Turning the Crank on Your Business: Effective Ways to Improve Profitability

The plight of the business owner is to constantly improve business turn out, improve efficiency, and increase profit. Most business owners go about finding the solution to this the wrong way, though.

So, on this episode of the Process Breakdown Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz, he features Dino Eliadis, a senior-level executive with over 25 years of experience with leadership. 

They discuss ways to improve business functionality and plan for the future. He also shares the right steps to build a self-sustaining, constantly efficient, income-bringing business model.

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Show Notes

0:06 – Introduction

0:29 – Dr. Jeremy Weisz introduces himself and names some of his past guests on the show.

0:49 – Dr. Weisz shares the best solution that makes documenting standard operating procedures drop-dead easy, highlighting a 14-day free trial—no credit card required.

1:39 – Dr. Weisz introduces this episode’s guest, Dino Eliadis, a fractional COO consultant and author.

2:14 – Mr. Eliadis introduces himself.

2:30 – Mr. Eliadis gives reasons why an operational approach is better than a financial approach when scaling a business.

6:25 – The guest explains how to increase profitability, using the metaphor “turning the crank faster.”

7:01 – The guest points out things he recommends that helped companies he worked with up their profits.

9:32 – Mr. Eliadis explains how his goal with his clients is to build a self-sustaining business.

10:44 – Mr. Eliadis gives his recommendations between the two choices of “shutting down” or “bringing someone on” by having a heart-to-heart conversation with all business owners about what they want in their lives.

14:50 – The guest speaker recalls his worst financial downfall between 2009 and 2012.

17:59 – The guest explains how most businesses are looking for ways to cut, and how it should be done properly.

18:51- Mr. Eliadis narrates the next step he takes when streamlining business processes after understanding the company’s/business’s/individuals aim.

22:25 – The guest explains how businesses should set realistic goals based on their capacities by understanding their net income on an annual basis.

23:48 – He explains how people understanding what they want for their business helps by asking questions like: What’s your tolerance, really, for the risk that you want? 

26:24 – Mr. Eliadis tells the story of how he helped a small carpet cleaning business grow and fix their efficiency problems.

33:21- Dr. Weisz names Dino’s websites and where he can be reached.

34:30 – Mr. Eliadis explains what the frame on the wall is, and he tells a story of his time in the Air Force, and how he got his MBA.

37:36 – Outro

Guest Profile

Dino Eliadis is a senior-level executive with over 25 years of experience in leadership. He’s helped teams and organizations across many industries, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Dino helps business owners achieve their dreams for independence and financial freedom by growing self-sustaining businesses. He’s an author with 30 years of experience in transforming small businesses into profitable revenue engines. Using his MBA credentials, he has a passion for building and leading teams for organizations both large and small. He uses teams to drive forward projects for companies.

Transcript of the interview

Speaker 1: Welcome to the Process Breakdown Podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks, and giving your employees all the information they need to be successful at their jobs. Now, let’s get started with the show.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Dr. Jeremy Weisz, your host of the Process Breakdown Podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks, and giving your staff everything they need to be successful at their job. Past guests, you can check out other episodes, include David Allen of Getting Things Done, Michael Gerber of the E-Myth and many, many more. I’m excited to introduce today’s guest, Dino, in a second. Before I do, this episode is brought to you by SweetProcess.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: If you’ve had team members ask you the same questions over and over, there may be a better way, Dino, and I always tell people, which is SweetProcess is a software that makes it drop-dead easy to train and onboard new staff and save time with existing staff. I was talking with the owner, Owen. Not only do universities, banks, hospitals, and software companies use them, but first responder government agencies use them in life or death situations to run their operations.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: You can use SweetProcess to document all the repetitive tasks that eat up your precious time so you can actually focus on growing your team and empowering them to do the best work. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial, no credit card required. SweetProcess, sweet like candy, S-W-E-E-T process.com. I’m excited to introduce today’s guest. Dino Eliadis is a senior-level executive with over 25 years’ experience with leadership. He has got MBA credentials. He’s helped teams and organizations across many industries from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Him and his team assist owners to make necessary strategic and tactical transitions to grow their companies. They’ve helped companies improve profitability, reduce project time delivery, scale production capacity, and much, much more. Dino, thanks for joining me.

Dino Eliadis: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it, Jeremy. Looking forward to talking with you today.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. There are so many cool examples that we can talk about and get detail, but I just want to start with when we were talking beforehand, why an operational approach beats a financial approach, every time.

Dino Eliadis: Yeah. That’s pretty much what I say all the time. The metaphor that I basically use, Jeremy, is, think of your financials as looking in a rear view mirror, because the financial step in the revenue cycle was the last step. If I collected money, it’s the last step that I did in the process. By the time that gets into your accounting system and I’m looking at the numbers and all that other kind of stuff, it’s already happened.

Dino Eliadis: If I’m driving a car and I’m looking in a rear view mirror, and that’s the only thing that I’m doing as I drive down the road, eventually I’m going to run into something. I need a better perspective. The whole idea of Business Growth Simplified was always, how can I give you metrics that are more forward-looking and allow me to look out the windshield instead of looking in a rear view mirror? More or less. Those tend to be operational type of metrics.

Dino Eliadis: What I basically liken them to it’s the activity. What’s the activity that needs to occur in order to create the financial result that we get at the end? If I can get a methodology or a method by which I can measure those activities at each step as they move through the process, then I know if I’m on course or not to achieving that outcome that I had. Normally it’s going to be some kind of a financial outcome, right?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah.

Dino Eliadis: I want X amount of revenue coming in during the course of the month and it’s like, well, then how many times do I got to turn the crank in order to make X come out the back end of it? In a nutshell, that’s why we say, "All right. How many times have I turned it?" Monitoring that turning of the crank are the operational metrics. Those are not things that typically an accountant or a financial guy … While they understand that, they don’t necessarily have that same understanding of the overall operation that a COO is going to have.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. Yeah. Can you turn it quicker and have the same product spit out at the other end, right?

Dino Eliadis: Exactly.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Because even if you turn it quicker and like, this is not what I thought. Then things need to be fixed with that crank, right?

Dino Eliadis: Well, and the translation … That’s a good point that you bring up there, Jeremy, because the metric that actually is a financial metric, that’s probably the one that’s the most important, and most business owners watch this like a hawk, is profitability. But most business owners don’t understand what profitability really is. Profitability is a metric that measures the efficiency of your business. It’s a measure of business efficiency. Well, if that’s the case, then how do I become more profitable?

Dino Eliadis: Well, accounts will say, "Well, I got to cut this and cut that. By cutting my costs that’s going to make me more profitable." It’s like, well, yeah, it’s a short-term fix for it, but doesn’t fix the root cause problem. The root cause problem that’s causing that profitability issue is that crank is not turning fast enough. If you don’t have the operational metrics to measure that, then you’re never going to figure that out and you’re going to keep, "Well, we’re going to try this. We’re going to try that. We’re going to try this, going to try that."

Dino Eliadis: Before we know it, yeah, we’ve increased productivity and we’ve increased profitability to some point, but we don’t know what it was that we did that actually had that impact because we don’t have operational methods to basically measure those things.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I want to talk about improving profitability. I was reading up and there was a case where it went from 1.4% to 15.4% with some construction and real estate companies that you helped. Assets went from like almost 4 million to over 12 million. That’s pretty darn good. What were some of the things that you saw and recommended?

Dino Eliadis: The biggest thing in that case really was the fact that the owner of the business … They had four different businesses that they were running. It was weird as we went back and I really did the analysis and really started looking at what had happened and I noticed each of the businesses peaked and valleyed at different points or whatever. The correlation basically was, it was wherever the owner was focused, whichever of the businesses the owner was focused in-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Interesting.

Dino Eliadis: … that’s what was peaking. It was like, "Well, why was it?" Because they were able to make sure that what needed to get done was getting done and it was getting done in a timely manner. Efficiency thing again, exactly that point. A lot of what it is that we did with them … In fact, two of the businesses I was planning on recommending, and we’d already had that, I said, "If we can’t find a reason to keep those two businesses open, we’re shutting them down. There’s no reason to keep them open." As we went through that process-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Because you could only spend so much focus on certain things, right?

Dino Eliadis: Right. It’s funny, Jeremy, that’s a perfect example for new startup entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial businesses. What I find a lot of times is they have a little bit of success. Somebody sees something and basically creates what I call shiny object syndrome for them. It’s like, well, if you’ve done it over here, you can do it over here. Well, as soon as you did that, now I’m running two businesses and I’m only one person, which means I’m splitting my time between two different businesses at that point.

Dino Eliadis: I wonder why the business that had some success started to tank, which is exactly what was happening in this particular point. Wherever the focus of the owner was, was where it was. Again, I’m not saying don’t do those things. What I’m saying is, put them in a folder for future reference and we’re going to look at those. What we have to do is … My philosophy with all of my clients is we’re going to build a self-sustaining business.

Dino Eliadis: What does that mean? It means we’re going to put all the systems in place, hire the right people and make sure that that thing is operating the way that it does. Then we’re going to hire somebody to turn the crank for me. Then I can go off and I can do what it is. The reason that most owners don’t feel comfortable in that, is they don’t know, operationally, what do I need to monitor to assure that everyone is doing what they should be doing? How do I know that I’m going to get the result that I want at the end?

Dino Eliadis: This whole process that we teach people basically … And we’ve proven it over and over, time and time again, if you apply our process, you should be able to step away from the business within three to five years from the time you open the door for a brand new business. [crosstalk 00:10:33]-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Talk about shutting down versus bringing someone on. In that specific instance, what was your recommendation? What did they end up doing?

Dino Eliadis: Yeah. What happened was we began to look at … And one of the first things that I do, we don’t even look the business. The first thing I do with all business owners is we have a heart-to-heart conversation about what they want in their life. Forget about your business. Your business is just a vehicle to allow you to have the life that you want, period, end of story. I don’t care what it is. We just have to define what that is, because that’s the reason we’re doing all the things that we did. Well, in this case-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. Like what success looked like for them?

Dino Eliadis: Exactly. What does success look … Not for your business, for you as an individual or as a couple or a family, or however you define that. In this particular case, their youngest daughter was just starting middle school. She said by the time she’s ready and she’s done, she said, "We want to be able to be able to go and do whatever it is that we need." I said, "Well, how much money do you need in order to do that?" They said, "We think we’d like to have about $500,000 a year in income coming in, for ourselves.

Dino Eliadis: Not from the business, but in net income that we’re drawing from the business." I’m like, "Okay. Now we got something we can figure out." Well, one of the other things that they had, Jeremy, that we had overlooked was one of the business was a property management company. They owned commercial property and had started to purchase commercial property with some of this additional income that they had coming in from the businesses, because they weren’t successful in peak times for sure.

Dino Eliadis: I said, "Well, how many square feet of commercial property do we need to throw off $500,000 in net income?" Joe is really good at numbers, back of the envelope. He scribbled down and he says, "We’re halfway there." I’m like, "Aha." That was what we were looking for that caused us not to close those two businesses down. The businesses I was going to recommend was an architectural firm and a commercial construction company. Most of their money was coming in because they had a home design company and they had draftsmen that were actually doing all the work and everything else.

Dino Eliadis: I was like, "Well, we’re going to use the architectural firm to design those properties and then we’re going to use the commercial construction company to build the property that you need to fill the rest of what it is that we do." That was a 36-month plan. In 18 months, that was done.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Wow.

Dino Eliadis: Well, and through that process, what happened was some of the local developers began to see what was happening there in town and said, "Who’s building that for you?" It’s like, "Well, it’s our commercial construction company that’s doing the work." Now, all of a sudden, everybody that was an investor or a developer wanted them doing the work. We found a purpose for those other businesses. In that 18 to 24-month period of time that we were working on all of that, we hired a general manager to manage the commercial construction company.

Dino Eliadis: We hired a principal architect that took over and was responsible for the architectural part of it. Joe went back to doing what it was that he really liked, going out, finding the deals and doing some of the high-end drafting work and design work that was being done. But he could focus on that and that money it was just coming in like nobody’s business. In that timeframe, when I was working with them was the worst part of the financial downfall. It was between 2009 and 2011 that we were on that project.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. Exactly.

Dino Eliadis: They grew.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: 2008, everything crashed. Right.

Dino Eliadis: Yeah. Their assets grew from three to $12 million in that timeframe.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Wow.

Dino Eliadis: It was like … Because people said, "It’s a bad economy. You can’t do it." It’s like, if you’re efficient and you know what you’re doing, and you can measure the success as you begin to put activity in different areas, it’s easy for you to determine whether to move things in the right direction. Some of the things that we did operationally for them, Jeremy, just back to the original question and our topic for this particular thing, was, sales is always a problem.

Dino Eliadis: A lot of times a lot of small businesses don’t understand the difference between marketing and selling. Marketing and sales, they’re glued at the hip, but they have two completely different purposes, right? Responsibility of marketing is to generate leads. Then sales is supposed to take those leads and turn those leads into work contract, product sales, service for a service business, whatever it may be.

Dino Eliadis: They didn’t know and they didn’t understand how to monitor those things. When we started monitoring this is what we’re doing to monitor-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. If you don’t have a metric and monitor, then you can’t improve it.

Dino Eliadis: Right. If I don’t know if I do this, how many times does the phone ring? I have no way of understanding, am I going to have enough to sell? Now I’m having salespeople go do marketing things when that may not be their best skill set. You know?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: So … Yeah. Go ahead.

Dino Eliadis: A lot of what it was that we did that kept things flowing in the right direction there was, okay, we knew that operational metrics in the sales process was, how many deals do we have going? Because I know to get this amount of work, we need to close three deals a month. Well, how many deals do I have to have in the pipeline in order to make sure that three deals are going to close every month? If it’s slowing down and I don’t have enough in the pipe, why not?

Dino Eliadis: It’s probably because marketing’s not feeding enough leads to the sales process, right? Those are those operational metrics. You’re never going to find those numbers on your financial statements. Those are things that are measured outside of the financial statement. Measuring that activity, how many times is the phone ringing? How many leads are coming in? Understanding that is a critical point. Most businesses during a downtime are looking for ways to cut, right?

Dino Eliadis: What they typically do is where do they cut? Well, we’re not going to spend as much on marketing. We’re spending too much on marketing. Actually, it’s just the opposite. They probably should be spending more because their efficiency of their marketing has gone down. It may have taken me a hundred dollars to create a lead in the past and now it’s taking me $200 to create a lead. Well, if I cut that, that means I have less leads coming in.

Dino Eliadis: I put the business into a death spiral and I don’t even realize it because it takes six months for that to catch up and finally show up on my financial statement. That was the reason I say this-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Well, Dino, I love when starting with the end in mind and reverse engineering.

Dino Eliadis: Exactly.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: When you start with a heart-to-heart, what’s typically the next thing that you do? What is the next thing you do?

Dino Eliadis: Once we understand, what’s the end? All right. We want a million dollars in revenue a year. Perfect. Okay. We know what that is. Now, what is it that we do as a business? On average, how much revenue do we collect each time we do that? We get $10,000 per sale when we finish the work for a project, a job, whatever, selling a truck, whatever. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s the same thing. Well, if I want a million dollars in sales and on average I do $10,000, then how many times I got to turn the … I got to turn the crank a hundred times in order to … Well, a thousand times to make a million dollars.

Dino Eliadis: Okay. If that’s what it is that I’m going to have to do, then the next thing I need to ask myself, do I have enough capacity in my operation in order to do that at any time?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Can you even do it?

Dino Eliadis: Right. Our tuning your revenue engine model, that’s basically really what it is that we teach, is figuring those things out and what are those metrics? So that I understand, here’s how much capacity that I have. Based off of that, I’m going to measure, do I have enough to meet the goal or not? Well, no, I don’t. Okay. Well, guess what? I just identified another objective that is going to have to happen sometime in this timeframe sometime in the year. If I don’t have enough capacity, I’m going to have to add capacity.

Dino Eliadis: Which means what? I need to hire people, get more equipment. I’m going to need capital for all that. Do I have capital? No. Well, then I better be having a conversation with my banker to make sure that I’m lining up whatever that capital is that I need in order to add that capacity. In a lot of cases, I tell people, "Well, that may not really be the end-all be-all." What we may say is, "Well, how much based off of the capacity do we have? What should the goal really be?

Dino Eliadis: Because we really don’t have the wherewithal in order to be able to add that capacity in the next to 12 months." If that’s the case-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Right. Yeah. It’s about setting realistic goals and expectations.

Dino Eliadis: It’s realistic goals. Exactly.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: … because if they’re like, "We want to be a $10 million business." We’re like, "Well, you have capacity right now for 3 million, unless you want to spend all this money." You’re like, "We’re not ready to do that." "Well, cool. Let’s set the goal at whatever the top of their capacity is."

Dino Eliadis: Right. Yep. That’s it. Well, and the reason … To go back, Jeremy, to the first conversation that I have with an owner, which is, forget about the business, what do you want from life? Is what we’re really looking at is we’re going to look at it and we’re going to say, "Okay. Well, if you need a half a million dollars in income, then how much revenue does your business need to generate in order to create that income for you?" Because I’ve been in more than one situation where an owner says, "Yeah. I need $150,000 a year."

Dino Eliadis: Okay, fine. Then on average, what’s your net income on an annual basis? I’m going to divide that number into that and it says, then we need about $2 million in revenue right now. How much did you do last year? 3.5. Why are you trying to grow to five or $10 million when you’re already there? Your problem is the business is inefficient and it’s not generating the net income that it should be off of the revenue that you’re bringing in. I completely change the set of objectives and the goals for the business. It’s not on growth anymore. It’s on-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Efficiency.

Dino Eliadis: … efficiency, internal efficiency to create more net income, which gets me to where it is. The business is already big enough. Most business owners don’t understand. Every time that I say I want to grow the top line, I increase the risk of the business because I take on more liability. I take on more revenue. I take on more … It’s-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. Sometimes it requires more staffing, it requires more product.

Dino Eliadis: It requires more staffing. Right.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: More other stuff. Yeah.

Dino Eliadis: All the other kinds of stuff that comes with that. What I always tell people is, let’s understand what it is that you really want. What’s your tolerance, really, for the risk that you want? If you don’t care, okay, that’s fine, but do you need to be the one? If your personal goal isn’t to become a professional CEO of a business, just because you’ve got the ego for it, or you think, "I’d like to be able to do that." Then why are you doing this? You’ve set all the wrong goals for yourself. You know?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah.

Dino Eliadis: I mean, that doesn’t mean you can’t hire a professional manager to come in and do it for you, because in a lot of cases, people say, "Well, I really don’t want to learn to do all of that because I don’t really like running a business." It doesn’t mean you can’t be an owner. The owners of Coca Cola aren’t the guys that run it. I mean, it’s the … But it comes-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: It’s a different mentality.

Dino Eliadis: It’s all mind change.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. Because some people get in the business because they were the doers of it.

Dino Eliadis: Exactly.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Now, they are the managers and owners and they have to step away from certain things.

Dino Eliadis: Exactly. Exactly. I mean, the fact that you guys have talked to Michael Gerber, I mean, it’s the whole E-Myth mentality. I mean, people tell me that all the time when I talk about this and I’m like, "Yeah, it is." I said, "All I’ve done is I built the process and the system that you can apply to the business so that you can get there more quickly than most people typically do." Because the other mentality mind shift that a lot of owners have that I talk about a lot too is, before most small business owners owned a business, what did they do?

Dino Eliadis: They were an employee. When did they take the time to make that mind shift from employee to business owner? They didn’t, and that’s why they get into that rut because they’re running their business like an employee would as opposed to building an asset that is self-sustaining and generates on its own.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. I mean, it seems like so you have the heart to heart, then you have to see, okay, how many times you turn that crank-

Dino Eliadis: That crank, right.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: … to make the money. Then you have to basically refine, what are the things that are causing that to spit out and basically making sure it’s efficient?

Dino Eliadis: That inefficiency. Yep.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Got it.

Dino Eliadis: Right. Right.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: You did this with this company and people may be thinking, "Well, that company is doing millions of dollars growing it, but you’ve done this for small mom and pop companies as well. I want you to talk about, there was a husband and wife carpet cleaner.

Dino Eliadis: Yeah. The carpet cleaning business is the other end of the spectrum. They didn’t know anything about … They both were high school sweethearts, graduated from high school, started the business and went out and was doing it on their own. When I started working with them, they were just doing a little over a hundred … Probably a hundred, $125,000 a year in revenue. It was during that same timeframe. Even in good times, they could never find a way … They wanted to build the business.

Dino Eliadis: They’re very family-oriented in terms of the way they treat their employees and things like that but they could never find a way to pay their employees more than 12 to $13 an hour. At the same time, they understood no one could raise a family on $13 an hour. It’s just impossible to do that in this day and age. It was like, "How can we make more?" We applied same principles, same process and everything else with them. We started monitoring this whole idea.

Dino Eliadis: It’s a service-based business and everything started … They understood what they needed to do because the metrics were all defined there. We went out and we found … Now they do commercial cleaning. They do residential clean too, but the core of their business was really commercial cleaning. They didn’t need to go find dozens and dozens of homes to clean. If they found a handful of businesses that wanted it, that was regular repeat business that they could have. Their model was more of that repeat model.

Dino Eliadis: Find a customer and that customer feeds you money for a long period of time. In the first year that we were working together, they went from three customers to 10 customers. They hired three new technicians and trained those technicians and bought trucks and equipment for those trucks, put them on the road and the whole nine yards. The next year they were going like gangbusters. We got about three/four months into the year and Jen came to our weekly coaching session or whatever and she says, "I can’t understand this."

Dino Eliadis: She said, "We have more business than we’ve ever had in our life and we’re sucking wind." She said, "We’re negative. We can’t understand what’s going on. We got more business than we get." I was like, "Well, because you got more cost than you had before too." They go, "Yeah, we get but it’s like, we don’t understand why it won’t work." We had already been collecting those operational metrics for them. I said, "All right. Let’s sit down."

Dino Eliadis: I said, "We’ll go over this. I know what’s wrong and I point it out to you every week, it just hasn’t clicked. Let’s go over this one more time." I said, "Let’s go back and look when Mike was doing the work. Let’s look at how much revenue that you’re making on every job that you do." We looked at it and it was $72 per job was the amount of revenue that came in for every job that Mike did. Said, "Okay." I said, "So now let’s look at last week. What did you do last week?" We looked at that last week and it was $56 per job."

Dino Eliadis: I said, "Subtract those two numbers and divide by that number and come up with a percentage." It’s like, "Look at how big that is." I said, "That’s more than your net profit." I said, "You’re going backwards." I said, "It’s because the guys aren’t doing enough." Says, "How many jobs are the guys doing on a daily basis?" She’s like, "Four or five." I was like, "How many was Mike doing back here?" It was like eight or 10. It’s like, "There you go." It’s an efficiency problem. They said, "Well, how do we fix that?"

Dino Eliadis: I’m like, "Well." I said, "Can the guys do more?" They’re like, "Yeah." I said, "Well, then you got to incentivize them and we got to get this up." We started that. They changed the model, their pay model. They paid minimum wage and then a bonus based off of hitting those numbers that were set. We set the bar at where we needed people to be and all of their employees … Now, the other thing that that identified was where they hadn’t done a good job at training.

Dino Eliadis: In those cases where people needed to be trained better, we got them the training they needed. Within 90 days, it was 126% swing in net profit. They went from negative to positive, to 27% net profit in less than 90 days. When we looked at what their pay was with the new payment plan that they went to, which was basically a profit share kind of a model, more or less, and bonusing their people for working at the level that they needed their people to work at, their people were making between 15 and $17 an hour.

Dino Eliadis: They were making more money than they’d ever made net ever in the past. What did we change? The efficiency that people were working at. It was all about understanding what the level that somebody needed to work at and then training people so that you make sure that they can work at that. If they can’t because they just don’t have the competency to be able to do that, you should be able to figure that out in a 90-day probationary period, and you let that person go and bring somebody else in to train them [inaudible 00:32:16].

Dino Eliadis: That creates that accountability all the way down to an entry-level in the … And that’s the way that we teach people to manage their business all across the board. That way everybody understands. If you know what those metrics are that you need to be watching and we can measure those KPIs so that I don’t have to be there. I just need a meeting every week. Give me a report and I can tell they were inefficient last week.

Dino Eliadis: We’re not going to hit where we need to be hitting, that’s all an owner really needs at that point and they know that everybody’s doing their job.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. Dino, yeah, incentivizing and training was huge.

Dino Eliadis: Yeah.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Dino, first of all, I have one last question, but thank you. Thanks for sharing the stories. They’re fantastic and great for any business to hear and learn. Before I ask the question, I want to point people towards your website. I know they can go to Dinoeliadis.com, which is Dino, D-I-N-O-E-L-I-A-D-I-S.com. Are there any other places we should point people towards online?

Dino Eliadis: Yeah. The other place that you’d probably point them would be businessgrowthsimplified.com.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Got it.

Dino Eliadis: Yeah. The process and the tools-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: People can go to businessgrowthsimpliefied.com.

Dino Eliadis: Right. All of the things … Dinoeliadis.com is our consulting practice. Business Growth Simplified is the process. That’s our framework that we teach to our clients and to other organizations that are trying to teach entrepreneurship and that sort of thing. All the tools and everything else are all on [crosstalk 00:34:03].

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Check out businessgrowthsimplify.com, check out the tools.

Dino Eliadis: Yep.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Last question, Dino.

Dino Eliadis: Sure.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: For people who are not watching video and listening to this, there’s a frame over your right shoulder.

Dino Eliadis: Yeah.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Explain what that is.

Dino Eliadis: So the [crosstalk 00:34:22]-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Explain what I’m seeing and people may not be seeing because they’re listening to the audio.

Dino Eliadis: Yeah. The frame over my left shoulder was my Christmas gift two Christmases ago from my eldest son. That is my flight cap from when I was in the Air Force and all the other stuff that was in there. Missile launch officer was my first assignment. I was one of the guys that sat underground with my finger on a button for four years. That’s why I got my MBA because it was like, while I was down there, there was nothing to do so it was a good time to study.

Dino Eliadis: They offered MBA programs from major universities. I got my MBA from University of Missouri while I was stationed there.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: That’s amazing.

Dino Eliadis: Yeah.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: What did you learn most or what do you take out of from a leadership or from being in the Air Force?

Dino Eliadis: Yeah. The leadership factor I know is a big thing. Actually, I think both aspects of what it is that I do really for the last 30 years in my consulting career, really come from that. One was understanding that as a leader, it all falls on your shoulders. You’ve got to learn to delegate and encourage the people that are helping you all along the way. Your job as a leader is to make sure that you’re getting the obstacles that are getting in their way of getting their job done all along the way.

Dino Eliadis: It’s that humility to be able to say, "If it’s not working, it’s not working because I’m not leading in the way that I need to." From a leadership standpoint, that was the case. The other thing though that I think drove me in the direction of this whole operational thing, Jeremy, actually, and a lot of people probably wouldn’t see it necessarily, is the whole idea, when you work with nuclear weapons, there’s no margin for error.

Dino Eliadis: Checklists and following a checklist and knowing what the next step was supposed to be, was everything that I did for four years of my life. I was held to a standard that most people aren’t held to. My commanding officer when I was leaving that assignment told me, he said, "You’re a different person having been here and been held to this standard." He said, "You’re going to have to learn to have patience with other people because nobody, even in the Air Force, is going to be held to a standard that is similar to this level."

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Everyone check out the website, check out businessgrowthsimplified.com. Dino, thanks again.

Dino Eliadis: I appreciate it. Thanks for asking me to be on, Jeremy.

Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to the Process Breakdown Podcast. Before you go, quick question. Do you want a tool that makes it easy to document processes, procedures, and/or policies for your company so that your employees have all the information they need to be successful at their job? If yes, sign up for a free 14-day trial of SweetProcess. No credit card is required to sign up. Go to sweetprocess.com, sweet like candy and process like process.com. Go now to sweetprocess.com and sign up for your risk-free 14-day trial.

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