Small Company Feel With Large Company Resources

Welcome to the Rialto Marketing podcast. Today's episode is a revenue acceleration series interview where we talk to seven figure B2B professional service firm owners that are actively trying to grow their business and get to the next level. We talk about the good, the bad and the ugly so that you can learn from their experience.


Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Paul Riedl, Jr. for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Small Company Feel With Large Company Resources

Tim Fitzpatrick
Welcome to the Rialto Marketing podcast. Today's episode is a revenue acceleration series interview where we talk to seven figure B2B professional service firm owners that are actively trying to grow their business and get to the next level. We talk about the good, we talk about the bad and the ugly so that you can learn from their experience. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks to accelerate growth, and marketing should not be difficult. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am really excited to have with me Paul Riedl from River Run. Paul, welcome and thanks for being here.

Paul Riedl Jr.
Tim, thank you for having me. I'm excited to learn from you and also to share some of the stories that I've gotten over the years.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, well, I am excited to learn from you. I know we talked about a lot in our pre interview conversation. You got a ton of good stuff to share, so can't wait to dig into that. Before we do, I want to ask you a few rapid fire questions, if that's okay.

Paul Riedl Jr.
Of course. I'm ready to go.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Let's do it. Very quickly, what do you do and how long have you been doing it?

Paul Riedl Jr.
What I do is I run a company called River Run. We're a managed services provider, so an IT firm, and we act as the outsourced IT department for small midsize businesses. We also will act as an arm of an IT department for larger companies. Then we provide CIO or strategy planning services for organizations. I know I don't look it, but I've been doing it for 30 plus years. I'm trying to hide that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
In those 30 years, what's the most important lesson you've learned?

Paul Riedl Jr.
The most important lesson is, I'm going to say it's a two part, and I hope I can hyphen this for you, Tim, to make it perceived as only one. But the first thing is trust your gut. You've got to make sure that you trust your gut. I usually found that when I didn't trust my gut and I went against my gut, that my gut was right. So I had a lot of lessons to learn with regards to that. And then the other part about trusting your gut is empower your people. And then it's the old empower your people and get out of their way. That's the big thing that we want to make sure we're doing for us. So it's trust your gut, dash, empower your people.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. In those 30 years, ups, downs, do you have any mantra or motivational thing you tell yourself, share with your team to push through those tough times?

Paul Riedl Jr.
Yeah. The biggest thing is talking about mistakes. And when we figure out, Well, how do you get through tough times? You've got to make sure that mistakes are okay. They're perceived as okay. And what I tell our team is mistakes are okay. We want to make sure that we don't hide from them or we don't hide the mistakes. We want to make sure that we learn from the mistakes and share the mistakes with others so that we can figure out how not to make those same mistakes. And then the third piece that we've got is not to make them too expensive. So we work to keep the cost of mistakes down. But it's the big thing is just to empower our people to say, Let's make mistakes. Go ahead, give it a go. And if you make the mistake, identify it quick. Let's turn around, let's try something else. Let's keep moving forward. And trust me, I've made a couple mistakes over the last 30 years.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Hey, we all have. And I think I'm sure that your people really appreciate that. And frankly, it probably empowers them and allows them to take actions that they might otherwise feel scared to take that could really benefit the company. Because a lot of people, look, they don't want to get in trouble, right? But when you say to them, Hey, look, mistakes are okay. Just own it. Let's learn from it. Let's share it so we can all collectively learn from it and just move forward. So I love that.

Paul Riedl Jr.
One of the big things, too, is helping people push past the fear of doing that, Tim, because we do the... At the end of projects, we do what we call a debrief, and we talk about what was good and what needs attention. When we first started doing that, the feedback that we got after of people that participate, Oh, boy, it's just a witch hunt, and that's it. So we as the leaders made sure we're modifying the way we ask the questions. But we also made it said, Hey, you know what? Toughen up a little bit. We're here to learn. Nobody's getting thrown in front of the proverbial bus. It's all, let's figure this out and let's come to this meeting and say what you did great and what you didn't do well. Now it's just so funny because we've been doing this for a couple of years and it took about six months, I said, to get the cadence down. Now people come and go, yeah, I made a mistake. Here's what I did. Here's how I fixed it. Here's how I'm going to make sure that we don't do this again. It's cool to see the changes and the people embracing it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love that you do debriefs. I do the same thing. I call them project downloads, debriefs. I've heard people call them post mortems. I don't really like that name. But it's such a great way to learn and make adjustments in course corrections so that your processes in your system just continue to get better and better and better. I love that.

The Importance of Honing in on What You're Good at

Tim Fitzpatrick
One of the things that we talked about in the pre interview, you have shifted course multiple times. You've made some tough transitions. You've asked yourself those questions like, Hey, should we still be doing this? Can you give us just a quick overview of some of those transitions and what you've learned from them?

Paul Riedl Jr.
Sure. One of the big transitions that we did was moving from an organization that did everything under the sun if it was related to IT. We did programming, we built machines, we installed machines, we did cabling, we did everything under the sun. And it was okay back 30, 25, 20 years ago to do a lot of those types of things. But what we found is that what we did is we looked and said, What could we be great at? And what are we providing great service to our clients? And then what should we be carving out and saying, Hey, who else is great at this? So let's take the example of cabling and wiring. We really evaluated that and said, Well, we've got revenue that comes in with that. That's a good part of our business. But it's not something that I can look and say, Boy, we're great at that, because there's other companies that can do it even better. What we did is form strong partnerships with regards to that to get people to bring a better service value to our clients. And again, a lot of that is brought in by... They still go in under River Run, but it's designed, or it's a company that does that work for us, for our global company. So again, it's determining what type of service is. We've done some big transitioning with our leadership team. We had a very large leadership team. At one point, we had 43 people in the company, and we had a leadership team of nine people. That's a goofy odd numbers if you start looking at that. And so what we did is we actually had to figure out, Well, okay, how do we break this apart? Who should be on the leadership team and what roles should they have? We looked at what was crossover roles and where was somebody who's in that leadership team actually reported to somebody else that was in this leadership meeting as well. And so we did a book called Traction, and we followed their methodology. And so that helped us hone in on going from that 12 down to, well, here's the five leaders, and breaking it into the distinct areas of the business so that there wasn't overlap and that you had leaders in the meeting that the only people who they were reporting to was to me as the CEO of the company. We found that that really helped us honed in and strategize or hone in on being more effective and getting things taken care of quickly as we move through. Those are some of the big things.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love the fact that you, with the services that you guys were offering, asked yourself that question, What are we great at? Or what can we be great at? I think a lot of us, myself included, when we first start out, we offer so many things. In reality, there's just no way that we can be great at all of those things. When we get to this place where we're willing to say, You know what? No, I'm not going to continue to do these things because I'm not great at them. Yes, I'm going to do these things because we're great. If we're doing the things that we're great at day in, day out, our customers are going to be happier. Hopefully, what we're great at is what's also incredibly profitable. That is one thing that we should be looking at. We're going to be more profitable. Clients are going to be happy. They're going to want to refer us. There's so many good things that can come from really narrowing in on the services and saying no to the things that aren't a good fit.

Paul Riedl Jr.
Right. And it seems like it's easier to do that when you're making a product. In other words, you don't see car manufacturers making jeans and saying, Boy, the people that buy our cars also want jeans. Well, let's provide them both. As service companies, we tend to just go, Okay, we can do that. And you just bolt that on. And so we're very conscious of the one offs. We want to make sure that we don't have a lot of the one offs unless it's purposeful. And if we say, Boy, this is a one off. We're going to have to do this. And we see that this is going to be something that more and more of our clients need. Then we'll work to gain that expertise and say, Okay, this is a conscious decision that we're making.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's really easy to lose money on one offs because you don't do it enough. There's so many things that you don't have visibility to. Then you get into it and you're like, Oh, my God. That was a disaster. All these things happened. And that's why I think it really is important to really just hone in on what are you good at? Because if you're doing this stuff day in, day out, it's so much easier to become expert at it, have great systems and processes, and deliver a fantastic end result.

Paul Riedl Jr.
Right.

Providing a “Small Company Feel with Large Company Resources” Kind of Service Experience

Tim Fitzpatrick
Want to dig into a little bit about what sets River Run apart. The IT in the MSP space is no different than a lot of spaces. There's a lot of companies that are having a difficult time standing out and differentiating. Share with us a little bit about what makes River Run different.

Paul Riedl Jr.
One of the big differences that River Run has is that we've got what we call a team model with regards to the approach of how we service our clients. River Run, we're 73 people sized firm. And as we grew, we realized that when we got to a certain size that we didn't have that personalized touch with the client. And so that affected our ability to really build rapport with the client. And so when we think about technology, one of the things that we do as we train our people on this is we think about technology, we're not taking care of a technical issue. We're taking care of another human being on top of or on the other side of that technical issue. And so we work extremely hard to make sure that our engineers and our salespeople and our operations people and our billing people and anybody that's helping a client out, that they realize you're not taking care of a machine or you're not taking care of a software, you're taking care of a person. And so that's a big part to the success, because when we look at the relationships we have with clients, it's not just, Hey, they send in a ticket, we send e solve that ticket and boom. It's, Hey, tell us about what's happening in your business. Tell us about what's going on in your lives. How do we help you out? We look for ways to really connect with that person because a couple of things happen. Number one is the self serving part is that it makes the client not want to fire us. They want to keep working with us. It makes the client more forgiving if there is a mistake on our part. On the side for the client, the big benefit to the client is because we know them more in depth and at a different level, we're able to provide them with much better ideas, much better solutions, and we're able to anticipate some of their needs before they even know they have that need because we understand how they think, how they work, how they react to certain type of technology. And so because of that, we can make sure that we're bringing ideas to them. We also know them, and we can present those ideas in a manner that makes sense to them. And so what I mean by that is that we know some clients are extremely detail oriented, and they want just documentation and documentation, and they want to go through it, and then they want to go process it for an hour and a half, and then they want to process it some more, and then they want to have another three hour meeting talking about it. And we have other clients that just say, one line saying, you need this, and here's what you go, and here's the dollar amount. Okay, and that's fine. And we understand that because of the fact that we work with those clients more in depth. The other part to this is that because of that, we can really help solve problems faster for them. And by problems, I mean if they have a technical issue, they call in, it's, Oh, hey, Tim, remember, you got to stop hitting the any key, or stop putting your coffee mug down on the keyboard because that causes your printer to stop working. Oh, that's right. And so it's again, helping them move through those things faster and making it fun. So that's the big thing. And it's the cliché of what makes you different? Well, it's our people. Well, it's the focus that we have with our people. How do we get them to focus on that client? Not I'm just solving a technical problem and my job is to move it down the road.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Do you guys talk and share this team model with potential clients in the marketing and or the sales process?

Paul Riedl Jr.
We definitely do. We talk quite a bit about that because of how important it is. One of the taglines we use for that is that we say it gives you the small company feel with a big company resources. Because of the fact that we have the 73 people in the organization, that gives us a lot of strength and depth. And because of that, we can really tackle any type of issue that comes our way. But with the small teams, it allows us to build that rapport with a client and have them feel like, Oh, it's not employee number 73 taking care of me, it's Paul.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I'm not just another number in this huge ecosystem. I love that. I mean, it's a great differentiator. I mean, even as you were going through it, you're talking, Hey, we've got this team model for technical services. Now, that in and of itself doesn't necessarily mean much to the potential client. But when you start to go down and you say, Well, hey, it allows us to solve your problems faster. It allows us to give you a small company feel within a larger organization that has the resources to actually serve you at the highest level. Perfect. So hey, this is a differentiator. Here's what it means for you. One, two, three. And you're hitting on it in the sales process, letting them know, and you stand out because it's like the minute they're talking to somebody else, they're like, Oh, man, they're a small company. Are they really going to have the resources to hit us? Or if they're talking to a larger company, they're like, Gosh, we're going to be just another number. But at River Run, may we get the best of both worlds?

Paul Riedl Jr.
Yep, perfect.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love that.

Paul Riedl Jr.
You should be in marketing, Tim.

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How to Handle Lack of Focus and Consistency in Marketing

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, exactly. Let's talk about marketing a little bit. Consistency with marketing is one of the things that you mentioned is a challenge. And by the way, this is a common challenge that a lot of people deal with. Why do you think this has been a challenge for you, and what have you done to try to solve it?

Paul Riedl Jr.
Yeah, that's a really good question, Tim. And it's something that we do ask regularly. One of the reasons I believe that it has been a challenge is, I guess, a lack of focus. And I'll have to take the credit for that lack of focus on my part as far as saying, Okay, the marketing almost is an afterthought. Well, hey, let's go to market. Let's go sell. Let's go sell. Let's go sell. Well, but are we doing the marketing? Are we doing the business development piece? Are we positioning ourselves so that it makes it easier for the sales team when they're out in the streets? There's a lot of gimmicks out there, this gimmick marketing type stuff, especially in the man services world that we see. There are certain companies out there that they have just a lot of gimmicks and gimmicky marketing type things. What we're doing for our purpose is that we're focusing really on how do we make sure that we're perceived as thought leaders and not just the gimmick flashy type thing. It's how do we demonstrate that and how do we give value back to the world? Again, it sounds hokey, but the main focus is when we're doing marketing now, it's to get good content out there. And you promised that we get to talk about this. So I'll just touch it on a little bit as far as cyber security, that's a big thing that we're passionate about. And it's a big thing that companies need to understand more about. So what we're doing is we're putting out information three times a week about cyber security and about what businesses can do to keep themselves safe and what do businesses need to think about. And so we're finding that that's helping just get the attention. And it's also helping with credibility as far as, boy, they're not just out there trying to sell us something, or boy, if you buy IT services, you get a bike. They're not we're not doing that. It's actually staying focused on what's valuable to clients and helping them realize that. So I guess, again, it's to get back to the first part of the question. The focus hasn't been as detailed as it should be.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You touched on a couple of things here that I think are super important. One of the things that you just said was what's valuable to the client. Some of these gimmicky offers, man, if that's not something that's important to the client, it's not going to be effective. This is where it goes back to really understanding your ideal clients and what they value, what's important to them, the problems they have, the outcomes they're looking for. When you understand that, you can create things that are going to meet their needs and add value to them. With the consistency in marketing thing, you touched on one of the biggest reasons why this happens, which is just lack of focus. And look, it's not necessarily your fault either. I mean, especially today, information overload with marketing is alive and well. There are so many different marketing channels, so many different tactics, so many different people saying, You need to do this, or You need to do that. It's like, Man, what do we do when we're faced with information overload? Sometimes we just haphazardly take action. We take action without actually having a plan. And sometimes we just don't do anything because we're like a deer in the headlights. I think what I have found to be one of the best tools for consistency in marketing is just having a simple plan. And it's so easy to overcomplicate things, especially with marketing. I'm sure you see this on the IT side. I mean, there's so many different moving parts. You can make this as complicated as you want, but you really can't boil things down to simple. And when you do that, it makes it much easier to implement and execute. And it also makes it much easier for you to know exactly what your priorities are. You have clarity so that when all this information is coming at you, you have the ability to just say, Nope, not right now. Doesn't mean that I'm not going to look at that, but I'm not going to look at it right now because it's not a priority. But when we don't know what our priorities are and we're just haphazard about it, that's when I think it's easy to not be consistent. And sometimes it's a matter of taking on too much. We don't realize that we don't have the bandwidth to do all the things that we want to do, and we take on too much, and we start to do it, and then the wheels come off. It happens all the time. Thank you for sharing that.

Paul Riedl Jr.
One of the thing, Tim, that you had mentioned to me, too, Tim, and this is something that you had talked about before is just talking about the measureables, because that's another part to the marketing that I see. And that there are so many companies that come and they, Oh, we're going to do this for it. We're going to do that. But it's like, let's get down to the real measureables. And that's what's always impressed me when you and I have been talking as far as what can we measure? And then what are the results that we're going to get? And are we getting the results? And why are we getting the results? But also analyzing why aren't we getting the results? And treating marketing the same way you treat sales, because, again, if you look at, boy, the economy is going down. Well, let's cut the marketing budget today. What? No. Let's think that through. And again, it's what are the measureables that we hold important? And then are those measureables changing? Because that's the other success about working with clients is that when we look at measureables, the client's needs change. And so it's the same thing with marketing that, boy, we're going to market the same exact way. No, the way you market today is different from how you marketed a year ago, how you marketed three years ago, how you marketed during the COVID times. It's again, how you market. And that's what, again, like I said, when you and I have talked about what do you measure and how do you measure it? That's something that's always impressed me when you and I have talked.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, and I appreciate that, Paul. Marketing metrics are so difficult for a lot of people because there's so many of them. I think a lot of us are used to being fed metrics that don't mean a whole lot. I see this happening all the time. People are putting out metrics, marketing companies, consultants, agencies, whatever, putting out metrics that look great. Hey, we worked with so and so and we increased their web traffic by 50 % within the first three months. Okay, but you're only getting part of the picture. Was that the right type of web traffic? Was the web traffic converting? Did they convert to sales conversations? Did they convert to clients? We need to track it through the entire process to determine is this really a good metric? And it's not to say that web visits is a bad metric. It can be a good metric depending on what we're doing and what we're trying to track. But we really have to look at what activities are we doing? What's the end goal? Why are we doing these things? And that helps outline what metrics you're going to track. And I always air on the side of start small, right? Because you track too many numbers, it gets overwhelming. When in reality, what really matters is how many leads you're generating, where are they coming from, and are they converting to customers? That's the easiest place to start. Then you can start to get more advanced from there. Those are certainly not the only metrics that are important, but some people aren't tracking any metrics at all. When we don't track metrics, we don't know what's working and we don't know what's not working. And we don't have the information that we need to determine, Hey, do we need to make some tweaks here and continue to test? So metrics are super, super important. So I appreciate you bringing that up.

The Future Looks Great for River Run

Tim Fitzpatrick
I want to go through a couple more things before we wrap up today, Paul. One is, you mentioned this, you've got 70 something employees who've been in business for 30 years. What's next? What are your aspirations for the future?

Paul Riedl Jr.
The aspirations for River Run is to continue to grow the organization. My focus on the organization is to continue to grow, to continue to lead it, but it's to find the next Paul. Who's going to be the one who's the next heir parent that can take over the organization? I'm working at different types of ways to transfer ownership to different parts of different people in the organization. One of the things I've been looking at is the ESOPA model where you have the employee owned. And so that's something that I've been exploring. I want to make sure that I am phasing myself out and leaving it in a strong structure, but also rewarding the people that helped me get there who may not have the dollars to buy out the organization the way that some financial groups would do. My objective is, again, transition River Run to employees and be able to continue to grow. It's a continued challenge the people to grow inside of the organization. The things that I get very excited about are the people that have been with me for 25 years and just seeing them grow and go from, Well, one person was just an entry level engineer, intern, and now he's running a department. And it's like, Well, that's pretty cool. And another person, she came in and she was answering phones and then moved. And then I challenged her and said, Well, what do you think about managing a person? And, Oh, no, I don't want to do that. And then it was like, Well, sure you do. And nudging and getting people outside their comfort zone. And now she leads the sales team. And so she has eight direct reports. And so it's just neat seeing those types of things. And then for me personally, it's to be able to spend more time chasing my kids around wherever they are. I've got three kids and my oldest is 27, and I want to make sure that I'm hustling her as she's getting into her 30s and 40s. Being around to cause problems for her. And that involves me being able to get out and go do those types of easy to be able to spend time with them and have some of the free time. And then also things that I'm passionate about. One of the things I'm passionate about is how do I get more involved with foster care and with kids and mental health with kids? I'm on the board of a couple of organizations that we do focus on those types of things. And there's a lot of things that we need to make sure that we're gearing up our kids for and helping our kids have more mental strength as opposed to more thumb strength with the phones they spend their time on. So that's one of the areas that I am passionate. So again, it's being able to do that. And again, spend time with my wife. She's been a wonderful supporter of me throughout the years and me of her. But it's, again, it's time to spend more time with just she and I to go on and find some fun adventures to do.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. I love that. I love that you talk about kids mental health. I think it's so much different for my kids, your kids now, than it was when we grew up. With social media, there's just so much information. I was telling somebody this earlier today, I was like, Man, I wasn't mature enough when I was in high school. I don't even know if think I was mature enough when I was in college to be on social media. And we got kids now that are jumping on social media when they're whatever, 11, 12. It's just there's so much that we are asking of them when we open up that gate. And man, if you don't have a strong head on your shoulders, it's a high risk highlight reel. It is a place to go to get bombarded with negative information.

Paul Riedl Jr.
Your stance on that, Tim, it's right on. I would just think of when I grew up, there was a finite defined group of people that actually could influence me. It was my parents, my parents' friends, the kids from the neighborhood. There's always that troublesome kid that's the bully, and there's the kid that gets poked up. You've got your ecosystem that you got there, but you learned in that ecosystem and your parents were able to influence that ecosystem for you. And don't hang out with that kid. That kid's not, you know, that kid's not. Don't do that. And so they could influence that very directly. Whereas now, because of this, the fact that kids get on this technology and get out there so often, they're getting influenced by people we don't know and we can't control that ecosystem as much as we should. And that's where, again, the spending the time turning off the phone and spending time sitting on the front porch with the rocker and talking to the older people in the family, it's worth its weight in gold. Because you're right, you got to get kids with strong heads on their shoulders so that they can handle it and process the amount of information and go, No, that's not right. No, that's not right. Oh, this is good information. I'll do that. Oh, I have to work hard to become very successful. Not, Oh, I'm going to be successful overnight because I can flip a plastic bottle up and have it land properly. Again, what's real and what's not real? That's what happens. The other thing that terrifies me about the social media is that kids always feel like they're missing out normally. Oh, I didn't get invited to that party or this party. They could be at the best party in the world with all of their best friends, and they could see something else on social media that somebody posts and shows. It's so much more fun. And they're like, Oh, I'm missing there. How do you live always disappointed? Always. It's unbelievable. But enough about that. I think I can talk about that forever.

The Importance of Cybersecurity in Today's Business Landscape

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, so I want to talk about something else that's super important to you, which is cyber. You mentioned that. You've been dubbed the cyber security evangelist. Jump on the soapbox a little bit and tell us why that's important.

Paul Riedl Jr.
All right, I'm in. So the cyber security, it's something that people have to take extremely seriously. And because of the lack of time that we have here, the one thing that I want to make sure that everybody takes a message on is to ask themselves or ask their IT provider or ask their IT person is, do we have a security operations center monitoring and managing our security? And if the answer is no, then you need to get them or you need to find a security operations center to become a part of your technology. Riverrun, as I said, we're a 73 person strong firm. We've got technical skills all over the place. We have a security operations firm and company that we partner with that they provide that aspect for our clients. We have over 300 clients, and we take that service offering, that security operations center, and make sure that our clients have that service because it's so critical. What it involves is it involves professionals that all they do is security 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. There are specific tools that go on to a client's system that monitors and restricts and records and tracks trends. And then you have your maintenance that needs to be done on your system to keep yourself safe. So the security operations center piece is a big, strong piece because it helps the preventative, it helps keep you safe, but it doesn't eliminate the need to do the maintenance things and make sure your systems are upgraded and so on and so forth. The other thing that you really want to make sure you're doing is training your people because you could have the greatest security operations center, you could have the greatest security system. But it's like if you think of security as the same way you think of securing your house, you could have the best alarm system, you could have the best locks. But if your kids walk in the back door and leave the back door open at night, now all that security is gone. And that's in essence what happens, because there's a lot of people who they click on the wrong thing, they open the wrong file, they go to the wrong website, and they, at that point, are just leaving the back door open and saying, Come on in, bad actor. So it is those things that really make sure that you're educating your people on how do they do safe things, how do they act safely on the network, and then educate yourself about, What else do I need to think about and talk about today? Or what do I need to really understand about security? I do, three days a week, I send out just bits about cybersecurity because it's so important to just get information out to people just to understand what are the aspects that we need to be thinking about. And it's repetition. And this is something you and I joke a little bit about, Tim, is that when you're marketing things and you're selling things, you have to say it, give the message at least seven times before they realize that you're doing something. And so it's the same thing with cybersecurity. We've got to say it 70 times 70 times 70 times 7 because it's so important when you have a security event, it is a nightmare. It's like coming home at night, knowing that you locked the front door, knowing you left the one light on in the kitchen, but everything else is locked up. And you come home and your front door is wide open and you see the light on in one of the bedrooms and you see two doors locked and you see your neighbor's keys disheveled that you have because they're on vacation and you're wondering, did somebody come in and take those keys and go unlock the neighbor's house? Are they connected? Is somebody still in the house? Is somebody stealing something? What do I need to do? It's really important for you to make sure that you don't have that happen to you. And unfortunately, that old saying, and I don't have a different one, but it's not if it's going to happen, it's when it's going to happen. There's going to be some type of security event that you experience, and we want to make sure that I just... My objective and don't tell anybody is to put the bad actors out of business, but don't tell them because then they'll come after me even more than they do. Those are the things that we've got to make sure. I appreciate you letting me talk a little bit about that, Tim, but it's so important to just get yourself secure.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. It's not just a large company issue. They're hitting everybody. I don't know, you probably know this better than I do, Paul, but a lot of companies that get hit with cyber issues, especially smaller ones, have a very difficult time making it through it if they're not prepared.

Paul Riedl Jr.
You're 100 % right. If they're not prepared, it's hard to recover, especially if they don't have a solid backup solution that's separate from their network. The recovery part, when you look at numbers, and I don't like to throw them out usually, but what the heck, we're looking at the average cost of a cyber event that involves ransomware is about $723,000. And that includes the ransom you have to pay, that includes the lawyers you have to involve, that includes the security company that has to clean it up, that includes any types of fees you may have to make, that includes payments you might have to make to help your clients recover if you've damaged them and things like that. So that $723,000, that's a lot. And the bad actors, they know basically the insurance policies of a lot of companies as they're going and attacking them. And so they know what amount to ask for. It's their business, and they take it very seriously. And they just keep looking for loose change and knock and the doors down. And so that's again, where it's important to be secure, because again, it's like if you picture them just walking down your block and trying the front doors of everybody, well, the people that didn't lock their door as well or have a latch on a screen door is their own security. They're the ones that the bad actors go into because in essence, the bad actors are lazy. They want the quickest payback, so they want to get in as quick as they can and get out and off they go.

Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
Thank you for sharing that because it's a super important message. Is there anything you do differently in your journey?

Paul Riedl Jr.
That I would do?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Paul Riedl Jr.
Oh good golly. What day is it?

Tim Fitzpatrick
What's the first thing that comes to mind? How's that?

Paul Riedl Jr.
The first thing that comes to mind, it gets back to the first lesson that we talked about, and it is the trusting your gut. What would I have done differently? There's a lot of times where I would have trusted my gut sooner than later. There's a lot of times where I allowed the culture of River Run to erode because I didn't have the difficult conversation and I didn't hold certain people accountable. And so I made a decision to allow the culture of River Run to erode at times because I didn't say, You don't behave this way. That's not how you treat others. Yeah, you may be great at sales, or, Yeah, you may be a great tech, or you may be great at this, but no, this is not how you get to behave inside of River Run. And so it gets back to that old, if you allow that behavior to happen, that becomes your culture. And so those are the things that I just really take to heart and really think through as I'm making decisions. There's another thing, too, that I did learn, and that is a phrase that a good friend of mine gave me. He said, as you're looking at situations, because I'm a very inquisitive type of guy, and so I'm always asking questions. But he said, you know what, Paul, you need to You need to ask this question to yourself first. It doesn't need to be said, slash asked. Does it need to be said by you? And does it need to be said or asked now? And that's, again, a big, powerful piece, too, because we as leaders don't realize the effect our questions or the comments that we make have on people. Hey, I'm just a simple guy. I'm just Paul. What's the big deal? Well, I guess I'm the boss, and I don't see myself that way. But the new person that's been working here for a year and a half may go, I don't get to spend a lot of time with Paul. He just asked me a question. That's scary. And that's one of those things that we just have to realize the power that we have as we work with our team members.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where can people learn more about you?

Paul Riedl Jr.
Definitely at the River-Run.com or connect on LinkedIn. And I think it's clicking along the screen here.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, we'll put that in the show notes. It's linkedin.com/in/paulr5.

Paul Riedl Jr.
Yes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So we'll make sure both of those are in the show notes. Connect with Paul, reach out. It's got a wealth of experience. I have enjoyed talking to you now twice, so thank you for doing that.

Paul Riedl Jr.
And you as well. I've enjoyed our conversations. Again, would you teach me in marketing? I go, perfect.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I appreciate it. Those of you that are watching, listening, I appreciate you. We have been talking all about growth and how to grow a company and learning lessons along the way. If you want to connect with us, you can do that over at rialtomarketing.com. If you want to know which of the nine revenue roadblocks are slowing down your growth, you can do that over at revenueroadblockscorecard.com. It takes less than five minutes. You get your free customized report. Tons of value there, so revenueroadblockscorecard.com. Paul, thank you. Those of you that are watching, listening, thank you. Until next time, take care.


Connect With Paul Riedl, Jr.


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About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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