115: Scaling from Zero to 100,000+ Active Customers with Tom Kulzer

When Tom Kulzer took on a side job during college selling wireless modems, he realized he needed an efficient way to follow up with potential customers. So he developed an email script that eventually led to AWeber – the world’s first email automation tool. As demand steadily grew, Tom began assembling a team. Together, they built a business infrastructure to sustainably support fast growth. Now, 20 years later, over 1 million small businesses have used AWeber, and 100,000 of them are active customers. In this episode, Tom provides the processes that laid the foundation for this scaling success story.

Special Guest: Tom Kulzer, Founder & CEO – AWeber

Location:  Chalfont, PA  USA

Show Notes:

  • AWeber’s Blog: AWeber’s online source for all things email marketing for small businesses. It includes how-to articles, video tutorials, case studies. It also features example emails that demonstrate how to convert visitors to customers and existing customers to repeat customers.
  • AWeber’s Newsletter: sign up for AWeber’s free digest of best-practice email marketing strategies and tips.
  • OmniFocus: a task management phone and web-based app designed to help busy professionals quickly capture and prioritize tasks. Available for Mac and iOS.
  • Confluence: Atlassian’s cloud-based app that encourages team collaboration through “…an open, connected structure allows information to flow freely among everyone at the organization.” A great place to store processes, checklists, templates and other job aids to facilitate daily operations and ensure consistent results.
  • Jira: a suite of work management software products covering requirements and test case management to agile software development.
  • Slack: a communication app ideal for remote teams that offers the ability to organize work updates by topic, private groups, and direct messaging.
  • 1Password: a password manager app offering a secure way to store and share passwords for your self or with an entire team.
  • G-Suite: an “…integrated suite of secure, cloud-native collaboration and productivity apps powered by Google AI. Includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more.”
  • Zoom: software that offers audio and video recording of webinars, conference calls, presentations, meetings, and more. Also includes screen sharing for enhanced collaboration.

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 042: Automating the Sales Process with Tim Bornholdt
  • Episode 050: Sparking Innovation & Sales via Intrapreneurship with Carl E. Reid
  • Episode 065: Jason Smith’s Sales Synergistics Process
  • Episode 067: Trace Blackmore’s Documenting SOPs Process
  • Episode 082: Scaling with SEO with Don Sevcik
  • Episode 112: Planning & Conducting Remote Meetings with Kimberly Fennell


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  • Producer & Host: Alicia Butler Pierre
  • Editor: Olanrewaju Ade
  • Sponsor: rVidi


More About Guest, Tom Kulzer:
Tom Kulzer is the founder and CEO at AWeber, the leading email marketing and automation platform for small businesses, where he is actively involved in the company’s strategic direction, growth, and evolution. Over the company’s 20-year history, Tom has nurtured AWeber from a small start-up to a robust organization, that has enabled over 1 million customers to grow their businesses, all without public or venture funding.

Tom laid the foundation for AWeber while working at a computer hardware firm in the mid-1990s, where he realized sales prospects were falling through the cracks due to lack of proper follow-up. By automating the delivery of personalized follow-up emails to prospects, companywide sales skyrocketed, and sales associates had additional time to spend pursuing new prospects.


More About Host, Alicia Butler Pierre:
Alicia Butler Pierre is the Founder & CEO of Equilibria, Inc. – a 15-year-old operations management consulting firm. Her career in operations began over 20 years ago while working in various chemical plants and oil refineries. She invented the Kasennu framework for business infrastructure and authored, Behind the Façade: How to Structure Company Operations for Sustainable Success.  It is the world’s first published book on business infrastructure for small businesses. Alicia hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure podcast with a global audience across 35+ countries.


More About Sponsor, rVidi:
rVidi is the easy app that lets you communicate via video soundbites in your own time in a public or private group setting. Learn more and download for free at  Currently available for iOS; Android development coming soon!

050: Sparking Innovation & Sales via Intrapreneurship with Carl E. Reid

In an ever-changing economic landscape, it’s difficult for small businesses to find salespeople willing to work on mostly commission.  Have you ever thought about empowering your existing employees to become intrapreneurs?   IBM started this concept of intrapreneurship as an affordable, alternative way to foster innovation and sales while bringing new products and services to market faster.  In this episode, technology and leadership development consultant Carl E. Reid defines what an intrapreneur is and shares how he develops intrapreneurship programs to help clients dramatically increase their sales.  Learn why the edification process is key to maximizing the outcome.

Special Guest: Carl E. Reid, Founder & CEO – Savvy Intrapreneur

Location:  New York, NY  USA

Show Notes:

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 013: The Process of Networking
  • Episode 014: Dispelling 4 Common Entrepreneur Myths About Business Growth
  • Episode 023: Attracting Top Talent to Your Small Business
  • Episode 035: Positioning Front Line Leadership for Success
  • Episode 045: Using Organization Design to Drive Innovation with Ron Carucci

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042: Automating the Sales Process with Tim Bornholdt

As an app developer, Tim Bornholdt is no stranger to process automation.  Yet it wasn’t until he “put up a mirror” to his own company’s sales process, that he realized they were losing sales as a result of different people doing the same work in different ways.  So he automated the sales process leading to service consistency, better tracking and ultimately increased sales conversion.  Listen as he shares tips on selecting the right people and technologies to leverage during the process automation journey.

Special Guest: Tim Bornholdt, Partner at The Jed Mahonis Group

Location: St. Louis Park, MN  USA

Show Notes:


Related Episodes:

  • Episode 008: The Lean Methodology: What It Is & How to Apply It To Your Small Business
  • Episode 018: How AI Technology Can Scale Your Business
  • Episode 030: Connecting Your Software for Maximum Productivity

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