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113. Plan an EPIC 2017 By Applying This 2 Pronged Planning Mindset And These Key Metrics — With Jessica Mah!
Ash RoyJan 24, 2017 4:26:01 PM35 min read

113. Small Business Planning Strategies For Annual Breakthroughs

Small Business Planning Strategies That Deliver Sensational Breakthroughs You Desire Every Year

 — With Jessica Mah


Related EpisodesJessica Mah!




Ash Roy          0:00

Welcome everyone. Our guest today is the founder and CEO of That's spelled indie, and she loves helping entrepreneurs run better businesses. She provides accounting, tax, payroll, and a whole lot of back end services and virtual CFO services, which allows businesses to get far more out of their strategy and forecasting than the average CPA accounting firm offers. She was featured on the COVID of Ink 5000 September 2015 issue. I'll say that again, she was featured on the COVID of Ink 5000 how do you say inc 5000 magazine cover.

Jessica Mah    0:42

Of Inks magazine at the end of last year.

Ash Roy          0:46

Okay, perfect. She was featured on the cover of Ink magazine at the end of last year for her huge three year revenue growth. We also had her as a guest on Episode 66 and we're delighted to have her back. Welcome, Jessica.

Jessica Mah    1:02

Thank you. Great to be back.

Ash Roy          1:04

Awesome to have you back. So Jessica, the last time we met, we talked about the importance of planning and its impact on a business. We talked about how the act of planning in itself, regardless of the plan that comes out of that act of planning. The act of planning puts you into a certain frame of mind that is very important for success. It forces you to start thinking in terms of resources and start thinking like a true entrepreneur, where you're looking at getting the maximum output from the input of your resources. So let's pick up the conversation from there. And can you talk a little bit about useful tips that our listeners can take to really kick off 2017? By the way, we're recording this in December 2016. It's probably going to be published in early 2017. So any useful tips you can recommend or resources to really get a Kickstart in 2017, that would be awesome.

Jessica Mah    2:05

Yeah, sure. I mean, let me start by talking about what we're doing at Indanero as it pertains to 2017 planning

Jessica Mah    2:16

at Indonaro. We're roughly 200 full time employees now and we're growing a lot and things are changing non stop every day. Something smooth. I just got a note today that we hired like a few new people who just started a few hours ago and there's constant change. But the problem we had maybe even 612 months ago, is that our planning was just not as robust as it had to be. So I'd say at the 50 employee mark you decided to do quarterly. OKRs? So you could look this up online, google, intel, all these great companies use OTRs objectives and key results.

Ash Roy          2:56

What's that again?

Jessica Mah    3:00

Objectives and key results.

Ash Roy          3:02


Jessica Mah    3:02

Where basically you have some objectives like we want customers to love us, and then you have a key result around that. So the customer satisfaction score will be X, just as an example. And so we started studying what all these other big companies were doing as their best practices. Andy Grove, the founder of intel, writes about this in his book, high Output Management. So I highly recommend that. And so we started applying that throughout our business, and then we did that over the past 18 months, and then we realized, wow, like quarterly OTRs and some planning around the quarterly goals, that's just not enough anymore. Like now that we're a bigger ship, it's like when you're an aircraft carrier, it takes a lot more to move the ship one way or another. And that's more where we're at today. So now you've gone through this five, six week planning exercise where we have every single person in the company building a plan. And I think the major misconception is planning is up to the CEO and to the management team to build. I think that that's a real old school way of looking at things. Planning should be done by every single person in the company. So what we're doing is we're requiring every single person. I don't care if you're the janitor, I don't care if you just started two days ago. You need to review the plan for your team and add comments to it and add critiques to it the way I would add critiques to it.

Ash Roy          4:31

I love that. You know what, that's such a simple but revolutionary idea. I didn't I have to confess, especially having come from the corporate world, I have always thought so hierarchically and I was so wrong. You're absolutely right. Planning can be done at an individual level.

Jessica Mah    4:48

Yeah, it can be done. And it gets so much more buy in. You get better ideas, and your plans are more likely to actually succeed if you get ever you want to contribute. And so we're excited about that.

Ash Roy          5:04

But let me play devil's advocate from Amanda. If every individual is planning, what's the risk? Or isn't there a risk of having too many cooks spoiled the Broth syndrome?

Jessica Mah    5:15

Yeah, there is. So what I think is a good middle ground is you have, like, the team lead and maybe two or three confidants, put together the outline and the basic gist of the plan, and then you have everyone else come. In and kind of say, hey, you might want to add that or remove that, but at least you have some basic foundation in place already. So they might not be writing it from scratch, but they're still contributing.

Ash Roy          5:43

Okay, that's awesome. So that's a really fantastic tip right there for any business owner. I think that's fantastic to be able to get your team to start contributing at all levels to the plan. So I'm actually going to start implementing that in my business because I think my team have a lot of great ideas and I'm not getting their involvement so formally. I'm always looking for their involvement, but I'm not doing it as formally as that. So that's something to start doing. Can you point us to some kind of a resource or something like that that allows you to do this is that that OKR thing you were talking about?

Jessica Mah    6:21

Yeah. I mean, I'd say look up OTRs. Look up High Output Management by Andy Groves.

Jessica Mah    6:29

And I'll see what else other documentation I have on this. But if you just search Google OTRs, you'll find a lot of good stuff on it.

Ash Roy          6:39

Cool. Will do. That's awesome. Okay, so what document or document management system or tool are you using for this planning?

Jessica Mah    6:50

It's pretty simple. It's all in Google Docs. And the concept is that each person or each plan should be no more than five pages long because some people could write like chapters and chapters worth of plans. And the goal is to have it be as simple as possible. And so five pages, you could have an unlimited appendix, but it's merely an appendix. I'm not going to really read your appendix. I'm just going to look at and some Google Docs Google Drive shared with everyone, so it's fully transparent.

Ash Roy          7:20

Cool. Well, we were talking just before our interview about how I'm using Google Docs with my team, and we have standard operating procedures. And I was just explaining to you how I have my team ask me questions within that Google Doc or that standard operating procedure. And then I respond to the questions and that gives me some insight into what is missing from that standard operating procedure. And then we sort of roll it up into the SOP and the question and answer bits are removed. So it's almost a living document. The SOP the standard operating procedure and Google Docs are really fantastic to do that because the minute somebody else updates it, you see the update on your end and vice versa. And it's a very seamless way, as opposed to, say, Microsoft Word, where you got to track changes and that kind of gets painful. That's got its benefits, I'm sure, especially in a legal situation where you're looking at the changes the lawyer made. But when it comes to SOPs and stuff, google Docs are absolutely awesome.

Jessica Mah    8:21


Ash Roy          8:22

I highly recommend that to anyone listening. Google Apps for work is one of the best things I've done with my business. Google doesn't have the best UX, the best user experience. I don't think they still get it. They're not like Apple in terms of their minimalism, but they're very useful. So they're definitely something to think about. Okay, so that's a great tip to really get 2017 absolutely rocking for your business, get people involved at the grassroots level in the planning process because it puts them into a certain mindset, which we touched on in the last time, the last episode where we spoke in episode 66. And that is it forces the person to think constructively, to think about things that can be done, not to focus on things that can't be done, but it really puts it into a can do mindset. You're really asking yourself and your team the question, well, what are we going to build in this year, not what's going wrong in the business, not what are we struggling with, and there is a time to do that, but this is not it. Right. And so that brings up an important question, or my next question, which is when we go into a forecasting planning strategy session, can you give us some good tips to go in with the right mindset?

Jessica Mah    9:47

Yeah, I'd say that we need to have two mindsets. And I've sold all the stuff to my entire team, so they're used to hearing me bench about this a lot. But I say on one hand, you want to shoot for the moon, everything is possible. We're not going to go in with any constraints. We're going to dream really big. And you got to give yourself permission to do that, knowing that once you're done with that type of planning, we're going to do more conservative planning where it's all right, things are going to go wrong, everything's going to be messed up, and we need to think about every dependency that could prevent us from hitting our goals. So you got to go down this parallel tracks.

Ash Roy          10:29


Jessica Mah    10:30

Yeah, go ahead.

Ash Roy          10:32

What I was just going to say is I just want to

Ash Roy          10:35

clarify something here, and that is when we are talking about the things that can go wrong, the devil's advocate approach, we are not talking about why we think things are going to go wrong, we are talking about a Pragmatic approach. We are saying here's what could go wrong, but we're not looking for reasons for it not to work, which is a slightly different mindset. And I just want to bring that out.

Jessica Mah    10:58

Yeah, it's a very good distinction.

Jessica Mah    11:03

We need them to be constructive about it because it's easy to say, oh yeah, these schools are ridiculous, they're outlandish. Like, here's why it will never work.

Jessica Mah    11:13

I think you mentioned this when we first started recording this planning exercise has gotten everyone to step out outside and think, wow, there's so much good stuff we could be building if you just take your time to think about it. And this entire exercise has allowed them to open, change their mindset from the omen, like, we're just doing the daily grind. And here's why we'll never hit stretch goals to wow, we actually have a way to move forward here. And I think that's another reason why it's important to have everyone contribute, not just the higher ups.

Ash Roy          11:47

Do you know what else I think is really awesome, Jessica, about this approach? I'm falling in love with it more and more as you talk about it very often. Especially when we are removed from the processes at a senior level in the company, or even if you're a very junior level in. The company and removed from the processes that the senior person is doing. You tend to think in a linear fashion about that role because you don't have as much

Ash Roy          12:12

closeness to that role. But when you're actually doing the role and you adopt the planning mindset, the owner mindset, the entrepreneur mindset, rather than

Ash Roy          12:24

the minion mindset, for want of a better term, when you adopt that entrepreneur mindset, you can think in terms of the paradigm shifts in terms of your role. Right? So let me try and think of an example. Let's say I've got someone who's creating

Ash Roy          12:46

documents. That someone who's creating invitations for guests on my show. If I'm at the top of the business, I'm just thinking in terms of, okay, they got to type it out and they got to create this and then this and this part and this part and this paragraph and so on. Whereas they might start thinking, well, hey, I can achieve the same result by recording it on audio or something. I'm just thinking out loud here. But they can completely revisit they reimagine the role.

Jessica Mah    13:16

Yes. We're starting to see those results actually happen because of the fact that everyone gets the chance to contribute. So we're already seeing the ROI there where other people aren't getting that from their employees at all. I'll have more stories to share with you next time.

Ash Roy          13:35

Oh, yes. We have to talk again. Yes. Okay. So

Ash Roy          13:40

what works well in terms of preparing for these sessions? Then we go in with a dual mindset. We go into the mindset of here's what can go absolutely awesome, and here's what can go totally wrong. Is there anything else that we need to come to the meeting with a whiteboard and a piece of paper? Do you recommend not bringing in laptops? What are your suggestions?

Jessica Mah    14:04

Yeah, let's still go back and talk about the structural set up for this one, we have to have really strict deadlines. First draft due on this day, second draft due a week and a half later, and then final draft due a week and a half after that, because otherwise these things will drag on forever. And then we got to remind people, hey, deadline is coming up in two days, guys. Make sure you're on it. And between the first draft and the second draft, here's what I expect to see from all you guys. So that's really important, having the deadlines. And then three, the resource planning is what really stresses people out. The money stuff, oh, I could hit these goals, no problem, Jessica. But I want to need to hire all these people. Can you fit that into the budget? And it's a really good question,

Jessica Mah    14:54

because they're right to a certain extent, they do need the budget. But on the other hand, it's stressful because I'm looking at my money, and I'm thinking, man, I'd really love to do that. I just don't know if I could afford it. So the way around that is to have resource constraints instead of giving them a fixed dollar budget, as all the companies do. All right. Your team gets a million bucks, your team gets $3 million, or whatever the number is. Now I'm setting targets like, all right, service team, you could hire as many people as you want as long as the gross margins are X percent. Sales, marketing team, you can hire as many people as you want. You can spend as much as you want as long as the PDAC time is Yemenk. Okay? You got to fit into this model. And as long as my CFO says the model is accurate and you're pumping out the right numbers, you can do whatever you want.

Ash Roy          15:50

Okay, that's good. So you're giving them an extra level of responsibility. You're not saying, here's how much money you can spend. You're saying, here's the

Ash Roy          16:03

amount of return I need, and I don't care how much you spend. That actually brings up a very important point. It reminds me of a quote that Buffett said, right? Price is what you pay, value is what you get, or something like that. Is that right? That is the quote. So I have as my business is starting to grow, I am also starting to think differently about expenses. And that is, I no longer think of expenses in terms of dollars. I think of it in terms of value and return on investment. So to me, spending $10 on something that's going to return a $5, spending $10 on something that's going to give me a $5 return is much more expensive than spending $100,000 in something that's going to give me a million dollars return.

Ash Roy          16:50

So it's not the metric of the dollar value. It's a lot like when you, you know, talk about stock price. The stock price doesn't matter. It's the PE ratio that you're looking at. That's what determines how expensive a stock is. The stock prices are relevant. So I think we need to have a similar approach in terms of expenses. And I hear that's what you're kind of doing with your team.

Jessica Mah    17:14

Exactly. And it takes away the stress and anxiety from the planning exercise. It allows them to dream big and to think big. But no, they have to also work within your economics constraint, so to speak, instead of a dollar number constraint.

Ash Roy          17:30

I don't think so, because it's not so one dimensional. Right. You're not saying to them, hey, this is how much you can spend. You're saying to them, I don't care how much you spend, just deliver value. Just make it work.

Jessica Mah    17:44

Exactly. It's forcing them to work smarter, not just harder. It's forcing them to think through, how do we actually get more efficiency from each person so that we're not just filling bodies in the room, which is.

Ash Roy          17:56

The worst thing to think. Like entrepreneurs, not like employees.

Jessica Mah    18:00

Exactly. Yeah, you totally get it. And they get it too, and they love this, I think.

Ash Roy          18:09

See, when I did my MBA, I was very interested in incentivization structures and things like that. And I always believe that a lot of incentive structures are built really stupidly. So, for example, a lot of CEOs in the corporate world actually are compensated based on the stock price of the company or that's a significant part of their contract. So if the stock price falls below a certain amount, they start getting penalized, which is nuts because there are so many things that affect the stock price. And then that's compounded by the fact that the stock market measures the CEO's performance

Ash Roy          18:46

in quarterly results, which is insane for a company like Apple, because it's like measuring that Titanic by the performance of one rudder or whatever the term is. It's nuts. So I just think that incentives can really influence behavior in a major way. It doesn't matter what you say as the owner of a company. It doesn't matter how encouraging or discouraging you are. Well, it does, but what matters is how you incentivize people. If you give people some amount of freedom and you give them some amount of leeway and you say, hey, if you make this work, there's a cut in it for you, it may not be equity in the company, it might just be part of the profits. They're going to be a lot more motivated. I remember three M used to have I don't know if they still do, but three M used to have 30% of their employees work they could spend on doing projects of their choice as long as it was somewhat work related. So that gave them a lot of freedom to work on their own things.

Jessica Mah    19:50

Yeah, it's great. These are really creative things that different companies are doing. And I think the real question is for your company, which ones are you going to adopt yourself? And I'm trying to steal everyone's good ideas, but even then there aren't enough to go around, so I'm trying to come up with new ones.

Ash Roy          20:07

Yes, fair enough. Well, you're welcome to steal as many of mine as you like because you have great ideas yourself. And you mentioned earlier on that your team has been using a lot of this stuff from my website and that just made my day. So thank you very much for doing that. OK, so let's talk about by the way, do you have a hard close soon? I just I forgot to check when we finish.

Jessica Mah    20:34

Oh, yeah, it's at like 1255.

Ash Roy          20:37

So is that in about seven?

Jessica Mah    20:41

That's no, no, another 17 minutes.

Ash Roy          20:45

Oh, cool. Okay. All right, so let's talk about metrics. Now, we've already touched on it, so we've touched on metrics and the answer is there is no one metric to really help a business increase their performance. But here's one metric that probably isn't necessarily the best and that is like a one dimensional metric, which is like you can only spend so many dollars. I think what I've heard from our conversation is let's try and

Ash Roy          21:17

put in a metric that ties in responsibility and entrepreneurship into behavior. So the metric wouldn't necessarily be you can only spend a million dollars on this project. The metric might be you can spend whatever you want on this project as long as your return on investment is more than, whatever, 10% or your payback period is less than one year.

Jessica Mah    21:45

Yeah, exactly. No, that's completely right. And if we're some creativity on the CEO's part to come up with that metric or work with your CFO or your accountant or whoever that is, call me if you need help on it and I'll talk to you about it.

Jessica Mah    22:05

I remember hearing all my friends from big companies saying about how they're fighting over every penny in the budget and if you don't use it, you lose it. Right? Yeah, that's company thinking. And I thought, oh my God, that's horrible. If my employees are using it or losing it and you have to ask for more budget, because if you don't ask for more, then you lose it and it goes for another.

Ash Roy          22:23

They're just burning. That's such a public service mentality, isn't it? A lot of the government institutions that comes from the government institutions where if I don't spend a million dollars in this financial year, then I will lose some of my budget, so I'm going to spend it on buying Crayons or something.

Ash Roy          22:42

I know exactly what you mean. And that's a terrible way to think. It's such a destructive way to think.

Jessica Mah    22:47

It's so destructive. So we're not going to play by those rules and do that at Indonesia. And we are a finance, accounting, tax, financial timing company. So we think about this a lot more probably than many of our peers do. So that helps. But these things are easy to do. Anyone could do that. It's just that this is our bread and butter, so we're forced to do this, whereas our friends may not be forced to do it.

Ash Roy          23:18

Okay, so what metric is your favorite one.

Jessica Mah    23:25

Of all these guys, as far as the financial constraint metrics are concerned?

Jessica Mah    23:34

I really love the cost of acquisition PVAC number.

Jessica Mah    23:39

So basically, sales and marketing, they want to spend money on whatever it may be. They want to spend money on a sales rep or on an advertisement or on more headcount. Right. And look at the total budget for what you're spending on that team, and you look at the total amount of money that that team is bringing in, you could calculate how many months does it take for you to get a return back on your money.

Jessica Mah    24:08

So if you bring a new customer, you're losing money on that customer for how many months? Until you start making a profit.

Jessica Mah    24:17

And the best practice for software companies is you want to keep that to be under a year. It gets to be really expensive cost of acquisition. So you've been playing around with that number a lot. Happy to send over an Excel model.

Ash Roy          24:31

For you that'd be awesome. Can we link to that? Is that okay?

Jessica Mah    24:36

Yeah, absolutely. I'll send it to you. Just remind me. I'll send it to you later.

Ash Roy          24:40


Jessica Mah    24:40

And you just plug in the total headcount cost. You plug in your gross margin on your product or service, and then I'll output the month of payback time you're currently paying, and

Jessica Mah    24:53

you want that to be as low as possible, but it doesn't have to be under six months if you're willing to invest a bit.

Ash Roy          25:00


Jessica Mah    25:02

Yeah, I'll let you play around with that. That one's great. Gross margin is super important. People don't pay enough attention to gross margin, but it's an obvious one. Having the R and D team keep their own PNL is also a very interesting concept that I've been promoting internally. So normally, research and development and engineering, they're seen as a super long term, futuristic cost center, essentially, but really measure ROI from that team. Every product that you push out should have some ROI metrics to it. So, for example,

Jessica Mah    25:38

you might have a product feature that helps improve the efficiency of my service team. Right. Like, we do accounting. We're trying to automate away that accounting. So if the team automates away 100 hours of an accountant's time, there's some real economic benefits of the feature they built. So we could look at that over, like, a three year time frame, the estimated savings from that one feature, look at the cost that it took for us to build that feature and determine how much cost it the. Company will have made from that. And being able to show those numbers to the actual engineer who wrote that code, it makes them so much more motivated. They're like, wow, I helped the company make millions of dollars. Yeah, that's, like, really empowering for someone to hear, and they don't get that if they took a job at Twitter. Instead, it's like, Well, I made the feature to help them do this. Which may or may not have helped.

Ash Roy          26:35

But it's not quantifiable. It's a little bit like at the start of this conversation, before we started recording, you said, I have my team take just about everything you're doing. I get them processed to listen to all the productive, insight stuff, and I implement it in the business. And that just completely transformed

Ash Roy          26:56

my experience. It really motivated me massively when you get that level of feedback, and I think that's what you're saying that the more detailed the feedback and the more quantifiable the feedback, the more powerful it is. If it was just helping ten employees, that wouldn't be as powerful as hearing hundreds of employees are using my content. Wow, I got to produce more of this content. And the same principle applies to the engineers or whoever else is being given that feedback.

Jessica Mah    27:26

Yeah, exactly.

Jessica Mah    27:30

It's already making an impact having them hear that all across the board. And this is part of the 2017 planning. You were talking about. You have some goals that scroll all the way down and everyone knows how they're contributing to the overall company goal, even if their goal is to do something that might not seem like it directly impacts the company's revenue target. For example, they know that it's helping improve the gross margin, which helps us maximize their profit, which allows us to hire more people so they could see the chain. And it's a super transparent chain. Everyone deserves to see that. It'll make everyone more productive.

Ash Roy          28:11

That's great. Look, this conversation has just been transformative for me, and I hope it is for the people who are listening, because there is a whole lot of value in here. It may not be the simple, obvious stuff that I often talk about, but there's just gold in this. This is awesome. Okay, so one of the biggest challenges that you've noticed people have with implementing on these plans, and one thing that already I can sense is maybe there's a bit of complexity in measuring it and understanding how it ties back to the bigger vision. So do you need to maybe a way to overcome that is for you guys to spell it out a bit more or communicate that

Ash Roy          28:58

more transparently?

Jessica Mah    29:01

Yeah. So what we do at the start of the exercise, I put out the top goals. So I have a stretch goal and then a B sign goal at the top for one metric. For us, it's revenue and then the next layer. So Sales has a stretch goal and a baseline goal. Engineering Service Team, they all have a baseline and stretch goal. The customer satisfaction score should be X versus Y.

Jessica Mah    29:32

And then if you go down the chain, another layer, then we let them help come up with their number one metric that ties into that parent metric.

Jessica Mah    29:46

It's a trickle down process. So you trickle down the goals and then you trickle back up the plans is how it works.

Ash Roy          29:54

Nice. So you trickle down the goals and trickle up the plans. I love it. Okay, so actions and summaries. This is the action section. So some of the key takeaways for me are get every single person involved in building a plan. Planning doesn't have to be at the top of the company, which is how I thought about it till we have this conversation. It can be done at an individual level you talked about. OKRs, and I'm going to Google that and put a link in the show notes for that. I'm also going to put a link in the show notes to that Excel model that you were kind enough to offer so our listeners can check that out. That's something they can implement in their businesses straight away. In terms of mindset for planning, you go in with a two pronged mindset, and one is one side is shoot for the moon, and the other side is ask yourself what could go wrong? And I want. To point out this is not about find things that can go wrong. It's more be a pragmatist and say, what could go wrong with the point of view of and how are we going to address those challenges if they happen? Not, okay, this is not going to work. This is not going to work. We don't want to go in with that approach because that's not how you build businesses. We talked about having strict deadlines so people are clear about when they have to achieve the first draft, second draft, third draft. So things don't just keep unraveling into the ether. The idea is that you're not going to fill in all the planning that you want

Ash Roy          31:36

into infinity. So by having a strict deadline, you say, okay, this is what we're going to get in for the first draft, and if we want to get more ideas in, well, that can go into the next year's plan or the next draft or whatever it is. So by putting a time constraint on it, you're more likely to get something concrete. We talked about constraints, resource constraints in terms of metrics. So rather than going for a simple one dimensional metric like you can only spend a million dollars this year, you go with you can spend as much money as you want as long as you return more than 10% return on investment or 20% or whatever it is. So you're giving responsibility to the person who's

Ash Roy          32:22

aiming to spend the resources. You're saying to them, you manage it and make it work. And if you can't find a way to make it work, then you need to rethink whether you want to spend that amount of money. You can also use payback periods. You can use different

Ash Roy          32:40

KPIs or different metrics that tie in a multifactorial level of accountability to that resource investment. And then we talked about stretch goals and baseline goals, and that's sort of tantamount to the shoot for the moon and the pragmatic mindset, they kind of tie into each other. And then we talked about a trickle down approach to goal setting and a trickle up approach to planning.

Jessica Mah    33:13


Ash Roy          33:14


Jessica Mah    33:15

That is a really good summary of everything we talked about.

Ash Roy          33:20

Awesome. Well, I'm glad I took some notes, but I remembered a lot of that because you made such an impact on me. So maybe it's the geeky CPA in me that's coming out, but I just remembered a lot of the stuff you said. So thank you very much. That was absolutely awesome. Now, how did listeners find out more about you? I know you have an awesome blog. I was checking it out before we spoke. So how did listeners find out more about you? How do they get access to your blog and when are you coming back?

Jessica Mah    33:49

Yeah, I mean, I'm around any time, so you just give me a call. But yeah, you can check us out at Indiana combined. or email me If you have more questions about planning, forecasting, budgeting, accounting, tax stuff, whatever you want, just shoot me a note. Happy to help out and I'm a resource for you and for all your listeners. Happy to be part of your community.

Ash Roy          34:19

Cool. Well, if you're listening

Ash Roy          34:23

if you're listening and you want to get access to the Shannon, just head over to and type in Jessica Ma. And that's spelled Jessicamah and that will bring up this conversation. Now, I've changed my URL structure, so it used to be the forward slash the name of the guest, but now I've just gone with a numbering approach after episode 100. So I don't know what number this is going to end up being, but I'll try and include that after I get clear on what number it is. So thanks so much for being on the show, Jessica. It was just so awesome. Thank you for saying that. Wonderful thing about the fact that hundreds of people are using productive Insights content that's just made my day and please use more of it and we'll work on something together in the near future and maybe we'll come up with some useful piece of content for our listeners or our readers.

Jessica Mah    35:18

Not happy to. Next time, maybe you could talk about what are the top things that how do we apply the concepts that you put out to a workforce of 200 plus people and how to access that? That might be really cool.

Ash Roy          35:33

Yeah, let's do that. Let's do it. I'll be fine. So the next one we'll talk about is how to do planning at grassroots level and make it happen. Perfect. That's a great idea. Let's do that. All right, we can't wait to have you back on the show.

Jessica Mah    35:51

Thank you.

Ash Roy          35:52

Jane here.

Jessica Mah    35:52

And hey, we'll be in touch, all right?

Ash Roy          35:55

Yeah, absolutely. And hey, I was pretty serious about doing some kind of a collaboration, as I think you were, too. So what I'll do is the first step is I'm just going to upload my course. I've been dragging my feet on it a bit, but this is going to incentivize me, so I'm going to try and put that course into my website. I've just got to upload it into Learn Dash and I'd love to get your feedback. I'll just put in module one there and maybe if you think it's useful, I'm happy to offer it to you and your entire business for $1,000. But.

Jessica Mah    36:39

No, keep on going. Keep on going.

Ash Roy          36:42

I just don't want you to share that with other people because I don't normally offer this, but obviously the benefit I would be getting is I get a bit of publicity with your business and if they can share it with other people as well, that would be great.

Jessica Mah    36:57

Yeah. All right, we'll figure something out there. And I want to hook up with my staff tomorrow about how to take this to the next level and how we could apply even more stuff into the business.

Ash Roy          37:10

Yeah, well, I think the course would be a great start, because a lot of it, while it's not at a financial level, it ties in beautifully to what you're doing, and it allows you to it's something you could offer to your clients, because productivity is something that they would be looking for solutions around.

Jessica Mah    37:29

Yeah, I think this would resonate really well with them, actually.

Ash Roy          37:32

Cool. Well, I'll get that thing moving forward. I'm going away on the 14th, but I probably won't be able to finish the whole thing before then. But I'll definitely get you module one. I'll try and get it by the end of this week to you.

Jessica Mah    37:47

All right, sweet.

Ash Roy          37:48

Cool. Thanks, Jessica. I can't wait. I'm so excited.

Jessica Mah    37:52

Cool. Me too. All right, I want to run by it. See you next time. All right.

Ash Roy          37:56




Ash Roy

Ash Roy has spent over 15 years working in the corporate world as a financial and strategic analyst and advisor to large multinational banks and telecommunications companies. He suffered through a CPA in 1997 and completed it despite not liking it at all because he believed it was a valuable skill to have. He sacrificed his personality in the process. In 2004 he finished his MBA (Masters In Business Administration) from the Australian Graduate School of Management and loved it! He scored a distinction (average) and got his personality back too!