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SLAP, The Silver Lining Action Plan – Combining Technology With A Human Element To Help Small Businesses Become More Profitable And Sustainable

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Carissa Reiniger is passionate about the success of small businesses and has dedicated her whole career to changing the economy, one small business at a time. It is that passion which led her to conduct 400 interviews with small business owners around the country to find out why 80% of small businesses fail.

We know for a fact that when small businesses succeed, more jobs are created, more kids go to school and communities flourish. We know that small business success has a BIG impact on our global economy.

To curve this failure rate, Carissa spent years studying and developing her small business growth program, and to date, it has helped over 10 000 small businesses in over 14 countries build more profitable and sustainable businesses. Silver Lining ’s business growth program called SLAP, the Silver Lining Action Plan is like the Fitbit of small business growth. SLAP is rooted in years of behavior change science and one the most exciting thing about it is that it’s a SaaS product, making it available on a global scale.

We sat down with her to find out more about their SLAP methodology, their use of technology and how behavior change science is the hero in helping small businesses grow.

Q: Carissa, can you tell us something more about the company?

A: Silver Lining started in 2005 on a mission to help small businesses grow. We quickly realized that small businesses don’t just need more consulting, they need a 360-degree support system to keep them focused on business development. We are a behavior change company that helps business owners adopt the right habits, have the right mindset, have clarity around their business strategy, perform at a higher level, stay focused on growth, and build an action-oriented 12-month plan all the while keeping them accountable every step of the way. We are more than just a business growth company.

Q: 400 interviews is a lot. What was the key takeaway from that research?

A: Indeed, it is a lot! Once we sat down to analyze our findings, one apparent common thread emerged. Small business owners feel like if they had more time, they would make more money and if they had more money, they would have more time. At Silver Lining, we call this the Cashflow / Capacity Catch 22. However, the reality is, It’s not that they don’t have enough time and money, but that most of them do not have clarity on how to manage it properly and stay focused on business development. Many of them find themselves in either action frenzy mode, where they do a lot and achieve little or planning paralysis, in which they fail to take concrete action to grow their business.

Our intensive 13-month SLAP program is based on years of behavior change science study, and our software has been conceptualized and developed with one goal in mind – help small business owners create habits that result in long-term growth. It addresses the action and maintenance stages of the Prochaska’s Stages of changes and is continually improving the ability of our small businesses bounce back out of relapse and into action and maintenance mode.

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Q: SLAP is an action plan what makes it different from a business plan?

A: SLAP focuses on implementation, actions that generate results and getting a business’ growth strategy right. Many entrepreneurs built a detailed business plan only to have it collect dust in a corner. They understand the big picture of what they are looking to achieve but fail to have a solid action plan to help them achieve that vision. An action plan will let a business know, with clarity, where to spend their most precious resources, their time and money. Their 1-year financial growth goal is broken down to quarterly goals, monthly action items and finally, weekly to-do’s which our accountability partners keep track off, supporting them every step of the way.

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Q: Can you tell us something more about your programs?­­­

A: All of our programs have what we call the five fingers of the SLAP experience! First, we have our cloud-based software, SLAPcenter, which becomes their master control center and provides incredibly insightful data to the small businesses around what works and what they need to change to achieve long-term growth. Then, we have our SLAPmanagers, which are accountability partners who are both there to celebrate wins but also to SLAP them back into action when they fall off track. SLAPschool offers training, tips, and access to resources. SLAPworld connects them to other business owners, special offers, and marketing opportunities.

Moreover, our SLAPexperts – which have all built successful million dollar businesses themselves offer strategic support, coaching, and insights explicitly tailored around the client’s own business. As you can see our programs are quite comprehensive and provide the business owner the support and structure, they need to succeed.

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Q: How do you help small business owners create habits that result in long-term growth?

A: We view ourselves as the Fitbit of business growth. Gyms are affordable and near our homes but most people are out of shape and continue to live an unhealthy lifestyle despite the risks. When the same people go to the gym on their own, they probably do the wrong things, are not fully committed and drop out before any changes. They make breakthroughs when they join Fitbit, set a goal, are given a meal plan, have peers around them, a coach and an accountability partner.

Fitbit is not magic. It works because of behavior change science. It is these same principles we use to make sure small business owners achieve the results they deserve. Entrepreneurs go into business because they love what they do. However, many lack the skill set to grow a business and are not adopting the right habits and behaviors to ensure they are geared for success. SLAP keeps them in the right mindset, helps them adopt the right behaviors to achieve success.

Q: In simple terms what does your software do to help business owners grow their businesses.

A: The software is the center of everything relating to their SLAP. Initially, it guides them through the process of building their SLAP which starts by defining their SLAPstatement – a statement that clarifies what they do, whom they do it for and at what scale they want to grow. They then get to determine who their ideal client so they spend their time and money only on reaching the people that matter the most to their business. Next, they define what their 1-year growth goal is via a step by step process that takes into account their financials, revenue, and expected profit. Finally, they set up their Action Plan, split into quarterly connecting strategies that will help them reach their ideal client with the least amount of time and money. The whole process is completed in a matter of hours.

Once they have built their SLAP, they get a complete overview of the health of their business at any given time! They receive in-depth behavior analytics and reporting and start making data-driven decisions that will concretely help them reach their financial goals.

Q: What impact does SLAP being technology backed have?

A: Being technology backed is a considerable asset to SLAP. First off, it enables us to keep our price point extremely affordable. With SLAP they can access resources, a support structure, an accountability partner and business experts at any time they are comfortable from, wherever they are in the world. All they need is a stable WIFI connection. It enables us to offer our program globally.

Technology also enables us to deliver real-time analytics and data to the small businesses we serve, taking away the guesswork and helping them make data-driven decisions. This data also helps us improve SLAP and gain more profound insights into small businesses overall challenges.

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Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: My team and I will continue to passionately support small business in any and every way we can. Our mission is to change the economy one small business at time, and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon. We are huge advocates of small business and are currently in the process of launching a global movement – Thank You Small Business – in celebration of small business with an incredible range of corporate partners who also believe that small businesses are the real driver of our economy.

If you would like to discuss if SLAP is right for you and your business, please visit Silver Lining’s website or call on of their growth experts directly at 844-393-SLAP.

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