59 episodes

If you have a business that's growing and you're both excited and terrified at the same time - this is a podcast for you! You'll get actionable advice on how to grow a business in a way that is healthy and sustainable.

Help! My Business is Growing Kathy Svetina

    • Business

If you have a business that's growing and you're both excited and terrified at the same time - this is a podcast for you! You'll get actionable advice on how to grow a business in a way that is healthy and sustainable.

    Maximizing labor efficiency for your growing business, with Herb Cogliano

    Maximizing labor efficiency for your growing business, with Herb Cogliano

    Sustaining a business becomes challenging as labor costs rise, especially in the service industry, where people play a central role.

    You must keep your eye on your bottom line but also prioritize your employees' well-being. 

    So how do you strike this balance? Through labor efficiency, or making the most of your workforce's talents, time, and resources to get things done smarter and faster. 

    But what is labor efficiency exactly?
    How does it work?
    How do you implement it successfully?

    And how can it give your business the kick it needs to grow and thrive? 

    In today's episode, Herb Cogliano and I discuss labor efficiency - what it is, why you need it, and how it can make a positive impact on your business operations. He shares tips and strategies on how you can make it a part of your growing business. 

    Herb Cogliano leads his own advisory practice leveraging the Scaling Up Performance Platform, described in Verne Harnish's award-winning book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits-Scaling Up.

    As an International Business Coach, experienced CEO Scaling Up Practitioner, and Professor of the Scaling Up Masters Business Course, he has learned firsthand what it takes to overcome many business challenges. 

    Herb is pursuing his passion for working with leaders of growth companies to achieve more freedom by helping them create industry-leading strategies, a culture of accountability, flawless execution, and a healthy cash flow within their organizations.

    We discuss:
    03:30 What is labor efficiency and why is it important for any business?
    05:01 Understanding labor efficiency as ROI on people and their impact on financial returns.
    06:40 Revenue-producing labor and back-office support labor (or direct and indirect labor) in the labor efficiency equation explained.
    11:30 Exploring the connection between labor efficiency and operating profit: Improving labor efficiency leads to higher profits.
    15:37 Boosting labor efficiency strategies such as increasing team size, improving processes, and optimizing service delivery.  
    18:16 Defining A, B, and C players using talent assessment and evaluating employees by rehiring and core values.
    23:47 Using tools and scaling up principles can create a positive work environment for employees.
    27:09 The evolution of purpose and values in creating a successful business.
    29:45 Actionable and manageable next steps to improve labor efficiency and operating profits.

    Herb Cogliano, International Business Growth Advisor & Certified Scaling Up Coach, Aspire Growth Advisors:

    Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO:

    Blog post | Maximizing Labor Efficiency for Your Growing Business

    • 33 min
    Increasing productivity through an organized workspace, with Gayle Gruenberg

    Increasing productivity through an organized workspace, with Gayle Gruenberg

    Dealing with a messy desk while running a growing business? It can seriously get in the way of your productivity. Staying on top of your game becomes a struggle when things are scattered, lost, and disorganized.

    Beyond the mess, a cluttered workspace disrupts focus, clarity, and completing tasks essential for business growth. Distractions multiply, stress builds up, and finding what you need becomes a scavenger hunt that eats your valuable time.

    So, where do you start taking charge of the clutter?
    What practical systems can you adopt to restore order while managing your business?
    And how can you consistently maintain a clean and organized workspace?

    In today's episode, Gayle Gruenberg and I discuss practical strategies to reclaim control over your workspace. We share tips for tackling clutter, implementing organizational systems, and maintaining a productive environment while managing your growing business. 

    Gayle is the chief executive organizer of Let’s Get Organized, an award-winning Bergen County, New Jersey organizing company. Gayle helps people living with chronic disorganization declutter and maintain organizing systems. She is a certified professional organizer in chronic disorganization, a certified virtual professional organizer, and an organizer coach.

    We discuss:
    02:37 Start small when clearing up clutter. The feeling of accomplishment will help build momentum.
    03:34 Use categories and subcategories to help organize information visually, then sort and discard items as needed.
    08:27 Establish criteria for keeping important papers so you can let go of unnecessary items.
    13:00 Prioritize proximity and importance when organizing books and supplies in smaller workspaces.
    18:29 Refresh your workspace with foundational pieces, intentionally placing inspiring items and finding new homes for others.
    20:20 Creating an ideal workspace is an ongoing feedback, evaluation, and refinement process.
    26:40 To get closer to a productive workspace, start organizing. That first step will naturally lead to progress and transformation. 

    Gayle Gruenberg, CPO-CD®, CVPO™, CEO, Let’s Get Organized:
    Podcast | Make Space for Blessings
    Let's Get Organized!: Quick Organizing Tips for Seasons and HolidaysLet's Get Organized!: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Chronic Disorganization (CD)
    Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO:

    Blog post | Increasing Productivity Through an Organized Workspace

    • 28 min
    Industry Deep Dive - Construction: How to effectively manage subcontractors using EOS, with John Glover

    Industry Deep Dive - Construction: How to effectively manage subcontractors using EOS, with John Glover

    Construction is a challenging industry where human creativity works magic, turning engineering and architectural plans into actual structures. 

    And while they make building something easy from the ground up, hidden beneath the surface lies a maze of intricate project management complexities that you won't find in other industries.

    With so many moving parts and a heavy reliance on subcontractors, success requires skillful coordination of teams, schedules, and resources. 

    So what can you do to ensure success in this industry that demands effective management of both people and processes?

    In today's episode, John Glover and I explore the complexities within the construction industry and break down the project and people management success strategies that you can also use for your business.

    John Glover is a Small Business Coach, Fractional COO and Integrator, Personal Growth Consultant, and founder of Core Integration Coaching. 

    He helps entrepreneurs, business partners, organizations, and individuals develop a roadmap to get what they want from their business and their life. 

    As a passionate coach and facilitator, he's helped many set strategic goals, develop customized plans, and execute more effectively to obtain their desired results. 

    We discuss:
    03:54 Managing people in construction is challenging without proper processes and communication.
    05:47 Establishing core values is crucial for a company's moral compass and identifying ideal employees.
    08:12 Use an accountability chart, define roles, align values, and communicate clearly to avoid issues.
    14:17 The steps to prevent mistakes and misquotes that can affect your profitability.
    16:35 Small business owners need to delegate responsibility.
    19:23 Small businesses benefit from the EOS platform when addressing major issues by implementing regular meetings, setting clear expectations, and having an effective onboarding process.
    30:15  Build supplier relationships by aligning core values via due diligence and clear communications.
    32:53 Vet subcontractors, like employees, assess if they're the proper fit through (legitimate) testimonials and address any issues quickly. 
    39:02 Accountability provides a framework that balances structure and autonomy, allowing individuals to thrive and solve problems within boundaries.
    42:14 Creating a strong people process with a structured onboarding system is crucial to help you find, train and keep the right employees and drive growth and success.

    John Glover, Coach, Fractional COO & Integrator, Core Integration Coaching:

    Schedule a Discovery Call with John:

    Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO:

    Blog post | Industry Deep Dive - Construction: How to Effectively Manage Subcontractors Using EOS

    • 47 min
    Overcoming workplace dysfunction, with Zach Montroy

    Overcoming workplace dysfunction, with Zach Montroy

    Does your workplace resemble a battlefield where no one collaborates, communication constantly breaks down, and productivity takes a hit?

    Are your people more invested in politicking, one-upmanship, and other internal conflicts than driving the business forward?

    If this sounds familiar, it's a sign that your business is grappling with dysfunctional team dynamics where power struggles, lack of trust, and poor communication make success a challenge. 

    But what leads to this dysfunction in the first place?

    How does it impact the growth and the financial well-being of your business?

    And how can you overcome this dysfunction to cultivate a healthier and more productive work environment?

    In today's episode, Zach Montroy and I address workplace dysfunction and its impact on your business. We'll share practical strategies to restore collaboration, boost productivity, and improve your team's well-being, helping you maintain steady growth.

    Zach is the Founder and CEO of The Intention Collective and a leadership team coach with over 20 years of experience in executive roles. 

    Zach’s passion for helping leaders expand their impact and build trust has led him to focus on helping entrepreneurs scale and grow their businesses. 

    As a sought-after speaker and podcast guest, Zach is known for his ability to distill complex concepts into actionable insights that help businesses achieve their goals.  

    With a deep understanding of the importance of both strategy and culture in achieving sustainable growth, Zach helps companies create high-functioning, high-
    impact organizations through his innovative approach to leadership.

    We discuss:
    02:40 Prioritizing healthy team dynamics leads to business growth because healthy teams produce good outcomes while neglecting team wellbeing leads to burnout and frequent turnovers. 
    7:29 Cultural issues often stem from the lack of trust and courage, and the resulting dysfunction can lead to back-channeling, politicking, fear, shame, blame, gossip, favoritism, and nostalgia for the "good old days.
    10:36 Leaders need trust, courage, and healthy boundaries to confront difficult facts within their team and to build a healthy work culture.
    15:43 Leaders should apologize when wrong, create a healthy feedback mirror, prioritize clear communications, and explain their decision-making processes to build trust with their team.
    20:25 Evaluate work success along the way, not just at the end, using "mile markers" and feedback.
    24:25 Receiving feedback is a skill that can be learned, requiring curiosity and a willingness to become vulnerable.
    32:08 Cultivate a healthier team dynamic by reassessing core values, aligning them with your desired culture, and examining and refining your existing habits.

    Zach Montroy, People, Team & Organizational Strategist, Founder & CEO, The Intention Collective:

    Books Mentioned:
    John Gottman: What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal Brené Brown: Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand AloneJim Collins: Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0: Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great CompanyKim Scott: Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
    Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO:

    Blog post | Overcoming Workplace Dysfunction 

    • 36 min
    How using challenger branding accelerates business growth, with Mike Sullivan

    How using challenger branding accelerates business growth, with Mike Sullivan

    Growing your business is no easy feat, especially when faced with intense competition. With numerous players fighting tooth and nail for the same customer base, it's easy to fade into obscurity. 

    However, there's a game-changing strategy that many businesses fail to consider: Challenger Branding. This approach allows you to carve out a distinct brand identity and differentiate yourself from competitors.

    But what exactly is challenger branding? 

    Will it work for a small business?

    And how can you harness your company culture to maximize its impact? 

    Mike Sullivan is the President and CEO of LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency. For more than 30 years, he’s helped some of the country’s most successful companies build their brands. He is also the author of the book "The Voice of the Underdog: How Challenger Brands Create Distinction by Thinking Culture First" 

    We discuss:
    02:03 What are Challenger brands
    4:36 The importance of having radical clarity about your values on your brand positioning
    9:50 The pros and cons of getting branding experts to help position your business 
    12:06 Why culture drives your brand and is crucial for its success
    15:44  How leadership development improves culture and helps organizations become great places to work. 
    21:09 Why creating a stakeholder-oriented culture is key to building a successful company, according to conscious capitalism principles.
    30:57 The steps, process, and insights to consider when transitioning into a challenger brand 
    36:05 The first actionable step to take in the next week or two to get started on building a challenger brand

    Mike Sullivan, President, and CEO, LOOMIS:

    Author of The Voice of the Underdog: How Challenger Brands Create Distinction by Thinking

    Other Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

    Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders:

    David B Wolfe, Rajendra Sisodia, Jagdish Sheth: Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Firms-Endearment-World-Class-Companies-Passion/dp/0133382591

    Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO:

    Blog post | How Using Challenger Branding Accelerates Business Growth

    • 39 min
    Cybersecurity essentials for small businesses, with Bryant Tow

    Cybersecurity essentials for small businesses, with Bryant Tow

    As a small business owner, the last thing you want to worry about is a cybersecurity breach that could potentially ruin your business. 

    But what do you do if you've already been attacked and your systems are taken hostage? 

    Do you pay the ransom?

    Do you ignore them and start again from scratch? 

    Do you find a friendly yet quirky hacker to help you take the thieves down like in the movies?

    What can you do to protect your data and save your company? 

    In today's episode, our guest Bryant Tow and I discuss the importance of cybersecurity, how to respond if your systems are compromised, and steps you can take to safeguard your business from cyber threats. 

    Bryant is the Chief Security Officer at Leapfrog Services. For over 25 years, Bryant has held responsibilities as an entrepreneur and senior executive in all aspects of risk management, including thought leadership in cyber security, award-winning development of security solutions, and managing large global cyber and physical security teams. 

    He has also held executive leadership positions in multinational consulting firms and has been involved in several startups. Recently, he was the Chief Security Officer for CSC’s Financial Services Group and was responsible for securing 143 applications in 52 countries.

    Bryant’s leadership positions across the security industry include the Department of Homeland Security Sector Coordinating Council, ISSA, and ISACA, and as a board member and vice president of InfraGard National Members Alliance. 

    He is recognized as a Distinguished Fellow by the Ponemon Institute, the industry’s leading research organization.

    He has also published several books and articles on cybersecurity topics and has received several awards, including the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security Award for Exceptional Contribution in Recognition of Outstanding Support of Tennessee’s Counter Terrorism Program.

    We discuss:
    02:00 The sources of cybersecurity breaches in small businesses are almost always found within their processes and policies 
    06:03 Preparing for Cyber Extinction: The Incident Response Process
    12:52 Why small businesses need to have set Incident Response Plans in place
    14:31 How to create a Cybersecurity Plan for your small business
    18:57 Should a company under attack pay or not pay ransomware? 
    22:53 The importance of having "backdoors" set to ensure your company's cybersecurity 
    25:34 Weak admin passwords are often the reason or "smoking gun" for security breaches 
    27:04 The benefits - and pitfalls - of password managers
    34:10 Immediate and Actionable steps to take to build a strong cybersecurity foundation
    39:14 How understanding your business needs and processes can save you money on cybersecurity investments

    Bryant G. Tow, Chief Security Officer, Author, and Speaker of Leapfrog Services:

    Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO:

    Blog post | Cybersecurity Essentials for Small Businesses

    • 44 min

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