I have very few regrets. I have done a great job building successful marketing campaigns for my clients, but I have done very little to market my agency. We have been lucky to grow through word-of-mouth referrals, but we should have been proactively managing our own marketing and PR.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

You should give your mind and body the rest and relaxation necessary to keep your creative juices flowing strong. For me, this means spending time with my family and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

I have succeeded by finding strong companies that offer complementary services and partnering with them to drive more business. Many of the clients we have worked with came from partnerships.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

In the past, I have had times when the business managed me instead of the other way around. The business needs took me in directions I should not have gone, and I followed because I was chasing dollars or putting out fires. I was spending my time in the wrong areas because I thought it was what the business needed. Today, I maintain my focus on what is important by empowering my staff to handle day-to-day tasks and by reminding myself of my core focus.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Find something related to your business that could be sold on a subscription basis, and do it. If you sell clothing, start a subscription service for accessories. I am willing to bet that every company has something that it could sell on a subscription basis to build a recurring revenue stream.

Tell us something about you that very few people know.

I am maniacal about inbox management and never let more than 25 emails pile up. Usually, I have fewer than 10 in my inbox. Also, I love to run, and I do some of my best thinking when I am out on long runs.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I can’t live without Evernote. It is a simple and elegant platform for storing and sharing digital notes and records. I have a paperless life because of Evernote.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Everyone should read Start With Why.  It will inspire members of your community to build businesses that mean something.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Avinash Kaushik, an amazing mind in the world of analytics, has influenced my thinking, and Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, has inspired me.