Building a Team – From 1 to 20 Employees in 18 months part 2

David 0:00
Are you looking to grow your sales on Amazon? Chances are if you’re not selling on Amazon’s international marketplaces, you are leaving some serious money on the table. What keeps a lot of people from selling internationally are all the confusing hoops you have to jump through to get started. That is why we worked with Kevin Sanderson from maximizing ecommerce on our international expansion. Kevin and his team take care of the details and guide you through the process of expanding so that you can grow your sales and reach new customers. If you’d like to find out if working with Kevin and his team is right for you head over to https://maximizingecommerce.com/fire, once again that is https://maximizingecommerce.com/fire.

Ken 0:46
If you think you should fire someone in it’s too late, you should have fired them weeks or months ago, David, your thoughts?

David 0:53
We have a no asshole policy. That means everybody gets treated with respect without exception. And you know, I have had jobs in the past where I’ve worked with assholes, and that I did not like that.

Intro 1:05
Welcome, everyone to the firing the man podcast a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more than join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David shoma, and Ken Wilson.

Clone Yourself: Build a Team that Understands Your Vision, Shares Your Passion, and Runs Your Business For You
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Clone Yourself: Build a Team that Understands Your Vision, Shares Your Passion, and Runs Your Business For You
  • Hilderman, Jeff (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 205 Pages - 06/01/2019 (Publication Date) - ISBN Canada (Publisher)

David 1:29
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast on today’s episode, we are revisiting the topic of hiring, if you didn’t tune in last week, where we talked about hiring some of the mistakes that we’ve made and how we’ve built our team from one to 25 tune into that this is part two of that episode. Next

Ken 1:46
one on the list, we have a Google Enterprise account. And this has been crucial for us too. We use it to host our domain, email, as well as we use the Google Drive feature to host all of our files. It’s a way of one single repository for files and a folder system. And that’s been crucial for us.

David 2:05
Absolutely, I’m gonna lump four together that are all payroll related. So first with our virtual workforce, we use a program called Time Doctor. And that’s essentially where when you start working, you punch in, when you’re done working, you punch out and when it’s time to run payroll that will spit out a report of here’s the number of hours that we need to pay our employees for. So that’s been great. And then in terms of delivering the money to the employees, we’ve learned about this, because we’re dealing in different currencies. So we’re currently we’re dealing and obviously the US dollar, we’re in pesos in rupees and British pounds in terms of cash inflows. And so that can get kind of confusing. We use wise as our primary payroll platform, you get your employees bank account information, account number, routing number, all that. And it just submits wires, and it’ll do the translation for free. That’s been great. We use Remitly for rupees because why is doesn’t handle rupees and then pay pal has been nice for part time work, or just it’s a pretty seamless way to pay people as long as they have a PayPal account. So yeah, that’s how and that’s kind of been evolving. It’s been challenging, but like, you know, our employees are working hard, we want to make sure they get paid in full on time. And fees was something we were really sensitive to, like we I forget what it was called, but they were charging our employees a fee to translate from US dollar. And that was we weren’t cool with that. And so we switched to wise, we pay a small fee for translation, but our employees are getting their full paycheck. And that’s very, very important to us.

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Employees First!: Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the Heart of Your Organization
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Employees First!: Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the Heart of Your Organization
  • Cutting, Donna (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 04/01/2022 (Publication Date) - Career Press (Publisher)

Ken 3:44
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, this is this is one of the many hats that David wears in the company is, you know, in the finance is the payroll and so I would say it’s it’s really high up there for our company and for the employees as everybody wants to get paid on time. And so this has been something that we’ve definitely focused a lot on and it’s in it’s evolved over time to get our, you know, employees paid on time, translations perfected and everything and it’s definitely it’s a, it’s a it’s a functioning system for us right now. But it took it took a long time to come up with that. So I’ll go through those four really quick again, and then I’ll round up the last one here, which is probably one of the most crucial time Dr. Wise Pay Pal and Remitly Those are the tools that that we use for the payroll. The last tool on here is that this is the these are just tools that were better or worse extremely helpful as we built a team and as we’re growing our team and LastPass is a tool you know, my background is in IT security and so risk mitigation a liability to the company, there’s a lot of things going on with with account accesses and passwords and so LastPass if you’ve never used it as a tool, you have a central repository for all of the the logins and passwords and you can administer them out you add to single accounts and then you can give some and access so so they don’t have, so they log into LastPass. And then they go to whatever tool that you give them access to, and they log in, and it says, okay, you know, here login, it doesn’t show them the password, and they have access to it. And this was crucial because we didn’t have this, I would say, we added this probably an employee 810 range, and you know, lessons learned along the way. That’s why you listening to this has to learn lessons. And so one of those was for us was we had a couple employees leave abruptly were like, Oh, shit, like, what do we do and, and I’m like, yes, we need to go and remove accesses and do all this. And so David, and I were, you know, spending 30 minutes and going, removing all these accesses, now it is seamless. And so we only give employees access to LastPass. And then they, they then they inside of LastPass, as a folder structure, depending on what division they’re in, they get access to that folder. And then if they ever decide to leave, or, you know, they, they they leave the team, all we have to do is go in and click Delete Account, they have no access to the tools. And so that has been super helpful in and also protecting that and it removes the decreases the risk mitigation for the company.

David 6:06
Absolutely. Absolutely. I think this discussion on LastPass dovetails really well into the next section of the episode, which is what we’ve done with onboarding, and off boarding, when a new employee comes, or they leave the company very early on, I would say we had no onboarding plan, it was just Hey, welcome to the company. here’s the here’s where you find go complete this task. And I think with every sequential hire, we’ve gotten a lot better here. And so one thing that we do as it relates to permissions is when somebody starts with us, they have an onboarding sheet, and we document here all the areas that we’re giving them access to. So that would be our Amazon accounts, LastPass, Walmart, three PL access, just depends on where they’re working, but we give them access, when they leave, we now have a master list of everything they have access to. And we can go through and then remove that. And that’s been really helpful. You know, I would also say kind of like the starting spot, when we hire somebody is we generate an email through Google Enterprise. And we just use that to you know, sign them up for everything, get all their permissions set on Amazon. And, and so that’s been key, Ken, what what are some other areas on onboarding and offboarding? Yeah,

Ken 7:21
the next one is utilizing LastPass for onboarding and off boarding, and we kind of kind of went over the tool and how it works. But as we’ve added this, it’s been not only a time saver, but also it, like I said it de risk is it removes the risk to your company from the rogue employees or just having having access out there. Next one, this is something that we’ve actually done it a couple of different times, and ours is onboarding two employees at a time. And so only if you need to, if you’re if you’re we were in a mode of aggressively hiring for a while and, and so having both of having to at once it decreases having multiple meetings, or are hiring one person on one week and next person on one week. And so having two at a time, they’re able to go through that process together. That was really, really excellent. One other thing I would say is also having Operations Manager on your team will really help with this process of onboarding and off boarding. That’s something that the operations manager can also help out with and really facilitate that process. Last one on the list. David, you want to cover?

David 8:22
Yeah, absolutely. So when we bring someone on board, we have them set up, or we set up for them a 30 minute meeting with every person on the team. And I think this is absolutely essential when you’re building a virtual workforce, right? You know, if we were all going into one office building, we’d have bumped into somebody while you’re getting coffee, or you know, by the printer allows time for small talk in the virtual work environment, I think you really need to emphasize this where it won’t happen. And so this has been great. And you may ask, well, if I’m hiring a PPC Manager, why would I have them meet with the content team? Well, let me tell you, they both deal with keywords. And they both view the portfolio companies through a different lens. And so it’s really helpful to learn what everybody does, you know, another example of this is like when we bring on a photo or video editor, that those skill sets are really valuable to a bunch of other areas in the company. And so it’s been great, you know, we we start with that. And then we have a team meeting every Friday where everybody gets together and it’s good we’re building a good culture and and we really proud of what we’ve done so far. So you know, can I we’ve talked about the hiring, but there is also when you’re hiring, there are certain situations where you need to fire and this has been something that we have in times done a good job and times we have made some mistakes and sorry to interrupt the episode. You may have heard Ken and I talking recently about a new tool that we’re using for Amazon refunds. Now I have used other refund tools like this. However, I can tell you in the first seven days, they scrub Did the back end of my Amazon account going back 18 months, and found $5,000 of refunds. And the nice thing about this is, it’s my money, Amazon made a mistake, and they are just auditing my account. The other thing I really like about this tool is there is no monthly fee, they only charge a commission if they are successful in getting you your money. Go to catina.com GE T ID A, and enter promo code ft m for firing the man FTM 400. This is an awesome tool. I can’t say enough good things about it. Now back to the episode. So let’s talk about when to fire, when is it appropriate time to fire?

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Whatever It Takes: Master the Habits to Transform Your Business, Relationships, and Life
  • Bornancin, Brandon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 274 Pages - 01/05/2021 (Publication Date) - Brandon Bornancin (Publisher)

Ken 10:42
Absolutely. And so you know, in previous jobs we’ve had, we’re hiring firing people in and having your own company. I think for me, it was a little bit different of having to fire someone. And I think the mistake that we made with this specific person, we’re not going to name any names. It was a previous operations manager that we hired our first one. And I believe I’m not sure this person was seemed to be a great fit, I interviewed like a rockstar and came on and performed had like streaks of brilliance. And then with Ghost for a while. And so we waited too long to fire this person. And I think David and I were, I think we’re overwhelmed. And we wanted this person to be something that this person wasn’t. And we just kept holding on for, you know, holding on hoping that they would change and come in and execute and it didn’t happen. And so it was a very valuable lesson. It cost us a few months of time they put us behind. And this is a lesson. This is a mistake that we’ve made and a lesson learned that we’re sharing with the audience today that, you know, if you think you should fire someone, then it’s too late. You should have fired them weeks or months ago. David, your thoughts?

David 11:56
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I, as we talked about this particular example, I would say this is one of the bigger mistakes that we’ve made in in hiring/firing. And this particular person interviewed their interviewing skills were next level, like they wonderful like bubbly personality, like said all the right things. I remember when I got done with this interview, I like immediately called cannons like we found the operations manager that that is going to really help us and that skill set of being a good interviewer is very different than the skill sets of like completing tasks, or setting up SOPs, or really managing a team. They’re two wildly different things. And so while this individual excelled at interviewing the actual tasks of the job they did not do a great job at. And so one thing that we’ve done is we have introduced test tasks. And that’s been huge. I do, like we still interview everybody. However, if we’re hiring somebody for say, like a technical position, we’ll give him a shot. You know, if we’re hiring someone for listing optimization, we’ll send them out of our listings and say, hey, you know, a couple sentences, can you explain how you improve this listing? And you really get a test that technical skill? And then, you know, when you’re interviewing, you’re making assessments on are they going to be a good fit for our culture? What are some, like more specific questions I have about their background and experiences, but I think that has allowed us to make better decisions is those test tasks. And, you know, I would say on the third, also situations where somebody does not interview, well, maybe they’re not a high energy individual. But from a technical standpoint, they do an awesome job. And so that’s also very important for us to know is that, you know, they may be more of a shy person, but they are awesome, in terms of technical skills. And so that’s been kind of a lesson learned in how we have implemented that, you know, another thing I’ll say is, as we think about firing, it’s, I don’t like to do it, you don’t like to do it. It’s not something that we look forward to doing. But sometimes it does need to be done. One thing that we have is we have a no asshole policy, that means everybody gets treated with respect without exception. And you know, I have had jobs in the past where I’ve worked with assholes, and that I did not like that. Like, even when I was done with my job, I’d go home, and I’d hang on to comments that somebody said or mean things that were done. And it’s just, no one wants to work in that environment. And so that’s something that we really, unfortunately, we haven’t had any issues with this, but that’s like something on a go forward basis in order to maintain a solid culture. That’s something that I feel is very important to enforce.

Ken 14:39
Yeah, absolutely. And so, before I get into the culture piece, just to follow up on that, no hassle policy, I would say like that is crucial, you know, and like you David, I’ve had jobs where, you know, I worked with with assholes, I’ve had jobs where my boss was an asshole, and it creates a toxic culture. You do not want to be there. You’re You know, you do not want to be around people that are not good or mean or whatever. And so, you know, imagine if you know, everybody’s had that bowl of fruit or that bag of grapes where they, you left it out too long and it molds. Well, that’s like, it’ll spread. And so if you have a team, you have one toxic person in there, that toxic person is going to just start hammering everybody, and it’s slowly going to spread. And it is the worst thing you could do. And so definitely watch out for that. And then the next piece that I’d like to cover is, you know, David mentioned a couple things earlier, and that we test, do a test task and we vet for culture, you know, are they a good fit, you know, if you’re shy person, that doesn’t mean you’re not going to be a good fit for the culture just means that you’re a shy person. And that’s okay, different different people, we have all kinds of different people on our team, and they gel really well, they all worked well together, there’s no assholes. And so culture, you know, our culture in our company, you know, we want to work hard, and have fun, and work together as a team. And that is crucial. If you have someone that comes in and they have a huge, huge ego, oh, I’m, you know, I’m the best whatever, you suck. Well, that person is not a good fit on our team. That ego gets checked at the door. And everything. I can tell you from experience, David and I, when we’re in meetings with our team, if our team says, Hey, I cannot I don’t agree with that, I think this is a better idea. I’m like, Okay, let’s test it. And see, I’m open to any idea to improving. And I think that that environment, that culture, is what you need to to push the needle forward. If someone has an ego and they’re not, and not allowing other people to share ideas. It’s it creates a toxic environment. So culture is really crucial.

David 16:44
Absolutely, absolutely. So, you know, to wrap up the episode, you know, I think some of the key things that we’ve learned, yes, you know, when left unchecked, people will not always do the right thing. We’ve learned this through a couple bad hires. We learned this through I hired some high school kids and and they do not always do the right thing when left unchecked. And one of them was disrespectful to my wife. And that was his last say, that’s only hiring decision. Where we fired on the spot was like, again, going back to the no asshole policy, yes, it was my wife. But if it would have been any member of the team, like, you’re gone, you can’t do that. Yeah, and so we’ve certainly made some mistakes. But I would say I am really happy with the progress that we’ve made. And if I look at where our companies are, at now, we would not have been able to do it without the team. And we’ve created a really cool atmosphere of great, hardworking, intelligent people. And it’s fun, it’s fun, it’s it, this is way more enjoyable than sitting alone by myself with a laptop at a coffee shop. Like being the solopreneur it’s great to be part of a team. Yeah, and the nice thing about running a company is you can help develop it. So

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You Are The Team: 6 Simple Ways Teammates Can Go From Good To Great
  • Rogers, Michael G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 129 Pages - 06/15/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Ken 17:55
absolutely. And kind of I’d like to leave on this note, you know, hiring is a skill set, it’s not something that you’re naturally going to be good at. And it will develop, you’ll improve over time. And so if you’re listening to this, and you know, you’re a solo entrepreneur, or maybe you have a VA or something and and you want to reach, you know, a hot, you know, you want to reach that, you know, seven, figure eight figure nine figure, you want to grow a really big company, start building a team and you know what you might trip, you might fall, get back up, brush off, learn and take another step forward. Because building a team, like David mentioned, having a team around you helping you you’ll you’ll get further faster.

David 18:36
Absolutely. All right. Thank you everyone for tuning in. And we’ll see you next week. Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s firing the man podcast. If you liked this episode, head on over to firingtheman.com And check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is firingtheman.com/resource, you can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, or that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man in on YouTube at firing the man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer

Ken 19:21
and Ken Wilson. We’re out

David 19:37
before you go fun fact for all you Amazon sellers out there when you start selling in international marketplaces, all of your reviews come with you. At the beginning of this year, Ken and I sat down and talked of ways that we could double our businesses in size and landed on international expansion as our number one initiative this year. We partnered up with Kevin Sanderson from maximizing e commerce And he has made the process an absolute breeze walking us step by step through the process. If you want to grow your revenue and reach new customers head on over to https://maximizingecommerce.com/fire and connect with Kevin Sanderson today. Now back to the show.