Columbus Chamber cbuzz: Lori Kaiser of Kaiser Consulting

Photos provided by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce

The Columbus Chamber and Capital University have partnered to bring the first business-themed podcast to Columbus. During cbuzz, Columbus-based brand journalist Mikaela Hunt will speak with local business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders and allow them to tell their story and highlight their organization, while further inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit that is buzzing in the city.

From solo gig to 70-person professional services firm: it’s an evolution over 27 years that has put Lori Kaiser at the head of her own international consulting company and earned her the Columbus Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Small Business Leader Award.

Kaiser didn’t have a plan when she quit her job at a large public accounting firm in 1992 after having her first child. However, clients came calling and she soon found herself with project work that fit her new lifestyle.

Kaiser figured she’d keep it up for a few years, then go back to work full-time. As she points out, in the early 90s, there weren’t many other options for women – it was generally full-time worker or stay-at-home mom.

Kaiser would eventually re-enter the traditional workforce, but when one position wrapped up after the sale of the business and she was interviewing again, she had a revelation. Kaiser didn’t want many of the jobs. Instead, it was time to turn her consulting side-gig into a real business.

During the podcast, Kaiser discusses how she has grown Kaiser Consulting since hiring her first employee in 2004. She shares an experience many entrepreneurs likely feel. The first two to five employees are easier because you can still closely manage the team. From five to 15, “That’s the period of time when you need systems and processes, so you have to kind of step back and invest in creating those,” Kaiser says.

The next ten or so hires come easier with these processes in place. Then, businesses grow to the point of needing middle management.

That process came with a hard learning curve for Kaiser that she was holding the business back.

Click the logo to listen to the full podcast featuring Lori Kaiser of Kaiser Consulting

“My initial thought was that it would take away from the business if I wasn’t managing everything,” Kaiser says. “The reality is the business is better.”

Listen to the full podcast to hear more about how Kaiser makes Kaiser Consulting a place where employees will never want to leave. (Hint: employees work the hours and days that they want.) She also offers advice to fellow business owners on building a similar culture in their workplaces.

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