Brad Post, Create the Movement
Greg Conder, Conder Business Solutions
Brad Post, Create the Movement: Welcome to the next edition of our podcast. I am very excited today to be with a friend, Greg Conder. Greg, how are you today?
Greg Conder, Conder Business Solutions: I’m doing well, Brad.
BP: Good. Good.
GC: Thank you.
BP: Greg is with Conder Business Solutions.
BP: And had a vision to launch your business about six-seven months ago? Right?
GC: Yeah, we’re almost to six months.
BP: Okay. But you had the vision, you know, way before?
BP: Can you tell us a little bit about your story, and how you came to start Conder Business Solutions?
GC: Oh, sure. Well, my background is that of industrial engineering, and in previous times I actually owned a manufacturing company. So, this business start isn’t my first time. Throughout my career, in addition to owning a manufacturing company, I taught business classes. And kind of got to know small business – the world of small business and their owners. That way. And I just saw an opportunity to start a little consulting business that could help small business owners.
BP: Good. Good. So, you said owned a manufacturing company. And then, also, into education, came out into this as well.
GC: Right. Yes, so, business ownership from manufacturing standpoint. Sometime in the education system. Actually teaching business and entrepreneur concepts. And, now, I’m basically back out in the private industry.
BP: Right. We’ve know each other for what, about a couple of years now? Right?
GC: Yeah, I think so. At least a couple.
BP: Been meeting and I consider Greg, again, just a close friend a good solid mentor to me. But, let’s share a little bit more specifically about Conder Business Solutions and what type of clients you look for. And then, also, what kind of things you do for them.
GC: Okay. Well, client-wise, typically it’s going to be a small business owner. And definition of small business owner is pretty, has lots of variety out there. The one that I use is going to be a company with anywhere from say one to 30-40 employees.
GC: So, business size, that is sort of what I’m looking at. And then, you know, you also look for quality clients – people that are truly trying to achieve something and trying to grow their business. Or, make it more profitable. Or, even, to trying to do good things for the community or others with their profits. So, you know, I look for quality business owners that way. And I honestly just want to help them achieve their goals.
GC: I have a couple of ways that I do that. A couple of unique processes that I developed. One of them is called the Optimum Solution. And, what I do there, over my experience I’ve kind of determined that business really has three main parts.
There’s kind of a science part to it, a people part, and an art part. So, when we think of the science part of business we might be thinking of data, statistics, trends, financial statements like balance sheets, income statements, cash flow – hose types of things. Science parts are generally going have numbers associated with it.
GC: The people part, if you think when you’re in business, all the people you deal with. Certainly, we think about customers, employees, team members, vendors, and honestly, for small business, kind of unique to small business is family. So, that kind of makes up that people part.
And then, the art part is where we find that marketing, and that image, and that branding, and sometimes in that artful part is where we call on our ‘gut feel’ or intuition – when the science part isn’t really clear to us.
GC: And so, we look at all three of those pieces. And that’s going to be my starting point with business. See if one of those pieces has a weakness, or needs to be strengthened, or something like that.
And when we’re pretty well set there, I have this other process called the System of PI.
BP: The system of eating pie?
GC: Yeah. Yes. The System of PI – P-I for Profitable Ideas.
BP: Okay. Okay. [Laughter]
GC: The System of Profitable Ideas. And what that System is going to do, again, we’re going to sit down and kind of get the current state of the business. Who’s are customers? What’s are products and services? Maybe a SWOT Analysis that tells strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats.
And what we’re looking for is what area of our business do we need new, fresh, creative ideas for? Is it new products? New services? I worked with one company to come up with ideas for workplace-culture change, even. It could be ideas for new marketing tactics, methods, things like that.
So, once we know what we need ideas for, then I’m going to build us some tools and do some research for some thought-provoking information. And with the business owner, and some of their team, we’re going to sit down and have a session where we actually create, generate out-of-the-box, fresh ideas.
So, when we’re finished with that point, you know, we have a stack of new ideas. We’re going prioritize them. Now we’re kind of getting into a process that needs to be a little bit more logical and have some flow. And we’re going to take them one, or two, at a time, and vett them out. You know?
For example, on a case of a new product or service, we certainly want some good feeling, right, that the market, or customers out there, would see some value in our offering. We want to make sure we’re not breaking any laws or regulations. And then there’s plenty of those nowadays.
GC: So, we will to get to that vetting process, and if we make it through then we set a plan and actually implement the idea so we can reap the benefits of the idea.
BP: Okay. Good. What are some exciting things that are happening within, inside your business right now?
GC: Well, right now, being just at the, you know, five or six-month mark, it’s exciting to meet new people. It’s exciting to engage new clients. And for me, it’s a thrill when somebody lets you know how you’ve helped them reach their goals and be successful. So, that’s kind of the general excitement that most new businesses probably feel.
Specifically, something pretty cool that happened is just a couple of weeks ago I actually had an article
BP: That’s right.
GC: published in the Tulsa World. And talked about how small businesses can go about diversifying their customer base to grow their business, or reduce some of their risk associated with having your customer base so concentrated in just one or two customer, or, even in specific industries.
BP: And you also, you post regularly on your blog, correct? And then, you also post on LinkedIn as well, right?
GC: Right, yeah. Yeah, I post on my websites, blog, and then I have done some posting LinkedIn as well.
BP: Okay. Good. Good. We’ll put those links with the content, or where to find you, if that’s okay with you.
GC: All right. That would be the artful part of the optimum solution.
BP: Right, right. Greg, just really coming, you know, from the business realm for a while, not that you’re old or anything
GC: Right, right. Thank you Brad.
BP: You’re experienced wisdom, right? What would you say is the best business advice that you’ve ever received?
GC: Let’s see. Boy. I actually read a lot and talk to a lot of people. I would say probably something that is helped me the most is be patient. You know? Our world gets more and more instant gratification-oriented, and we have to understand that new businesses, new products, new service – it takes some time for those ideas to develop and be successful in marketplace. You know? In fact, if you go read a story about Sam Walton and Walmart, well how long did he go with just one little store? Or, two little stores? Versus what we see today? Most stories of successful business, if you’ll have a look at some of the background, you’ll see that there is pretty long incubation period.
GC: And even with ‘smalls.’ If you look at small business with 10 or 15 employees, chances are, maybe that first one, two, or three years was just the owner, or maybe the owner and one employee – something like that.
GC: So, patience.
BP: Yes. Or, a volunteer. I had my wife volunteer for
GC: Yeah! That’s it.
BP: as we started. A friend of mine and I are actually going through ‘Think and Grow Rich’ and they talk about, you know, a lot of the successful people didn’t really reach their success until after the age of 40.
BP: So, I’m hoping to be successful here pretty soon. [Laughter]
GC: I think you are.
BP: Thank you. So, and it was kind of neat, you mentioned being patient, instant gratification, last Thursday we had a big storm roll through. And so, we got home, and no electricity. No internet. No phone service. You know?
BP: The kids, and all of us, were like, “Well, what do we do?” You know?
GC: Yeah. Right.
BP: They’re like, “Are you getting internet, dad?” “No, are you getting internet?” It was just like, you know, we’re just so used to that. The same with fast food.
GC: Need some stimulation, yeah.
BP: Yeah, so, I like that – being patient. Well, you mentioned reading books. You read often. What are some of the books that you would want to recommend to our listeners?
GC: I don’t know that I can come up with just one or two. Part of it gets back to, you know, like a small business owner, if they do a personal assessment. Then I just encourage them to read something that is either going to leverage one of their strengths, or try to strengthen a weakness. You know? For example, if you’re a little weak on marketing and understanding marketing, I really like the Guerilla Marketing series.
BP: Yeah. You saw that out there, right?
GC: If you’re weak on understanding finances, read a small business bookkeeping or accounting book. Something like that. Relationships, you know? We talked about employees and customers and vendors. Myers Briggs has some pretty stuff. I read a book once called ‘The Color Code’ that talks about different personalities and how they can blend together.
Honestly, for the small business owner, sometimes it’s good to read a little bit about time management. There’s a lot to do, you know? We wear many hats.
BP: Well, Greg, as we kind of close this out, is there else you’d like to share with our listeners today?
GC: I just encourage people to, you know, to keep striving. And again, for me personally this is not my first go-around with entrepreneurism or small business ownership. And, you know, it’s easy to feel alone as a small business owner. You think, “Nobody understands.” You know? “Employees don’t understand.” Pulling your hair out trying to figure out how you’re going to meet payroll next week. All those different hats we talked about that small business owners have to wear. Maybe that’s my final comment. Don’t feel alone. There’s people out there that can help.
BP: Right. Good. Good. All right. Thank you for listening to Create the Movement podcast.