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Sir Jerry Pradier is a nationally and internationally accredited Business Optimization Expert. He is also a course developer and specializes in marketing and instructor and counselor training.
Jerry is the author of Financial Success: Ten Shortcuts to a Profitable Business and President of the Progressive Business Development Network, LLC, through which he mentors owners of businesses across the Western Slope of Colorado. He is also an executive coach who works with C-level executives in transition across the country, helping them to increase their effectiveness as business leaders.
Jerry started a YouTube channel, JerryTheFixer, where he presents bimonthly advice on all aspects of business management and growth from experts in their fields. He also publishes a monthly, no-cost newsletter (www.onlinebusinessknowledge.com), in which he provides advice to business owners on how to succeed in business. He is also writing his second book entitled, The Art of the Sales Pitch.
The Progressive Business Development Network (PBDN) was created to serve the growing needs of the small to medium sized businesses in the business management, business development, executive coaching, general consultant, and marketing consultant services.
MO: How have you become known as, “The Fixer?”
Jerry: My previous boss started calling me “The Fixer” ten years ago after he recruited me to help turnaround a security company that served all of the resort areas of western Colorado. The CEO asked my help to refocus and shore up a fast growing company of over 250 employees. The first thing I worked on was helping him rewrite the business plan. My second project was a complete reorganization to match the company’s structure to the plan. These two actions resulted in earlier than predicted profitability and the company’s ranking as the 55th among security companies in the US. The name that the CEO had given me spread throughout the company as I, subsequently, accepted a variety of assignments to solve problems and introduce innovations within virtually all of the divisions throughout the company in its diverse geographic locations.
MO: What are the most common issues or mistakes you see businesses make and how can they avoid them?
Jerry: I have to divide these issues between those experienced by emerging businesses and those experienced by established businesses. In the case of startups, those issues revolve around planning and having enough startup capital to give the business a fighting chance of succeeding. Very often, inexperienced entrepreneurs don’t take the time to create a business plan or only give minimal attention to creating a plan. Too many entrepreneurs believe that the business idea alone is good enough to carry them to success when this idea is, at best, a skeleton that needs critical internal and external organs to create a viable entity. Secondly for startups, because of the lack of planning and an overabundance of optimism, the entrepreneurs start their businesses on a shoestring budget that cannot nourish the business during its first three to five years of survival and growth. If these entrepreneurs had completed a proper business plan, it would tell them how much capital they would need simply to open the doors of their business. Then they could multiply this number by a factor to determine the absolute minimum they would need to survive. So, I tell clients, the minimum investment they need to start a business is the capital to open the doors plus the amount to survive during the gestation stage. I describe this process in more detail in my book and newsletter.
In the case of established businesses, those that are struggling after years of operation are experiencing one of two problems, or both. The first problem is that the owners have never created a business plan in the beginning. They are simply lucky they have been able to continue operating through the very early years. I see this situation in 100% of my clients who have seen their businesses struggling to survive after five or more years of operation. Another problem is that the owners are unwilling or afraid to do things differently than what they are used to doing. They believe that, since their modus operandi has taken them up to a certain point of survival in the businesses’ growth, they don’t want to “screw things up” by changing how they operate. They don’t realize that business growth is analogous to human growth in that change is natural and required as the business changes character through the growth process. Every business needs to be tweaked or changed to adjust to its current stage of development. When this doesn’t happen, the growth is stunted and the business reaches a plateau.
MO: What are some ways that entrepreneurs can reach their fullest potential by using multidimensional strategies?
Jerry: Let me start by saying that businesses are multidimensional. Businesses are more than what you can depict on an organizational chart. In addition to the structure and processes that we usually attribute to the business, there are three more subtle components. The first component is the owner’s values. Second, there are interpersonal relationships between the owner and employees and among the employees. Third are the many personal characteristics (Physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual) of everyone in the business that affect how well functions are carried out.
I have noticed, over the past eight years of providing business coaching, that many business challenges are addressed more adequately by also working on the human issues that cause or exacerbate the challenges. In fact, for new and small businesses, the identity of the business is inseparable from the identity of the owner and salespeople in customers’ minds.
So, while an entrepreneur can help his or her business by realigning functions and processes optimally, success can be more swift and stable if the owner also attends to the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of personal development.
Therefore multidimensional strategies will involve optimizing the business as well as optimizing the functioning of the people within the business. Since, business coaching, executive coaching and life coaching work hand in glove to ensure success, I recommend all business owners attend to all areas to address their business challenges. I’ve even been revamping my business plan to offer these services in a seamless package rather than separately.
MO: What leaders are you inspired by?
Jerry: Two of the most impressive leaders I’ve worked with were Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf. Even though I was an Air Force officer, I had the privilege of working with them in joint military assignments. Both impressed me with their communications skills. They were able to explain complex concepts cogently and clearly to audiences of people with widely varying levels of knowledge. Additionally, General Powel was a master at conducting meetings. I model my management of meetings on his principles, which save time and accomplish more.
MO: I understand that you think it’s possible to “have it all.” What are the first steps towards achieving such an inspirational goal?
Jerry: I often give the advice that one can have it all. “Having it all” expresses the ideal of achieving ultimate success and abundance in one’s life. More importantly, the “It All,” is a mnemonic device that gives the blueprint for achieving this goal.
Integrity-Having and practicing an appropriate code of ethics;
Talent in one’s chosen field-Developing and maintaining the knowledge and skills to be successful;
Achievement of your important goals-Creating, prioritizing, and focusing actions to reach those goals;
Loyalty of friends and co-workers-Fostering loyalty from your significant relationships by being loyal;
Love of what you do-The satisfaction of knowing you are doing your best.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
Jerry: I have been working on a project to create a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) office within my three-county judicial district over the past two years. Although I started the process, I am only an advisor to the new organization to avoid conflict with my role as a member of the Colorado CASA board of directors (www.coloradocasa.org). Within the coming year I expect this new organization to begin recruiting volunteers to serve the children who are in danger of being victims of child abuse or neglect.
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