Scaling Your Business Fast with Jim Barnish, Jr.
If you’re a business owner looking to launch, grow, scale a business or maximize exit value, here’s a great episode for you! Our today’s guest is Jim Barnish Jr.
Jim is the Co-Founding Managing Partner of Orchid Black, a new kind of growth services firm that partners with tech companies to build smarter and better businesses. Jim is a strategic change leader with over 20 years of global, focused, and integrated experience. Throughout his career, he’s helped many organizations reinvent themselves by undergoing business process improvements, 360 assessments, and strategic actions. Jim has curated a collection of proven processes and methodologies that can help companies build scalable, fundable, and exit-ready solutions.
In this episode, we discuss the founder’s journey and why it’s not as exciting as it looks from the outside. We get to hear Jim’s trials and tribulations that ultimately lead him to be where he is now. Why sales funnels still very much exist and are crucial for business growth and how to effectively attract and retain top talent. Tune in to this episode of the Think Business With Tyler podcast to find out more.
💡 Name: Jim Barnish Jr.
💡 What he does: He’s the Founder & Managing Partner at Orchid.Black, a boutique advisory of former CEOs, CROs, CMOs, strategy execs, and board members.
💡 Noteworthy: Jim is a growth architect who has spent the last two decades as a serial entrepreneur, operator, investor, and M&A expert. He has over 20 years of leadership experience in global and integrated operations, M&A, and strategic planning.
💡 Key Quote: “The founder journey is something that people don’t really talk about from a lack of excitement perspective. […] It’s something we don’t talk about as founders because we think it makes us weak but it doesn’t. It makes us human.”
The founder’s journey is exciting but rarely easy. Everybody talks about the rush and the excitement of launching your own business, but we don’t hear the other side of the story as often as we should. Jim opens up about some dark points of the founder’s journey. He says that sometimes we forget to take a break and look at what impact our business is driving. Even if we don’t want to admit it, burnout can happen to anyone, even to the best of us. But that’s what makes us human and we should acknowledge it. “I’ve worked very hard to develop a set of systems to manage burnout and part of that was realizing that 50% of this game is a personal mindset, 50% is growing the business. ”
There are four categories in determining where your company is on the growth stage maturity: discovery, validation, efficiency, and scale. According to Jim, in order to scale your business, you first need to realize where you are in terms of growth maturity. These four categories can help determine your stage: discovery, validation, efficiency, and scale. “You cannot make your way past one stage in the business until all of your disciplines or everything, all the functional areas of a business are aligned within that stage, meaning that you can’t go out and build a completely unnecessary product until you validated the problem that it solves things like that. […] First, figure out what stage you’re at as a business and what things need to be done as part of that stage. And then, align the company and align the strategy within that stage.”
There’s more than one way to build your customer acquisition funnel. There’s certainly a lot of discussion nowadays around funnels and whether they’re key to rapid business growth. Some marketing gurus say the funnel is dead, some say it’s more important than ever. The truth is somewhere in the middle. “The funnel is not dead, it’s time tested and it is the backbone of every fast-growing company augmented with that spear engine”, says Jim. He adds that the funnel needs to exist and it needs to follow a path because you always need something that drives people to understand who you are and what your brand messaging is.
Gaining and retaining talent is one of the toughest challenges for business owners. Every company has a brand image to live up to, but there’s the employer brand too. It’s no secret that it’s hard finding top talent that’s going to treat your customers the same way you do. Jim says that even though it’s not easy retaining quality employees, there are some things you can still do. “You do have something on your side and that’s the ability to let your most talented people grow within the company and take on as much responsibility as they’re capable.” When you treat your employees the same way you treat your customers, it’s inevitable they’re going to flourish along with the company.
- “Starting a business is not easy and growing a business is, Geez, even harder. And thinking about working on the business, not just in the business is something that I think we all run into.”
- “We were able to start doing things differently carving out time to really take care of our employees, take care of ourselves and take care of our families and whether we like it or not, our families are what actually keep us driving and getting so excited about doing what we do anyway. And that right mindset is so huge.”
- “I think it started off with realizing how my historical or my child me affected all the things that I do in my current me, which is obviously driving towards my future me.”
- “Oftentimes they’re thinking of themselves as the founders like I am so important to this organization I am everything and if that’s true, you’re doing it all wrong. You should be very important, but you should not be the only thing driving your business forward. Otherwise, your valuation is going to get heavily discounted.”
- “Have somebody who has a history of exits and an understanding of what all these value mechanisms are looking at your business. There’s a lot of people like us that are willing to do it, dig in, and in a matter of a couple of weeks, get you to a conclusion that you know shows you all of the opportunity within your business to drive value creation.”
- “Hire the right talent and take care of them, because they’ll take care of your customers and your customers will take care of you. And when all three of those are in alignment the organization the customers and the employees that great businesses run and you have an aligned strategy towards making a lot of money and having great exits.”