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114: Validating Software Product Ideas with Ronan Walsh

Digital technology is great for streamlining various back-office operations. With it being in abundance, validating ideas to offer software as a service (SaaS) is critical. Yet, Ronan Walsh warns, “Many SaaS companies set about creating an MVP [Minimum Viable Product] before ever speaking to a customer.” As the founder of a leading digital marketing company, he’s seen many people make this mistake. In this episode, he verbally maps out a process for researching, validating, and testing software product ideas before developing an MVP.

Special Guest: Ronan Walsh – Founder & CEO of Digital Trawler

Location:  Limerick, Munster  IRELAND

Show Notes:

  • The Mom Test – How to Talk to Customers & Learn if Your Business is a Good Idea when Everyone is Lying to You: a book by Rob Fitzpatrick.
  • Strategyzer:  an app that allows you to rapidly sketch out business ideas with the Business Model & Value Proposition Canvas.  Design, test, and share business models and value propositions with your team in real-time to determine if an idea is worth pursuing before making further investments.
  • Business Model & Value Proposition Canvas:  a website where you can download these FREE templates.  The “Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool.  it allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model.”  The “Value Proposition Canvas helps you tackle the core challenges of every business – creating compelling products and services customers want to buy.”
  • Google Tools:
    • Forms: an excellent resource for creating surveys and streamlining the process for collecting and reporting data from those surveys.
    • Data Studio: Google’s free data visualization tool.
    • Keyword Planner: Google’s tool to help you choose the words that will yield the greatest attention to your online content and ads.
    • Ads: Google’s online advertising platform where “…advertisers bid to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users. It can place ads both in the results of search engines like Google Search and on non-search websites, mobile apps, and videos.”
  • Yet Another Mail Merge: a software add-on for Google Gmail that streamlines the process for creating and distributing email campaigns.
  • Facebook Ads: an easy and effective way to reach your audience, build brand awareness, and grow sales with online advertising.

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 018: How AI Technology Can Scale Your Business with Scott Evans
  • Episode 074: Love Hudson-Maggio’s Data Management Process
  • Episode 096: Using Customer Intelligence to Improve Operations with Adam Hayes

 

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Credits_______________

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

 

More About Guest, Ronan Walsh:
Ronan Walsh is the owner and founder of Digital Trawler – a SaaS Marketing Agency based in Ireland. Digital Trawler helps companies with their marketing strategy and messaging and have experts in SEO and paid social media advertisements. They also help SaaS companies identify their target customers, discover where those people are online, and develop strategies to get them to your site. If you’re a marketing manager or curious founder, Ronan and his team can do some of the heavy lifting by acting as mentors guiding you through  product validation and SEO processes.

 

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 rVidi.com.  Currently available for iOS; Android development coming soon!

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113: Educating Students During a Pandemic with Rachna Nath

COVID-19 leveled the playing field of veteran and neophyte teachers alike. The sudden pivot to remote instruction forced technology adoption at a record pace. But the steep learning curve hasn’t slowed Rachna Nath down. As a STEM and entrepreneurship educator, she’s used to thinking innovatively. In this episode, she describes her unique process for expanding her network beyond the traditional high school ecosystem to offer students a first-class experience backed by collegiate resources.

Special Guest: Rachna Nath – STEM Coordinator & Science Teacher at Arizona College Prep, Erie Campus

Location:  Chandler, AZ  USA

Show Notes:

  • Lemelson-MIT: a STEM-based program facilitated by MIT’s School of Engineering, named after the prolific inventor, Gerald Lemelson, that “…celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. To date, the [Lemelson] Foundation has made grants totaling over $200 million in support of its mission.”
  • Google Classroom: a free web-based software offering educators the ability to efficiently manage and assess student progress, while enhancing connections with students and parents from school, from home, or on the go.
  • MS Teams: a web and phone-based communication and collaboration app that combines chat, video meetings, file storage, and more.
  • Kami: an app designed to change the way that teachers and students interact in the classroom by offering the ability to annotate pdfs, worksheets, and more.
  • Loom: video recording software that can bring your whiteboarding or other demonstrations to life with your virtual team.
  • Zoom: software that offers audio and video recording of webinars, conference calls, presentations, meetings, and more. Also includes screen sharing for enhanced collaboration
  • Micro Nanotechnology Special Interest Group (MNTSIG): an organization that, “…fosters collaboration between educators at all levels, industry, and agencies for [the] relentless improvement of the micro and nanotechnology workforce.”

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 028: Managing Virtual Teams in a Freelance Economy with Sherry Heyl
  • Episode 069: Calvin Williams’ Service Delivery Process
  • Episode 092: Preparing for the Unexpected in Daily Operations with Joseph Powell
  • Episode 112: Planning & Conducting Remote Events with Kimberly Fennell

 

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Credits_______________

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

 

More About Guest, Rachna Nath:
Rachna Nath is an internationally and nationally recognized innovator who is also an entrepreneur, grant writer, STEM enthusiast, and a passionate educator. She has two masters, the first one in Entomology (Insect Science) from Cotton College, India, and the second one in Biology (Developmental Genetics) from Arizona State University working with Honey Bee Exocrine gland ontology. She has won several awards around the world and has also received grants from organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Human Urban Initiatives, and the Society for Science and the Public.

Rachna works with young entrepreneurs to make their dreams come true by working with community partners and helping patent their ideas. She has a network of trusted IT professionals, lawyers, community helpers who help bring dreams to reality for 9th to 12th-grade students who are invested in critical thinking, problem-solving, and giving back to the community by solving real-world problems. She has 3 patents pending from such students in various prototypes from Anti-VOC scent bags to heat stress monitoring devices. Rachna also does a lot of volunteering work talking about honey bees at various festivals, has contributed her time in mask making during the COVID19 pandemic, and also runs a dance school Sangeeta Nritya Academy in the U.S. which she has dedicated to her Guru Sangita Hazarika in Assam, India.

 

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 rVidi.com.  Currently available for iOS; Android development coming soon!

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112: Planning & Conducting Remote Events with Kimberly Fennell

When Kimberly Fennell graduated from college, she had trouble finding a full-time job. A chance reading of Entrepreneur magazine sparked the idea to start a business support company. 17 years later, her company continues to offer remote administrative services that support back-office operations. Her foresight has paid off, especially during the pandemic, as demand for converting offline activities to online grows. In this episode, she details the entire behind-the-scenes process for conducting remote events.

Special Guest: Kimberly Fennell – Founder & CEO, EBS Administrative Services

Location:  Garnerville, NY  USA

Show Notes:

  • 7 Tips To Turn Your Physical Event Into A Virtual Event: an article on Thinkific by Elise Asanias detailing the steps to convert offline events online. Includes links to specific courses and technologies.
  • Business Rules for Women: an organization offering different digital masterclasses and conferences.
  • How Business Rules for Women Pivoted to Virtual Using Socio’s Platform: an article describing the process and technology used by Business Rules for Women to convert their traditional in-person events to digital.
  • Powered by Sage: website of a company offering “…event management and consulting and video development services to entrepreneurs of all sizes and empower our clients to launch breakthrough brands, produce profitable events, and build ongoing momentum for ongoing business success.”
  • 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.”
  • Click Funnels: a software tool with templates for building website and sales funnels that convert online visitors into customers.
  • Facebook Live for Businesses: an application within Facebook that “…lets you livestream events, performances and gatherings on Facebook. Viewers can watch from a phone, computer or connected TV. Reactions, shares, comments, and other interactive features enable you to engage with your audience.”
  • Software for Hosting Online Events with Screen Sharing Option:
  • Yet Another Mail Merge: a software add-on for Google Gmail that streamlines the process for creating and distributing email campaigns.
  • Email Marketing Tools that Now Offer Landing Pages:

Difference Between a Website and a Landing Page:

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 007: Staffing Up While You Scale Up: Tips for Getting the Help You Need When You Need It with Essie Escobedo
  • Episode 043: Becoming an Online Influencer with Heather Havenwood
  • Episode 051:Designing a Digital Content Management Process with Alicia Butler Pierre
  • Episode 101: Creating a Learning Culture to Enhance Operations with Jay Hassell

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Credits_______________

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

 

More About Guest, Kimberly Fennell:
Kimberly Fennell has been behind the scenes “supporting the success” of entrepreneurs, small business owners, creative professionals, and organizations for almost 20 years. From project management and event support to consulting and administrative assistance, Kimberly has leveraged her administrative skills to assist a variety of companies including independent consultants, digital marketing companies, accounting firms and nonprofit organizations.

In 2003, Kimberly formed Entertainment Business Support (d/b/a EBS Administrative Services), a certified minority/woman-owned administrative support company that perfectly collides her passion for helping others and various business strengths. Fueled by another passion, her love for the arts, Kimberly also founded Biz Savvy Artist™ in 2013. Through Biz Savvy Artist™ she assists independent artists in various fields and creative professionals with the tools, resources, training, and support to start and grow their businesses.

Hailing from the suburbs of New York City, Kimberly is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University’s Mass Media Arts Department and entrepreneurship courses offered by the Women’s Economic Development Agency and Entrepreneur Development Network.  She is a proud mompreneur with two children, whose hobbies encompass various aspects of the arts including dance, theater, music, and movies.

    

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 rVidi.com.  Currently available for iOS; Android development coming soon!

Please share with your network:

111: Leading Data-Driven Improvements with Christine Yeager

Being amicable doesn’t mean you can’t get the job done. And Christine Yeager is living proof. She’s quickly moved up the ranks at one of the world’s most recognized brands and leads large-scale data projects across their supply chain. In this episode, she compares and contrasts two of those projects and reveals how developing technical acumen is only part of her success equation. The other part involves her HAP process. Listen in to learn more about it.

Special Guest: Christine Yeager, Director Annual and Long Range Planning – The Coca-Cola Company

Location:  Atlanta, GA  USA

Show Notes:

  • Kanban boards: learn more about what a kanban board is and how to use it to visualize your company’s workflows on this website by Kanbanize.
  • What’s the Difference? Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall vs Kanban: an article by Smartsheet exploring the different types of project management frameworks and details about the Agile method for incremental software development and improvement.
  • 5 Fun Sprint Retrospective Ideas with Templates: an article by Katrina Morales describing different templates to implement the project retrospective concept Christine mentioned in her interview.
  • Updated Empathy Map Canvas: an article by Dave Gray, founder of XPLANE, where he explains what an empathy map is and how his company uses it. It includes a downloadable template that you can use in your company.
  • SessionLab: a dynamic, online portal that provides resources to design your workshop and collaborate with co-facilitators. Check out their techniques, activities, and resources for conducting empathy workshops.
  • SAP: an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that “…helps companies of all sizes across all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system.” With close to half a million customers in 180 countries, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software.
  • Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast: a podcast hosted by Certified Scrum Master, Agile Coach and business consultant Vasco Duarte. Every weekday he “…interviews Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches from all over the world to get you actionable advice, new tips and tricks, improve your craft as a Scrum Master with daily doses of inspiring conversations with Scrum Masters from the all over the world.”
  • Happy Women Live Better: 13 Ways to Trigger Your Happiness Every Day: a book by Valorie Burton.
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success: a book by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
  • Growth Mindset Institute: a professional organization that serves as a hub for consulting, assessments, training, and other resources centered around the growth mindset concept as introduced by Dr. Carol S. Dweck.
  • What is Emotional Intelligence?: learn more about EQ in this article by Psychology Today.

Watch Diana Wu David Explain Minimum Viable Product and the Art of Using Data to Determine Pricing as Seen and Heard Here on BusinessInfrastructure.TV: 

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 036: Executing Strategy with Project Management – Kim Farmer
  • Episode 042: Automating the Sales Process with Tim Bornholdt
  • Episode 066: Diana Wu David’s Pricing Process
  • Episode 070: Mariela Dabbah’s Building an Alliance Process
  • Episode 074: Love Hudson-Maggio’s Data Management Process
  • Episode 108: Improving I.T. Project Delivery with Joseph Garfield

 

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Credits_______________

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

 

More About Guest, Christine Yeager:
Christine Yeager’s philosophy is to step out of her comfort zone – being uncomfortable can lead to growth potential. As a Texan, Leo, and an extrovert who lives life with a little flair, she believes people should never stop trying to learn new things.  Throughout her career, she has created opportunities to make connections that steer towards the most impactful work. She is an inspired leader rooted in embracing the differences each team member brings and discover-ing the value we can create together. Christine has spearheaded teams and empowered them to deliver capabilities. She’s also built processes, tools, and integrations that begin to unravel the web to trusted product information from brand names to nutrition information to dimensions and shelf space of the product.

Throughout her career, Christine has come to recognize the importance of a safe and welcoming work environment where her peers can bring their whole self to where she has worked, Coca-Cola North America, for the last 9 years. Beyond her work, she believes the cocktail is right for social enterprises to be the new successful businesses of the private sector. Luckily, Coca-Cola sees that as well and has many different avenues where it is getting involved in the objectives of social enterprise through its foundation and initiatives like 5by20, becoming water neutral, and a world without waste. Christine has an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business and a B.S. from Clemson University.

    

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 rVidi.com.  Currently available for iOS; Android development coming soon!

Please share with your network:

110: Outsourcing Content Creation with Nigel Washington

Content is the currency of choice in the Digital Age. You must have a system for consistently producing and distributing it. And not just any content, but content that attracts leads and converts them into customers. The challenge is finding the time to do so. Nigel Washington has the antidote. His company, ContentMates.com, has a streamlined process for delivering quality content in just 2-3 days! Find out how they do it.

Special Guest: Nigel Washington, Founder & CEO – ContentMates.com

Location:  Morgantown, WV  USA

Show Notes:

  • StoryChief.io: software that puts everything you need to organize, structure, and publish your content marketing.
  • Service Provider Pro: an e-commerce shopping cart and CRM software for selling and delivering productized services.
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator: LinkedIn’s online lead management, prospecting and sales tool. It syncs with your Customer Relationship Management software to streamline communications and notes.
  • Loom: video recording software that can bring your whiteboarding or other demonstrations to life with your virtual team.

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 039: Using Processes for Structure & Consistent Results with Paul Nicholaides
  • Episode 041: Streamlining the Book Writing Process with Win Kelly Charles
  • Episode 051: Designing a Digital Content Management Process with Alicia Butler Pierre
  • Episode 081: Outsourcing Core Competencies with Phoebe Cornog

Like What You Heard? Please Leave a Review on Apple Podcasts

                                         

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Credits_______________

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

 

More About Guest, Nigel Washington:
Nigel Washington is the founder of ContentMates.com, a premium content writing service, that specializes in helping small businesses and agencies get high-quality content from experienced and proven writers.

 

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 rVidi.com.  Currently available for iOS; Android development coming soon!

Please share with your network:

107: Leveling Up Health Data Security with Susan Blais

“Know your workflows!” Sage advice from Susan Blais as she described her experience in choosing the best technologies to optimize her sales and client engagement processes. As a Long-Term Care Professional (LTCP) she knew her decisions must be rooted in data security and HIPAA compliance. Now, she has a strong foundation in place to handle surges in demand for LTCP insurance. Learn how Susan reached this point and expand your knowledge about LTCP along the way.

Special Guest: Susan Blais, Founder & CEO – Susan Blais Insurance

Location:  Paso Robles, CA   USA

Show Notes:

  • 7 Keys to Being Well Taken Care of When You Need it Most: Download Susan’s free ebook about Long-Term Care insurance – 7 Keys Ebook – Susan Blais
  • Salesforce: a cloud-based, integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that brings companies and customers together.
  • HIPAA: the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act – a law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1996 designed to enforce policies, rules, and regulations to reduce health care fraud and abuse, including the protection of patient data.
  • Fiverr: a digital platform matching service providers with potential customers.  Susan referenced Fiverr as the resource she leveraged to find a Salesforce consultant.
  • Match My Email: a software that imports emails directly into Salesforce for streamlined communication. It enables email integration with Office 365, Apple Mail, IMAP, GoDaddy, Zimbra, Rackspace, and more. Match My Email is the gold standard in email syncing and logging tools for Salesforce.
  • Paubox: a HIPAA-compliant email system providing secure and data-encrypted communication for modern healthcare.
  • Acuity: a web-based scheduling tool.

The Key to Long Term Planning & Care with Susan Blais (Susan’s Interview on Operation Freedom):

Related Episodes:

  • Episode 021: Improving Quality in Healthcare Operations with Jarvis Gray
  • Episode 049: Vetting Doctors to Promote Patient Safety with Dilsa Bailey
  • Episode 074: Love Hudson-Maggio’s Data Management Process

 

Like What You Heard? Please Leave a Review on Apple Podcasts

                                         

Subscribe for FREE Wherever You Listen to Podcasts, Including: 

    

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Credits_______________

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

 

More About Guest, Susan Blais:
Susan Blais is a certified Long-Term Care Professional (LTCP) who has helped thousands of individuals, families, and business owners lay the foundation for self-reliance in their elder years.  She has a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, along with professional coach certification from Coach Training Institute. This training helps her counsel families on how best to communicate their needs and desires to their loved ones in addition to preparing financially for their care.

As an independent advisor, she is not tied to any specific insurance company and can scan the market for the right product for each client. She treats each client as a friend and seeks to find the solution that is just right for them, without any kind of pressure. She sees herself as a guide who points the way and offers options, letting each client come to the decision that is in their own best interest.  Susan is a member of several professional organizations and enjoys giving back by offering workshops on various topics to community members. She is active in charities that help rescue children and animals from abusive or negligent situations.  For fun, she enjoys adventure travel, hiking with friends and dogs, and a good glass of wine while reading a thought-provoking book.

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 rVidi.com.  Currently available for iOS; Android development coming soon!

Please share with your network: