Importance of Outsourcing Workforce - Amazon Seller Tips with Gianmarco Meli - Part 2

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Things we discussed in this session:

A. Part 1

Things we mention in this session of Seller Round Table:
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https://www.thesellerprocess.com/tasktracker/

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Transcription in this episode:
[00:00:01] spk_1: welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with [00:00:06] spk_0: Andy are not and amy [00:00:07] spk_1: we's right, Absolutely. So um you know, during this whole process, whether you're just starting out or even kind of scaling, getting to the next level, writing yourself out of the business, what are some of the, you know, main hurdles or some, some of the pitfalls that you see a lot of people fall into during this process? [00:00:27] spk_0: Yeah. So one of the most common is that people when, when they discover this thing called the delegation, you know, they get into delegation fever, which means that they really enjoy that they feel it feels great not doing something. So they start to, to just hand over everything. You know, they find one person and they just give them everything, they just dump all the tasks to do that one person. So that's really one of the most common mistake. Um You should, you should always uh uh, you know, give responsibilities to people based on their strength, first of all. So so you, you don't want to give like creative tasks to your PPC manager uh probably because because you know, usually if you're like kind of analytic mind, you know, you're not creative doesn't, it's not necessary like that, but usually it is so, so it's better, you know, to outsource your different tasks to different people based on their strength. So that's, that's the number one thing and then, you know, having like a structured way on how to delegate things. So most people really delegate tasks like just maybe through through a chat or or an email, they just ask hey john do this for me, maybe you know without a really structured way and that that's that's really what makes everything confusing and creates chaos because you know you should hand over things in a certain way and like there is there is a framework that I really like that I learned from uh Clockwork which is uh it's a very famous book which people who have the video we'll see behind me. But it's a it's an interesting framework to on how to delegate tasks which is called the I. P. O. So I. P. O. Stands for information permission outcome. So you should so a frame away too outsourced to delegate something, it should start from giving the information every all the information that people need in order to perform that task. So for example you should give them the log in credentials, you should give them the step by step through a video, through an S. O. P. In different ways, you should give all the information needed in order to perform that task most of the time people forget half of the things that people should should know before two to start doing that task. So you know they end up either um not doing that ask well or just you know sometimes they are afraid to ask you something because um you know they just don't want to show off as a as a week or that they don't do they don't know how to do things but that's really your fault if if they if your employees or via s are not doing the task the way you want. Okay, so that's the first thing information then permission. So you should give them actually like verbal or written permission to do things. Okay? And how how far they can go in the process, so so you should really tell them okay, you have these tasks you can do, you can go as far as doing this if the situation requires you to take some decisions, you either give them the permission to take the decision. Okay? So for example, let's say just to be more concrete in like you know more um in an example let's say you hand over customer service emails. Okay. So one of the criteria you can use is that instead of not saying anything, not giving any permission because people just don't know about this framework, um you just say okay just reply to the customer service emails. Okay? So that person will reply to the customer service emails, but then one day somebody wants a refund or like um wants to um Yeah I would like to get a refund and they don't know how to act. So you should tell them you have the permission to actually decide on whether uh that customer deserve a refund or not. Okay. Otherwise every time every some situation happened they will come back to you and ask you, can I do this, can I do that? So prevent prevent this. Waste of time of these people going back and forth and just give them the permission right away. Okay. And you can tell them, okay you can give refund up to $50 for example and above $50 you have to ask me. Okay? So that's that's an example of how permission works. And then the last thing is outcome so be very clear on what's the outcome, So how the successful results look like and what uh and what uh not successful results look like. So you really need to be clear on on what's what's the ask about and how should be performed. So I love that you do I p. Oh [00:05:58] spk_1: yeah I love that. So I love that you gave that example because that makes people, you know lets people really kind of know that the practicality of of of deploying something like that. Um And I also love that you mentioned, you know a lot of people especially if they're early on, you know hiring like one V. A. Right? Really small business but and but they try to push all these different tasks to him, right? Like they want a jack of all trades. Uh But especially in a business like like an e commerce amazon business. You know somebody who does PBC is not gonna probably be very good at customer service or vice versa, right? It just doesn't compute, even though, you know, of course you want this dream person who's going to step in and offload all this stuff from you immediately, but what you really need to to realize is that's not gonna work well in the long run. Um the other thing that, you know, a lot of people don't realize and, and you know, this takes a lot of self awareness and also awareness of your business is, you know, if you're getting somebody in who is a customer service person, that's probably what they enjoy doing, right? That's why they're out there kind of saying, hey, I want to be a customer service person, they probably enjoy interacting with people and doing those things. Whereas, you know, somebody who's, who's doing PBC might hate that and then, you know, and then they might end up leaving, you know, not wanting to work with you anymore because they hate what they're doing, right? And not only that, but especially if it's a customer focused position, the customer is going to realize that that person hates doing it and they probably won't have a good experience, right? So there's a lot of self awareness of your, of, of people you're hiring and the needs of your business and also not trying to get all this like Jack of all trades who's gonna come in, you know what you're probably better off to doing is, is just, you know, delegating those tasks to people who specialize in it, but just give them less hours, right? So hey, I need a customer service person for five hours a week. I need a PBC Person for five hours a week. I need Um you know, somebody who's good at sourcing new products for 10 hours a week. In other words, you know, maybe hiring, you know, spending 40 hours a week in um you know, in ours in terms of labor, but maybe splitting those up between multiple freelancers or, you know, multiple people until you get to the point where you can hire those people full time. [00:08:02] spk_0: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I agree. And that's, that's, that's yeah. Also, you know what I mentioned a little bit in the before and definitely it works better to have, have like multiple people with less time than then hoping to find that unicorn that doesn't exist. You know, there's nobody can relate, take care of everything. So, and you also, that's also like a strategy for you to be more to build more security in your business because everything can happen. Um some of your employees might be, you might get pregnant or might get, might get fever, might get covid or, or you know, they're for different, different reasons, You know, they're human. So they might get married or so and so on. So it's better if you have like one person that is handling everything then and that person gets sick, then you're screwed instead if you have like five people and one of them has to leave for for a week or two. And that would not be maybe a big problem. And and also what S. O. P. S. And systems do is that makes all the tasks easily replicable. So like you can easily be say to somebody else um to to basically replace one of your team members as soon as he or she has to live or is temporarily unavailable because you can just say okay go over this S. O. P. Or system. Um watch the videos, follow the steps and you're good to go so that that really um lower some of the barriers in terms of um yeah like capabilities of the of the tasks. [00:09:48] spk_1: Yeah absolutely absolutely diversification is is huge. And also like you said if you have those systems in place then if you do lose somebody then somebody else can slide into that position fairly easily without you know having to go back and having to train them from the beginning and you know kind of start over. So I think that's great. Um if you guys have netflix, I think it's still on netflix um There's a documentary about Mcdonald's and it's really really interesting documentary if you're into systems because what you'll realize and you've probably heard a lot of people say this before Mcdonald's does not have the best hamburger, they do not have the best fries. You know like they don't have the best food, but the reason they've been so successful is when you get a big Mac in Japan, it's gonna taste the exact same way as if you get a big Mac in ITaly right? They've got that process down, They've got kind of the steps so dialed in at least that's the goal, right? It might not be exactly 100%, but maybe 98%. You know, they might have had to get the onions from somewhere different, you know, but generally the experience is gonna be close enough where it will be, you know, won't be noticed by the end, by the end customer and that's why Mcdonald's has been so successful. Same things with Starbucks and all these other, you know, giant chains is they've come up with these processes and they just refine them, they make them better, they make them more efficient and that's why every year they're more and more profitable because they're able to just iterate on those systems. Just as a quick example of the kind of power that you can get when you deploy systems. Now you mentioned clockwork, mike, Mccallum, Mike, McCalla wits is one of my favorite authors. I know it is for Amy as well. We've had him on the podcast if you could give people kind of a quick overview because it looks like it's it's inspired you in in a lot and what you're doing, so give people kind of a quick overview if you can, of clockwork and how, you know, implementing a system like that would really can really help your business. [00:11:42] spk_0: Yeah, yeah, definitely. So it's also one of my favorite books and I'm actually a part of an accelerator program run by him. It's called Run Like Clockwork. And it's, it's, he founded that together with Adrienne Dorsen, which is uh, like an efficiency expert. So essentially what clockwork does, it's, um, you know, the philosophy behind clockwork, it's basically to run a business to create a business that run by itself. Okay. So basically to remove yourself out of from the business. And he's the one who created this, this, this concept about the four week vacation, which is a really beautiful concept, which I kind of borrowed in the, in this business independence independence test. And I really, you know, kind of reframed a lot of these systems and the, and the philosophy that he's uh, covering in the book in my work and I kind of uh, remade it for like, specifically for amazon sellers. But essentially, you know, the, the, the book, it's telling you to, um, starting with understanding how you're spending your time and then finding the one, the one main thing that it's the most important thing in your business, which is called the queen B roll, the queen B roll. It's basically, um, if you think at the the, the bees, so bees have, you know, very uh systematized organization. So they have, they have some beasts who go out and change is you know the pollen and then some other who defend the hive and some other Who are in charge of um taking care of the of the small beast. Uh and there is the the 11B that is the queen bee and that's that's all that goes around. The whole hive basically lives around this queen bee, which is the one who is laying eggs. So the whole life of the hive, it's depending on this, on this role that the queen bee has, its, which is lying eggs. So with from this example, he's basically taking this example to business and saying that basically every business has a queen B roll. So you should find what it is your queen bee role in your business in order to understand what is the most important to ask. The most important thing that you should focus on and that's the one that you should defend the most, you should serve and spend the most time on. Okay, so that's why it's so important to understand how you're spending your time because maybe you're spending time on doing several other stuff that it's taking, taking time and effort out from the the queen bee role, the most important thing. So for amazon business, some might say that your depends that depends on you, you know, it's not just for one thing for every amazon sellers for, you might be the most important thing in your business would be to who run super efficient PPC ads for some other, the queen, the queen bee role might be product development for some others might be logistics or design and so on. So just find out what that is and make sure you protect that task and serve it and try to, to outsource or eliminate as much as possible everything that is distracting from from doing and performing that main major task in your in your business and then you need to, you need to basically capturing the systems and creating, creating a team and that eventually ends up with this four week vacation that I mentioned, which basically is not you really taking a vacation from your business. It's actually your business taking a vacation from you because most of the time we don't realize that we are the main bottleneck of our business. Okay, so we have to get out of our way. You know, we need to think more as entrepreneurs and like shareholders business owners instead of employees of our business. Okay, so it's a mindset shift, its it's not much about doing like you will still do the same thing, but approaching in a different way, you have to think like a share, you are a shareholder of your business, an entrepreneur so that your job is to create jobs. Okay, so that's one of the main messages of the book, your job as an entrepreneur is to create jobs. Okay, so so mike, it's it's a very funny guy, so he always make fun of the make jokes saying like you like shame on you if you are working in your business because you are stealing jobs from other people that could work in your business. Okay, so that's funny. I think it's funny, but it's also very true because as a, as an entrepreneur, you really should um focus on on growing the business on the visionary level of your business. So so that you know, your your main task is to to hand over different jobs to other people, so to create jobs, that's how actually I really love this this idea because it's an idea of abundance of prosperity. Okay, so you're not focusing on cramming task on productivity? No, you're focusing on giving other people jobs, sharing the wealth sharing prosperity. So that's, that's what I, I think your business should be and yeah, so really, that's how I label so my business and but it is still a work in progress, I'm also trying to, to, to applying everything that makes uh it's teaching. [00:18:02] spk_1: Yeah, I love that. Yeah, so just to share with yacht in, so, you know, I've been an entrepreneur since I was like 19 and I've read a lot of business books, right? And so what I kind of landed with is, you know, mike Macau, it's the reason why I think so many people resonate with him, is not only is he teaching you, uh you know, uh kind of the concept, but he also gives you a lot of tools to implement, right? I hate reading books and then you walk away from those books and it's kind of like, oh, now what? Right? Whereas Mike gives like printable templates, all these things, it's gonna sound like a commercial for mike, but part of the reason I love Mike is because he gives you a lot of actionable advice. Not only that, but we always talk about systems being kind of the basis for your business, right? Like the foundation, like literal foundation of your business. So, you know, if you don't have a good foundation in place, doesn't matter if you're doing PPC if you're sourcing great products, doesn't matter what you're doing further down the road. If you don't have that, that that good foundation to build from after this episode, go listen to episode 47 That's when we have mike on, we talk about clockwork. We also talk about profit first. I think those are, you know, if you're just starting out in business right now, I would say those are the first, some of the earliest book to you should read. I would go with um robert, Kiyosaki Rich dad, Poor dad, then uh, profit first, then clockwork, uh and then 80 20 and then, you know, help me if there's a book I'm missing here. But those would probably be my first four books I would read if I was just starting on any business, not even an e. Com or amazon business. Um getting into those, read those and and put them into place. I think if you get those early on it's gonna save you so much headache. You're actually gonna know your numbers in your business, you're gonna be able to have less stress, You're gonna be able to, you know, know what your profit is. You're gonna be able to uh you know, take vacations, all those things so early on if you if you if you build that house with a good foundation um anything I'm I'm missing there jan [00:19:56] spk_0: Yeah, I totally agree. I love those books. I read all of them and what I can add, you know, a few, a couple more books that I really love our traction. Also, it's a very good book traction. And uh and also essential is um that's also like a really good book I I've read twice already because yeah, it's just setting up a movement of people thinking like about what is essential, what is important. So you really really need to focus on the most important because we are living really in the most crowded era of all time. You know, there is overwhelm of everything. There is too much information, Too much opinions Around two, too many, too many options of everything. So it's really time to get back to the basics and focus on the most important things and that's really like a great book to go over because it really teaches that in a very profound way and it's very interesting. [00:20:58] spk_1: I love that. Alright, we're at the time of the show where we want everybody to know where they can get ahold of you uh let us know what you're up to you, what what's coming next? Anything you want to let people know how to find you. [00:21:10] spk_0: Yeah, for sure. So guys, you can find me on but just by listening the my podcast the seller process dot the seller process and the website link, it's uh the seller process dot com you will find their interviews with with amazon experts, coaches, consultant, agency owners, talking about systems processes and S O PS for amazon sellers and e commerce entrepreneurs also in general, one thing I would like to to give to to the audience today, um you know, is this this task tracker that that we've been talking about. So you guys can actually download it. I think that is going to be a link in the in the show notes or or you can go to the cellar process dot com slash task tracker. You can download for free. This distance tracker so you can start using it in your business and uh and if you're really interested in knowing more. I I will because because I'm still kind of at the beginning of this, of this project, the seller process. Although I've been settling on uh I have an e commerce experience of like 67 years now. But um now I'm basically creating more and more systems and procedures for um Gonzalez which will be in the future um like offered for sale, but for now I'm really open to give it away to to some like selected people in exchange for feedback. So if you guys are interested just go to the to the link that I just shared before and And sign up, sign up and I will select, it will select just 10 people to really give away everything that I know in exchange for feedback. So that's my, my offer today. It's all for free but it will be just 10 people [00:23:12] spk_1: awesome. Thanks so much jin really appreciate it. Everybody who's listening, thank you guys for coming in here live to to the zoom meeting if you wanted to join us live, we let you guys in every week to interact with our guests around table dot com forward slash live. We're on all the major podcast platforms, Youtube, all that fun stuff. If you haven't yet please rate review subscribe. We really appreciate when you guys do that. Let somebody know if they're just starting out on their e com journey. Uh you know, a lot of people are charging thousands of dollars for courses, you can tell them oh you can get all that stuff for free on this podcast. So thank you guys so much for being with us and we will see you guys next time on the cell a round table. [00:23:50] spk_0: Thanks for tuning in, [00:23:51] spk_1: join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q and A. And bonus content after the recording [00:23:58] spk_0: at cellar Roundtable [00:23:59] spk_1: dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller S EO dot com [00:24:06] spk_0: and amazing at home [00:24:07] spk_1: dot com.

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