How to Increase the Company’s Capacity to Handle More Business Without Compromising Quality – In Just 7 Minutes with Alicia Butler Pierre

Check out episode
  • Understand how you can still assure good quality and control with a high turnover and attrition
  • Learn what is a business infrastructure and how it can make or break your business
  • Know why specific tasks require specific people and not you

Resources/Links:

Summary

Do you want to find out how you can cater to more clients without the stress and chaos?

A business isn’t just a one-man job, so it doesn’t have to be all you! Having a solid structure and a loyal team is crucial to growing your business, but what happens if your company is unable to accommodate the high turnover?

Alicia Butler Pierre is the Founder and CEO of Equilibria, Inc. and the bestselling author of Behind the Facade, the world’s first published book on business infrastructure. She hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure podcast, which ranks in the world’s top 2%. She’s an adjunct instructor of Lean Principles at Purdue University and Operations Management at Nichols College. She is a chemical engineer turned entrepreneur. She has advised, designed, and optimized processes for organizations including Coca-Cola, Shell Oil, The Library of Congress, and The Home Depot.

Dive into how Alicia increases your company’s capacity to handle high turnover, sustain your business, and plan for higher scaling.

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 03:34 – Alicia’s ideal client: The ideal client for us is small businesses with less than 50 employees that have more demand than they can currently handle. That’s the ideal client for us.
  • 03:52 – The problem she helps solve: Scale, but sustainable scale. So, the problem that we are solving is unsustainable, chaotic growth. What happens when your company is the beneficiary of great marketing and great sales campaigns and strategies?
  • 05:02 – The symptoms of the problem: One of the number one tell-tale signs or symptoms, Tom, is the loss of employees or their staff or team members, whatever you refer to them as. So very high attrition, high turnover, increase in customer complaints.
  • 06:21 – Clients’ common mistakes before consulting Alicia: Honestly, Tom, because of the nature of the work that I do, the number one mistake, or I’m not even sure if it’s fair to call it a mistake. Because these business owners and entrepreneurs, don’t know what they don’t know.
  • 08:34 – Alicia’s Valuable Free Action (VFA): Using things as simple as so you like that one-pager? Well, I have something even more impressive for you, Tom. Something as simple as using stick figures, and index cards.
  • 10:53 – Alicia’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR): Want to start your journey of scaling your business without the chaos? Click here! Smoothoperator.courses
  • 11:33 – Q: What is business infrastructure, Alicia? A: So, business infrastructure is simply a system for how you link your people, your processes, like, you know, and a process could just be in the form of a checklist. Your people, your processes, and any tools or technologies that you’re using.

Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“Business infrastructure is simply a system for how you link your people, your processes, and any tools or technologies that you're using.” -Alicia Butler Pierre Share on X

Transcript
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Tom Poland 00:10
Greetings, everyone, and a very warm welcome to another edition of Marketing the Invisible. I’m Tom Poland beaming out to you from the very sunny Sunshine Coast in Australia. I’m joined today by Alicia Butler Pierre. Alicia, good day from Down Under. Welcome, and where are you hanging out?

Alicia Butler Pierre 00:25
I am hanging out, Tom, in Atlanta, Georgia, which is in the south eastern part of the US.

Tom Poland 00:31
Used to be home to the Braves, what is it now?

Alicia Butler Pierre 00:34
It still is home to the Braves!

Tom Poland 00:35
It’s still home to the Braves.

Alicia Butler Pierre 00:37
Yes, it is. And home to Coca-Cola.

Tom Poland 00:41
Right. Oh, that was the Cleveland Browns or something like that. Anyway, Coca-Cola. Yay! I’ve been to Atlanta. It’s a big sprawling-

Alicia Butler Pierre 00:49
Oh, wow. You’ve been here? Yes, we’re growing by the day.

Tom Poland 00:54
You know, I can’t say I knew the city well. You know, I got a taxi to the conference and back and forth. On one of those visits, unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to savor the highlights. But enough of where you live and where I live. Let’s get on to a very interesting subject. Folks, Alicia Butler Pierre is the founder and CEO of Equilibria. Now I stalked her around the internet, like for an hour yesterday. And my gosh, I’m impressed! Alicia has this, well, her thing is all about increasing your capacity without putting more stress on you and doing more in less time, becoming more efficient, becoming more effective, and getting more clients without compromising any quality. And she walks the talk. And not only is she process orientated, and figures out ways to do things more efficiently and more effectively, because you can do things more efficiently and stuff it up more effectively. She has this, I think quite extraordinary ability to shine the spotlight on her personality. And as I know she’s in the rumination just because but I’m still going to talk about it. So, wherever you find Alicia on the internet, you’ll see her personality shining through. So, she hasn’t templated her personality, it’s just the processes, right? I’m just knock-your-socks-off impressed.

Alicia Butler Pierre 02:12
I love that. I love it, Tom. Thank you!

Tom Poland 02:15
Yeah, and I know- we’re not doing an affiliate thing here, right? Alicia, you’re not paying any money to sell this?

Alicia Butler Pierre 02:20
No, I’m not. But I’m thinking maybe I should. Maybe I should. We should go on a world tour together.

Tom Poland 02:29
Yeah, no, I think you’re a star. And I think your star is in the center. So, let’s get going. Official bio, folks! Alicia is the bestselling author of “Behind the Facade”, which is the world’s first published book on business infrastructure. She hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure Podcast, which ranks in the world’s top 2%. She’s an adjunct instructor on Lean Principles at Purdue University, and Operations Management at Nichols College. She’s a chemical engineer, which means she’s got a hell of a brain on those shoulders, turned entrepreneur. She’s advised, designed, and optimized processes for organizations, including a few small businesses you may not have heard of, such as Coca-Cola, Shell Oil, The Library of Congress, and the Home Depot. Extraordinary! Alicia, thank you for being on the show. The title today, which we are going to hold your feet to the fire on delivering is, “How to Increase Your Company’s Capacity to Handle More Business Without Compromising Quality”. Our seven minutes start now. Question number one is who is your ideal client?

Alicia Butler Pierre 03:34
The ideal client for us is small businesses with less than 50 employees that have more demand than they can currently handle. That’s the ideal client for us.

Tom Poland 03:45
Right. And very well articulated. So, tell us about the problem you solve. I guess it’s something to do with scalability, is it?

Alicia Butler Pierre 03:52
Absolutely, of course! Scale, but sustainable scale. So, the problem that we are solving is unsustainable, chaotic growth. What happens when your company is the beneficiary of great marketing and great sales campaigns and strategies? Well, now you might have a different type of problem. You go from not having enough customers to maybe having too many. And that’s when you might need that operational or business infrastructure in place.

Tom Poland 04:19
You might! Yeah, never leave an entrepreneur in charge of their own idea unless you put the right people or processes in place, which is where you come in. So, question three has six minutes left. Question three, your target market is very growth orientated. You know, they’ve already achieved something pretty significant. It might be a mess, but they’ve got there through ideas and energy and vision and drive. What I’m saying is they’re going to be trying a bunch of things, but before we get to the mistakes they’ve made along the way, let’s talk about the symptoms that they’re going to be experiencing in their business. What’s happening? I mean, generally, there are going to be things falling through the cracks, but what else is going on in the business that would give them a heads up that they should be reaching out to someone like you?

Alicia Butler Pierre 05:02
Sure, absolutely. One of the number one, tell-tale signs or symptoms, Tom, is the loss of employees or their staff or team members, whatever you refer to them as. So very high attrition, high turnover, increase in customer complaints. So many things are happening at the same time. It’s very difficult to keep up. And without the processes that you were just referencing, it’s very easy for important tasks to fall through the cracks. There may not be any quality assurance, let alone quality control. There’s failed audit. A lot of businesses have to be audited, or they have to be accountable to some type of regulatory or some type of governing agency or entity. What if they fail those audits, again, increase in negative reviews? So those are some of the immediate tell-tale signs that you may want to start getting your business infrastructure in place.

Tom Poland 05:56
Yeah, that’s a pretty comprehensive list of pain, isn’t it, really? You’ve got this entrepreneur who’s achieved such extraordinary things, but is in danger of losing it unless they get their ducks in a row? So, what sort of mistakes do you see people making before they find your solution? We’ve got just over four minutes left. What are some of the big things that you notice that these clients have done before that before they start working with you, they think, “Wow, that was a big mistake”?

Alicia Butler Pierre 06:21
Honestly, Tom, because of the nature of the work that I do, the number one mistake, or I’m not even sure if it’s fair to call it a mistake. Because these business owners and entrepreneurs, don’t know what they don’t know. So, they don’t know to even ask for something or look for something like business infrastructure. There isn’t much exposure when it comes to operations, operational excellence, or operations management. They hear these things and what may happen for those who are savvy enough to even ask that question, or seek out that type of a resource, they’ll find one of two things, Tom. Either, one, the resources are usually reserved for much larger organizations, or maybe even manufacturing companies. And then secondly, that the people would be able to help them just don’t work with small businesses. So that’s why my company, we’re just on this quest to provide the resources and make it affordable, and accessible.

Tom Poland 06:21
Yeah, so, and do me a favor, hold up that little sheet of paper that I saw you waving around. Now, folks, for those listening to this, this is a template for interviews. And Alicia is pretty prepared for this interview by using this template. And the reason I’m asking- it’s just on one page, and all the questions are there.

Alicia Butler Pierre 07:40
Your name-

Tom Poland 07:41
My name and Leadsology, and so on? And the date.

Alicia Butler Pierre 07:44
But this is the other thing I do-

Tom Poland 07:46
Yeah?

Alicia Butler Pierre 07:46
Is your LinkedIn profile?

Tom Poland 07:49
My God, the reason I’m asking you to hold that up, Alicia, is and I’m just going to stop the clock here because I’m robbing you of some time. But I just wanted to impress upon people, not just that you’re walking the talk, but how simple a process can be. Because a lot of people think they’ve got to have some sort of SaaS, ERP platform, blah, blah, blah, or app thingy. And it can sometimes be efficiency, and effectiveness. It can be something as simple as one sheet of paper. So, I just want to do to reinforce that point. And I’m going to start the clock again.

Alicia Butler Pierre 08:22
Okay.

Tom Poland 08:23
Now, two and a half minutes left, what’s one valuable free action that you would say an audience member could take? It’s not going to solve the whole problem, but it might just start them heading off in the right direction.

Alicia Butler Pierre 08:34
Using things as simple as so you like that one-pager? Well, I have something even more impressive for you, Tom. Something as simple as using stick figures, and index cards. These two tools alone, these very low budget, low tech, analog type tools can do you a world of good in figuring out what work you need to perform, how that work is organized, and who ideally should perform the different types of work that you identify, and how is that work performed?

Tom Poland 09:07
My God, I’m loving this!

Alicia Butler Pierre 09:08
So, stick figures and index cards.

Tom Poland 09:10
The index card was A2 one, another one was C1 on this little stick figure like you see, you know, how you describe that. Just, oh, I don’t know, it’s maybe six inches or it’s got the label on the front. And you got CEO on it, right?

Alicia Butler Pierre 09:22
That’s right. And this is laminated. So, this is another product that my company offers to our clients. And the reason it’s laminated is that in the process of trying to figure out well, who ideally should perform task C1? Well, the CEO or the founder may say, “Well, it’s me! I do that.” But, Tom, is that person really the right person to perform that task? Should it really be an office manager, for example, should be the ideal person to perform that task? So again, something as low-tech as these stick figures and index cards. I have done, this exercise with so many companies at this point, and every single time it really brings to life what’s going on in the company.

Tom Poland 10:07
You’re the only person on earth that I’ve had to stop the clock twice more. Folks, so this works for entrepreneurs. I call them dogs. Dogs are tactile. They’re visceral. They feel things. They see things. They’re not so good at five-year cash flow spreadsheets, but the little, I can just imagine you holding those up or even someone with a clear kitchen table, putting those down, everything would get crystal clear all of a sudden. And you often don’t get that with software. So, folks, if you’re listening to this, you got to head over to our Leadsology.guru website. Have a look at the podcast and find this podcast so you can see what Alicia just showed. So yeah, so let’s head on. 90 seconds left. Question six, a valuable free resource, where can people go to find out more about this?

Alicia Butler Pierre 10:53
If you want to find out how to use tools like stick figures and index cards and so much more? Check out a free audio masterclass where you can learn exactly how to use those types of tools to answer those four questions that Tom and I just reviewed. And the best place to go is smoothoperator.courses. Smoothoperator.courses.

Tom Poland 11:15
And that was named after your nickname, was it? Smoothoperator.courses. Alright, so let’s- thank you for that. Smoothoperator.courses, folks. So, let’s go to question seven, 50 seconds left, what’s the one question I should have asked you but didn’t?

Alicia Butler Pierre 11:33
What is business infrastructure, Alicia?

Tom Poland 11:35
What the heck is it, Alicia?

Alicia Butler Pierre 11:38
What is it? So, business infrastructure is simply a system for how you link your people, your processes, like, you know, and a process could just be in the form of a checklist. Your people, your processes, and any tools or technologies that you’re using. How do those three things link together in a cohesive system such that you can scale in a sustainable, profitable, and repeatable way? It’s literally laying the foundation to support sustainable growth and ultimately scale.

Tom Poland 12:13
Alicia, Thank you so much.

Alicia Butler Pierre 12:16
We did it! And I hit the seven minutes.

Tom Poland 12:20
Thanks for checking out our Marketing The Invisible podcast. If you like what we’re doing here please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave us a review. It’s very much appreciated. And if you want to generate five fresh leads in just five hours then check out www.fivehourchallenge.com.

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