This week on the Digital Velocity Podcast, Chris Gwinn of Great Lake Advisory joins Erik and Tim to discuss the benefits of employee training and business process optimization.
It may not be necessary to have business processes completely streamlined to reach a certain level of success. However, if an organization desires continued growth, optimizing business processes becomes critical. Chris explains, “Can you get to like a million dollars without processes? Sure. Lots of organizations do. It's not like a necessary prerequisite. But, I think, ultimately, the major pitfall is that you are going to come to a certain crossroads where you'll hit a plateau. There's going to come a point in time where you will not be able to really reach a level of consistency and scalability in your organization to ultimately grow because you need to have some level of standardization when it comes to either fulfilling your service or producing a product or selling your service, or maybe it's just some of the communication that takes place with your customers. And if you can't do that consistently, you're going to have a ton of chaos and you're going to be just constantly firefighting all that.”
When employee training and business processes are improved, the positive impacts are felt company-wide. Chris explains, “Simply put, I want them to feel freedom. I want them to feel more smooth operations that comes in the form of greater consistency, accountability, and really streamlining all of your operations and making it easier for you to get new hires up to speed and for them to actually follow all of your processes…For leaders, being able to focus on your unique abilities. For employees, feeling more empowered. For business owners, being able to feel comfortable with that level of scale. Because it can be a little bit overwhelming that it's like, Oh crap, we've got all this demand, we can't service it, and I can't hire fast enough, and I can't get these employees up to speed. And that's a little bit uneasing for some folks. So, being able to scale confidently is certainly something that we're targeting and helping businesses achieve.”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about employee training and business process improvement.
About the Guest:
Chris is the founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory.
Chris built his company around standardizing operating procedures, leadership development, documenting processes, instructional design, training, and getting everyone aligned. He has successfully implemented a 100% remote team, increased productivity, and promoted autonomy with his employees.
Great Lakes Advisory makes businesses easier to manage by documenting their processes, clearly defining their standard operating procedures, and having world-class training experiences to get everyone aligned, so the company runs on repeatable processes.
Chris shares a passion for operations, processes, finance, investments, and working with people. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Marquette University. He has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation.
Outside of work, Chris loves spending time with his wonderful wife, Courtney, Australian Shepherd, Igor, and their families and friends. He is an avid golfer and enjoys running, cycling, and CrossFit.
Tim Curtis: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to this edition of the Digital Velocity Podcast. I'm your cohost, Tim Curtis from Cohere One.
Erik Martinez: And I'm Erik Martinez from Blue Tangerine.
Tim Curtis: Today on the show, we welcome Chris Gwinn. Chris is the founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory. He built his company around standardizing operating procedures, leadership development, documenting processes, instructional design, training, and getting everyone aligned. He successfully implemented a 100% remote team, increased productivity, and promoted autonomy with his employees.
Chris holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and [00:01:00] finance from Marquette University, and he's earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst CFA designation. Outside of work, Chris loves spending time with his wonderful wife Courtney, Australian Shepherd, Igor, and their families and friends. He's an avid golfer and enjoys running, cycling, and CrossFit. Welcome to the show, Chris. Good to have you.
Chris Gwinn: Thanks for having me on.
Tim Curtis: We like to always start off a little bit here at the beginning and get just a brief introduction to you and a little bit of your story and kind of back to the start, sort of what inspired you to start Great Lakes Advisory as well.
Chris Gwinn: Yeah, of course. My entrepreneurial journey started, I guess it was back in about 2013ish. At the time, I was a portfolio manager at Northern Trust. I was managing about $75 million in assets, and life was pretty good. But at the same time, I was finding myself a little bit bored with work.
At the same time, my dad is a business owner and was really [00:02:00] struggling to keep his head above water. He was constantly putting out fires, dealing with internal issues, employees not following tasks the correct way. And so he approached me and asked me if I wouldn't mind taking a look at some of his operations, finances to see if there was any opportunity to make the business a little bit easier to manage. I mean, he's my family, he's my dad. So, of course, I was more than happy to be able to take a look.
I began to dissect their operations, interview some of their employees, review the financials. I quickly come to find out that they had absolutely zero standard operating procedures, zero type of KPIs, zero training in place, and it was essentially kind of throw the employees to the wolves and see if they can figure it out on their own. Intuitively it made a ton of sense why employees weren't following the task the correct way, I'm using air quotes right here because there really wasn't a correct way to go do anything because nothing was actually defined.
I took it upon myself to really spearhead this initiative and really help to bring greater [00:03:00] structure, consistency, and overall accountability to the organization. So, I dove straight in, began to interview all of their subject matter experts, capture all that knowledge, package it together into a package playbook that really contained all of their SOPs, built out KPI dashboards, built out customized training. Then fast forward, I saw the entire impact of this from kind of the lens of the employees, as well as the lens of my dad, or really kind of the leadership team.
And so from the perspective of the employees, I noticed that having all of these standardized, essentially a centralized repository that had all of your processes, all of your training, and really all the resources that they needed to be actually successful for their job, I noticed that employee morale began to actually improve. Because the employees, from their perspective, began to feel that the company was investing in their overall professional development, trying to position them for success. I also [00:04:00] noticed that employee turnover decreased, but I also noticed that productivity actually improved.
But then I noticed from my dad's perspective because all of this knowledge was really kind of contained in a lot of his head, he was constantly firefighting. He was really sucked into the day-to-day operations. But now that he had all of these processes, systems, kind of a clear organizational structure, it allowed him to really remove himself from the day-to-day operations, and ultimately free up a lot of his capacity to begin to work on the business.
Taking a step back, realizing what an incredible impact that SOPs, processes, KPIs, and training could have on an organization, I clearly realized that there was a much larger need outside of just his business. So, we opened up Great Lakes Advisory in 2018 and have been running strong ever since.
Erik Martinez: It's funny because I remember times early in my career when I worked for much larger organizations and people would say, you need to [00:05:00] document your job. Okay. What does that mean? What do you mean document my job? Don't you guys know it? You're the ones who put me in this position. Right? Now, this is from the perspective of a 23-year-old just recently graduated from college.
And I know that many, many businesses and it doesn't matter which size they are, struggle with this particular issue. Fairly recently, I was working with, actually still going through the process, working with a really large payment processor. All we are trying to do with this particular payment processor is stand up a test site so we can do online authorizations from our website.
This is not new technology. This is not a new system. This is not a new process. We are now two months into the process. I've had at least seven or eight phone calls with this particular support team and some other members of the team have had four or five phone calls, and we still yet today do not have [00:06:00] all the information we need to run that transaction process.
The question I'm going to ask is, when you look at a situation like that, it should become really, really clear why SOPs, standard operating procedures, are really important. With these things being so crucial to business, why are they so often overlooked? Second, what are the pitfalls of not having them?
Chris Gwinn: Well, let's answer those in the order that you asked. I think one, oftentimes, they might be overlooked because the folks who you might be asking to document those processes or to document their job, they might not necessarily be the most process-orientated individual, and they might not necessarily really understand the overall impact of why you even need to have these processes into place.
But probably the most glaring reason is the fact that when you do document your processes, you're ultimately taking away time that you could be [00:07:00] spending on your daily responsibilities, the customer orders, or whatever are your core tasks. Burdening those folks, taking away time from their day, to be able to bunker down and document that process without really clearly understanding the impact that this is going to allow them to free themselves of is, I think, oftentimes overlooked. I think that's probably maybe the biggest reason why it's not in place.
Can you get to like a million dollars without processes? Sure. Lots of organizations do. It's not like a necessary prerequisite. But, I think, ultimately, the major pitfall is that you are going to come to a certain crossroads where you'll hit a plateau. There's going to come a point in time where you will not be able to really reach a level of consistency and scalability in your organization to ultimately grow because you need to have some level [00:08:00] of standardization when it comes to either fulfilling your service or producing a product or selling your service, or maybe it's just some of the communication that takes place with your customers. And if you can't do that consistently, you're going to have a ton of chaos and you're going to be just constantly firefighting all that.
And then on top of it, you need to make sure that all of your employees follow in lockstep, all of those processes. If you don't have that in place, it's going to be really, really challenging to get from a million to 10 million to 20 million and beyond, and really reach any level of repetition and scalability and consistency, if all of your employees are not following your processes, and you don't have that type of structure within your organization.
Erik Martinez: The benefits, as I hear you saying them, are scalability and consistency. What other key benefits do you get by standardizing your [00:09:00] procedures and your processes?
Chris Gwinn: Well, I think when it comes down to the leaders, it's are you sitting in a managerial seat or are you sitting in a technician seat? And the reason I frame it like that is that the folks that don't have standardized procedures, many times those managers are getting sucked into that department's work and ultimately kind of firefighting, dealing with the issues that employees are dealing with, almost doing the work for the employees. And the employees have to constantly rely on that department leader for some of those core responsibilities and those processes. Versus the situation of a leader of that department holding all those employees accountable, managing kind of the success criteria of that particular department, and ultimately hitting those metrics. Freeing yourself up from a manager's or a leader's standpoint so that you can truly replace yourself in that department and have everyone following all those processes, [00:10:00] that's kind of the major benefits there.
And then beyond that, it helps you to be able to better prepare your employees for success when it comes down to training and onboarding. It serves as a fantastic tool to be able to share all of these instructions and say, Hey, follow each of these individual steps and you're going to be able to achieve this specific result or outcome. Employees feel more empowered, creating more of an autonomous work environment where employees have all of the resources and the knowledge at their fingertips, rather than feeling somewhat ashamed in this situation where I feel reliant on my manager. I don't want to ask questions to my manager and I don't want them to think that I'm stupid for not knowing how to perform my own job.
So, I think equipping those employees with all those SOPs and those resources and that training allows them to have the knowledge and the answers at their fingertips, and remove a lot of that guesswork in performing those responsibilities rather [00:11:00] than having to constantly bog down the operations by relying on those managers.
Erik Martinez: How do you create that world-class training experience? It's not an uncommon story to say, hey, it's your first day on the job. You're a remote employee. Here's like six videos and your documentation list to go read through. Talk to me tomorrow or at the end of the week, or however long it takes. So, how do you guys go about creating a world-class training experience?
Chris Gwinn: Well, I think it all starts with getting everyone, I mean, regardless of what function you're serving in an organization, whether or not you're in SEO or marketing or you're in sales or you're in accounting, you're in finance, there's some stuff that needs to be known by every single employee. And that usually starts with learning about the company. Who are your customers? How does this business model work? What is the company history? What are our core values? What are our mission? What's the vision that we want to take this organization with? What are the policies [00:12:00] that we live by? What's the culture of this work environment?
That's where I think you can actually communicate a lot of that training through an online playbook application or a software that really kind of serves as that centralized repository in an application called Trainual. So, Trainual allows you to actually build out really, really engaging training content. All those employees can then begin to learn all about your services, your products, your customers, all that company information.
And then from there, they begin to go down a unique training path that really equips them with all of the processes, the training, the soft skills, the knowledge that's required to be able to perform their job. So, that's all conducted online and it's all consistent with that particular role so that every single person that comes into that role goes through the same set of knowledge training. That allows the manager to then kind of reinforce that training while they're on the job.
That world-class [00:13:00] training experience comes down to making sure that you're equipping all of those employees with all that knowledge in one centralized kind of repository or one location, making sure that all that information is accurate, and making sure that it's also super simple and easy to understand that they always have that information and it's very accessible.
Tim Curtis: So, you talked just a little bit before the show, you're an EOS shop. So, you're following the EOS business framework. You're obviously dealing in EOS when you're delivering some of these capabilities to clients. As we were talking before the show, I sort of recognize that right away just as I was looking through the services of Great Lakes Advisory. It sort of jumped out at me off the page and I thought, clearly, they too have adopted EOS and they're using EOS and this and you mentioned that you're the visionary in the EOS model.
As you built that business and you've sort of started delivering on the services, I kind of go back to your background a little bit. You are this Chartered Financial Analyst, you've got this degree from Marquette, you're implementing the [00:14:00] EOS. How has that CFA aspect, how has that played into this? Has that sort of given you a particular point of view that you might not have had otherwise? We're all familiar with a CPA, right? We're all familiar with what the CPA does. The CFA is a little different, and so I wondered if you could talk just briefly about that before we pivot in another direction.
Chris Gwinn: Yeah, of course. So, CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. It's really kind of almost the investment equivalent of the CPA exam. It covers a lot of foundational knowledge when it comes down to actually valuing companies, actually understanding all the financials, being able to like financially forecast, being able to manage kind of assets, the different types of asset classes, business models.
A lot of my knowledge is kind of rooted a little bit from that foundation when you're analyzing and you're kind of a financial analyst for a particular sector or for [00:15:00] kind of a particular asset class. You get to better understand the business model and what drives overall profitability. A lot of kind of our operations is based on that foundation or that really kind of better understanding of those business models. So, no, it did play kind of a pivotal role.
Tim Curtis: That gave you a better framework. What I mean by that, obviously the CPA, very, very powerful exam. CPAs have a ton of capabilities, but it's interesting that that CFA aspect, that more active finance component, which is something that, as a business owner, you really dive into. And especially if you're going to be working on any further investment in the business. So, it's an incredible foundation.
We also talked about, a little bit for the show, you successfully implemented that 100% remote work team and you have some very strong opinions about that. You've obviously given us a little bit of a glimpse about Trainual and what that's been able to do for you. But why don't you share a little bit more about your philosophy on that 100% remote team [00:16:00] and how you've approached that?
Chris Gwinn: Yeah. It's actually been kind of remote first, technically. We never were at a point where we were ever like, brick and mortar or had any type of physical location. But COVID certainly kind of helped eliminate some of the stigma around remote work. From my perspective, I always wanted to make sure that we could run a profitable agency organization, and I think when it comes down to paying for real estate, it increases your overall overhead. Usually that needs to be kind of like baked into some of your pricing. I just don't know if running that overhead, increasing all of our prices ultimately adds a lot of value for our clients.
I think the benefits of being able to run a hundred percent remote is that I get to tap into a much deeper talent pool. We only employ, they're all W2, but they're all located across the entire United States. So, my pool of talent [00:17:00] is everyone in the United States. When you only have a physical location, it's usually, I don't know, within maybe a 45-minute drive commute from that particular physical location. Oftentimes, you're not going to see folks commuting two hours every single day to a particular location. So, you've got a deeper talent pool. So, you get to gain access to better talent and potentially more affordable talent as well.
But to be able to get there, you do need to have a little bit more structure in place. And I think a lot of organizations, they tend to think that, Oh, well, unless I see the employee working and they're sitting right next to me, then I don't really have the full like trust. I can't necessarily trust that they're actually working. So, sometimes there's this sense that we need to be that big brother, but I think you can gain more confidence and trust when you do have KPIs in place, you have standard operating procedures, and there's measurables around kind of the results [00:18:00] of your team.
I'm a very results-orientated business owner and so every single one of our employees, they have a number. There's like two or four kind of leading and lagging KPIs that they can influence, and that's kind of how we're measuring their performance. Everything that we do is online. So there is records, there's accountability, and we have training. We have a ton of SOPs around it. And so, it's either you're doing the work or you're not, you're achieving the results or not.
But at the same time, I think it creates for a better culture. Ultimately, creates a little bit more flexibility. We have goals set for every single one of our team members. If those goals are done, then great. If you're on track, you're making progress to all of those, all the deliverables are fulfilled on time. You're achieving all of your results and all of the activities are done from the leading and a lagging KPI, there's a little bit more flexibility.
I need to start at 8:30 instead of 8:00 am today, and I'm just going to work 30 minutes [00:19:00] less. I mean, you gain a little bit of time when you don't have that commute. There's a little bit more flexibility. If you need to run a quick errand, I mean, as long as the results are there, I think it ultimately provides for a more comfortable work environment. And then we just promote kind of our culture through constant communication through Slack and one on ones in the structure that we have there and each of the department meetings. And then we have culture championships on a monthly basis.
Tim Curtis: Clearly, just like business performance, your internal performance has to be based off some structure. You've got to have structure in place. A lot of businesses that are challenged with the remote environment didn't have a ton of structure, in terms of understanding KPIs and output, to begin with. And it was more of a visual KPI, right? I see you in your cubicle typing. Something like that was sort of the benchmark. And in a remote environment, you do sort of seem to feel as if you've lost control of that if you haven't done the work of putting some things in [00:20:00] place to understand output, and to be able to understand the measurement of output.
You mentioned Slack. That's got to be one of those tools that you're leaning pretty heavily on to internally sort of continue the communications and continue to support a remote environment. Guessing that you must like Slack. Obviously, if you're still using it. I love it, by the way. Been on it for, I think, ten years. Got on it when it came out. Question for you on that. You mentioned Trainual, but what are some of the other things that you're using in your environment to sort of number one, keep that communication top of funnel? And are there any other tools that you're using to help establish some of those KPIs?
Chris Gwinn: Yeah, we use Slack for internal communication, Asana for project management. We use Harvest for time tracking, HubSpot for CRM, sales, marketing, and then Trainual for all of our process documentation, training, onboarding. Aircall for our dialing system, and then we use Databox for all of our [00:21:00] data. Obviously, we use QuickBooks too, technically. But we process all of our invoices and everything through HubSpot.
Tim Curtis: Yeah, that sounds like the A plus tech stack for anybody who's going to be agile and nimble in this kind of environment. Slack has probably been the one thing that I would say I've noticed companies pre and post-Slack, just how much more effective it is at helping to create a culture of communication. It really is a fantastic tool. Asana is an amazing project management tool for those that maybe aren't familiar with it. Yeah, I've seen some pretty sophisticated things coming out of them as well.
Chris Gwinn: Yeah, no, I love it. I hand selected all of them. So, it works really, really well. I mean, there's a lot of other tools out there too, but I think that those are the biggest. I think you need tools around those use cases. One for communication, something for like managing projects. I think if you're running remote, having some type of time tracking mechanism is really important.
I think having some type of CRM in place is really [00:22:00] important. I mean, I like Aircall, but having some of the dialing system and I like it because it actually integrates with HubSpot, and will log all those calls, it will record all the calls. And then training, just being able to have all of your information in a centralized repository. We do use Google, but that's just like G Suite for email, calendar, everything like that.
Erik Martinez: So, Chris, let's, dive into Trainual for just a minute. Because this is a product or a service that you guys have created, right?
Chris Gwinn: No. So, we are the number one consultant within the Trainual community. There's like 400 plus consultants, but Trainual is a separate entity. But we help implement Trainual. Trainual is a SaaS platform. It's essentially kind of a playbook application for you to be able to build out really everything about your company. It's a centralized repository to really teach you what you need to know about your job, about your company. So, it's a [00:23:00] great place to be able to build out all of your company information, your org chart, roles, responsibilities, policies, processes, training information, in one application.
Erik Martinez: Just out of curiosity, does that replace a human resource management system or are they highly related but separate tools?
Chris Gwinn: Yeah. I would say it does kind of replace that kind of management system. Yes. You could almost think of it a little bit like almost like a learning management system too. Usually a human resource management might be focusing more on like the compliance employee handbook. That's all going to be in Trainual. Usually human resources doesn't always get to some of the actual specific SOPs, processes, some of that customized training.
So, this application, Trainual, allows you to customize everything within there and then be able to actually assign it to employees, report on it. You can test them through the quizzes. You can add kind of multimedia content. You can embed [00:24:00] PDFs, Google slides, videos, everything. You're never leaving the actual application to be able to consume all those resources and that content.
Erik Martinez: That makes a lot of sense. So, you've talked throughout our conversation today, about leadership and autonomy, and how you're achieving that through the use of documenting processes, providing training materials, onboarding employees in a good way. But, one of the questions that comes up is, what does great leadership look like in your world, and how do you cultivate it? You're using some tools and processes to do that, but what does great leadership look like in your definition?
Chris Gwinn: I think simply put, great leadership is being able to replace yourself and still be able to meet all of the success criteria for that particular leader's area of accountability. What I mean by that is that [00:25:00] everything that's working in your department, you're hitting your metrics, you are kind of achieving all that success criteria, but you're replacing yourself in the sense that the system is not reliant on that leader because you have all the structure, you have alignment with all those employees, that they're performing everything in reaching those objectives for that particular department.
And so I think to be able to get there, that does require having that leader being able to hold those employees accountable for that and then being able to coach them around those areas or those deficiencies and then constantly keeping them focused on their objectives, their goals, and their metrics.
Erik Martinez: So, if you walk into a client engagement and they're a big hot mess. Maybe they've grown really rapidly, and so the tech stack and the communication processes, and maybe [00:26:00] even all the roles, haven't been really well defined for their new scale. What is the first step that you guys advise or take in order to start righting the ship?
In my experience working with entrepreneurial organizations, that's one of the biggest challenges is scaling, and scaling in the right way, and following the steps that it takes. Because a lot of systems and processes break at various stages along that journey. Not all of them break. Some of them, you may actually be very good at, but you break something completely way over here that has a negative impact throughout your organization. So, when you guys approach an engagement like that, what's the very, very first thing that you guys do or advise?
Chris Gwinn: Well, we're always approaching this very holistically. It'll kind of break down into each of the individual departments. So you might be talking about like an SEO department, you might be talking about like PPC, you might be talking about sales, might be [00:27:00] talking about just the overall company's marketing, accounting.
First, it really starts with having clear responsibilities and clear job descriptions and scorecards of what is the success criteria for this department and what are like the overall goals. And then from there, you start to dive into understanding where are their issues when it comes to the overall communication. Maybe there's issues from cross-departments. Maybe there's issues with your customers.
And then it's figuring out what needs to be able to be performed on kind of a daily, weekly, monthly basis in order for you to be able to hit all of those success criteria, those metrics. And then building structure, accountability, standardization in your processes, training, development, coaching, to be able to reach that.
Erik Martinez: And does that happen in exactly that sequence that you've just defined? Do you go in and start with [00:28:00] a big picture and then department by department kind of work through all of their issues?
Chris Gwinn: Yeah, no, I mean, it's pretty much like a cycle. So, you start with essentially kind of an assessment and then we do a build, an improvement, an implementation, and then just like an ongoing monitor.
Erik Martinez: What types of organizations work best with your model? Have you encountered examples where they just struggle to get it because either A, the leadership isn't willing to adopt anything or B, they buy into a completely different framework? What are the things where you run into friction in a client engagement?
Chris Gwinn: Friction usually comes when organizations are not completely bought in. I might, I guess, initially engage with a business owner or maybe a department leader, and they've never communicated with their team and anyone else that's involved in this particular engagement.
So, it really does start with true buy-in, [00:29:00] commitments, alignments starting at the top down from the leadership team. And we share a lot of messaging of like, hey, how you need to kind of present everything that we're working on to your employees and to everyone that's going to impact. When you're communicating that message, you need to make sure that you're sharing that message from that employees perspective, sharing the benefits of why it's so important to get this all into place, and it's, we're not replacing anyone's job.
We're ultimately making your job easier. We're ultimately, making you feel more confident that if you do take time for PTO, that you'll have coverage from some of the other employees in your same department and that they're going to consistently follow those same activities, perform your job while you can take a few days off for PTO. It's really kind of getting the buy-in from everyone in the organization.
As far as who this works well for, ultimately, I do think you need to get to the point where we have figured out some things. If you're [00:30:00] still in your infancy stage and you're constantly changing all these processes, you might be a little bit premature in getting it all standardized. If you're changing the process every single month, you're reinventing the wheel, you still haven't figured out what works and what doesn't, I don't think it really makes a lot of sense that we need to like spend a lot of time standardizing this immediately if you're only going to change it the next month and the next month. That'll certainly eat up a lot of times.
I think getting to the point where we figured out some of the things that are working well, we're just not doing it consistently and employees aren't ultimately following that correct way of being able to do that. And usually that's when you get to past maybe the one million dollar mark, maybe five million dollar mark, and you don't have any documentation around SOPs, around policies, training, content. That's usually maybe a good starting point, but ultimately I have seen it work for organizations as small as five [00:31:00] employees and a little bit less than a million dollars.
Tim Curtis: There's a lot of businesses out there like that. So, as we start to move to wrap up here, a couple of last questions to close this out. If you're thinking about your clients, what is one of the most important lessons or values that you want them to take away after having engaged with Great Lakes Advisory? How do you want them to feel and what do you want that to look like?
Chris Gwinn: Simply put, I want them to feel freedom. I want them to feel more smooth operations that comes in the form of greater consistency, accountability, and really streamlining all of your operations and making it easier for you to get new hires up to speed and for them to actually follow all of your processes.
Tim Curtis: Probably like how your dad felt.
Chris Gwinn: Yes, exactly. For leaders, being able to focus in on your unique abilities. For employees, feeling more empowered. For business owners, being able to feel comfortable with that level of scale. Because[00:32:00] it can be a little bit overwhelming that it's like, Oh crap, we've got all this demand, we can't service it, and I can't hire fast enough, and I can't get these employees up to speed. And that's a little bit uneasing for some folks. So, being able to scale confidently is certainly something that we're targeting and helping businesses achieve.
Tim Curtis: One of the things I'd like to kind of mention about that. You mentioned it early on in the show. What COVID essentially did is brought a lot of clarity to the remote work environment. It destigmatized it in a way that accelerated it by a good ten years. Businesses were clearly caught off guard. Many of them are still operating kind of in a quote-unquote off-guard.
You know, you think about Great Lakes Advisory and the need for, you know, again, quickly onboarding those employees, establishing some framework of accountability. All of that gives you that scalability that we mentioned early in the show. So, yeah, I think you're operating in a sweet spot in a blue [00:33:00] ocean environment where businesses need these services and they need levels of that service. And so that's a great way for them to kind of accelerate their own learning curve, and begin to position themselves at a place where they can exhale because they feel like there's some control brought to the chaos and they have a sense of, they know what they're doing.
So, what's a great way for someone, a listener to reach out and get a hold of you?
Chris Gwinn: Yeah, of course. Feel free to check us out at greatlakesadvisory. com. G R E A T L A K E S A D V I S O R Y. com. We also put out a newsletter. Feel free to follow us LinkedIn, Twitter. We're all on the major social media platforms. I also have our podcast too, Agency Accelerator that we put out on a weekly basis.
Tim Curtis: Perfect. Well, it's been helpful to have you on the show. This is showing people what kind of resources are out there to solve for a need that is really pervasive. Whether or not you're remote or not, you probably have some form of a hybrid environment. This is a need. [00:34:00] So, again, thank you so much for coming on the show. It's been good to get to know you a little bit better, and we look forward to maybe having you back on again or vice versa, going on the Agency Accelerator and talking and carry on the conversation, so.
Chris Gwinn: I loved coming on.
Tim Curtis: Well, that's it for today's episode of the Digital Velocity Podcast. I'm Tim Curtis from CohereOne.
Erik Martinez: And I'm Erik Martinez from Blue Tangerine. Folks have a great day.