On today’s episode I’m talking with Theresa Baretta. Theresa is the CEO of Loop Link. Loop Link is an operations management coachsulting firm. Loop Link provides integration and implementation services to creative agencies.
Theresa and I met through a, now, mutual client where I was hired to do a tech implementation. Theresa had come up with the strategy of what we were going to do and needed to find someone who could actually implement it. And my name percolated to the top of the list. The next thing she knew, I had implemented it. And I had a new “systems friend” in the process.
So let's talk a little bit about what Theresa does for her clients, how that integrates technology in their businesses, and just makes their businesses run the way it needs to. Theresa was excited about this subject. Because oftentimes, it's not something where it's like, “Oh, you're this and people connect with that.” As we are growing in this online space, new things, new services, and new capabilities are being provided every single day. And so how Theresa likes to describe it is that she actually serves her clients through providing them with fractional leadership.
So she doesn’t come in as just a consultant or a service provider. She comes in as a strategic partner with them, where she is working with them in the depth of their business. So she goes really deep with them in their business and understanding what their goals are. She helps them understand their aspirations, the vision of the business, and really synthesize that into a project plan and a strategy where we can achieve them effectively and efficiently in the most profitable way.
Along that journey, they put out a lot of prayers and figure out how to make sure it doesn't happen again, or minimize that cycle. Because as we continue to grow, there's always going to be new fires that we have to approach. And so that drives Theresa towards, “How does tech women do a lot of all of this?”
Theresa likes to consider herself as a techie. She does a lot of research on tech tools in her free time. And she thinks that's one of the attractive reasons why her clients hire her on is that she loves getting into the thick of understanding how specific tools function and whether or not it would be a really good match for her clients and their business models. She often finds that being the matchmaker of it all is fun! It's fun in that sense, because then they know, what would be the lifetime value of that tool that matches with their business.
I really like that term, the lifetime value of that tool. So let's let's bring that into practicality. Because I don't like to keep things theoretical on the podcast, I want someone to be able to say, “Oh my goodness, Jamie and Theresa were talking about the lifetime value of a tool. I think that this tool or that tool might be reaching the expiration date in my own business.”
So let's dig into that. When you say the lifetime value of a tool, how do you classify, characterize, and utilize that in decision making? Theresa shared that when they get started on this journey, they typically like to understand what are some of our biggest goals? So for example, if one of the biggest goals is to double your profits, how are you going to get there? What kind of tech tools or software platforms methodologies will get you there?
She shared that they often can just “ad hoc” a bunch of platforms together by building the bridge through, for example, Zapier. Or do we go with a platform where it does have the higher price tag, but it's going to carry us through the storm into where we want to go?
So for example, let's talk about like a bigger tool with a bigger price tag such as Salesforce or a more business management type of tool. Now, with those types of tools, they often have a higher price tag on a monthly basis or even an annual basis. And sometimes we might get frightened of how much that tool really costs.