A CRO’s role is essential for a company's growth, taking on the responsibility for all aspects of driving revenue to the company. But across departments like sales, marketing and customer success, what makes someone an effective CRO, and what does it take to create a highly successful career in this position? To answer these questions, we had the pleasure of interviewing Miranda Furtado.
Thank you so much for your time! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Sure! I’d love to share my story. My name is Miranda Furtado, and I am the founder and CEO of Love's In The Hair Extension Studio Inc, a business that I started out of my apartment in Toronto. With a clear vision and a lot of hard work, I was able to achieve a significant milestone in under 2-years by reaching $1 million in sales, all while being self-funded. I had to wear many hats, from customer service and operations to marketing.
I saw an opportunity in the hair extension industry, and I was able to capitalize on that opportunity by developing a unique business model and a strong brand, even with limited resources. I am proud to be known as a celebrity hair extension expert and a respected educator for Bellami Hair Pro, the world’s largest hair extension brand.
Today, my salon is Toronto's premier extension salon, known for providing top-quality hair extensions services and expert advice. I have established myself as a trusted authority in the field, and I am committed to sharing my knowledge and experience with others through my role as an educator for Bellami Hair Pro.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you first started? What did you learn?
As a small business owner, I have learned that sometimes our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. When I first started Love's In The Hair Extension Studio Inc, I made the mistake of positioning my business as the most affordable hair extension salon in Toronto. I believed that by offering lower prices, I would attract more customers and generate more interest in my business. However, this hypothesis proved to be incorrect.
In some situations, the lower prices actually worked against me. While I provided a high-quality product, if customers experienced any issues with their extensions, they would immediately assume that the low prices meant that the quality of the product was also low. This perception caused a negative impact on my business and revenue.
After reevaluating my business plan and marketing strategy, I realized that I needed to offer different tiers of quality in order to address this issue and turn it into a positive. By offering a range of pricing options, I was able to attract a wider range of clients, including higher paying ones who were looking for top-tier quality. This change in approach not only helped me to generate more revenue, it allowed me to establish Love's In The Hair Extension Studio Inc as a reputable and trustworthy business.
In retrospect, it is funny to think that my original tagline "Toronto's most affordable hair extensions" was intended to generate more interest, but it actually worked against me. This experience taught me a valuable lesson about the importance of understanding your target market and offering a range of prices to cater to different needs and budget.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are?
I am grateful for the support and guidance of my husband, who played a crucial role in my professional journey. His background in corporate management and analytical thinking was instrumental in helping me to take my business aspirations seriously and develop a well-structured plan.
It was during a trip to wine country and a conversation on a sunny afternoon at the beach that we evaluated my current sales and income from my stable job, and calculated the potential risks and rewards of starting my own business. It was this conversation that ultimately led me to leave my previous role as Director of Marketing and pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. His support and belief in my abilities was crucial in giving me the confidence to take the leap and start my business.
According to global research, the percentage of women in c-suite roles is woefully low. How did you climb to your position, and what was that like for you?
You’re right, it is a well-known fact that the percentage of women in c-suite executive roles in the business world is alarmingly low. Despite making up nearly half of the workforce, women are underrepresented in leadership positions and the numbers have remained stagnant for many years. I have personally experienced the challenges that come with being a woman in a male-dominated entrepreneurial economy.
However, I was determined to not let this stop me from achieving my goals. I knew that in order to be successful as an entrepreneur, I would have to work harder and smarter than my male counterparts. I put in the long hours, constantly educated myself on industry trends, and networked tirelessly to build relationships and credibility. I am proud to say that through hard work and determination, I was able to climb to the top and establish myself as a respected leader in my field. The journey was not easy, but it was worth it to see the fruits of my labor. I am determined to use my position to pave the way for other women and to break down the barriers that still exist for women entrepreneurs.
What impact can placing women in executive roles have on a company? What are the struggles, and the benefits?
Placing women in executive roles can have a significant impact on a company, as research has shown that having a diverse workforce leads to better decision-making, improved performance, and increased innovation. Studies have also found that companies with more women in leadership positions have higher returns on equity, assets, and investments.
One benefit of having women in executive roles is that it can help to address the unconscious biases that can be present in the workplace. Research has shown that women tend to bring different perspectives and problem-solving approaches to the table, which can lead to more creative and effective solutions. Additionally, having women in executive roles can serve as a role model and inspiration for other women in the company, helping to create a more inclusive and equitable culture.
However, there are also struggles that women may face when climbing to executive positions. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of representation of women in leadership roles, which can make it difficult for them to find mentors or role models. Additionally, women may face unconscious biases and discrimination, which can make it harder for them to be promoted or recognized for their contributions. Despite this, the benefits of having women in executive roles can be significant for both the individuals and the companies, thus it is important to make sure that there is a fair representation.
In your personal experience, have female leaders (including yourself) done things differently from their male counterparts? What was the result?
As a female entrepreneur and leader, I have found that my approach to decision making and management often differs from that of my male counterparts. For example, I place a strong emphasis on collaboration and open communication within my team, which I believe fosters a more creative and inclusive work environment. Additionally, I prioritize work-life balance for my employees and actively promote diversity and inclusion.
The results of these practices have been overwhelmingly positive. My team is highly engaged, and we have a low turnover rate. We also have a diverse group of employees that bring a variety of perspectives and ideas to the table, which has led to more innovative solutions and a more dynamic company culture. Furthermore, our commitment to work-life balance has resulted in more productive and motivated employees. Studies have shown that companies with more women in leadership roles tend to be more profitable and have better governance. While there is still a long way to go to close the gender gap on executive roles, I believe that more women in leadership positions will bring positive changes to the business world and society as a whole.
What advice would you give to other women climbing the corporate ladder? In what areas would you encourage them to leave their mark?
As a female leader, I have found that one of the most important things is to have a clear vision and to communicate it effectively. I also believe in fostering a culture of open communication, where all team members feel heard and valued. I also think that it is important to lead by example and to be willing to take calculated risks. Lastly, having a strong support system—be it a mentor, a family member or a friend—can be incredibly helpful in navigating the unique challenges that women may face in the corporate world.
In terms of leaving a mark, I would encourage women to focus on areas where they can drive innovation and growth within the company. This could be through developing new products or services, exploring new markets, or implementing new technologies. I also think it's important to focus on diversity and inclusion, not just in terms of gender, but also in terms of race, age, and background. This can lead to a more inclusive and innovative culture, which leads to better decision making and ultimately better results.
One last piece of advice is to be confident in your capability, and not afraid to speak up. Possessing the knowledge and skills is only half the equation—you need to be able to communicate your ideas and stand behind them. Outside the office, focus on developing a strong professional network, both within and outside of your industry. This can be a valuable resource to help you navigate the corporate landscape and find opportunities.
Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the 5 Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective CRO?
- A visionary leader: An amazing chief revenue officer (CRO) is someone who can anticipate market trends, recognize opportunities, and develop a clear vision for driving revenue growth. As Peter Drucker, the famous management consultant and writer, said, "The best way to predict the future is to create it." A great CRO creates the future by identifying new and innovative ways to increase revenue.
- A skilled manager and motivator: A successful CRO is an exceptional leader, able to effectively manage and motivate their team to achieve revenue targets. As Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker, said, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing–that's why we recommend it daily." A CRO needs to create a sense of camaraderie and empower their team members to reach their full potential.
- A data-driven decision maker: A CRO needs to know how to use data and market analysis to inform decisions and optimize revenue performance. As Peter Drucker also said, "What gets measured gets improved." A CRO needs to possess the analytical skills to understand complex data sets and use them to make well-informed business decisions that drive growth.
- An effective communicator: It's so valuable for a CRO to clearly and effectively communicate with a wide range of stakeholders, including customers, sales and marketing teams, and senior leadership. As Anthony Robbins, a motivational speaker, said, "Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know." A CRO should understand how to tailor their communication style to different audiences and use it to build strong relationships and drive results.
- A customer-centric approach: Lastly, a CRO who has a deep understanding of the customer needs, preferences, and buying habits is one who will be successful. As Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, said, "You've got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology." Use this knowledge to develop products and services that meet customer needs and create long-lasting customer relationships that increase revenue over time.
You're a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring a great amount of good, what would that be?
I would advocate for a movement that promotes flexibility and understanding in the workplace for women's health and wellness. Specifically, I would support the idea of "period days," where women have the option to work from home or take a reduced paid sick day when needed, without fear of discrimination or negative consequences.
This would allow women to better manage their physical and emotional well-being during their menstrual cycles, without having to sacrifice their job performance or career advancement. It would also promote a more inclusive and understanding work culture, where the needs and experiences of all employees are valued and respected.
In addition, this movement would have a positive impact on the company as it would increase employee retention and job satisfaction, leading to a more productive, engaged and motivated workforce. Moreover, it would also help attract more women in the workforce, leading to a workforce that is much more diverse and well-rounded.
As a woman in a leadership position, I would use my platform to advocate for this movement and work towards creating more inclusive policies and practices. I encourage other female leaders to do the same, and to be vocal about the importance of valuing and supporting the health and well-being of all employees, regardless of gender.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I'm proud to have built a large following on Instagram where I share my journey and insights on building a successful business. I believe that by sharing my experiences and knowledge, I can inspire and empower others to pursue their own business ventures.
I also share my personal tips and strategies for success, both in the business world and in life. I am committed to using my platform to reach a wide audience and help as many people as possible achieve their goals and dreams. If you are interested in following my work online, you can find me on Instagram @miranda.bellamiproeducator