1429 – The Foundation of Scalability with Great Lakes Advisory’s Chris Gwinn

In this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with Chris Gwinn, founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory.

Chris shares his passion for helping small and medium sized businesses standardize all of their processes and ensure everyone follows them.. He added that they also document core processes and measure them, develop and customize training, and teach all leaders how to hold each other accountable.

Chris shares some of the benefits of establishing standardized processes – reducing reliance on some of the key employees, creating an environment where there is more responsibility, autonomy and accountability among all leaders, and allowing leaders to focus on the real growth and management of their teams. He also shares the impact of technology on operations. He explains that technology, along with the integration of apps and automation, could help lower operational costs.

Chris also provides practical advice on how to assess business processes and performance. He encourages all business leaders to proactively address all issues related to their SOPs if they were to move towards growth and scalability.


Key Points from the Episode:

  • How Important is Technology to Operations?
  • Best Practices for Onboarding a New Hire
  • Recommendation for Evaluating Your Company’s SOPs

About Chris Gwinn: Chris is the founder and CEO of Great Lakes Advisory. He began his career at Northern Trust working on an investment team within Northern Trust Wealth Management. During Chris’ tenure at Northern Trust, he managed over $85 million of client assets and provided holistic wealth management solutions for high net worth individuals and families.

Prior to launching Great Lakes Advisory, Chris was the Director of Finance and Operations at Harmony Center for Surgery of the Ears, Nose, and Throat. As the Director of Finance and Operations, Chris’ responsibilities included consulting on daily business operations, building process playbooks, streamlining workflows, strategic planning, improving patient satisfaction, growing practice visibility within the metro Detroit area, and assisting in human resources.

Chris shares a passion for operations, processes, finance, investments, and working with people. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Marquette University. He has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation.

Outside of work, Chris loves spending time with his wonderful wife, Courtney, Australian Shepherd, Igor, and their families and friends. He is an avid golfer and enjoys running, cycling, and CrossFit.


About Great Lakes Advisory: Great Lakes Advisory is an operations and financial advisory firm located in Chicago, IL. The company was founded on the principle that great companies testify about their people and their processes. They help entrepreneurs realize their vision by improving their processes, standardizing their operations, and developing engaging training to get everyone aligned, so their business runs faster. Their goal is to help companies train new hires faster, serve more customers, and scale their business.


Tweetable Moments:

06:30 – “What you do want to make sure is that all of your employees know that you need to be able to apply your processes using the applications that you're currently using.”

15:41 – “Sometimes it's kind of difficult to stomach those conversations. But ultimately, it is that feedback from your customers or the willingness to kind of accept that, there might be some things that aren't consistently working properly.”


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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Great Lakes Advisory’s website at

Check out Great Lakes Advisory on LinkedIn at

Check out Chriss Gwinn on LinkedIn at

Check out Great Lakes Advisory on Instagram at

Check out Great Lakes Advisory on Facebook at

Check out Great Lakes Advisory on Twitter at

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