When Jennifer Louden, best selling author, speaker and coach, suddenly found her business without operations support, her first feeling was panic.
5 years ago, Jennifer was running her successful business with the support of one full-time and one part-time employee. With her team handling multiple functions from business development to copywriting, she relied on their support to keep the day-to-day running smoothly.
Despite things starting on the right foot, it soon became apparent that these individuals weren’t a great fit, and they exited Jennifer’s business.
As Jennifer explains, “I’d reached a point where I didn’t know everything going on in the business anymore. I had a lot of complicated things going on. As projects were wrapped up and handed things off, it was clear things behind the scenes weren’t handled how I wanted. It was a horrible feeling. I knew I couldn’t run my business independently and needed help immediately.”
Searching for Stability + Strategy
A business friend recommended Jennifer contact Tressa. Her friend told her that Tressa was an online business manager, and Jennifer was initially skeptical.
“I always thought the OBM stuff was overkill. Someone offering that level of operations support was there to add layers of complexity that I didn’t need. So it had never occurred to me that someone like Tressa would be the right kind of help for my business.”
Despite her initial reservations, Jennifer met with Tressa to discuss her business needs. During that discussion, she quickly realized this could be the solution she sought.
“When I started talking to Tressa immediately, I liked that she didn’t try to be my friend. It was very professional. It was refreshing. I immediately asked her about her long-term plans because I wasn’t interested in working with someone looking to transition to something else. It mattered to me to have stability.”
As they continued their discussion, Jennifer wanted to address another critical concern: all the different types of operational support Tressa could provide.
“One thing I didn’t want to do was manage my team. I was excited to hear Tressa had her own team with varied skill sets, and she wasn’t doing it alone.”
Even though she was hesitant, her conversation with Tressa gave her hope.
“I knew I was making a big decision, putting my entire business in someone’s hands again after being burned. I tried to ask many good questions, things I didn’t ask the last time I hired someone, but I was nervous. It takes a lot of money and time to recover when things go wrong, and it’s my business, so I didn’t want that to happen again. But I felt confident Tressa was a pro, and I was willing to take a chance with her.”
Looking Towards the Long Term
When Tressa and her team began providing operations support, the first order of business was to clean up. For the first six months, Tressa and her team cleaned up messes while working on critical priorities.
“At the time, I didn’t even know the extent of all the messes behind the scenes. So we needed to clean that up but also move the business forward. We’d been trying to make up the mainstay of my income with my membership site. So my priority was ensuring my membership site was taken care of. We’d never broken through to that 1000-member realm that I wanted because we needed to make the offer clear. Tressa immediately took that on and encouraged me to try new things. She just dove right in.”
While Jennifer was expecting operational support from Tressa and her team, there were several other unexpected positives she was getting out of the working relationship.
“Tressa enables me to look at the long-term plan. She’s always up-to-date with what is happening in the industry. That’s helped keep us from going down dead ends that would waste time.
Plus, she keeps me from trying too many new things at once. For example, I’ve been leading retreats for 30 years. At one point, I wanted to add two new locations. Tressa said no, you can only do one at a time. She’s good at putting the brakes on me and helping me think about my capacity so I don’t burn out.”
Not Just Surviving, But Thriving
When Jennifer started working with Tressa, nobody knew a global pandemic would shake things up. Thankfully, with Tressa’s support, Jennifer could quickly pivot and keep her business moving forward while the future was uncertain.
Says Jennifer, “My goal during the pandemic was survival. So we stripped everything back. We managed through it despite no live events happening. Plus, we changed business models, and that’s now working! We made even more money last year. I can’t imagine how I would have managed all that without Tressa.”
Now, 5 years into working together and weathering several shifts, Jennifer feels that the operations support provided by Tressa and her team is integral to her business.
One aspect that Jennifer appreciates the most is how adept Tressa is at managing her cash flow.
“She’s not an accountant, but she’ll be the first to call it out when the numbers don’t look right. She’ll suggest getting a second opinion. She’ll brainstorm ideas on how we can bring best practices to things. Knowing she’s there and not feeling alone is huge for me.”
Being a Solopreneur Doesn’t Mean You’re Alone
With a strong relationship built on a cornerstone of trust, Jennifer knows many business owners could benefit from working with Tressa.
When asked if she would ever recommend Tressa to someone looking for operations support with their business, Jennifer had zero hesitation.
“I don’t think Tressa and her team are good — they’re great. If you want someone who’s an absolute professional, who’s going to do what they say they will, who’s going to bring their best mind and care about your business as much as you do, that’s Tressa.
Her team isn’t just a bunch of order-takers. They approach their work with thoughtfulness and caring. They bring their creativity and best practices, and they’re always learning.
Plus, Tressa brings the strategy to my business. She helps me think about what will make money and what will not. Working with her means you’re confident somebody’s got your back and is bringing their creativity and expertise to your business.”
Are you looking for operations support in your business?