In the last episode with Rachel Haley, we discussed five ways to scale a business: making goals, establishing priorities, communicating with our teams, focusing on our customers, and hiring the right people. In today’s episode, we will continue our discussion on how to scale a business by going over how to delegate, how to hire the right employees, and a lesson we can learn from credibility marketing.
How to Delegate
Scaling a business requires delegation. We can’t do everything on our own, meaning we have to get other people to do some tasks and projects for us. Delegation is required if we want to scale; this is something most entrepreneurs struggle with at some point or another.
Rachel said that one of the most common mistakes in scaling is a lack of delegation. This creates so many bottlenecks and companies fall apart. For example, a founder may spend time in sales, accounting, marketing, and product development, stretching their time as much as possible. However, if they can delegate others tasks, they will have more time to focus on their strengths. We need to learn how to let other people do what they do best so we can do what we do best.
“The process of delegation is a little bit tricky,” Rachel said. “This is where people get stuck because it’s so nice when you just own it all, and you can do it and know that it’s getting done exactly the way that you want it to get done. I completely understand. However, it doesn’t help you in the long run, it doesn’t help with scalability.” She continued, “Having good operations and execution is great, but it doesn’t really mean much if you have someone who can’t delegate anything.”
So, how do we delegate? Rachel said that the first step is to figure out what our strengths or superpowers are. Those are what we should focus on. Everything else can be delegated to others.
To help with this process, she suggests that we write down exactly what it takes to accomplish the task we are delegating. When we decide to delegate, we can create a guide for how to do that task and train someone else to do it. We should create a framework for what we want to get done and help the person taking over the task understand what we expect of them. Instead of saying, “I need you to create X,” we can say, “I need you to do X and these are my thoughts on it and what I think would work best.”
When we train a smart and skilled person, it makes it easier for us to let them take over a task without the fear of them “messing it up.”
Rachel also recommends removing personal interest into the execution of those tasks. Sometimes when we delegate it, we want the person to do it the exact way we used to do it. We should try to remove the expectation that they will do it the same way we do it. We need to give them space to do their job. As long as they produce good work, it doesn’t matter so much how they do it.
Sometimes, this may mean following the 70% rule. If an employee can do one of our jobs 70% as well as we did, we should be able to accept that. However, there is also a possibility they will be much better than we are.
“The goal is to completely work yourself out of a job essentially because if the business can run without your involvement, . . . you can work on truly strategic things,”
How to Hire the Right People
Delegation requires us to hire the right people. We need to find good employees who have the work ethic and skills to do a great job of the projects and tasks we assign them to. But how do we find the right people to help us scale?
“When you’re trying to hire, first figure out exactly the role for what you’re hiring,” Rachel said. “Try to be as detailed as you possibly can and figure out what it is exactly that you want this person to do and what their responsibilities are going to be.”
Rachel said that ideally we should have a framework for when we hire people. We should know what skills and qualities are most important to us before we go into the hiring process. Do we want coachability? Do we value overall attitude? What skills do we need now? What skills can we teach? “Figuring out what it is that you actually need is the first step,” she said.
“Hire smart people and let them do their jobs; I think that will still always hold to be true,” Rachel said. “If you’re hiring someone who’s smart and has expertise in this particular area, you don’t necessarily need to give them really good instructions, they’ll just be able to handle it on their own.”
How to Use Credibility Marketing
In the last episode with Rachel, we talked about how Clarus Designs focused on putting their customers first and creating the best customer service experience they could. Because of this, 95% of their revenue is inbound referrals and word of mouth marketing.
Their customers are willing to leave positive reviews and refer their business to others because they have such a great experience with Rachel and her team.
This is exactly what credibility marketing is. In today’s digital market, customers are becoming less trusting. They don’t trust ads the same way they used to. They simply don’t trust what we say about ourselves. However, they will trust the experience of other customers who have worked with us. Instead of talking about ourselves, we become credible with our customers when we can get other people talking about our products or services.
“When we got started, we really [wanted to] focus on building a really good product,” Rachel explained. “The executive team was so pleased with the results that they offered to do testimonials for us and introduce us to their other tech partners. . . . Then it was like everyone was actually marketing for us. They were telling other people how great their experience was and bringing us into deals.”
Word of mouth marketing works so great because potential customers are more willing to believe what their friends and favorite influencers say about us. When customers refer us to others, they also help us with our marketing strategies. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on an ad campaign, we can create a great customer experience and have our customers market for us for free.
“Focusing on a good product and servicing your customers will always be a winning combination. It worked really well for us,” Rachel said.
When we focus on our customers, our customer retention will also increase. Rachel explained that they have had some customers stay with them for six years. She suggested the best way to do this is simply listen to our customers. Generally, they have great insight and feedback we can use to improve our business. We also need to keep our world and follow through with our promises. This will increase our credibility and customers will trust us more.
One of the best sales strategies we can have is to simply understand our customer base as well as we can. Who is buying our product and why? Once we know that, we can build our brand around that. When our customers feel understood, they will find us more credible.
Thank you so much Rachel for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
- Scaling a business requires delegation; we can’t do everything on our own.
- To help with delegating, we can write down exactly what it takes to accomplish the task and create a guide for how to do that task.
- When delegating, we should remove personal interest in the execution of those tasks. We should focus on the output, rather than focusing on their methods.
- When hiring, the first thing we need to do is determine exactly what we need.
- When hiring, we should look for people who are smart and have expertise.
- As we make customers our top priority, we will gain positive reviews and referrals which will increase our credibility.
- One of the best sales strategies is to listen to our customers and get feedback so we can understand their wants and needs.
Connect with Rachel
To learn more about or connect with Rachel:
- Connect on LinkedIn
- Visit her website at ClarusDesigns.com
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