Should You Have a Team?
Should You Have a Team?
Oli: Hey there everybody. This is Oli Bilson and I am with Mr. Ryan Chapman. Hello, Ryan.
Oli: And also his younger, healthier brother. Healthier, I'm not sure if that's right, but his brother, Mr. Trent Chapman. Hello, Trent.
Ryan: Trent is healthier.
Oli: That's a fact, too.
Trent: It's because I'm younger.
Ryan: He actually goes to the gym and I think about it. I think that qualifies.
Oli: That's good. Well, I don't know what water you've been drinking, but you look very youthful.
Ryan: I wouldn't have believed that you had five separate businesses that were successful, looking at you. You look like you just graduated high school. You're very youthful.
Oli: I'm gonna take that as a compliment.
Ryan: That was a compliment.
Trent: What's today's topic?
Ryan: Today we're going to be talking about where we left off in the last episode, which is to talk about the way to grow a team.
We're going to also be [00:01:00] addressing common thing that I hear from people, which is worn, usually, as a badge of honor, which is, "I don't have a team. I work by myself. I don't need the hassle. I use contractors."
There's that whole line.
Trent: Before you challenge people that are in that mind set-
Ryan: Oh, I'm just saying-
Trent: It's not a bad place to be, it's a starting place for everybody.
Ryan: It is A place.
Trent: But you don't want to be stuck in that place.
Ryan: Some people do, but they need to be aware of the dangers of it, I think, because there are some real dangers in having a business that is built on you solely or on you principally.
Those dangers are very real for you and maybe those that count on you. Would you agree with that, Oli?
Oli: Yeah, I agree.
And I think what we first need to do is is probably establish the evolution from operator to business owner and explain each of the different steps and how people [00:02:00] gravitate from one stage to the next.
So, maybe if you're listening to this right now, you'll be able to know what stage you're in and you'll be able to know which stage you need to get to next and also you might better bypass some of these stages so that you can experience growth in your business faster and probably more predictably than you are right now.
Ryan: Yeah, so I guess the underlying assumption that we're operating here is that, by listening to this, you actually want to grow a business, not just maintain a business, which are two totally different things.
If you just want to maintain, there's nothing necessarily wrong with that if that's what you want to do.
Trent: Versus just accepting it because you think it's what you have to or are only capable of or can do.
Ryan: Yeah, so we'll start with that kind of foundational work.
So somebody is, what's the name of the guy that wrote the book The E-Myth?
Oli: Michael Gerber.
Ryan: Michael Gerber. I remember reading that and hearing him talk about most entrepreneurs [00:03:00] are technicians suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure.
They're not actually businesspeople.
I coupled that also with Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki and how disappointed I was when I saw that there was an "E" and a "BO": entrepreneur and a business owner.
I thought they were the same thing and I was really, really frustrated. I was young at the time, I think I was probably in my either late teens or early twenties when reading this.
I thought, "Oh, entrepreneur, that's kind of what you want to be," and then I found out he's saying, no, that's not what a business owner is.
Sometimes we'll use those words interchangeably and they're not really the same thing.
How would you define that, Trent? How would you differentiate for someone that's going, well, I thought entrepreneur and business owner where the same thing.
Trent: It kind of depends on the circles you're in, too, because a lot of people will say, "Oh, I'm an entrepreneur. I have a startup company and we've got 20 employees."
So they might use [00:04:00] that definition of entrepreneur as someone who creates a business.
But in this context of Robert Kiyosaki, it's more of, "I have my own business that I run. It's kind of my job that I created for myself," versus a business owner who has some autonomy and the business is not relying solely on them.
Ryan: I would even say, maybe, if we wanted to make "business owner" a little more clear we could even say the business could actually grow without you being present.
Would that be a safe definition?
Oli: Yeah, I think that any business where the entrepreneur is the linchpin to the growth of the business, and really that means that they don't really have a business, so to speak. They have a job.
That kind of speaks to what you were just saying, Trent, about that.
Ryan: But it could be worse than a job!
In many employment situations, if you get sick for a little bit, they may have sick leave or something like that.
But in the [00:05:00] business, if you get sick, if some family emergency happens, you've got to devote your attention to it, you're not making money anymore.
And in some cases, you're actually losing money if you do have a couple people that work with you or something like that.
Oli: Well, I spoke to a business owner the other day who literally referred to his business as a prison cell.
Trent: So was he a business owner, then?
Ryan: In our definition, we're going to say he was an entrepreneur.
Trent: Or self-employed individual.
Oli: Yeah. The truth is, as well, is that he had got caught in one of these stages in the evolution from operator to business owner, and to CEO and leader, more specifically.
I think it would be useful, let's address these.
The first stage that comes is the entrepreneur finds out quickly that [00:06:00] in order to have a business, they need to acquire a steady stream of customers. And there's obviously multiple ways and different avenues they can take to acquire those customers.
They find that what they need to do is read the right books, listen to the right podcasts. Maybe they attend the right events, maybe they start investing in things like information products or education to try and upscale them as a person that would then have an impact on the business.
So that's what they do. That's the first thing that they do.
And the natural thing that they go towards is, now I've got some knowledge, and that can be dangerous, by the way.
A small amount of knowledge can be dangerous, but better having some then none.
They then go, "How do I now take this newfound knowledge and [00:07:00] start putting it to work in the business?"
So they start doing the work.
They start building landing pages. They start running Facebook advertising. They start writing copy. They start doing all of these different things that we all know from a marketing standpoint they have to do to be able to put these things together.
They start doing the work and what happens is they quickly become very overwhelmed with that because they've never done any of that stuff before.
Even though they know their business really well, they're not yet a specialist in any of those particular areas.
They may get some results from doing this, but they know that it's not sustainable. So what they do then is they move on to stage two.
And in stage 2, they say, "I need to find [00:08:00] somebody that's more of a specialist than me and I need to go and find some help."
What they do is, they go out into the marketplace and they initially look for specialists and they usually do that online. They may go to websites like Upwork or Fiverr or-
Ryan: So these are people that they would hire as contractors for the business?
Oli: Freelancers, contractors, yeah. Anybody that can help them with what they're doing.
They may even hire an assistant. That's quite a standard step for some people.
They think, "I need somebody to help me with these-" sometimes they regard them as an administrative task, but they're not. They're actually marketing tasks.
That process can be a bit frustrating because they've got to find these people and they start doing the work, but they're in silos.
All these people that they need are working in silo's. Somebody that's a designer, working in a silo. Somebody that's writing some copy, [00:09:00] working in a silo. Somebody setting up some AdWords stuff, working in a silo. Somebody setting up an Infusionsoft campaign, working in a silo.
They're not working together.
Trent: Sounds like a great strategy.
Oli: Well for some people, they made that decision.
Trent: They'll get some results, maybe.
Oli: They may get some results, but what ends up happening in this situation is the entrepreneur becomes the manager of all of these people.
They then have to project manage all of these people because they're all independent, and that then means that they spend more time defining work for others to do than doing the thing that they should be doing, which is focusing on growing their business and what they are good at inside of their business.
That may range from different folks. That could mean they're really good at sales. Just because you're the owner of the thing, doesn't mean that you can't be the salesperson.
I'm not saying that.
By the way, that's an [00:10:00] area that you'll want to remove yourself out of eventually, as well.
You may be very good at one particular area, but you should be working on the business, not in the business of organizing these projects.
Ryan: So all of this sounds all fine and dandy, but I think a lot of people find themselves stuck. Like, "Okay, how do I get out of this?"
Trent: Like, "I don't have enough revenue, so I can't hire all these people."
Ryan: Before we started, we talked a little bit about your company Black Code, which is a company that, at this point, you function entirely as the leader/CEO.
You're not involved in the day-to-day operations, yet it produces a nice profit for you and the company just runs.
But it didn't start out that way.
Ryan: What was your story? I mean, how did you go from where it started to this point where you are now?
Oli: I followed this path of getting quite poor results with brand based advertising that I was doing at the time, [00:11:00] advertising in national magazines and press, national press.
I was a bit, I was disenchanted with the results we get in because I always looked at what everybody else was doing, which was exactly that, and I just copied.
I just had my message.
Everybody was in these magazines, it seemed like the obvious thing that you should do.
Trent: You thought that's how they were getting all of their good results.
Oli: That must be how they get most of the results, and I just copied what the bigger businesses were doing to try and level myself.
Ryan: I think that's really normal. That's very typical.
As people look and say, big business must mean smart business, ergo do what big business, does get big business results.
Ryan: The reality is, if you ever go and look inside of a big business, you realize, it is a bigger mess than anyone could believe.
They just happen to have gotten to a point where they have enough cash flow that they can afford to do stupid stuff on a regular basis and still somewhat survive.
Oli: Yeah, absolutely.
And what happened was [00:12:00] I got to a point where the level of brand advertising that we were doing was really damaging our cash flow. It was really getting to a point where it was quite serious in the early stages.
We were running out of cash reserves and, as you know, cash is the main thing that will literally kill you as a business if you don't have it.
Ryan: And I think that's what keeps a lot of people from building a team, to be totally frank, is the management of cash flow.
They're like, "I don't see how I can possibly get out of this place where I'm producing a majority of the revenue. And, yeah, I know that it can't continue on this way forever, but there's not enough revenue for me to get a team member or to hire somebody."
Oli: Yeah. Well, the other thing that I didn't have at this time was I didn't have a vision, which is what we spoke about in the previous [00:13:00] episode to this, which you could go back and listen to.
I wasn't clear on where I wanted to go.
All that ever consumed the business at that time was sales marketing, which is, as we've established, kind of normal to conventional wisdom or popular belief, but is not actually what you should do.
What I should have done was really evaluate where I needed to go and then I needed to look at how I was going to get there, and the how wasn't with brand based advertising.
It was with direct response advertising, which I came into that world through Dan Kennedy and just happening to fall on a book that taught me about direct response advertising and direct response marketing.
It led me to change and shift my thinking about information first marketing, offering value in advance where we could [00:14:00] capture people's information that weren't yet ready to buy .T
Ryan: Did that freak you out a little bit at first though? Because it seems as though that's a longer route to getting to the money than the brand based advertising, right?
Ryan: It's not, but it seems that way on the surface. How did you get- well, we'll go to that at a different point.
But did this mechanism, this new skill of direct response marketing, give you a cash flow surge? Did it allow you to add another person? Or, how did you get to adding the first team member?
Oli: Yeah, so basically what happened was I discovered direct-response, we started implementing it, and immediately what I found when I started implementing was I needed other skills. I needed other capabilities, some of which, like in the first stage I just explained, I have to do myself because that was logical.
I had to put together the ads myself, write the copy myself, write the follow-up myself, put all of these things together myself,
Ryan: Principally because you didn't have the money to hire somebody?
[00:15:00] Oli: Certainly because I didn't have the money to hire somebody, and if it was down to me to get the results because of that.
I had to take the information and I had to run with it and do the best that I could do with it. So, that's exactly what I did in the early stages.
Then what I did was, after we started making a little bit of money from this and I started to believe that these principles were something that would be still serving us extremely well today, of course, it made sense to try and bring somebody else in or get extra help in areas that I was frankly struggling with. Areas that I just wasn't good at doing.
And certainly a lot of the digital side of things, at that time, were a challenge.
Things like, building landing pages and squeeze pages and the web design stuff, even aspects of Infusionsoft. Although, frankly, I enjoyed that part and I was actually kind of becoming a bit of a specialist in doing that, I could [00:16:00] do that more technically.
I knew that I had to find other areas to cover.
So I went down the route of the freelance route, as we explained. I even then went into stage three.
Stage three was actually hiring my first in-house person.
When I got somebody, because I thought, well I got disenchanted with hiring these freelancers.
Ryan: Why was that?
Oli: So, first of all, it was a pain to hire them, and it still is a pain to hire them these days, to try and find good quality people. When they do start working for you, they can be unreliable, communication is poor.
I tried hiring people in different countries, so time zones were an issue to try and reduce costs, and people would leave projects half done, which means I had to come and fix them. I'll find other people to pick them up from where other people left off.
All of that is a real challenge.
Ryan: So, that's what drove you to finally hire someone in-house?
Oli: And the fact that I was managing those people myself, as [00:17:00] well.
Ryan: Your job had shifted from producing revenue to now managing and producing revenue. Would it be fair to say it was burning the candle at both ends?
Oli: Yeah. That is probably the worst possible place to be. To come up with a strategy-
Ryan: That's the worst stage.
Oli: Yeah. To come up with a strategy to then have people that you're paying to be able to do things for you, which need direction and management, and you need to provide that direction and management to multiple people at the same time because you're paying for that time.
I inevitably hired my first team member because I thought, "Well, it's logical here. What I need to do is I need to bring somebody else into help me."
Ryan: Had you been burned right before then?
Oli: Well, I'd had some people that had let me down on the freelancer-
Ryan: On the contractor side?
Oli: On the contractor and the freelancer side, but I knew that I had to make a [00:18:00] change.
I knew that I needed to have more proximity to the problem. And I knew that I needed somebody to be able to own that, so I hired my first in-house person who was not a specialist.
They weren't a marketing expert by any means, they really were coming in with a motivation to learn and I was really handing off projects to them to learn and implement at the same time.
But the challenge was, they were good at one thing that we needed.
They were good at the- you generally find this, this is a general thing, not just my situation. When you first hire somebody, they're probably good at one thing, even if they are a fairly low end person and they're not great at lots of things.
So then what ended up happening?
Now I've got somebody who's really good at the one thing ,but now they have to go and hire people to get the other things that we don't have. They then become the [00:19:00] project manager of those people.
That's a very dangerous place to be, because now I'm paying for somebody in-house to now also spend their time on managing other people in other areas and then things were still continuing to fail because of that.
Ryan: Before you go too much further down that, we don't want to scare people away that are thinking. "Yeah. I'm just going to stick with contractors and just do it all myself," because I don't think that's a great place to be, either.
Ryan: You really have to understand the alligator that's behind you, so to speak.
What we're talking about, what we're trying to move you towards, is that pot of gold at the top of the mountain that you're going to have to work towards, which is becoming a business owner.
But you have to understand the alligator that's behind you at the same time so you don't lallygag.
The alligator is that if, for some reason, you would have fallen ill, had an accident, what have you, your ability to produce income would have been totally shot.
Being able to add that employee gave you [00:20:00] maybe not the all the skills, but it gave you the consistency and it created a little buffer of somebody that could help, even if they were slower.
Maybe they could do it in a tenth of the time that you could do it in, but the fact that they could do that meant you just gained an extra 10 percent of capacity that you didn't have before.
As long as you have your vision and your values clear, then they would be adding to that and executing on that.
I talked to a gal just yesterday who had a couple contractors just quit on her in the middle of a launch of a new product. A bunch of things going on, she's away from her office at a conference, and finds out that they came and said, "We want triple the rates or we're going."
So they basically held her hostage because they were contractors.
You don't typically see that happen with employees because they've got that job with you. It's not like they've got other opportunities.
This person was in a real bad [00:21:00] place because they had become too reliant and casual working with contractors.
Those contractors were basically doing the same thing an employee might do, and it wasn't like she was paying cheap rates either, as she was getting specialized skills.
She actually would have been better off to hire someone who maybe is a little bit less expensive, maybe a little bit less experienced, but was going to be reliable and in house that she could train up under the vision and values.
This would then give her that reliability, hopefully, that could lead to being able to add a second person or third person and gradually build out these teams
Trent: I think for the first time I hired someone, the thing that I was concerned about might have been different than what Oli experienced.
I didn't go through the contractor route. I was aware of all these tasks that I'm doing-
Ryan: Which business was this?
Trent: In the real estate and mortgage business.
All these tasks I was doing were low, hourly-rate tasks and in order for me to grow my revenue, I had have someone doing those things and taking those off my plate.
So I was in a little different position looking for someone to do [00:22:00] tasks and manage a certain part of the business that was important and necessary to fulfill for my clients, but that I didn't need to do.
For me, it was more important that I analyze the task to determine their value and then make a process that was clear and easy for me to hand off.
Because if I didn't do that, I could hire someone, not give them a clear process, and then I'd have the same problem of trying to manage people and teaching them along the way versus clearly defining, "Here's what I need to have done, here's why it needs to be done, and here's your role," and then handing it off to them and checking in.
Ryan: So what drove you to that point of feeling like, I got to have somebody new now to help me?
Trent: It was basically because I knew my time was limited.
And I wasn't planning on going to be autonomous in the business.
My vision wasn't really set, it was more of, I just want to have someone help me make more money. My income felt capped for the last couple of years, so I was like, "Okay, I can't do this anymore myself." I had tapped out.
Ryan: So had you gotten better at maybe doing sales?
Trent: Yeah, and that's where identified that, for me, [00:23:00] at that stage my business, I had to be focused more on sales, less on fulfillment of the services and if I had someone to help me, I could double my efforts in sales.
That was my logic and my thinking. I think it's typical for most people and that's a good place to start. It's okay.
I don't think people need to make the jump from, "Okay, I'm going to be a solopreneur, it's just me in my business," to, "Now I've got three employees and I don't do anything."
That's not a logical expectation.
We do have to have different phases, as Oli was explaining. You go from the technician in the company, doing everything, to, for me, I felt like it was best for me to focus on sales because that's what I was good and that brought in revenue and the other person could help me free time so I can focus more in sales.
Ryan: I think, what I've seen commonly with people that actually grow teams versus those that get stalled out is that they acquire some skill that allows them to get a cash flow going.
If you're stuck in the solopreneur place, you've got to get some skill that allows you to create an expansion of value fairly rapidly.
Trent: It's usually sales, though, because most business, if you think about it, start with [00:24:00] sales, then become an expert or proficient in marketing.
Ryan: But there's always those- I think the two cases I see most frequently are sales, that's probably the most common, then least common but more I see as well is they get a direct marketing education.
That's probably just because of where I hang out.
But they either get a direct marketing skill and that allows them to create an expansion of revenue or they get good at sales, either by training organically, and then they see this expansion and realize, "Okay. I got to pass off something."
I think the least rare of them is someone's just really good at the thing they do and they get so good at that that-
Trent: Everybody wants it.
Ryan: Everyone wants it and then they hire the sales and marketing people to take that over because they're not really great at that.
It seems like your business owner, typically, is someone who is really good at sales or really good at marketing and they'll use that skill to create a little bit of a buffer for them to be able to hire somebody.
Would you agree with that, Oli?
I [00:25:00] think that in my situation, after I'd sort of found that the person that was inside the business would inevitably have to then work with external people was becoming a bottleneck.
What I then gravitated to, which was like the fourth stage, was hiring an agency.
This is like the biggest, fatal mistake that most business owners make.
Trent: Too premature, you mean.
Because there's some business that I've seen that have really exploded because they worked with an agency at the right phase of growth.
Oli: And usually when they do work with an agency in the right phase of growth, It's for a very, very specialist marketing. Something that that agency is solving that's quite unique to solve.
I'll give an example of that.
Running YouTube advertising is very, very different from running Google [00:26:00] advertising, even though YouTube advertising is part of Google, right? It's different.
Ryan: Yeah. Which is different from Facebook.
Oli: Which is completely different from Facebook, which is totally different from Solo Ads, which is totally different from direct mail, which is- it's different.
What I ran into was hiring an agency because I thought that they were going to be the cure to a multitude of problems.
What it meant there was, I was hiring somebody else's capability, hiring their team, but their capability was then split across however many clients they had.
Ryan: The truth is, even in those situations, they can't care about your business as much as you do.
Oli: No. And they don't understand it because they don't have time to understand it.
It's fine to do an intake form on a questionnaire when somebody comes into a question agency, very different from the eyes and ears of your [00:27:00] business every single day, really how you're solving problems for people that you didn't even realize you were solving sometimes, that could be great marketing messages in the future.
Ryan: So I'm not really clear, though.
The first phase is, I'm working by myself.
The second phase is I start adding maybe some contractors or a VA or some part time person.
Third is I get a full-time person or persons starting to work in my team.
Then you mentioned a fourth phase, and the fourth phase is you identified that maybe you need some sort of specialist as, not a contractor, but a team?
Oli: Well what you realize is when you've got a full-time team member, they're project managing lots of people and they're probably good at one thing.
Ryan: And not project management.
Oli: No, they're not very good at project management.
They're like a specialist probably in one thing, but not all the things. That's the reason why they need to go external to contractors and freelancers, again, to get that work done.
Then what you end up doing is you end up going, "Well, maybe I should fire this in-house person because [00:28:00] they're only good at one thing and we know we need more.
So we go to the "full service marketing agency" that apparently can do everything for you.
Ryan: Is that hard for you to say, considering you had one?
Oli: We were a result-based marketing agency, which is very different from a full-service marketing agency.
Ryan: How are they different, by the way?
Oli: We get results and full service agencies generally don't.
Ryan: Oh, okay.
Trent: They charge you for service, you charge for results.
Oli: Yeah, and we offered, in the scope, a whole lot of services, but we didn't price or we didn't position ourselves that we were a jack of all trades because we're not.
We just know the key things you need.
Ryan: From a business owners perspective-
Oli: You could see why somebody might find that attractive.
Ryan: They think, "Okay, instead of me having to worry about building out a marketing team or whatever-", the segment of the business they're trying to address with this [00:29:00] out-sourced solution.
That's a mistake in your opinion. What should they be doing at that point?
Oli: Well, this is where they gravitate towards Stage 5.
Stage 5 is building their own growth team.
Now, building their own growth team is similar to the stage that they took when they were in stage 4 where they put somebody in full-time in their business. It's similar, but it's set up differently.
And what I mean by set up differently is we remember that, in stage 3, I was talking about, you were having somebody that was in the business that were good at one thing, but they have to outsource to other people to get other stuff done.
When you build a growth team, you build a distributed level of capability.
That means that one person is a full-stack person. They're capable of doing lots of different [00:30:00] things. They're classed as a generalizing specialist.
Not a generalist, not a specialist, a generalizing specialist.
That's a different type of person that you're creating.
In order to be able to do that, you need to have mental shift for that person, you need resources, you need to give them tools, you need to give them training, and you need to make sure that you're supporting them fully in them being successful and them working on the priorities for what's important to the business.
Ryan: Some people, as they heard you go through that list, just got tired. It sounds like a whole lot, you know what I mean?
Oli: Yeah. Well, they could also take 10 years, 15 years of their life in business and make all of those mistakes and then come back around to the fact that-
Ryan: But, the reality is, that's not happening overnight. This would be a gradual process, knowing that that's the road you're going to have to go on can help you then to go on it versus [00:31:00] trying to avoid it.
Ryan: Here's what I've noticed is, I was really overwhelmed with the idea of managing people for a long time.
Even though, with Trent and I's first business that was successful that we did together, we have a team pretty quickly.
Trent: We hired, well, not a big team, but like six people in the first few months.
Ryan: Yeah, and it was because we had figured out what we did differently with that business that many people do with their businesses.
We had messed up in a lot of other businesses, had educational moments in those, Trent learned sales, I was learning marketing.
We were like, okay, we actually have a market need that's intense, let's bring those skills, as good or okay as they were, to it and we'll do our very best.
We quickly realized, okay. There's something there. We're making some revenue, and we said, "We need people to help us because we can't do this all by ourselves."
So, we added an assistant within the first week, I think it was, just to process order forms and start calling around to hotels.
Trent: Yeah, [00:32:00] and then someone after that to start managing all the events and scheduling, took that over full-time.
Ryan: Then we realized we needed someone for support to answer little questions about the service that we were offering.
Trent: Someone that was helping out with- we had, obviously our salesperson was doing all the trainings.
Ryan: We came into it as a partnership. Which, I think Partnerships are tough in some ways, but they also have advantages.
In Trent and I's case, we're brothers. We're not perfect at being partners, but we have a little deeper relationship than just the partnership, so I think that helps us resolve misunderstandings.
Trent: Overcome issues.
Ryan: That was a huge advantage, because we had two people already that were fairly intelligent and dedicated to the outcome.
We didn't directly partner up with our third person, but the third person was a key component to the business and he was the salesperson.
That gave us a huge amount of leverage over someone that just says, "Oh, I'm really smart at this one thing. I'm going to go do a business about it."
I think sometimes that can be a huge [00:33:00] advantage, because that got us all the way up to, what stage are we at at that point?
Oli: What you did was, and probably not knowingly,
Ryan: Absolutely not knowingly.
Trent: Yeah, we were very ignorant. I was 26, you were 30-something.We were young in business.
Oli: But you did this not knowingly because what you did was you started building your growth team.
You didn't know that at the time, but you started building a growth team.
You, first of all, had somebody that was an assistant that was doing various different tasks across the business, they had to do that.
Then you hired where it hurt.
So, you figured out what was hurting, then you started putting people in these positions. You weren't thinking about departments at that time.
Ryan: No, but when I look back at it, like my responsibility was marketing, primarily. Trent's was actually fulfillment.
Trent: Coaching, training, [00:34:00] products.
Ryan: Which was the fulfillment, and the third guy was sales.
And we all worked together on collaborating, on creating assets and stuff in each of those, but we each had our primary responsibilities.
I don't think we ever had a meeting that said, "Okay, you're responsible for that," it was just like an understanding.
Ryan: We had those three, which are the core three, I think, right?
You've got to attract people, that's the marketing.
You've got to convince them that they should do business with you by making promises to them, and then you got to fulfill those promises, sales and fulfillment.
You have to have those three components in a business, usually they're all in one person, initially, and then some portion of that gets shifted off.
Oli: I think this is a really big thing that people believe that they can run a business, build a business that doesn't involve people.
Building a real business, I've yet to find one where you don't need to have a people element to the business.
[00:35:00] I don't care if you're an e-commerce business, guess what? You've got support. You need support.
Even at that end of the spectrum, you still need people.
You need to establish what your growth team is, and generally there are different aspects to a growth team.
There's the acquisition part. So you just explained what your accusation part was like, Trent was in sales, right?
Ryan: No, Trent was in fulfillment.
Oli: He was fulfillment, right?
Oli: Okay, cool.
So you have acquisition, you have monetization, you have content, and you have delight. And, in some businesses, you have a product team as well.
The acquisition team is really all about lead generation activity.
Monetization is all about converting those leads.
Delight (and [00:36:00] I call it delight, you could call it customer support, but it just seems nicer to say that) is all about supporting people both pre-purchase and post purchase.
Content is about the information that you provide post-purchase and also about the elements or the aspects that go into parts of the lead generation, obviously, so they work across that team as well. They work together with them.
And then you have the product team. And the product, for some businesses, isn't quite so relevant, but they get to a point sometimes where they need to focus on it.
Even if they have a service-based business, the service is still a product. There's improvement there. That's more, as you grow that's a consideration.
But the key ones are monetization, acquisition, and delight.
Ryan: I think what I've observed in companies that grow is that, one, they start to build these teams, and also, [00:37:00] to maintain success and momentum, those teams don't become siloed.
I think that's really important.
What I noticed with what Trent and I did in that first successful business together is, there was some organic overlay of the various departments that that existed.
They were never officially quoted out as, "Okay. Well you're in this department, you're in that department."
It was a company. It was an organization.
And there were different roles that each of us had, but they were all interwoven.
If there was an issue at fulfillment, we would look at marketing and sales to see, is there something we can do there to address better retention, keeping people satisfied, delight, whatever you want to call it. That would also then use customer support to inform product development.
So, what are people saying they're struggling with? What new problem have we caused for people because we solve their [00:38:00] original problem they came to us for?
That's the whole benefit you get with having a team.
If you're just by yourself working, you're too overwhelmed just trying to keep everything moving to actually be able to create something that's going to last long term and be successful.
If I was trying to convince you to do anything as a result of this podcast, it would be: if you're currently solo, start making it an intention to build a team.
Not for the sake of building a team, but in order to grow the business to serve more people at a higher level, at a higher profitability and all that.
You can't get there unless you have people.
Then, from a management standpoint, I would say, how do you get to that point where you find it as an extension of you to manage people instead of a pain?
Because I think that's where a lot of people stop themselves from going down that journey is they say, "I have managed people before and it was a nightmare."
Why has it become a nightmare? [00:39:00] What do you think, Trent? Why is having people a nightmare?
Trent: Usually it's because... Well, it could start with hiring the wrong person for that task.
But, usually it's because, as the business owner, we haven't really made it clear for them, "Here's the things you need to do, here's the processes, here's the training, here's the information."
That's what I've encountered.
When I'm not prepared to hire and hand off tasks, it becomes a nightmare and I want to blame them versus taking accountability for, I didn't prepare to hire someone, train them, give them the tools, technologies, and resources to do the job, and then expecting them to do it and then to report that back.
Ryan: My wife is taking an entrepreneurial class and they told her, "Hire slowly, fire quickly."
And I'm like, yeah, that's a nice theory, but sometimes it's really hard to do, especially if you're just one person.
Trent: Or you can just hire fast and fire fast as well. That works as well.
I'm just kidding. It can actually cost you a lot to hire the wrong person because you do have that tendency to hold on a little bit, saying, "Let me give them a chance to see if they'll work it out."
But, yeah, I think the main thing is, [00:40:00] if you have it clear on who you want to do that and what skill sets are required for that and the process and tasks they're going to be doing, then it's more likely you hire the right person the first time.
Ryan: Well, let's have people, for this, because I think we're going to draw this one to a close. Let's have people, at the close of this episode, what I encourage you to do is just think about, if you don't have a team, think about the benefits of having a team.
Go ahead for a moment and suspend all your concerns about having a team, because I'm going to tell you that having a team will outweigh any concerns you have about having a team.
If you've had a bad experience in the past having a team, I would say that could be overcome with the right help.
Oli's got his course, which walks through how to hire properly, how to identify if they're in the right seat on the bus and, if they're not, moving them to the right seat or move them off the bus.
We can talk more about that in another episode, I think.
What would you want people to get out of this discussion?
Oli: I think, really, to open your mind to the possibility that the [00:41:00] business can be more than just you.
As much as you feel that you're the key driver behind the business, actually you maybe stifling your success by not actually being open to hiring people.
Hiring people, building capability inside of your business, that means that they can take responsibility for helping you grow the business.
These positions that we spoke about in putting the growth team together are what really creates a modern marketing team, really, that will enable you to grow and prosper and not sit and stagnate.
Trent: I think the thing that comes to my mind is, we all fear that process of hiring someone, like, how am I going to afford to pay them?
And those are all natural fears that come to your mind as you're growing a business, but if you focus on what you do best to grow the revenue and then clearly write out those processes [00:42:00] and tasks as you prepare to hire the right person, it's not something you should fear.
I noticed in my business that as soon as I was able to let go of the perfectionism of, do it my way, do it this way, and just hired the right person given the outcomes and gave them the tools and the resources necessary, my income went up.
I was shocked by it because I didn't think that would happen. I was skeptical.
I thought, "This is going to cost me money, but I'll have a little bit more time. Not only give me more time, but give me more profit and more income."
Take that leap of faith, but do it judiciously with the focus on, of course, growing your business, not just hiring a person for the sake of hiring a person, but having a clear path on what they're going to do and how they're going to help you to continue to grow revenue.
That will be the best jump you can make in your business if you're prepared for that in the right way.
Ryan: We'll close with this: I think if you'll just give yourself a little room to believe that you can have a team, that a team can help you be successful, talk to people who have teams.
They'll tell you the things that they've learned [00:43:00] and they'll help you get closer to being able to implement a team in a positive way that can be a real benefit to you and the people you serve.
On behalf of Oli and Trent, keep moving forward. We'll talk to you again next time.