Getting your business where you want it to be has never been easier. Using what’s called an Entrepreneurial Operating System, one can have protocols in place for every situation to make sure they make the most out of their results. Ben Snyder, principal of Bizexe, chats with Bob Roark. Together, they go into some of the best techniques to ensure maximization of your results, the results you’re looking for. Learn how to work with this Entrepreneurial Operating System today!
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Entrepreneurial Operating System With Ben Snyder
We’re fortunate to have Ben Snyder. He’s a professional EOS implementer. He’s a principal at Bizexe. Bizexe provides real-world expertise in the Entrepreneurial Operating System, EOS, to help business owners and operators grow their companies consistently. It’s a time-tested model and a process with simple, practical tools where they help clients achieve three things: vision, traction and a healthy business. Ben, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Bob, thank you. I appreciate it.
We were chatting before the show. We have lots of things in common. The one fun fact that people may not know about you is you were a professional baseball player at one time in Houston Astros if I remember it correctly?
Yeah, back in the early ’80s.
With a math degree.
Yeah. I was the smart guy in the locker room.
Tell us a little bit about your business and who you serve.
First of all, if the people I serve are people who have businesses from $5 to $50 million or if you want to go with employee size 10 to 200. They’re usually the operator owners, a lot of family businesses too. Those are the people that I serve. In terms of what I do is I help them basically get what they want out of their business. Every entrepreneur has something they want out of the business, whether it be financial security or they want more time with their family. Ultimately when I work together, I help them get what they want.
Rolling the clock back a bit, EOS, Entrepreneurial Operating System is an outgrowth of a fairly well-noted author that’s widely respected in the business arena.
Gino Wickman is the person who wrote the book Traction back in 2007, and since then obviously, it’s become quite popular here in the States, I would say as a whole. It’s starting to move outside into the international world.
I’ve actually read Traction. I’ve interviewed some people that use Traction and there’s a lot of complimentary dialogue that goes off on the concepts and principles that are contained in that book. The Entrepreneurial Operating System, as I understand it, incorporates some of that into a systematic process.
These are tools that have been around a long time. Some of them, people recognize but the power of it is when it’s brought together in a complete system where the tools interact with one another and support one another.
When you talk to a business owner that’s functioning in the business without EOS, what do you typically hear from the business owner?
The biggest part is their lack of control. They’re constantly working in the business, firefighting, resolving conflicts with customers. As a whole, what they’re struggling with is basically not being able to have control of it, not having a vision for where they want to go. Their employees or their customers, their interactions are full of strife. I would say there’s a lot of chaos in it.Every entrepreneur has something they want to get out of their business. Click To Tweet
There’s a tipping point for that business owner somewhere. There’s a reason that when you show up and talk to them about the operating system and they go, “This is where I have been,” what do you think that tipping point discussion is? Is it the vision that they have? Is it getting organized? What do you think the tipping point to start using EOS is?
I do hear a lot of people saying, “The vision component, I used to do some of that and I’ve lost it.” I seem to be working day-to-day on my business, not looking out towards the future. That’s a strong one for sure. That they can get a vision and know where they’re going. The being out of control, the sense of knowing who’s the right person for my company, I can look at the data, I can look at a scorecard and know that my company is healthy. Those are things that they really wished they had. It’s funny when we first introduced the scorecard and people started getting, and I asked them, “How do you know that your business is healthy?” A lot of times, people say, “I wake up at 2:00 AM and I start thinking, ‘How am I doing this area?’” I get my email together. I send off some emails to my leadership team and I’m asking for things on how’s manufacturing? How’s accounting? How’s this? When I get in, I get all this information, I take a deep breath and I say, “I’m reasonably okay.” That’s how they let it go. Versus every week being able to pull up a sheet and say, “Here you are.”
This is not your first rodeo. You’ve owned businesses in the past as well.
There was some good and some not so good. I would say definitely I’ve seen the full spectrum of that operating four different businesses over the past twenty years. I’ve been able to see quite a bit. I’ve seen businesses from the very conception I’ve started them from $5,000 line of credit, $100,000 credit card all the way to transactions where you’re selling it for $6 million to $7 million. I’ve been fortunate enough to be around several businesses.
Some of the things that people don’t know is that your training ground was one of the largest companies on the planet, Lockheed Martin.
Way back then I worked as a systems integrator. I learned a lot about project management, which obviously helps me know how to execute. One of the things I always did well in the business was to be able to set goals and execute on them.
What I think about is, where were you? Which is in competitive sports, a mathematician coming up through the Lockheed system, owning businesses yourself and then you transitioned where you’re helping business owners get a hand on the levers of their business. I’ve actually got the workbook and I was at a Vistage meeting where you were the presenter at Vistage, which you do that and YPO. I was struck by the organization inside the workbook. Can you talk a little bit about the components or the items that are important in this book that EOS stands behind?
It’s all built on a model that starts really with the business owner. If you’re a business leader, you’re very familiar with, “I’ve got about 139 things running around in my head.” You’re trying to keep all those organized and checking and making sure they’re going. One of the realizations we’ve found is that if you strengthen six key components of your business, those 139 things fall into place because they’re not the problem. They’re the symptom. The six key areas attack the common problems people face that caused the chaos and uncertainty within their business.
Most business owners are extremely passionate about why they got into a particular line. They’re passionate about their customers and their vision and their visionaries. I’m a premed kid that went through the army. I didn’t have a business course and you think as a mathematician you didn’t come through with a business course and I think about these key concepts. Let’s dig into those six key components starting with vision.
One of the things that we’re very aware of is that when you look at vision and strategy, you can do it to the nth detail. Simplicity matters here. Getting your whole leadership team 100% on the same page with where the company is going and how you get there is important. One of the funny things I like to say is getting a vision or having a vision is really not the issue. The issue is getting all of members of your leadership team on the same vision. When you start pulling out those peculiarities of the vision, making sure everybody agrees to them, that’s the part that’s important.
Let’s say I’m the business owner and I’m working with you. We’ve established the vision and then we look at my inventory of people in my business and you go, “How do I know that I have the right people that are going to get on board with my vision?” The next one would be people.
Nobody gets to their vision without good employees. That’s the bottom line. Good leadership teams recognize they may be directing the company, but it’s the people in the trenches who actually make it happen. Oftentimes I find customers or clients asking, “What is the right person for me?” That’s really important. One of the things we do in the vision is to create the values for the company. Once we have the values, now we’re able to hire, fire, promote, compensate based on those. Finding the ideal person for your business in terms of character is important. You have to find your ideal person in terms, do they fit that seat? Do they get it? Do they want to have that job and do they have the capability performing? Good people are what’s needed.
There are tools where you say you’ve got the right person in the wrong seat. You can get that going. You segue over to the data side of the effort.
We move away from magic, subjectivity, political, personal agendas, and you get to the raw, hard data. You’re like, “How is my company doing?” Every company has a set of vital signs that tell them, are they in good health or not? When you identify those and you know that when they’re not on course or not meeting the goal or the standard, you need corrective action. Some of those corrective actions happen on a weekly basis. Some of the corrective actions can wait monthly and some frankly could be quarterly. It’s the items that when they’re outside the bounds, you need to take action.
The next component is once you get through the vision, the people in the data and the issues, then you have a process.
That balance of people data and the vision of where you’re going right away, you start seeing issues bubble to the top that are preventing you from chasing that vision. The leadership team needs to strengthen their muscles on how to resolve issues and resolving them once and for all. You do not want them kicking the can down the road and you don’t want those attacking issues and talking about it and then never resolving it. Getting to resolving issues is a huge part of it.
Probably, the favorite word in the six is traction.
Traction is where you’re actually getting the accountability. What I like to say is there’s a certain meeting pulse that you want and the meeting pulse is that you want to have a weekly meeting that checks to make sure that what you’re trying to get done that quarter is on track. Once you understand that they’re getting on track, where every quarter you’re making sure that you’re producing deliverables that are attacking your goals. Every quarter you want to make sure that your goals are on track. Ultimately at the end of the year, you get to see, “I met everything I wanted to do.” The traction component is a magical piece, but it all starts with that weekly meeting. We have a very unique way of handling that. We call it the Level Ten Meeting.
That sounds like a secret. What’s the Level Ten Meeting?
Level Ten is in 30 minutes you want to capture what’s the state of my business? You’re looking at the data and anybody can look at a scorecard and start asking comments or explaining things away because we have a person who basically is accountable for each of those metrics. All you do is if it’s on track, you leave it alone. Many people waste time in meetings talking about things that don’t need to be talked about because it’s self-evident. You’re not on a phone conversation, you don’t have to keep the conversation alive. You’re looking at the data. Do I have something that’s out of fault or in a bad state? Do I need to take action? If I do, I put it on the issue list and then resolve them during that level ten. The level ten is it has 30 minutes of basically status on what we’re doing and then 60 minutes for resolving issues. That’s the power. You want to make sure you have that 60 minutes with your leadership team every week solving problems.
That’s done not done, right?
It doesn’t matter if it snowed, done, not done. I think about the process, what it feels like to me is you take a nebulous, we’re going to run the company thing and you can set some very specific milestones, guideposts, tools, techniques and structure. As a business owner, there’s a transformation when they go into this process. Let’s say I’m the new business owner and I’ve adopted the EOS and I’m in my leadership team. What are the typical responses that you would expect to somebody that’s doing this for the first or second quarter? What do you typically see?
You get a real sense of how much accountability is in the company because if they’re very easily, they don’t come to the meeting on time, that’s a sign. If they have certain things that they were supposed to accomplish, they don’t accomplish them. One of the things we hit right away is if they don’t accomplish what they were supposed to accomplish, the next time I meet with them, I break that down. “Why didn’t you?” Behind that isn’t necessarily they just couldn’t get it done. Behind it is they thought something else was more important than that. They understand that the little things that they work on compound together to absorb a lot of time that you don’t get the real thing that needs to get done. We press into that and find out what are the items, what are the reasons that they’re really not getting work done? We bring those lessons forward. The next time we set things up for the deliverables where we call them rocks, they go ahead and achieve those.
It is very obvious that you’re excited about helping business owners and you’re a business owner. What gets you going? Why are you so excited about helping business owners?
I’m involved in Vistage. I’ve been involved in YPO. I’m also been involved in trade association groups. I can’t tell you how many people have fantastic products or services and they have such potential, but because they don’t have the business acumen, they’re not able to take that thing forward. They get short-changed basically. I was very fortunate to be a part of these different groups and gain that business acumen, I want to give it to the small business owner because they have very few resources to make that happen. If you go into your favorite bookstore and you look at the business books out there, they’re built for the big audiences. The big audiences typically are the people who are in professional companies, your Fortune 1000 or more. These are the people who can take those books and concepts and move them forward. A lot of times when they read it, it doesn’t apply to the small business. Where does the small business guy go to get the knowledge that they need to push their business forward? For me, I get a kick out of that. I like seeing that. I like helping people and I’ve been doing it. I’m actually getting paid for doing it. In the past, I volunteered and helped people.
There was a statistic I saw not long ago since the recession in ’08, ’09, they said two-thirds of all business and all employment jobs created, was in the small business community. The flip side to that is for the Baby Boomer-owned businesses, they say up to 80% of the businesses between $5 and $50 million in revenue will not transact. You think about that disparity. I think about for the business owner, that’s short of tools. If you’re a business owner and you know at some point you’re going to exit one way or another, but you’re going to exit in the next 3 to 5 years. How do you see EOS helping with that exit planning issue?
You’re hitting it right on the mark. EOS creates a business that operates independent of the individuals. When you’re the business owner, let’s say you’ve got a $5 million company, but you’re the center of it. That’s doomsday because when someone buys that business, they want to buy the predictability that they’re going to be able to generate the same amount of revenue without you being there. Predictability is all about getting higher multiples on your business to be able to sell it differently. EOS puts in the processes so that it’s not the individual that understands the process. It’s that business knowledge basically is on paper. The next thing is that you have a vision, you know how to go forward. You’re able to put something out there a year to three years out and you’re able to actually execute on it. It’s in the culture. That ability to execute again is predictability. Those are the things that increase the multiple. The person who’s struggling to transact, it’s probably because they put a big S on their shirt for Superman and the business revolves around them.When you're a business owner, you are the centerpiece. Click To Tweet
You talk about predictability and me as a purchaser, I think about that as less risk. As you de-risked a business and you have policies, procedures, process and the right people in seats and there’s that ongoing business argument, are you in it or on it?
It’s working in the business versus on it. Many people focus on working in their business. They’re fighting the fires, they’re doing the jobs of their employees and you might take a step backward, but you’re going to take 3 or 4 huge steps forward when you learn to stand back and look at the business and pretend that you’re a stakeholder or you’re a shareholder, what you really are and say, “How do I influence the business from afar?” As soon as you start looking at it from that perspective, now you’re getting out of the business and you’re building the core separate from you. That gives you the predictability and the multiples when you’re trying to sell.
Rolling the time back a little bit. When you were a business owner running your business and then you think about EOS and Traction, how did that influence or how would it have influenced your behavior had you had these tools in place when you were running a business?
I did bring EOS back in 2008, 2009. What I found was the business was all over me. I like to tell people, I felt like I had an octopus on my face and its tentacles are all around wrapping me up my arms and I couldn’t get separated from my business and it was consuming me. What I needed was to get that space. When I read the book Traction and started applying some of the tools, what I learned was that octopus got away from me and I started being able to see the forest at the higher level versus the trees. That began basically the ball rolling where there I worked more and more on my business. I put in the data and I started hiring people based on my values. I was getting processes documented and my leadership team and I were knocking off issues. Of course, I had the concept of how to actually deliver, I was able to still deliver through the traction. That’s how EOS came to me and how it affected my business.
I think about the business owner that has their own pet octopus and I’m sure that their spouse is very familiar. For you thinking back when you went from pre-EOS and Traction to implementation, did your spouse notice a difference?
The funny thing that my spouse said was, “I started being able to do things with you and have you free of the business.” Truly it got to this point where I could leave for two weeks, not even call in and I knew the business was operating well and if I wanted to, I could look at the scorecard that was posted. I knew I could look at that data, but I trusted the people who were there and I trusted that we had the mechanism in place for it to run itself. What my wife said was she got to spend a whole lot more time with me. Because we had some money, we could go to some pretty nice places too.
As the business owner, I was thinking about the allocation of the capital inside of a business. In the beginning, if you don’t have the data and all this in place, it may be that your allocation of capital goes to the squeakiest wheel. When you were looking at allocating effort and money, once you got this in place, what did you see?
It was allocating, but truly what I was doing most of the time was my margins were pretty thin. When I was pulling out as a net profit after taxes, it wasn’t as big as I wanted. I was operating on a skinny budget if you will. I self-implemented, but what happens with my clients when I see is, they’re in that same position. Their profits are tight and for them to allocate money towards, this is a stretch. One of the things I have them look at is I say, “You’ve got people operating in your company. You’ve got payroll and everything EOS does, it gives them more vision of where you want to take the company.” It allows them to work on data from a data perspective, not just who’s upset at the moment so they know where their company is going. Their processes are better, so they’re operating more efficiently and they’re getting things done. They’re making their own departments better. If I can’t give you 5% back on your overall payroll, 5% is almost given. That in itself for the size of companies I’m working with pays for my fee basically.
As you come back in and talk to the adopters of EOS and you know what the before is like, what do you typically hear from the people that have adopted and are implementing EOS?
It’s funny you bring that question up because I was at a YPO holiday party and several of my YPO friends are also clients. There was a gentleman there, he ran the business for a long time and he was transitioning out. He wanted to obviously spend time and do other things. He didn’t really want to sell the business. It had been a family business for a long time. He pulls me aside in the Christmas party or holiday party there. He says, “I’ve got to tell you, I am so impressed with what you’ve been able to do with the leadership team. It’s night and day. I’m taking so much time off now. I never wouldn’t have bailed to consider that before EOS. You’ve given me freedom basically.” He’s pulled away from the company, but that speaks to the rest of the people. Their mindshare gets to go to other places. It’s not consumed solely on the business.
The business owner may fall in love with their business all over again.
In a different way, you’re right. One of the things that they get to do is what they want in life because the business is operating well and it doesn’t consume as much time. One of the things that we say in the EOS is that we help business leaders get what they want out of the business. Sometimes it’s financial freedom in the future that they’re going to have or in financial freedom in the state. It could be also that they have time to be more with their family than they were able to in the past. It could be that they get to take the vacations with their spouse to do things. They have so much more opportunity and not only get more out of their business but more out of life.
I think about many of the business owners that have been doing this for a long time and the people in their business or extended family. What do you hear from the people that are the implementers, the employees of the business?
They feel they’ve gotten off the leash basically as they tend to get little more power, little more individuality because they know where the business is going. They know what the owner values and they’re able to operate within that, so they get more freedom that way. Another thing that employees say is that there’s so much more harmony. I was at a client and one of the things they said was, it was amazing how many vendors were bringing by holiday gifts. When they sit in the office, the vendor would go, “I get such a great vibe when I’m in the company.” They don’t even step into the back cubicles, but with the people that they interact with, there’s so much more I’d say peace and joy that they see. It’s funny how an outsider can notice that from coming in to bring a gift for the holiday season. It’s there.
There’s a range of issues. You’ve got the before company and the after company, you’ve seen enough where you go into a company and go, “I’ll bet you have these following issues.” I was looking at some of the notes here. It starts out with control. What do you typically see in the non-EOS business owner?
They come in on a Monday, they’ve spent Sunday deciding what they want to try to get done and by Tuesday, the train is starting to rattle off the track. By Thursday they’re doing things they never could have imagined. There’s knowability to look out on the horizon, pick something and make it happen.
You were talking about thin margins in your business and I wonder if some of the business owners even know what their margins are and you think about, “Am I going to point money and effort on this thing or that thing? What happens to the recognition in the profit for these companies prior to getting on EOS versus after?”
Obviously afterward, they’ve got more to invest and decide what they do with it. In the media, oftentimes they don’t understand the data enough and how the other key metrics play into that. One of the things we have is we call a cashflow driver tool and we help them see that there are basics to cashflow. You’ve got your sales, you’ve got your COGS that come off that generates a net profit.
It’s Cost of Goods Sold. It’s what you have to do to produce a unit of whatever it is you sell. You get a gross profit. From that, they’ve got operating expenses. They’ve got to go against that. They realize that how they do their processes affects the operating costs and how they have people reporting to one another and getting, I would call a little fat basically on the mid-management, they realize they can save some money there. By looking at the metrics, they’re able to actually see, if I pull this lever here, I’m able to affect my operating cost or my cost of goods sold and therefore I get more profit. They learned quite a bit about how the company operates from a financial and also from a metric standpoint.
I was talking to a banker that both of us know and she was talking that many business owners come in and absolutely don’t know that. They don’t know where the profit comes from and they have no idea which lever to pull. I think about how much education either one of us didn’t have on those. It’s remarkable that they don’t know. There’s been a lot of talk about a buzzword, vision. Do you have a vision, do you have alignment? When you see a company that basically doesn’t have a vision in place, what are the symptoms you typically see in that company?
They waste a lot of effort because when you have a vision, you may look out three years and say, “This is a picture I want.” It’s a reference point. What you’re supposed to do is back it off and say, “What do I do this year to get me a third closer to that three-year picture?” You know what you have to get done this year and then you take what you have to get done this year and say, “What do I need to deliver on a quarterly basis to produce that vision for the year?” You’re breaking this thing down. I call it chunking but there’s no chunking. What happens is they choose to do things because they like or want to do something, but it never ties in with something else that ultimately delivers on something that’s going to be useful in the future.
On that business owner, I’ve been very fortunate to run my business and I’m sitting here going, “I’ve got all that covered, but I’m plateauing. I can’t seem to find the handle to move my company to the next level.”
We call that hitting the ceiling and every company hits the ceiling. What gets them to the point where they get stuck won’t get them past the point where they can start climbing again. They have to do things differently. There’s nothing else that can be looked at. What we like to call it is moving from an evolution standpoint that drives you forward to a revolution that when you get stuck, you have to do something completely different. EOS helps you do that because it builds about structure, helps you understand the structure, how to systemize things and how to simplify things.
That’s that old thing, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you got. For the business owner, you have chaos or you’re plateauing or you’re going like, “If we keep doing it this way, we’re not going to be here in a few years.” There’s a feeling of no tools. How do I get help? You go to your CPA and the CPA may say, “Your cost of goods is out of line.” That might tell you what’s going on, but it doesn’t tell you how to fix it.
You can’t look at your business as slivers if you will or pieces of a pie. You can think about it so that you’re completing the whole. The power of EOS is it’s a whole system. It’s an operating system. Think about any computer you have or even your phone, something underneath keeps that going. It looks at it from a system standpoint. You may have apps that help you in one area or another, but they don’t get to be, they don’t get to actually help you unless that foundation is there as a whole. EOS is what implements that foundation.
I’m the business owner and I’m going, “This sounds exactly something I really need to study and understand better.” What should I expect as a next step? If I’ve reached out to you and said, “I’d like to talk further,” and then once you get past to talk further, what happens when you come in to implement? What does that look like?
This is something we actually help clients obtain. It’s a repeatable process. It’s a process that you follow religiously from a customer when you first get a lead all the way until you deliver the invoice, there is a proven process that happens. It’s the same thing for us. We start off with a 90-minute overview presentation with your leadership team. Again, we only work with leadership teams. We don’t work with individuals so that in the 90 minutes they get to understand the six key components in more detail and the tools that are behind them. Once they understand that and they say, “I want to move forward,” then for the first three months we have one day we meet with them each month.Two thirds of all jobs created are in the small business completely. Click To Tweet
These are full-day sessions and we implement the foundation of tools of how to get accountability, how to get alignment in terms of accountability then also the vision. Where do you want to get to and how are you going to get to the point in this year? That happens in the first three months that we work with a client. After that, we move to a quarterly. Here, we start that quarterly cadence of how do you check-in, look at what you did the last 90 minutes and learn from it. We introduce a new tool and then we look forward 90 days and say, “What do you have to get done?” We start that meeting cadence of every quarter.
When it comes to your end, this is the point where we go back, review the vision again, say if it’s in the right place, build a one-year plan and move forward with that. Over the course of two years, it’s about 10 to 12 sessions. We know every session what we’re going to take you through and what homework you’re going to have and what results we’re going to get. We charge a fee for this but it’s totally guaranteed. If you don’t like any one of those sessions, you don’t pay. If you want to stop after the second session, stop. There’s no contract on this. We totally want to make sure we take away all the obstacles that would prevent you from moving forward.
The guarantee is pretty good. If you don’t like it, we’re done. For you, as you look at the inventory of clients, is there a specific industry or type of client that you work with best?
No, there isn’t. That’s something I like because what it gives me personally is diversity. I came from a training background and fuel technology background, but I’m getting to work with construction firms and it works as good with manufacturing firms and services firms. It’s across the board no matter what. Every company needs an operating system to work on.
As you look over the inventory of clients and success and using the US system for the companies that push back and they go, “Not for me,” or “Not now,” what are the typical pushback points that you hear?
This is my least favorite part that I usually have to deal with. There are a lot of people who don’t want to try things new. They want different results, but they don’t want to try this. “That won’t work in our company.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that. All we say is, “Try this. You get to go back to your normal self. It doesn’t work but you’ve got to try it.” One is people have to be teachable. They’ve got to want to try something new. They have to be transparent also. Meaning when they screw up, it can’t be because it’s some other reason. It’s because of them. Leadership teams need to realize that the situation that the business is in is because of them. They’ve implemented the systems and everything. They can’t escape that accountability.
They have to understand too that they have to learn and get better at that. I would say those are probably the two bigger. What I would also say is they have to be gracious. What I found is if a leadership team isn’t gracious to some sort that they can say, “Thank you for helping me,” they’re the same way with their employees. They’re looking at their employees as objects. The power in having a small business is that you get to treat employees individually. You know them, you know their family, you know their kids, you know the situations they’re going through. Because you operate the company, it’s small enough and you get to do certain things for employees in certain situations that big companies can never do. Women who had tough pregnancies, I’ve been able to give them three months off and work from home as best as you can because I cared for them. I had another employee, their brother was hurt in an accident and it was in San Diego. I paid for her flight out there to go ahead and be with her brother. Those are favors I’m giving people. If I was in a bigger company, they’d call that partiality.
I think about the business owner that’s out there who’s going, “I’ve got a good company and at some point as I transition in that company, do you hear feedback from business purchasers, acquirers that look at a company that’s adopted EOS? What do you typically hear from that crowd?”
The predictability, they have a great sense that the business is going to be able to operate when the previous owner is gone. They love that aspect. The other thing that they like is that there’s always a good sense of that they’re going to have sales coming in the door. Their operating efficiency is good and then their due diligence is typically smaller because all the data is at hand.
There’s been some economic discussion of recession, not recession, are we, aren’t we. It’s a business cycle. For the companies that are implementing and executing on EOS, let’s say they’re 80% of the way there. Do you see their behavior different in recessionary times than those that aren’t?
I’ll say that they’re able to react much better. They have all the measurements they need and understand the underlying capabilities of structure, systematizing things. Simplifying things, they know how to do that. When the revenue ceiling starts to come down, they know how to operate differently in that environment to get back going up.
I got introduced to you through Vistage and you’re in front of YPO and Vistage. When you get in front of the YPO group or a Vistage group that has not heard you speak before, what do you typically hear from the audience after you get done with your presentation?
First, during the presentation, I see a lot of head shaking. That’s what I’ve got. It’s fun because they actually start asking questions and they’re speaking about how it could be in their business. When you offer someone something, it’s clear that they want to start thinking about how it operates in their business. That’s a lot of fun. The biggest thing is they go, “You basically would have never seen my business yet. You’re telling me exactly how it is and you’re telling the truth and you give me hope that there is a way for me to move past where I’m at and to have better results versus being stuck in this situation until I leave the business.
It’s the hope and choice. For the business owner out there that’s going like, “I don’t know if this is for me or not,” the first order of business is we need to know how to reach you on social media. How do people find you?
The easiest thing is on LinkedIn. I have a company page and also an individual page there too. That’s an easy way to get. The other one is to go to Bizexe.com. That’s my website. You can go there and see more about me and how I’ve helped others.
When they find you on LinkedIn, it’s Ben Snyder. They can find you that way. For many people, the reason we met is I’m a fan of business owners, obviously Business Leaders Podcast. I was unaware of this tool until you presented it to Vistage. The business owners are going like, “I didn’t know this tool and service was available,” which is sad because most business owners that I know, they’re wonderful people and they really do care about their employees. When you think about the ability to move the needle in an effect, your employees’, family’s lives, this is a great tool to do that. On a personal level, what keeps you busy these days besides the EOS?
I’ve raised my kids. They’re 33, 31 and 29, a boy, girl, and boy, and I got grandchildren from them. I’m able to have fun with them. When we were empty nesters, I think we were the freest the first four years while the kids were in college, but now that they’re out of college, they’re married and they have families, we find ourselves being restricted, our schedule restricted to be around the grandchildren. That keeps me busy. I do some volunteer work also. I love to hunt, like yourself and fish I should say also. That’s basically what keeps me busy.
For the audience that’s out there going like, “Is this for me?” My advice is it’s hard to say if this is for you if you don’t reach out and ask. I don’t think there’s any harm in reaching out. The reason that you’re on a podcast is I was going like, “I had no idea and the audience needs to know that there’s a tool out there that can help them go to the next level and make your company sellable.” The statistic is that 80% of a business owner’s net worth is tied up in their business and you think about, can you move that needle and change the trajectory of your family? The answer is yes. I would encourage you that are out there on the fence. Get busy, reach out, and this would help you. Ben, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to be on the show.
That’s an honor. I appreciate it. I enjoy doing these things.
Ben, thank you so much.
About Ben Snyder
A perpetual entrepreneur, Ben Snyder has owned and operated four businesses over the past 20 years, overseeing all phases of business growth—and all the issues those entail. He brings that real-world expertise and the Entrepreneurial Operating System to help clients navigate the challenges of day-to-day operations and the demands of running and growing a successful business.
In his past businesses, Ben set a high standard for best-in-class practices. This includes developing strategies, execution plans and delivering on initiatives; re-engineering operational processes and instituting efficiencies; expanding into global markets and aligning teams around a company wide customer-driven value chain. In addition to his depth of experience as an owner/operator, Ben has a long history as a management consultant and coach, working with executives in companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Nike, Anthem, McDonalds, Cigna and AstraZeneca.
A current member of the Young Presidents Organization, Ben played baseball professionally with the Houston Astros organization.
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