Where do my templates go? G-Sites as an intranet

Juliana, “Where do I put all this documentation?”

You are hiring people or want to be and in order to delegate current responsibilities, you have to make sure this new Rockstar can actually do their job without a bunch of hand holding. In order to do this, you need to train. You might be thinking you need to upgrade from google sheets or dropbox for your instructions, operating procedures or documentation to be able to train others. You may be in a couple of positions

  1.  I’ve got nada
  2.  I got a bunch of docs but they were updated in the stone age
  3.  I got docs but they are all over the place and when I onboard someone I’d rather give verbal instructions because it’s faster than finding where I put stupid the doc (tear)
  4.  I’ve reached enlightenment and am going through all of my processes to create a business that exists without me (ohhhh yeah baby)

What’s an easy, accessible, affordable way to house your docs?

An intranet or wiki of sorts.

ScaleTime Hack:  if you live in the google suites world, google.sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

You want to set up your hierarchy and create pages in terms of your core procedures ie. sales, marketing, onboarding clients, client fulfillment, team hiring and onboarding.

 

 

Think about this as your future teams. When you delegate you can delegate a whole section to a team.

Adding a page is easy

You can set up your sub pages as particular recurring tasks and instructions inside that procedure.

 

It looks cleaner if the information goes directly into the instruction pages.

If you already have things written in other docs – you can easily copy paste into the page that you are creating.

For training purposes, insert video or maps to make faster to delegate.

 

Bonus Tip: Insert link to the specific page when you add your task in workflow templates in your project manager. This will allow team members to always have a reference point to click on and make life easier as training and resources are a click away.

 

How to deal with my team’s systems resistance

You saw the light!  

Whether you are tired of repeating the same tasks over and over again and want to automate the process or you just got tired of asking where your team was on their projects – you decided to get yourself a systems tool. You did the research, you weighed the pros and cons, you implemented it, you deployed it to the team, you are so excited about all the headache this is going to save you and now…

THE UGLY RESISTANCE.

Juliana “I have a new systems tool, but my team doesn’t want to use it? Now what?!?!”

I get this question from business owners and their team leads all the time.

Team members ranging from your freelancers to your businesses’ #2 create resistance and it typically looks like one form or another of …

  • Well, I don’t want to (the bratty resistance)
  • Why do I have to (the rebellious resistance)
  • Not part of my job (the diva resistance)
  • It’s boring/meh (the ennui resistance)
  • I didn’t have to do this before (the status quo resistance)
  • I didn’t do this in other places (the comparison resistance – mostly contractor’s response)

The resistance is a lot of white noise that usually stems from  2 factors:

  1. Robots are going to take over the world … (not really – kinda) but they see this “ systems tool” as a threat to their job. This tool creates efficiency and transparency that will in effect make them much easily replaceable. The dirty truth is that it does – it makes a lot of the mindless repetitive work that your staff is doing faster so they need to step up their game and can’t hide behind you not seeing the inefficiencies running the clock and costing you money.
  2. They see this as more unnecessary work you just piled on top of them. Let’s face it, they don’t need to see the big picture so there is absolutely no incentive to track or measure the work they are already doing when their priority is just getting that work done.

How do we address the issue?

  • Make it a part of their job – whether you are on boarding a new person or retraining an old person this is the new norm. You set the expectation that this is now a job requirement – not a suggestion.
  • Everything is awesome! You paint the picture that this tool is going to save them time and allow them to work on the higher level tasks that they actually enjoy and will reduce a lot of the grunt work of the job that they don’t. Every single time a client’s A-player has had huge resistance to adopting a system and they finally do the response “epiphany” that they share with my clients’ is “why didn’t we do this earlier”.  

Every. Single. Time.  

Poor performing players, on the other hand, well, you just got visibility into who is performing and not. [link to hiring] This is a good time to update those job descriptions.

Sidebar – if it’s a CRM tool that you are deploying you can state that CRMs make increase sales by 29% more when you use a CRM – hence cha ching! more mula for everyone!

  • Help them help you. Using a new tool is a habit. Set up daily or weekly automated reminders so you can prompt people to input, check off, or move things around in your shiny new systems tool. Let them know they are going to have to invest some time upfront to get the results. Those first two weeks of working out are brutal, but after you develop the routine and start to see results, the thought of not working out is not even a question.
  • Show them how to use the systems tool how you want it used. Everyone adopts tools with their own process – create a simple screencast showing them how to go about using the tool and reduce hand holding and answering the same questions. For more elaborate tools, I’ll talk about rollouts.
  • Stress review time and completion. When do projects, deals, milestones need you or a manager for review and when can they actually be marked as complete. Set this up ahead of time to avoid bottlenecking or an inaccurate sense of reality.

Bonus Level – measure – keep a scorecard to track performance.

Pitfalls:

So let’s say they are now (happily or not) onboard with using this new tool. Cool, right? Well, let’s still look out for some systems mayhem.

You can get the eager – beaver – systems – achiever 😃  who uses the systems at nausea and you are pinged a 100x a day with every tiny detail of work being produced.

The fix – Help them prioritize and make sure you set up times with them to check in. For example – you can let them know you are reviewing work at 6am or 4:30pm so they know that you are not going to take a look at every ping throughout the day and when to get all of their questions or work product in by for your review.

Cloak and dagger – things are being moved along but there is almost no communication and you are left with an icky feeling of not sure what is getting done when.

The fix –  Help them prioritize and have them send you an end of day/ week summary of what is getting created and complete. Check your system for activity reporting.

If you are running into any other pitfalls I would love to know – share them with me.

Implement for Results

  • Establish the new norm and stress the importance of this system as part of their job
  • Let them know this is going to help them make their jobs and lives easier
  • Automate reminders to help them build habits
  • Show them how to use it
  • Set up criteria for review times and completion of work
  • Measure
  • Manage pitfalls by helping team prioritize and communicate effectively 

Spankin’ New Workflows – Because you can’t track a document

“I don´t wanna!” I would rather eat my vegetables than create a workflow.

 I would like to say workflows allow you to be more efficient, optimized and automated.

What is a workflow? Webster states (so you know it’s true):

But, the actual beauty of creating a workflow from what I have witnessed is that going through thousands  of these is not that it is a structured process … it’s a creative process, it is where the ideas and brainstorming for customer service, upgrading your quality and innovation come to life. It’s what allows you to get out of working in the business and love it again.

It’s actually quite romantic.

You may have instructions and documentation for the business that you may or may not update from time to time so why need a workflow?

Shakespeare aside, you can’t track a document!!!!

So when you are out and about, on sales meetings or god forbid a vacation – you need to know where in the process your actual team is on client work.

A part of not wanting to create a workflow is the where do I start?

What goes in a workflow:

Make sure you can create a template!

  • A home for all your workflow assets (templates, videos, and documentation) – this can be a database, dropbox, google drive   
  • Assets which include templates and resources to complete task – always provide links where possible and keep a running tab of the templates that need to be created 
  • The steps/tasks in the process
  • The medium – how is the step being completed ie phone call, tweet, email, document shared
  • Instructions for what needs to be done to complete each task – Highlight the big priority for those team members that already know how to get things done but might need a little reminder every once in awhile
  • Time line – how much time is in between steps, what does the follow up look like for communication, reviews and approvals and what to do when other stakeholders do not respond
  • Who’s responsible for each step
  • Centralize your communication with team and clients –  get out of your inbox and identify exactly what piece of the project needs attention
  • Success criteria, deliverable or output — how do you know is this workflow working? When is it complete?

Reminder: the workflow is meant to be an ACTIONABLE, ITERATIVE process

This means that it’s a living document and will grow with your business, technology changes and industry fluctuations

The best part of the workflow is that you get to delegate — wooohooo. Not only that, but you can train newbies with the same standards of excellence. Everyone that touches that workflow can iterate and make it better.

The second best part is that you will never have to do this again because you can just copy the template per client — like this (most project managers copy who is responsible for the tasks, so every time you get a new client your team knows what they are expected to do)

 

Bonus Tip: Workflows allow you to centralize your communication.

  • Stay out of your inbox
  • Contextualize conversations within tasks
  • First, it’s a training tool, then it becomes a tracking tool #FTW
  • Reduces hand-holding as you move towards making things stupid proof
  • Removes “common sense” syndrome

 

How a Copywriting Agency 7x Her Recurring Revenue

How a Copywriting Agency Increased Recurring Revenue By 7-Fold

cash
… and never had to worry about feast or famine again.


Cha-Ching! Isn’t that the dream, guys?

First, I want you to meet Jean Tang. Jean had run a successful copywriting business called MarketSmiths for several years, and was earning just under $1 million in annual revenue. She had three employees and some freelancers to help tackle the workload. Not too shabby, right?

Wrong!

Jean was tired of working with agencies that white labeled her services, passing off her work as their own. Sure, her revenue was increasing – slowly, painfully – but she was tired of hustling, week after grueling week, always stuck on the feast or famine rollercoaster.

Jean came to ScaleTime because she wanted 1 thing: to optimize her systems

Table of Contents: For those of you who love to skim

  • ScaleTime Diagnosis
  • The Scaling Bottleneck
  • Identify your most successful service offering
  • See where your money is coming from
  • Identify the biggest pain points your clients have AFTER solving their initial problem
  • Create your offering
  • Set your monthly revenue goal
  • Results
  • Simple template

The ScaleTime Diagnosis

diagnoses
Tools

  • Client Relationship Manager – Jean was a hustler and she (wisely) kept all that juicy lead-generation info in a spreadsheet, along with a record of all her closed deals and client info. She needed a  Client Relationship Manager to be able to keep track of all her deal flow and know how much money she had in the pipeline.
  • Project Manager –  MarketSmiths are obsessed with quality. Jean created a 3-point quality checklist for writing all content that her staff of 35 used to make sure that each piece was on point. Jean needed a project manager to have workflows that easily tracked where employees were when she was out of the office.

Documentation

  • Jean had a bunch of Google docs packed with processes, instructions, and best practices to ensure she could delegate tasks and train new people quickly. She needed the team regularly update them.

Team Members

  • Jean had a group of good people, working on the company’s secret sauce: content. But she was still the one and only sales person.

The Scaling Bottleneck


traffic

After all the assessment we realized pricing and capacity were keeping Jean from scaling


Like many of our digital agency clients, we realized her pricing model was off. Jean took on a lot of project work. And she was damn proud of it because that’s what generated her biggest revenue margins.

It was tough to burst her bubble seeing how proud she was. But we were there to help, and sometimes that calls for tough truths. Projects were not her most efficient source of revenue. Once you calculated the hours that it took for her employees to produce certain articles and factored in the time and effort Jean had to expend to create proposals and onboard each client, it became clear that Jean was reinventing the wheel every time she brought on a new customer instead of just driving the car.

It was the project work that had Jean feeling like she was treading water – and her staff feeling too exhausted to actually spend time on activities that would grow the business. Delivering the product was too exhausting already.

So how did we solve this doozy of a dilemma? We had Jean follow these 5 simple steps:

Step 1: Identify your most successful service offering


Ask yourself what currently makes you the most money. Stop wasting time and energy tinkering with unproven offerings. That will cost you. This simple truth is the key to quickly bettering your business. Jean had been extremely proud that it was website copy that generated the most profit margin, but she eventually realized what it was costing her.


She described her epiphany in this Forbes column:  
[Juliana from ScaleTime] leaned forward. “I get that you close like a mo’ fo’. Sounds like you have to. But what you’re telling me is that’s a good thing?”

But in that instant, I suddenly realized how exhausted this had left me as MarketSmiths’ sole salesperson—and how depleted it may have left my staff.
“Imagine if you could cover your overhead with recurring business volume,” [Juliana] said. I thought about every sleepless night I’ve ever had—and became a believer.”

Step 2: See where your money is coming from


It is important to understand where sales originate because, when you do, you’ll start to see patterns. Those patterns eventually become your sales funnel. To uncover this, ask yourself questions like these and dig like hell for the answers:

How much am I making from referrals?
How much am I making from networking?
How much am I making from white labeling?
How much am I making from organic traffic?

Jean realized that many leads were coming from agencies. Yet they weren’t really quality leads that produced good revenue for the company. They weren’t even the relationships that she wanted to create. She wanted less white labeling, not more.  So she streamlined the sales process by weeding out clients that were white labeling her in favor of selling recurring services to her existing clients. She was only able to do this because she had a huge list of clients. Genius!

Setting your priorities looks like this (I know this might be hard to read. Access the nicer template version here):


Step 3: Identify the biggest pain points your clients have AFTER solving their initial problem

This is the one thing most people don’t even know they should think about; it’s a little tricky like that (and that’s why we love it). You’re already solving a problem for your client, but that doesn’t mean all of their pain is gone. Focus on what’s still there after you solve the initial problem and pick the pain point that is most lucrative for your business.

Jean figured out that after writing copy for her client’s websites, which was a foundational service that just got them a site on the web, those same clients still needed to drive traffic to their site. (The whole point of creating a site, right?) And what drove more traffic to her client’s websites? That’s right! More content. So, Jean focused on upselling ongoing blog writing services to the companies that came to her for website copy.

Now THAT’S how you address a pain point (and get yourself some sweet MRR).

Step 4: Create your offering

Again, it comes back to asking the right questions. Like these babies:

How long does it take to solve the problem?
How long does it make sense to offer a service?
Are you dealing with a 3- or 12-month cycle?

Find a monthly service offering, determine the cost per month, and then test that sucker ‘til you find your sweet spot.

We knew that it took 6 months of blogging to really create inbound traffic results for a business. Thus, the offering Jean created centered around a monthly package of blogs for a total of 6 months.

While you don’t want to waste time on product offerings you’re not sure of, once you know you’re addressing a real pain point, you definitely want to experiment a little here ‘til you find what works best. TEST THE MARKET.

ScaleTime Reminder: The offering you create has to work for your clients. Check in often to see where they’re at. Is it working for them? If not, there won’t be any recurring revenue.

Step 5: Set your monthly revenue goal

So, how much money do you want to make from this service every month? When in doubt, set your monthly breakeven point as your target. Pick the target, go to the existing list of clients, and just start selling—like the coffee-swilling closers in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Jean took the client list she built over years of hustling and identified how many people she needed to start selling.

And guess what else? Jean hit her goal within 12 weeks of working with us.

Mind. Blown.

Give it to me straight: What Happened?

placeit-1

The result: Jean got off the feast and famine roller coaster for good

MarketSmiths’ employees were being paid by recurring revenue from Jean’s new blog offering. Woot-woot! And Jean no longer wondered how much she was going to make next month or how close to payroll she was going cut it. Sayonara, stress!

Free Time: Forbes Column  

Jean fell in love with her business again. She was able to delegate the review process to her #2, who she likes calling her ‘lieutenant.’ She now has the bandwidth to grow the business and concentrate on things she loves, like her Forbes column. Which, by the way, helps to grow her business, too. (Such a smart cookie).

Delegate to scale

MarketSmiths made their first sales hire after creating a sales process, which took a huge, time-sucking weight off of Jean’s shoulders while fostering the continued growth of her business.

If you are struggling through the feast and famine cycle, I encourage you to explore the answers to these questions:

ScaleTime Questions to Remove Feast and Famine

  • Do you know your revenue for next month?
  • What is currently my most successful offering?
  • Where is my revenue coming from?                                                            
  • How long does it take to see results from your offering?
  • What is the single biggest problem my clients have after I solve their initial one?
  • What will I price my offer? How long will it take to deliver?
  • Which clients will see immediate benefit from this offer?



Want to figure out what’s bottlenecking your growth and what will increase your revenue? Have questions or need help? We are here to answer them. Schedule a 30-minute call with us now.