Empowering Healthy Business: The Podcast for Small Business Owners

#13 - Building a THRIVE Business, 90 Days at a Time

January 30, 2024 Cal Wilder Episode 13
#13 - Building a THRIVE Business, 90 Days at a Time
Empowering Healthy Business: The Podcast for Small Business Owners
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Empowering Healthy Business: The Podcast for Small Business Owners
#13 - Building a THRIVE Business, 90 Days at a Time
Jan 30, 2024 Episode 13
Cal Wilder

Part of running a healthy business is being able to set and manage to achieve operational goals. This episode’s guest Bill Simmons has been in the fractional COO business for almost 20 years, helping clients run their business 90 days at a time toward achieving strategic objectives.

This episode includes:

  • Bill's special sauce helping businesses manage their business 90 days at a time
  • The benefit of fractional management expertise
  • What it means to be a THRIVE business
  • How to structure a fractional COO engagement for success
  • If your vision is larger than yourself, you need to hire more than yourself 

Sponsored by SmartBooks. To schedule a free consultation, visit smartbooks.com.

Thanks for listening!

Host Cal Wilder can be reached at:

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Part of running a healthy business is being able to set and manage to achieve operational goals. This episode’s guest Bill Simmons has been in the fractional COO business for almost 20 years, helping clients run their business 90 days at a time toward achieving strategic objectives.

This episode includes:

  • Bill's special sauce helping businesses manage their business 90 days at a time
  • The benefit of fractional management expertise
  • What it means to be a THRIVE business
  • How to structure a fractional COO engagement for success
  • If your vision is larger than yourself, you need to hire more than yourself 

Sponsored by SmartBooks. To schedule a free consultation, visit smartbooks.com.

Thanks for listening!

Host Cal Wilder can be reached at:

Moderator  00:00
Welcome to the Empowering Healthy Business podcast, THE podcast for small business owners. Your host, Cal Wilder, has built and sold businesses of his own and he has helped hundreds of other small businesses. Whether it is improving sales, profitability and cash flow; building a sustainable, scalable and saleable business; reducing your stress level, achieving work life balance, or improving physical and emotional fitness, Cal and his guests are here to help you run a healthier business, and in turn, have a healthier life.

Cal Wilder  00:35
Welcome, listeners. Today I'm joined by Bill Simmons. Hi, Bill.

Bill Simmons  00:39
Hey, Calvin, thank you for letting us be a part of your adventure here today.

Cal Wilder  00:44
I'm looking forward to it. Where are you joining us from today?

Bill Simmons  00:48
Well, I'm live in Greenville, South Carolina, and I'm a transplant, came via the Baltimore DC area.

Cal Wilder  00:57
I'm up here in Boston. And we're coming off one of those weeks we always have in late January when the temperature is in single digits at night and doesn't go above freezing during the day. So I'm coming off a week like that.

Bill Simmons  01:08
Yeah, it's amazing. I love Boston, my business partner is from that area. So we're always having the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox conversation.

Cal Wilder  01:21
When we connected Bill, I couldn't help but get excited about your name, Thrive Business Solutions, because the name of the first business I founded was called Thrive Networks. I started that business with a couple of partners when I was 24 years old. And that is where I got most of my education as an entrepreneur and learning how to start and manage and scale a small business. So I said, Well, with that kind of a name, I've got to get to know Bill better.

Bill Simmons  01:48
Yeah, well, I'm excited to hear that. Yeah, we it's been one of those words that you see it in a lot of different places. But it's kind of followed me for the last few decades. So it, it follows me right into this.

Cal Wilder  02:09
I know we'll get into your current practice and how you engage with and help small business owners. But if you could talk to us a little bit about, you know, what's your background? I know, you've got a background as a business owner and entrepreneur yourself. So can you walk us through your entrepreneurial journey a little bit?

Bill Simmons  02:26
Yeah, well, you know, I started in at a college working for a company that was kind of pre blows and Home Depot, a big box store is more of a well, you would the company is no longer around there, eventually purchased by a belief, true value. So more like that true value, Ace Hardware model, and worked with the president of the company and learned a lot about business as a very early stage, but was brought up to think entrepreneurial, even as a team member in my early 20s. And worked with that company for about eight years, learning a lot about business being mentored, and went from there took a really unusual turn and to the nonprofit world. 

I was the executive director of a nonprofit in DC for many years. And through that, I ended up having about 300 speaking engagements in six years. So if you do the math, it's about one a week. And so I was we had a 38 acre campus on the Maryland side of DC. And as I traveled doing a lot of recruiting a lot of fundraising, I ended up in rooms with quite a bit of entrepreneurs and business owners and organizational leaders. And they would say things like, hey, so let me understand this year to leave, you're on campus three to four days a week, and then you travel three to four days a week, and you're doing it all the time. Like I can't leave my office three to five hours at a time. How are you doing it on a weekly basis? And that turned into a lot of conversations. And you know, our mission statement is serve people solve problems. And so we would just end up having natural conversations around. Well, here's, here's how we set up processes so that things maintain while I'm out and where our team is, here's how we hire, here's how I manage expectations, here's how we communicate as a team, maybe I can come back and help and serve you. From that I created an opportunity 2006 where I saw that outsourced executive leadership could support business owners. And that's when we started what is today Thrive Business Operations.

Cal Wilder  04:40
How was it making the transition from being an employee to a business owner to a coach and advisor to other business owners?

Yeah, well, I think it's natural, right? It's about leadership. You know, there's always times that we make doubt our gifts in our abilities in You know, as a young Bill Simmons, I was not able really to articulate what I can today. And today I recognize, you know, really as a me as an individual, us as a company with my business partner, chi. Bailey, really, we're leaders of leaders. And we recognize that we had an opportunity to do that. And certainly coaching consulting as a part of that. Often I say, we don't, you know, we don't provide coaching and consulting. Everybody's a coach, and everybody's a consultant today. And if we're all honest, we all roll our eyes when we hear the words, right. So it's, it's what we really pride ourselves in is partnering, and helping execute your vision. And then we can dig more into that as we converse. But making that transition was having a confidence around not only past experience, but having great conversations with leaders, because we come to it from an approach as leaders, and I've just been blessed through the years to be able to see that at every stage of my career.

Cal Wilder  06:04
So in the second episode of my podcast, I spoke with Jeff Provost, who has a fractional COO business up here in Massachusetts. And I kind of got his take on the fractional COO model and how he's able to engage with clients and structure those engagements for success. And I'm, you know, I'm interested in understanding your approach and how you go about engaging with clients so that on a, you know, a part time fractional basis, they're able to have the most impact.

Yeah, well, I appreciate that question. And for the clarity, because you could get 10 business owners in a room and say, Tell me what a COO is, might actually get 10 different answers, right. And our approach is a couple of things. One, though, I started the company as a solopreneur and single shingle, as some may say. Today, we're not that today, we're a firm, and we help deliver a process and how to execute and being a COO for the company. So you're not just hiring experience with us and competency from the past, we're bringing in to really help execute. 

Bill Simmons  07:10
Our phrase is we're going to help run your business 90 days at a time. We call it a quarterly sprint. And so our strategic planning and focus and how we use what we call the ops cycle, there's many people may use the term business operating system, you'll see over my shoulder here are five books, they all say really the same thing. And that is to run your company 90 days of the time. The mystery is not that we don't know that as business owners, but how do we execute it. So our job is to take our Thrive ops cycle, in helping really clear on what your quarterly objectives and priorities are, and help the team to actually execute and get those things done. And so, you know, we really focus on that quarterly sprint to move your vision and your company to growth. But our thing is, quarterly sprint it that is the secret sauce to how we run and support your company. As a fractional COO, I often say don't hire a COO doesn't have a process on how to help run your company and help us execute at a higher level. So we use a business operating system, we call it the, again, the Thrive ops cycle in one of those phases as the centerpiece of that these quarterly sprints, where we're clear on objectives and priorities. In a world where you can do anything, we have to realize you can't do everything. So what we have to do is decide what are the any things we're going to be doing as a company to help move the needle. And that's where we, as a COO team help execute that. The other thing Calvin I see is that everybody's looking for a unicorn, right? One person who can do it all. And there are no unicorns is what I have realized in the business world, right. And so one of the things we try to do is help support a company as a team instead of a solopreneur model. And when we help deliver as a team, the team can be a unicorn where an individual can't be. Right,

Cal Wilder  09:12
Right. I had a business coach at a point in time, who would facilitate quarterly meetings for the management team. And one day, he said, You know, I view my most important responsibility is making sure that you guys set the most important quarterly rocks or quarterly objectives like make sure you get you select the most valuable quarterly goals for your business. So as part of your process, you know, I assume you share a similar kind of philosophy, how do you actually go about figuring out what the most important things are on a quarterly basis for business?

Bill Simmons  09:45
Well, I think it's first and foremost being clear on what the growth goals are for your company and helping determine where the gaps are that are that are keeping you from moving, they're weak. We move we work on a model of the nine functions have a business. And if you were to go to our website, you would see we have nine squares with operations in the middle of that. And what we really believe is that we should, from an operations perspective, make sure that every other function of the business is operating at its fullest at its best. And not being a place where we're missing opportunity, we kind of look at business like a barrel, where that barrel has slashed like a root beer barrel. In again, we have an image on our site that shows that it's really neat. And one of the things is that if one of those slats is a different function of the business, that is underperforming, that's where your business is leaking the revenue, leaking your financial growth, and what we want to do is help shore up that. So that's where we define priorities is where we see opportunities for growth.

Cal Wilder  10:53
What kinds of businesses-- industry, size, business model-- have you had the most success with or do you really like to work with these days?

So that's a great question. We've been doing this long enough that thinks that just over time, you know, I would have said at one time, probably in the professional services world, we've we've served a lot of clients in that category, we've honestly served between 35 to 40 categories of industries, through the years, right now we have a lot of healthcare on the table where we're we're supporting a lot of, you know, health care companies in a variety of ways, and moving the needle there. But you know, manufacturing, professional services, healthcare seem to be the the things that get the most attention. These days, we're really industry agnostic, we often say you be the expert in your industry, let us be the expert in operations, let us help move the needle on your people and processes. So you can make them so you can maximize profit, right. And if you're if you're the expert in your industry, let us move on from there, who we have a conversation with normally, privately owned companies that are in that three to $30 million range of annual revenue, we really believe we can bring train some transformative support and accompany that size. We've certainly had companies that are larger than that some that are smaller that we offer different types of services. But our sweet spot is if your net three to $30 million range, we can bring to you high level, supportive, fractional co supports fraction of the time fraction of the cost, and really help move the needle on your execution.

Cal Wilder  12:33
So on the small end of that range, if you've got nine key functions, and you're only a three or four or $5 million business, you probably don't have nine different managers, right? You've got people multitasking, doing different things. So how does the small business go about plugging those gaps when they have a very limited management team?

I think we live in a great opportunity now where a lot of companies in that category may not hire a full or part time employee, but they're outsourcing that expertise. And so there may be marketing support, sales support, HR support. That is they're using, you know, a fractional model, so to speak in all of those categories. And once that happens, even as a small business, one of the beauties of having a fractional CFO is to help centralize and manage all of those relationships, and all of those strategies, because what even as a business has three to $5 million, you get to manage all those relationships, but you can focus on projects, that moves specifically towards your objectives for growth, instead of just hiring, you know, an employee that is kind of managing chaos on the basis, right, you know, let's be real strategic. So we may be able to outsource some marketing support that drive directly towards your goal, sales support, HR, and on and on. So I think that is a unique opportunity we have in the marketplace that we didn't have, you know, in, you know, 10-20 years ago,

Cal Wilder  14:01
Right. And that model,, you're hiring somebody for a very specific objective. You're not paying 40 hours a week to fill 40 hours a week. Maybe you're spending a little more on an hourly rate, but you're getting a very focused effort that has a start and in theory, an end parameter to it.

Bill Simmons  14:19
Yeah, because it's all about results. And if you see behind me, it's strategy execution results, right. And so as a partner with that business owner, managing in leading those kinds of supports, is clarifying the results that we're looking for. So we can meet that expectation.

Cal Wilder  14:37
Right. Maximum some of the industries you mentioned, like healthcare and manufacturing, I think it's probably I'm assuming it's still pretty much a largely in person on site, kind of business, but in professional services, and probably some other industries. You work I assume it's gotten a lot more remote and distributed over the last several years, kind of how do you navigate that dynamic?

Bill Simmons  14:57
I honestly we still do the majority you know, We were doing zoom before zoom was cool. And, you know, before COVID, kind of, you know, pushed everybody in that direction. And so we've actually learned really how to be much more effective using a remote workforce and maximizing zoom. Honestly, three to four years ago, every time we did a strategy advance, it was more than likely in person. Now, almost all of our clients would rather do that online, it's more efficient, it's more effective, we can shrink time, get things accomplished, and then be on site as needed. But it's not, we're doing most everything remotely and effectively online using the tools that are available to us. And then once a quarter, we may be on site or once a month, depending on what the client's needs are. I'll be heading to DC tomorrow to support one of our clients for an all day sales team meeting. But that's something that we're more likely going to do just once a month. Right.

Cal Wilder  15:51
In my experience, one of the challenges when trying to be a fractional C-level officer or advisor to clients is, there's almost an infinite amount of work that you could do. Like in my line of trade, I sometimes function as a fractional chief financial officer or a fractional CFO, to clients. And there's an infinite amount of things I could be asked to do for a client, but there's not an infinite budget. And I don't have infinite time. So how do you go about structuring engagement where you can fit it into the client's budget, still have a large impact, but really focus your time and energy? How do you go about structuring those kinds of engagements?

Bill Simmons  16:28
Well, we're focusing on results. And, and we're focusing on those quarterly sprint and objectives and so that our scope of work should be defined by those objectives. And we should be able to evaluate every 90 days, what is the output required to make that happen, and most of our clients, we will work together, you know, we asked for a 12 month engagement, obviously, there's opportunity when things happen that they may not last that long. But often our clients, we're going to, you know, we're going to engage with them, you know, for, you know, two to three years at a time. And the output may be that we're helping them prep for a full time person, or somebody that is dedicated to that service. But ultimately, we're always evaluating every 90 days what the scope of work should be, and what results we should be executing on. And you have to have open and honest conversation. There's always scope, creep, and all of those types of things. We're not afraid of the work. But we're also not afraid of the conversation, we have to have the conversation to say, this is within the parameters of what we can deliver for you know, art, like I said earlier, our mission statement is serve people solve problems. We're like everybody else we want to say yes, all that we can, but there are times where we have to say okay, yes. But like, yes, we can do that. But here's, here's how that's going to change our agreement. And here's how we have to do it. But if you build into that 90 day evaluation, we're increasing communication, and we're clarifying expectations.

Cal Wilder  18:00
Okay. Now, you mentioned one point, something like, I don't know, I might have the numbers wrong, but you know, the, the six keys or the six steps or the six components of a Thrive business, what does that refer to? Yeah,

One of the things that, you know, we really try to focus on is having a transformational experience, though, you know, I often believe that, as we serve our clients, they're coming to us because they want something to change, right. And so part of thrive in that serving people solving problem is to say, you know, what, what is what is a business that thrives, and y'all kind of put together a little acronym that helps speak to the fact that the T for thrive is transformational, that we, we want a business that makes a positive impact, right? It's an impact on our, on our community, it's an impact on our team members. It's an impact on our families, as a business owner, you want to leave a legacy that is more than just I've worked myself into a job. So we want to be transformational. 

Bill Simmons  18:56
The H stands for holistic, that we want to be able to create a healthy, sustainable business that it's more than just financial gain. But we're trying to really make a positive outcome for all involved in our businesses in a holistic way. 

Bill Simmons  19:30
The R is relational. We value of relationships, I think there's only three things that matter in business. One is relationships. Number two is relationships. And number three is relationships. Like we really have to focus on the relational impact and businesses that thrive are relational. 

Bill Simmons  19:47
The I is intentional, we you know, be have a clear vision, a clear purpose, and align your actions to that and our strategic approach. It is about being highly intentional in our decision making in our efforts as a company, and we believe if you thrive, you're highly intentional. 

Bill Simmons  20:09
The V is for vibrant, we think business ought to be dynamic, energetic and exciting. There. Certainly there are times that it's discouraging. And dare I say, even depressing. I often tease and say if, if, as a business owner, you were not bipolar, when you started your business, you might be bipolar by the time you're done, right, the it's challenging. This is not for the weak of heart. But we also believe this ought to be an exciting, dynamic experience. In running a business, if you're going to thrive, you got to be vibrant. 

Bill Simmons  20:40
And then the E stands for effective, you know, we believe in effectiveness, achieving our goals, delivering results, not just going through the hamster wheel, but really striving to be efficient as a business. So when we we look at a business that thrives, we just think those are elements of it. So I'm a firehose through a straw man, I get excited about those things. But that's what it means to us as a team.

Cal Wilder  21:05
Oh, that's great. It's funny you mentioned the bipolar. Have you ever come across Cameron Herold in your travels? I have not. He runs kind of a chief operating officer mastermind type organization, but he has a whole speech, and maybe you're even wrote a book about it this point, about if you compare the traits of people who are mentally ill, with the traits of small business owners, there is a lot of overlap.

Bill Simmons  21:31
No doubt, I resemble that.

Cal Wilder  21:33
Yes, exactly. So what what do you see as some of the challenges that really get in the way of businesses being a Thrive business and fulfilling those six elements, especially on kind of the smaller $3 to $10 million revenue kind of businesses? What do you see getting in the way there?

Bill Simmons  21:53
Normally, the reason the company is where it is, is because of the founder that started the company, right? And then there comes a place where scaling and growth, the very person that is responsible for where we are is now the reason why we're not able to take the next leap. And they need a partner to come alongside of them to help take that vision in the thing that they've created to make it a a scalable, healthy and growing business. And so learning that bottleneck experience is really what I call it. And if you feel as a business owner, that everything is now dependent upon me, then the first thing you need to ask yourself is who can partner with me to get me out of the way, and that's where we're really starting to work on proper processes and getting the right people on our team to move the needle. So I think, ultimately, if you were frustrated, that, you know, one of the things I'd love to say, Calvin is that if you feel you have a vision, your operations can't keep up with then let us have a conversation. Because what's happened is you have a vision, that people aren't being able to fill in the gap. And whenever we're going to close that gap 100%, but we can't shrink the size. And so let us help you and stop being a bottleneck. Tell you,

Cal Wilder  23:18
Bill, I've fallen in this trap. Sometimes in my career that I've got a vision that's a little bit too well, and a word big, but it's just too complicated. I've got, I've got visions of multiple lines of business, multiple divisions, multiple customer segments, but I've got a 25 employee company, and we can't possibly do all those different things. And in my mind, I think I can keep track of it all. But when it comes to actually execute operationally, it's way too complicated. So part of the challenge here is making sure the vision is is concise enough that everybody can get behind it and show up to work and and achieve it right.

Bill Simmons  23:57
Absolutely. And I think clarifying that is sometimes the helpful of an outside source to be able to help refine that. And then one of the biggest jobs has helped communicate that to both your team and to the marketplace. And that is a big piece of what we think we help mature a company to clarify that communication of both the vision and then the expectations to accomplish that vision.

Cal Wilder  24:27
Is your objective, you know, to work yourself out of a job with your clients, like some some folks I speak with in the fractional COO space, they say, Well, my job is to work myself out of a job in 18 months or something like that. And then others will say, I shouldn't be there helping as long as I'm adding value. Do you have ticular take on that?

Bill Simmons  24:45
Well, we'll go back to the bipolar. A little bit of both, right? So, one, because we're evaluating and executing on quarterly objectives, we really shouldn't be working on the same things six to nine months from now that we're working on today, right? Now growth may cause us to go back and, you know, refine some areas of a company, but we should be constantly moving forward. And so yeah, we potentially may be working ourselves out of a job where you a full time CEO, is we've had many companies that have actually come to us and said that, hey, we've gone through a couple CEOs, it's never worked, you know, we need a better process of how we run our company, can you help us establish that process, so we can bring somebody in to run that system, some CEOs are going to be very good at implementing those systems to help run your company smoother, some are going to be better and more adaptive to say, Okay, once the system is in place, I can effectively help it keep it going. Right? So we're, we're gonna work our ways in different places, or we may come in partnership, we've had some clients where, hey, we have a CEO, but they are so stuck in, in this the tyranny of the urgent that we need somebody to help us work on special projects and special execution in partnership with that CEO. So there's a lot of ways that we can help them to support a company in a variety ways.

Cal Wilder  26:17
I tend to focus, I come out of the accounting and finance and reporting side of things. So I'm curious, I'm always curious and wondering, you know, what, what a small businesses really need, that they're not getting on the accounting and financial reporting side of things. So I'm curious, in your experience, what are the gaps that you tend to see on the accounting and financial reporting side of your clients?

Bill Simmons  26:38
Well, one is having reasonable and realistic expectations. I always feel that one of the things that happens in the financial function of a company is often we hire people, and then try to get them to be more than they really are. So for example, we hire accountants, but call them controllers and are really not controllers because they're accountants. We hire bookkeepers, and we want them to be accountants, but they're really not accountants, they're really good bookkeepers. And it's not trying to minimize anybody's role. It's just there's a skill set, that's a little bit different at different places. And again, oftentimes, we try to find a unicorn that can do it all. We hire accountants and controllers, and we want them to be CFOs, and then we're frustrated that we're not getting strategic reporting and focus and budgeting, and all those types of things. So I think it's one is having a clearer understanding of what my company needs, where it is, and what kind of partner I need to to build the right financial systems in my company. So I think first and foremost is knowing what the different roles are, even if one person is playing multiple roles, clarifying that they're qualified to do that role, and help you move the needle. And then sometimes, you may have in house certain support, but a company like yours, to where we can kind of start punching up, right, saying we're able to do the day to day here, but let's be more strategic in this conversation with Calvin.

Cal Wilder  28:08
Yeah, I see that a lot Bill. Titles are so cheap, especially in small businesses. And so we just try to get clear on what are the actual roles and responsibilities that need to get done. And making sure we've got somebody who's qualified and capable of fulfilling those roles. And it's usually a pyramid, right? A lot of what you need is basic bookkeeping, and transactional accounting. But there's an element of debits and credits accounting to keep the books accurate. And there's an element of being able to financial report on performance against the executives, objectives and business owners, which is more than just, you know, here's the income statement and balance sheet for the month. It's, let's define goals measure actual against goals, what caused the variance. Let's figure out what the right performance metrics are in that reflect operating performance, not just financial statement results. Have that mix of leading and lagging indicators. And so there's that little piece at the top of financial planning and analysis and CFO advisory. And so we try to be able to provide clients with the right mix of services on a fractional basis or augmenting what they have internally to make sure that every piece of that pyramid that is important to the business owners is getting fulfilled one way or the other.

Bill Simmons  29:24
Yeah, I think it's important and, you know, most business owners are not financial experts, right? They're good at, you know, whatever service or product they've brought to the marketplace. They're passionate about that. And they need to have really trusted processes of people around the financial side of their company that protects their future but also allows them to make good and focus decisions.

Cal Wilder  29:50
If you could think back over your experience, you know, advising helping small business owners. What are some of them are the things you wish you knew 10, 20, 30 years ago that you've learned more recently?

Bill Simmons  30:07
Well, one is, as much as we live in an analytical world, and we need good information, don't get paralyzed by the analytics, a lot of your trust your intuition, you always emerge facts in faith, it's not one or the other. It's an both. So get the facts, but also trust your faith and belief in your business and in yourself. I think sometimes people take too long to make decisions for growth. They stand in their way, and they don't bring people in to help expand their vision. If you have a vision that's bigger than yourself, then it requires more than you. So bring people that will partner with your vision, probably quicker than you think you want to. But that whole thing is-- but what people love this as much as I do, or, or nobody understands it as much as I do-- if you're saying things like that, you're in your way. So help other people to bring other people on board quicker.

Cal Wilder  31:10
Yeah, that's a great point, I'm gonna have to remember that. I might steal that saying, Bill, about if your visit is larger than yourself, then you need more than yourself. Right?

Bill Simmons  31:18
Absolutely. All day long.

Cal Wilder  31:21
Great. What else would you like to mention while we're chatting, Bill?

Bill Simmons  31:27
Well, you know, I, you know, we'd love to just have conversations with leaders that that that are looking to grow, but they're living in that, what I call the frustration quadrant of, you know, things not being executed at the highest level. And our belief is Every problem can be solved. So my message to every business owner out there is whatever problem you're facing, it can be solved, and bringing the right solution driven people. And that's our method. And our model is let's jump to the solution side of the problem. And if there are some frustrations that you're facing, and you want to jump to a solution, and then my desire is, let's have a conversation. And let's see if there's a way that we can serve you and help you to reach your goals.

Cal Wilder  32:20
Bill, I've really enjoyed speaking with you, I think what you're doing is great. And frankly, this fractional CFO space, I think is relatively new. And I think a lot of our audience may not even quite be thinking I could help solve my problem by bringing in a fractional operations leader. So I think it's important that you get the message out there, because I think fractional CFOs are a little more of a thing. You know, I need a few hours a month or a few hours a week of CFO help, it's kind of a thing. People may not necessarily think I need a few hours a week or a few hours a month of COO support. But I think it could make all the difference.

Bill Simmons  32:59
Yeah, and I think CFOs really led the model. The fraction of the time, the fraction of the cost, bringing in high caliber leadership on the financial side started really with CFOs. We started doing executive leadership in 2006. We turned into a firm about five years ago, delivering it in the model that we are now. Certainly COVID has changed things. So there's a lot of people slapping "fractional" in front of everything now, right? There's fractional CMO and CTOs and everybody. But at the end of the day, don't just hire somebody with competency; hire somebody with a process on how to deliver their service. Whether it's operations, CFO, marketing, whatever that element is. And that's a big part of where we are. So we'd love to have that conversation and being able to support on that operation side. Right.

Cal Wilder  33:56
Bill, if anybody wants to follow up with you outside of the podcast, what's the best way for them to connect with you?

Bill Simmons  34:02
Yeah, there's a couple things I'd suggest. One is go to our website. It's real easy ThriveBusinessOperations.com. We have a couple things there that you could take advantage of. We have our e-book The Thrive Ops Cycle that describes how our COO put installs our business operating system into your company to serve you on that quarterly cadence. And then you can also click a link there to schedule a meeting with myself or my business partner Kai Bailey. We'd love you to do that. And if on any social media platform you just want to connect with me just find Bill Simmons Live. That's LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, all of those things, but check out the website and schedule a session with us.

Cal Wilder  34:43
Great, well keep keep doing a great job representing the Thrive name.

Bill Simmons  34:47
Yeah, man all day long.

Cal Wilder  34:50
Reference show notes and find other episodes on EmpoweringHealthyBusiness.com. If you would like to have a one-on-one discussion with me, or possibly engage SmartBooks to help with your business, you can reach me at Cal@EmpoweringHealthyBusiness.com or message me on LinkedIn where I am easy to find. Until next time, this is Empowering Healthy Business, the podcast for small business owners, signing off.

The name Thrive
Bill's Background
Helping Run Businesses 90 Days at a Time (Quarterly Sprints)
Fractional Solutions for Small Businesses
The Six Components of a THRIVE Business
Challenges of Scaling a Small Business
Accounting and Finance Challenges That Bill Sees
Intuition and Teammates Still Matter in a World of Data