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In this podcast, Sam & Josh had the chance to speak with Mark & Ben of the Friday Habit. Below is a quick overview of the conversation. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Here are the things we discussed in the podcast:
Whatever you’re doing in life, pay attention and you’ll find parallels to running a business
Saying “we’ve always done it that way” kills businesses
It may be worth it to bring in a consultant (a fresh pair of eyes) to identify waste
Implement something in your business for continuous improvement (Kai-zen)
Your goal with creating processes is to make it hard for people to fail at their job (not just to save time or money)
Keep asking how you can eliminate yourself:
Delivery of promise
Ask for referrals
If you have a company that requires your time do this:
Ask people what you’re doing for people
Charge more for your time
Create some type of digital knowledge product that will scale without you
When you’re trying to accomplish something, don’t ask how to do it, ask who can do it for me.
Mark: Today we talk with self-proclaimed automation, mega nerds. Welcome to the Friday Habit with Benjamin Manley and Mark Labriola II.
Ben: The Friday habit is for creators, entrepreneurs and agency owners, looking for actionable ideas on how to grow their business and be more profitable.
Mark: We’ll from our combined knowledgeable for 20 years at interview thought leaders that will inspire you and give you the motivation.
To kick your business into high gear, buckle up
and welcome to the Friday habits. And today. Ben, and I are so excited to, uh, interview our guests, but I’ll introduce one of our guests. Uh, his name is Sam of it. He’s a professional guide, turned automation, mega nerd. Uh, he’s the co-founder of mobile pocket office and is leading the way to help new and established business augment their human and technological resources to leverage.
Growth and streamlined productivity. So that’s Sam, welcome to the show, Sam and, and we got to, this was like a Twix episode, you know, like a surprise. We got Sam’s business partner and, uh, father Josh, welcome to the show.
Sam: We’re excited on one thing. It’s Ovett, not avid, but that’s no big deal. It’s just that way.
People know. Um, that’s really exciting.
Josh: Oh bet like Corvette,
Sam: we’re excited to be here, you know, share some stuff. Hopefully people can walk away with some things they can use.
Mark: Yeah. And that’s what we’re all about. We’re all about, you know, um, having great conversations, but then also, um, having some takeaways that we can take back and, and, and, um, you know, focus on growing our businesses.
Ben: I have an icebreaker question I could kick off with. Let’s do it. All right. This is for both of you, would you rather be able to play any instrument or speak any language?
Sam: I would rather be able to speak any language I’m thinking about. Y you know, uh,
Mark: this, my thought is this. I would rather play any instrument because music is a universal language, right?
So it’s like, Trying to communicate with somebody like in China, you’d be like, let me grab some of these strings. And you just started playing like van Halen on these like strings people are going to be like, whoa,
Ben: how are you going to order Chinese food? Cause I’m not sure if that’s going to
There’s the practical side of it. It sounds
Josh: like I can play multiple insurance really. And I can only speak two languages. There you go.
Sam: Yeah. I mean, language, I think would be. I think language is the practical one. And then, and then like the romantic one is the, uh, the, the instruments
Josh: I’ll add a twist. If I was traveling, I would rather have the language.
Ben: the Celtic take instrument. I mean, I feel I can kind of get by with all those, like, you know, Google translate apps where you can point your phone at a sign and it translates it live for you. I mean, sure. I’ll be at a annoying, annoying tourist that doesn’t speak the language, but I think I can get around.
I would love to be able to play like, um, you know, like a violin or cello or something. That’s what I would pick.
Josh: No, I was just thinking about having, have it be able to play multiple games. You can entertain yourself. You’re not going to talk to yourself.
Mark: You’re like Dick van Dyke over here, like, you know, playing in the play in the gym.
What instruments you play? Josh?
Josh: I played trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, piano. Nice. Wow. Um, you know, uh, French horn. Um, so yeah, I, I did a lot of, and what I. When I was a kid, I actually had a band and I would switch it between trumpet and T and then
Mark: it wasn’t a sky band. Was it? Well,
Josh: th th th the challenge was, is our sax player never showed up on time, or sometimes didn’t show up and we had some really cool, you know, numbers we played.
And so, you know, I’d leave the show with, you know, a trumpet was great, you know, and then, uh, a flugelhorn and. You know, where’s, where’s the sexy movement music with the, with the saxophone. And I was like, okay, I got
Mark: the bowl play. It’s like, we’re playing careless whispers tonight. Josh, get on the sax.
Sam: She had told you. Yeah, solid.
Mark: Give us, I want to get to know the two of you a little bit better and kind of hear your origin story. Um, kind of hear about, uh, you know, where you guys came from, how you developed your, your business idea and Sam, I, you know, it sounds to me, you know, reading some of your bio and stuff like that, that you’re, you’re pretty active outdoorsy kind of guy and.
Yeah, there was a lot of in your bio about you being a guide and a kayaking athlete and all this kind of stuff. So, um, maybe, maybe what we could do is start with you kind of maybe where you came from up until this point. And then Josh, maybe I want to kind of hear some of your story too, of, you know, where you came from up until the point where you guys decided to start a business.
Josh: Yeah. I CA originally I was born in Brooklyn, so that’s where I came from.
Sam: Yeah, no, it’s a good story. And I, I put it to every, because, uh, I thought it was interesting. It’s a little bit different and it’s a not, you know, it’s not like a normal, maybe it’s not normal. Maybe it is who knows what normal is.
We’re going to throw normal out the window. But the idea that there’s a lot of parallels that come from the time that I spent as a professional athlete and guide into the world of business. And so I. And Joshua we’ll have some fun things too, to pop in here with, because you know, he’s my father. And so I, I grew up in like, oh, I want to do is like go play outside and do outdoor stuff.
And that was the primary thing. And so I went to school, I got a degree in environmental science. And as Josh will tell you that when I was in college, I would, I would go to school like three days a week. Cause I jammed all my classes together. Then I would guide guidance, uh, do adventures the on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
And, um, and so that was my thing and I was really into it. And, you know, I had the, the fortunate, um, upbringing to be around Josh, who was always, you know, he always, I mean, since ever since I was like remembered stuff, you always had your own business. Um, and so I was always raised in that environment of entrepreneurship, but my version of it early on was like, I want to go forward to path in the world of whitewater.
And that’s my thing. That’s what I wanted. And I did it. And so, and then after college, I moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina and spent a lot of time guiding up there and paddling and being part of teams. But that was also funnily enough, my introduction to the world of marketing and also opened my eyes to the failures of margin, because it turns out that when you are, so there’s kind of a couple of things that I pulled that I always tell people, like, if you’re paying attention to what you’re doing, there’s probably a lot of parallels in your life that you can do.
And bring over if you’re not paying attention, then yeah. You’re going to miss all of that stuff. Um, and, and go like, oh, this is so different than that. And it’s like, well, maybe it’s not, maybe there’s some lessons to be learned. Um, but with that, there’s a couple of things there. One is from the guiding standpoint, outside of being a professional sponsored athlete, uh, the guiding side of things, there’s a lot of risk management.
There’s a lot of communication with people. There’s a lot of logistics and. And people can actually die because you’re taking people down and hazardous whitewater. Um, and, and like, and unfortunately like just to set the stage, like I’ve dealt with death in that realm and with what we do now, nobody dies.
It’s pretty easy. You know, there’s a lot of livelihoods on the line with people’s businesses, but, but people. People don’t die quickly, overnight type of thing.
Josh: Yeah. I remember Sam said somebody died in the river and I tried to resuscitate them and I said, okay, we’re driving up to take out the dinner.
Cause you’re probably all freaked out and said, you know, Hey, these people just want to go down or a boat ride down the river. Luckily it wasn’t Sam’s boat. So I didn’t have any comment on that one, but he was the. Eagle scout with the skills and the, and the, and the knowledge to take action. And he took the evasive action and made sure everybody else self, and then, you know, dealt with, you know, ambulances, doctors, helicopters, all that good stuff that comes with yeah.
Somebody in the middle of nowhere, you know, drowning. Yeah.
Sam: Yeah. Wow. Not to like push that off, but the bigger picture here is that there’s risk and you have to manage that risk and that practice of risk management and going, if I do X, what’s my potential outcome and what are the downsides and how do I protect them?
What are the measures I can take to protect that? How can I train myself so that I understand the realities of the risks that I’m taking? How can I set it up so that I can reduce the risk and these can apply in business just the same people have heard of the idea of protecting your downside. That’s all it is.
It’s this idea of risk management and with what we do with people’s business and automation and process and growing business, there’s a lot of opportunity to, to completely blow up a business and destroy it overnight. And so we look at those and we take a guided perspective of working with someone, and then we look at all the risks.
So that’s the translation of that, and we’ll get into it some more. But the other translation is like, is the failure of marketing, which is what I call it. Like the marketing failure as a professional athlete, guess what? You may be physically in shape and capable, but you’re a line item on somebody’s marketing budget.
That’s the bottom. You know, and depending on the, uh, the nature of the sport, you’re a bigger line item, or you’re a smaller line item. Um, and that’s kind of the bottom line. So that was my, my real raw introduction to the world of marketing. Cause hi, welcome to the team. Now you’re going to sit down with the marketing director and, and
Josh: as when you sit down with that marketing director, they want to know how much social media you can generate on your own for them.
What can you do to make the number of the lights go up and the interest to open the sales go up? Yeah.
Sam: And so, like, that’s the difference? You know, there is a level of athlete that’s performing at the Olympic level. They’re also doing that same game, but there’s a little bit different there because it’s, but it’s not much at the end of the day.
Uh, very few athletes outside of the sports. That, that we think of as mainstream sports, you know, NBA football, most athletes that you see on social media and the adventure sports world. They’re not making much money, you know, but the company is trying to figure out, Hey, this person is doing something publicly that is garnering attention.
And they’re able to, you know, then they meet the standards physically, what they’re capable of doing to call them an athlete. And outside of that it’s Hey, how many boats or paddles or whatever it is, can they, can they sell for us is the bottom line. And so when you look at what was done, it’s like, it’s literally a numbers game of marketing.
And that was my introduction to the world of marketing and also where I started to realize all the marketing around me. And then just understanding process from growing up around Josh, who’s always done some kind of process and then. Being introduced to marketing automation. Cause I was like, oh, well how can I automate certain things in the social media world that opens up a whole wide world of automation?
And if it’s interesting to you, then you start to go down that path.
Josh: Um, yeah. Well, and when you pocket jingles, when you do it even makes it better.
Sam: Yeah, exactly. And so the more I do, like the more money I’d make as an athlete, but ultimately it wasn’t that much money. And like here’s a funny statement.
Airport about to head down to Ecuador. Um, and, and I’m like sitting there with a kayak, you know, and going down, we were going to be part of this, uh, like this, one of the cities in Ecuador response during an expedition to promote tourism in their town. So we were going to go down right. Uh, you know, document this whole thing and then they were going to promote it.
And the reality is like, wasn’t much money compared to the world that we are in now at all. You know, it was like, yeah, like here’s some change and, and the, uh, there was a, for a long time. Yeah. And it was great. I don’t regret any of those experiences. I would do it over again. Um, and I mean, that’s where I have, like, there’s, you know, a line of skis on the wall.
I’m like eight miles from near a ski resort and bad country. And you know, this is like a rock face. That’s about 30 minutes from our house, the head for that. So I, I still participate as an athlete. Um, yeah. And my own sponsor now. And it’s like a lot better sponsorship, but that said, uh, let me wrap up this story.
Cause I think it’s interesting and this is kind of the turning point in my mind to say I gotta do something. And, um, all these things are opening up in my mind, which is I’m about to head down to Ecuador. I’m sitting in the airport and this guy who is a professor in agricultural professors with a group of students, and there’s this giant kayak.
And they’re like, well, what are you, what are you doing with that? You know, like, um, yeah, going down to Ecuador, we’re gonna do some first ascents and, you know, go off these waterfalls and film it. And I don’t know why he said this, but he’s like, oh, so what do you do for a living? You know? And I was like, well, that’s what I do.
He’s like, well, you can eat your kayak, the agricultural guy. And I just kind of like, well, fuck you, you know what?
Okay. And then over time, that kind of, so again, and I was like, you know, I think it could make a lot more money here doing stuff. And that was where I was. We merged. So that was the beginning of the discussion and development into the world of let’s merge this idea of all the marketing stuff that I’m seeing with the process stuff that Josh had done for years.
And Hey, it turns out there’s a whole world of like the marketing and sales automation, you know, and Josh, you were aware of it, but like you really did stuff on the business analytics side for you. And process.
Mark: Yes. So Josh, tell us, Josh, tell us a little bit about where you came from and you say you’re you’re,
Sam: that’s where that merged starts to happen.
Mark: know, Josh is, is hanging out in Brooklyn, just gangster with like Jay Z and like all these people,
Sam: um, burning, cutting down the neighbors, bushes,
Josh: bushes. They have time for it today, but I started off in Brooklyn and wound up in south Florida. And then now I’m here in Atlanta. So. You know, um, I just been out of my native habitat for a long time
Sam: and I currently live in Colorado just so everybody knows.
Mark: Okay. You’re a, a local Colorado, and then I, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m I’m right down in Littleton. Oh,
Sam: I’m up in Nederland. Okay. Sweet. All
Mark: right. Yeah. It’s beautiful. So yeah, Ben, actually we do a business retreat every year and he came out, we went up, uh, to lake Dillon and, uh, spent some time up there doing some business stuff.
So yeah, it’s it’s I love Colorado. It’s awesome. But, but Josh, so tell us a little about your journey, about, you know, how you kinda got to where you are today. Um, kind of some of your, your history and all that. Well,
Josh: we’re a big family from the outdoors. My father was always a big, my all my family has been in big outdoor.
Um, Sam went to school three days a week in college. I did the same thing only. I, I majored on the throes those other days in, uh, sailing and, um, uh, skiing, not, you know, a, an a on the back of a power. Yeah. So I spent Friday, Saturday, Sunday on the lake and, you know, then the rest of the day was at school. So, um, And then I had a various things I did in school, et cetera.
But long story short is I learned how to sell and I learned I would also in risk management and I got in the insurance industry. So, um, I’ve got various sales experience from that perspective, but then I found. One of the one I had a job for about eight years of my entire life of 40, some odd years of working.
Um, so I really don’t know what it’s like to work for somebody much. I’m not a very good employee, but that’s not,
Mark: none of us are, once you start working for yourself, you’re like, oh, I take two I’m
Josh: damaged goods. I take too much time off. And I challenge everybody’s ideas. Okay. You know, I can get more done in a few minutes, you know, I want to be the most automated man in the world.
I don’t want it, you
Mark: know, working smarter, not harder.
Josh: That’s right. You know, uh, I, my, my thought my model is that the best business model is the one that doesn’t need you. So, you know, I tell all the people who work for us, your job is to eliminate your job, you know, not fire you, but so you can do other things.
Do things that you have to talk to people and make things happen. But as far as, you know, if it’s a, or B whatever, so long story short from a background perspective, um, I spent a lot of my, I spent years in, I ha I am a certified total quality management guy, uh, engineering, um, processes like TQM and also lean manufacturing and, you know, a lot in manufacturing.
You know, I worked in insurance and risk managers. I built sales teams and sales forces. Um, then I got into technology and I started building, you know, the original one I’m talking back when it was about contact management, when it was dos early eighties. Okay. And I started writing software to manage it.
You know, if you’re in a program called act, you know, loans, Automating companies, brick and mortar companies. So they can work as a sales team and a customer service team. And then I worked my way up to, I was dealing with fortune 500 and fortune 1000 companies, primarily in the, in the department of defense government contractors.
Um, I’m also part of the national defense industrial association. I spent a lot of time in the it business, but everything centers around, um, Eliminating repetitive work that can be done by a computer. All right. 24 by seven. And doesn’t take a vacation. Doesn’t get sick. Doesn’t break down other than you unplugged the power.
So, you know, there’s a lot of business experience and consulting that we do. Um, you know, as I tell people, are you successful enough to go take a trip to the Amazon, spend six weeks without communications with your business and double your business while you were. Okay. Last year I took six weeks off, turned off my phone.
I hit how many people did that last year and our business group. Yeah.
Mark: Awesome. Yeah. We’re big fans of Mike Macau it’s and he has a book out there called clockwork, um, which is all about, uh, you know, automating your business. And, you know, the goal is to like, be able to take four weeks off. Uh, and not, you know, have anybody contact you
Josh: this week?
I want to follow my, my mentor, Dan Sullivan, the strategic coach. I paid him a quarter million dollars over the years, 17 weeks a year. He’s taken off for 50 years. Wow. And he’s coached 40,000 entrepreneurs. Wow. He just came out her book, right? Uh, it’s called, uh, Um, I’ll come back to that, but the, it was so good.
Mark: was good.
Josh: Um, I’m Googling it
Ben: right now.
Sam: I mean, Josh, the outcome was what you do, you know, and what we do. Like you, you, you literally practice it. So like, you don’t even have to talk about the book cause you do it right. First-hand experience, you know, and the low yeah.
Josh: Is how do you. Innovate delegate, extricate yourself.
All right. Automate the rest and then go live that’s that’s ideal when you spell it out. Um, yeah. So the idea here is if you practice it, you know, what can you do? And you have to take a critic. You know, it’s really easy to be complex, but it takes a lot of work to be. I’ll let you ask the question since you’re the host.
Mark: Oh, I was just curious, uh, you know, this idea of business process mapping and, and you know, how you incorporate marketing into that.
Sam: Let me just let’s jump into that and start from a little bit from the top and like why you would do it in the first place. Right? Cause it’s like, what’s the point, you know, there’s all these techniques and tools and blah, blah, blah.
But if there’s no point behind it and it just sucks up your time and you have a lame outcome, then you probably shouldn’t do it. So with this, it’s all about starting from the top and going what’s, what’s the outcome that you’re trying to achieve as with your best. And the focus we have is exactly what Josh was talking about there.
Right. Is that idea that, and you can say it again, Josh, that ideal statement,
Josh: there’s innovate, delegate, extricate, automate, and live.
Sam: Yeah. So if that’s the outcome that you want with the business end, even if that’s not the outcome, you just want to grow, your business is going to help you do it too, because it’s going to give you the ability to scale stuff, which is a popular word.
And a lot of people scale with humans versus technology. And there’s a lot of opportunity that’s missed in human error. That’s created when you do that. Um,
Josh: so if you want to grow your business past a certain point, over a hundred thousand, you know, you’re at a a hundred, 150,000, you’re, you’re a small business and you are, you have a job that you can’t leave, but if you’re scaling to any amount and you want to be a seven figure eight figure or pick a number that’s low.
You’re going to have to have infrastructure and management in place to handle these things. It just doesn’t happen. And it also, all those things cost money. Okay. You know, there, there are things that, that, that, uh, eat while you sleep so to speak. Okay. Those are the worst things, but the ones that eat more than they need.
You know, you’re going, you’re not making any money unless you’re got it organized and you got it systematized, and you have people who know exactly what to do and they do it well. So when you’re mapping out your business, you’re trying to figure out how to do things in as much as straight line as possible.
Right. And there’s one thing that I learned a long time ago. It kills every business. Well, you always have done it that way. Those all. That’s the way, you know? And so when you train people, when people put in processes as a smaller business, they grow, they put these layers of automation and process and rules and regulations.
Right. But very rarely did they go back like an onion and peel it back and take away all the excess. Um, I’ll give you a case in point, very easy. One. I was one of the, one of my customers is one of the major carpet manufacturers in the world here. And one day I did a project. When, when, you know, over a couple of years, did it projects, projects, but, uh, you know, one of the things I was watching this guy walk up and down every day I was there for like a month.
Every day I watched this guy walk up and down the halls with a, with a card full of boxes of paper. So I decided to follow them one morning, who’s dropping the boxes off in each of the offices. And so after he dropped the box off, I walk in. To the executive, the guy whoever’s in the office, what do you what’s that for is, oh, I think the reports and he tells the guy just put them over in the phone or on the top of the other reports.
I said, do you actually use those? Nah, everything I would use on the computer, get this guy. Sure. Around with literally bankers boxes of reports that they printed off all night long and put some in people’s offices. And I said, I got a question for you. Why do you still do this? And this is, you know, in the seventies, you know, he’s just kind of retiring whatever he says, well, that’s what I’ve done for 30 years.
Nobody told me to stop. So, you know, one of my reports at the end of the week with the executive committee, I’m gonna save you a thousand dollars a week in paper costs. Yeah.
Ben: So if you’re, if you’re a business owner and that kind of stuff is happening and you have blind spots to it, how do you identify those things?
When like, maybe he’s blind to it because he’s just always done that way. Like how do people know that’s happening to them? My
Josh: secret weapon really? I’m ready. It’s called the fresh air. Yeah. Hmm. Okay. So a fresh pair of eyes is a consultant. I walk in and I have no preconceptions. They just teach me how to do the jobs around here
Sam: as if you’re, as if you’re trying to train me to do a menu.
And I’m a brand new employee. Okay.
Josh: Well you just tell me what to do and I’m going to actually do them, you know, I’ll help somebody out, but I’m going to do it and I’m looking and going. And any employee that comes in, if they’re a value, they’re going to go. Yeah. This is a waste of time. You can, instead of doing this, you can do this and you don’t need this, but they are most employees, right.
Or team members don’t ask questions. They do what they’re told, right?
Sam: His concern is not getting fired right away when it really, they, every new employee is, is old. I won’t say as good as a, as hiring a, a sharp consultant to look at this. If they’re given the communication that says, Hey, you have the permission that says, Hey, ask why.
And we want to write all this down. That’s the fastest way to find out. And it’s not, it’s not from the people who’ve been there because anybody who’s been there longer than a, a year, maybe two years doing stuff repeatedly, they’ve hit the patterns. There’s they they’re, they’re no longer looking at it with, with pressure.
Josh: doesn’t listen, you know, I’ve told them a bunch of times, but you know, we can save a thousand dollars a week if we just use this, did it this way, but they don’t want to listen.
Ben: Is there anything, um, you recommend culture wise? That’s like, Hey, these are the types of things as a business that you should.
Do you ongoing, so this doesn’t happen to people again, and they need to hire another consultant in five, 10 years, or is it always, is that the answer always to have a fresh pair of eyes or is there something that business owners and employees can do on an ongoing basis to help prevent
Josh: yes. Two things.
Okay. One comes from a over 50 year old methodology called Kaizen. Okay. I’m from the Japanese and it means continuous improvement. Okay. That means you only want to always want to find better ways to do things because you’re always changing the market’s changing. What can you do better? You can apply that to anything.
Okay. And the other part, the other Japanese word, that’s part of Kaizen. It’s, there’s several pieces to it. So I’m not, I’m just giving you the, the meat and potatoes that we teach people at a mid-sized business owner, but things you can do. It’s called Poka yoke and that’s not got nothing to do with it.
Poca means mistake and yoke means proof, mistake, proof. Okay. No, there’s a book about rework that has been written, you know, rework bad returns. Um, if you have, if you make mistakes, there’s a cost to it. Meaning the customer’s unhappy, the product raise should get returns. Um, I’ll give you an interesting. Uh, one of my customers is the largest garbage manufacturing manual, uh, companies in the world.
And I spent a month in, in, uh, in Scotland, D observing some things and building some systems technology systems, and I was doing some analytics. And I noticed that this was because I was playing with the numbers and working with my team and said, you know, what are we seeing this pattern? The numbers that we’re pulling out of all the manufacturers.
And what Walter says, you know what, there’s a problem. There’s a problem. There’s all the trucks that are manufactured online for coming out on Fridays after two o’clock seems to have a lot of leaks that come back in. He’s a hundred thousand dollars plus trucks and they leak and they’re all. And then when they bring them back to fix them, they’re offline for weeks being repaired and they have to provide a loaner truck.
Right. So it’s expensive, especially if it’s under warranty. So we started digging into the data and started doing some reporting. And we found out that it was position six online, four after two, that caused all of these things. And I went to the manager and I said, who works on position six after two o’clock and that shift.
Oh, you know, that’s that’s that’s Joey, whatever his name was. I don’t remember. They said, you know, that he has cost you $6 million a year in leaky parts and overhead. What is this? Yeah, all the trucks that leak that come back for repair are come off of his line. Wow. And here’s the bottom line of it. When we all sat down and had a beer and talked about, he says, Joey has a drink problem.
And he shouldn’t be at work, but he’s the best mechanic we have when he’s sober. All right. And guess what I said, you know what? You should give Joey Friday afternoons off. It’ll save you $6 million and give them a bonus.
Stay staying home. Okay. Right. Or buy his liquor for him and get him off the job after lunch. Right. Well, wow. Huh? When you, this again, I’m looking at what’s causing the loss of revenue what’s causing rework what’s causing delays.
Ben: And they never caught that because they weren’t maybe measuring or why do you think they w they had never caught that
Josh: nobody ever really went and looked at it.
Why? Well, the first thing was I asked stupid questions. I said, I said, you guys provide, I mean, this is a conversation that went on for a couple of weeks over winks. She said, let me understand this. When a truck breaks down during the first years warranty, you replace it with a truck. How much does that cost to do that?
Well, we take $120,000 asset. We put it out there. It’s about $2,000 a day, like, okay. So $30,000 a month is what you’d normally lease one for or whatever, whatever that number was. I said, there’s an expense. I said, why did the trucks break down? You know, I’m working backwards. Why are you, you know? Cause we were just looking at managing there, there, there, uh, the replacement trucks, you know?
And so I said, okay, let’s go back. Why do they break down? Well, um, we, we, we, we looked at oil leaks. We looked at, I mean, we had another one that was really crazy. Okay. There’s a big injector cylinder in a garbage truck. This ch push all that stuff out. Right. Those things are $40,000 cylinders. Okay. And then I noticed that a lot of those are being replaced, but I saw them being replaced in trucks that were years old and years that were new.
And I was like, this is strange. It turns out that when they sold trucks to a large company, And they knew that they could get a replacement under warranty. They would take the new part out of a new one and put it in an old one and then make a claim that the, the, the, the new one broke and, you know, high, the new truck had broke down.
They’d come out and put it. And they actually come out and deliver a new $40,000 cylinder and install it on a warranty. You know, now the cutting, you know, and I said, you know, those parts are serialized. Aren’t they. Why don’t we start tracking those serial numbers and put them into your system. And if the serial number that the part was, the Chuck of the VIN number is not matched to the part of the serial number.
No, you haven’t customer relations problem to deal with. Okay. There was another $3 million saved by fixing that problem. So you look at things and say, where are the money issues?
Mark: All right. We’re going to pause this conversation here. Uh, you go to the Friday habit.com there you can find show notes for this episode.
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Like it’s Friday.
Mark: Hey everybody, we’re going to pick up our conversation. We started last week. So if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, go back and listen to that episode. And then you can listen to this episode. This is part two of a two part series. Uh, hope you enjoy. Welcome to the Friday habit with Benjamin Manley and Mark Labriola II.
Ben: The Friday habit is for creators, entrepreneurs and agency owners looking for actionable things. On how to grow their business and be more profitable.
Mark: We’ll pull from our combined knowledgeable for 20 years at interview thought leaders that will inspire you and give you the motivation you need to kick your business into high gear.
Buckle up it’s friday.
What do you guys see as far as, you know, cause a lot of our audience is more of like a small business. They’re not a big corporation, they’re smaller teams of, you know, maybe 2, 3, 4 or five people, you know? Um, you know, where do you guys see a lot of the breakdown or the, the loss in those kind of smaller teams like that?
Sam: Why don’t you give the example of, we work with a lot of businesses that are in a stage where. Their revenue is growing rapidly, but they’re not quite there. They would be still in the small size there they’re headed to the midsize business, but they’re just exploding with growth. And you usually, as someone who’s just got a real good match with whatever it is they’re bringing to the market and the market is just eating it up.
They figured out some advertising, but largely it’s just a matter of like their thing, whether it’s a service or a physical thing. Meeting a demand and they are blowing up. So I’ll throw that one over to you, Josh, because that is, there’s a really interesting example.
Josh: I’m going to use one of our current customers.
All right. It’s a good example. Six person team doing awesome out of Canada, female, all female. Okay. Um, came to me and our first problem was she’s working 90 hours a week. She’s gotten one more time, you know, and can you fix a few things? Within two weeks, I eliminated 40 hours of her work alone right away.
She already didn’t have a life. Now she has a life, but she still has work. Now the rest of the things you want to do backfill with, and then we kept doing that and we kept doing more than that. Um, so here’s what happened. She now had time to work on her business rather than in her business. And we talked about that.
Uh, one of the things we talked about, she had failed trying to automate some of this. You know, she basically, she, I do coaching and teaching, uh, and it’s amazing what they do.
Sam: It’s like a 10 week tutoring program for kids who need help
Josh: in school and how to be accelerated. They learn how to learn. Well, anyway, long story short is she was so booked up.
You can’t get an appointment with her for, for two months. So, you know, but before this, I’m rolling this back and I talked to her and we talked about, um, you know, how do we, how do we make another offering that does not require you to constantly have involvement? And your people don’t have to be involved because you just it’s a resource intensive business.
So we went to say, okay, let’s do something. That’s a death. Her car, her course had started $8,000. Okay. So it’s a high tech. Paid in advance. Um, yeah. Yeah. So it was really cool. So I said, why don’t we make a down, sell for some people, you know, she said, you know, there are people who just can’t afford it. And I really don’t want to give away my stuff.
So why don’t we make a down sell of kind of a, self-guided a guided program. We put together an MVP and let’s just throw it out there and test it. We threw it out. We made something simple, nothing complex, right? It has all the same quality, but it’s just self run. It was designed to. Throughout there on December 25th, 2020 sold one every day for a thousand bucks.
It’s still selling that one and every day. And I, she had a different problem. Now she wanted to, she said, Ooh, we can grow this. And we talked about how, and I said sound by the sound by the bucket. So she sold it. She went to a school system and they bought 40 at once. And now she’s working on one. That’s going to buy it.
3,200. It was one of the teaching association. And now, you know, her marketing, she’s got that dialed in. She still doesn’t have the availability. So I said, you need to hire some sales, right? Literally this week, she hired some sales people. They’re starting on Monday. Wow. You hired three full-time sales people.
That’s crazy. Okay. So we had to put the systems in place to train the people. The process leads automatically to follow up with the leads and to take money and, you know, pipelines and all that stuff. We’re expecting her business to take off. Right now she has 64 appointments that she’s transferring to these three people to close that’s for Monday, because you can’t get an appointment on a calendar by something.
Sam: And that, you know, that brings up Josh as the story to me, which is, this is a way for people to think about process when they’re growing rapidly like that. We, I was down in Georgia visiting and we took a trip. We were invited to come take a tour of the caterpillar plant through one of the associations that we were involved with.
Like the big, you know, the big caterpillar machines, like the dirt earth mover. And we were like, oh yeah, that sounds real quick. I want to go see what they’re doing in there. You know? Yeah. We were stoked. Yeah. Like father, son, I get to go look at a bunch of livers. And then there was this other side in the factory.
Yeah. Get a whole tour. And this other side of it was like, wow, there’s a lot of like automation potentially going on here. We didn’t necessarily know, uh, until we got there. But the plant manager gave us a tour of the factory and walked us around all the different stations. They go into making one of these earth movers and the, what are the takeaways.
And they did add a lot of automation, manufacturing automate, which doesn’t necessarily relate to a sales automation, the same. Exactly. But the, the interesting thing that I thought about it was he talked about this idea that we, when we put in automation and process our whole goal, Is not to save time, not to make a lot of money, but his perspective was to make it hard for people to fail at what they’re doing.
And we took that and thought, wow, that’s a really cool way to think about it. Make process so that it’s really hard for people to fail at their job. And so taking that and applying it to, when you get a lead in, from the great marketing you’re doing, make it really hard for someone to fall out of your pipeline.
And if they’re watching humans along the way, and the process that you’ve created, make it really hard for all those humans to fail it there. Hmm. That’s really good. And so that’s, that’s the goal make use product SS, use automation, use technology to do the things that take every time, but also use. To make it really, really hard to fail at your job and anybody you hire, because now you’re leveraging your resources.
Smarter. People are happier, they’re more successful. And consequently, you know, if you’re doing that right, then you should see a growth in your business.
Josh: There is no sales person that I know of, including myself that likes dialing. For dollars or making cold calls or talking to people who aren’t prospects or ready to buy.
There’s nothing more exciting to talk to somebody that’s ready to buy, because what happens, they’re making a decision, you’re making a commission, you’re moving, you’re making your goals. You’re making your quotas and everybody’s happy. As opposed to, Hey, what’d you do for me this week? Oh, the dry pipeline.
I remember hiring somebody one of the top salespeople from, um, gateway computer long time ago. He was the number young guy, number one sales guy. I hired him because I had a great experience. I bought $150,000 worth of computers for a product project. And I was like, this guy is great. And he followed up and everything.
So I said, Hey. You want to come home? I needed to, I need a sales guy. You know, we had a consulting company and we did, you know, say automation. And, um, he was like, yeah, I flew him down here from Michigan. And, you know, he had some, you know, he loved, he says, I’d love to move to Georgia. And this is great out of the snow, you know, where do you, where do you store your galoshes?
I’m like, what’s those anyway, long story short is, you know, I put them to work and he found business. One day, we had a conversation. They said, har, his name is Harley. Is Harley. What are you so down about? You made a couple of sales. He says, yeah, but it’s not the same. I said, what do you mean? He said, when I was at gateway, I feel the calls that they did, the marketing and I sifted and sorted.
I picked the best ones and I made lots of sales and I felt great every day. I said, yes. So. He says, well here and I got to go and find the people to sell. I get to qualify them, I guess, you know, I said, oh, I said, well, I thought you were doing great. You know, you’re knocking out a couple of sales, uh, you know, every couple of months.
And the big ones she has was that it’s not the same. What I learned is right. I opened her. He wasn’t selling, he was taking orders, but deciding what you ordered only to take the big ones. Okay. So he was the top sales for me, cause it was, he was good at customer
Mark: service. It
Josh: was a good marketing department that presented him qualified leads at different, at different levels.
People who were interested in buying, maybe not now, but in a month or, you know, or versus, you know, I need something in a week, but he could discern which ones were which, and closed them and get them nailed down. So I learned that, you know, if, and a lot of companies that I have worked with over the years, especially in technology, they focus on getting good leads in and making sure that people have interested people to talk to, as opposed to literally in my day I went out and prospecting.
I had a fine customers today, you know, um, I’m the older dude in the group, right? Prospecting. I prospect on Facebook. I see somebody has a problem. I reach out and say, I can solve that. Let’s talk, you know, um, you know, you had a conversation with a guy in Brooklyn. I said, Hey, I’m a fellow, Brooklyn. I, you know, you look like me, you have no idea how this stuff works and you’re going down.
All I say, I can save you a lot of money. And a lot of hassle let’s have a conversation is like, oh, finally, somebody looks like me and knows that I don’t know what I’m doing, but it doesn’t embarrass me. And, you know, and I can show you how, you know, he’s like he bought, he bought, he bought us, he put her on a sales automation tool and he was looking for an email tool and the proposal tool.
And like, you already own it. And he’s got a company, he sells the physicians. And, um, so, you know, he’s got a market that pays a lot of money for his services, but it was like, you don’t know how to drive this new Ferrari you got, so it doesn’t make any difference if you’re old or young, One of the things you asked, how do you help the S the S the small to midsize business, right?
Yeah. One is you got to help them think differently. And the idea would be, is, and it’s hard because you don’t have some, you know, I’ve done Sam and I have dealt with so many businesses. We can take ideas from a law firm in applying to manufacturing and manufacturing and plant them a physician’s office.
Right. Cross-pollinate ideas. Hey, this worked over here with a twist it’ll work. But the idea is if you attend podcasts and learn things, there’s lots of stuff online. I learned a lot. I’m online. YouTube is my friend. It’s my teacher. Okay. Does everybody has stuff I don’t know, or I’m trying to connect, but the idea is thinking about how you can eliminate yourself, right?
If you use that mindset, how do I not have to be here or I can teach somebody else to do it. And they do it perfectly every time, or I can automate it. So it doesn’t have to be done at all by a human. Number one, you’re going to lower your cost of doing business. You’re going to decrease the problems and you basically tried to build a better way of delivery.
And you think about it in basically five sections, there’s lead generation, there’s conversion, there’s delivery of what you promise, what you promise people. Then there’s delighting them and keeping them happy that they don’t have buyer’s remorse. Right. You know how to use the product better or service or whatever.
That’s your book. And then the one that everybody forgets ask for referral, that’s part of the process for every sale. We have, we have three to five for. That’s awesome.
Mark: Yeah. So I mean, a lot of, you know, I know for me, I started the business, this just kind of all my personal brand, you know, just me, uh, building relationships with people, having, uh, previous jobs in the past and, uh, you know, me putting myself out there.
And so, you know, how do you, how do you work yourself out of something where. You know, you are kind of the person who people want to work with or who, uh, you know, view as the lead creative or, or, you know, the person that has all the knowledge that they want.
Sam: Well, I think the fastest way is, is there’s, there’s two things.
We see this all the time, and that’s a great question. I mean, you know, a lot of people build, build a company off a personal reputation. And they’re being hired for their time. Right. And it’s a classic conversation in this day and age. Like you gotta, you know, you’re, are you trading time for money or not?
You know, do you have another way to make money? And so the bottom line is, and like it’s anybody in this digital world has seen it. And it sounds cliche, but it works, especially if you’ve gotten good at marketing your time and your personality and what you, your value. Turn around and ask those people, try and find out what is it about your time that really impacts those people?
What are you doing for them? You know, what’s the real outcome. And then number one, charge more for your time. And number two, and this is the big one is creating. Some kind of product and it is now easier than ever to create some kind of digital product. And it doesn’t even, it doesn’t have to be a piece of software.
It doesn’t have to be a SAS product, literally just a knowledge product and you’ll hear all kinds of opinions on it. They’re dead. You know, nobody listens to them. Nobody buys them. It’s not true. We work with people all the time who sell their knowledge in some format that is deliverable without any requirements of their time.
You know, the time investment is. Once, and then that is available for people and being able to sell that is one of the fastest ways to change that dynamic and get your time back. And then you can be pickier. You can do a couple of things you can get rid of all the clients, if you want that you spend your time with right.
The one-on-one. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Or you can charge a lot more and just be picky. With who you accept to, to work on with your time. But honestly, that’s the fastest way. We, we work with people all the time to make that happen because they built something that requires their time. And now they are out there literally out of time,
Josh: let’s take a real logic.
Let’s take a real life example. Okay. We have one of our customers is a couple and they’re a power couple and they’re dynamic. And for years they coached, spoken. And did all the normal, you know, uh, motivational speaking, corporate events, et cetera, there was only so much of them. So the first thing they did is they wrote a book.
Okay. So they became, they became a best seller. And the second thing is, you know, they tried to do more with when COVID came around and I was like that they tried to do a coaching. I said, well, let’s look at this strategic. You work with people one-on-one and they actually, you know, $40,000 for, uh, for one-on-one that’s a lot, you know, you know, you do 20 to 30 of those a year and you’re, you’re, you’re fill up along the speaking engagement and et cetera.
So I said, you know, why don’t we look at two other levels. One is why don’t we look at what I call cohort training, where you go one to many. So, you know, we developed a program, they did it now. They do 30 people. For like 8,007, $8,000 a clip for 10, six weeks at a time, do the math. Right? So they, they have one day that they train everybody and then the rest of the people have study and homework to do, and they have some to do some things, but it’s all automated.
They just it’s all, all the homework is recorded. It’s all very straight. So we helped them develop that and launch that piece that was very successful. And then we went and said, okay, now let’s have a down, sell those people. So you’ve got people at 40 grand and down to eight grand. What about some people have heard about it?
They don’t have a grant. Let’s do a do it yourself differently, content, different style, but it’s all the same material. Just deliver differently. Now you have a yourself masterclass, 1500 bucks, no involvement whatsoever, other than adding some new material. On a ongoing basis to keep it fresh. But now you’ve got three different sources of four different sources of revenue.
And then it was like, okay, how do we replicate ourselves again? I said, licensing, you have people who want to. Re they want to be like you and everything. You know, that you’re teaching to people. You can teach them to teach people and they buy a frame, you know, a franchise, a license it, and now they are teaching it.
So we have people in the, in, in all kinds of healthcare businesses with a brick and mortar. And now, yeah,
Sam: let’s actually take a head Jasper stop real quick. Let’s take a classic example of someone who might not think that, oh, this isn’t for me. Right. Because I think those are the, those are really, yeah.
That would never think that they could do something digitally, a client of ours. Very, and this, I mean, this is just probably a consequence of who were referred to, and we have good clients, but the application is kind of for anybody who’s who’s in this position, she is a doctor or a psychologist and, uh, Yeah, she’s got like all these things behind her name, you know, he’s the letters and, and, and she’s really respected.
And I don’t mean to play that down, but she’s really respected in her field and, you know, has lectured in her field and she wanted to do something that gave that, you know, generated some more revenue and freed up some time from having to just continuing to practice you. A little older and she didn’t want to do this all the time.
So this is a field that someone in this field might not think about going the digital route of presenting their knowledge.
Josh: And in fact, she was also an author already have multiple books and the her
Sam: topic, right? Yeah. And so she had all the credibility, one would need to easily get this to market and be trusted.
And she also had a group of peers that were rising up. The inter into that same profession, that would look up to her as someone who was very successful in their practice. And these are the, these are the things that I think are the coolest cause these are the people who they’re professionals completely outside.
They’re not digital, anything. They don’t actually care about the technology. They just want to create another source of revenue and they heard about it. And then they’re like, okay, I don’t know how to do this. How do I do this? And. Then, you know, the outcome is right, that she was able to take that knowledge that she’d built over a years and put it into a digital format that she then whenever she would speak, could offer and let people know about if you want to in-depth and continue to go on this and learn more.
Here’s an opportunity to do that. And she’s
Josh: blown up. Let me put that in context of what she did. She said, I want to build a community for the professionals that I serve and I’m going to help bring them along the young, to the old right. Teach, teach them and pass it along. So to her is her view is I need a website.
Not really. You need, you need a commute, somebody that builds a community, but the website is the front facing. That’s the shiny thing. So we built a community website. She can invite people to, they had, uh, the recording things of each of her teachings that she would do each month on training. They had a forum inside and she had placed different things that she offered them that they could buy.
Right. Relatively simple charge, $39 a month, nothing fancy. Um, but we got several thousand members and all of a sudden. Wow. And just,
Sam: and this is a recurring subscription. So that’s another thing to put in your mind. If you can create something that has a recurring subscription, that is absolutely what you want to be focusing on, and
Josh: it gets better.
She had a part-time assistant works 10 hours a week. It didn’t require any more help. The whole thing runs automated. All, all her system does is place the latest zoom video. Up downloads it and uploads it into Vimeo and then puts it into the blog of V V V blog, video blog area and publishes it and lets everybody know it’s there.
So then that worked out well, the next project, she says, you know, I’m talking in collaboration with another gentleman and we’re going to do a vignettes of actual patient doctor. You know, we’ve got 10 hours of recordings of how to actually do these interviews and help people. We created another thing.
That’s like $139. And you know, when she speaks now, she, you know, she used to do big book tours. Now she speak zoom. And what Sam was getting at is I gave her a number. It says, text this number and you’ll get a discount if you sign up for it. And I know, cause I give her the discount code and we get an alert.
Hey look, you made 400 sales today.
Sam: That’s awesome. Yeah. So yeah, I think that’s a cool, is that kind of answered the, I mean, you started with, how do you get your time back, right. And like, yeah,
Mark: great episode with a guy named Greg Hickman. If you’re listening and you’re interested, you can go back to episode 23 and 24 was a two-part series about productizing your business.
Uh, you know, which was really insightful. And I definitely, you know, uh, that is something I think. It’s kind of like that the, the creatives coveted, um, thought of like creating some sort of product and, and, you know, working themselves out of, of, uh, doing, uh, you know, the day-to-day I think what’s hard for most creatives though, is that it’s, it’s like one of those things, like, how do I sell my graphic design skills?
Or how do I sell my video? You know, production skills like we’re right now, I’m making a hundred thousand dollars a year making videos for companies. Now, how do I productize that now? Yeah. You could maybe create a course on how to make a video or how to edit a video or whatever, but I think that’s probably one of the biggest hurdles that most, most creatives, um, you know, co co come upon, you know, as far as that
Sure. Yeah. And, and I hate to say it that a lot of people, it’s not only women. I think they’re the only ones who can do it. And you have to overcome that. Can you teach somebody how to do this? Somebody who becomes a licensee, you think of the franchise business, right. You know how many people actually knew how to run a McDonald’s Hey, look, there’s a money making business.
I hire people who know how well
Sam: take it down to an even more clear, like even more relevant. Is, if you’re a creative, you learned that from somewhere, unless she had some kind of family member that taught it to you, or you lucked out in school with a great, you know, teacher of some kind. At some point you probably took some classes that you paid for and learn stuff from, and you can do the same thing.
Josh: Remember that book I was telling you about it’s called who not how, and here’s a very interesting thing for a business. When you need to get something done, don’t think how do I do this? Think who can do it?
Mark: I was going to say, I want to pick your guys’ brains. You know, we’re coming to the end of the show here, but I wanted to pick your guys’ brain a little bit.
Um, as far as, uh, you know, software and, uh, other types of technologies that you recommend, Ben currently is on the hunt for a CRM automation type products. So,
Sam: okay. I’ll give you my software monologue and my tools. All right, ready? Go. They’re all tools and the tools don’t matter. Yep. You need the right tools to get the outcomes.
So, right. And we get this question all the time and I, and I know it’s the nature of the, the environment that we’re in, but people ask, what tool do you use? What tool do you use? And I go, the tools have to do whatever the requirements are that you need. That’s how you choose your tools. You build an. The goal is to build a beautiful house, not by default, you know, I D Walt will work.
And so we’ll, uh, you know, I’m trying to think what’s another brand. Yeah. Any other brand, right. That’s what I was thinking. Yeah. I was like, and so the bottom line is it’s that old adage. What are you trying to do? You’re trying to get a whole, you know, not hammer or you’re trying to get something to hold the picture, not, not to hammer a nail, the outcome isn’t that the outcome is the outcome.
So focus on that and too many people do this, and it’s just the simplest thing is figuring out what it is you want that tool to do for you. Yeah, exactly. Then, then just go to a website like G2 crowd or Capterra and look around and find the tools in the space. Get on a demo and find out if it actually can do what it says it’s going to do.
That’s how you find the tool bottom line. That’s how I find the tool. There’s little nuances and stuff like that for certain situations. Um, but when it comes to tools, it’s a tool. If it’s, if it does, if it’s got the specs to drill the screw, so to speak the way that you need and it fits. That tool is going to work for you.
Ben: Yeah, that makes sense.
Sam: That’s my dog. That’s my tool and software monologue. I went, everybody, anybody asks that’s like, yeah, that’s right. Yeah.
Josh: But there’s one, there’s one thing about that that she actually has to take the next level. Okay. And that is, think ahead. So you don’t have to change tools. Yeah.
Yep. I, you know, the kinda was, I want some of that cheap and free and it’ll get me where I’m going. Great. Then you think of it as a disposable tool and you will have a ch you’ll have to. Take the time to move up to a different
Ben: one. Yup. That’s okay. It’s exactly what we’re going through right now is basically just to be like, get really practical here.
I’m kind of like I’ve, I’ve been using the free HubSpot CRM, obviously when you start wanting more features, huge upgrade price. Once you get into professional levels, you know what I mean? So it’s like, it’s a genius lead magnet, you know, it’s a great strategy for them.
Sam: You got all your data in there. I
Ben: mean it is possible.
Yeah, exactly. But I mean, I, you know, I will, the duke, cause I also recognize that probably is cheaper to pay somebody, to migrate all my data over to something else. Like I’m looking at other options than it is to stay there just because my data is there now. And to pay. X thousand per month for the rest of my life to HubSpot, you know, but I also recognize there’s some, like, I I’ve, I’ve done exactly what you’re talking about, which is go through G2 and look at like, okay, what are the features?
I’ve I have so many trial accounts that I’m getting bombarded with all of their automated marketing emails from every single CRM. Right. Um, anyway, so I’m, I’m, uh, I’m in the middle of that right now. And, um, uh, yeah, so I am doing what you’re saying, Josh has, which is thinking ahead and not just picking what is the tool that’s gonna work right now, but what is going to work in two years, five years?
Cause it’s, it’s painful to switch.
Josh: Well, actually, is that the years of, if you’re growing exponentially is. And this is the way I, I think I like this, you know, those, uh, clowns or magicians with that with the, they blow the blowing up. Yeah. They twist it. Do an animal, right? Yep. In the business. You’re blowing your bull up with business and then you’re twisting off customer service, sales, marketing, the air doesn’t change.
It just moves further out. Okay. So you need to, you know, what is a tool. That can handle the things that can you think far enough in advance, whether that sometimes at far enough as 90 days away, cause you outstripped your capabilities. Yeah. Why find people who are bootstrapping it? Okay. Now I’ll give you an example.
I’ll go for a more expensive tool that you got can grow in and something that I got to change, because change in any organization, change is expensive. Retraining. Transferring systems get something that you can grow into. It’s get head room, right? It’s not like a pair of shoes that you buy a pair that you buy a pair of tens when you’re a seven, it doesn’t work that way.
You got one, but the idea is, does it have things that you can grow with or you’re doing it cause you’re cash trap. Right.
Sam: And another thing Josh, that I want to add in, I also see people when they reach the limit of their tool or their natural tool is going to work for them. They start to try and build custom stuff.
Yeah, stop right there. Because if you are building custom stuff, you better have a real damn good reason to build some custom stuff because, and deep pockets, because we live in a world where the value is not in custom building it’s in strategically figuring out and putting together. The set of tools that already exist, that are maintained and constantly being upgraded that you’re paying for.
You’re paying that monthly subscription for a reason. And getting with the tool that’s going to work for you. That’s built also with the feature set for the industry you’re in. Yeah.
Ben: That’s yeah, they totally
Josh: agree. There’s another interesting piece. We have one client. And I called them the shiny object guys.
Right. I love them to death. We did it. We did a tool audit, right. And automation audit, what should we do? I do a small one in the large one. They had 90 different, 92 different pieces of software. They use to run their business.
Sam: All that’s all the way from marketing to accounting. Like the whole everything
Yeah. When we were finished, we found 63 of those were had overlays and duplication. So imagine getting rid of 63 integrations, 63 payments of services, 63 things that they had to learn. And when they brought on an employee, that’s a huge streamlining. Okay. And that that’s the modern day way of that onion.
I mentioned back before they kept, you know, I need a thing to do things. Ooh, that’s cool. That’s cool. I got, I got 19 products on AppSumo cause they were free or cheap. And let me do this and this and this. Yeah. It was an interesting story about one of those. They were telling us during our investigation, so to speak.
And this one tool that generated 500 new leads every week, I was like, holy shit. I got to see this. And how much is that tool? It was like $19 a month. I said, that’s cool. I said, why don’t you open it up? Show it to me. I’m curious what it does. How does it do that? We look at the stats last month, zeros month before zeros, Monday before that zeros, then before that it was 500, I said, so what made it stop?
He’s like, I don’t know. I said, why don’t you, it’s on a credit card. Why don’t you see if your credit card expired? So here’s the thing because of our conversation, we turned it back on, but here’s their value there. Sarah was $1,500. They closed 30% of all leads that came in. They didn’t get a lead and they didn’t.
They missed 1500 leads. That’s 500 sales at 1500 bucks. All I did was say. It, it stopped working because their credit card expired. That means that the tool didn’t remind you, number one, that’s the tools fall to say, Hey, you lost the customer and revenue, even though it was 19 bucks, but the customer lost a lot of money.
So that one turning one, that thing, that thing alone pay for all our services for over a year. Yeah. Yeah.
Mark: Well, Hey guys, I appreciate you coming on the show and, um, you know, what we’d like to do is we like to, uh, give some takeaways and then, uh, give an action item for the week. So, Ben, what is your, uh, top five takeaways of today’s conversation?
Ben: Yep. One thing that, um, Sam, you said whatever you’re doing in life, pay attention and you’ll find parallels to running a business. I think that’s great advice. I think, uh, what you said, Josh saying, we’ve always done it that way. Kills businesses. That’s important to remember. You also said make your goal.
With creating processes to make it hard for people to fail at their job, not just save time and money. Also keep asking yourself how you can eliminate yourself. And finally, when you’re trying to accomplish something, don’t ask how to do it. Ask who can do it for you.
Mark: Solid takeaways. Um, and action items, you know, with the Friday habit, our goal is to analyze the good and bad and to come up with ideas and then take those ideas and put them into action.
And so if you guys could leave us with an action item for our listeners to kind of take and to put into practice next week to make their businesses better, uh, to automate their, their system, what would that action item be?
Josh: I got one. I’m going to give me what I call my pal. Okay. Everybody needs a path.
All right. This is the one thing that small businesses can do, right? It takes, you have to spend two days doing it a little bit each day, but it will be your path. It’s called the personal activity log. This is going to sound really simple, super simple, stupid, and easy. Right on our website. You can download it.
I’ll give you the link to it. You record what you do every 15. The three days, it’s a pain in the butt. Right. And it’s just a log you can do in a spreadsheet, do it on a piece of paper, write it down. Cause you can just kind of scribble on it. I should do it right. Set up a timer that buzzes every 15 minutes is what’d.
I just do okay. At the end of three days, right? Analyze where you spend your time, what repetitive things, what things should you not be doing? And you should have delegated. What things could you have maybe automated if you think about it? And what things did you do that actually moved the needle forward?
Right. If you do that, you can, you can then decide what what’s consuming your fricking day. You know, you know, it’s, it’s your, it’s your time budget. So if you know what that is, it is you sit down with your assistant, you sit down with a know. Who’s not as busy who is looking to say, can you give me some work to do?
And you’re just, don’t release that work and say, let me show you how to do this. And you take the time so that they know how to do it as good as you do. Maybe not as great, but it’s acceptable because it gets done and you don’t do it. And then the next thing you know, is you freed up some of your time.
Mark: That’s great. I love that. What, uh, where can people connect with you guys?
Sam: The best place is just on mobile pocket office.com. We’ve got a big old button there that says book a call. We’d like to talk to you, talk to them and see if you’re a fit. And then after that we’ll market you a bunch of, uh, Stuff.
If you put your email in that, you know, the digital that makes us money outside of that, but, and you, you know, you going to unsubscribe or whatever, but like that, that is the easiest way. Mobile pocket office. All
Mark: right. Well, Hey guys, thanks for listening. And, uh, thanks for being a part of the community. Uh, I go to the Friday habit.com to find show notes.
For this episode. Also find links to our websites and ways to get in touch at the bottom of the page, you can download our free guide to the Friday habit system. That’ll show you how to set aside one full day each week to dedicate working on your business instead of in your business.
Ben: And if you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on the apple podcast app.
And if you have a question or a topic you’d like us to cover, don’t forget to record us a quick voice memo and send it to [email protected]
Mark: That’s right. Thanks for listening to the Friday habit. And until next time live every day, like it’s Friday.
If you answer yes to one of these questions.
- Need to fix your business and get a life?
- Just starting your automation journey?
- Feeling overwhelmed on where to begin your automation?
- Just feel sometimes like chucking your whole system out the window?
Then we can help.
Here’s the problem: You are manually doing everything in your business. And have no idea where to where to start or how to start automating. Finally, you want to be working ON your business not IN your business.
Here’s the solution: Understand what your process looks like to acquire a customer. By making a map of each and every step a customer takes in your funnel. Then reduce any mistakes they can make when entering information.
Easier said than done. Traditionally this is called Business Process Engineering and we at Mobile Pocket Office have taken this concept along with Six Sigma and LEAN manufacturing concepts concepts to improve a business … aka be human where it counts, otherwise automate!
Just because your business is still afloat, doesn’t mean it isn’t taking on water. But you probably already know this, and that’s why you are here. Identifying that there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be is the first step, but what are the next steps? Mobile Pocket Office is leading the way in helping new and established businesses augment their human and technological resources to leverage growth and streamline productivity.