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Gary Bizzo

Episode 2: Successful Business Strategy Execution, with Gary Bizzo

Gary Bizzo has been a Mentor to over 1000 business leaders & entrepreneurs.

He was a National Finalist in Canadas 2014 BDC Mentorship Award & his book “How to Start a Successful Business The First Time!” has been nominated for the International 2014 Small Business Book Awards. Entrepreneur Magazine, said Bizzo was one of 17 Masters of Marketing & PR Entrepreneurs Can Learn From.

Bizzo was Founder/COO of Kickstart Business Catalyst, a business incubator/accelerator & Venture Financing business. He is currently a Partner with Equifaira Advisors, Liquidity Event Planners, specialists in strategy & execution, corporate finance, capital formation & investor relations.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Gary’s system of business strategy execution
  • How Gary figured out that he was really good at execution and why he chose this area to excel in it
  • Why business strategy execution all comes down to organization
  • Gary’s 7 digital folders that are the foundation of his system of execution
  • How Gary and his partners are changing the system to simplify the process
  • Getting everyone to comply with this system
  • The calendar system that Gary and his partners will be implementing next

Ways to contact Gary:

Welcome to System Execution, the strategy and system behind today’s successful companies. Systems can make or break your company, but here, we’ll solve your physical, technological, and psychological systems issues by connecting you with experts that have succeeded in overcoming those challenges in their own business, and providing you the guidelines and tools you need to implement those same strategies for immediate results. Now, here’s your host, Vera Fischer.

Vera: Welcome to System Execution, a podcast devoted to using processes and systems to drive to a better outcome for your business. I’m Vera Fischer, your host. All businesses, no matter the size, relies on systems. Some of these are physical systems, such as a factory; some are technological, like project management software, while others are psychological systems, such as checklists and organizational charts. Many of these systems will overlap in your business.

Today’s guest, Gary Bizzo, will be discussing a system that has contributed to his success. Gary Bizzo has been a mentor to more than 1,000 business leaders and entrepreneurs. He was a national finalist in Canada’s 2014 BDC Mentorship Award, and his book, How to Start a Successful Business the First Time, on Amazon, has been nominated for the international 2014 Small Business Book Award. Entrepreneur Magazine said Bizzo was one of, quote, “17 masters of marketing and PR entrepreneurs can learn from,” end quote. Bizzo was founder and COO of Kickstart Business Catalyst, a business incubator and accelerator in venture financing business. Gary is currently a partner with Equifaira Advisor, Liquidity Event Planners, specialist in strategy and execution, corporate finance, capital formation, and investor relations. Welcome to System Execution, Gary.

Gary: Hey, thank you very much, Vera.

Vera: Gary, I’ve given System Execution listeners a brief glimpse into your background, so take a minute and tell us more about your and your experience, and then we’ll dive into your particular system that you want to share with us.

Gary: Well, I get a lot of juice from working with entrepreneurs, mainly startups, and I’ve been involved with startups probably since 2000, so it’s been quite the ride, and you see everything, so it’s been fun.

Vera: Great. Let’s go ahead and get started. I want to focus on one system today, a specific system that you have found to be instrumental in your business and/or your life. This first section that we’re going to be talking about will require a very short answer. The examples of the answers may be customer service, meeting deadlines, getting it right the first time, lead generation and sales, design, automation, hiring the right people. You get the idea. With that said, here’s your question: The system you’re really good at is?

Gary: Business strategy execution.

Vera: Business strategy execution, all right. To be really good at execution, it’s not luck, so to start building a system, you need a couple of things in place, a solid idea of where you’re going. How do you know you’re really good at that area of your business?

Gary: Well, it’s results you get. I mean, execution’s all based on results. A long time ago, my friend Michael Gerber told me that companies will grow and succeed based on the mindset of thinking that their business is going to be big, and to plan for it, so systems have to be in place to do that.

Vera: Why did you choose the area of business strategy execution to excel in?

Gary: At the end of the day, sales is what drives your company, and the business strategy execution of everything is at the core of it.

Vera: Do you have a particular system that you use from a sales perspective?

Gary: Well, it’s more organization. I was telling a client yesterday about my system, and they were writing it down and sucking it up like you wouldn’t believe. It’s just a filing system to me, but it works. We decided to have a system that would have 7 folders, and that’s it.

Vera: Are these physical folders, or digital folders?

Gary: Digital, yeah, digital folders. I wouldn’t know where to put my physical ones.

Vera: Talk to me about the 7 digital folders.

Gary: Well, believe it or not, there’s 8 partners in my company, and we’re like a law firm, so everything has to be very concise, and since we’re working with finance, there’s a lot of securities, requirements, legal, so it took us about a month and a half just to come up with the folders. I mean, it sounds crazy, but everything has to be very succinct and planned to a point where you’re not wasting any time, and everybody’s on the same page.

Vera: Give me an example of one title of a folder.

Gary: Well, “Finance,” “Marketing,” “HR” … What are the other four? Well, you get the point. It’s all very, very simple headers, but then each folder has got the same amount of, and the same consistency, so that everybody knows what page they’re on when they go in there.

Vera: Within those folders, do you have assignments for the different partners, or areas that each is responsible for?

Gary: Yeah, we have an overview document, an Excel spreadsheet that lays out all the tasks associated with each folder, and then who is responsible, with a timeline. It does sort of focus you instantly.

Vera: How long, or, said better, why a month to figure out the folders?

Gary: We’re changing it, but with 8 partners, we were running the company on consensus management, and everybody had to agree on everything, so we were like … People get confused, so we streamline it. It started off with like 25 different tasks and folders, and we just whittled it down to the common basic things that we could all get around.

Vera: Are there deadlines attached to everything within? Do you do a weekly meeting to review what’s going on inside those folders?

Gary: Yup, we have a phone meeting on Skype every Wednesday at 4, and every Thursday morning, we have a sales meeting for 2 hours, so it’s very organized. The deadlines we have are very tight deadlines, often, but they’re also very restricted deadlines. I mean, we have to have security stuff, like securities and exchange audits, we face all the time, so if we were behind on schedules, we’d know it.

Vera: For those folders, do you ever get an automatic ping when there’s a deadline, or is that incumbent upon the owner to proactively go inside that particular folder?

Gary: Well, with our phone meeting, we can see every … Our managing partner goes through each tab on our Excel spreadsheets and says, “This is the deadline we’ve got. How are you progressing towards that?” The other thing is, everything is synced with Dropbox, so that when someone is working on a file, it’s automatically given to everybody else as being updated, so you know that, don’t mess with this. Then, after a certain period of time, everything is archived, so that it’s not version 1 to 50 or something.

Vera: It’s the final one.

Gary: Yeah, we’re only working, and our folders only have the documents we’re actually working on at the time.

Vera: Everyone’s compliant?

Gary: Yeah. Well, it took a couple of months, but year. You know, most of us are around my age, so it’s not that easy to come up with new systems and stick to them. You’re used to your old paper on a notepad, you know?

Vera: Exactly. How did you get them to comply?

Gary: Necessity. I mean, it just had to … We had to be super-organized and diligent. We weren’t going to mess up. I mean, we’re working with millions and millions of dollars. It’s incumbent that we protect our money, protect our clients, protect our investors, so … I don’t want to go to jail for missing a deadline.

Vera: That’s a good point. That’s motivation, I think, absolutely. From your 7-folder system, which I now have branded for you, and you can put a little trademark after that, “The 7-Folder System,” which I think is brilliant and simple, which helps everybody, what are the other systems, or the other challenges that are coming up next for you?

Gary: The next challenge is calendars. We’re all working on different calendars, and I think we need to have one consistent one for the team. It’s just difficult with 8 partners, and we’re all pretty active.

Vera: Are you looking at a particular calendaring software or solution, or have you even embarked on that yet?

Gary: Well, we’re just struggling with Google right now, and hoping that that will provide the system we need. I don’t think it’s going to, but until I find something better …

Vera: Google it is.

Gary: For the time being, yeah.

Vera: Well, I’d love to check back in with you at some point and see how this calendaring system is going for you.

Gary: Well, yeah, for sure.

Vera: Before we go today, is there any final advice you’d like to share with our listeners, about business strategy execution or anything that we’ve missed? Then, tell us the best way that our listeners can connect with you.

Gary: You know, I think everything we do is a process, and if you keep on top of them, then it’s going to work out for you. One day at a time, as I was saying how I wrote my book, it’s just doing it, executing it, and I think this is a great opportunity to get this out to the world. Yeah. Things can be easy, as long as you plan. Best way to reach me is garybizzo.com, G-A-R-Y-B-I-Z-Z-O dot com, and I talk to everybody, I’m very accessible.

Vera: Great. No matter how many notes you took, listeners, or how often you re-listen to this episode, the key is, you must know that every successful business uses systems to drive to a better outcome. Gary, I want to thank you so much for sharing your expertise and insight to our listeners today.

Gary: Thank you very much for calling.

We hope you found this episode of System Execution on the topic of business strategy execution to be enlightening. For free examples, case studies, ebooks, and more, be sure to visit systemexecution.com/resources. Contribute to the conversation by reaching out to Vera directly on email at vera@systemexecution.com. Until our next episode, thank you for the privilege of your time.




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