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There are several approaches to growing or scaling a small business. Some would recommend growth hacking strategies for aggressively marketing your products or services. In contrast, others would say that the only way to cross $10 mil in revenue would be through inorganic growth. If you asked any business owners or executives, 90% of them, including ME, suffer from dream-reality confusion—some claiming their growth ambitions to be as high as 3x in the next three years. Yet, the stark reality ...
 
Straight talk with Stacey Brown Randall from Growth By Referrals and Sticky Client Experiences to help small business owners and solo-preneurs grow their business by generating referrals without asking and bringing in new clients in an authentic way so that you stay in your expert space (attorney, CPA, financial advisor, realtor, consultant, coach, etc.) AND leave behind the worry of being seen as the "always hustling salesperson." Stacey's journey from business failure to business success p ...
 
Former homeless, single mom shares her journey as single mom and full-time employee to her transition to a 2nd marriage and becoming a full-time entrepreneur. My first business was a product based business I began in 2010. I made over $12,000 the first 6 months working only on the weekends (20 days total!) I spent a lot of money purchasing items, paying booth rent, building the business, paying consultant commissions and making a TON of mistakes. By the end of 2012 I wanted out of that busin ...
 
Zen Co-Works, located in Delhi, has been providing premier working space to business professionals who wish to take their business forwards in a fully serviced world class environment. The Zen team has a global work experience of over 75 years which makes them pro at what they do. They have a clear idea of what support services work well for Start-ups+, Consultants, Freelancers, Finance and IT, and small to medium businesses. Get the various benefits of getting a premier location in South De ...
 
Hear the ins and outs of sourcing, procurement, product development, and brand building as two international entrepreneurs based in South China share a free-flowing conversation and bring experts on the show. Hosted by Michael and Rico, both of whom have lived and worked throughout the world before ending up in the world’s largest manufacturing hub, which is Guangdong province. Besides sharing their expertise in sourcing they focus on online & social media marketing, crowdfunding campaigns, ...
 
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show series
 
ERP conversations can't finish without the mention of Sage. Like SAP, Sage has always been strong in the European market as it's a European company. They have also been very well penetrated in the accounting and CPA community due to their distribution and business model. Sage has many different products in its portfolio, with construction and proce…
 
The main challenge with ERP is that it cannot address 100% of your organization's needs, no matter how good it is. There will always be company-specific needs such as reporting or KPIs. There are also likely to be several integrations that you might require, such as integrating your inventory forecasting, demand planning system, or e-commerce. Thes…
 
Most e-commerce companies remain busy chasing new customers and visitors to the site. And they ignore the average order value, also known as deal size in the traditional world. There are several ways to increase your average order value, such as trying different pricing experiments, bundling, up-sell, and cross-sell. But you would not know what's g…
 
Description: Rico is a guest at Renaud Anjoran’s podcast. They talk about entrepreneurs planning to get started with manufacturing in China but ON A TIGHT BUDGET. Maybe you’re one of them and having the same questions as: How do you reduce the cost? Should you hire consultants or just do it yourself? What budget do you need? Learn these and more in…
 
It's tough to keep up with the trends and technologies in the e-commerce ecosystem. Social media marketing and channels have grown significantly, especially due to COVID. As a result, it's becoming harder and harder to manage the marketing budget and explore the right channels for your market segment and business model. Managing relationships and p…
 
I know for some - the idea of generating referrals without asking may sound far fetched (it's not). So let's assume you want referrals without asking, or at least you are interested in knowing more. If that's the case, then you need to know how the parts work and how they work together. I call them the 5 secret weapons. Okay, okay they aren't reall…
 
The journey of serving the DoD market could feel frightening. While it might provide stability to your fluctuating revenue cycles, it also comes with a significant overhead with the process upkeep. But as part of DoD compliance, you get several benefits, such as protecting your IP as DoD is trying to protect your proprietary methods or patents. Wit…
 
With innovations in technologies, we have put software on every device and endpoint too soon, which has increased the attack surface significantly. Unfortunately, this has also been done without truly understanding the ramifications of these advancements. The hackers or state-sponsored agencies are advancing their capabilities with the same speed, …
 
If you are a startup, you will have several options in the QuickBooks portfolio to get your business up and running without requiring deep IT or accounting capabilities. As you grow, you might need to upgrade to several products in the QuickBooks portfolio and try add-ons such as FishBowl. However, while they have deeper capabilities functionally t…
 
Whether you are pitching an initiative or getting pitched, turning down an idea is extremely uncomfortable for both parties. Although executives may be turning down the idea as they might not see how they might sell it to their boards, colleagues, or teams, they don't want to reject it as it could be a lifetime opportunity for their career. While i…
 
Most people think of personalization strategies as the thank you note written on the post-purchase card sent to the consumer or a thank you video from the CEO. But personalization goes deeper when it comes to e-commerce. The personalized experience could include the products that are shown to the non-logged-in user based on their location or IP add…
 
Scaling an e-commerce brand is hard. And it's becoming harder with the expansion of marketplaces. While they offer significant opportunities and an easy way to acquire customers, each channel and the marketplace has fairly stringent requirements regarding their quality standards and what they like to see from the vendors. Also, the more you move yo…
 
As a former productivity and business coach, I've seen the inside of many, many businesses. AND I've seen how those owners run their businesses. One of the biggest roadblocks to loving being a business owner is how we manage our days, how we respect our time. In this episode I share two productivity musts - two of my favorite - that help me get it …
 
The legacy warehouses were extremely rigid and imprecise. They had challenges in locating the precise location in the system. They also didn't map humans in the system. These restrictions limit WMS systems to accommodate real-world scenarios such as seasonality and dynamics recommendation of rearrangement of the warehouse based on demand. The moder…
 
A machine is not a microwave where you can throw a piece of steel, push a bunch of buttons, and expect your parts to be done. The inner workings of machines are fundamental to account to be able to program cost-effectively. You need to take several things into account, starting from the fit between materials and machines. You also need to figure ou…
 
Change management has become the new buzzword. Most ERP implementation practitioners talk about how important change management is and how that can save implementation failures. Also, most ERP implementation failure conversations are around exceeding the original estimations of the budget. But who pays for change management? Who is responsible for …
 
While building your e-commerce site, you might be tempted to go for the cheapest option. But for your e-commerce initiatives to work, you need to perform a deeper analysis of customer journeys to provide them the experience they expect. This study requires you to go deeper than the five WHYs and to utilize methods such as management by walking arou…
 
Most machine shops are afraid of going for certifications such as AS9100 and CMMC due to the process overheads and compliance requirements imposed. They would rather invest that money in buying more machines and adding more people. While these certifications can be perceived as unnecessary, they can open up tons of newer opportunities for you. They…
 
How do you know which decisions to make as your business grows, particularly as you hit specific milestones? If you have a great first year, what do you need to do to continue the right momentum? I talk to Rick McDermott, an IP attorney who started his solo law firm just 3 years ago. After a successful first year in business, his was driven to capi…
 
While several tax packages out there, such as Avalara and Vertex, can automatically monitor each state's tax rates and apply to each of your transactions, these packages rely on your data and accounting to determine your tax obligations. If you are not accounting for your product costs appropriately, you might be leaving millions of dollars on the …
 
If you have been thinking about penetrating the automotive market, your customers will ask you to comply with the PPAP processes. You need to comply with several requirements irrespective of your tiers, such as communicating any process or line changes in your facility. You will also have additional testing requirements at the transaction level, su…
 
First-time ERP buyers and salespeople without any implementation experience consider implementations as plug-and-play. But while you might be using someone else's product, you first need to understand the product at a deeper level and this learning might take the same amount of time as creating your ERP from scratch. So although off-the-shelf produ…
 
A deep understanding of your ideal customer profile is the foundation of your sales, marketing, and e-commerce success. Unfortunately, most companies struggle to create their marketing positioning around their ICP as they are often serving multiple industries and buyers. This issue is even more critical for your digital and e-commerce journey as th…
 
Robotic applications have come a long way. They can automate a lot of mundane processes in your warehouse and facility. But to get the ROI from robotic investments, you need to assess the factors that make robotic applications efficient. Just like human operators, robots are not suitable for all environments. Even minor changes in the environment c…
 
There are 6 layers in a fully-functioning referral strategy and we are finally diving in to the 6th layer. This final layer is all about Networking. You need to know the opportunities to plant "engagement" referral seeds (i.e. use the right referral language at the right time). And you need to know how to flip almost referrals into referrals. If yo…
 
ERP sales teams are some of the most confident people, while the ERP implementation team would come across as the most nervous. If you ever sat in an ERP demo, the sales team would provide assurance on every single doubt you might have, and the implementation team is rarely involved in the sales process. After signing the contract, you might never …
 
Sales compensation is a multi-edged sword. There are many variables, and each variable could significantly impact your top line and bottom line if the consequences are not thought through. If the base salary is too low and if it doesn't meet the basic needs of salespeople, they might be looking for additional sources of revenue for themselves and m…
 
Irrespective of whether you are integrating two hardware components or software products, the challenges are similar. You need to understand the current state of the integrated components, but the future state is equally important, especially if the future state may not be in your control. For example, if you aim to integrate an e-commerce platform…
 
Marketers tend to offer sitewide discounts to their entire audience without considering where visitors are in the buyer's journey. Sure, that might drum up more sales, but it can hurt your bottom line in the long run. They also use discounts to attract the top of a funnel audience. Sure that's effective in the retail world? But does that work in ev…
 
When it comes to automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), there are several choices available. You have regular ASRS systems that will require changes to your facility and processes as they are designed to be more of the conveyor belts. Mobile ASRS, on the other hand, don't have to travel in a fixed path. Instead, they can travel to a predet…
 
Every 10th episode I answer listener submitted questions on referrals, client experience, goals and anything I think are in close alignment with my three focus areas. (I call these my zones of genius... curious what your zones are?) We have two great questions for this episode... let's talk about what I don't recommend when it comes to letting your…
 
Strategic placement of complementary products and personalized recommendations can help increase revenue from each transaction and the lifetime value of each customer. But strategic placement is art and science and requires you to understand customer behavior at a deeper level. If you go overboard with your suggestions, the customers may bounce fro…
 
As a procurement leader, if you are too focused on seeking discounts, sometimes you might lose sight that the cost of spend could be higher than the discount you might be seeking. Also, as the number of SKUs increases in your organization, the SG&A costs rise at an increasing rate than your top line because of increased marginal overhead with each …
 
Cybersecurity issues are becoming more and more common. As the adversaries and state-funded agencies get sophisticated in their capabilities, most businesses will need to rethink their cybersecurity strategy. It will be even more critical for regulated companies such as aerospace and defense and medical devices. Also, as we advance with our capabil…
 
For e-commerce sites, the conversion rate is perhaps the most critical metric. Many sites focus on getting tons of traffic, but what is the point in having that traffic if they don't convert. When it comes to improving conversion rate, various factors drive the conversion rate, including page speed, expectations of your users, and flow or navigatio…
 
The most critical factor in winning or losing a deal is always timing. And the faster you convert your customer, the faster you answer all of their questions, and the faster you ship it to them, you can outrun your competition. To do so, you need to think about the speed to your customers and suppliers. This speed requires cross-functional alignmen…
 
September is a good time to do a pulse check on what's working and what's not when it comes to your lead generation... meaning which sources are bringing in new paying clients to you. This starts by listing out your different lead gen sources, the metrics that determine success and then inputting your data. After you've done that you need to do one…
 
Balancing your day job and executing a transformation project in parallel could be frustrating. Your team might look up to you to make the most crucial decisions when you might not fully understand the implications of those decisions. To avoid this uncomfortable situation, you might want to outsource your role as a sponsor to a third party. But thi…
 
As a plant manager or an executive responsible for the P&L of a manufacturing plant, you will need to make several decisions to improve your internal capacity. They could be adding more bodies, equipment or adding a new location. Unfortunately, if you don't have data to substantiate them, it may feel as if you are investing money in improving your …
 
If you are a growing siloed organization, you will have puddles of data sitting inside every department. You could also have hundreds of unused reports on top of your ERP system that you might not even be aware of. If you want to avoid growing pains because of data, you need centralized ownership and strategy with clearly identified systems for the…
 
Description: Part 2 of Rico on Leaders with a Heart Podcast. In this episode, Rico talks more about his Asian adventures and why he loves living in Southeast Asia! If you’re embarking on a same journey towards East, don’t miss this podcast! Highlights: Pulling off huge orders. How did Rico do it? Cause Rico is passionate about Why Rico wants to kee…
 
Mastering SEO is no longer optional for ecommerce companies and manufacturers. If you are starting on your SEO journey, you will need to make decisions between SEO and PPC strategies. You will also need to understand the nuances of keyword strategies to identify the right targets that will help you meet your goals. Finally, you need to understand h…
 
If you are ready to expand your e-commerce footprint, you have several choices. For example, suppose you have been selling to the most popular channels, such as Amazon in North America. In that case, you might want to explore other channels such as Walmart, Alibaba, or Etsy. Or you might want to explore some of the international markets such as the…
 
Changing our mindset, beliefs and the way we do business can be tough. Especially when you've been in business for 30 years. But of course it's possible.... if you want to. What I love about Diana's story - a realtor with Keller Williams in Portland - is that she could be you. Maybe you haven't been in business for 30 years but you do have a way of…
 
The journey of ISO could feel overwhelming with the amount of standardization and documentation required. But if your machine shop never served a regulated industry, it could be a great start as you expand your market to other sectors such as aerospace, defense, or automotive. You will not only be required to change your processes and procedures, b…
 
Due to how companies function in the startup phase and evolve, most of them operate in silos because it's hard to find cross-functional talent. In addition, the cross-functional processes are perceived to be slow. It's also tough to train people in multiple disciplines. As a result, most SMBs will have one person responsible for each function: sale…
 
Description: Get to know Rico in this interview with Payman Lorenzo — not only the entrepreneur from Canada but some personal stuff as well. If you need some dose of inspiration to fire you up, then this is for you! Highlights: Leaving Canada for an adventure in Asia The thing that shocked Rico about China The entrepreneurial spirit of the Chinese …
 
Managing digital projects have never been easier. While there have been tons of attempts to improve the process with Agile methodologies, the timeline, budget, and scope are still tough to manage. There are several explanations as to why digital projects are harder. For example, each digital project is fairly unique, even if it is repeatable ERP im…
 
E-commerce opportunity is highly lucrative. As an executive responsible for e-commerce success, you will come across several options and opportunities. But if you don't know how to plan for e-commerce, you might be out of cash without knowing what went wrong. For example, it could happen as you overcommitted in channels that didn't perform to your …
 
If you are a small business operating as a single entity with one warehouse and site, most of your suppliers will have a handshake relationship. But as you grow, you are going to add more sites. Each site may have its procurement functions and may manage its supply chain. This is where having accurate supplier intelligence and a comprehensive risk …
 
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