How to Create the Optimal Business Infrastructure for Growth and Success with Kristen McAlister
Are you a fast-growing company that needs an executive bridge till you can afford to hire a full-time position? Will you have to fill a gap while someone is on medical or maternity leave? Maybe you have a project that needs special attention and implementation? You are in luck, look to an interim or fractional executive to fill the gap.
Kristen McAlister is co-owner of Cerius Executives. Kristen has spent most of her career helping companies establish and improve their infrastructure for high growth. She has grown companies and created optimal infrastructure from both an operational and client management perspective. Kristen has spent the last ten years teaching companies how to leverage executives for transitional situations such as high growth and turnarounds. She is a national speaker and is published on topics ranging from operations and productivity to talent management and the contingent workforce. Kristen is a mother, Ironman, and Marine wife.
Here is a quiz that will help a CEO identify which area is stalling them right now – Strategy, Planning, Execution
Kristen is co-author of two books:
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How to Create the Optimal Business Infrastructure for Growth and Success with Kristen McAlister
Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. This is your host Roy. Of course we are the podcasts that we bring you a wide variety of guests that can talk about a lot of diverse topics sometimes because we don’t know what we don’t know. The other is sometimes that we do know where we’re lacking. We’re just looking for some help. We try to bring you a lot of professionals and experts. And, we’re fortunate enough today to have another expert with us, Kristen McAlister. She is the co-owner of Cerius Executives.
She has spent most of her career helping companies establish and improve their infrastructure for high growth. Kristen has grown companies and created optimal infrastructure from both an operational and client management perspective. Kristen has spent the last 10 years teaching companies how to leverage executives for transition situations, such as high growth and turnarounds.
She is a national speaker and is published on topics ranging from operations and productivity to talent management and the contingent workforce. Kristen is a mother, an iron man and a Marine wife. So Kristen, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Roy.
And, just going to mention you are the co author of two books, The New Executive Search, How Smart Companies are Using Interim Executives and also How I Fired My Boss and Made More Money. So, and, I guess that was one reason that I was interested in getting you on here. First off, before we jump into it, I’ve been looking forward to this conversation for a couple of weeks now, so, but kind of tell us, how did you find yourself here? I mean, you worked for some companies and just figured out where that those pain points were and just been able to help others.
A lot of it was just happenstance and accidents back in 2008 from myself the same with so many individuals as laid off from companies I’d worked for 15 years and wasn’t sure what to do. I started consulting and thought I would help companies in that way. The biggest problem with that was they didn’t need to be told what to do. They needed help doing.
It. Exactly, exactly. That’s where.
I came across the interim executive model, where step in for a period of time and help them actually get it done.
Yeah. I can’t tell you how many, people that, how many customers I’ve worked for in the past that, they just wanted the analysis and the report they’ll implement it. A year or two, three later, when you end up going back to work for them again, you find that report, CA gathering dusk on a bookshelf somewhere that nobody’s opened it up or looked at it. You’re riding, we can have the best plan ever laid out, but if we don’t execute it, then it’s worthless or just like having no plan at all.
Yep. And that’s exactly. I had a client, we laid everything out. We came up with all these and every month I’d get a call from the CEO saying, we’ve got a problem. Can you help? And I say, we already solved that problem. Go open up the materials, but there was no one there to help affect the change and help guide everyone to join things the new way. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. That I was, kind of, jumped off to a fast start. I guess what I was going to say earlier is that a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs, they have the belief that the only way that you fail is by not having enough customers, but, as we’ve talked. What I would like to talk about more tonight is that, sometimes we can actually fail because we are very successful, but we don’t have the infrastructure to actually handle the customers. If you’re a local, especially you get a bad name and, I’ll just use an example.
There was a fairly new, a pizza joint that just opened up not too far. I was reading on next door about all the poor reviews. I mean, they had one or two bad nights and they got slammed and it’s because, they were just so busy. They couldn’t handle it, but, as a customer, I don’t really want to hear that.
Not only, not only for my pizza, but if you’re building me a, a piece of machinery or if you’re doing work for me, your poor planning, shouldn’t become my emergency.
And those reviews are critical. We’re finding, you look at the infrastructure, it’s now not just your customers, it’s the talent you want to attract. One of the first things they’re doing is going to glass door and looking at what other employees are saying about the company.
Yeah. Yeah. Good point. An employee, I deal a lot with employee turnover and that’s one of the biggest things that I always talk about is let’s be an employer of choice, not an employer of last resort because people read all these troubles are when you have high turnover. The first thing they think is, wow, I don’t need to get caught up in all of those problems.
Yeah. It’s interesting. Especially what we’ve seen, over the past year. In any times where we say don’t hire or don’t expand or don’t invest until you absolutely have to, especially if you’re a small growing company, you don’t want to see that cash go out the door until you absolutely have to. More so nowadays we’re seeing that as that’ll kill a company, right. Because if they wait and tell, then it’s too late and they’re on the verge of imploding.
Yeah. I’ll get you to talk just about that. The lead up to that, some things off the top of my head are, well, we have to hire talent. We have to acclimate them because just because you’re a great representative sales or customer service for another company, you need to learn my ways. And that takes some time. Just talk about, what are all those things that make that lag time for us?
I, first of all, it’s finding the right people that you need to bring in. Especially you’ve got people, you’ve got technology and you’ve got your systems and tools and all of those need to work in unison. You can go higher next month, 3, 4, 10 additional individuals to help you. If they’re coming in, they don’t have the technology and the systems to do it. They’re going to come in and do it five different ways, right. They’re going to be wrong on the boat and all different directions. Now those five were really only producing really effectively to what two people would be using.
Yeah. And I’ve heard that. I’ve heard that before is, small company started in a very small space. All of a sudden they find themselves needing help and they didn’t even have a place to put those five people. They couldn’t even get them in their current offices to set them down, to get them a phone line, to get them a computer, ? And then you talk about having to expand space and moving, or either having your space and then a space with other workers, working remotely it’s, it can lead to a disaster in a hurry.
Yup. Right. One of the smallest, easiest steps, especially nowadays with all the technology that’s, there is documenting how things should be done. Otherwise, as you add people, it’s going to be done all different ways and everyone’s going to figure it out. Or if you lose someone and that’s what you really see in a lot of small businesses is if they lose that one person with the brain trust, they lose how everything is done. Right. We’re starting to get away from that. Tell someone to sit down and type up a 10 page SOP. It’s just never going to get done.
And won’t be kept updated. First says, if you tell someone to video how they do something or do a screen share, that’s much easier training keep up, or when you bring on the next person, especially if you’re training them virtually record that and recording every single training session that you do.
And you’ll build up that library quickly.
No, you make a good point about that is, the other thing is not only knowing what this person is or what you’re supposed to do, if you’re in the seat new seat, but, also as you go through time, you may not do everything that you have to do the very first day. Two weeks from now, you’re trying to remember now, what did that guy tell me how to handle this situation? And then either you have to go get up and find somebody where if you have it written down and I’m a big fan of, like, a flow chart that coincides with some kind of a standard work.
Or some other kind of, more detailed in steps where it’s like, if the flow chart doesn’t give me enough information. Or it can lead me back to the place where I need to go in order, find out exactly what that, what I should be doing.
That’s that we call it one source of truth. Okay. You go to one place that is the starting point. All the information you have is linked to that one place. You don’t have to remember 10 different locations to go to Azure. We also, we tend to want to brain dump and train everything and give you individuals everything from day one of the biggest, hiring trends we’re seeing right now is new salespeople. On day one through day 30, do they need to know the sales process once they’re onboarding a new client or do they need to understand the value proposition and how to go get clients.
Train is exactly, and the other thing would just kind of talk about onboarding for just a minute. I just happened to finish writing a piece the other day about onboarding. I found that’s a lost art. It’s like, because we needed to hire this guy a month ago. We don’t have time to go through this, onboarding. And, one thing, I try to recommend is we don’t have to tell them every piece of information that the first morning on the job, I mean, let’s acclimate. Let’s give them enough to get them started.
But you can onboard over the next two or three weeks, some things that need to be done immediately, that’s for sure. Some of this it’s like, and it’s, you have to also put yourself in the candidates position, all the stuff about your company. It’s like top of mind, but here’s this guy brand new setting, in a new office, new job, new everything.
We just have this huge information dump on them.
Okay. When you look at onboarding, let’s take the legal outside of it, day one, if they walk away with nothing other than what is our company culture, because that’s going to guide every other thing that they get trained on and all their interactions, right. That’s possible first day.
Right? Exactly. So, I don’t want to skip over any good information, any pertinent information if you have it, but one thing we think about during that high period of growth, and your, one of your books is talks about using interim executives. So, there are ways that we can use these fractional executives to help us through those rough periods, too. We get people in place the right per cause. That’s the other thing I think too, is we get in a rush, hire the wrong person. Now we have just really messed ourselves because we got somebody in a job that either can’t do it, won’t do it, whatever their problem is.
Now we’ve got to stop rehire and restart. To me, it makes, it always just looks very sketchy to me as a customer when I go to the same business. It’s just different person, every time.
Let’s talk about how the, how can we use interim executives to kind of help us over the hump.
In a number of ways. Think of expertise and executive talent and leadership as a whole, it’s now a puzzle piece it’s you don’t get have to necessarily look at the entire picture and say, I’m going to go and purchase this individual for $250,000. I can’t afford that and say, I want this expertise here for the next three months, but I just need it one to two days a week. Or as you mentioned to get over this hiring, we need to hire 10 people. Why don’t I bring in an HR expert, who’s done that kind of ramp up and onboarding and put everything in place and bring them in for the next three months.
It’s no longer a one size fits all. In any way that you need at each step, and really one of the biggest things, whether you’re even at $2 million, and at that size of the company, if the CEO is wearing the CFO hat and still doing all the accounting, the bookkeeping, the financials, it’s not the highest and best use of time.
They’re really great for growth by doing that. It’s a great way to step up the talent and the leadership, whether it’s to bridge a gap or to take that off of you as the owner.
Yeah. And, a lot of times we talk about this kind of gets back to knowing yourself and your skills that if you started this company and you’re an awesome salesperson, then, why do we want to take that talent away from the frontline? And have you make an entries into, a ledger or journal or typing them in a computer, however, we need you should be on the front helping train and teach our salespeople not doing the accounting.
Absolutely. Right. I am, I will say, as a business owner, I am an absolute victim of doing that myself to where I love working with our clients. That’s where I started. When I bought the business. I enjoy solving problems. I enjoy being here and doing things like this with you and evangelizing what we do. If I’m being the CFO or finding the COO, and I’m doing that, it’s not serving the company and it’s not serving our team, the banks. Being able to pull that off and bring, part-time individuals into do that for me.
I, I’ve never heard a CEO say, I, I, I, every time they do that, it’s I waited too long. I’ve never heard anyone say, gosh, I should have waited another six months before. Always I should’ve done it. It’s expensive.
Yeah. Yeah. And, I’m going to use a three letter word here that gets in our way too, is sometimes it’s our egos that we, this is our baby. We don’t really want anybody touching it, or we know what’s best, or there’s a million reasons that we can use, but we have got to put that aside and say, for the better of this business, we need some help in specific areas. Not that we couldn’t figure it out, even it’s just, is it worth the time and effort? It takes to try to figure this out when we could get an, you could carry on with your job and let somebody else come in and take over that.
I you’re absolutely. Right. We really see it’s the flip side, it’s the ego. It’s also the flip side of, I don’t want anyone to know or realize how much I was trying to figure out that I was struggling. It’s that insecurity of, I don’t want anyone to know that I need the help. I will say that right now is such a great pivotal time where we’re seeing leadership in companies reach out more than average saying I don’t have all the answers and I don’t have to have.
The answer yet. Yeah. Yeah. That was one reason why I started this show two years ago is because, we could talk about another third component of that is sometimes we just don’t know what we don’t know. Why I love this show is because I will guarantee you, I have never had a guest come on that I didn’t learn something for myself. Sometimes it’s simple things that you may have thought that you may have known or even practiced in the past that you got away from it.
And, you’re having a conversation like this and the light bulb goes off that, oh, wow. I really need to pay more attention to that. So, that also just the education of what are we doing or what could we do different? What could we do better?
Exactly. It’s listening to things like this and the realization and being able to, not everyone can go and talk to five other individuals. Their situation is business owners being able to listen and hear and say, gosh, I thought I was the only one that had that issue. Exactly. Yeah.
So let’s take a step back. We’ve talked about a lot of good things, but, want to go back to the beginning. We’ll say that if you’re a one man show, and if you’re a five man person, five person business, you really need to give some thought on the front end to your strategy overall strategy, we need to look, what are you going to do for Mar you shouldn’t wake up tomorrow and say, I’m marketing today. Where do I want to start? What do I want to do? So, we need to have this plan or this roadmap.
But we also need to, maybe extrapolate that and do a proforma for like two or three, five years, because what are the triggers? And that, we can talk I’ll let you jump in there, but it’s like, we need to know, okay, what is going to be our trigger that we need to hire that next salesperson or what, we need to buy a piece of equipment.
What triggers that? So it’s already thought out it’s not in the heat of the moment, or it’s not a, we’re so busy now that we can’t give that any thought,
Aye, that’s always a tough one because you just don’t know what you don’t know. You can plan for two years down the road and that plan changed two months into it. I see. When you look at, I’m glad that you mentioned marketing’s me sketching out a business plan and what does it look like? And at least starting with some kind of a compass, even if it changes in two months, we’ve worked with a lot of startups. I’ve seen a lot of business plans and performance, and it will say the number one area that is with out doubt underestimated is marketing, right.
You hit the nail on the head, right. Whatever that budget is, double, triple, quadruple it, especially your one to five person company. You want to grow, never underestimate the value of marketing.
Yeah. I even go so far as to, it needs to be stepped out, like, what are we going to do every day? And, you’re right. Some days change and we don’t get it done. But, I always like to have that plan. I wake up in the morning, it’s not a surprise or I don’t spend half the day thinking about what do we need to do? It’s like, we’ve got that plan already set out. It’s just wake up and take a step by step through that. We can talk about, solo preneurs there in that, because, they typically get into a boom and bust cycle. It’s like, I’ve got no business today, market.
You get a couple of jobs and it’s fulfill. Then, three, six months later, it’s like, where’d all of our business go market. So you get this whole thing. And, we could talk about, but like automation and things that we can do to keep that pipeline full, we may have to take our attention off of it a little more, but again, we can hire interims.
We can outsource some of it. We can get temporary help. There’s a lot of things that we can do to help ourself, even that cycle out.
Yeah. From a solopreneur standpoint, I know a lot of independent individuals out there, whether they’re executives, they’re starting a pool service business, whatever it is, not being the one to do it all is one of the best ways to avoid that boom or bust and weather hacks that we say is Upwork.com. It’s a great place to find talent. Project-based, reasonable rates for marketing, for lead gen for just about anything that you might need setting up your website, that’s cost effective for you to be able to not be the one who’s doing it all.
Yeah. Yeah. It takes of work, but, it is a great tool. I’ve used it myself. I’ve used it from writing to editing to some graphic art, even, used it for a ton of stuff, but it’s worth well worth going through because the nice thing is, especially the, some people I had writing for me or editing, once you build a relationship and have of rapport, they were, a defacto employee because I could call them up and say, Hey, I’ve got some stuff. They would put other things aside because they knew number one, I had more work coming.
And number two, they knew I paid my bills and that’s, you gotta take that into account when you have, when you’re freelancing like that is, did the work, am I really gonna get paid? So they appreciate that when you can pay on time. And, like I said, they will, a lot of times they’ll put you for at the head of the line when you call back for another job.
Never underestimate, interns and not necessarily even college interns, but high school interns. How many individuals do either near you or far away with the virtual nature and things where they can do some of that, they can do build your website. They can do marketing campaign for you, or it’ll take them a couple of hours to figure it out, and then they’re wrong running within for some of us probably get it figured out a lot quicker than we would. It gives them an opportunity to learn and grow.
Exactly. Yeah. Again, I’ve implored that as well and has some really good young people that come through that. Again, I learned something from them, they were innovative. Maybe they learned something in school that they were able to teach me, but, sometimes just being around fresh ideas is kind of nice for the business owner as well.
I, more and more where we’re seeing, we talked about that ego or that, self-esteem not wanting people to know that you don’t have all the answers that seems to be diminishing more and more as we’re seeing, businesses bringing advisors who are working, we’re working with a client 1.5 million in revenue and works with an advisor a couple hours a month. It’s just helping him actually did some other research on Upwork. I think they got a new logo for $50 and quite a few different things to be able to those business growth hacks, right?
Well, those to make quicker decisions and think outside the box, because we’re so mired inside of our business on a day to day basis. Just having that advisor there to hold you accountable, to move the needle, it can be a tremendous benefit.
Surrounding ourselves with people who we trust and who have our best interest at heart, and also who are successful because, off topic but if we surround ourselves with people that just suck the life out of us, then that’s kind of where we’re going to end up, where if we can find these other people that really want to help us on are upbeat and positive, it can make a huge influence on the way that we carry out our days as well.
Why do you think people tend into your podcast, right?
Yeah. Well, thank I would hope that we can for sure, another, a great tactic that I’ve heard more about is in, we used to have a round table of industry people. Now, were a little different, were all in different disciplines, but we would meet about once a month and, just talk about what do we see in our business? it was complimentary. If you had a customer that you couldn’t fulfill their needs, then we could work together. So, there’s that, but there’s also even round tables of like business people that they just meet and they say, what?
I’ve got this employee, that’s doing this. I’ve never seen it before. Don’t know how to break it. What’s the best. This other guy that sat in two chairs from, he was like, what I had that happened last year, and this is how we worked it out. You can get a lot of, free advice at that way as well.
You have to be willing to open up about it. If you find people that you trust that trust you, and it’s a tight group, it works very well.
Whether it’s from your industry is similar industry where we’re all members of associations and similar industry, but noncompeting, you’d be surprised at picking up the phone and saying, Hey, you want to get together for an hour and talk, everyone can sign an NDA, right. You meet price, how quickly people then want to join.
Right. Right. Well, that’s great. Do you have any other tips for, high growth either? Well, one thing we really haven’t touched about is that client, the client management perspective. Let’s talk about that for just a minute, if we could, what are some hacks or tips or tricks for, putting in, cause the other thing is that’s, to me, it’s an integral piece. That’s tough because I know how I talk to my clients and I know how I want them treat enough finding somebody that can mirror that or that we can train. It may take a little bit. What are some things that we can do in the interim there?
I would bring it back to culture and your value system. Right? One of the first values that we have at Sirius reteach is we treat our clients business as the, and so every day we don’t have train on how do you make decisions that guides the decision-making, you make the decision that’s in the best interest of the client. That will feed in through, out the organization. As you and I both know, that’s probably one of the biggest areas to focus on because it is so much better to do business with clients you’ve already done business with, right?
Versus, and we’re seeing, at the management level and the executive level, one of the biggest growth areas is they’re calling it client success and their clients, director of client success or client success managers. What they’re doing is they’re the steward for clients from the first moment we start meeting with them or to, I’m sorry, reaching out to them.
You have marketing to when they’re working with us and they finish up and then keeping in touch with them. Ongoing has the biggest opportunity for growth and easy, profitable growth is working with clients that you already do business.
With. Yeah. The acquisition cost of clients, depending on your business, it can be astronomical where that repeat business costs. You virtually nothing. We do need to follow up, be mindful with them, for sure. That’s a, a place that I see people give away a lot of money is that if they’re like a one-off purchases, the client bought and they’re gone out of sight out of mind, instead of following up, staying in touch, giving them a phone call and seeing, what else you can do for them. And then kind of building on that. The other thing is I asked for referrals, we do not ask.
If you’re providing a good product, good service, good cost at good customer service, why wouldn’t somebody want to refer you to their friends?
It’s sometimes it’s just the way that we ask and it’s not, do anyone else who could use my service or can you refer me to someone it’s, I’m glad I was able to help you. Do anyone else that I can help? And it’s a bit more of a soft approach to it. A lot of people just don’t like to ask for business. Yeah.
Yep. Yeah. And it’s, people want to brag too. I mean, just like me, we have, it was an old, mom and pop restaurant that had closed down. Actually my mother called me, I think she called me Friday and or yeah, she called me Friday night and said, Hey, did you see that place opened back up new management? And I said, no. We got some breakfast tank out Saturday. It was awesome. I just posted it on, next door because, I want them to succeed. They’re very nice people with very good food. I said, y’all need to give them a try.
Well, so today a guy posts back and said, I had a client lunch with 56 orders that I went up there for because he saw this, he saw that they were open. He’s like, these guys need to advertise. You said they handled it. Food was good, everything went smooth.
So, that’s just of a domino effect of about what happens if we can start getting the word out and everybody wants to brag about who they know. So, if you provide a good service, of course, people are going to want to refer you because they’re going to want to brag about what a find that they had.
That’s going back to that, round tables that you mentioned and just asking, who did you use for mark and who did you use for that? This and that. We all want to feel good that we found a great person and they’re so great that other people want to use them.
Exactly. Exactly. Well, Kristen, I want to thank you for taking time out of your day. I’ve got a couple things before we wrap up, but one is what is a tool that you use tool or a habit that you feel like really adds value to your life? Either professional or personal?
I, for me, it’s a mantra and I think that it’s so valuable because it took me so long to learn. It was probably one of the hardest things to learn. So I’m that person who’s guilty of. I can do what I can do at all. I can probably do it quicker than anyone else. It’s that mantra highest and best use of time. What is my highest and best use of time, whether it’s in business or even personally, I was complaining to my husband and I, I don’t get to spend as much time with my son. He said, well, then why aren’t you cleaning the house, hire a housekeeper, the highest and best use of your time.
We say, go through a list of everything that you’re doing and look at what’s everything that I can, and maybe someone else should be doing it. What’s the cost, put a line item there.
What am I paying myself versus what would I pay someone else to do that? And you’d be amazed at how quickly that cost structure comes down.
Yeah. That’s one thing, that I’ve done in the past is, when you hire people to do things, do chores for you, I guess, as you look at well, if I’m, I can spend an hour doing whatever this task is that I can pay $20 in order to get it done. In that same hour, I can do some marketing or do some other client work that makes me, somewhere way above the $20 an hour figure. It’s really, if you sit down and put pencil to paper, it’s really a no brainer.
Right? The mental block that we run into is doing something new for the first time it’s going out and finding that housekeeper. It’s finding someone who can run a marketing campaign. Yeah. Look through the longterm one year from now, where do you want to be? And continuing on this path is not going to get you there. Sometimes you got to extend that little extra effort. Or as you mentioned, I love the referral go out to Facebook, LinkedIn, any number and ask, who do ? Who would you recommend?
Yeah. Yeah. I think we have to think about of pain in the short is gonna, bring us, I guess, just relieve a lot of pressure on us as we go through the long-term and, we may have some false starts hiring people. I’ve done it before, even as much work as I put into it. Sometimes you just, it’s not a good fit for whatever reason, but if you keep trying long enough, you will find the right fit for sure. Tell us I know that you have a CEO quiz that, basically is your company set up for success and what that does? It helps CEOs identify what areas that might be stalling them,
But yeah, it is. My apologies, I actually am going to need to give you the website link to put in the notes. One of those, as we’re growing our business, we don’t always know what do we need to work on? Is it the planning part of it is that the execution is that the strategy. We’re always trying to work on all three of them at one time. Going through and just answering a few questions, this will help you pinpoint where you’re getting stalled or where you need to start, because you really just want to work one at a time. Where in that process is, holding on that growth and holding up that key to success.
Yeah. Awesome. Well, we will put that link in the show notes so people can go over there and it’ll be a, it would be a good start and, that way it puts you in touch with Kristen to, maybe help you out. Yeah. You bet. Tell us, who is your client? What can you do for them? And of course, how they can reach out and get ahold of you.
Absolutely. Like our client is any small to mid-size business owner CEO. We do a lot with privately held businesses and especially family-owned businesses on a providing think of it as we help you date leadership. Rather than hiring someone on a full-time longer-term basis, you just need them in the short term, or maybe just part time. We help that matchmaking process. We ease it through it, and then stay on to make sure that everything is accomplished. And we can be reached at ceriusexecutives.com. That’s C E R I U S executives.com.
All right, well, awesome. Well, y’all reach out, put Kristen to work for you. Let her help you. If you’re going through some growing pains or even it’s even better, if you just don’t wait until there’s pain. If you go ahead and just get out front of this, let’s put a strategy together, that can help you before you actually get into some trouble. So, all right, well, that’s going to do it for another episode of the business of business podcast. We appreciate all of our listeners very much.
Of course, you can find us on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Google, Stitcher, Spotify, we’re on thebusinessofbusinesspodcast.com plus all the social media channels. So, until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.