Jigsaw Performance Helps Business Owners Build Sustainable Businesses

Small Business Canada

Jane Iannacone – CEO, Proudfoot

Jane is a business consultant and strategist who helps business owners develop the attitudes, skills, and capabilities they need to take their businesses to the next level. Jane will transform the way you conduct your business. She will teach you to be more strategic by building clear roadmaps and taking control of the financial aspects of your business. With her help, you will achieve your goals more quickly and easily than you ever thought possible.

Regardless of your experience, education, or skill set, Jane will help you better your business. She is dedicated to her clients’ success and aims to turn business owners into leaders.

For twenty years, Jane has partnered with business owners, leaders, and managers in Canada, the United States, and the U.K. to realize their objectives and increase their effectiveness as leaders. She has extensive experience working with organizations large and small in energy, technology, manufacturing, education, services, and government.

What sets Jane apart? Her energy, positive attitude, and ability to ask the right questions. She will challenge you to rethink what is possible and leave you with the tools and confidence you need to take on the next challenge.

Jane earned a Graduate Degree in Business from Carleton University in Ottawa, with a focus on leadership. She has worked at an international consulting firm, held a variety of corporate roles, and worked as an independent consultant prior to founding Jigsaw.

What was the inspiration behind the founding of Jigsaw Performance? What are you hoping to accomplish through your company?

The inspiration for Jigsaw Performance started from research on work-life balance I performed in 1992 where I interviewed hundreds of working women about their experiences.  Many of these women described lacking control and were burnt out. The resulting stress can lead to health issues and reduced personal and professional satisfaction. It had a profound effect on me.

Twenty years later, I founded Jigsaw Performance with the express purpose of helping business owners have greater control and be able to enjoy all the rewards of running a business from financial rewards to lifestyle, flexibility, and learning. Unlike employees, owners have control and can escape burnout by managing their businesses differently.

How does Jigsaw Performance help small business owners? 

Jigsaw Performance helps business owners build sustainable businesses. Working ridiculous hours operating the business, missing out on family time and ignoring self-care is not sustainable. Building a sustainable business starts with being really clear on what you want your life to be like and building a business that supports that life, not the other way around.  Leveraging technology, systematizing processes, and building an engaged team with clear roles and expectations can all contribute to the sustainability of a business.  

At Jigsaw Performance, we work with our clients to do targeted analysis to build business plans that focus on scarce resources of time, effort, and money where they can have the maximum effect.

We focus on building capability where it matters most for each individual business, building plans that prioritize strategic work over busy work.

How did you become involved in the consulting industry? Having been in the industry for about 2 decades, how have things changed for you? 

The consulting business has always been a good fit for me. I thrive in fast-paced project environments. I love complex problem solving and especially collaborating with others to uncover new possibilities. I pursued a graduate degree to prepare myself for a career in consulting.

Over the years, I have gone from a professional career to contract to consult to running my own consultancy. During this time, I became increasingly clear about the types of work and environments that energize me. Each progressive move was in that direction culminating in the founding of my own business. 

Do you aim to turn business owners into leaders? What is leadership to you? And what leadership skills should small business owners adopt to cope with these tough times?

Leadership is about having a vision for the future and making those strategic choices to get there. It’s about inspiring others to create this future together. At the heart of these strategic choices is creating a compelling competitive advantage that embraces the customer’s wants and needs. 

Strategic thinking is a key leadership skill that does not always receive the time and space it requires. Leaders need unbiased data.

Conducting the right analysis and engaging others to challenge their ideas, while providing diverse perspectives, results in an ability to anticipate challenges and provides the confidence to course-correct as required. It is always essential but, in tough times, it can affect survival.

What is required for small business owners to create high-impact results during these challenging times? 

Business owners are so uniquely positioned to make significant impacts on so many different stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, their families, their communities, everyone they touch.  They have the power to make choices that will either have a positive impact or not. To create high-impact results, business owners need to understand what each of these stakeholders values and aligns with it.  

What is your advice to women entrepreneurs during this crisis?

My advice is to maintain strong support networks.

Being an entrepreneur can be so isolating and having a trusted network of people who want you to succeed not only builds resilience but also provides a sounding board to make the best decisions for your business.

We all have the ability to fall in love with our own ideas and having people we trust help us to overcome our own biases will accelerate our success.

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