If you’re a small business owner, you may already have a virtual assistant to help you with sundry administrative tasks. But what if you’re ready to scale and are in need of a seasoned expert to handle high-level executive duties, such as managing operations?
A long journey
Suzette Bailey’s newest venture has been a long time coming. Suzette, who worked for the Australian government, realized she no longer wanted to be a public servant. After trying her hand in the corporate world, she realized it didn’t align with her values and goals.
It was only after she started Sensory7, an information management consulting firm, in 1999 that she found something she truly enjoyed. Sensory7 helps companies implement information management systems, performs business analysis and provides specialized training tailored to the needs of the individual. The company’s client base includes large businesses and the Australian Federal Government.
But everything changed after a near-death experience in 2008. Suzette became severely ill and was hospitalized. The effects were devastating. She incurred a six-figure tax debt and was forced to let go of staff. A full recovery from her hospitalization took nearly 12 months.
“I realized that I was the single point of failure,” says Suzette.
Her illness had a severe impact on how she ran her company. She decided to trade as a business to raise the money to pay back her debt and reorganize to be profitable once again. Through this process, she transformed Sensory7 to make it what it is today — a multi-million dollar business.
Although Suzette is well-known in the corporate and government sectors as an expert in information management, her true passion is working with small businesses.
Working with the government did give me a lot of fulfillment for a long time,” recalls Suzette. “But after awhile you get to the point where you start to see the same problems occurring over and over again. And the thing with working with very large organizations is that you can impact them, but there’s only so much you can do. The best practices don’t always get implemented and that can be frustrating.”
No business, especially social impact businesses, should fail due to lack of operational knowledge.
Filling in the gaps
That’s where Autopilot Business Systems comes in. Per their tagline: “We unchain business owners to live their genius.” According to company founder Suzette Bailey, no business, especially the social impact businesses she caters to, should fail due to lack of operational knowledge.
Maybe your business isn’t fully built out and you have a small team. You struggle to grow your business and your team because of the time and resources needed to take on new hires.
Autopilot Business Systems goes beyond operational management and helps align businesses with their true vision. As Suzette explains: “While setting up systems and processes obviously comes into it, it’s more about aligning the strategic goals and vision that a company has with what they actually want.”
For businesses with a single point of failure (i.e., a person whose presence and contributions could make or break the company), and Cash Flow on life support, out-of-whack systems and slow growth, Suzette’s business swoops in to the rescue.
“The goal is to help other businesses not fail, to get past that magical five years,” says Suzette. “To be able to give them the support structure so they can get to the next level.
It’s not that they aren’t good enough; it’s that they don’t know the proper channels and processes to do things.”
I see this more and more moving forward happening where businesses group together to build something that they could not do on their own.
Success through collaboration
Another major shift happened in Transcend Alliance, a peer-to-peer mentoring group that offers advice and insights. “I realized I could work with small businesses and create what I had done with big businesses in a smaller-sized field.” She has a scalable methodology that’s been tested with hundreds of organizations that range in size from five to more than 2,000 people.
“I see this more and more moving forward happening where businesses group together to build something that they could not do on their own, which is a new thing,” says Suzette about Autopilot Business Systems. Her model combines the adaptability of small businesses and the advantage big businesses have on aggregation and economy of scale.
“It’s awful how so many businesses fail because no one helped them put in operations,” says Suzette. “It’s not the sexy part, but the reality is if you don’t get your operations at the back end right, you will be like that business.”
As a mother and giver, Suzette knows full well how small businesses impact families, and communities at large. “I’d like to give in that I’m impacting people’s lives when I help a business owner maintain their business and grow,” she explains.
A successful business is not an island.
What she’s asking the universe
Suzette wants to help 10,000 businesses — either directly or indirectly — be successful and grow. “I want to expand the ripple effect,” says Suzette. “A successful business is not an island. The positive impacts of a successful business impact the business owner’s family, the families of staff and the general economy.”
Autopilot Business Systems is still in the pilot phase, and Suzette is actively taking on clients who recognize they’re the single point of failure in their business and want to be CEO within three months.
“I want to give them the confidence and give them the support,” says Suzette.
“Collaboration is vital. If you do it with others, you are more likely to succeed.”
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
Jackie is a personal finance writer and content marketer. She is passionate about telling money stories and spreading financial literacy to a mainstream audience.