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Q&A—Org Chart Therapy

How do you know when to hire employees and leaders?  And how do you ensure they are invested in your business when you do?  Clate and Scott give the answer on today’s episode.

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Dusey: Hello, listeners, welcome to The Small Business Success podcast. I am your host today, Dusey, and I am joined once again with Clate and Scott. Hi guys, how's it going?

Scott Martineau: Good, Dusey. I want to know when I get ... I want to take a run at that little laugh in the intro.

Dusey: That little impish sound in there.

Scott Martineau: Yeah, it's very nice.

Dusey: Today we have [00:00:30] another Q&A episode for you and today's question is from a marketing director in the legal industry. They've got a stage three business and we might get to some more of the details they gave us on their business in a moment, but their question is,"At what point do you shift the workload from the entrepreneur to a more employee-based system?" And then part two of their question is, "And how do you find employees that are willing and able to become brand advocates?"

Scott Martineau: Well, this is a very common question for [00:01:00] stage three businesses. Most business owners start and they are the center of the universe. They get ... There's good and bad things about that. They have a lot of control over the quality, and it's very efficient, but as you start to grow and you get half a dozen employees ... or getting up to 10 you have this question. So, to reiterate, I'll start on the first half of that which is, "At what point do you shift the workload from the entrepreneur to a more employee-based system-"

Clate Mask: And, by the way, this is interesting because this is coming from an employee as the marketing director, not the [00:01:30] entrepreneur, right? So-

Scott Martineau: So the real question is how do I get my entrepreneur to let go?

Clate Mask: My entrepreneur to release control, let the death grip go.

Scott Martineau: You need to send them to the Elite Forum, that's what we do. It's therapy for entrepreneurs. But ... So, one of the exercises we do at the Elite Forum I wanted to talk about today, it's called ... We call it "The Three Year Org Chart Exercise". We learned about it form Michael Gerber in "The E Myth", but the long story short is-

Clate Mask: And by the way, if you think ... When you hear "org chart" you're like, "Oh gross. I love [00:02:00] corporate America, so I don't have to do that crap." No, what we're talking about it actually the entrepreneur's org chart and how you use it as a development tool to grow the business.

Scott Martineau: Yeah, this will be therapeutic for you. The way it works is you-

Dusey: Work through the [inaudible 00:02:12].

Scott Martineau: First thing you do is you say, "Okay. We're gonna pick a point in time out in the future." You could do two years, three years, something like that. Well, it's called "the three year org chart", so I did it three years. And you say, "Okay, what does the organization look like ... What are all the functions [00:02:30] that we anticipate happening in the business at that point in time?" And it's really fun. All of a sudden, you start hiring people and you've got a leader over the marketing function, you got a sales leader and all the salespeople and you got all these different boxes.

Clate Mask: And by the way, it all starts with you getting clear on what your goals are in three years. So, you think, "Okay, well if we've accomplished these goals," maybe it's "X" in revenue and "Y" number of products and "Z" departments that you have ... Whatever [00:03:00] that is, if you say, "Okay, if we're serving our customers ... This many customers with this much revenue with these products," that's usually the best way to frame it out, "Then what would the organization need to look like that would successfully serve those customers and achieve those sales goals with those kinds of products?"

Scott Martineau: So, if you have one customer support person who's handling ... you know, today you have 200 clients and you plan to be at 600 clients. You can do the math, maybe get a little bit more efficient and decide we need that many people. Do we need a leader over that [00:03:30] team? You know, that kind of an exercise. So, once you've done that ... And this work, by the way, this first part of it, is you're just writing the boxes and the titles, and then, what you do is you come back and what you do is you begin to write in those boxes the names of the people who today are taking on that function -- sometimes you're taking that on by default. Usually the entrepreneur, this is what you see in "Living Color", that they've got 17 hats and that's what's really therapeutic.

You walk out of this exercise, you're like, "Oh yeah, that's why I feel [00:04:00] completely underwater," but the cool thing about it is this. It gives you a roadmap that allows you to go look and say, "Okay, how can we align the natural skills, interests, and passions of our existing team to sort of work in the direction of this future org chart?" Now, obviously it's going to change, it's a hypothetical exercise, but it'd be good for the entrepreneur, for example, to just look at this and say, "Okay, of all the things on this list, where do you feel like you've got the natural skill and passion that you want to focus [00:04:30] and where could we begin to find other talent that can start to take this off your plate?"

Clate Mask: Yeah. So think of the corporate org chart is a chart of the organization, the entrepreneur's org chart is charting the organization's growth. It's charting where you're going. It gets really fun when you start to look at that and say, "Okay, well I need to start taking my name out of these boxes," and you do that by taking yourself out of the boxes where you don't have a great competence here, great advantage [00:05:00] there.

Dusey: I feel like that exercise, in and of itself, can be very motivating, like very uplifting. You go, "Oh man, look at all these things and I can start to put other people's name son there."

Clate Mask: Yeah, yeah. We do this with entrepreneurs all the time, with teams. And the first realization is, "Oh man, no wonder why we feel so burdened because we're doing little pieces of this all over the place," and like Scott said, you're wearing 17 hats. But then you start to get excited about how you can take some of those things off your plate [00:05:30] and the question becomes about, "Well, how do we afford to do that? How do we make that happen? How do we ... " and it becomes a really great development tool for the company of how you're going to grow through that, so I think that exercise is awesome, Scott.

Scott Martineau: And it's just motivating, you know? Any time you can go out into the future and start to see specifics of what the world's gonna look like< it's an exciting experience.

Clate Mask: Yeah, but it starts with getting those goals clear, and then saying, "Okay, well what is the company that does that look like three years down the road?"

Scott Martineau: [00:06:00] If you don't like the sort of hierarchical, typical org chart, you can do a mind map is one way to do it, or you can ... Some people will flip it on its head and you have the ... put the leader of the company at the bottom, just a little tip if you're anti-org chart and you still have a repulsive feeling when you think about it.

Alright, so the second part of the question, "And how do you find employees that are willing and able to become brand advocates?"

Clate Mask: Yeah, this is really something we talk with leaders about all the time, entrepreneurs that [00:06:30] want to find great help to grow the business and I can't tell you how many times I talked to business owners that just say, "Man, it's just so hard to find good help. It's hard to find good people." Scott and I, when we hear that, we usually kind of hunker down for a second and try to not get a little bit upset because there are great people everywhere. That question of "how do I find good people?" It's really calling out the leader who hasn't taken [00:07:00] the time to say, "What does good people look like?" And I use that -- "What does good people look like?" -- at Infusionsoft. If you don't take the time to be clear on that, then you're not going to find them and you're going to be really frustrated bringing people in who you churn out and conclude they aren't good people.

The reality is it just comes down to you getting clear. What do I mean by "getting clear"? If you want brand ambassadors [00:07:30] and if you want good people who are helping you to grow the business, you've gotta understand, "Well, what do we stand for as a business? Who are we? What do we do? Why do we do this?" Once you get really clear on that, then you begin to magnetically attract the talent. We call this getting your purpose, your values, your mission. The purposes, the why -- and we like to start with why -- thank you Simon Sinek. But start with "why" -- get really clear on why you do what you do, and state that in a short, [00:08:00] clear statement, and then your values are how you go about doing that. Your mission is what it is that you do. So, if you can get clear on your purpose values and mission and then hire, train, and fire to it, you'll have no problem with brand ambassadors.

Dusey: I like that phrasing. I personally hadn't really thought of it that way as looking for someone to be a brand advocate. I've just thought of it as like, "Well, who is someone that would be good for the job and who would fit in?" But to me that denotes a special ... They are in with us for our purpose, [00:08:30] for our mission. It's fantastic.

Clate Mask: And usually small businesses ... They get brand advocates who ... The first few employees you hire tend to be pretty good brand advocates because they know you already. It's when you start hiring people you don't know, or people you don't know are hiring people they don't know, that it gets really, really tricky. That's where you have to have the purpose, values, and mission, but that doesn't happen usually til about stage five -- you got about 25 people plus. [00:09:00] In the stage that this listener is in, where you've got a handful of people, you're starting to break out of people you know and you're hiring people that you don't really know, and so it does become important to get that purpose, values, and mission clear so you can have those brand advocates.

Dusey: That's fantastic. So, he specifically pointed out ... this marketing director, that they're from the legal industry, and in my mind, I just kind of feel like-

Scott Martineau: Poor soul.

Dusey: Well that, too, yeah. [00:09:30] I'm just thinking about ... I feel like they already have a lot of trouble differentiating themselves, right? So, I don't know if either of you have any specific thoughts on like ... specifically, when it's something that maybe typically doesn't feel like ... I don't know, how many people that aren't already a lawyer are like, "I don't want to go work for this industry."

Clate Mask: You'd be surprised. When a leader gets really clear on what the company stands for, it attracts. I have seen this hundreds [00:10:00] and hundreds and hundreds of times. I know this is true. I mean, this is like the Jerry Maguire moment, right? "I'm gonna write this memo that tells the world what we're doing," and a bunch of people don't take it, but there's passionate people behind that who will do it. And, you know, in that movie, it's one person, but that's the one person he needed and it actually worked. It's a lot of hard work, and by the way, that shows how hard it is to get a business going.

I think it's common for people to go, "Oh, well that doesn't really [00:10:30] apply to me in my industry. I'm an attorney or a chiropractor. We just do whatever." No. It's not vanilla, you can make it your own flavor. You can make it really interesting to the people who care about that flavor and you can attract people ... you can attract the right people by doing that, and more importantly you can repel the wrong people who are just like, "Yeah, I don't really care about that." Well great, you don't need to be a part of my Jerry Maguire movement here.  

Dusey: I imagine in doing that same work, if you feel like you're [00:11:00] a vanilla business, then ... If you can get past that, that's only gonna also help in your marketing, not just in attracting new clients. It's gonna differentiate yourself, for sure. Fantastic. Well, thank you very much, anonymous legal person. Sorry for giving you a hard time about your occupation.

Clate Mask: And by the way, Scott mentioned this, but you can learn more about it by going ... We do a bunch of this stuff that helps businesses grow from kind of seven figures to beyond [00:11:30] eight figures, kind of going from that one million to ten million and beyond. It really tends to happen when you get around six, eight, ten employees ... you start to hit that point. That's what we do at Elite Forum, we teach that. You can go check it out at Elite.

Dusey: Yeah, so we'll put a link to that Elite Forum in the show notes, if you have any trouble finding it. We also have a resource for you on these topics that we talked about, so with the question being about how to know when to move to an employee-based system, we've got an article that is "Seven [00:12:00] Ways to Know It's Time to Hire Somebody", so if you're asking yourself, "Okay, is now the time?" Whether it's the first time, or maybe you've got a few employees, but you're not sure that it's time to beef up a little bit. You can find that article at -- that's all one word, all lowercase -- and that's the word T-O -- we didn't do anything silly there with the number two.

We will see you all, our listeners, next week on the next episode of The Small Business Success podcast. [00:12:30] Thanks.

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