Scale With Less Pain With Alicia Butler Pierre

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast, today we have Alicia Butler Pierre. Welcome, Alicia.

Hi Thomas. Thank you for having me.

My pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Sure. Well in a nutshell, I scale fast growing small companies with less pain and I do that primarily through what I call business infrastructure and I have a business, a consulting business that I’ve had for 15 years now where I help other help. These fast growing small companies do exactly that scale with less pain unless chaos. I’ve done a little bit of searching around the web of your content and everything like that. And one of the things which I thought was interesting was how you said about how businesses have a sort of organised or well structured, outward facing appearance. But behind the scenes, it’s all, as you say, chaos. Yes.

Sure. And I’m so glad you started off with this you know Thomas for so many of us, small business owners, the emphasis is really on marketing, branding, PR, press and rightfully so in sales because obviously if we don’t have customers or clients, we won’t have a business. But my I make the argument of what happens when the money and the time and the effort that you have invested in those marketing and sales related activities it actually starts to pay off and now you have a different type of problem. Now you have more business than you may be able to handle. Let’s think about the pandemic, for example. I don’t know if this is this is the case where you live but certainly where I live, toilet tissue for example, and hand sanitizer. It was difficult to find certain types of personal protective equipment because all of a sudden there’s a surge in the demand for your product or service and if you don’t have that business infrastructure or the operational processes in place to facilitate that your business still runs the risk of imploding and ultimately failing.

And so I talk a lot, Thomas, as you’ve mentioned about erecting this facade, whether intentionally or unintentionally. And that happens because of the marketing efforts that we engage in because obviously we want to attract as many customers and clients as we possibly can but does the outward image that you’ve built work and work so hard to project on the outside, Does your company operate and function behind the scenes and in as good a manner as it looks on the outside. So that’s what I talk about quite a bit whenever I’m speaking. I’ve written a book about it and I also podcast about this very topic. Well, I know you probably see lots of different, shall we say, variables in complexities about what you do. But do you find that there are some common themes of people commonly get this particular thing wrong in their business? Absolutely. I can tell you by far.

Well, it really does fall into three categories. Actually, there’s the people aspect as companies are growing very quickly. They obviously need help now, whether you have actual employees or you outsource that work to other people, the idea is you have to start building a team that kind of raises the question of do you have transparent, well documented, succinct job descriptions in other words, have you taken the time to actually document what these different team members should be doing once they start working with your company or for your company? The other category that I’ve noticed Thomas falls under the umbrella of processes. So once you hire people are, as you add members to your team, they need to not only know what work needs to be performed, but they also need to know how to do that work so that whatever your product or services, you want to make sure that it is consistently delivered regardless of who is actually providing that product or service.

That’s where processes come into play in so many of these fast growing small companies and I don’t want to just pick on small companies because this happens to companies honestly of any size, but they don’t take the time to actually transfer the knowledge that’s in people’s heads and get that onto paper. And then the third category lies in tools and technologies oftentimes we, some of us may fall victim to that shiny object syndrome where we are early adopters and we force our processes to fit a particular technology instead of the other way around making sure the technology actually fits the work that we’re doing. And so there can also be a redundancy of efforts as you start to invest in these different technologies, they may not integrate nicely with each other or synchronised data seamlessly. And so then you have another issue on your hands. So those are usually the three main categories or buckets of where the issues that I usually that I’ve seen over the past 15 years, they usually fall into one of those one or maybe all three of those categories.

I’m sure there is an awful lot of people who are businesses where they get a piece of tech, like a piece of software or something and they work around the software rather than having the right piece of software for them. Sure that happened, May even be guilty of that one and it’s easy to do. It’s very easy to do think about it. You might have Dropbox to store documentation, you may have another, you may have a CRM to store all of your contacts and then you may have some other solution that you use to manage and process payments and those three tools just as an example, they really need to be able to talk to each other to to synchronise data to integrate the connection so that you don’t have to do double entry unnecessarily, that’s the whole point of having technology right? Is to make our lives easier and more streamlined and more efficient.

But what often happens, Thomas, is that we end up having to do that duplicate data entry all because these technologies don’t really play nice with each other sometimes. Is this something that comes into your business manual? The process manual that you create for businesses? It absolutely does. And I’m glad you asked that question because I’ve even seen this. So sometimes I also will do work for very large companies. So this again, this is an issue across the board whether we’re talking about a very small micro enterprise or a very large publicly traded organisation. What happens is that salespeople are very good at what they do and they can sell you on a, let’s just take a technology, a digital technology, for example, a software And they may say Thomas this oh this is going to make your life so much easier. It’s gonna shave 50% of your time that you’re spending on doing a particular function in your company.

Oh everything is going to be so much better once you invest and purchase this technology and you’re sold and you invest in this and then you realise you actually have to adapt and modify and force the way that you currently do things process wise into using this technology and it’s not always a perfect fit. So instead of us finding technologies that streamline the way we already do things, we often times invest in the technology 1st and then realise, oh wait a minute. This actually this actually is going to cause more work for us. Instead of making things more efficient, it’s actually going to increase the amount of time that it takes to perform a certain task or a certain function. So is it like an operations manual that you create? Absolutely.

That’s exactly what it is. And something that I have been exploring even more Thomas is I’ve always been a fan of not creating faulty operations manuals. So many people don’t keep the physical Operations manual that we that we may be thinking of, you know, from maybe just even 10, 15 years ago. So I’ve always been a fan of leveraging, video, leveraging, things that are already out there that other people may have captured. So, templates, checklists. A process doesn’t always necessarily have to be in the form of a traditional standard operating procedure. You can get very creative with how you capture these processes. So I’ve always been a fan of capturing them digitally so that they can easily be shared, especially now, you know, with, with so many more people working remotely. It’s even more critical that you have these processes easily accessible.

The one thing that I started to really explore in 2020 are these other these knowledge base and Wiki tools that are available to us as consumers. Um, and these are cloud based and it’s absolutely phenomenal and it’s working so much better in my opinion than even something like a Dropbox or a Google Drive. For example, with these knowledge bases in some of them, you have the ability to actually not only put your processes into these knowledge based tools, but you can also upload things like your checklist, different job aids that you may have. You may have different templates that you’re using. Like scripts for example, you can also upload images. So it’s such a robust and far more complete tool than even just storing documents individually on a cloud based solution, like a Dropbox.

I mean the reason why they had the question about that specifically is because I have heard many times that I should have a operations manual for the business, but my let’s say objection and maybe you can correct my thinking on this one. Is that a lot of time investment goes into it, but then someone doesn’t get used. It sort of sits in the background, what is that false? Or is there some sort of way that you can make sure that doesn’t happen. So yes and no, you’re correct. So, so in that traditional sense of having a physical operations manual, you’re absolutely right. A lot of times, people would take the time effort and energy into documenting these procedures. They may even include flow charts and process maps and then it would just sit on a shelf and collect dust that would never get used because once people understand how to do something, it’s very rare that they go back and reference those materials.

However, it’s a new day Thomas. And so I’ll just share with you a tool that I have been advocating pretty heavily for the past several months and it’s called If you get a chance, I want you to check out that site, it is a knowledge base and what you can do, let’s just say for example, if you already know your company’s departments, let’s say you have a marketing department and operations HR technology and a legal compliance. So that’s five departments that I’ve named. You can actually go into a tool like notion and there are others, but you can actually go into that tool, you can create what’s known as a workspace that corresponds to each of your departments. And then within that you would have all of the information that other people who help. You can reference that way. They don’t have to keep bugging you like Thomas.

Where’s the where’s your bio? I need to see your bio. I’m trying to submit you for the such and such award or Thomas. Where’s that checklist? I know you said that you wanted me to do X. But I can’t find why in order to do that and it’s going to get everyone into the habit of going into that one tool to look for all of the information that they need. So what will happen is, let’s just take your marketing workspace as an example. You might have on that on that page. Within that workspace, you can actually have links to all of your social media profiles. If there are specific processes that you have for the way that you promote your podcast, you would have that information in there. If there is a script that you have to solicit guests for your podcast, you can even put that in there. It’s almost like building an internal website for your own company where you can actually link two things that you have internally within your organisation as well as externally.

So when you have a podcast guest and those appearances always show up in the form of YouTube videos, you can actually have within this knowledge base. You can have the name of each guest, the episode number, the title of that episode and you can then put a link to that particular video on YouTube that way, if there are other people on your team and I’m just using this as an example. But if you have someone on your team that actually does most of the promotional work for you, that person would know exactly where to go to get all of the information that pertains to a particular episode and your work is done. That’s the beauty of stepping into the more modern form of what an operations manual can do for you. It is a living breathing tool that you constantly can change and update and because everything is online it just makes it so much easier to quickly update things as you need to good answer.

All right, so definitely check that out. I will, I definitely will. What does it mean to leave it better than you found it? Okay. Oh wow. You’re asking such great questions. That is that is my mantra Thomas and it’s something that came as a result of after my first several years in business. I don’t know about you. But I’m a perfectionist and as a consultant I would get really dismayed, especially when working with larger organisations is definitely a more prevalent issue in comparison to the smaller companies because with smaller businesses, if I suggested something because they’ve paid for it and they’ve had to really think about whether or not to invest in my services, they are going to implement the recommendations that I may suggest. But when it comes to the larger companies, they might not always they’ll pay you, but they won’t always necessarily implement the things that you may recommend.

And I had to learn to come to peace with that because a lot of times I would get so worked up over it and I would get, I would internalise it and say, well I wonder why they didn’t, you know, yes, they paid me. But, but I want this. You know, I want them to do this. You know, I can’t believe they won’t do this. But a lot of times I don’t have an appreciation for the politics that might be going on in the background. And I had to start to understand and appreciate that, you know, what Alicia compared to what you’ve encountered when you first started working with a particular client versus what it looked like once you completed your work, did you at least leave it better than the way you found it? And that is my, that is how I measure success with each client. Is that something that you learned externally to the business and applied to it? Or is that something that you kind of came up with, what you were doing your work?

That’s a principle you could use right across the board. Absolutely. It’s, it’s definitely internally across the board, something that I had to, because I would get, so I I would really take it to heart Thomas if, you know, if you’ve paid me money and I’m suggesting something to you and we’re working together and you in the end, you just don’t do it or you might not do everything that I suggested, I would, I would get really upset about it because I’m like, oh my gosh, you know, we were doing so well and okay if you just only did these other couple of things that I suggested, Oh my gosh, look at what this would do for you. But I had to just, you know, and it’s, it’s part of me being a perfectionist, I had to understand that you did the best that you could, you did everything that you could and you left it better or you left that person at least in a better situation than when you originally started working with a particular person.

So it definitely was something internal and not something that someone else had to necessarily teach me from the outside, definitely a good philosophy to have. Anyway, thank you, coming back to the process topic that we covered. Do you do any process mapping? Yes, I do an extensive amount of that’s actually my specialty process mapping. Well, I have a very surface level knowledge of it. So if you wouldn’t mind maybe summarising it and then perhaps going into it a little bit more for me. Sure. So for your listeners, if you aren’t familiar with the term process mapping, you’re probably, you may be accustomed to hearing at it of it as as a flow chart or flow charting or developing a workflow. I know that’s another popular term. Now, a process, let’s, let’s first think about what a process actually is a process is. Nothing more and the sequence of steps that are necessary to produce a desired result.

one way to think about it first, before you actually start to draw out a process map or flow chart or workflow diagram, I always suggest that you think of the procedure first and what I mean by that is, let’s say if we were making lemonade, always like to use lemonade as an example. So you have your ingredients, there are the steps to producing two to making that lemonade and then there’s certain equipment that you have to have in place. All three of those elements are necessary if you want to make sure that every single time a batch of lemonade is made, that it will always have the same consistency and that it will always taste the same. Now how do you do that? You have to be very specific with how you write out that procedure? Well, when we’re talking about food related things, food and beverage related things, we think of that as a recipe.

Right? So think about it that way. Your process is nothing more than your recipes for success in your business for how you do the things that you do in your own company. So once you write out those steps which would include the use of the special tools and equipment that’s needed. So step one, you do this step to, you do this. Step three, Step four, so forth and so on, then you’re in a position, a better position to actually start to map that out. What that means. Is that you would I always sketch it out by hand first before I use any type of software just so that I can understand and get all of my thoughts out on paper first. Different people have different ways of doing it. But this is just my preferred way. So I usually grab a sheet of paper and if you could just imagine for every single step that you’ve written out as your recipe or as your procedure, I want you to draw every single one of those.

I want you to write out every single one of those steps and you’re going to draw a box around each step now. Normally most people, they would just have arrows connecting one box to the to the next to show the sequence. Okay, you start with this box then as you follow the arrow, you go to the next step, so forth and so on. But I want you to think of conditional statements, what are conditional statements? That is when you ask yourself, you’re basically playing Devil’s advocate. And what I mean by that is I want you to start poking holes in your process. I want you to start to ask yourself where can things go wrong Or is there some type of decision that can be made at any one of these steps in this overall procedure or recipe for example, one of the steps could be ad X grams of sugar, for example.

And you may ask, pose the question well or it could be a certain type of sugar, let’s say brown sugar for example, you may say, well I don’t have what if I don’t have that amount of brown sugar, what do I do then? Does the process just stop or is there a workaround? So whenever you ask a question like that and there are different paths that you can then take depending on the answer to that question or that decision point, you always want to draw that a diamond around it. For example, let me let me think of something else just really quickly. So you may ask once the lemonade, let’s say the final step in your process is to do a taste test, how does it taste? And does it have the consistency? Does it meet the specifications now that this batch of lemonade has been made? Does it meet the specifications? That question would be in the on the inside of a diamond on your process map?

And it would just, the question would just simply be does the lemonade meet the specifications? If the answer is yes, then you can package up your lemonade and that might take you onto another process where you actually package and distribute your lemonade. But if the answer is no that can lead you down another series of steps. So it would be your job to figure out well what went wrong in the process of me producing this particular batch of lemonade that caused it to not meet the specifications. And so you would kind of type out those steps as well. This is, this can be very rigorous, but here’s the benefit of it. It gets you to thinking about what to do in the event that something goes wrong too often people right out processes or they map out processes and they don’t take the time to think of these, these critical decision points and what can happen is that people will run into issues.

There will be times, it could be that you have the loss of electricity, it could be that there is a, you know, there’s some type of natural disaster and for some reason you, you can’t do some of the things you can’t follow the process exactly as it’s been mapped out. So when you start to think of these different decision points in terms of well what could, what could make some, what could make this go off course and then you start to think through the steps that you would do to mitigate that or to prevent it in the first place, it’s going to make your process that much more streamlined and that much easier to train other people. I know that was a long response Thomas, I apologise but I hope the listeners are able to kind of visualise and understand the importance of process mapping. If I was quiet because I was literally visualising what you were saying as you were saying. Hey, but I was gonna say you touched on it slightly, I was going to say, what’s the, what’s the outcome of a process map what you’re looking to get out of it.

But you did say to prevent certain disadvantages but I would imagine there’s some efficiency benefits and maybe some clarity as well. Yes. Yes. And so one of the biggest things that you want to always look at one of the metrics is what we call cycle time. So how long should it take to perform that particular process In the case of us making the lemonade? The cycle time, the average cycle time might be, let’s say 15 minutes. So as you, you as the business owner and you you’re you have this entire team of people now who are making lemonade for you so that you can be a true business owner and manage everything at a very high level and not necessarily get caught up into the day to day details. So your job as the owner is to now look at the performance metrics of every single person who is making lemonade for your company.

If some of them are over 15 minutes. You now have a metric that 15 minutes is your metric. That cycle time is your metric, your key performance indicator to be able to pull that person off to the side and ask them. Okay, well what went wrong? No. Is it the process that needs to be fixed or is it that you did not follow the process and here’s the key Thomas too often were quick to terminate employees or terminate a relationship with someone who’s doing work for our companies because we say they aren’t doing the work the way that we want it to be done. But you always have to ask yourself, first of all, did you even document it secondly, did you train the person on how you want it done? And then third, is it that the process itself is broken and it needs to be improved. Always blame the process before you blame the person.

Now if the process isn’t broken and most other people are able to easily meet that 15 minute cycle time that you’ve kind of etched in stone But there are some outliers out there and some people are going significantly over the 15 minute mark. Then you can have a conversation with those people and ask them why aren’t you? You can’t be following the process because if you were following the process, you would not have these results wow, I know that you advocate scaling with less pain like that. Like that quote, would you make a differentiation between scaling and adding processes, processes are definitely a part of scaling so scaling and I did listen to an interview that you did with Jan. I apologise, I don’t remember Jan’s last name. But I remember she spoke very specifically about scaling and she’s written a book about it. But when you scale a business you absolutely must have processes in place.

Otherwise there will be total mayhem because think about it, everybody is going to be doing things their own way. And a sure-fire way to get customers really angry and upset with you is for them to have an inconsistent experience with your product or service. Think about your favourite product, whatever that product maybe. And then all of a sudden as you start making future purchases of that product, it’s always slightly different from what you’ve grown accustomed to. It could be that the taste is slightly off the colour might be slightly off the look and feel of it is slightly off and you’re annoyed and it could be that the overall quality has just gone down significantly. That is an indication that there are, there’s a lack of internal control within that company. And the reason there is a lack of internal control is because they don’t have well defined documented processes that have been shared and that people are actually trained on the only, the only reservation I have is that I feel like I have a lot of work to do.

Now you do have a lot of work and see that’s the thing. So scaling. I always tell people it’s one thing to grow your company. It’s another thing to intentionally scale it because it requires work and that’s why some business owners do not want to grow past a certain point. But there are a lot of us that do and it requires work. It is not, I will never I would never kid you into thinking that. Oh yeah, Thomas, you just pick up in 30 days. Yeah. And you cannot have all of this stuff. No, that is not the case. I’m not going to kid you about it. It’s a lot of work. But the payoff is significant because once you’ve gone through the trouble Thomas of actually getting all of that information about your company as much of it out of your head as you possibly can and organising it in such a way that it can easily be shared with other people.

Oh my gosh, it’s just gonna it’s literally going to work like a fine-tuned well-oiled machine that just keeps going and going. Yes, yes, yes. And here’s something else to think about for your listeners? You didn’t build your business overnight. So why do you think you’re going to fix it overnight? It’s going to take time. So how is your chemical engineering background helped with everything you do now? So as a chemical engineer. Chemical engineers actually work usually as process engineers or design engineers. And for me, I worked as a process engineer or a process engineer. And what that means is so going back to and that’s why I use eliminate, I think as an example, because I was I’ve worked in oil refineries as well as chemical plants and you are producing large, very large volumes of any type of products, any chemical product on a per hour basis.

And as a process engineer, as a chemical engineer, that product absolutely. Always had to meet the specification. How do we know whether or not it met the specification? Because we had chemists on board who would actually take samples of each batch. So let’s say for example, I’ll share with you, I I used to make Roundup very toxic weed killer or herbicide. and that’s a whole another story I was so people don’t judge me, don’t judge me. That was in a former life. Okay. When I was I was making round up and so what would happen Thomas is the air the part of the production process that I worked in, We would actually make the powder form of Roundup. So before surfactants and soaps and water was added to the product, it’s actually a white powder. That’s what Roundup looks like in its purest raw form.

And so as each batch and the batch could be, oh gosh, you know, several £100 of or I guess you know, metric system, kilograms of product, you know, again on a per hour basis. And so someone would actually catch a sample, they would take a sample of whatever has been produced within that hour. They would then send it to a lab and the chemists inside of that lab would actually run tests and that’s how they would determine whether or not it met the specifications. And if it didn’t, they would come back to me and say, hey, chemical engineer, what went, something went wrong in the process of producing that particular batch and you need to figure out what it is, because we can’t continue producing additional batches until you figure out the issue. And so that’s why I took that process knowledge and I just now apply that to business.

So whereas before I was, I was concerned with the manufacturing processes, I now look at processes for businesses processes that help information and workflow as seamlessly and as efficiently as possible. Did you put some of that information in behind the facade? And there you have. I did, I did. Yes, it is. It is. Thank you for bringing up the book. Yes, I do talk about that, in fact, in the, in chapter one of my book, I talk about my chemical engineering background and how that actually, that that’s also the inspiration behind the name of my company equilibrium. Because in chemistry we you’re always taught that an equation, a chemical equation is not balanced until it has reached a state of equilibrium. So equilibrium to is the plural form of equilibrium. So the idea being to achieve balance in across all aspects of your business.

Very cool. and what was it, Right, what was it like to write the book? It was hell? Really, haven’t, haven’t had that response yet to that question. Oh, it was, it was, it wasn’t fun. So here’s the thing, because my book is self-published writing, it was the easy part, similar to podcasting, doing the actual interview Is the easy part. It’s everything that it’s the post production work. So for me, my manuscript, my book is 294 pages, believe it or not, Thomas, I wrote that manuscript in seven weeks. That was so that was that was the easy part Because by the by the time I wrote the manuscript, I had already been in business for 13 years. So I had a lot of material to draw from. The difficult part was learning the publishing process and the editing and the fact that once you have done your job, it’s really out of your hands because once you hand your manuscript off to editors and it has to go through several rounds of editing and I had to educate myself about all of that.

The difference between a copy editor versus a line editor and the fact that, you know, you may want your work turned around in less than 30 days, but they may take four months. And then I had to also understand and gain an appreciation of what it takes to get an index produced designing, having a book cover, designed, having the book actually laid out. You, you read your manuscript so much that you can, you can honestly become sick of your own work believe it or not because with every, with every touch point. So every single time someone has touched your manuscript, you really do need to go back and read it again because, and I’ll just share this really quickly. The person who laid out who did the layout for my book the very first time she took my manuscript and I can’t remember the name of the software.

I think it was called adobe in design or something like that. I can’t remember the exact name. I think that was the name. It was definitely an adobe product. But for some reason it removed the quotation marks around every quote throughout the entire manuscript. And I only picked that up because someone had warned me always read your manuscript again, any time someone touches you touches it, you always have to go back through and come through it again. And sure enough, that was one of the things that I noticed. so yes, it was and it still was produced in record time from, from what I’ve, you know, heard from other people, they’re like this, That’s still really good because I think from the moment I, I wrote the manuscript to it actually being produced, it was all done within a one year time period. But it was it was unpleasant. I just like the first answer.

Most people are like, it was difficult. I had this problem, I had that problem. Your answer was it was hell. It was hell. And I my left wrist has never been the same. I have an injury. Yeah, so you, you know, like with anything, you know, no pain, no gain, right? So you have to it requires a serious investment of your time. Well, well done for getting it done anyway, Congratulations on being an author. Thank you. And I noticed one other term that we haven’t covered and that is the correct me if I say it wrong, the casa new model. Oh, wow. You said it perfectly. Thank you. Well, is there anything that you think that’s worthy to mention from that which we haven’t covered already? Sure, Well, just, just really quickly, it’s the name of the framework that I developed for creating business infrastructure. And so my book talks all about how to take this framework and literally create this business infrastructure within your own company.

So, the book is truly a how to it’s not just a theoretical oh, this is, you know, very generically what you should do. It’s very specific and very detailed through the use of stories telling you exactly how you can put these different elements of the framework into action at your own company when I went done all the research, I thought there’s a lot of good stuff so anyone who is looking for this particular service, I certainly think that they should get in touch with you, I know that you have your own podcast, you enjoy doing that and what’s the process? Like? I love podcasting, I absolutely love it because I’m able to meet people all over the world that I probably otherwise would never have any type of interaction with. So I I absolutely love it and it’s a win-win situation.

It’s a win for me because I get to expand my network and meet people like you and others again, literally all over the world because I’m in America and then it’s a win for the listeners because they actually get access to information that actually tells them how they can put this business infrastructure in place and how they can improve their own company’s operations. And it’s a win for the guest because that guests has a platform to share his or her knowledge and expertise and if they have something that they’re selling, you know, whatever they’re there, if it’s a book or it’s of course that they’re selling they have a platform where they can actually share their expertise. So I love it. I love podcasting, it’s a lot of work as you know, but I absolutely love it. You mentioned about the book, or the work is done in the, you know, once it’s written or once it’s recorded, do you do a lot of the editing or do you outsource that stuff?

I do not. I try that in the beginning, and I started, okay, so my processes, I realised, okay, Alicia, you should not be doing this anymore, because I actually had and this is embarrassing, but I actually had listeners. This was, oh gosh, this was, I think around episode maybe 30 or something like that. And a couple of listeners reached out to me and they said, you know, there’s this long, awkward moment of silence in this particular episode. Is that intentional? And I had no idea. I still don’t know what I did what I did wrong in the editing process, but I reached out to a professional editor, that person fixed it. And I’ve been working with that person ever since. So I do not do the editing anymore, I do not trust myself with it. And I’m at a point where I can have a relationship now with the editor and we’ve worked out our process where we we’ve kind of worked out a flow and a rhythm and so he knows when to expect certain episodes and he knows he already knows when he needs to get it back to me.

So, so it’s been great. It sounds like I should look for that, shouldn’t I? You absolutely should Thomas and maybe I need to get a process map as well in place. Yes. Or if nothing else, a checklist. Exactly. Have you got anything that you’d like to add that we haven’t covered? I would just like to add, you know, get serious about your, how your company actually operates again. Unfortunately, this isn’t a topic that we see that is normally discussed in the context of smaller companies. So that’s why I’m so appreciative Thomas for you allowing me to come onto your podcast and talk about this topic because so many people want to talk about the obvious things, you know, the marketing and again, the things that you do to attract, attract people to your business. But what happens once they’re there and you know, they have a bad experience, that’s when the operations, how you’re actually doing things behind the proverbial curtain or underneath that proverbial hood.

Let’s make sure that you operate as good as you look on the outside. Well, I haven’t owned a company where that happened, but I have run a company where the sales were booming essentially and the processes weren’t in place and the actual result of that is just so many unhappy clients and just being completely awful place to well be a customer and also be a staff member as well. So it’s pretty bad if you have that kind of recipe. Yes. And do you have any business goals? One of my goals is to sell. I’m saying yes because you know in true entrepreneur fashion, I have other interests and there are other things that I, I really want to do. So yes, I I hope to be able to sell within the next 2-3 years. Wow. Well, I’d certainly like to hear how you get on with that goal, if that’s possible. And maybe it might be justification for another episode if you’re still doing them then.

Yes. Absolutely. Okay. Well, that sounds great. Where’s the best place for people to find you? The best place is to go to my website and that’s So Once you get there, it’s really like a hub for all things, all of the things that I meant to. So you can find out how we can connect on social media. You can also get, you know, it also will lead you to my podcast. If you’re interested in checking that out. You can also be linked to where my book is on amazon and really it’s available anywhere you can purchase books online and you can also get linked to my company and see kind of the consulting work that we do for these smaller companies. Okay. Well one thing I’d like to add is I spoke to someone previously about and he his specialisation, if you like, was public speaking.

And one of the things he told me was about the ums and the ers and how I – well, he didn’t say that I needed to work on it but I knew that I needed to work on it. And you’re speaking is very good. So have you worked on that Toastmasters? My friend, that was, he said one of the first steps you should do is to join Toastmasters. Absolutely, absolutely Toastmasters. I can’t oh my gosh. We could do an entire episode just talking about Toastmasters. But in a Toastmasters meeting, they literally will count every single time you say a long pause if you say something incorrectly. Yes. The pauses are encouraged for effect, though. Yes, if it’s for effect. Absolutely. Well, but it’s funny because you don’t always realise how much you might do that until someone actually counts it and they report on that at the very end of each meeting.

Okay, well I’ll see if I can get to the end of this podcast much better at it than me. So thank you very much for being a great guest.

Oh thank you Thomas. I really appreciate you. You asked amazing questions. Thank you.

My pleasure. And I will speak to you soon. Alicia. Thank you.

All right, bye-bye.