Season 3: Ask the Experts

038: Building Business Infrastructure for Scale

Alicia is the founder of Equilibria, Inc. – the world’s largest repository on business infrastructure for small businesses.  And it happened quite by accident.  In this episode, she candidly shares the story of how this came to be by weaving together the messaging of each expert featured in Season 3 while acknowledging the mistakes she’s made along the way.  In doing so, Alicia candidly describes how she created a methodology for business infrastructure and how you can implement it to position your company for growth that is manageable, sustainable and profitable.  Also included are highlights from a conversation with fellow business infrastructure expert, Paul Nicholaides who confirms the benefits of business infrastructure.  Together, they are doing their part to eliminate the knowledge gap prevalent with this unseen, yet vital business area.

Monologue by: Alicia Butler Pierre, CEO of Equilibria, Inc. and Host of Business Infrastructure Podcast

Special Appearance: Paul Nicholaides, Managing Partner/Principal Consultant at Tanic

Show Notes:

 

 

BONUS: Video Introduction to the KasennuTM Methodology

Download Your Free Report on Using the KasennuTM Methodology to Create a Business Process that Increases Cash Flow!

 

Related Episodes:

 

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037: Leveraging Culture to Drive Business Transformation

Just because the word “cult” is part of “culture,” it does not mean that your company has to function like one in order to attain sustainable success.  As small businesses grow larger, the transformation into becoming more corporate can be jolting and founders and employees alike may fear losing the very essence of what makes a business so special.  In this episode, Lakeisha Poole, a workplace futurist and expert in company culture, explains how a culture rooted in open communication and fairness can actually drive transformation in a positive direction.  Culture does not have to be cult-ish, not does it have to be toxic or adversarial to get things done.  Listen as Lakeisha shares her insights as an employment lawyer in defining the: 1) “untouchables” in an organization, 2) the 3 main issues that lead to workplace breakdown, and 3) how to make ethics and inclusion-focused leadership practical and tactical.

Show Notes:

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 014: Dispelling 4 Common Entrepreneur Myths about Business Growth
  • Episode 023: Attracting Top Talent to Your Small Business
  • Episode 028: Managing Virtual Teams in a Freelance Economy
  • Episode 035: Positioning Front Line Leadership for Success

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036: Executing Strategy with Project Management

Visionaries, whether executives or entrepreneurs, are great at developing and articulating strategy but may find difficulty in execution.  This is where Kim Farmer comes in.  As a certified project management professional with 30+ years in corporate business experience, she knows how to get stuff done!  In this episode, Kim graciously gives us an excellent primer on project management to help you take specific actions to achieve your company’s growth strategy.

No fluff, no B.S.  This is where the rubber meets the road and this episode is one of the most important to-date because it’s all about action!  Learn the 5 major questions to answer prior to beginning any project as well as the triple constraints you’ll have to balance throughout a project.  You’ll also find out how to identify, assemble and coordinate the people, processes and tools you’ll need to ensure your project’s success as Kim explains the Waterfall and Agile approaches to project management.  Be sure to check out the show notes below – they’re packed with great information to support you in planning and organizing your next project!

Special Guest: Kim Farmer, PMP – Solutions Delivery Manager at Crane Connectivity Solutions

Show Notes:

BONUS: 

Below is a project management diagram that Kim wanted to share with you.  It brilliantly illustrates the importance of clear communication to ensure all team members on a project understand the estimated scope, time and budget.

I also found a website, TemplateLab.com, where you can download different types of Gantt charts for FREE!  Gantt Charts are a useful tool to illustrate a project plan/schedule.  “It allows you to quickly see the status of any project and see how far along it is.  It also allows you to manage processes that depend on the completion of other processes. Mostly, Gantt Charts allow project managers to quickly give estimates about how long the project will take to complete.”

Here’s a video that explains how to create a simple, basic Gantt Chart in MS Excel:

And last, here’s a diagram that showcases the “triple constraints” that Kim referenced in her interview:

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 006: How Can I Implement Business Infrastructure in My Company?
  • Episode 008: The Lean Methodology: What It Is & How to Apply It to Your Small Business
  • Episode 021: Improving Quality in Healthcare Operations
  • Episode 034: Developing a Business Strategy for Sustainable Growth

 

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035: Positioning Front Line Leadership for Success

As your small business grows, it will eventually need a layer of middle management.  These front line leaders are the change agents who ensure the execution of your company’s growth strategy.  But they cannot live their proverbial best life unless you, as the top leader, help them realize their best work.  In this episode, leadership consulting expert Victoria Rodgers stresses the importance of putting “people before business.”

Discover the mindset shift required of both entrepreneurs-turned-executives and individual contributors-turned-supervisors-managing-others to cultivate operational excellence.  Victoria even makes the case for why business infrastructure is key to ensuring the right people are in the right roles and why even the best business processes aren’t always enough to keep good people around.  This episode is jammed packed with information so you’ll definitely want to download it for ongoing reference!

Special Guest: Victoria Rodgers, Market Development Director at TiER1 Performance Solutions.

Show Notes:

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 023: Attracting Top Talent to Your Small Business
  • Episode 031: Brainstorming Your Million Dollar Idea
  • Episode 034: Developing a Business Strategy for Sustainable Growth

 

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034: Developing a Business Strategy for Sustainable Growth

Strategy represents the vision, purpose and long-term position of a company, but it does you no good to develop one unless you “plan your work and work your plan.”  So says strategy expert Mark Pegues.  In this episode, Mark compares the relationship between strategy and execution to a camera – zoom in to execute and zoom out to strategically plan.  However, he warns, like business processes, a strategic plan is not meant to be shelved once developed but must be consistently leveraged to accomplish your company’s mission.  Learn Mark’s 12-point guide to developing and defining your business strategy and why you should never change it unless your business’ fundamental values change.

Special Guest: Mark Pegues, Founder and CEO of Ujaama Solutions

Show Notes:

Reinventing your Business Model Manos Giannadakis

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 020: Striking the Perfect Balance Between Marketing and Operations
  • Episode 025: Business Promises vs. Goals: Season 2 Reflections
  • Episode 029: Minimizing Risk with Decision Science

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033: Pricing for Profit

Kill Bill.”  Kill hourly billing to be exact.  This summarizes the sentiment of investment banker turned CFO-for-Hire and pricing consultant, John Ray.  John reminds us that our clients care most about results.  Therefore, charging the right price means having a value conversation with your clients to understand how to price.  In this episode, John unpacks the psychological factors involved in pricing, validates why pricing is the most important factor in profitability, and explains why you should stop billing your clients by the hour.  Listen as he also outlines the process for figuring out your client’s desires and charging a price that aligns with the premium experience you create for them.

Special Guest: John Ray, Founder & CEO at Ray Business Advisors, LLC.

Show Notes:

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 004: When is Business Infrastructure Needed?
  • Episode 007: Staffing Up While You Scale Up: Tips for Getting the Help You Need When You Need It
  • Episode 008: The Lean Methodology: What It Is & How to Apply It to Your Small Business
  • Episode 032: Running Your Business by the Numbers

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