Scaling Up: The Importance of Hiring the Right People for Your Business

Are you working on your business instead of in your business? 

We spent some time with Jonathan Pantalis to help him scale up his chocolate factory. I’m super impressed with Jonathan’s ability to put processes in place so that others handle every function of his business. 

So he’s not in the factory, packing or pouring the chocolate. He’s not even coming up with designs for new product ideas, which he did initially when he started this whole business. 

So it’s cool to get other people to do those activities so you can focus on growing things and having that higher level view on what is important. 

And a lot of us, when we start, we think, “Well, I have to be the one to do it because I’m Howard Globus, and I’m the IT expert. No one could ever do it as well as me because of the understanding of security,” or, “I’m Alicia, and I have this particular brand, and I’m well known among these real estate agents. No one else could do the same thing I’m doing.” But somebody told me this– you have to be willing to allow people to do things at 80% of what you could do, and unless you do that, never let go. 

I think part of it is like your business has to be able to handle things, maybe not running at a hundred percent, but if your objectives are right and you get good people, then you are almost there. 

Good people are the key. You have to have the right people.

Having people that have the drive. People who have a little bit of experience aren’t the number one thing, but people who have integrity and are willing to go the extra mile and think outside the box are.

You can have people who are motivated, but if they’re not thinking at a higher level, you’re not saving any money there.

So how do we scale up our business and start to replace ourselves and get the right people in these different roles so that we’re not stuck in the day-to-day of having to deal with customers and make the product or service?

Get past the limiting belief of “There aren’t good people out there.”

A lot of it comes down to people–take care of good people and don’t have a limiting belief that there aren’t good people. 

So everything boils back to people. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in. It all goes back to hiring, training, retaining, and growing good-quality people. Good people will figure things out. They solve problems instead of creating problems.

But finding that quality people could take a lot of pain.

Get Full-Time People instead of Part-Time

Somebody who’s an awesome Canva designer is not necessarily the same person who is an awesome video editor who is awesome with WordPress and funnel-building lead pages. But I would personally have full-time people and then just challenge them to learn to do other stuff to fill in their time. 

If you give someone an opportunity like that, and they take it seriously, then they’re going to try to do more. 

The greatest challenge might be jumping people from being part-time to full-time, knowing that they are going to need a whole lot of help getting up to speed with tasks that are not coming with their skillset, and you are going to have to train them, but if you got your system set-up, then this should come easy. 

So everything we do here in the Content Factory is driven by this 18-module checklist architecture.

18 checklist architecture

We know there are things that the business needs to do, which is largely the strategic level, and that’s indicated in the blue above from modules one to six. Then there are things that the workers are doing– like the VAs that cook in the kitchen, the items in green from seven to twelve, and finally, there are items for partners that might consist of a group of business owners or groups of workers, and they’re building systems and training. 

So we’ve got this 18-module architecture, which is supply and demand: supply is the green, demand is the blue, and the market-making is the red.

So, eBay and Uber are market makers because they bring together supply and demand. Facebook is a market maker because you have consumers who are the supply–creating the content, and then you have advertisers. So everything is supply and demand. 

Then, each of these modules breaks into checklists within them. So there is a checklist for plumbing, which is module one, or there are things that will build your brand right on module eight. 

But to have a strong personal brand, there has to be a clear reason why that’s codified by your content, which is modules two and three.

But there has to be not just the content that you make but the content that other people make about you, which is the idea of the content factory, which is Module Nine. 

So, everything we have will be broken down into a particular checklist. 

And so when you see what is going on in any of these checklists on how to do something, it could be a checklist on how you start a project or how do you set up a Facebook ad checklist, on how to hire a VA, a checklist on how to do any of these kinds of things.

So we’ve taken all these different checklists, and we have put numbers next to them so it goes to the particular training on how to do that particular item, such as how to create a whole video, how to create a saved audience, how to name your ads the right way, so everything that we do, everything on our business should be driven by some kind of checklist. 

A lot of people think that a checklist is so hard to build because it takes so much effort and we don’t have time, but all this is just recording a Zoom or a five-minute loom on your cell phone showing how to do something. And that’s why we even have a one-minute video checklist, which is the best way to record how to do something.

And if some training takes an hour, that’s too big to do to be considered a particular task. 

A task should be something that you should be able to do in five to 15 minutes. So if your training to do something takes longer than that, then you need to have multiple tasks, and a checklist is composed of multiple tasks.

So, each of these tasks has an associated checklist that follows a particular process. That way, people don’t have to rebuild the wheel since we have everything standardized. It saves us time, and it gives the brand consistency. 

So, as long as you have an inventory of all of this, then you should be set. 

Another thing is, yes, it’s very scary when you start paying people more. Because, like, payroll goes up, and then you feel like, “Okay, I’m paying this person to learn on the job, but then I’m paying him the amount that I should be paying with him coming with all these skills already”

So it is a bit of a conundrum, especially for somebody with the mind of an accountant, to kind of get your head around that, but just know that going for quality has always had a better ROI than trying to save a few bucks on the payroll.

It is tremendously different. 

Hire Properly

Below are some of the approaches:

One of my favorite rules that I learned from mentors 30 years ago at hiring, and this is from the CEO of American Airlines, is ‘maybe’ means ‘no’. 

If you ask other people on the team when you do a team interview, and if it’s not “hell yes”, the answer is no. 

Never Hire someone out of Sympathy

Never hire someone out of sympathy. Just like Ray Dalio, who wrote the book Principles and started the world’s largest hedge fund and one of the 10 richest people on the planet. He said that you can help people improve to the next level, but you cannot rehabilitate broken people.

You can’t take people five levels up, but you can take them up one more step or two more steps. 

If you have a mission and a vision, helping that one troubled person by paying them and employing them is a disservice to your entire team. You’re rooting for the morale. You’re ruining the culture of your company by keeping even one person around who doesn’t believe in the vision and the mission. It’s poisoned, and all it takes is that one person. 

You’ve got to be careful of people that drip poison. 

Hire an Integrator for Balance

All of us need to find an integrator or someone to balance out the stuff that we don’t want to do. 

Choose what you want to do, but make sure that you’re not compromising your ability to see higher-level vision if you aren’t letting go. There’s a lot of ego in there, but there is such a relief to let go of responsibilities. 

I know we have our egos, there’s no denying that, but it’s just keeping that in check because the pain of having to scramble from task to task if you’re responsible for so many things is so much greater than the pain of every once in a while something going wrong which can be an easy fix if you have proper systems.

With the right systems and the right people, it should not be hard to let go. 

Oftentimes, we have this limiting belief that “Oh, this is too complicated for this person or whatever,” but it’s really important to just try, at least try. And if that person can’t figure out those things, then maybe they might not be the right person.

Let go of the Fear of not having anything else to do

You might be thinking that once other people are doing everything, you are not going to be productive anymore, and then you will not be respected because you are not working as much, but the good news is there’s always more to do. There’s always something to do. 

If you want to be productive, you’re gonna be able to stay productive.

Be Comfortable with Firing People

I realized that it’s just being comfortable with firing people, as before, I was scared of firing people. I’m scared of letting people go and always being the nice guy– people should like me. 

And if someone’s not working well but they are a good person, it’s just not a good fit, then you got to be willing to let them go.

I never regret parting ways with the wrong thing, and that’s what I learned afterward. 

So be willing to move things around because I think people get into a mindset where like, “Oh, there’s no good people” or, “Oh, all virtual assistants don’t understand this or that”.

You have to be willing to say, “Yes, most people are not good, but there are those like 1%, 3%, whatever that is exceptional”. And it’s worth paying to find those people, and once you find them, accept that people are never going to be a hundred percent as good as you, but with the right stack of people, they can actually be better than you.

Need help with hiring? Here is the VA Hiring Course that can help you a great deal!

Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.