Broker Check


Episode 92: Reflection, swim lanes, and visual hammers: The keys to success in family business branding

In this episode of the Family Biz Show, host Michael Palumbos welcomes Maureen Ballatori, the powerhouse behind Agency 29, to share her journey and insights into the world of branding and marketing. Originating from a dairy farm background, Maureen's passion for art and business propelled her into the branding domain, where she found her calling in creating meaningful and impactful brand identities.

Maureen's story unfolds from her college days at Nazareth University, through the challenging economic landscape of 2008, to her brave decision to transition her side project, 29 Design Studio, into a full-time venture. The evolution into Agency 29 signifies a pivotal shift, underscoring her firm's expansion and specialization in the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors, deeply influenced by her agricultural roots and her husband's culinary background.

The discussion delves into the critical aspects of brand strategy, the art of storytelling, and the nuances of client relationships. Maureen emphasizes the importance of understanding one's brand, the competitive landscape, and the power of effective communication in shaping a brand's journey and its resonance with the target audience.

The episode also explores the transformative processes businesses undergo, highlighting a case study of Billsborough Winery, illustrating how subtle yet strategic branding tweaks can significantly enhance customer connection and brand perception.

Concluding with a thoughtful Q&A, Maureen and Michael explore essential questions family businesses should ponder about their future, the significance of setting long-term goals, and the value of maintaining a clear focus to drive meaningful progress and legacy building in the family business domain.

Listeners are encouraged to connect with Maureen on LinkedIn to delve deeper into her expertise and explore how strategic branding can catalyze their business growth and legacy.

Watch the entire episode!

Episode 92 Transcript

 

1

00:00:02.090 --> 00:00:22.529

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Well welcome everybody to the family. Biz show. I am your host, Michael Columbus, with family wealth and legacy in Rochester, New York, and we have a incredible story and an incredible show for you today with Maureen Valatore from Agency 29. Welcome, Maureen. Thank you. Thanks for having me on the show, Michael. I appreciate it.

 

2

00:00:22.950 --> 00:00:40.090

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: We don't do a ton of. I think we've got one, maybe 2 episodes where we're talking about branding. We. I've got a bunch where we talk about strategy, but not so much on the branding side of things. So I'm really excited to bring in another episode about this, because

 

3

00:00:40.090 --> 00:01:06.590

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: one. I wanna I wanna hear about your background and how you get to where you where you're going. But I think for our people to realize that, you know. Some of some some people might know more invalidory as 29 design studio, and not, you know why. The shift, you know, to Agency 29, and it's for exactly the same reason as a lot of family businesses, you know, might need to shift somewhere along the line as you're doing things so

 

4

00:01:06.850 --> 00:01:20.870

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: welcome again. let's talk about your journey into the world of branding and marketing and advertising, and all the things that you do today. Tell us about it.

 

5

00:01:20.970 --> 00:01:36.800

Maureen Ballatori: So I grew up on a dairy farm, and so in upstate New York. And so I I've always been connected to agriculture and never planned on doing that in my adult life. But I've always loved art and creativity, you know. So

 

6

00:01:36.800 --> 00:02:04.500

Maureen Ballatori: I as I was going into college, I was seeking something that allowed me to kind of take the business interest that I had, and merge it with art, because I really wasn't looking to be a fine artist, and you know, art artistic creation for art's sake, while I admire that it really wasn't. I wanted something more purposeful and useful. My pretty, you know, pragmatic person. II like function

 

7

00:02:04.500 --> 00:02:19.839

Maureen Ballatori: And branding just turned out to be the area where I could see a lot of value in the artistic creation of an identity and a brand. And the story of what it stands for and the create the creative execution from that standpoint

 

8

00:02:19.840 --> 00:02:40.480

Maureen Ballatori: with a true business sense of impact of how are people connecting to your business in general? So I went to school for graphic design and illustration at Nazareth University. In Rochester, which is what brought me into the into Rochester in the creative space. Here. And I graduated in 2,008.

 

9

00:02:40.480 --> 00:02:47.810

Maureen Ballatori: There's a huge economic downturn. No one was hiring anyone at that time really similar to the grads from 2,020

 

10

00:02:47.810 --> 00:03:00.100

Maureen Ballatori: and so I started a freelancing side venture called 29 design studio and ran that as a as a freelance side project while I worked full time for 10 years.

 

11

00:03:00.130 --> 00:03:27.480

Maureen Ballatori: So 7 years ago, 8 years ago I took the business full time. I took the leap. I left my full time job. I had been working in professional services, and I decided. This is the time to do it. And so I took that leap. And we stayed as 29 design studio for a long time. But really focused on honing our services, scaling the team, honing in who we wanted to work with and why?

 

12

00:03:27.490 --> 00:03:35.159

Maureen Ballatori: And landed that landed us at food beverage and agriculture because of my personal background in agriculture.

 

13

00:03:35.190 --> 00:03:53.010

Maureen Ballatori: My husband was a fine dining chef. Who moved into then food manufacturing. I found that fascinating. When you think about function right in terms of creating something that comes out of a brand? But I always loved the agricultural aspect of it, too. So

 

14

00:03:53.040 --> 00:04:19.619

Maureen Ballatori: 29 design studio existed honed in in 2,020 down to food Bev and Ag. And then, as we continue to grow in scale. We realized that we were not the freelancing design studio that we always were. And so, after much deliberation and internal work and strategic planning on our part. Our evolution of that identity. Is agency 29

 

15

00:04:19.769 --> 00:04:45.530

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: congratulations. Now, I wanna I wanna dive into what you're talking about because you just said, you know pretty much 20 some odd years in 4 min, and I wanna make sure people don't miss some of the things that were important that I heard in there and feel free to, you know, chime in at any time. It started off as a side gig, and you grew that into your full time

 

16

00:04:46.040 --> 00:04:52.629

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: position your full time job with employees. Right? Yup, we. Now we have a team of 10. Now.

 

17

00:04:52.650 --> 00:04:54.110

Maureen Ballatori: Okay, yep.

 

18

00:04:54.730 --> 00:05:00.200

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and that's wicked. Cool. But on top of that

 

19

00:05:00.230 --> 00:05:06.079

Maureen Ballatori: when you started, and you know, even going back to when you were freelance.

 

20

00:05:06.210 --> 00:05:07.530

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: who would you talk to?

 

21

00:05:08.630 --> 00:05:29.550

Maureen Ballatori: Excellent question? So I hope it's not revealing too much. You and I were talking earlier about coaching and the importance of that. I can't emphasize how important it's been in my career to be able to lean on coaches, and so I've engaged executive leadership coaches. I've engaged business coaches

 

22

00:05:29.550 --> 00:05:58.110

Maureen Ballatori: various folks to help me through what was holding me back at the time. So my first coach I engaged. I've always had mentors right folks that I could call on peers in the industry to kind of tap for different areas where I needed support. I remember when I was taking the when I was leaving my full-time job and taking the company full time and planning to make my all my money from this. What used to be this little freelancing side project?

 

23

00:05:58.710 --> 00:06:09.310

Maureen Ballatori: I called another agency owner, who owned a firm in Rochester, and I said, What do I need to know? Here? I this is what I'm going to do. I'm taking this full time. and his advice was

 

24

00:06:09.560 --> 00:06:31.709

Maureen Ballatori: being aware of your shortfalls. Right? What is the biggest area of opportunity for growth that you have? And for me? At the time it was sales, I said, I don't know how to bring in new folks to this agency, you know. And he said, then that's the thing to focus on. And that was great advice, and so I've had number of coaches over the years that have helped me hone different aspects of the business. Great

 

25

00:06:31.950 --> 00:06:50.229

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: talk about clients for for a second when you first began. What was your you know what was a typical client for you, you know? Did you have? You know you? You today you're in food beverage and add, what was the what was the core customer when you started?

 

26

00:06:50.770 --> 00:07:01.979

Maureen Ballatori: So when I first started, it was a lot of folks like me. It was. It was people who had a side project that they wanted a logo for, or they needed

 

27

00:07:02.100 --> 00:07:11.810

Maureen Ballatori: business cards or a rack card brochure or something like that. That was simple work that I would do. My first logo design project. I did for 100 bucks.

 

28

00:07:12.970 --> 00:07:23.030

Maureen Ballatori: We've got a couple of extra zeroes at the end of that. Now, which is great, you know, but we also understand more of the layers of impact that work like that has.

 

29

00:07:23.770 --> 00:07:31.989

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And then and then through the years, you started developing a reputation. You're building your business.

 

30

00:07:32.250 --> 00:07:45.140

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: What? Ca, what types of work were you doing? You know. Let's say in the in before you before you hold in. You know what? What? What was the mix like at, you know.

 

31

00:07:45.200 --> 00:07:51.349

Maureen Ballatori: back in the day. Yeah. So I would say at that time, which let's call it.

 

32

00:07:51.350 --> 00:08:20.410

Maureen Ballatori: 3 to 5 years ago we were a general services firm. That offered branding work. I don't think we were doing a. We were doing some strategy at the time, although not a lot of strategy. Most of our strategy now is in brand strategy, and you know who is your customer. How do you find them? That kind of thing? Whereas at the time I think our strategy work was was very light, very simple, you know, marketing plan kind of thing.

 

33

00:08:20.510 --> 00:08:38.439

Maureen Ballatori: And we were doing still a lot of graphic design work, you know. Add advertisements for newspapers and a lot of brochures, my bread and butter at the time, you know, especially on the longer side. 5, 6, 7 years ago I did a lot of annual reports.

 

34

00:08:38.650 --> 00:08:55.569

Maureen Ballatori: I love those because it was taking a lot of really complex information and figuring out how to organize it in a way that the customer would understand. The reader would be able to be guided through a story. And so I loved that. And I think that that

 

35

00:08:55.830 --> 00:09:14.180

Maureen Ballatori: did kinda start to plant the seeds of what we're doing now in brand development work right where, instead of taking a bunch of complex information that is content for a brochure and organizing it in a way that a user can understand. We're taking a complex story of a brand

 

36

00:09:14.180 --> 00:09:31.590

Maureen Ballatori: and their history, and where they're trying to go and taking that timeline and projecting into the future to say, These are the the different puzzle pieces for you. And so there's some parallels there with what we used to do on the annual report side of things. But

 

37

00:09:32.220 --> 00:09:41.089

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and that's one of the reasons why people might be asking, why is Maureen on the show. She's not a family business. It's because of exactly what you just

 

38

00:09:41.160 --> 00:09:47.969

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: is. You know you have these family businesses through the years that you have served.

 

39

00:09:47.980 --> 00:09:55.029

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and they might be second, third. You just talked mentioned before a 12 generation family.

 

40

00:09:55.220 --> 00:10:07.749

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Well, things change. And how do you? How do you honor. You know the past and move to the future, and what you know 2023 needs from a branding purpose. So

 

41

00:10:07.750 --> 00:10:35.160

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: do you mind, you know, sharing with us some of the stories. How family businesses were able to make that shift with your help, and to think through those pieces, because I think oftentimes people don't really understand the power of branding. We're really good at getting done. We're really good at, you know, finding our niche in the world, you know, in the in the marketplace. But what is what is brand mean? And how do we make it come alive?

 

42

00:10:35.360 --> 00:10:56.890

Maureen Ballatori: Really, what I see Brand doing best is helping get out the who you are, what you do, and why? Right? And so, the more you can do that more clearly, more concisely, the better your customer, your potential customer, your colleagues, your industry connections, strategic partners.

 

43

00:10:56.950 --> 00:11:07.210

Maureen Ballatori: the more you're able to clearly and succinctly explain that the more other people are going to understand what you do and what they should call you for. So

 

44

00:11:07.430 --> 00:11:27.260

Maureen Ballatori: yes, we work with a lot of family businesses. So we work. We work with the brothers, for example. They're a fifth generation owned brand based here in oh, great, great! Oh, I love them so much, and think I mean they're a fantastic

 

45

00:11:27.720 --> 00:11:33.789

Maureen Ballatori: client to visit and see their museum and talk about stories right? Rich stories to tell.

 

46

00:11:33.850 --> 00:11:44.670

Maureen Ballatori: Everybody has them, and family businesses have them more so so. Yes, we just took on a 12 generation dairy in New York State as well. So

 

47

00:11:44.730 --> 00:12:13.899

Maureen Ballatori: it's even more important to lean into brand and strategy and storytelling and understanding the foundational work of who you are and where you're trying to go when you are a family business, because there's so much more, so many more layers to that story that you have to determine. What do I want to carry on right? What aspects of the story do I want to pull out from the generation that's moving on and carry through to the next generation that's coming up.

 

48

00:12:14.850 --> 00:12:25.480

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And and how do you help? You know? How do you help somebody think through that? What do you have? What's what is that? You know? What are the important pieces for somebody to be thinking about

 

49

00:12:25.730 --> 00:12:36.909

Maureen Ballatori: a lot of it is, I would say, one of the one of the places where clients sometimes need a little help thinking if they haven't been probed. The question

 

50

00:12:37.010 --> 00:12:39.440

Maureen Ballatori: is, what are you? What are your goals?

 

51

00:12:39.470 --> 00:12:53.900

Maureen Ballatori: What are you trying to do here? Right? Because I think sometimes with family businesses and the generations, and the history that goes into it, there can be a bit of we do what we always have done right

 

52

00:12:54.230 --> 00:13:09.780

Maureen Ballatori: 100. So what we sometimes try to do is challenge the business as the the old regime and the new regime to both share their thoughts and perspectives on where you're trying to go.

 

53

00:13:09.890 --> 00:13:28.719

Maureen Ballatori: And then, once everybody's on the same page about that new incoming generation, more so than the old one, right? Because somebody's that's their vision for the future. You know you've gotta honor the past, but also project forward. Once you have an understanding of what puzzle pieces are on the table

 

54

00:13:28.930 --> 00:13:34.859

Maureen Ballatori: brand strategy and the brand across the board right can help

 

55

00:13:35.340 --> 00:14:03.520

Maureen Ballatori: add clarity to that direction. Give force to where a company is trying to go, so that it's not just a plan in a document. It's the story that's told on your website. It's the way you're engaging in your emails with your customers. It's the what goes on your sell sheet. It's what services that you provide. It's the way that you engage in your customer relationships, all of those things ladder up to Brand, and how you talk about yourself.

 

56

00:14:04.070 --> 00:14:07.350

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Got it? Looking at

 

57

00:14:07.980 --> 00:14:29.310

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: your experience. Is there a story that you wouldn't mind sharing with us of somebody who went through that process, and maybe you can. And and if you can't, that's fine. But to talk about the you know, here's what they look like when you came in. And here's the some of the P. Things that we went through to help them get from point A to point B.

 

58

00:14:30.050 --> 00:14:39.280

Maureen Ballatori: Yes, and so the one of the ones that comes to mind is a family business based down in the Finger Lakes. They're Billsborough Winery.

 

59

00:14:39.330 --> 00:14:53.989

Maureen Ballatori: So if you, if you haven't been there. Fantastic. Stop along the Seneca Lake wine trail. Husband and wife team. His grandfather taught him how to make wine. She runs the business. They're an excellent team. And so we didn't

 

60

00:14:54.090 --> 00:14:57.189

Maureen Ballatori: come in and throw the baby out with the bathwater.

 

61

00:14:57.520 --> 00:15:07.950

Maureen Ballatori: We met with them and talked with them to understand what aspects of how you're presenting yourself are not resonating with

 

62

00:15:07.980 --> 00:15:12.959

Maureen Ballatori: the way that you would like to be perceived, and how you want people to understand you.

 

63

00:15:13.000 --> 00:15:28.439

Maureen Ballatori: So from that. There were some. Sometimes there's functional things as a part of those challenges. So the logo that was on their wine bottles was, and that they were using in many places was the cross section of a grape.

 

64

00:15:28.870 --> 00:15:43.660

Maureen Ballatori: So that looks a lot like an amoeba. It's a little muddy. It's kinda hard to tell what it is when you know what it is. It makes sense. But they were challenged with, you know, wasn't immediately clear.

 

65

00:15:43.740 --> 00:15:53.030

Maureen Ballatori: And they so that was one challenge that is a technical execution of the brand. Right? Then there were more non

 

66

00:15:53.190 --> 00:16:07.239

Maureen Ballatori: non tangical or tactical, you know, things that were part of that as well. So they had a very low, low key. Vibe there, right? It was very low laid back, you know.

 

67

00:16:07.240 --> 00:16:28.160

Maureen Ballatori: open to anybody. Kind of place will teach you about wine, or will cater to. You know the experts as well, and all are welcome here. Kind of mentality that was reflected when you went on site. But it wasn't really projected when you visited their website. And when you know, you kind of engaged with them from the outside. So

 

68

00:16:28.370 --> 00:16:56.819

Maureen Ballatori: we helped them right size that right? So we didn't make major changes. We still kept the bills borough of their typeface, for example, and we changed the cross section of the grape to a quilted style. They have a barn quilt, you know, on the side of their barn version of the identity and helped update their. We overhauled their entire website to use more of that relaxed and laid back language that resonates with who they are at their core.

 

69

00:16:56.970 --> 00:17:17.910

Maureen Ballatori: So those are some of the examples of changes that can be made on Brand that are micro adjustments that make a big difference in how you're engaging and connecting with your ideal customer. That does not necessarily mean we took everything that you have. We threw it out the window and then started fresh right? So I would say more often than not.

 

70

00:17:17.910 --> 00:17:30.070

Maureen Ballatori: That's what we're doing. We're taking an existing brand, and we're elevating it. And we're right sizing it to be aligned with the customer that you're trying to reach more so than

 

71

00:17:30.470 --> 00:17:35.590

Maureen Ballatori: a total rebrand name. Change logo, change all across the board.

 

72

00:17:35.690 --> 00:17:47.189

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: got it? Has there been, as you're saying that understanding that that's probably 70 80% of the time, 90% of the time. That's what you're doing.

 

73

00:17:47.380 --> 00:17:55.919

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Is there a story where you did have to go in. And oh, my goodness, we totally rebranded everything.

 

74

00:17:56.350 --> 00:18:04.220

Maureen Ballatori: Yeah, I'm trying to think who comes to mind for that. I mean, the most immediate example, is ourselves

 

75

00:18:04.490 --> 00:18:09.120

Maureen Ballatori: right? Changing from 29 design studio to Agency 29.

 

76

00:18:09.870 --> 00:18:19.890

Maureen Ballatori: There were a lot of factors that went into that decision right? What name should it be? Is this the right path are we making?

 

77

00:18:20.030 --> 00:18:36.160

Maureen Ballatori: Are are we gonna confuse everyone with this change? And ultimately it came down to the benefits we felt strongly at our core, that the benefits outweighed the drawbacks of making a major change like that.

 

78

00:18:36.710 --> 00:18:40.199

Maureen Ballatori: and the clarity that our customer was going to have

 

79

00:18:40.480 --> 00:18:49.420

Maureen Ballatori: is in Agency 29 is gonna allow us to go further with the customer that we're trying to support.

 

80

00:18:49.650 --> 00:18:50.940

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Got it?

 

81

00:18:51.080 --> 00:19:04.399

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: What about? For, you know, upstate New York and in the food and beverage agriculture, industry there are, there are brand new products coming out. They're brand new brands that are happening today.

 

82

00:19:04.920 --> 00:19:09.590

II have you been involved in any of those kind, that type of work?

 

83

00:19:09.890 --> 00:19:27.950

Maureen Ballatori: Yeah, we do a fair amount of family of brands work and also helping agriculture. Focused companies launch new products. And specifically, there's some grant funding available to do that. Usda has some value added processing grants available for agriculture businesses

 

84

00:19:28.140 --> 00:19:45.980

Maureen Ballatori: that will help fund making it possible for them to, you know, add some longevity and shelf stable you know, timeline to their agricultural products, which helps them diversify. You know their revenue and make them more secure for the future. You know it's an excellent program.

 

85

00:19:46.050 --> 00:19:58.440

Maureen Ballatori: So I would say more. So we're doing family of brand work where it's a farm that is creating a new line of products. What do we call it? How do we position it?

 

86

00:19:58.450 --> 00:20:21.209

Maureen Ballatori: Or we wanna take? And there's a couple that I've gotten the pipeline that unfortunately, I can't share the stories yet. But that, you know, they've got like a core line of products. And they wanna sort of sidestep into something else. That's kind of a brand extension without losing the traction that they've already gained in their current line of products. That's another example where we'll kind of help them

 

87

00:20:21.440 --> 00:20:48.109

Maureen Ballatori: with, what should you call this? How do we make this look similar to the current line of products without changing too much, but making it clear to the consumer when they're looking at your line of products on shelf, that this one is different from that one and a lot of also packaging work. You know, we're doing for food and beds, too, that uses color theory to help differentiate different, you know, flavors and that kind of thing. We're doing a lot of that as well.

 

88

00:20:48.350 --> 00:21:12.699

Maureen Ballatori: Interesting. Alright. So you just said words that 90 theory confusing color language, right? So when you think about, I always I try to pull examples that are at my fingertips. But I have nothing right now.

 

89

00:21:12.700 --> 00:21:18.960

Maureen Ballatori: When you when you go to buy your favorite pasta sauce right?

 

90

00:21:18.960 --> 00:21:29.029

Maureen Ballatori: You are used to looking for the bottle with the red logo, and the I like the blue one, right? Because that is the traditional sauce, or whatever it is.

 

91

00:21:29.230 --> 00:21:34.380

Maureen Ballatori: so that color language is what communicates to the customer that this

 

92

00:21:34.680 --> 00:21:52.900

Maureen Ballatori: product, my logo, is red, and this label has touches of blue on it compared to this. One has touches of green on it. Help that customer when they're in the grocery store, and they're grabbing for a product to immediately be able to hear color language. Right? What? This is mine. This is the one that I like.

 

93

00:21:53.300 --> 00:22:00.449

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Okay. The the way that I have been I have talked about this before, and I was taught

 

94

00:22:00.450 --> 00:22:25.510

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: was, when you're designing your product or your service. You want to make sure that it fits on the same shelf as everything else, but stands out exactly. Yeah. And and and the way you just talked about it that's called color language makes perfectly good sense, you know, you do not want to package your sauce to look like an oil can.

 

95

00:22:25.600 --> 00:22:46.320

Maureen Ballatori: Right? Right? Yeah. And I'll also say that there are times where you can have a lot of fun with that. So there's a line of hot sauces called general something that puts it in. They they make a custom glass bottle for the hot sauce that's shaped like a grenade.

 

96

00:22:46.570 --> 00:23:12.539

Maureen Ballatori: So the beautiful thing about that is, they are different, right from everything else on the shelf. Everything else in the hot sauce aisle is generally, you know, a squat bottle, right? You know. You can, right? They're generally all packaged the same. So when it when you see one that's shaped like a grenade, that is an example of how Brand story can help be

 

97

00:23:12.540 --> 00:23:18.489

Maureen Ballatori: brought into the entire strategy of a brand. What is the is it worth

 

98

00:23:18.530 --> 00:23:22.249

Maureen Ballatori: investing in getting a custom bottle shape made

 

99

00:23:22.500 --> 00:23:35.059

Maureen Ballatori: for my hot sauce. Or you know, we're working on a water right now. That's coming on the market. When you think about highly competitive products water, right? I mean something you can get for free. But as a

 

100

00:23:35.060 --> 00:23:54.359

Maureen Ballatori: a in some cases right, if people are lucky enough to have access to clean fresh water. But in other cases there's a lot of instances where there's high competition in the water category. So you have to kind of determine is the investment in this thing, whether it's brand or bottle shape, or

 

101

00:23:54.360 --> 00:24:14.689

Maureen Ballatori: you know the packaging identity for the labels. Right? All of that. That's gonna pay off in terms of alignment with my customer, and then being able to find me more easily and me stand out. And you know that grenade Hot Sauce Company is highly giftable right? So they can now go after gift sites

 

102

00:24:14.690 --> 00:24:31.249

Maureen Ballatori: and have, you know, locations in terms of online or brick and mortar stores, and have a whole different channel and ability to stand out because they went down the rabbit hole with that shape. And so there's lots of ways that you can stand out as a brand in the execution of those tactics

 

103

00:24:32.150 --> 00:24:53.760

Maureen Ballatori: interesting. So now we're getting maybe a little above my pay grade when you say honest, I wanna say one more thing about that to Michael, and why it does relate so closely to the work that you do, too, is because from a financial aspect.

 

104

00:24:54.020 --> 00:25:20.519

Maureen Ballatori: the business has to be able to project right, at least with good in, you know, to feel good about that investment, to believe that it's gonna pay off, because I will never promise a brand. You know that factors change. Pandemics happen right? You never know. I will never make a promise to a brand that you invest in this specially shaped bottle that it's gonna yield 10 x

 

105

00:25:20.700 --> 00:25:22.710

Maureen Ballatori: in a result. Cause you just

 

106

00:25:22.720 --> 00:25:49.860

Maureen Ballatori: don't know. But working with someone like you, you can help them understand? Okay, what is the cost of getting a custom mold for this? And what additional channels of sales opportunities is that gonna open up for you? And if you reasonably project that, you've got 10 new sales channels. As a result of this investment, the numbers shake out like this. And so even if you hit 80, you're still looking good.

 

107

00:25:49.860 --> 00:26:05.950

Maureen Ballatori: So that's why partnerships with, you know, folks like me and folks like you are all really important for all types of businesses, but especially family businesses, where you've got multiple opinions in there. And you need that justification, too. Of is this the right move?

 

108

00:26:06.150 --> 00:26:08.089

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Love it? Okay.

 

109

00:26:08.320 --> 00:26:11.649

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: let's talk about

 

110

00:26:13.090 --> 00:26:14.190

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Agency

 

111

00:26:14.290 --> 00:26:32.350

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: agency 29. So it it makes perfectly good sense. Now, you know, 29 design studio sounds like we are graphic design house. We will help you with all of those pieces when you say agency. Now we've added in services. So

 

112

00:26:32.570 --> 00:26:47.470

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: since 8, you know, since you started 29, just did it there? 29. Design studio? What are some of the services? What are some of the things that you know be beyond the world branding? What else are you doing for family own businesses that

 

113

00:26:47.490 --> 00:27:03.529

Maureen Ballatori: they ought to be able to know about? They should know about? Yes, we do a lot of strategy. So. And it's similar in the to you that the sense that we're both doing strategy work. Ours is brand focus strategy work, right? So

 

114

00:27:03.530 --> 00:27:20.209

Maureen Ballatori: in that vein it can be. How, again, how do we talk about who we are? How do we articulate? You know what is gonna resonate with our customer? Who is that customer? What is the competitive landscape look like? So that's all. Under that kind of brand strategy umbrella.

 

115

00:27:20.210 --> 00:27:44.089

Maureen Ballatori: one that we're often also asked to do is a mess. We call it a messaging platform. So that's messaging strategy work. How do I talk about understanding who I am? How do I talk about that. What is the content that goes on my website and on my cell sheets. And in my radio ad, because I reach farmers with radio ads, right? So it can be. Those are some examples of strategy.

 

116

00:27:44.090 --> 00:27:56.609

Maureen Ballatori: We also venture into marketing strategy work as well. What kind of channels should I be utilizing to get the word out about who I am and what I do now that I have a clear understanding of what that is.

 

117

00:27:57.350 --> 00:28:13.220

Maureen Ballatori: and then the identity work right, the brand identity work that we've we've talked about pretty extensively here in terms of logo packaging that sort of thing. We do a fair amount of websites as well. And then we do some ongoing marketing.

 

118

00:28:13.240 --> 00:28:28.100

Maureen Ballatori: at these days in terms of you know, you're asking about like what's changed and honed as we've continued to grow. We are pretty selective about the types of marketing and retainer engagements that we take on on an ongoing basis.

 

119

00:28:28.560 --> 00:28:33.900

Maureen Ballatori: because we really want to work with folks who come to us at the strategy point

 

120

00:28:33.980 --> 00:28:54.890

Maureen Ballatori: that we can help hone all the way through, so that by the time we get to marketing we both know who each other is. Right. You know how we work. We know how you like to tell your story, and so we can then pretty simply in the grand scheme of things. Right? Run your social media channels, send your emails, you know.

 

121

00:28:54.920 --> 00:29:06.349

Maureen Ballatori: put campaigns together. That kind of thing, not to say that we don't in rare circumstances also work with, you know others that are just coming in, hey? I need support with a campaign, you know. Can you make it work?

 

122

00:29:06.370 --> 00:29:19.830

Maureen Ballatori: We'll do that that sort of thing on an ongoing basis on occasion. But most of the time that strategy brand building refinement and then ongoing marketing is our typical engagement these days.

 

123

00:29:19.980 --> 00:29:27.699

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So I told you before we started, that we have just been going through creating our new strategy and putting.

 

124

00:29:27.700 --> 00:29:52.740

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: yeah. So I wanna drop a few words and a few things for you just to see you know. Get get your feedback. So one, you know all of the people that we serve. They're they're looking to grow, their revenue, grow, their profit grow. The value of the business, or they're dealing with people problems, and they need to get through those things. So that's you know, we call our core customer curious, George.

 

125

00:29:52.740 --> 00:30:08.140

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: there is. George is, you know, the 55 to 75 year old business owner, that the type a personality. They got this stuff done, and they might be second generation even, and you know, or third generation. But they're still in that mode of getting up done.

 

126

00:30:08.170 --> 00:30:21.550

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: But they're curious to say I'm open to learning more. They're not just. They're not just my way or the highway. They're looking for it. They're tired of being the CEO,

 

127

00:30:22.020 --> 00:30:23.839

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and they wanna be the CEO

 

128

00:30:24.420 --> 00:30:39.899

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and make that shift from everything's on their shoulders to, you know, developing a full team. So we have. We create. And I've heard this. And you're gonna I know I'll be surprised if you don't love this. So we visual hammers.

 

129

00:30:40.100 --> 00:30:45.119

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And so we're big giant. II can't remember who I got that from. I wanna say

 

130

00:30:45.910 --> 00:30:56.099

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: trout is was some branding guy, and his daughter came out with it, and I don't remember who it was, but they the the the visual hammer. We have

 

131

00:30:56.170 --> 00:31:10.019

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: one for leadership, you know, CEO leadership team development. We have one for creating a culture of accountability, one for for creating company culture and one for strategy.

 

132

00:31:10.240 --> 00:31:25.959

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Okay, just recently you saw my one for strategy. It came that blog post that I did about my crazy socks. Oh, yes, that's right. So when we're talking about crazy, you know, when we're talking about strategy we're gonna be talking about. Don't be a base stock company.

 

133

00:31:26.040 --> 00:31:41.730

Maureen Ballatori: The whole logo and a visual hammer for that based off of that story. So each of these different things as we're telling the story to social media and putting those pieces out there, we can drip on that. And

 

134

00:31:42.390 --> 00:31:44.780

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know mine came from

 

135

00:31:45.110 --> 00:31:57.740

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: a lot. I mean years it it probably years of me festering with these things, putting it together. And then we interviewed a lot of Ceos to figure out what we need to do to get their

 

136

00:31:57.800 --> 00:32:07.869

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I love what you're doing. And and the the name change is gigantic. I know that you know big deal

 

137

00:32:07.890 --> 00:32:14.160

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: 29 design studios your baby. So thank you, baby, and say, Oh, we're gonna change, you.

 

138

00:32:14.310 --> 00:32:28.169

Maureen Ballatori: you know, she's just graduating from college, you know. She's yeah. She's just growing up a little bit. But the other thing I want to reflect back to you, too, that you just said is

 

139

00:32:28.610 --> 00:32:30.890

Maureen Ballatori: the changes that you're making in your business.

 

140

00:32:30.970 --> 00:32:39.919

Maureen Ballatori: and the reasons why you're doing it them are because you took the time to step back right and reflect on

 

141

00:32:40.110 --> 00:32:49.920

Maureen Ballatori: mit Ctl. And what was working. What were your customers asking for when they came to you. What are the challenges that they're facing? And you take? You take in all of that information.

 

142

00:32:50.310 --> 00:32:53.140

Maureen Ballatori: and you kind of let it marinate and reflect

 

143

00:32:53.400 --> 00:33:12.119

Maureen Ballatori: on what? What should I do? What do I want to do with this information? And then you make decisions and determinations from there? And so in terms of actionable information that your listeners can take away from this. That is a a great one, that I often tell colleagues and folks that I'm working with the importance of reflection.

 

144

00:33:13.010 --> 00:33:26.309

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Awesome. II think it's so important. I wanna give credit to the person who created visual hammer and and make sure that I don't do that. Come on, ale, rice

 

145

00:33:26.310 --> 00:33:50.639

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: our ies was is her father more Rice, who came up with the visual hammer. And when I read that book, and it's this white hammer with all kinds of Logos on it, and then red head on it. When I read that I'm like, I want a visual hammer some day. And so it was. When we're doing this rebranding. It's not about my logo being the visual hammer

 

146

00:33:50.640 --> 00:34:01.399

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: things that are the keys to running a successful business and and and making that transition. And so each one of the social media posts will have.

 

147

00:34:01.400 --> 00:34:16.509

Maureen Ballatori: you know the different visual hammers and what we're teaching. So which all letters up to the brand? Right? That's who you are and why you do it, and who you serve. And all of those things are elements of your brand.

 

148

00:34:16.530 --> 00:34:17.310

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah.

 

149

00:34:17.500 --> 00:34:30.820

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: when we talk about strategy work, one of the things. So I don't do what you do, and that will make sure people understand that there is an intersection between what we do. II help.

 

150

00:34:30.820 --> 00:34:51.119

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: II do 2 things when we're building strategy or 3 things. One is that core customer work which that work and that's, you know, fun. It's really cool and like I said, I named them, and I love it when the company's name, who their core customer is, and you should only have one, or maybe 2, core customers.

 

151

00:34:51.280 --> 00:34:54.949

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  and then we do market mapping

 

152

00:34:55.060 --> 00:35:09.760

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: so you could see the whole arena. And and we want not just your customers, but everybody. You know, all the customers that are out there all of the suppliers, and I know that's a lot of the work that you do as well. On

 

153

00:35:09.760 --> 00:35:26.919

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: the strategy piece. My favorite part is going through and looking at in your industry. What are all the different attributes of the industry? Not so much, you know, like like pricing, is usually one of the attributes might be, you know.

 

154

00:35:26.920 --> 00:35:51.819

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: 24 h service or or no 24 h service, you know. I see what are the common factors for the industry things that are happening. Yup, we try to get 12 or 15 of those we map out where you are today. We have a way of mapping out the competition against that. And there's a special, unique way that we lay overlay that. And then all we're looking for is whitespace.

 

155

00:35:51.950 --> 00:36:03.670

Maureen Ballatori: Where is the where? Where? Isn't there competition in areas of attributes in that marketplace that make a difference for them so that we can help them to compete to be unique

 

156

00:36:03.760 --> 00:36:05.490

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and not just the best.

 

157

00:36:05.520 --> 00:36:12.810

Maureen Ballatori: and that they don't have to do everything on that list right? So how do you? How do you work with a company to help them

 

158

00:36:13.130 --> 00:36:23.050

Maureen Ballatori: determine that for themselves. Right? So you've got these 15 factors that are kind of industry standard of well, I've got to have 24 h service. And I've got to have this 15 things.

 

159

00:36:23.100 --> 00:36:30.320

Maureen Ballatori: How do you help them determine which ones are right for them that are, gonna help them stand out and fit into that. Find that white space

 

160

00:36:30.320 --> 00:36:54.660

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: right? It it. It's going back and looking at that core customer and say, What do they want? It is not what they want. I said that I missed both. What do they need have to need it? And you have to be able to solve that problem with those things. And then what one of the so like? You would come in then and take those pieces that we just put together and help create the brand story.

 

161

00:36:54.660 --> 00:37:09.680

Maureen Ballatori: the the everything around those pieces. And then we create swim lanes, and what we'll do. And and I think my favorite is Southwest airlines Southwest airlines. If you think about them, you can tell their story, and they've got

 

162

00:37:09.680 --> 00:37:37.149

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: probably 5 or maybe 3 or 4 really core things that they do differently free. We're gonna have fun on the flight. We we load our passengers differently and we don't. You can't find us on the normal system. You've got to come to our website, we, flight point to point. We only fly 7 37. So attributes of their industry and

 

163

00:37:37.180 --> 00:38:02.150

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  if you look at, they tie them all together. They're interdependent. And but then, so we create swim lanes at the 3 to 5 different activities that you're gonna do differently and figure out, okay, what are we doing next to make that even stronger and keep flexing that muscle, so that when you put it all together, you create this little secret sauce

 

164

00:38:02.550 --> 00:38:05.260

Maureen Ballatori: no one can compete with. Right?

 

165

00:38:05.430 --> 00:38:06.530

Maureen Ballatori: Yeah.

 

166

00:38:06.610 --> 00:38:13.489

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Yeah. So II thought I would share that with you, because that's something different. But again I go back to them. Take all of that.

 

167

00:38:13.540 --> 00:38:42.799

Maureen Ballatori: and we will have. We're gonna have to do this with some of our, you know, a joint client one of these days, and we'll create this wonderful, unique strategy and then be like, now we gotta go to see Maureen. Yeah. But I so what I'm hearing you say is, you kinda take those 12 things, or 15 things, or whatever it is, and kind of start to ask some of the hard questions, too. Of this is the industry standard. But what are some of the ways that we could do this differently?

 

168

00:38:42.800 --> 00:39:08.689

Maureen Ballatori: And so then those items of what those swimlanes are, and what are the factors that you're doing differently? Ladder up again to who you are, who you serve, why they should care. What are what is the story that you're telling that's gonna resonate with this customer and gonna make them care about the swim lane. Right? So that's how those things are so interconnected. And I think the other

 

169

00:39:08.740 --> 00:39:12.359

Maureen Ballatori: factor that's so essential. Family business or not

 

170

00:39:12.600 --> 00:39:22.509

Maureen Ballatori: is the ability to execute on those items as well right to take the abstract understanding of that swim lane, of that brand ladder, of that

 

171

00:39:22.590 --> 00:39:26.279

Maureen Ballatori: clarity of who you are, and be able to

 

172

00:39:26.300 --> 00:39:48.379

Maureen Ballatori: disperse it in your day to day marketing in the way that you answer the phone in the time that it takes you to respond to an email right those day to day, belly up to the bar way that you come to the table are what make a difference in a company versus a brand, too.

 

173

00:39:48.380 --> 00:40:07.589

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And you we call that you want to get to the point where all of these swim Lane activities all these, you know, differentiating activities ran promise. And so when you have that brand promise, and, like the the famous one was, you know, dominos will be there in 30 min, or

 

174

00:40:07.700 --> 00:40:20.110

Maureen Ballatori: and that was a huge brand promise. But everything that they did on the production side, on the taking of the order side, and everything they did had to interconnect to make that brand promise come true. Absolutely

 

175

00:40:20.470 --> 00:40:21.550

Maureen Ballatori: so. Yep.

 

176

00:40:22.010 --> 00:40:28.610

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I II love talking about strategy and the brand piece.

 

177

00:40:28.640 --> 00:40:32.260

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: It's taken me a long time to really understand

 

178

00:40:32.320 --> 00:40:52.660

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: the brand side of things. II was. I was focus, strategy, strategy, strategy. But what through people like you and others, is it that that brand is all of those pieces? And then what is the visual component that ties it all together and makes you feel that

 

179

00:40:52.660 --> 00:41:04.449

Maureen Ballatori: right right in those min those minor moments, right in the major moments of where are you showing up, and how? But in those small day to day pieces as well?

 

180

00:41:04.760 --> 00:41:15.929

Maureen Ballatori: I'm gonna ask you another question. Going back to. You know, we're talking about a lot of the positives, right? Of how people can work with you and work with me and our teams.

 

181

00:41:16.330 --> 00:41:25.700

Maureen Ballatori: What are some of the ways challenges right? Looking at the flip side of the coin, what are some of the ways that you see?

 

182

00:41:26.670 --> 00:41:30.210

Maureen Ballatori: Brands, companies, family businesses falling short.

 

183

00:41:30.880 --> 00:41:33.480

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Hmm, good question. Well, I think

 

184

00:41:34.040 --> 00:42:02.109

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: number one, I think for, and and the family business side that the biggest mistake I think that they make is that they don't tell people with their family business. That is the biggest mistake. There's the Edelman trust factor or Edelman trust barometer is a a study that's done every single year, and every single year, when you look at the trust barometer, it says family owned businesses have a 7 to a 10 point

 

185

00:42:02.450 --> 00:42:06.240

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: more trust than a non-family business competitor.

 

186

00:42:06.610 --> 00:42:12.970

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: It's interesting, and that's for the con for the customer and for their employees.

 

187

00:42:13.570 --> 00:42:36.309

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: II think the the flip of that, though, is the moment you start telling people that you're a family business up to it. And that means that means that now you're responsible for those core values that you say that you're doing. You better really mean that they mean they have to have some team. What do you? What do you? What do you see?

 

188

00:42:36.490 --> 00:42:52.349

Maureen Ballatori: I would say I, one of the common challenges I see when folks come to us before, not after. Of course they're clear as day after they leave after they leave us. But is confusion.

 

189

00:42:53.100 --> 00:42:55.030

Maureen Ballatori: right? So they.

 

190

00:42:55.360 --> 00:43:07.559

Maureen Ballatori: I had a conversation with someone recently who said, I'm doing this. I'm doing this, I wanna go in this direction. I wanna do this thing. I wanna do that. I see opportunity over here, or I wanna delegate to my team.

 

191

00:43:07.810 --> 00:43:11.210

Maureen Ballatori: But none of those things are happening right? You're not able

 

192

00:43:11.290 --> 00:43:21.189

Maureen Ballatori: to. Unless you are an expert delegator. You've got a team that can take things from you and run with them and get on board with your idea

 

193

00:43:21.310 --> 00:43:50.780

Maureen Ballatori: that it that it gets it's challenging to get to that place, and it can be done. But so I would say, confusion over who you are and where you're going is the biggest issue that we abstractly right help companies overcome. And so once you go through this deep work right? The strategy work is deep work. When you do that deep thinking and reflection and set intention and add clarity to that direction.

 

194

00:43:51.310 --> 00:44:16.180

Maureen Ballatori: What happens? Brands are more successful. Companies are are making more money because they're walking the walk because they're living that promise right. All of those things are coming to fruition because they're moving forward with direction and using that as their barometer. For is this the right decision for me? Is this the right hire for me. Is this the right new service channel for me? Because they have that

 

195

00:44:16.380 --> 00:44:18.519

to kind of benchmark against

 

196

00:44:18.570 --> 00:44:36.870

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and love what you just said, and III say it this the same. You said it way better than I'm going to say it, but I just use one word for it focus. And so and and I say this because it was. That was 2023

 

197

00:44:36.920 --> 00:44:56.810

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: when we step down with the team to do our planning work for the year, and we do quarterly. We it's it doesn't stop. We're always quarterly meetings to go through. What are we doing? You know. Where are we at, what are we doing? But we do a 2 day kick off every year, and when we look at what our goal is for the year, we list

 

198

00:44:56.810 --> 00:45:23.789

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: the number one priority that has to happen for the year in order for us to to be successful, and that our team came back and everyone on the team said the same thing. We need to finish our marketing and sales funnel we need. We need all the points to connect, so that you know all the the messaging is right, and remember, we're we're changing, you know, putting the pieces together, I will tell you. That was the hardest thing

 

199

00:45:24.060 --> 00:45:41.489

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: for me to do this year, because it was like, and I just I just talked to my vested group and I shared with them. I'm like, you know it was. It's a tortoise in here kind of feeling. I'm ready. I should be jumping out and doing all this stuff and and going with all of these, you know

 

200

00:45:41.530 --> 00:45:52.699

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: pieces the the puzzle. But with the puzzle not being complete, it won't make sense. So I needed to slow down. One steady is gonna win this race. And alright, so

 

201

00:45:53.240 --> 00:45:56.659

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: it took us a year instead of the 6 months that we were hoping

 

202

00:45:56.750 --> 00:46:22.410

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: right. But it's better that it's right. Yes, and then the the long term scope of things we are gonna be much happier that we've got all of our marketing funnel built and done, and everything fits, you know. If I start turning on that marketing and all those I've I've got 40 blog posts and about 200 different social media posts ready to go

 

203

00:46:22.760 --> 00:46:27.149

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: if I turn them on. And the website doesn't have the message that alignment

 

204

00:46:27.590 --> 00:46:50.810

Maureen Ballatori: I totally agree. We we are in the thick of that right now. So by the time this podcast go, lot goes, live. We will have gone, live with the agency, 29 brand. But in the moment, right now, we're doing all of that building. And it is. It's painful. You know, we're writing the blog posts and updating the website and changing. You know this and that it's all of those little things.

 

205

00:46:50.910 --> 00:47:17.169

Maureen Ballatori: and then but paying attention to those items as well, understanding where you're going, what that direction is, waiting until you have all the pieces built out before you flip the switch is gonna mean that it's gonna resonate that much more with that customer that you're trying to reach, because it's all aligned. So yeah, I'm gonna share something with you. This is totally off the topic, but totally relevant. Okay.

 

206

00:47:17.390 --> 00:47:19.430

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: have you ever heard of the 5 F's.

 

207

00:47:19.650 --> 00:47:32.089

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: You know. III know people talk about the 5. That's faith, family fun, fulfillment, finances and fitness. Okay?

 

208

00:47:32.430 --> 00:47:34.960

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: And I. So I

 

209

00:47:35.220 --> 00:47:59.269

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I coin this as I was as I was looking at the what I did with the business group. It's not the 5 Fs, it's the 6 apps app is focus. Because if you don't focus on your family, you work too much. If you don't on your finances, the, you know. So you you need to in in different times. In our lives we need to focus at different things.

 

210

00:47:59.270 --> 00:48:12.549

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Sometimes you're trying to balance, and then they're compete with each other. But you have to remember that whatever you don't unless you focus on it, it doesn't happen all of this for the family businesses. Yeah.

 

211

00:48:12.650 --> 00:48:28.930

Maureen Ballatori: So do you follow. You mentioned that you do your annual goal setting, and then you're doing quarterly as well. So you set your annual kind of vision, and then your meeting Quarterly. Do you use a framework for that like we do? We recently shifted over to the 12 week year.

 

212

00:48:29.130 --> 00:48:38.920

Maureen Ballatori: so that, moving from an annual goal setting of. Oh, we'll get there. We'll get there. We'll get there, and then we would get to the end of the year. We weren't terribly far off of the goal, but we didn't hit it

 

213

00:48:38.930 --> 00:48:48.799

Maureen Ballatori: for the last couple of years, right in terms of financial goals or whatever, so that shift for me to 12 week year, and looking quarterly has made a huge difference. Great?

 

214

00:48:48.990 --> 00:48:56.550

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: The answer is, yes, we. We coach a program called metronomic. So we utilize internally.

 

215

00:48:56.760 --> 00:49:02.809

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: If you, if you you you've heard you might have heard of scaling up. You might have heard of.

 

216

00:49:03.030 --> 00:49:07.969

Maureen Ballatori: Yep, I follow Eos as well. So 12 week year, and I love Eos.

 

217

00:49:08.020 --> 00:49:11.770

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So Eos does a really great job of

 

218

00:49:12.470 --> 00:49:17.739

Maureen Ballatori: implementation and execution. That's what they're framework is.

 

219

00:49:17.740 --> 00:49:42.669

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: We take. So all of these programs. The most part they came from Vern Harnish is scaling up and mastering the Rockefeller habits. Most people don't know that Wickman was a former scaling up coach. Yeah, yeah, Shannon. Cisco, who's the founder of metronomics, was a former scaling up coach. And they all just kind of you know, Gino said. I'm gonna simplify this for the businesses that are doing under 10

 

220

00:49:42.670 --> 00:49:48.089

Maureen Ballatori: 10 million dollars, cause all they really need to focus on is getting stuff done and executing.

 

221

00:49:48.710 --> 00:49:53.430

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Shannon was Dick focused on startups that we're trying to sell.

 

222

00:49:53.730 --> 00:50:10.830

Maureen Ballatori: And so if you're trying to sell, you're trying to get to multi multi millions and as quick as you possibly could, trying to sell as in take the business to acquisition. So it wasn't we? She wasn't even thinking about under 10 million. She was thinking way past 10 million.

 

223

00:50:10.960 --> 00:50:23.009

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and so hers was very, very strategy. Rich. So when you heard me talking strategy, I could. You know you're not in your head going? Oh, yeah, that that's really cool. I like what he's thinking about. And you.

 

224

00:50:23.320 --> 00:50:44.219

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So that's where that came from. We went through and did our  attributes map, you know, we had to look at things like, of course, if you know, because we're wealth advisors, you want the tax plan. You want the investment. You want that stuff, and we had to look and say, at what level is.

 

225

00:50:44.880 --> 00:50:48.150

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: do you need to be at at each of these different attributes.

 

226

00:50:48.160 --> 00:51:17.659

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and so, like us, some of the attributes that we really decided to push into the white space were, how do we show up for the family? What are we doing to strengthen the family and the businesses that we serve? We use metronics to strengthen the business we use total family management and family meetings and our understanding of family dynamics to help strengthen the family, and when you put those pieces together it helps with the legacy. But it was like that

 

227

00:51:17.880 --> 00:51:26.340

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: there was other business coaches out there. There's other wealth devices out there. But there wasn't a lot of people working in that space where they did all of those things.

 

228

00:51:27.160 --> 00:51:31.710

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I don't have to have a degree in psychology to be able to run a family meeting.

 

229

00:51:32.110 --> 00:51:33.230

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I just need.

 

230

00:51:33.890 --> 00:51:35.520

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: you know, so

 

231

00:51:35.830 --> 00:51:42.340

Maureen Ballatori: I love what you're doing if you're sitting in a room full of family businesses right now.

 

232

00:51:43.320 --> 00:51:50.690

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: what are the 3 questions that they should be asking themselves to think about their future.

 

233

00:51:52.040 --> 00:51:54.980

Maureen Ballatori: Well, the first one that comes to mind, I would say.

 

234

00:51:55.380 --> 00:52:06.690

Maureen Ballatori: for the family to all talk about where they're going, and get on the same page about that. So what do we want this to look like for the next generation to come in?

 

235

00:52:06.780 --> 00:52:18.559

Maureen Ballatori: So if we're talking to generation 2, who's transitioning to 3? I would be talking about. What do we want this to look like for Jen 4 to come in right. So clarity on that direction.

 

236

00:52:18.870 --> 00:52:40.919

Maureen Ballatori: I would say, another good question is, what kind of resources do we wanna allocate to making this happen? Because some some folks just don't want to invest right? They don't feel comfortable. They wanna they feel they don't wanna add fuel to the fire. They just wanna go the slow and steady and make micro changes along the way. There's nothing wrong with that.

 

237

00:52:40.920 --> 00:52:56.069

Maureen Ballatori: Others. Wanna throw money at it so they can go really, really fast. They want the Ferrari right? So the both of those approaches are totally fine, and that it comes down to resources. How much time, energy, and effort and money do we want to put into this

 

238

00:52:56.120 --> 00:53:13.720

Maureen Ballatori: to make it go to move the car right, and a car is probably a good analogy for many reasons. Third is, I would say, how are we going to communicate? I get on the same page about communication, which I firmly believe is the strongest area of

 

239

00:53:13.880 --> 00:53:34.969

Maureen Ballatori: foundational work that any person can do. Talk about those 5 Fs. You know. Communication is a pillar that relates to all of those you could be to be a great communicator means conflict resolution with your team, with your spouse, with your children, with your parents, you know all of those. So Ca, understanding how you're gonna communicate

 

240

00:53:35.010 --> 00:53:46.549

Maureen Ballatori: and bring opportunities to the table, bring challenges to the table, bring difficult conversations up. If you can get everybody on the same page about how you're going to communicate, it makes the outcome of those much simpler.

 

241

00:53:47.140 --> 00:53:48.130

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Love it.

 

242

00:53:49.240 --> 00:54:02.519

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC:  you said something I wanna make I wanna I wanna tie it in real quick, and then we'll. But what you said is, I want to know where my, where I'm going. And we were talking about the the 12 week

 

243

00:54:02.610 --> 00:54:13.590

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: program or email. Those things I'll share with you. One of the things that made a huge difference for us is the setting of a 30 year goal.

 

244

00:54:13.880 --> 00:54:31.599

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: 10 is minimum. But for me. I'm 55 years old. It'll be 56 in a couple of weeks and a 10 year goal. Most people are retiring at that time, so I guess I was doing my design work. I found myself having one foot on the gas and one foot on the break

 

245

00:54:31.740 --> 00:54:32.600

Maureen Ballatori: right.

 

246

00:54:32.610 --> 00:54:54.759

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: and so, by setting by moving the goal out to say, What are we gonna look like? 30 years from now, when I'm not even here, and then pulling it back to the one year it helped. It really helped to make sure that the direction was very, very clear. And so I would one. You do that for your families. What do you want to look like in the fourth generation

 

247

00:54:54.760 --> 00:55:08.409

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I would throw to you. Take your 12 week. That's fine, but get a really good be head that that 1020 for the agency, 29, when I'm not at the helm anymore. What is this gonna look like?

 

248

00:55:08.410 --> 00:55:38.160

Maureen Ballatori: Right? And we've done some thinking around that in terms of in terms of what the future. But it's it is very hard to plan out that far right, you know. But you're right. Setting comes down to focusing. It's not planning all it is is a north star, right? Pull the bowstring back on that, you know, on the on the bow and arrow the odds of getting it, cause it's 30 years out.

 

249

00:55:38.500 --> 00:55:53.719

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: I don't know you. You might surpass it more than your wildest dreams, but at least you're gonna get close and it helps. And it helps that 3 year and the one year goal setting it up a little bit. That's why.

 

250

00:55:54.300 --> 00:55:59.729

Maureen Ballatori: Maureen Belitory, before we say goodbye. Is there any? How do people get a hold of you?

 

251

00:56:00.470 --> 00:56:28.910

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: So Linkedin is honestly the best place I am frequently putting information out there as as you are. I know that we're you're in my feed. Often I make a point to share value, added valuable information. On that platform. So that's that's the best place to stay in touch. Perfect Maureen Balatore Agency 29. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for a fabulous show. This was just a lot of information. In a short period of time.

 

252

00:56:29.010 --> 00:56:49.079

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: Make sure you reach out to Maureen on Linkedin and connect with her just a rock star in the branding and strategy work. And just you not gonna go wrong. Take a look at her portfolio of people that she's worked with and Fee Brothers Jonathan.

 

253

00:56:49.250 --> 00:57:04.429

Michael Palumbos ChFC, CBEC: There. My name is Michael Columbus. You've been listening to the with family wealth and legacy, and Rochester, New York. We've been listening to the family biz show. Thank you. Everybody for joining us, and we really look forward to having you listen in on the next episode have a great day. Everybody.

If you’re a family business or a family business consultant and want to be on the show, share your story and help other family businesses, send us an email to producer@thefamilybizshow.com or fill out a contact form here!

*not affiliated with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.

Michael Palumbos is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Family Wealth & Legacy, LLC is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. and its representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a legal or tax advisor regarding any legal or tax information as it relates to your personal circumstances.

CRN-5972728-092523