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Help! My Business is Growing

Business & Economics Podcasts

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.


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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.




How to successfully implement HubSpot, with Jennelle McGrath

While HubSpot has many features, it can also seem overwhelming. With so much going on, it’s hard to know where to start or how to make the most of it. And if you're not careful, you can easily get bogged down in all the (helpful) bells and whistles and lose sight of your overall goals. So, what exactly is HubSpot? Why do businesses love it? What makes it different from other CRM platforms? And how do you go about implementing it into your business? In this episode, my guest Jenelle McGrath and I break down all things HubSpot, including discussing its versatile features and the benefits it can bring. She also shares her insights on making the most of its capabilities and offers valuable tips for those considering integrating it into their growing business. We discuss: 03:22 Who are the ideal customers for HubSpot's marketing automation platform? 04:12 How companies benefit from HubSpot 10:56 Common challenges when implementing HubSpot 13:24 Reasons small businesses migrate to HubSpot 14:55 HubSpot's role in streamlining hiring and recruitment 18:55 Utilizing HubSpot for employee onboarding 22:12 Different types of hubs available in HubSpot 23:19 Measuring leads, revenue, and SEO impact with HubSpot campaigns 26:37 Best practices for effective data tracking in HubSpot 31:35 Key factors for successful HubSpot training, including ownership, certification, and training resources 34:34 Effective training schedules and timelines for teams adopting HubSpot 36:48 Common mistakes made by sales and marketing teams after migrating to HubSpot 38:31 Actionable steps to take to prepare for HubSpot migration Resources: Jennelle McGrath, CEO, Inbound Sales and Marketing Growth Agency Partner, Market Veep Website: LinkedIn: Free Resources: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | How to Successfully Implement HubSpot


How to make a business name memorable, with Alexandra Watkins of Eat My Words

The art of naming may seem secondary to finances and operations, but it's incredibly important because your name can make or break your brand. So how do you choose the right name? What are the methods or surefire hacks to create one that clicks? How do you craft a name that leaves a lasting impression and attracts customers? What's the secret to unlocking naming success? And how do you ensure that this process becomes the foundation for your long-term success? In this episode, my guest Alexandra Watkins and I take a deep dive into the world of naming. She shares her tips on creating the perfect name, including how to brainstorm and the common mistakes to avoid when choosing the right name. Alexandra is a leading and outspoken authority on brand names with buzz. Her breakthrough creativity book, “Hello, My Name is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick,” was named a Top 10 Marketing Book by Inc. Magazine. We discuss: 03:42 When naming a brand or business, don't prioritize matching URLs over relevant keywords to avoid confusion and unconventional spellings. 08:20 Choose names that are easy to spell, pronounce, and remember. 09:17 The S.M.I.L.E process for choosing winning names 11:12 Leverage previous knowledge, imagery, themes, and emotions to craft names. 13:52 Brainstorm for names using various techniques to jumpstart your creativity. 16:52 Multiple rounds of feedback and trademark screening are part of every name selection process. 20:55 Trademark your brand names to prevent conflicts, regardless of how long you've used the name. 21:54 Ownership of trademarks, as seen with Xerox and Kimberly Clark, offers consumer brand protection. 24:07 The S.C.R.A.T.C.H Process for Rejecting Names 29:52 Choose names that allow for future growth and changes in your business. 31:53 Be aware of the "curse of knowledge" when naming anything and prioritize clear, pronounceable names. 36:56 Pronunciation and spelling are pivotal in naming to avoid ambiguity. 38:03 Actionable Steps to Selecting the Perfect Business Name Resources: Alexandra Watkins, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Eat My Words Website: LinkedIn: Twitter: Facebook: Free Test in Naming Your Brand: SMILE & SCRATCH Name Evaluation Test Free Brand Names Mini Masterclass How To Create Super Sticky Brand Names Online Course Other resources in this episode: Episode 62 - Protecting Intellectual Property in Service-Based Businesses Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | How to Make a Business Name Memorable


How to hire top sales people for your growing business, with Dan Fantasia

Sales can get complicated, especially for smaller or rapidly growing companies. Your sales process might seem like a maze, and disorganized data only makes it worse. Losing potential customers is frustrating and puts pressure on meeting targets. So how do you build or streamline your sales process? Where do you find the right sales talent? And most importantly, how can you ensure this process becomes the foundation for your long-term success? In this episode, our guest Dan Fantasia provides expert insights and actionable strategies to conquer these sales challenges head-on. He’ll also help unlock the potential of your sales team to ensure your business's continued growth and financial stability. Dan Fantasia has been in the field of sales recruiting since 1997 and founded Treeline in 2001. His exclusive focus on helping companies build world-class, elite sales teams has helped to change the lives of over 3,300 sales professionals. We discuss: 03:54 The Need for a Clear Sales Process before hiring salespeople. 06:46 What to Look for When Hiring Salespeople 08:27 Breaking down the 30, 60, and 90-day business plan/roadmap for success accountability. 11:29 The difference between B2B and B2C salespeople 14:40 Onboarding Your Salespeople to Understand Your Core Customers 15:50 Focus on essential sales skills rather than technology when onboarding salespeople. 25:18 New sales hires should be held accountable to metrics but be flexible because adjusting takes time. 30:19 Prioritizing Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management for New Hires 31:02 Establish a sales process with set rules and accountability to ensure your sales reps are truthful. 33:39 Actionable step Resources: Dan Fantasia, President and CEO, Treeline, Inc. Website: LinkedIn: LinkedIn: Twitter: Twitter: Facebook: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | How to Hire Top Sales People for Your Growing Business


Protecting intellectual property in service-based businesses, with Erin Austin

Intellectual property is a vital business asset that needs protection. It includes all your ideas, creations, products/services that drive growth. If you don't protect your intellectual property (IP), you risk competitors stealing or copying what you do, which could lead to lost revenue. The digital age has further complicated matters. It is now very easy to accidentally copy someone else's work, thanks to the rise of AI and automation that continue to blur the lines between innovation and imitation. But what is intellectual property exactly? Where do you start protecting what you own? How do you know when to use a copyright, license or trademark? And how can you use your intellectual "assets" to increase your sales and achieve business success? In this episode, our guest Erin Austin breaks down all aspects of intellectual property, its different categories, how to use them and how to start protecting your creations. She also shares tips and insights on using your IP assets to help propel your business forward. We discuss: 03:55 The difference between copyright, trademarks, trade secrets, and patents. 08:06 How copyrights work 10:05 The enforceability of copyrights 12:19 AI-generated content and copyright laws 14:04 Establishing the legal status of derivatives from your original copyrighted work 15:03 Identifying the rightful owner of copyright for AI-generated content 20:35 Exploring the distinction between "R" and "TM" in trademarks 22:56 Evaluating how long and what to consider when applying for copyrights/trademarks 27:47 Presenting individuals who leveraged IP to transform their businesses 31:05 Understanding the role of licensing, alongside copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets 33:49 Examining the current models for licensing, including ongoing payments and fixed-term arrangements 35:59 How to get started on protecting your business intellectual property Resources: Erin Austin, IP Expert and Attorney, Think Beyond IP Website: LinkedIn: Youtube: Twitter: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Protecting Intellectual Property in Service-Based Businesses


Achieving Business Growth with EOS, with Rebecca Finken

Every business faces challenges as it grows. And to manage these challenges, more and more owners are embracing EOS – the Entrepreneurial Operating System. EOS isn't your usual business guide; it's a complete system that aligns everyone in the company. This alignment is crucial because businesses with a united (and accountable) team tend to be more profitable and financially secure. EOS encourages every team member, from top to bottom, to think like an entrepreneur. This collective mindset keeps the bigger picture in mind and drives the company forward. But how can EOS make this happen? How does it work? And how do you implement it in your company? In this episode, our guest Rebecca Finken and I discuss EOS 101: what it is, what it offers, and how it works. She also shares the steps you can take to get started and apply the EOS system in your business. Rebecca Finken is a Professional EOS Implementer with EOS Worldwide, boasting nearly 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur. She resides in both Las Vegas and Prescott Arizona. We discuss: 04:36 What is EOS and who is it for 06:29 EOS Implementation Steps and Process 09:03 EOS common terms and their definitions 10:34 How to Implement EOS for Business Growth 12:57 Dealing with employees reluctant to make EOS-implemented changes 16:03 EOS tools (eg the people-analyzer) that are useful for businesses 18:59 Breaking down the EOS Accountability Chart 21:23 Managing culture shifts due to EOS 23:20 Measuring Employee Accountability with EOS 29:51 Falling off the EOS process 31:51 The various meeting formats of EOS and their importance 36:41 The next actionable step to take in the next week or 2 to implement EOS Resources: Rebecca Finken, Professional EOS Implementer, EOS Worldwide Website: LinkedIn: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Achieving Business Growth with EOS


How press releases build buzz and grow your small business, with Mickie Kennedy

Press releases aren't just words on paper. When done right, they can capture media attention, expand your audiences, and fuel business growth. But how do you begin? What do you talk about? Will anyone listen? How can you create press releases that grab both readers and journalists? And once you've told your story, how do you share it with the world? In this episode, Mickie Kennedy and I explore the potential of press releases for small business owners. He'll walk us through why they are important, share tricks on crafting content that will resonate with your target audience and the media, and provide actionable steps to get your story out there. Mickie Kennedy is an expert at helping small businesses, authors, and startups increase their visibility and credibility. 24 years ago, Mickie founded eReleases after realizing that small businesses desperately need a press release service they can afford. We discuss: 03:10 What falls under the umbrella of PR 04:00 Effective Press Releases for Small Businesses 07:01 How to get your press releases out in the media 08:40 Creating Compelling Press Release Content 16:22 Steps to Producing and Distributing Press Releases 22:16 The media pick-up time frame for a press release to be considered a success 23:42 The cost implications of press releases or syndicating content 27:14 The standard, most effective press release length 28:07 Samples of major press release fails 35:00 The next actionable step that small businesses can take within the next 2 weeks to create effective press releases. Resources: Mickie Kennedy PR Expert, Press Release Ninja, Media Relations Networker eReleases Website: LinkedIn: Facebook: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | How Press Releases Build Buzz and Grow Your Small Business


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. Resources: Herb Cogliano, International Business Growth Advisor & Certified Scaling Up Coach, Aspire Growth Advisors: LinkedIn: Email: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Maximizing Labor Efficiency for Your Growing Business


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. Resources: Gayle Gruenberg, CPO-CD®, CVPO™, CEO, Let’s Get Organized: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook: Youtube: Podcast | Make Space for Blessings Author: 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


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. Resources: John Glover, Coach, Fractional COO & Integrator, Core Integration Coaching: LinkedIn: Schedule a Discovery Call with John: Email: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Industry Deep Dive - Construction: How to Effectively Manage Subcontractors Using EOS


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. Resources: Zach Montroy, People, Team & Organizational Strategist, Founder & CEO, The Intention Collective: LinkedIn: Email: Books Mentioned: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Overcoming Workplace Dysfunction


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 Resources: Mike Sullivan, President, and CEO, LOOMIS: LinkedIn: Email: 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: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | How Using Challenger Branding Accelerates Business Growth


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 Resources: Bryant G. Tow, Chief Security Officer, Author, and Speaker of Leapfrog Services: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook: Email: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Cybersecurity Essentials for Small Businesses


How to be a great podcast guest, with Tom Schwab

Guest podcasting is an excellent strategy to leverage the power of podcasts for business development, expanding your network, and building your brand. Not only does it allow you to showcase your expertise, but you’ll reach new audiences through valuable and engaging content. But with so many shows available, how do you select the right one to guest in? And if you're hosting, how do you choose the ideal guest? In today's episode, our guest Tom Schwab and I will explore the ins and outs of guest podcasting, from preparation and creating resonating content to making the most of your time on air, whether you're a guest or a host. Tom is an Entrepreneur, Author, Podcast Interview Marketing Pioneer, and Founder of Interview Valet. He believes the best things in life come from conversations. It’s these powerful, sometimes awkward conversations that propel us from where we are personally and professionally to where we dream of being. As an engineer, a Navy Veteran, and Nuclear Propulsion Plant Operator, Tom thinks differently. Tough Minded, Skeptical, sometimes even Cantankerous, but always technically competent, always thinking - ”What if” is how the head of the Nuclear Navy described it. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, he understands the unique challenges of business owners. This led him to be an early pioneer in using inbound marketing for eCommerce and targeted podcast interviews for marketing that connects. We discuss: 02:36: Guest podcasting and how it started 04:54: The benefits of using podcasting as a business development tool 12:16 When to consider working with a podcast marketing agency 17:20: Top factors to watch out for when vetting podcast agencies to ensure they align with your brand 20:59: Setting guest podcasting KPIs, including the ideal number of podcasts to guest on per month 28:11: How to prepare for guest podcasting, especially if you're new to public speaking in this medium 33:56: Tips on how to provide value to the audience in a non-salesy, self-serving way while guesting on a podcast 37:17: The first actionable step to take in the next week or two if you're new to guest podcasting and interested in getting started. Resources: Tom Schwab, Entrepreneur, Podcast Interview Marketing Pioneer, and Founder of Interview Valet LinkedIn: Facebook: Twitter: Resources: Author: Podcast Guest Profits: Grow Your Business with a Targeted Interview Strategy One Conversation Away: A Manifesto for a Rich Life and a Profitable Business. Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | How to be a Great Podcast Guest


Navigating conflict in a growing business, with Sheila Lambert

Difficult conversations with employees and clients are inevitable. These conversations could range from addressing a team member's poor performance or behavioral issues or managing missed deadlines or disagreements with a client. They can get awkward and stressful, but avoiding them may cause bigger problems down the line. In today's episode, our guest Sheila Lambert and I discuss these “difficult conversations”, and she shares valuable insights on making them less intimidating and more productive for all parties involved. Sheila Lambert is the President and Founder of Lambert Leadership Coaching, LLC and she brings over 30 years of experience as a therapist and Executive Coach, empowering thousands of women who advanced in their careers and are at the forefront of their companies through self-discovery. Sheila works creatively and collaboratively with organizations to help elevate and advance their leaders. Aside from having over 450 hours of academic training and over 1700 hours in ongoing continuing education training, Sheila has an MS in Organizational Leadership and an MS in Counseling. She is a Licensed Counselor, a Certified Workplace Wellness Professional and a Stress Mastery coach. She is a COVID-19 Transitional Leadership Course graduate, which positions her to lead and support organizations strategically. She is a Speaker and a Leader’s advocate. She supports and donates percentages of proceeds from her business to many nonprofit organizations, especially the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, as she has had many people in her life succumb to Cancer. We discuss: 03:04 Preparing for difficult conversations with employees and clients to ensure positive outcomes 05:07 How to better understand and gaining perspective in difficult conversations 07:52 Real-life example of preparing for a difficult conversation and its outcome 12:41 How to support employees through difficult conversations 16:25 Effective ways to manage employee during company changes 19:50 Addressing disruptive behavior during meetings through structured conversations 22:02 Giving effective feedback in difficult conversations via neutral phrasing and objectivity 27:19 Guidelines for navigating cultural differences during difficult conversations 33:06 The immediate and actionable next step to take to make difficult conversations easier Resources: Sheila Lambert, President and Founder, Lambert Leadership Coaching, LLC: LinkedIn: Email: Program: Rise Up: A Women’s Leadership Program for Women on the Rise - A strong program designed to deepen your leadership skills, execute your impact and accelerate your career! Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Navigating Conflict in a Growing Business


Content creation for businesses in the age of AI, with Stephanie Nivinskus

Unique content is critical to growing your business. But with AI like ChatGPT on the rise, staying ahead of the game is a challenge. So, how can businesses keep up? How does AI impact thought leadership content? What opportunities and obstacles come with using it? And most importantly, how can you leverage this technology to drive business growth? In today's episode, our guest Stephanie Nivinskus and I discuss all things AI, particularly ChatGPT, and how - if used properly - it can help you with your marketing efforts Stephanie is the CEO of SizzleForce Marketing, a Fractional CMO agency that services scaling companies. Since 1995 she’s been developing brand-building marketing campaigns that have been used by companies including Starbucks, Quiksilver, The National Football League, Cox Communications, and thousands of privately owned companies. Stephanie has written for Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines and is the author of the international #1 best-seller, Absolutely Unforgettable: The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Creating A HeartCentered Brand And Standing Out In A Noisy World. Known for her ability to humanize commerce and market products and services in an authentic & powerful way, she delights audiences with attention-grabbing stories and strategies that connect the dots between people and profit. Her raw, heart-centered approach to creating meaningful conversations gives scaling companies a big voice in the marketplace. Stephanie speaks nationwide. When she’s not helping brands showcase their sizzle, Stephanie enjoys time with her husband and three teenagers in San Diego. We discuss: 03:40 How can Chat GPT be leveraged to develop thought leadership content and improve content quality? 05:54 What are some practical ways to use Chat GPT to enhance content ideation for a blog while incorporating one's thought leadership and experience? 10:07 What measures should be taken to verify the accuracy of the information generated by AI tools and ensure the reliability of sources used? 12:28 What measures can you take to ensure the ethical and effective use of AI and Chat GPT by marketing agencies? 18:30 What are some clear indications or "dead giveaways" that suggest an individual or organization has simply taken Chat GPT's output and passed it off as their own content, without additional modifications or thoughts? 23:10 What other ways, besides content creation and marketing, can individuals or organizations effectively use ChatGPT to their advantage? 31:07 What would be the next actionable step for someone just starting to use AI to ensure they are using it effectively and efficiently? Resources: Stephanie Nivinskus, CEO, Author, and Speaker, SizzleForce Marketing: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook: Author of Absolutely Unforgettable: The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Creating A HeartCentered Brand And Standing Out In A Noisy World Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Content Creation for Businesses in the Age of AI


Mastering the emotional side of exiting your business, with John Ovrom

Many seasoned entrepreneurs pour years of blood, sweat, and tears into building a successful company. But with time, priorities change, and circumstances shift. Whether it's retirement, a new endeavor, or handing the company over to your successor, exiting your business requires careful planning and execution. So what steps do you need to take to ensure a smooth transition? How do you prepare yourself emotionally for this major life change? Joining me in today’s podcast is John Ovrom, the President and founder of Exit Consulting Group, which provides consulting and brokerage services for business owners to prepare for and execute their exit. We explore why emotional preparedness is essential when exiting your business and share tips on handling this monumental transition. John specializes in creating roadmaps for business owners anticipating a transition, whether transferring the business to family or employees or selling to a third party. He’s also the author of "Exit & Answers: Navigate Your Business, Exit Like An Expert" We discuss: 04:49 When is the major change felt in the process of exiting a business, and is it before signing the agreement, during the process, or after the agreement has been completed and the payment has been made? 09:50 What other business exit strategies can business owners consider aside from selling the company or their job? 12:23 How can business owners effectively transition from being the central figure to empowering employees to take ownership and lead the business through its different stages of growth? 14:32 What helpful strategies and techniques exist to emotionally prepare yourself or your clients to separate from their business and navigate the exit process successfully? 18:51 How can businesses manage the emotional impact on employees during an owner's decision to exit, and maintain team dynamics during the transition period? 22:16 What actionable steps can owners take to reassure employees during the exit process and provide effective change management support to ensure a successful transition? 25:19 Can transitioning from being an owner to an employee affect the team dynamic, and how does it work in practice? 36:25 What practical steps can business owners take in the next week or two if they are thinking of exiting their business, aside from preparing for the emotional transition? Resources: John Ovrom, President, Founder, and Author, Exit Consulting Group: LinkedIn: Facebook: Youtube: Email: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Mastering the Emotional Side of Exiting Your Business


Building professional and personal support systems to grow your business, with Jessica Yarbrough

Starting and growing a business can be incredibly fulfilling but can quickly overwhelm many owners. Managing the increased complexity across all aspects of your operations becomes crucial as your business expands. Not only will it help increase revenue, but also help you avoid stress, burnout and even potential resentment towards your customers. So what can you do or set up, so you are better prepared to deal with these "growing pains" both in your professional and private life? In today's episode, our guest Jessica Yarbrough and I talk about how to build or create systems that will support your professional and personal lives during times of growth. We explore where to start and what to expect from these support systems. Jessica Yarbrough is a Business Strategist and Growth Expert. She quickly developed a reputation for being one of the best business strategists for coaches and consultants who want to sell and scale ultra-high-end services. Her background is in international business, and she has built multiple companies. Jessica is a genius at showing entrepreneurs how to build an expert platform, rapidly raise their value, build credibility and attract high-paying clients. She loves teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their influence and make the income and impact they desire. We discuss: 02:59 What is the biggest problem faced by clients when their business grows? 04:05 Are there commonalities in the "growing pains" experienced by those who seek help, and how do you prevent them from recurring? 10:02 What specific qualities or attributes do you seek when interviewing potential team members for your own company? 10:57 During interviews, how do you determine if a candidate may have loyalty or value issues that could impact your business? 12:35 Why is it important to have both internal and external systems to support the growth of a small business, and how do they aid owners in their private life? 18:01 How can business owners create systems and processes without sacrificing their personal lives? 20:39 Have you observed "unruly growth" in businesses as they expand, and is this what happened with this particular client? 22:08 What is the next actionable step to take in the next week or two if you want to establish effective internal and external systems in your professional and private life? 23:10 How do you identify high-value activities for your business, especially when it seems like all the tasks on your calendar are equally important? Resources: Jessica Yarbrough, Business Growth Strategist, and Growth Expert: LinkedIn: YouTube: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | Building Professional and Personal Support Systems to Grow Your Business


The art of exiting your business, with Patty Block

As a business owner, you know the importance of planning for success. But have you ever thought about planning for the end of your business journey? Exiting a business is a critical process that requires careful preparation. With a solid exit strategy, you can maintain control of the outcome and get all the rewards for your hard work. Whether you're looking to retire, start a new venture, or sell your business, developing an exit plan ensures a smooth transition and the best possible conclusion for all concerned, including your employees and stakeholders. The sooner you begin planning, the more successful your exit will be. In today’s episode, our guest Patty Block unlocks the doors on how to develop an exit plan for your business: what are the first steps to take, is there a process, and what to consider so that you can reach your exit goals? Patty is a business advisor and pricing expert who believes that consistent business success comes from leveraging your hidden advantage, making informed decisions, communicating powerfully, and taking calculated action. Since 2006, Patty has empowered women business owners who are experts in their fields to turn up their power to price, sell, and run their businesses on their terms. Patty is the founder of The Block Group Inc. and author of "Your Hidden AdvantageTM: Unlock the Power to Attract Right-fit Clients and Boost Your Revenue." We discuss: 02:33 What are some different ways you can exit the business? 04:26 What's the difference between exiting and selling a business? 08:48 The importance of building assets and intellectual property. 11:27 Besides hiring, what else should you think about as you're trying to build assets in your business? 14:54 The importance of building systems and processes to support the business. 29:01 How do you determine what is intellectual property? 32:19 Why are intellectual property and branding valuable? 38:13 How do you catch yourself overdelivering? 42:09 What's the one actionable step that someone thinking about exiting their company in the future can do in the next month to get them closer to that goal? Resources: Patty Block, Pricing Expert and Business Expert, The Block Group Inc.: LinkedIn: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Email: Author of Your Hidden Advantage: Unlock the Power to Attract Right-fit Clients and Boost Your Revenue Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | The Art of Exiting Your Business:


How to build a strong sales infrastructure, with Eric Balis

Having a solid sales infrastructure in place has the potential to make or break your growing business. If designed - and implemented - correctly, it can help you achieve goals, increase sales, and stay ahead of the competition. But building one requires careful planning and execution, and key elements must be in place to support business growth. So what steps do you need to take to establish a sales infrastructure? And how can you ensure that it will take your business to the next level? In today's episode, our guest Eric Balis and I break down how you can build up an effective sales infrastructure for your business. Eric is a Fractional VP of Sales and the Founder of Top Tier Sales Advisors. He helps founders realize their company's maximum value by accelerating revenue production and helping their sales teams achieve excellent and repeatable results. He concentrates on helping small and mid-size companies optimize their sales strategy, process, and education. Eric helps companies transform their sales culture, implement new sales processes and procedures, and instill best practices. He focuses not just on the strategic level but also on the tactical level to help companies achieve record-breaking sales results. We discuss: 02:13 What does it mean to have a sales infrastructure? What does it look like? 04:49 What is the role of content marketing in educating buyers and supporting sales efforts in service-based businesses? 07:55 Do you have an example of a business that you helped where its marketing and sales efforts were focused on attracting high-quality customers and that it drove business growth and increased revenue? 11:41 What changes did the company in your example make to its messaging that improved its sales process? 13:31 What is considered a good open rate for email campaigns? Is there an industry standard for what is considered average or low? 15:09 After setting the foundational pieces of having the correct messaging and positioning, is finding the best CRM system the next step in building your sales infrastructure? 16:39 What personality traits, attitudes, and qualities do successful salespeople tend to have? 20:01 Is it possible to train someone to actively listen and ask insightful probing questions in sales conversations, and is it a skill that can be taught, or is it innate to a specific personality type? 22:55 When does a business determine if it has reached the tipping point where it needs to implement a sales process? 24:17 What are some common mistakes businesses make when they try to handle challenging projects on their own instead of hiring a consultant or expert? 28:35 What is one actionable step that a business can take in the next month to improve its sales infrastructure if they already have some pieces in place, such as a CRM system and the right messaging and positioning? Resources: Eric Balis, Fractional VP of Sales and Founder, Top Tier Sales Advisors: LinkedIn: Take the Free Sales Agility Assessment: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog Post | How to Build a Strong Sales Infrastructure:


How to maximize business growth by hiring a Fractional COO, with Valerie Hayes

Staying on top of day-to-day operations can be daunting and this can be especially challenging for small businesses with CEOs often juggling multiple roles to keep their companies running smoothly. But what happens when growth takes off and those responsibilities become too much to handle? This is where a fractional COO can be a game-changer. Their expertise and guidance can help optimize your operations and free up valuable time for you to focus on driving business growth. But what exactly is a fractional COO, what do they do and how do they help take your business to the next level? In today’s episode, our guest Valerie Hayes and I discuss the role of a Fractional COO and how they can drive business growth by optimizing operations, including managing remote teams. Valerie is on a mission to help overburdened entrepreneurs, small business owners, and CEOs establish their businesses as industry leaders without working 24/7/365 days a year. As a Fractional COO/EOS Integrator, she helps untangle everything that's not working smoothly, sorts them out, and puts it all back together. No more late nights stuck at your desk trying to figure it all out. She is here to give us some actionable insights on how you can balance running day-to-day operations with implementing your ideas to grow your business. We discuss: 03:49 How do you describe your role as a fractional COO and how do people find you? 12:03 What are some of the biggest issues that prompt people to seek a fractional COO for their business? 15:26 How does having the right people affect the impact of processes and procedures on a business? 16:59 When you begin working with a new business, how do you prioritize which areas to focus on first, given the many issues that need addressing? 20:07 Have you ever encountered a situation in which employees were resistant to change, resulting in an exodus of personnel who disagreed with the new direction? 26:41 How does managing a virtual team differ from managing an on-site team, and what are some key considerations to consider when leading remote workers? 33:36 What strategies do you recommend for effectively managing the work and workflow of virtual teams? 37:05 How do you measure the effectiveness of creative work being done by remote team members, such as an offshore marketing person who is responsible for planning, conceptualizing, and strategizing? 40:12 What factors should a business owner consider when deciding whether to let an employee go or to move them to a different role within the company? 42:38 If someone struggles to manage their virtual team, what is one actionable step they can take next week to improve their ability to manage the team effectively? Resources: Valerie Hayes, Fractional COO, EOS Integrator & Entrepreneur. Valerie Hayes and Company: LinkedIn: Facebook: Email: Kathy Svetina, Fractional CFO: Blog post | How to Maximize Business Growth by Hiring a Fractional COO