Look inside IO Rodeo's growth model

A break down of how IO Rodeo shifted from services to products

Low Energy Link of the Week

Danielle Levy is one of my go to experts when it comes to operating smarter in my business. When she launched The Ultimate 90-Day Planner, my ears perked up at the streamlined simplicity and I think yours will too.

There are so many decisions that you have to make when running a business and it can feel like you’re on a constant learning curve.

Jo Long, Co-founder of IO Rodeo

This is the story of how IO Rodeo shifted their business model from selling services to selling products.

IO Rodeo designs and sells open source science hardware. They work with educators, students, research labs, community groups and hobbyists. They’ve been in business over 13 years! In the early days, they offered consulting work on scientific research projects around the world. But in the last few years, they wanted to pivot away from consulting to mainly selling their hardware.

Co-founders Jo Long and Will Dickson are experts in scientific research. They hold PhDs in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Mathematics and they’ve led significant research at world renowned institutions.

Suffice it to say they are very smart, capable people.

And even though they had a passionate audience, they found it wasn’t easy to get people buying on a regular basis. As Jo said, “We assumed there must be something wrong with our offer. As it turns out, our designs and products were fine, we simply hadn’t matched them with the right audience.”

Jo and Will are experimenters by nature so in August 2022, they joined Growthtrackers to move faster to connect their products to their audience.

Through working with Growthtrackers, I started to put myself and the business out there, which has resulted in massive growth to our business partnerships and visibility.

Jo Long, Co-founder of IO Rodeo

Inside Growthtrackers, they learned ways to build and strengthen strategic partnerships. They already had an impressive email list but they also learned how to leverage it more to their advantage. And they had loads of untapped customer and industry fans.

Jo shaped up an experiment backlog and joined the group every month to bring fresh tests online, analyze how they went and tune them into even better results the next month. Her secret to cracking the sales gap was speeding up her learning about what would work and what wouldn’t.

Jo and Lex on a Growthtrackers call

Now, you can catch Jo and Will giving talks around the open hardware space, forming co-promotion partnerships, writing their popular newsletter and fostering their customer community. This has resulted in:

  • Multiplied new leads and sales

  • Expanded partners from 1 to 5

  • Re-engaged thousands of past customers

  • Boosted web traffic and visibility

  • Established tracking systems to get more insight into their audience

Jo’s major takeaway in her words: “Another key learning from Growthtrackers was that one of the big advantages of being a small business is that you’re in a position to build deeper relationships with your customers.”

Isn’t that the truth. The most valuable audience is the one you already have. Want to know more? You can read the full IO Rodeo feature on my website.

Taking back our time together—

P.S. I switched email platforms and this week’s edition is fresh from Beehiiv. If you’re interested in why I switched, reply and I’ll share more!

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