Work with me

I specialize in working with non-technical small business owners to streamline their business systems and processes.

Systems assessments | Fractional COO | Individual projects

Systems assessments

Feeling like your business growth is hampered by your systems and processes? You know your business is ready to grow to the next level, but things “aren’t quite in order.”

If you are nodding along reading this, then a systems assessment is the right next step. The LAST thing you want to do as a small business owner is invest in a system that isn’t right for you or your business.

When I work with you on a systems assessment, we:

  • Identify the business problem you are trying to solve
  • Define your success criteria for a successful implementation
  • Create a complete inventory of ALL of your systems. Because sometimes the best solution isn’t what you initially think it is
  • Analyze the business flow of data to optimize your workflows for your business
  • Discover the specific pain points in the existing processes
  • Acknowledge what is working — as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  • Develop a prioritized list of your system requirements to make an informed decision. No shiny object syndrome!

Depending upon the size and complexity of your existing systems and the number of team members involved, an assessment can be done in just a couple of weeks or can span a few months.

At the end of the assessment, you will have:

  • A current-state systems diagram
  • A prioritized list of requirements aligned with the success criteria we laid out at the beginning of the project
  • Clarity about what your next step(s) are (If you want my help moving on to the next phase, I’d be delighted to discuss with you what that could look like.)
  • Peace of mind and an understanding of how your business systems work

As business coach Dan Sullivan says, “All progress starts by telling the truth,” and I am a true believer in the value of assessments as a critical tool in any systems improvement project.

Are you a solopreneur or use just a few programs? My Boost Your Biz service focuses on a single system or process and may be a better fit for you. Learn more.

Fractional COO

When you consistently spend more time on systems and processes than in your zone of genius, it is time to consider a Fractional COO (Chief Operating Officer).

With a fractional COO, you save the expense of a full-time role but still benefit from a consistent voice who gets to know and understand you and your business.

Benefits of a Fractional COO:

  • No time and money spent educating the consultant on the specifics of your business
  • No whiplash from differing recommendations when you bring in different consultants
  • No waiting until the problem is urgent to find someone to address it
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As your Fractional Chief Operating Officer, I’m your strategic partner when it comes to making your business hum. We work hand-in-hand. You give me the vision of where you are taking the business, and I ensure that you have the systems and processes to get there.

I have spent almost 30 years helping businesses of all sizes grow — from four-person family businesses to some of the world’s largest household names.

I do fractional work on retainer. At the beginning of the engagement, we’ll work together to determine the right level of support for you and your business.

Individual projects

Ready for a systems upgrade but don’t have the time, inclination, or technical know-how to see it through?

I have nearly three decades of systems integration experience doing precisely this in organizations of all sizes — from global technology companies that are household names to family-run businesses.

My four-step process guides us every step of the way:

  1. Discovery & definition: Define the business problem and success criteria. (This looks suspiciously like my systems assessment)
  2. Landscape evaluation: Based upon the requirements defined in Phase 1, evaluate the potential solutions that fit the success criteria and desired budget
  3. Request for proposal: Lead the request for proposal (RFP) process to make the final solution decision
  4. Implementation: Act as the technical project manager to oversee the implementation on your behalf

You choose how far along the path we go together. Each phase is scoped separately.

Are we a good fit?

For me, a successful engagement is not only about doing excellent work in my zone of genius but also having a positive, collaborative relationship with my clients. I want to be happy when your emails pop in my inbox, and for you to feel the same.

About me

  • I have an uncanny ability to explain technical concepts in a way that non-techies can understand
  • I am a firm believer in work-life integration and boundaries
  • Systems (human, tech, and the intersection of the two) are my jam
  • I believe that small businesses are going to lead the way into a more human-centered workplace
  • Even though I don’t camp and rarely hike, I climbed (and summited) Kilimanjaro in 2010
  • While I may live in Brazil, I run my business through a US-based LLC
Jen Santos

About you

  • You are a non-technical business owner who knows that smoothly-running systems are essential to your business’ success
  • Your company culture is people-first
  • You engage with people from a place of respect but also aren’t afraid to disagree and give honest feedback
  • You are serious about building your business, but also believe that there is more to life than your work

If you’ve gotten this far and are thinking, “yeah, I think this could work out” then let’s hop on a call and get to know each other.