Welcome to episode 58 of the Launch Yourself podcast.
In This Episode
Are you stuck with conflicting advice and what you should do for your business when it comes to hiring a team or buying tech? I hear you. These are two topics that are currently (maybe always?) trending with the “gurus.” And while I’m all about the people aspect of your business, if you go about it the wrong way (aka – following the advice of people who aren’t HR/people experts), it can be costly for your business and your time. And tech, while not necessarily as dangerous to your business as team issues, can quickly drain your bank account and leave you questioning where to go.
Here’s a look inside this episode:
- Who to learn about teams from.
- The different ways you can add team members (full-time employee versus contractor).
- How to ensure you hire the right person, but running each potential role through this formula (inside the episode).
- When to invest in tech and when not to.
- Stop worrying about joining the Kajabi bus!
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Melissa Anzman (00:00): This is the launch yourself podcast, episode number 58, all about your team and tech for more information and show notes, go to launch yourself.co/ 58. Welcome to the Launch Yourself podcast. My name is Melissa Anzman. I'm a best-selling author and the founder of launch yourself where we help experts grow profitable digital businesses. Each week, we will peek behind the curtain of how you can launch yourself and your business to the next level, with actionable tips and strategies you can implement in your daily life to grow your profitable digital business. Thanks for spending some time with me. Okay, now let's get started.
Melissa Anzman (00:43): So today I wanted to break down some things that I'm hearing all over the place. I just want to sort of talk through two particular pieces of advice that are driving me bonkers and really help you understand why that advice may not be best for your business. And then how to sort of take what you're hearing, learn from it and synthesize it for your own business so that it makes sense. And this is all through the lens of what you actually need to run a successful digital business. Now, these are two topics. There are many, many, many more that I'm hearing, but these are the two that I feel are the most harmful out there right now that I just want to gut check. You are a sanity check you, as I like to say, as to what is truly a need versus what is a want.
Melissa Anzman (01:37): So I want to start with the currently sexy topic of team and hiring a team, having a team, all things team. Now I am at my core, an HR professional. I can't tell you how long I have been trying to talk to entrepreneurs all about the importance of people, hiring wages, interviewing onboarding, employee experience, all the things I wrote a book on employee experience. That is how into this topic I am. And entrepreneurs have sort of been giving me crickets as in, they haven't wanted to listen to a word. I said about HR and hiring for the past 10 years. This topic it's not exciting. It's not sexy. It's not something that most people think that they need to know until they have an urgent need and have to get some help right away. And so it's sort of a crash and burn, let me know or learn exactly what I need to know right now.
Melissa Anzman (02:38): And then sort of forget about the whole people side of the business. Now, that being said, my passion for this, my knowledge for this aside, I really want to talk about what I've been hearing, um, from a team perspective from sort of coaches and gurus over the past six months to a year. So first, yay. I'm super excited that the topic is coming up in that people are interested in it, but also BU because absolutely everything they are saying is completely hoarse and should not be followed or listened to. So a few things on this first, please do not learn how to hire training, grow and lead your team members from someone who isn't a professional, like being a top coach or a great leader in their own, right. Does not make them awesome at HR related things full freaking stop there. I want to maybe put it into different terms so you can see it from a different lens, which is you wouldn't really take tax advice from a coach who talks about biz boss stuff or whatever, just because they pay their own taxes.
Melissa Anzman (03:55): So why are you trying to take HR and people advice from someone just cause they have their own team and aren't an expert in it. Okay. Just because someone grew a sales team in corporate America or have built their own team of 50 people does not make them experts in how to do it. Right. And in fact, every single business owner that has sort of said, follow me, I know how to grow a team, um, or has tried to teach others how to do so without that HR experience, every single one of them have made significant hiring mistakes that have led not only to heartbreak, which a lot of us will have when it comes to team members, but also to lawsuits, which none of us want to have when it comes to hiring and team members. So my advice to you out there, if you are into it, like there are enough HR professionals out there who are now coaches or consultants that can help you get the actual expertise that you need here to do this right.
Melissa Anzman (04:59): And hopefully lawsuit free. Um, and like, listen, you have to understand that an expert in this field will guide you in a different way than a coach will. And you can learn from a coach of like, here's a hiring mistake I made for sure, but you're not going to learn all of the things behind it, like how to hire people correctly or things that are illegal to say in an interview conversation or much more on this in just a second. But you know, our HR consulting business may be able to help you over at better. But honestly, your business is probably not at the size where we sort of do the work with, there are great resources out there that are probably more aimed to fit you like sprout HR, which is top notch for all things, small biz and leadership when it comes to HR.
Melissa Anzman (05:52): So find an expert to help you do not do this on your own. And please for the love of everything, don't listen to a coach or a consultant who is not ha who does not have a background or expertise in HR to help you figure out how to do this. The second thing is is that your need for a team is likely overblown and completely on realistic. So I don't know who needs to hear this today, but all those things, people out there saying like, you need a team, you need to hire a full-time employee right now. Your team should be your topic. Like it's not like stop it. You don't need that. It is totally overblown and your business likely can't sustain it unless you hit a few of these things. So wanting to have people on your team to help you and freeing up some of your time, um, so that you can deliver in your zone of genius.
Melissa Anzman (06:44): That's awesome. But like it can be done in other indifferent ways. Lots of people think that, you know, you hear things like hire these full time team members and that's called an employee by the way. So I may use an FTE or, um, a team member, like that's an employee. So that's when you hire someone into your company as a full-time employee, they're going to work 40 hours a week, just like you would in a corporate job. And so on. Um, other people say, you know, hire the full-time employee instead of a contractor hire from overseas or don't or pay this wage. Or don't like, there are so many conflicting information and details about teams out there. I want to break down the reality so you can figure out for your own business, what you actually need and what you should do for your business.
Melissa Anzman (07:32): Not sort of what you're hearing is cool right now. So let's talk about full-time employee team members. So in the last you are above the 500 K or $1 million mark in your business. I do not recommend that you hire full-time employees. Could you, of course, it's your business, your choice. You're the boss. You can do whatever the heck you want to, but here's the thing. When you're hiring employees, there are a lot of things that have to change in your business. So first you need to be an entity that can legally hire employees. And in most cases, just an LLC, isn't one of those. So that's like the first step in of awakening of like, wait, can I actually legally do this? I don't know. Right? You also need to understand local and state employment information and laws and friends. It is local and state and federal like.
Melissa Anzman (08:27): So we have in the U S like you have federal laws, you have to comply with, which are pretty easy to understand and know there are state laws, which are super variable depending on the state. And then there are local laws where there are different places in cities that have even more specific employment laws, mostly they're around pay time off and vacation and family leave and stuff like that. But the point here is there are a lot of laws you need understand to do this. You also need to be able to consistently pay people and have a payroll system so that the taxes are done correctly so that things are calculated and paid out properly. Um, you'll need a whole bunch of HR policies and rules and guidelines, how to do performance measurements and reviews. You'll need to actually manage these employees, which takes a whole lot of time and effort.
Melissa Anzman (09:22): And there's just so much more there to unpack and uncover that changes when you hire on a full-time employee. And again, these are like high-level brushes, but this is a lot of work for you to change what you do, which is why I sort of say 500 K to $1 million mark. Like that's when you should really start thinking about seriously, does a full-time employee makes sense, because it doesn't make sense for your time or the trade-offs to do so under that revenue number in most cases. And the other thing I hear, which kind of like gets my up a little bit is like, if you hire a full-time employee, they're going to be more dedicated team members who can deliver on a bigger ROI. Maybe like it kind of depends on the person. Great contractors also have the ability to do the same and should, which is what I'm going to talk about in a second.
Melissa Anzman (10:16): But the point here is an employee, a full-time employee in theory means that they have a higher degree of buy-in to your business. But every person is a person when they're different, which means their buy-in could just be like, I need a paycheck and this sounds cool. Or, you know, I can do bare minimum because it's a digital business and I'm working at home like, or they can be like, I'm super into this. I'm going to work as hard as I'm Kaylin. It matters based on the person, not on their employment status. Now, the other thing is like contract out what you can, but know that this is hard too. So to help you make this a little bit easier, and this is based on not only my own experience and missteps, but also my HR background, sort of the CEO hat that all of us wear.
Melissa Anzman (11:07): And so on. So before you hire a contractor, now, a contractor just as a quick reference is someone that you're paid paying by the hour or by the project where you would send them, okay, I'm going to like talk, I'm going to see a taxing right now. And if I'm wrong, please don't yell at me. I'm not great at taxes, which is why I have someone doing my taxes, right? Like these are the things that we contract out for, but you need a contractor is someone you either pay by the hour or for a, um, a project. And it is a 10 99. So you're not paying them on payroll. You're not taking out taxes. You are giving them money. And then at the end of the year, you send them a tax form that says how much money you've given them. And they're responsible for taking all the taxes.
Melissa Anzman (11:50): And the thing here is, is they're not full-time employees. So you have no commitment to them to, um, provide resources like a laptop or software, or what have you. They come with that. They're responsible for all of that. You don't have to pay their benefits, taxes, all that fun stuff. Okay. So that's what a contractor is. And if it's interesting to you for you to learn more about these different definitions, drop me a note, and I'm happy to do an episode on hiring. We'll probably do a series. If you're interested in it, I'm taking sort of, like I said, the other side of my business over into this one to help you do this better. But that aside before you hire a contractor of any kind w, and this is whether it's a VA or social media manager, or a web designer, or a graphic artist, like whatever that contractor is, here's what you should do.
Melissa Anzman (12:40): You need to clearly outline for yourself what they are going to do and what their deliverables and the ROI on those deliverables are going to be and how long they have to get there. So let me repeat that. You want to know exactly what they're going to do. That's kind of where most of us stop is like, I need you to post X number of things on Instagram a week, right? We want them to know what they're going to do the deliverable. So what the expectation is of output from them and the ROI, what is the return on investment? So if you're paying someone to do something, they should be making that money back to you. And I'm going to talk through how in just a second. So those are the three things that you want to make sure you have in place before you hire a contractor.
Melissa Anzman (13:33): Now, let's say you want to hire a Facebook ads manager. What you should know is what your leads will be costing you. So you want to understand that and your ROAS, your return on ad spend for those leads. So you can then do the work to calculate the number of leads goal for the new ads manager. Um, and then how much time they have and how much ad spend they have to achieve that. So let me get even more granular. Let's say, you know, that each lead I'm using totally pulled from the air numbers here. Okay. So don't read more into them, but let's say, you know, that your current leads are costing you $2 per lead and your row as on, those is like four acts. So for every $2 that you spend on a lead, you are getting $8 back. I hope I calculated that, right?
Melissa Anzman (14:28): All air math here, you know, I'm not great at math, so that's great. So you're currently saying, you know, I want you to go get me. Then this is what you would create. I want you to get me a hundred leads. And for that, you understand if your numbers are all correct, that a hundred leads are going to cost you $2 a piece. I actually may get out a calculator here. So that means that they have $200 to spend. And that also means that you're expecting a return or excuse me, making eight, $1,600 on those $200, $200 that you spent, okay. The math isn't important here. What I'm trying to explain to you is you need to do a lot of work beforehand before hiring a contractor to understand what that outcome is. And in this Facebook ads manager example, if that person isn't able to share those kinds of details, like they, if you're saying, listen, this is what I want to get to.
Melissa Anzman (15:27): How long will it take you to reach that? And they're not like, Hey, yeah. Know, based on, you know, this, that, and the other, it'll take us two months to get to that level of leads on a daily basis. You know, here's how we're going to get there. Here's my first phase, second phase, third phase, whatever. They're not the right person, most ad people right now that I know they sort of want a three-month commitment from you because it does take time to get your ads up and running and they set a rate to do your ads. Um, and kind of just say, yeah, like, let us go do our thing and we'll get leads for you. If that's the kind of way they're coming to the table and not able to get to your area of like, this is what I want. These are my cost per lead.
Melissa Anzman (16:12): This is my ROAS. They aren't a good contractor. And this is a really big change from how we hire on people that we work with with us versus hoping that that person sort of just delivers, or we got a great referral or like whatever that thing is. Okay. So here's the, here's the truth of it. It is going to take a lot of hits and misses to find great team members and probably more misses when you start, regardless if you're hiring a full-time employee or a contractor, um, I had a Greeley great VA who is a contractor who is truly a perfect fit. And I could see sort of eventually hiring her on as a full-time employee and growing and scaling with her. And she just sort of ghosted all of her clients out of the blue. Like, we don't really know why she never got back to any of us, but my point here is, is even great.
Melissa Anzman (17:03): People have life happen to them. And sometimes you hire the wrong people or you partner with the wrong people. It happens. The thing here is if you do it with a full-time employee, there are a lot of potential consequences, a lot more, I should say. Um, then if you bring people on as contractors, and if you're not super certain on that, you don't want to mess up in the full-time employee space. Now, the other thing I just want to reaffirm to you is you do not need a team of people regardless. Like you don't need full-time employees, nor do you need contractors. If you want to do it on your own. I think this is something that is often frowned upon in the online space, somewhere along the line, the words preneur sort of became a dirty word of sorts. It's not like if you don't want to have a team, please don't have one.
Melissa Anzman (17:57): If there are certain things that you want to hand off to a contractor or a VA every now and then do it, like the point here is, is that you get to decide what you spend your time and money on. Personally, for this side of my business, I did not work with any contractors for almost seven years as a solar preneur. Like, I really want you to hear that now granted things that most people usually, um, farm out or contract out early on, I already knew how to do things like web design and funnels and emails and systems and graphic design and so on. And so I just did them. I did not want the mass of managing a contractor or an employee at that time. Could my time have been more effective somewhere else? Probably, but it wasn't where I was willing to spend my time.
Melissa Anzman (18:48): And energy is spatially managing people on this side of the business at that time. So the point here is it's totally up to you that you don't need a team full stop. You definitely don't need full-time employees full stop. And if you want contractors, you can have them, but you don't need them either. Okay. So I want to move on to the second topic that is just driving me bonkers. And it's one of those topics that every time I see a post on, I want to like, kind of get a little nasty in the response and be like ly or totally untrue, or what kind of advice is that? It's awful. Like I want to get like, really mean about it. I don't obviously, because they're not trying to be malicious. It's just a perspective I disagree with. And that is all about tech. So I'm not sure who needs to hear this today, but you do not need all of the high price tech solutions that everyone says you need.
Melissa Anzman (19:48): I can't tell you how much this boils my blood in an ongoing basis. Like, here's the thing I am in all these Facebook groups. And, you know, I have all these online friends and a lot of them, the groups in particular are sort of newer people to the space. Um, and so I'll see sort of, Hey, I'm, I'm about to create my first course or I have a course idea. I'm buying Kajabi now. Yay goals. Okay. Listen, Kajabi is not the answer to your digital course. Okay. If you are just starting a course, um, you do not need Kajabi and you don't need Kartra for that matter. And you don't need any of these other big things. You don't need group funnels. Like I'll just sort of name a few. You don't need them. Like the thing is, is like Kajabi is an all in one thing, but it's not great for email.
Melissa Anzman (20:43): So you have to get an email system and then you'll hear like, well, you also something like deadline funnel or click funnels or Sam cart, you know, to do all the things that they do. Like stop it. You do not need to make these big investments in tech and software until your business can sustain them. And the cost of not using them, eclipses their cost. So I'm going to use my biggest pet peeve, which is Kajabi. So Kajabi costs like 149 or 199 a month to host courses. I'm not really sure that was the last time I checked. I have kind of a repellent against Kajabi. So I don't, I don't check their pricing often. And it is a platform to host your courses. It's touted as an all-in-one. It's not really an all-in-one, it's not great as it, like I said, the email function on it.
Melissa Anzman (21:34): Isn't fantastic. So you'll need to get something else in addition to that. And so on, money's tight when you're starting out and frankly, money's tight just in general, if you're someone who watches your money, right? So for someone who has not yet successfully sold a course, investing in Kajabi is throwing your money away. And if you're not selling enough courses each month to at least make your courses profitable with the Kajabi expense in there, whatever your profit number is, then you're throwing away money. There are so many low cost alternatives out there that can host your course while you're building up your sales. And if you want some recommendations, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org I'm happy to share a few. Some of my favorites, all of them I've used client sees them. And so on. Now the same advice applies to all of the cool tech out there.
Melissa Anzman (22:29): I was in a program recently where they were hyping up a Facebook ads tracking program that costs like $500. Maybe it was like $900 a month. Like it was insane, only expensive. And it was showcased in every single lesson as a plug, but also to just sort of show you like how cool it was. Was it a super cool platform? Yeah. But did I spend enough money? Do I spend enough money on Facebook ads to invest in it and make it profitable for me? Like hack to the know the other thing I, I want to just sort of say here is I had, um, a guru tell me, and this wasn't even like a post, like, this is a direct tell. I'm like, well, it's only $200 a month. It's nothing. And I'm thinking, first of all, you don't know what my money situation is.
Melissa Anzman (23:18): So to tell someone that like, that kind of spend is nothing. Isn't great. But also it's one of how many other things we're investing in for our business. Like our investment stack is unknown to others. So don't get influenced by that. Like, don't let somebody else's well, it's only influence you as well. I want you to use your best judgment and spend your money on things that will give you an ROI. And at least at a minimum, make it net neutral based on what it does for your sales numbers. So are you always going to have expensives that don't cover themselves? Of course you are, but I want to urge you that something like fancy tack should not be one of them. If you are investing in an employee, like we talked about earlier, a team member, a contractor, what have you, or you're investing in tack those investments should make you money.
Melissa Anzman (24:14): Those investments should pay for themselves and have additional ROI on top of it. Period. Everything that you invest in in those spaces should bring you more money because it's sort of helping you get more sales. It's helping you, maybe it, um, getting more reach or a bigger audience so that you can make more sales. Like it's all related to how you're bringing in more money. So if those things, your team, your contractor, your tech is not making it easier and better for you to sell more and then actually selling more. You don't need to invest that much in it. Hopefully my pet peeves have helped to understand how to better use this advice for your own business.
Melissa Anzman (25:02): To join the free Launch Yourself workshop, where you'll learn why your digital products aren't selling nearly as much as you planned for and how to diversify and scale your income by launching the right way, go to https://launchyourself.co/join.
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