Your business is starting to take off, so you hire a mate to help you out. All is well and you feel like business is heading towards where you envisioned it to be.
Soon you find yourself needing a few more people to service the new wave of clients knocking on your door to work with you. Your specialty isn’t human resources management and before you know it, you feel like pulling your hair and wondered how you have that many people working for you and no idea how things got to this point.
Mike Rhodes shares with you a solution that you can adapt for your business.
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We’ll start with this and see if this feels familiar. You start your business, if you can remember that far back, and it was just you. Then you hired that first person and things were going well. You put the ad on. Seek, you found a mate of your Mums, you did something and you hired. You thought, this is good, I’m a business person now.
Then things went well and you hired more and more people. Then you needed to hire more people. That’s when things got crazy. People were reporting to other people and you hired other people. This person was reporting to that person and youre thinking, how on earth do I scale this? Troy said before about how he thought, I’m done. This is insane. I dont want any more. How many have felt like that along the way? That’s been the problem.
So Project Hourglass is a solution to that problem. It looks something like this. This is the end goal. This is how I picture all of my businesses now. You’ve got your workbook there. You’ve got some letters next to these rows. At the top, the first letter is G. These are generalists. The opposite letter down here, the S down the bottom, is the specialists. I was reading Scaling Up the other day, an awesome book, if you have’nt read
it by Verne Harnish. He talked about how these days, it’s not enough just to have generalists in your business. You need specialists. He called them chess pieces. In draughts or checkers, if youre American, the pieces all move the same way. In chess, you have very specialist pieces that all have their own special move.
So for us, inside of the AdWords business, these guys are my AdWords generalists. They know everything there is to know about AdWords. But for them to do all of that work, on every account, every day, is insane. There is a better graphic designer in the world. The person who is playing with pivot tables and numbers should not be designing your ads and they should’nt be writing your ads. They should’nt be building systems and they should’nt be writing emails. We’ve got specialists for all of these different areas inside the business.
I dont know what it is for your business. If youre a full service agency, your specialist might be an AdWords specialist, an SEO specialist, an email specialist. You’ve got all of these different specialists.
What is the next letter down on the top? T. These are the Thinkers. The Ds are the Doers. These are the expensive ones. These are probably local. They may not be, they can be anywhere. These are probably virtual, doing the grunt work, if you like. It’s not to demean that position, there can be thinking happening down here too. They’re not just following a checklist, because I’ll get to that in a minute.
The next letter is S. This is Strategy, tactics. High paid generalists can do everything. But for you to pay them that salary all the time does’nt make sense for your business. Dave said before about having that competitive advantage of using the best people you can find, wherever they may be around the world to do that specialist thing.
For us, if we want coding installed on a Shopify website, we could do it. Were not the best in the world at that. I can hire a Shopify guy two hours a week. The beauty of this model now with sites which well talk about later, like UpWork and fiverr, you can find these people wherever they are in the world. Your job is to find the best person wherever they are in the world.
The last letter is H. I’m still playing with this one. This is the head chef and these are the cooks. We actually have a system in our business now which we call the menu. These guys order from the menu. We’ve got a big list of about a hundred and sixty tasks that the cooks can do. I’ll talk about how that all happens. In the middle here, the A, is Automation. I think you’re going to hear that word a lot today.
The P is for Podio. That is what we use to automate our business. There are many tools you can use: Teamwork, Asana, Trello. Dont get hung up on the tool. We’ve got some great speakers talking about that later. I use Podio and I could not run my agency without Podio at this point. I absolutely love it.
Your job, I think, is not to be one of those generalists. Your job is to sit outside of all of that. The classic Gerber line is work on it, not in it. Your job is to lob in ideas, to lob in the vision, to lob in the overall strategy, to lob in the money and resource this properly, but not to be the person doing it, doing it, doing it , as Gerber would say.
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