CPC Women in Business Profile: LaFern Batie

November's CPC Women in Business Profile - - Ms. LaFern Batie

This month’s CPC Women in Business Profile is LaFern K. Batie of The Batie Group – a Limited Liability Company (LLC) located in Tampa Florida. Ms. LaFern Batie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Salisbury and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College. Additionally she also furthered her academic studies at the post-graduate level at the Harvard University Leadership Institute and completed a Coach Training program at Coach University, Lore Institute.

Ms. Batie is the owner and manager ofThe Batie Group and has been in business for six years. According to Ms. Batie, the goals and objectives of her company is to “help organizations and leaders maximize their potential, performance and profitability” by focusing on customer service, customer satisfaction, returning customers, customer referrals, creating a productive and innovative team, partnering with others who support your business, networking and collaboration with others who supports and promotes your business."

The Batie Group has a LLC legal structure “to allow flexibility in how the business is managed, simplified structure, tax benefits and alignment with our long-term goals for the business,” Ms. Batie noted. Ms. Batie also describes the operational structure of The Batie Group in this way. She says:
The Batie Group is a business consulting and leadership development firm with divisions supporting specific, complementary impact areas including: organizational effectiveness and leadership development, small business development, information assurance and systems security and business transition. While all divisions support our goal to help organizations and leaders maximize their potential, each focuses on a specific market. With consistent commitment to our impact, each area is able to customize and remain flexible in how our clients’ needs are met without becoming stagnant in our approach. Key partnerships, is one of our primary impact areas. Practicing what we encourage with our clients, we collaborate with key partners in teaming agreements to deliver significant value to clients that neither would be equipped to serve effectively individually.

Early in her workplace career, Ms. Batie worked as an accountant in the financial services industry. She later worked in human resources and as a compensation consultant before launching her own business where she serves as a Business Strategist and Executive Coach and Senior Professional Human Resource Manager.

Why did you start your business? What are the reasons why you started your business? Is a question that I pose to respondents to my questionnaire and their responses are quite interesting and at the same time inspiring to women who share in their entrepreneurial stories. Many women in business are able to identify with why others enter into an entrepreneurial venture. Ms. Batie points out that “coming from a family of entrepreneurs, business ownership was always a goal that I desired to fulfill. It is a part of what I know and who I have always been.” She goes on to add that, “as a business leader, the impetus to launch The Batie Group was three-fold.” She says, “first, it was to fully leverage my talents, business acumen and innate gifts to help others move past mental obstacles to fulfill their greatest desires while serving others.” She also noted that, “after, over 20 years in the corporate arena, I gained a wealth of knowledge and experience related to fundamental practices that lead to business success. I wanted to share that expertise and discipline with small business owners who did not necessarily have access to such powerful resources and insight that could help them develop and grow thriving business.”

And last, but not least, she attributes her involvement in entrepreneurship to the knowledge and skills that she has gained throughout her academic career and work experience in leadership styles and best practice. Ms.Batie further points out that, “finally, I encountered many leadership styles, approaches and challenges throughout my career. From small businesses to larger organizational clients, I recognize that effective leadership is the key to sustainable business success. As an Executive Coach, I desire to partner with clients to identify, develop and retain top leadership talent to help achieve the organization’s goals.”

Another question that Ms. Batie responded to in our interview was: What are some of the challenges you have had to overcome and how have you overcome them? Similar to other women in business, some of the challenges that LaFern faced were time prioritization, delegating responsibilities, evaluating who to collaborate with, and identifying possibly challenges, to list some. However, Ms Batie noted that challenges in business are commonplace. She addresses the question by saying, “who does not have the age-old challenge of Time Prioritization?” “My days begin with time for self, family and then the business. There are multiple responsibilities that I have entrusted to others in order to make room for doing what I do best in the business. Unlike working as a corporate leader with a team and sharing responsibilities, the initial need to do so in my own business was a challenging decision. I was removing myself from every detail of something that was birthed through me. The alternative was to not be effective at anything because I was holding on to everything. That reality made the decision to share key business responsibilities easier to embrace and remain committed to.”

Ms. Batie also notes that, “having a plan and executing it with excellence are two different acts. One challenge I faced was identifying the right partners to collaborate with and making sure that I did not ignore early signs indicating potential challenges. After a couple of great learning experiences, I outlined a clear process to evaluate potential partners, share expectations, determine when and what changes needed to be made and, if necessary, when to terminate the arrangement. Being clear about what is expected and holding everyone accountable – especially among individual, yet dependent business owners – is an invaluable process, albeit sometimes uncomfortable.”

Although financial support and funding availability continue to be typical business challenges that women in business across the globe continues to face, Ms.Batie provides a way around this challenges to grow your business from a start-up to a developed and sustainable business venture. She says: “I established a solid three-year plan to develop and grow The Batie Group. Through aggressive savings and a committed business partner, we were able to launch the business with solid financial positioning. It took a tremendous amount of sacrifice and continues to require prioritization. Financial support and funding are typical business challenges. Performance excellence, organizational, process and systems discipline, effective leadership, business acumen and solid financial reserves help mitigate those challenges. I am committed to fiscal responsibility and seek ways to minimize waste, reduce expenses and reinvest in the business to ensure we can thrive and maintain a strong brand during inevitable economic cycles.

LaFern Batie also utilizes several business strategies that have worked quite effectively to grow her business. The following key strategies have been critical in growing The Batie group.
  • Collaboration and teaming
  • Forming business development partnerships with complementary service and product providers
  • Tapping into organizations and individuals where we are already connected
  • Utilizing a global market approach by not limiting where we do business to the region that we are physically located in
  • Creating opportunities to a broader market by offering larger scale services and products to large audiences and using multiple media platforms to do so.

What role, if any has computer-based technology played in the development of your business? To this question, LaFern says, “computer-based technology is a critical resource in managing business information, finances, operations, customer relationships, process and systems discipline, business development and organizational effectiveness.” “I use the computer to manage the details of a very full life.” Social media is a powerful platform that has helped me establish excellent business relationships around the world. From my smart phone to my tablet to my desktop, I can manage my business responsibilities from anywhere, at any time. I love the flexibility it has afforded me.”

Ms. LaFern Batie’s business and personal philosophies are rooted in the same foundation – The ATINIAH Principle®: All That I Need, I Already Have. She points out that, “I am an instrument uniquely designed to serve others with excellence by sharing the best that I have for their benefit.” She goes on to elaborate that “it is my responsibility to unearth what already exists within me and use it to help others cross mental barriers and tap into their full potential. I do not give them what they need - - it is already there. I believe that and approach others with respect for who they are capable of being. When my clients know that I respect where they are and do not diminish their significance, a strong foundation for a fruitful relationship is established. I have what is needed and they have what is needed. Let us use all of that to consistently serve with excellence.”

What do you do to find a balance between work and personal life? Is another question that LaFern responded to in our interview? Ms. Batie says, “I am nourished with quiet time, prayer and meditation, great books and wonderful vacations that expose me to other cultures.” “What is on my calendar gets done; therefore, I schedule time for me – my family and friends. The first part of the day is mine. Without good spiritual, mental and physical health, nothing else works for me. To make sure it is not simply rhetoric, that is what I focus on first every day. Some days I take more time than others but it is a must every single day. It is now a habit but it is still on my calendar.”

In response to the question, what lessons have you learnt along the way that you will give to other businesswomen, or a woman now venturing in the area of entrepreneurship? Ms. Batie, let it be known that “it is possible to have it all, but not all at once.” She also suggests that you can “choose what you are willing to sacrifice temporarily to get what you desire right now.” She also reminds others that in pursing their entrepreneurial dream that “trying to have it all is the source of burnout, frustration and disappointment for many” and reminds us that we should ‘eat life’ one slice at a time!”

Ms. Batie also recommends that you should also “overcome your aversion to “NO” and suggests that, “sometimes, you must say ‘no’ to some opportunities or some people to maintain room for what you want most. Pleasing everyone is impossible. Protect your boundaries and others will respect them.” She also points out that you should “get comfortable with being uncomfortable! Staying in a comfortable situation does not provide opportunities for you to stretch, grow and perform beyond where you thought you could. I compare it to a boot camp for your mind”: and adds that “it might leave you a little sore but in the end you will be better conditioned for the greater challenges.” Ms. Batie further recommends that you should “stretch yourself to develop new relationships, explore new environments and exhaustively consider another way of delivering your product or service.” “Her last but by no means least advice is that “your business strategy is not a one-time exercise. Bring that process to life so you can determine what is working well and what needs adjusting in your business and your personal life."

Ms. LaFern Batie’s future goal for La Batie Group is to continue to focus on making “significant teaming opportunities” in the marketplace “to deliver larger scale leadership and business development value. Those relationships take time and we are currently making that investment. We will have key regional teams to serve client needs globally. As a professional speaker and author, I will broaden my media and publishing presence (both traditional and non-traditional), strengthening my brand as a leading voice for business and leadership development.” Further to that with the emergence of the global economy, to give “young women” “across the United States” a “sustainable option to employment,” Ms. Batie plans to incorporate a non-profit organization within The Batie Group to meet their goal. According to Ms. Batie:
Recognizing that we need to adapt to an evolving global economy, in 2012, we are establishing a non-profit organization to help young women grow as leaders and entrepreneurs. Using a matrix model including virtual incubator solutions, we will leverage multiple technology platforms to serve young women across the United States. We will provide training, development and launch resources to help young women grow interdependent, sustainable options to employment.
Contact Information:

  • Name of Owner: LaFern K. Batie, MBA and SPHR
  • Name of Business: The Batie Group, LLC
  • Address and location of business: 2202 N. West Shore Blvd., Suite 200, Tampa, FL 33607
  • Email address: LaFern@TheBatieGroup.com
  • Website address: www.TheBatieGroup.com
  • BLOG address: e-zine (The Eagle’s Perch) – www.TheBatieGroup.com

Author: Dr Cheryl Cottle is the designer and administrator of CPC Women in Business an online social networking forum for women. She is also the founder and CEO ofCottle’s Professional Consultingucation, organizational development, professional and business development.

© Copyright 2011 by Dr. Cheryl Cottle of Cottle’s Professional Consulting. All rights reserved.