Business Bites Episode 130: How to Hire, Onboard, and Manage a Remote Team

How to Hire, Onboard, and Manage a Remote Team

Episode 130 on the Business Bites Podcast

The Gist Of This Episode: Having a virtual business with a remote team can come with a host of issues, but with the tips in this episode, you can be miles ahead of the game. Rachel and Ravi Abuvala from Scaling With Systems will teach you how to find a remote team and give you suggestions on how to hire and manage them. Even if you already have one, you can gain more insight from these two entrepreneurial veterans.

 

What you will learn:

  • what you need to do before you look for people to hire
  • how to fine tune the interviewing/hiring process so you can connect with the ones who will be the right fit for your business
  • how to incentivize your team
  • how to help team members take ownership of their positions
  • and more!

Expand To Read Episode Transcripts

Rachel Brenke:
COVID has absolutely flipped how business is being done on its head. But for many of us, we’ve already been taking the action to have remote and virtual businesses, but with that can come its own host of issues. Whether you’re someone who’s already been doing this and having a remote team or you’re just looking at getting into it or simply you’re somehow doing it and you need to fine tune the process, this episode is for you. We’re going to walk through the intake, onboarding, hiring, potential firing, and also the management of remote teams. Join me and Ravi as we give you the step by step of what you need to do and some really good nuggets. Come on and let’s go.

Speaker 3:
Welcome to The Business Bites Podcast, the podcast for busy entrepreneurs. Whether you’re an online entrepreneur or seeking after brick and mortar success, this podcast brings you quick bites of content, so you can learn and grow anywhere you are. Now here’s your host, Rachel Brenke.

Rachel Brenke:
Hello friends, welcome to another week and episode of The Business Bites Podcast. I am your host, Rachel Brenke. I love this topic. You all know that I love remote teamwork, all of my teams, for all of my brands are remote. Right now during COVID, almost everybody is having to work remote. That is why I absolutely love that we have Ravi coming on. He is going to be telling us all the great tips on how to scale, how to manage a team, how to organize them, keep them in, keep them in line. I’m going to put all of the show notes and everything onto rachelbrenke.com/epi130. If you want to go directly to Ravi’s stuff, it’s scalingwithsystems.com. There’s also going to be a free course. Again, you’re going to link that at the show notes. You guys can hit on that and go right over. Ravi, thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate your time.

Ravi Abuvala:
Rachel, thank you so much for having me on here. I could not be more excited. Thank you everyone that’s tuned in for the show here. I appreciate you guys lending me your ears.

Rachel Brenke:
The listeners know that I absolutely love systems. I love scaling. I love remote work. Before we get in that, I have to know since you put it on your bio, I’m going to call you out, law school dropout. I mean, I’m an attorney. Do you want to share? Was that a good thing? Obviously it’s made you successful at least.

Ravi Abuvala:
That’s so funny. I actually say this at the beginning of every single episode. For marketing purposes, I’m a marketer at heart. I technically never actually went to law school. The funny story is, is that I actually a whole life wanted to be a lawyer. Then really quickly I’ll just brush by, my dad was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer as soon as I was graduated from college. As you know, the LSAT is probably the most important test you take in order to get into law school. What I ended up doing was the plan was take a year off and study for law school and then as soon as I took the year off, three days into it I had to move up to Atlanta with my dad. Took him to the chemo and radiation five days a week for a year.

Then I also was studying at the law school at the same time. Long story short, ended up through that whole process kind of learn a little bit more about myself. I didn’t really want to be a lawyer because I was just chasing it for the wrong reasons, but I did still want to take the test because I had spent the last 18 years of my life getting ready for it. I took it. I scored in the top 10% of test takers. I actually got into a few of my dream schools, but then ended up working at an Italian restaurant while I figure out how to start my own business.

Rachel Brenke:
What’s interesting is it worked out because in the past 14 months, you’ve scaled not one but two seven figure businesses and with very little capital. I mean, less than a thousand and you have commission-based employees who I assume are all remote.

Ravi Abuvala:
Yes, they are. They’ve been remote since day one. I’ve never had an office or anything like that. I mean, obviously COVID has really, really shaken the world, but I think for a lot of people that were in the online game or online business game, a lot of their day-to-day really didn’t change.

Rachel Brenke:
Yeah. Well, obviously me being a lawyer, I’m in the legal industry and we got a lot of lawyer friends. They have always looked at me weird because we’ve always been virtual. I mean, we have an office just because the bar requires it for marketing purposes, but we hardly ever see clients. When COVID happened and all these law firms are like, oh my God, what do we do? I’m over here sipping my coffee and business is as normal. I’m like, you all just call me if you need some help. But now that we have you coming on, I can just shoot them this episode because being remote I feel like is a wonderful environment flexibility. With technology now, why not? If you don’t have to be in person, I absolutely think that remote is the way to go. If you could go back though, I mean, you’ve only been doing this for a little bit but you’ve obviously been successful. What is something that you wish you had known when you were first starting? I mean, what would you tell yourself or change?

Ravi Abuvala:
Yeah, that’s an awesome question. If I had to look back, the first thing I would’ve said is have a little more patience. I think we live in a world today where you have Instagram, you have YouTube, your Facebook, you have all these ads everywhere. Everyone is saying, get rich quick or this will happen or this happened overnight. It wasn’t until there’s a great book that we actually give our clients called The Slight Edge. It wasn’t until I really understood the compound effect and really understood what “overnight success” meant. Because to be honest with you, Rachel, the first eight months of business, I did a little less than $6,000. I mean, it was really brutal the first eight months of business.

Then some things flipped in my head like virtual assistants and lead generation and outsourcing a lot of this stuff and then we really, really started to scale rapidly. Those first eight months, as you know, the law school LSAT score is good for five years. You have to keep in mind, I’m like supposed to be going to this top tier law school and that’s what my whole family had thought I was doing. Instead I’m making less than $2,000 a month as a waiter in an Italian restaurant down the road. I mean, I’m pretty sure my family just still told people that I was going to law school, I was just taking a little bit of a break. I was trying to convince myself like, is this right? Should I continue to do this?

I’m really happy that I stuck through it, but I just wish I had a little more patience from the beginning and just understood things a little more and that naturally things will come with time. Even with what’s going on in the world right now as well, another really great book is The Obstacle is the Way and just understanding that, hey, what I like you just said, the lawyer friends that you have that are, oh, what are we going to do? This could end up being one of the best things that ever happened to the people that actually make it that way.

Rachel Brenke:
Agreed, agreed. I like that you said that about the whole overnight success thing because being an athlete, I see that happen a lot. People will go, well, so and so just went their first marathon. It sounds super impressive, right? Well, typically, when they’re elite runner, you don’t go and compete on a large stage. You know what I mean? Until you’re ready to win. They’ve been putting in the years of work. It’s not like they woke up that morning and decided to sign up for the marathon and go run it. I mean, maybe. I know some people have done it. I think it’s the same thing for entrepreneurship. I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately with my businesses have been fairly recession or pandemic-proof.

I think a lot of that is not so much the content and the services that I provide. It has been the 15 years of building it. Now I’m reaping the dividends. You can look at it and go, well, she’s got a successful business in pandemic or multiple businesses. Yeah, but it wasn’t overnight. A lot of it had to do with a lot of what you teach, scaling with systems, setting up remote teams, and trying to keep the overhead low so that the profit margin is high. With that, let’s move into talking about managing a remote team. One of the things that all the listeners know, I have no problem sharing all of my faults, my weaknesses. Management has been one of the most difficult things for me.

Because of pandemic and a lot of world issues and personal issues this year, it forced me to stop and look at my management style and also pairing that with how I’m actually finding people, interviewing them, onboarding them, and then obviously managing them in the end. Let’s start with what if someone sitting here, they either maybe have one or two remote members or they’re thinking of making that big jump into having a remote team. How do they even start finding, interviewing somebody?

Ravi Abuvala:
I think the first thing you need to make sure is that you’re ready to hire those first remote people. I’ve done over 1,500 interviews in the past two years with virtual assistants, with high level account managers, ads managers, media buyers, whatever it is, and sales guys. The truth is that as the business owner, if you’re really, truly successful in entrepreneurship, you know that it all falls on your shoulders as the CEO, right? You can’t blame it on the employee because either A, you shouldn’t have hired them, or B, you didn’t give them the right training, or C, you didn’t have the right KPIs. The first you need to make sure is that you’re ready for that hire.

I actually use this analogy all the time is that if someone does a bad job after you hire them but you didn’t actually train them correctly, it’s like going to a restaurant and telling the waiter, hey, I don’t care. I’ll eat whatever, bring out your favorite thing. Then the waiter brings out their favorite thing. Then you throw it in their face and ask for a refund because you say, I hate this. Right? That’s what I see a lot of people doing when it comes to hiring people is that they don’t actually either number one, need it. We talk about hiring wouldn’t hurt. Not just hiring because everybody’s talking about hiring, but hiring because you actually need something done that you can’t do or that you need to take off your plate.

Then the second thing is having that system like a business unit case model of it that’s like, hey, I know that if I do this one thing, this will be the results. If you get it to the point that it’s that systemized, creating some training on it. We actually have what we call the sales ramping Bible inside of my company so that whenever we hire a sales rep, they go through this 35 pages long. It teaches them everything. It teaches them all about systems, teaches them all about my backstory, all of the podcasts I’ve been on, all of my content.

Then it also teaches them sales. It teaches them lead generation. We can actually take someone who’s never had any sales experience, put them through this training process like what we do for our clients, virtual assistants. Then on the other end of it, they’re just like superstar rep. I think the really first important thing people don’t understand is building something that’s duplicatable and scalable before you had to take somebody on so that it’s not just this hodgepodge of a mess whenever you get the first person on there and then you have resentment on both ends.

Rachel Brenke:
Definitely. One of the things that we have been looking at is we thought we had our systems down. I have a fairly well developed team, but even no matter how advanced you think you are, there’s always something. There’s new products coming on the market that can help you manage your team better, which we’ll get to here in a second. It’s the same as from the onboarding process, through the managing, through implementation is I feel like those systems are ever evolving and growing. What are your tips though when you see, because I’ve had this in the past. Part of it was my own issue because I didn’t know how to interview and hire properly, but how do you fine tune that process? How do you get out of your own way so that you can get the proper people that are going to be able to thrive on a remote team?

Ravi Abuvala:
Yeah, that’s an awesome question. The first thing I’ll say, especially with when it comes to systems are ever evolving and I couldn’t agree more. I know you and I were just talking about how you’re revamping a lot of the stuff inside of your company right now as well. There’s something that we call complexity creep inside of our company. It’s just the idea that as you start to scale and grow when things happen, more things feel like they need to happen, right? You need to buy this program. You need to hire this person. You need to start these ads. You need to do this funnel. You need to do this tweak. It’s you saying it, it’s other people saying it, it’s your team members saying it.

A lot of the times as a business owner, I think one of the most important characteristics you can have is really drowning out that noise and just thinking like, do we really need to make a change? Is this really going to be a big difference? Or am I just doing this because other people are telling me to do it? I’d say that 80% of my day is just saying no to other people, team members, contractors, vendors, whatever it is, because I’m just like, this is just a distraction and all we need to do is just do more of that of what works. You need to obviously build one thing. I need you to tweak it to the point that you can get out something that works, whether that’s the hiring process, the onboarding process, but once you figure that out, you just need to scale it up.

One of the best things that we’ve ever done, we placed fully trained virtual assistants for our clients. Whenever we’re looking for sales reps or something like that, we’ll actually create almost like a sales funnel. I know that funnels work and sales funnels work because we’ve made millions of dollars from sales funnel and paid traffic. I was like, what if we combine that with the hiring process? Instead of just doing the typical posting on my Facebook, asking friends, asking family for a new salesperson, what if I actually ran ads or put ads on some of these websites like Zendesk or not Zendesk but ZipRecruiter or Indeed. Then had all those people that applied direct to them to a funnel where I taught them more about scaling with systems.

Then after that, they got to apply from there and then get their interview at that point. Then once I was able to do that, we were able to shorten the amount of people that were sending us an inquiry from like a hundred every two days to about 30 every two days. Then based on that application process, we could boil down the 30 to five. Then from the five, we could actually have our hiring manager myself get on the phone with them. That’s something that’s actually scalable. Then once we actually got them onboarded, then you talk about ramping in a remote team. That goes back to having some Google document or course or whatever else it is that it’s like, hey, 90% of what your questions are going to be in the first month are going to be inside of here. But then once a week, we’re going to have a call. It’s a group call with everybody else that we hired. We’re able to answer any questions that aren’t covered inside of here.

Rachel Brenke:
One of the things that we found to be really effective is we get all of the systems. There are to-dos. We use monday.com a lot. We’ve tried Asana, Basecamp, all of those, but this one just suits my personality the best. Just like what you’re talking about, giving them education. We’ll do videos. I’ll purchase other education but within the structure of Monday. They have boards and they had different groups and such. It’ll say, okay, here’s your running tasks that you have to do. Here’s all the related education or internal videos of how to do X, Y, and Z. We definitely take the first month up to 45 days. They will be all in that education and shadowing the individual that is helping to onboard them. That way we’re not just like here, here you go. Have fun. Here’s some videos. We still say, this is the task.

Here’s the education. Here’s the person to help you so that we can finally kick them out of the nest and they can fly on their own. We also partner that with, that’s in our legal contracts when we have them come on. We have a lower pay during that amount because I’m having to invest resources in a team member who’s also going to do that oversight and management. Basically having to pay double in a sense. It’s not really truly double, but for that task. They’re on a lower rate for that probationary period. Then when they’re on their own, after they’ve demonstrated a grasp of the education and the tutorials and how to implement the tasks, then they can get increased to what the normal pay is going to be.

Ravi Abuvala:
I love that. I’ll say on top of that, I’m going to throw all of your listeners for a little bit of a loop here really quickly.
Rachel Brenke:
Oh gosh, you’re going to throw me?

This is going to be really interesting. We’re one of the only companies that does this. It’s something unique that we’ve kind of flipped the script on some roles in our company. Some roles outside of our company, specifically commission-based sales, we’ve actually started having our sales reps pay us to come work for us. It’s because in that training process, we’re pretty much giving them an opportunity to learn how to make… You know, our top sales rep makes $40,000 a month right now. We’re pretty much teaching them how they can make $40,000 a month. We’re not keeping this money. The money is going into the coaches that are going to be coaching them.

It’s going in the software that we use. That’s going into the systems that we use, et cetera, et cetera. It’s actually been really great because it filters out people that aren’t interested, people that aren’t serious, whatever it is. They’re much more committed to making it happen. There’s obviously pros and cons to everything. Like you said a second ago, no matter what, the first 30, 45 days of anybody on there, no matter how good your systems are, there is going to be that ramping period. We’ve just found that to be a really, really great way. I tell that to some people and they’re like, people are paying you to work for you? People are just totally blown away by it, but it actually works really, really well to find really dedicated people, people that want to make it work.

Then you’re technically, if you really see your business as a super valuable asset and that people that work for you both we’re lucky to have them and they’re lucky to have us, then a lot of people they’re going to like, we teach other people how to scale businesses. In order to be able to sell that, you need to know how to do that. The same way our clients are paying us a lot of money to learn all this knowledge, so are our employees. They can go out and eventually do it themselves. I think that’s another really great way you can shift your mindset as well as like they’re getting a lot, just as much as you’re valuing from them coming to work from you. They’re learning a lot and they’re getting a lot of value from them working for you.

Rachel Brenke:
It’s a hybrid education and employment structure that you have going on.

Ravi Abuvala:
Exactly.

Rachel Brenke:
I really enjoy that. As you were talking, I was thinking, how would that fit in with how my team works and all the positions that I have, but I also, correct me if I’m wrong. It’s like you’re giving them everything. See, my positions are cordoned off for the most part that they’re not given everything. When someone comes in for a very specific task or project, they’re not given the keys to the kingdom of how I run everything. They’re only really getting access. I mean, they can peripherally see through like team meetings, et cetera, and discussions, but they don’t get the actual keys of how to do everything. Even with what they’re learning, they couldn’t even just up and take that and implement and be in a successful business because it’s only one specific task. Now we are moving because we have multiple businesses.

Business Bites Podcast is just the educational facilitator. But with all of the things, I have TheLawTog, FitLegally, EsquireEssentials. Each of them are getting their own brand manager. Maybe that’s something I’ll consider in the future. We’ve already been discussing moving from just a salary structure to a salary plus commission structure incentivizing for them to meet the sales goals that we have because obviously, the more that we make and the more efficient they are, the more we make, the more they would make in the end. I think that’s a good, another way to look at it. I have always been gun-shy in the past of going that route because I was so heavily involved in doing a lot where I’m making this transition to really pull myself out to this 100,000 foot view. These brand managers are really going to have to take control and so there is more risk on them.

Ravi Abuvala:
Yeah, and I couldn’t agree more with that. Like you said a second ago as well, it’s not going to be for every position, right? Those are the only people that we have pay us if they come work for us. It doesn’t make sense for some of these other positions that we have in here. They are getting pretty much the look inside of everything and they’re getting pretty much like an educational training and they’re going to learn how to make money from it, then I think there’s a huge benefit of it. We have data that backs it up that people that have paid us, the first people that haven’t paid us, their productivity, the amount that they’ve closed, the cash collected per day. We can literally statistically and safely say they are more efficient and they bring in more cash whenever they pay us.

We have the data to back up for the past 90 days. That all being said, although we are technically a consulting and a coaching program and a virtual assistant placement company, I learn a lot from SaaS companies. I really, really love SaaS companies. Subscription-based models, they grow at nine times faster than the Fortune 500 companies and the S&P 500. I am totally, totally akin to everything that they’re doing. One of the things that I recently read, a book was they had talked about just like you said, it’s not going to go a base salary in there. Also, this is for customer success managers which is almost brand managers is having them having some compensation as far as like, hey, depending on our churn rate or depending on new business that’s capita, depending on what’s upsold or whatever it is or profit share.

I do think there’s a lot of value, especially when you have these remote-based teams which is what we’re talking about here. They have to be continuously incentivized. If you’re just doing salary, that’ll work for some positions, that’ll work for virtual assistants if you’re able to actually give away a small percentage or a commission-based salary. Then also another thing that I’ve seen that work really well, especially the remote sales teams is also taking away some of that profit share. Hey, if we hit this numbers like incremental profit share, incremental commission, hey, if we hit these numbers, you get this amount of profit share. I was running this along with four other companies, and I’m going to hire you to take this over.

Because I was running this, we are maintaining this monthly recurring revenue rate. Your full time job should be dedicated to keeping this. If you can’t keep this and we go below this and I was able to do this with four other companies, then actually we’re going to dock some of your commission structure that we have right here. You’re going to go from this percent to this percent. Then they’re really incentivized to not just lose, not just not lose money but to make more money for your company.

Rachel Brenke:
Yeah, we tried something. I mean, we didn’t do the taking away but I tried the incentivizing of commission, I’d say air quotes, you can’t really see it. We had a promotion a couple months ago on one of the brands. We were already maxing out our hours on the normal tasks that we were doing, and I knew I couldn’t… I didn’t really want to ask my team to work more so what I did was, and I knew that they have the time and flexibility and they can make a little more cash. I said, all right, if we meet the sales goal, you’re going to get X. They worked the extra hours. Then it was on them to take ownership and be more strategic in that time in order to achieve that goal. I think for me, one of the biggest things that I’ve learned, especially, that’s especially, especially, especially important for remote teams is having team members whether it’s employee, your contractors, virtual assistant, sales team, whatever position or status that they are, they are empowered to take ownership in what they’re doing.

Now obviously we’ve just outlined a couple of things for you all listening how you can incentivize that. But at the fundamental level, you’re going to also have to cultivate a community or corporate type culture. I hate to say corporate because it sounds so corporate. You have to facilitate that kind of environment for there to be ownership, for people to be able to take initiative. Because I feel like you can only partly hire for that. The other side of it is us. Ravi has to, I have to. When you run a business, you have to lay that environment out there. It’s like a plant. You can buy the plant and it’s got the potential to grow but you still have to water it and give it sunshine and whatever else you do to plants. Mine die so much. I don’t know.

I’m obviously sucking on that side, but I’m learning on other things. Now, let me ask you Ravi, and all of this. You get these people, we get these structures in and you’re teaching them all of this. What do you do from a legal perspective about non-competes?

Ravi Abuvala:
Yeah. Awesome question. It’s so funny you bring that up because I was just literally on the phone yesterday with my… When I was going to be going to law school, I was interning for a law firm in Atlanta. He’s like my law mentor when I go through whenever we’re doing contract renewals, all that stuff. Technically speaking with contracted work, you can’t have a noncompete or at least in the state of Florida, exactly. For contractors. Legally speaking, I can’t set up a noncompete. Now you can do a non-solicit of customers and team members which is exactly what we’re doing, but you technically can’t have a noncompete.

A few things that I’ve learned, I can tell you’re really successful in what you’re doing and you’re really great at running your sales teams because it’s like I’m talking to… or just teams because remote… I feel like I’m talking to myself, but it comes down to also culture. I’ll be honest with you. I have some people on my team that they could easily go. I don’t have a noncompete with them. They could easily go out, do their own thing, make their own business, whatever it is. Obviously, I think money is a huge factor in everyone’s lives. I like money. Everyone loves money. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Rachel Brenke:
I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Ravi Abuvala:
I will say that there are other aspects of the culture of the family. I’m really building something that actually has an impact. Right. The cool thing about dealing with systems is like not only are we helping our clients to scale and become ridiculously profitable and create online businesses, but at the same time, the virtual assistants that they’re hiring overseas, they had call centers which really didn’t treat them well.

Then all of that shut down so a lot of them have no income coming in right now. I’m getting literally letters in the mail or emails from these people that are just saying thank you so and so. I share that with the whole team. It’s all like a bigger vision. It’s not like we’re just selling soda bottles and just selling that out to everybody and there’s no real vision there. It’s that I’m sharing with all the successes with all of our team members. Yeah, they could go out somewhere else and compete and create their own thing, but they like to be a part of a bigger vision. Then I think the other really big part of it, and this is so, so important when it comes to remote teams is discretion. I mean, every single person inside of our company including virtual assistants, they have discretionary funds.

They actually are able to decide like, hey, if this is less than $500, you figure this out on your own, you pay for it. If it’s a client gift, it’s a refund, it’s an expedited shipping or whatever it is, you just pay for it and we’ll look at it at the end of the month. I also tell all of my employees as well, whenever they come into a problem where like, hey Ravi, can I do this or can I do that? I’m saying, hey look, you guys are your own little mini CEOs, especially if you’re running a remote team. You guys should imagine that this is your business. This side of this is your business because we’re tracking it like it’s your business, right? That’s a really big thing with remote teams is having key performance indicators, KPIs.

Imagine that this is your business and your business is to hit these KPIs every single month. Whatever you need to do in order to hit those KPIs, I’ll help you and tell you what I think we should do based on my previous experience. The whole reason you’re becoming a full time team member in this is because you should be better than me at it and you’re able to dedicate a lot more time at it than I am. If you’re able to start giving them just more discretion and more responsibility and start showcasing them more, shouting them out, hey, I have a guy that’s our video editor and on our YouTube videos and we get a lot of leads and deals coming from YouTube. Whenever we get a deal coming from YouTube, I’m able to shout out this guy that edits these YouTube videos.

He doesn’t even really know the whole rest of the process, but I’m like, hey, if you didn’t edit this YouTube video, we wouldn’t have made the sale right here. This is a lot of the reason they come to you. He doesn’t make commission. He doesn’t make more money. He doesn’t get any more money for making YouTube video, but he’s seeing that he’s a part of something even bigger. I know you run remote teams. Like I said, I’ve done over 1,500 interviews. To say stuff like culture and values, I remember when I first started, I was like, this is the cheesiest stuff in the world. Just give me somebody who can work.

Rachel Brenke:
Woo-woo.

Ravi Abuvala:
Exactly, the woo-woo like high level stuff. I was like, this doesn’t even matter. Now that we’re actually working. We have over 30 people inside of our company, employees. I’m really starting to realize what actual work culture is. We have these sign-offs at the end of the team meetings. It’s just so funny how much your mindset will shift when you start working with these people.

Rachel Brenke:
Definitely. I love that in the whole ownership aspect to taking pride, but also the discretionary stuff you talked about is, I mean, that accomplishes a couple of things for me. It takes some things off my plate. We have customer service issues. If I say to them, all right, it’s up to X amount. You can refund. You decide what to do within there. Just remember our brand and here’s what I would probably do in these types of situations. But it reduces the amount of time that I am being, I put quotes around bothered. Not that I’m bothered, but I guess I should say distracted from other tasks. Right. It pulls me away from other things, but it also provides them the ownership in that position as well that they get to have a little bit of power.

That’s really what I want each of these key employees, I hate to call them employees or team members rather. I want them to feel empowered. Again, another one of those woo-woo I guess, terms, but it definitely is true. It’s one of those that I’ve heard it for years but until I really start seeing it in action, then it’s like, ah, I totally get it. There’s one thing I did want to touch on what you were saying about the non-competes. I do want you all listening to make sure that when you hear what we’re saying about non-competes or non-solicitation type stuff, understand the status of the team member that you’re going to have. Because you can have remote team members who are W2 employees or 1099 contractors. I have an entire episode, it’s rachelbrenke.com/epi45. It’s episode 45. I’ll also link it on the show notes for this episode as well. It goes in to talk about all of that kind of stuff, who can have a noncompete, who can’t, how non-solicitations work.

Also, since you all know I’m all about intellectual property and my team members are creating stuff for me, if they’re a contractor by default, they own it unless it’s contracted to me and that kind of stuff. Make sure you head over to that episode and take a look at that if you’re dipping your toe or just trying to examine whether or not you’re doing this remote team thing right or just really any team members. You have to do the right status of either employee or independent contractor because it will make a difference on the legal.

Ravi Abuvala:
I’ll have to check that out as well myself, that’s valuable.

Rachel Brenke:
It’s a lot of good info. It’s one of those things that people don’t really think about until you have an issue later on and then having to pay me. Definitely. All right, Ravi, this has been absolutely incredible. A lot of great information. Do you have any last tips, either from the finding of a remote team, all the way through managing a remote team that you want to impart on our listeners?

Ravi Abuvala:
Yeah, and I’ll just say, Rachel, thank you so much for having me on here. I had a lot of fun. It’s funny talking to an attorney and thinking about your journey and my journey and everyone else who’s listened to this as well. Thank you guys so much for all of your time. I really hope you got some value out of it. The last thing I’ll say is this, right? If you really look at your company and you look at scale, I think everyone should stop where they’re at in their business and just think where are my biggest bottlenecks at, right? It could be sales, it could be marketing, it could be fulfillment. A lot of times, one of the biggest bottlenecks inside of that bottleneck is going to be hiring the right people for that role.

The reason is because either A, you don’t know where to find them. B, once you find them, you don’t know how to ramp them. C, you don’t know how to keep them motivated so they’re going to continue to work with you and not become a competitor as Rachel had said earlier. I think you should really actually spend some time and sit down and figure out how do I systemize this? Right. I had just said earlier, we actually run ads that go to a funnel to hire these people and they pay us so then we give them a ramping Bible so that they’re ready to go. They have minimal disruption how our team works here. Hiring, I don’t care what kind of company you have. If you’re really trying to hit multi seven, multi eight figures, or even just multi six figures, you’re going to have to be hiring people, right?

You go further together. Instead of shying away from it or being oh, I don’t need that, or oh, I’ll ask my friends for it. I really, really challenge you to stress test your company and figure out how you can systemize the hiring process. Because as someone who has done it and done it for hundreds of other people, I will tell you, it is absolutely beautiful whenever you get to that point.

Rachel Brenke:
Yeah, no. That’s the thing is and I feel like we’ve said systems and scaling so many time here people can almost be numb to it now, but I’ll tell you what, being systematic is what you need in order to be able to scale. Whether it is the team aspect, the management aspect. Whether it’s the onboarding. Because you’re repeating the same tasks all the time. If you just sit down and craft out how you onboard someone or how you get a customer, how you fulfill an order, whatever it is, whatever type of business you’re in. You’re going to see that it’s going to be common steps along the way. Quit reinventing the wheel. Get it systematized. Whether it’s automatic or a hybrid, or at least outlined so someone can follow a checklist style thing.

It also lends to consistency, quality control in your business, but it also makes for these processes and scalability to happen so much more. Asking myself the question I asked you at the very beginning of the episode. If I could go back in time, what is something that I would change? That is one of the things is every time that I do a launch or every time I go to create a new type of ad, if I would write out the process and take the extra 30 minutes to do it so it’s documented so next time I have a checklist or next time I’ve already created the automation, that would have saved me. I don’t even know where I would be at this point. I probably be a lot further along in my trajectory of my journey than I have been, so thank you. Thank you for bringing all this. FYI guys, don’t forget. Head over to rachelbrenke.com/epi130, it’s episode 130.

I’m going to link all the Ravi stuff there so you guys can snag that. Don’t forget the freebie. Also, the Facebook group is open every week. We have a thread specific to the episode so you can go on there. Share some of your tips and tricks to finding, interviewing, onboarding, and managing a remote team, or just ask questions and learn because there’s a bunch of entrepreneurs in there who many of them have remote teams and they can also lend some insight. That’s it for today. I will talk to you guys next week.

Speaker 3:
Thanks for joining Rachel on this episode of The Business Bites. For show notes, a list of recommended tools or referenced episodes, you can find them at businessbitespodcast.com. Until next time.

Featured Guest & Resources

Ravi Abuvala is a law-school dropout and the founder of Scaling With Systems, a business accelerator that works to bootstrap and scale their clients’ businesses leveraging elimination, automation, and fully-trained overseas assistants. In the past 14 months, he has scaled 2, 7-figure businesses with less than $1,000 of his own capital and 4 commission-based employees.

You can find Ravi here:
Website
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About the author

Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

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