How to Set Yourself Up for Success
G'day! You've got Josh here and I've got a couple of special guests. We've got Sarah from Perfectly Beautiful. Say hey. We've got Masso, and he's starting a fantastic business around sailing in Croatia. I've also got Al here and he's had a couple of businesses in the past, and he's looking to go into his third venture. Let's talk about the biggest thing to consider when managing a business, the scariest decision in business, a tool that can help you skyrocket in the future and what business owners do to keep up with the everchanging technology.
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Biggest Thing to Consider When Managing a Business
Al: I think the biggest thing I've been considering is how I can be in the building industry and leverage other people's time, and just manage a business and be off the tools.
Josh: That's cool. And I think that that's ultimately what every business owner should try to get into. They should try and get off the tools because ultimately the tools have a dollar value that are associated with them. So the moment you're on the tools, they're costing you money because you can only make a certain amount of money. But the more people you have on the tools, the more money you could be making as a percentage.
Masso: I'm trying to change the game a little bit. In Croatia, you've probably heard of Croatia Sail. It's a pretty hot topic at the moment, but I've noticed in my time there working there for the last four years that probably the younger crowd, if you're in the late 20s to early 30s, the young professional crowd, they're not enjoying their Croatia Sails as much. So that's what I'm targeting towards. Nicer boat, nicer accommodation, beautiful dinners, young professionals, basically. That's my target market.
Josh: Sweet. So when you say young professionals, you mean people that have gone through university, or people that have got some sort of education or something behind them. They're not just still living with mom and dad?
Masso: Exactly. That's it.
Josh: I think that that's a really cool spot to be in and what you're doing. So for an IT business, what we do a lot is we try and get the big boys toys, these big corporate toys, that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per month to use, and we bring those down to small to medium enterprises where we're able to have them utilise these cool tools, and we buy them in mass and sell these licences at a cheaper price. So they get the big boys toys. And I guess you're doing that in a similar way in where you're allowing people who don't necessarily have the ability to go and see these cool things in their early ages when they're just starting to get into this, and being able to experience life-changing opportunities, which is pretty cool.
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A Tool for Those Who Want to Skyrocket Into the Future
Sarah: Well, I love using Active Campaign, if that's a tool. But at the end of the day, you've just got to work hard. And if you have the passion and the drive, you will get there. It's about what's in the heart, what you're passionate about. And if you do what you're passionate about, then you can go places and achieve it. So if you're doing a rubbish job that you don't enjoy, you're never going to go anywhere because you don't have that passion behind you.
Josh: No drive. That's something I see a lot of the time. A lot of my friends, some of them have been working for Coles or bits and pieces for years and years, and they're just doing their thing and they're not really enjoying it, but they're just doing their thing. It sounds super cliche. Just work hard and you'll get what you want, your dreams and aspirations, don't screw anyone over. It's probably not a good idea to screw people over, but at the same time, if you're really passionate about what you're doing, you'd be able to drive those long hours and you'll be able to take it home, but you've got to make sure you're working on the right things to be able to go to that next level, which is a sentence I freaking hate. How many levels are there?
Al: Probably for Masso and I, we're not afraid of hard work, and we've probably put the hours in and it would be for us about educating ourselves on how to step up from that and add smarter into working the hard hours as well. Yeah, like incorporating things that maybe don't normally, just in our industries, but work in other industries.
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The Scariest Thing You Did for Your Business
Sarah: It's scariest taking that first step of hiring your first employee or your subcontract or whatever. That was the scariest thing that I did. And I thought, 'Oh no, I'm going to do all the work myself.' And Josh was like, 'You'll never ever make money doing it yourself, you make money off someone else.' At first, I thought, 'No, I'm going to do it all.' And then stepped back and thought, 'Okay, I'm going to do this, I'm going to trust someone else.' And that was the hardest thing.
Al: And I'm sure your pathway is quite similar to a lot of tradie subcontractors where, as you mentioned, we can only earn a set rate. So you put in the extra hours, you're doing quotes after dinner, you're going to see people on a Sunday, but that's not a paid part of the work.
Josh: No. You've got to either really be passionate about that.
Al: And it's never going to get bigger or better than what it is, doing things that way.
Josh: My biggest thing, when I started out, I was the technician running around with a screwdriver underneath people's desks. I actually went to the doctors. I couldn't kneel down anymore. And they said they hadn't seen this for years. They said this has been something that was very popular years and years ago. I was underneath people's desks so often fixing their computers, they said I've got religious knees, which meant that the piece of cartilage underneath my knees, the cushion underneath my kneecaps had worn away, and whenever I knelt down I was on veins and it was pushing down and my leg would just spring out and I couldn't control it. They said that they were called religious knees because back in the day people would be at church all the time praying. And so that would be on their knees at the time. As funny as that sounds, I was on my knees too much working hard. It resulted in me...
Al: Trying to climb the chain?
Josh: Yeah, exactly. You got to do what you got to do. Exactly. What I guess I found from that is you can't be the person on your knees doing the work. You need to have other people on their knees, sorting out the jobs that come through. In being on my knees that long and then going home and then sitting on a desk, sitting at a desk and then having to then do the invoicing, and do all the reconciliation and do everything else, the biggest thing that I found was none of that was profitable. So my first step was automate all of that. I went through and made a whole bunch of different processes that allowed for me to automate any of the different travels of the kilometres, made sure it's all okay with the ATO, and did all of that before I went through and then started employing other people. So my job was doing what I enjoyed doing, which is the technical stuff, before I then went on and then had other people starting to do the technical stuff. Ultimately the best that you can do in business is be the best person, but the best sales person, the best advocate for your business. Then once you're doing that and other people are doing the work, your business will absolutely boom and flourish, but you need to be able to be able to get to that spot. And that's where, like Sarah was saying, Active Campaign, which is...Have you guys heard of that?
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What Is Active Campaign?
Josh: Active Campaign is... I'm going to say email marketing tool, but it's significantly more than that. Have you guys heard of MailChimp?
Al: I've heard of MailChimp.
Josh: MailChimp you can send out email newsletters and bits and pieces. Active campaign, imagine you've got this website you're talking about, Masso, what your website has is you've got a section where they click, oh yeah, I'm 18 to 21, or 22 to 28 or whatever it is. Or they click on a finance bracket or they click on a B2B, or whatever the industry they're in, or whatever you think would be a way to segregate your audiences, they click on that. Active Campaign can go X, Y, Zed person that just clicked on that? I know that you are now interested more so in this, and then you start talking about what are the things that are going to get them across the line. If they're between the ages of 18 to 21, and they're in a professional services. Bit weird, good on them. But maybe you're focusing more on getting out of the house and really, really spreading wings as opposed to someone who's 30 to 35, which you're talking more about experience that lifetime that you've never had before, and make sure that you put a nail in the coffin and say, "This is it, this is this great tour," or whatever the case is. So you speak to them in an appropriate way.
But with Active Campaign you can then take that information, and have that enter in against them, and then have it set so that if they do subscribe or they do, fill out a form or whatever they do, and they come back to your website, you can actually see how long they're on the website before, and then have it set so if they're on the website and they actually read through all the information, so they're on a certain page for like say six minutes or something, or six minutes of reading, you can then have it set so that you have a scale on how hot they are as a lead, and then you send a certain email. If they're only on there reading it for two minutes and they still fill out the form, you then send them an email that might have more information about the original page they were on, or then give them a 20% discount or whatever it is. But you can absolutely automate the entire sales process.
Masso: But you really, you shouldn't lose a customer these days.
Josh: No, you shouldn't. And it starts at $15 a month, so it's nothing. There's other competitors out there. There's Ontraport, there's Infusionsoft, and as a technology company, we don't tell anyone to go with a certain company. We're agnostic with whatever the solutions are, but Infusionsoft and Ontraport are $300 plus a month, give or take for the same sort of plan. $15 is pretty good. They're amazing for the price, but that's a tool that would definitely have you skyrocket, but it takes a lot of planning. One thing that we see business owners do too often, I think you guys are not in this category, but they go, "Oh, I'm going to be a millionaire in 12 months," or 14 months or 24 months, whatever it is, and they just expect that all this money's going to come to them as soon as they create this new idea that everyone's going to love, but they have no idea on how to market it. Most of the people that I speak to that have these awesome ideas are engineers or someone that's just whipped up something in their backyard. There's a fantastic guy that I've been speaking with who's got this invention called the Motherfluckers. It's a chicken feeder, and it's completely automated, and it's only once every 30 days you need to actually go and refill it. The chickens can choose the type of grain they want to age out of this device. So there's no waste on the ground. I don't know if you've seen how a chook eats, but it picks the grain and throws away the shit they don't need, and then the rats and other vermin come and grab it. This removes all of this from them. And it's still just as simple as just pouring it all in. He's got a really cool idea, but he's still focusing heavily his skill set on marketing because that's not his strong points. That's where you need to be able to market your product and automate your process.
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How Do Business Owners Learn About Automation and Technology?
Al: How do people like Masso and myself learn about automation and technology? Or do we outsource that and focus on the parts of our business that we understand?
Josh: This comes back to what we were talking about before and what are you passionate about. I'm a strong believer in teaching a person how to fish. If you can teach someone how to fish, you don't have to worry, they just go and fish. But if someone just likes eating fish but fucking hates fishing, don't teach them how to fish, it's not going to work. They're going to hate the whole situation. If you went, okay.... You're okay to learn what the difference is between an H1 and H3 tag, meta tags, meta descriptions, long-tail keywords and all this other stuff and you want to know how to Gzip your site and how to make sure it's going to be efficient, and then ranking on things backlinking and everything else, and with SEO and you go, 'Aw man,' and you're getting a rubbery one over it, that's cool.
Al: I just like to eat fish, I think.
Al: I'm going to outsource this one.
Josh: All right, if that's what you're keen on, some people go, 'Oh yeah,' look, the minute you start a business, you might not have anything else that you're doing. You might not be working. You might have somehow come into money and so you're just like, 'All right, let's just do this.' If that's the case, then it's a different situation. But if you're not in a situation where that's the situation, then you need to be able to work at what's right for you. I would suggest learning a little bit about everything, so that when you're outsourcing, you know you're not getting fucked over, is the short of it.
Sarah: See, everyone's different. I love the business side more than the hair and makeup side.
Al: Yeah. Okay. Yeah.
Sarah: I always love hair and makeup and I'm passionate about it, I know a lot about it, but I would rather be sitting back doing the business side of stuff than always doing the hair and makeup.
Josh: But that's changed over time as well, because before when we first started discussing this, you were very passionate about-
Sarah: Doing the hair and makeup.
Josh: The hair makeup and then it sort of pivoted a bit, and I think it just comes down to, again, what you find is an interest. For me, I love helping business owners out so that if you said, 'Josh, I want to do X, Y, Z,' I'd have a look at the game plan, I would say, 'Okay, that looks good,' or help you make the game plan. And then whether that be helping you to write documents or later create standard operating procedures to outsource things, or whether that be to be able to teach you how to do these different things, or outsource it yourself, or write these documents for you, or whatever the case is, our team could help you do that. But it could also be a situation where you're just happy to do it all yourself anyway, and we just teach you how to use the skill sets that we've got. The take home, I would say in answer to your question before, which is how do you go about learning all this? Listen to the podcasts. Plug. But pretty much just read and read and read everything about automation. People think automation is removing jobs. They're not. A car automated a horse, and horses are not neglected the way that they were before and treated the way they were before. There were delicate animals that were being killed all the time because of what we were doing.
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Listen to Podcasts
Josh: Dale Beaumont is actually a great one.
Sarah: He's doing 52 ways in business.
Josh: There's a day course. It's held in three or five places around Australia, free day course. So just check it out. It's pretty good.
Sarah: He does a paid course, but you can go do a one day course and he'll tell you 52 ways how to do it. And you've obviously got to follow it yourself. But he tells you everything to do.
Josh: In my opinion, what Dale Beaumont is selling is selling you 52 different ways for you to do something, and you'll leave feeling absolutely super impressed, and he'll charge you $15,000 to $20,000 for the course to help you more out with that over the next 12 months. The 52 things he teaches you, if you actually implement them and you have the drive and motivation to do it yourself? In my opinion, you do not need his 12-month course, but if you are driven enough to do that, if you need someone who has like an accountability partner, you need someone to have more information about it. You can't just go and Google it, then his course is fantastic.
Al: I think that's interesting as well, because one thing I've found with getting into podcasts and audiobooks is so much of it is American content, and it's so hard to filter through and find. You might find little bits of Australian content, but to find someone that can give you a whole system or something to follow, I think is getting hard to find.
Josh: Absolutely. And we are in a different climate, and this is something that is terrible for technology because a lot of people, especially from America, they're going to go, go cloud, cloud, cloud. But cloud is not right for Australia. Cloud is great, but the Internet speeds in Australia are absolute pus. And so it does not mean you should be moving everything into the cloud. It is not sensible. And if you're looking at it from a business perspective, if you think your business is able to scale from 1 to 10, from 10 to 100 employees or something like that, cloud is going to be very, very expensive for you as opposed to going for something else. But that's all about swapping capital expenditure versus operational expenditure. Your capital expenditure will be higher if you're investing in your equipment.
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The Final Word
I'm going to cut this one off and we can continue on and talk about this a bit more later. You've been listening to Masso, Al and Sarah about some of their business interests and the way they're doing business, and if you've enjoyed this, make sure to jump across to iTunes, give us some love, leave us some feedback. If you haven't enjoyed it, still give us some love, leave us some feedback. Let us know how we could've changed this around and made this better for you. I look forward to having you tune in in the future. Stay good!
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