DiscoverBusiness Infrastructure - Curing Back Office Blues
Business Infrastructure - Curing Back Office Blues

Business Infrastructure - Curing Back Office Blues

Author: Alicia Butler Pierre

Subscribed: 17Played: 383


Growth is not a bad thing. But too much growth, too fast presents a set of challenges often overlooked when discussing small businesses. The emphasis tends to center on the marketing and promotion necessary to grow your business, and not on the operations and business infrastructure needed to scale your business in a sustainable manner. These back office operations can make or break your business. The Business Infrastructure show provides solutions and real life stories to owners and operators of fast growing small businesses seeking practical tips for dealing with growth spurts.
146 Episodes
Gregory Brown’s mother was told her son would never graduate high school. Not only did he finish high school without attending special education courses, but he also graduated from college. He never let cerebral palsy hinder him. Ultimately, his childhood love for computers led him to become a digital strategist. In this episode, Greg shares his process for selecting technologies to digitize your operations. He also reveals how to tap an underutilized talent pool – those with disabilities. Ep. 145.
When Punam Saxena’s family relocated to a small town in Georgia, her neighbors asked what tribe they belonged to. They mistakenly thought her family was Native American, not Indians from India. Growing up ostracized, she knows the impact of social isolation and vowed to do something about it. In this episode, Punam shares her process for coaching parents to become active partners with their children’s teachers through open communication that leverages new technologies. 
Jesse Torres is the American-born son of Mexican immigrant parents. Growing up in multi-cultural Los Angeles, he’s not uncomfortable being around people who looked different from him. So, as he grew his consultancy, ArroyoWest, building a diverse team came naturally. He’s also no stranger to technology. In this episode, Jesse shares how leaders can prepare for the future of work by leveraging government programs to digitize operations and diversify their workforce. Ep. 143.
We’ve come to the end of another amazing season of the Business Infrastructure podcast. In this episode, Alicia does her traditional end-of-season monologue, but with a twist – she talks about the people, processes, and tools that set the foundation to scale. And, as she explains, none of this work was in vain, as evident by the special announcement she makes that will take this podcast to the next level. Get all the juicy details plus access to the show notes at: Ep. 142.
Although the barrier to entry into the fashion industry is low, it’s also fickle and highly competitive. Yet, when Kevin Afuwah and two childhood friends started Royal Kulture, their unique spin on dashikis took off! Soon, they found themselves relocating from NYC to L.A. for cost-efficient production. In this episode, Kevin reminisces on how they scaled their brand, attracting celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Beyonce, only to shut it down. Find out why. Ep. 140.
“Scaling must be done with scientific precision.” Sage advice from branding expert, Maureen Mwangi. She helps product-based companies become retail-ready with strategies rooted in data analytics and marketing research. In this episode, Maureen takes us on her journey from watching her parents build a strong brand in Kenya to her scaling products for Pepsi, Dove, and L’Oreal in the U.S. She also describes the processes for scaling commercial vs. microenterprise products. Ep. 140.
Laura Cathcart Robbins is an avid reader and dreamed of one day penning her own book. In 2018, she arrived excited at a popular writer’s retreat, only to leave dismayed when she realized she was the only black person there. Soon, an article she wrote about her experience went viral on the Huffington Post. It led to a movement that quickly grew into a podcast. In this episode, Laura chronicles the behind-the-scenes work that scaled her podcast to the top 1.5 %. Ep. 139.
Amal Hassan is living proof of the tenacity required to build, grow, and scale a business. She started a contact center three different times only to be forced to shut down. The fourth time was the charm. Now, Outsource Global employs over 850 people with clients in the U.S., UK, and Japan. In this episode, Amal gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the quality control measures to select the best people, processes, and tools that sustain Africa’s top BPO provider. Ep. 138.
Lynn Bonner’s tenure at Big 4 consulting firms, as a VP at U.S. Bank, and as a Founder is a trifecta of scaling success stories. She knows it takes energy, leadership, and action to get things done. As the CEO of her firm, Action Leadership Lab, she applies agile and digital transformation principles from her corporate experience to scale her clients’ companies. In this episode, Lynn shares how to build and scale a sustainable business in short, incremental steps. Ep. 137.
There are several ways you can scale your company, one being a Merger & Acquisition (M&A). But be careful. As Jeffrey Musgrove warns, “M&As always make sense on paper. The difficulty is the people part.” With a career that spans wealth management, operations, and private equity, he knew what to look for when he merged his consultancy with Think Systems. In this episode, Jeff details how to execute an M&A starting with an analysis of each company’s operating model. Ep. 136.
Henry Kaminski started his marketing agency, Unique Designz, on a high. The clients and money flowed in. But all of that changed after Hurricane Sandy. Suddenly his bank account had a negative $2,500 balance. Down but not out, he invested in a course that gave him the tools to rebound. Then he had a different problem – more business than he could handle! In this episode, Henry describes how he recruited and hired a remote team and took his business to new heights. Ep. 135.
Scaling your subject matter expertise may seem impossible, especially when people think consulting firms can’t scale. It isn’t true, as evidenced by Dorie Clark. She went from growing up in a small town to becoming the #1 communication coach in the world as well as a prolific author, speaker, and professor. How? In this episode, Dorie teaches organic marketing strategies to leverage your core competency, reinvent your brand, increase your visibility, and watch the money pour in! Ep. 134.
There’s no one way to scale, but a common and critical component is business infrastructure. Outgrow, a digital content marketing and technology company, is proof. In this episode, Saksham Sharda, the CIO and Creative Director at Outgrow, shares their 3-pronged approach to becoming New York’s top B2B software company. Now, they’re expanding globally. Get the full scoop plus resources he recommends at Ep. 133.
“Don’t grow alone. Ask for help.” Wise words from serial tech entrepreneur and investor, Jeff Wald. And he would know. After studying the causes of his first company’s failure, he resurfaced, and, in true entrepreneur fashion, started another company. And then another. When he founded WorkMarket, he knew that scaling from 8 to 8,000 salespeople required business infrastructure. Eventually, Jeff sold two of his companies to ADP and Salesforce. In this episode, he shares exactly how he did it.
If accounting is the language of business, then technology is the language of scale. And today’s successful leaders must be fluent in both. After working as an engineer and B2B salesman in Silicon Valley, Aman Agarwal started an education company to close the widening technical fluency gap he noticed among leaders. In this episode, he shares his equation for scaling and explains how you can measure your business’ success by a formula. Access resources he recommends at Ep. 131.
Kathleen Black values business infrastructure - it’s the basis for how she became one of the top real estate professionals in North America! She says, “When systems are clear, people are empowered.” Now, she teaches other high performers how to build the most efficient and productive teams in the world. In this episode, Kathleen shares insights on the people, processes, and tools she leverages to stay in the top 1%. Access resources she recommends at Ep. 130.
In this Season 10 finale, host Alicia Butler Pierre unpacks the importance of converting “why” into “how” when facing business challenges. She uses this conversion as a backdrop to give updates on all guests and their respective workflows and technologies. Alicia also shares four lessons she’s learned about operating a business in 2020. A special thank you to all guests, sponsors, and subscribers who made this season a smashing success!
Tasked with creating something that does good for the world, nine 10th and 11th graders conceived the HydroHat. It’s a wearable technology designed to reduce heat-related stress and injuries. Though rejected by MIT for a $10k development grant, they forged ahead and formed a company called SenseHydro. In this episode, these young inventors/entrepreneurs give a live demo of their process from ideation to prototype design and patent protection. Listen, watch, and be inspired!, Ep. 128.
Workflow improvement stumps small and large businesses alike. Where do you start? What framework will you use? As the founder of an emerging H.R. consultancy, Cornelius “Neil” Dowdell faces these questions regularly. One thing’s for sure – you have to identify and document processes before you can improve them. In this live consultation, Alicia shows Neil how simple tools like stick figures and note cards can help to quickly identify processes and more! Watch the video at
Incorporating technology into your workflows can significantly streamline operations. However, not all technologies integrate with each other. This leads to disparate data and worse, inaccurate analysis. Vertify solves this issue. In this episode, Wayne Lopez, the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Vertify, gives a live demo to show how it connects data and unifies teams in making better-informed decisions from a single source of truth. Watch the video at Ep. 126.
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store