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Location independent phone & text (30 Day Challenge, absentee business owner) Additional information: https://www.facebook.com/SimpleGrowthSystems/videos/301374394090175/

Hey, Mike Callahan back again with the next edition of the 30-day challenge, creating an absentee owner. Yes, the ability to leave your business for the next 30 days or work remotely. So, what we’re doing here is we’re going through a bunch of tools and tactics right now. The first thing we’re going to do is go into an organize, automate, and dominate your local market. We’re still obviously in the organize phase here. So, the next 30 or 40 days, I’m going to go through all the tools that you need to organize your business to leave it for 30 days and not be part of it. And then we’re going to show you how to automate it, to go out and actually execute it, and then use those tools to dominate your market without you, the business owner, having to be part of the equation.

So, I’m going to change the screen out here to show you what we’ve gotten so far. So, as we’re going in here in the organize phase, we’ve talked about having a centralized knowledge database, a wiki. We’ve talked about field equipment, how to create a manual for possibility for troubleshooting so the business owner or manager is not tied to the equipment and assets in the office and in the field. Predominantly in the field, but we also want to track that for the office as the business grows in scales. Next thing is we’ve talked about Google Docs and G Suite for business and the ability to have a cloud-based centralized document system that everybody in the business can work on with audit trails, and if somebody leaves the organization, they quit or they get fired, we can pull back all the information and have control over.

So, the thing we’re going to talk about today is creating a location independent phone system as part of the 30-day challenge. So, one of the keys in the business to become an absentee owner or location independent is getting a voice over IP so, it’s voice over internet provider. I’ve included a link in the post notes to have some more information about this. But the premises of this is creating this location independent system. So, when we go into an app such as RingCentral, or there are several other ones that you can go into, RingCentral just seems to be the one that we’d been using. We can go into our phone and we can call out as if we’re actually in the physical office.

It’s also going to allow us to log-in to the cloud-based system on our laptop and track all the calls coming in, the stats, and manage and update the phone system whether it’s voicemails, calls coming in, call ordering, so whether it hits the office and your cellphone or just hits the office, or if it hits the manager’s cellphone in the sequential ordering, we can have complete control over the system in minutes without having to hire a third-party software to come in and build a phone network. Awesome process as well it’s going to give you the ability to do text messaging through the office, through the actual office phone number. Most people don’t want to talk to us nowadays. So, we’re able to use a voice over IP system to do two-way texting whether it’s from our personal cell phone, the manager’s cell phone making it look like it came from the office, or if you have an admin just like Christine in my office, she can fire back two-way texting over the voice over IP.

And if you end up using a process of a virtual assistant, a VA, I get into some deeper knowledge on this in the linked video, but if you’re using a product or a service like Pink Collars or Michelle and Doug, this is a great way to take your phone system and remotely connect it to a virtual assistant, and let them work full time or part time in the off hours and have a centralized phone and knowledge system all at one solution.

So, as we’re going into organize the absentee business owener, want to create a centralized knowledge database in a wiki, manuals for the equipment in the field and office for how to use them, maintenance and troubleshoot them, Google Docs for unified basically documents shared across the organization, and then today’s video is voice over IP, voice over internet provider, phone systems. You create a location independent control and access for the business owner if they need to use it. Otherwise, they can have this basically freedom business.

So, these are the foundational parts. Like I said, we’re going to go through probably about 35 or 40 of these different pieces. We’re going to show you how to organize all of them, then create an automated system, then go in and double down and dominate your local market. So, if you have any comments and questions about our 30-day challenge, voice over IP phone system, integration into the business, drop them down below and I’m happy to respond.

FREE LIVE training and business strategy the day before SA6 in Dallas!

Quick announcement before the holiday weekend, want to announce that we are going to have a free, yes, a free live event for at least eight hours the day before Service Autopilot Six in Dallas, Texas, in November- more details to come. Going to be limited availability, but it’s basically going to be first come first serve, absolutely free event. We’re going to require about $100 deposit to save your spot, but if you show up you get an instant refund when you show up. But the short of it is a free event, SimpleGrowth. Myself, Mike Callahan, Chad, Laurie, and Bill, will all be there so all the SimpleGrowth experts of automation business workflow in process are going to be live in Dallas, Texas, the day before SA6. So if you’re looking at it, go to SA6, make sure you set an extra day ahead– get there an extra day ahead, book the hotel an extra day and we’ll have the sign-up coming out later next week, but we are going to have one full day, eight hours of free training with myself, Mike Callahan, the SimpleGrowth team, Laurie, Bill, Chad, and Christine even maybe coming out as well, but at least the four of us are going to be there and provide live, free training business strategy to a live group the day before at the hotel of Service Autopilot SA6. Depending on the demand, we may be going across the street, but literally, within walking distance. We are going to have a free event where you can join the SimpleGrowth team for eight hours of deep diving business process systems and set up of Service Autopilot. So take a look at it. We’re going to be having a free event for you. So we’ll see you then.

Mid season reports, are you making profits on every job. Additional how to video link: https://youtu.be/-dTffnKtciY

Mike Callahan here with a quick video. Mid-season in lawn care and really the home cleaning industry as well as we just finished QT, quarter two. So we’re going to be talking about today is job or costing reports that you should be running whether you’re using a CRM software or maybe just an Excel sheet or a Google sheet. But the thing we’re going to be looking at here is things we hopefully were tracking for the whole entire season up to this point. Each and every job that we do, we should be tracking the start and stop time of each job, the employees that were on those jobs, and the budgeted versus actual time to accomplish this, we used to do pen and paper or basically Excel sheet, but the process is basically the crew would grab a mobile phone and they would clock into the job and clock out of the job. And then, on the way to the next job, they’re going to basically track their start and stop time for drive time. And we’re going to do that for every single job we do. In addition to that, we’re going to put a budgeted time- how long we think it’s going to take for the crews to finish these jobs. And now, hopefully, through April or so–

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Service, how long it took from start to stop, and how much revenue we basically generated per man hour or per person on that crew. And then, we would actually have a comparison to our budgeted goal, how many dollars per man hour we wanted to generate. So I’m including a link on this video that you can click and actually see how we actually do this step by step. But as we hit the halfway point of the season, every week, we should be tracking our daily versus actual budgeted time for the entire day and the entire week, but that’s going to allow us to make sure that we’re profitable on an overall look for each crew, each day, each crew does it, and then a company overall view. Now, at the midpoint of the season, we really want to be looking at each particular customer that we service. So by tracking those start and stop times and the actual versus budgeted time for generating dollars per man hour– let’s just say we had a job that was producing $50 per man hour and our goal was actually 60, if you look at the link I’m including with this video, it’s actually going to show you the math that we used that would say based on the actual times your there you need to raise your price for the mowing $2 and 56 cents per cut. So it’s a non-emotional way to double-check each and every job you’re doing at the halfway point.

Why this is important is if the crews are out there and Mrs. Smith added 15 trees to her yard and you traditionally had been basically making the money you wanted on her property, now that she’s added these trees on the property, the job has actually changed significantly. This is going to be a non-emotional benchmark to raise her price. And in addition, it’s also going to go in and give you a benchmark or a gut check on your pricing for all your new clients and it’s not just based on one visit, but hopefully, there’s 10 or 15, maybe 20 visits depending on where you are in the country or the world, and this will give you an average. So now, if we’re losing money on an account, non-emotionally, we should raise that price, in my opinion. Obviously, give them a few weeks’ notice and just say, “Hey. Due to certain things, we’re raising your price. If you’re happy with the price, we’re going to continue this. If now, unfortunately, we aren’t going to be able to provide the service moving forward.” In my opinion, we don’t want to continue to service a property at the halfway point if we’re losing money. In some cases, it may be cheaper to show up at the property and drop a $20 bill off at the front porch. So what I’m proposing is if we’ve been tracking the start and stop times for all our jobs, we run some reports, whether it’s in a CRM system like Service Autopilot or a manual process in Excel or Google Sheets.

If you haven’t been doing this, I highly recommend tracking these start and stop times so at the end of the year, the next time we run this report on each individual job, we’re able to track that. Now, the additional benefit of this is if you are going out and, say, doing lawn mowing or fertilization, if we can track the service area, the area we’re servicing, such as turf square footage, we will be able to create a standardized production rate. So no longer will you have to go on Facebook and ask people what they’re charging or what you should charge. You will have the data from at least the halfway point or for the whole entire year to see how long on average it takes your crews to get the jobs done based on your particular equipment setup, on any normal or average type jobs that you’re doing. So a lot of data right here. A lot of things we’re talking about. Main takeaways, you want to track the start and stop times for each and every job if we have that data, we run reports just we have like in the link that I’ve included in this – check it out – and to show you how to do that. That’s going to give you a non-emotional either leave the price alone or price increase. So we’re not losing money for the second half of the year. We’re going to continue to do that for the second half of the year. And then, we’re going to have the data for the whole, entire season.

Now, the next step to this job costing report that we do for the whole, entire season is going out and running this report and creating a non-emotional price increase for just the customers not meeting the threshold or your hourly goals. So if our goal is $50 an hour and we’re only getting 45, we’re going to raise the price on just the accounts that are not hitting our goal and we’re only going to raise them enough to get to our hourly goal. So a lot of people in these Facebook groups are going, “I’m going to go out and raise my prices 3% or $5 across the board per cut.” In my opinion, that is the absolute craziest thing you could ever do because I’ve got an account I’m making $100 an hour on and my goal is 50, I’m making double my goal. Why would I ever touch that price and run the risk of inviting the competition or losing that job and having to go out to bid? So there’s a lot of foundational information here that you need to get to make this educational play for raising the prices or leaving them alone. So if you’ve got the data, now is the time to do it. If you don’t have the data, now is the time to start tracking it so you’ve got at least the second half of the season so you can non-emotionally raise the prices or keep the prices the same for your current customer base. And if you take the pro tip of tracking custom fields or turf square footage, different areas that you’re servicing, you potentially can have a production rate-based estimating system based on your particular numbers by the end of the season so there’d be no guessing. And by doing so, you are going to create an estimating system that can be delegated without fail.

Gentleman that took lawn care company over had never done landscape maintenance. He was traditionally just a fertilizing applicator, commercial technician. He had never estimated lawn mowing. He had never estimated bush trimming, mulching, any of those maintenance services. Within two weeks, maybe three weeks, with a standardized production rate based on our historical averages that we’ve tracked through through job costing, I was able to send this individual out in the field and create estimates literally dollar to dollar with the ones that I’ve been doing with 25 years of experience in the field in estimating. So a lot of takeaways here. If you’ve got your numbers, let’s do a job costing report, raise those losers up to where they need to be. If not, get rid of them. if you’re not tracking this stuff for start and stop times and drive times, start tracking them now, and we’re going to have another talk probably the end of November, beginning of December how to run this report again to raise your prices and create a production rate-based estimating system on your own production. So no longer will you have to go on Facebook and ask what to charge or raise the prices by, say, $5 a cut or a percentage across the board. We’re going to raise the prices on the ones that aren’t hitting the goal. And the ones above that, we’re going to leave them alone because we don’t want to change the price. We’re making the money we need, so why risk ever losing that customer? So any comments or questions, drop below, and happy to answer them. Keith, what’s up, buddy? Good to see you on here as well, and will talk to you soon.

Centralized documents ( 30 day business challenge, absentee owner) find info here: https://gsuite.google.com/solutions/

Hey, Mike Callahan here with a first video of many that’s coming in on how to be an absentee owner, and basically be able to leave your business for 30 days in the 30-day business challenge. First thing we’re going to be talking about is centralized documents. So, no matter the software you’re using to schedule, bill, or route your lawn care or home cleaning company, centralized documents are one key to success. And one way to tackle this that I highly recommend is using G Suite for Business. So, Google has a platform, I believe it’s between 5 to $6 per user, but it gives you, the business owner, to have a Cloud-based document solution. So, very similar to Microsoft Word or Excel, Google has their own version, but the benefit is it’s Cloud-based. Anyone can access it from anywhere based on permission settings. And as well as if a Google Sheet, basically their version of Excel, allows multiple people to work in the same document without overwriting each other, or even in their version of Microsoft Word, which is Google Documents. But I’d recommend using this because it’s going to give you a centralized document place to create basically documents with text, basically, their version of Excel, forms, and a multitude of other things that are Cloud-based and multiple access. The other key thing is we can tie in their Gmail system, and by doing so, we can get an email address from your web domain that’s all controlled in one centralized place. So, if we have to end up firing someone, we end up hiring someone. The business owner doesn’t have to be there to set it up, and they can set up remotely or they can give their admin or virtual assistant or VA access to do that. So, this is one great way to have standardized information inside the company no matter where you’re at, whether it’s on your phone, your laptop, virtual assistant across state lines. So, one of the first steps I’d recommend creating an absentee owner in the 30-day challenge is creating centralized documents through a product like G Suite for Business. Very inexpensive. You can restrict what people see and what they don’t. Maybe you have a vendor that you want to share a sheet with so they can give you updated pricing for materials and products for the year. So, you can share with those documents outside of people in your organization as well. So, first tip to centralize your documents and become an absentee owner, to be able to walk away from your business for 30 days at a pop, is using G Suite for Business to create a centralized place for your text documents, your spreadsheets, which is basically their version of Excel, utilizing forms, tying in your email, and then the ability to, once you start using the email, as you add or subtract people, we can suck the emails from people that may be leaving, whether they got fired or quit, back into the system; they can be redirected to other people in the organization. So, we never lose those documents as people come and go with the business. We’ve created a centralized knowledge database, as well as document database. So, any comments or questions, drop them below. Want to say, “What’s up” to Chris Baker. What’s up brother? And we will talk to you guys tomorrow with the next installment of how to create an absentee owner situation to leave your business for 30 days, and let it run the same way it does with you, or maybe even better if you’re the bottleneck to success.

How to organize and automate your equipment use, maintenance, and loading of your crews equipment! (With out the business owner being involved) #Organize-Automate-Dominate

Mike Callahan here, once again, with quick video- how to organize, automate, and dominate your market. Well, we’re going to be looking at organizing and automating, right now, our equipment use at the hotel here and it reminded me of something we did in the lawn care company, how to organize and document all our equipment. So I’ve got a really cool book here, if you can see it, it actually talks about each piece of equipment inside the hotel rooms. So, literally, the washers, the dryers, the different types of alarm clocks. This is something that we did at Callahans. So we took a manual, just like this, and documented every piece of equipment, how to turn it on, how to turn it off, how to maintenance it. And we were able to organize our complete equipment list just like the Marriott did here. I’m going to be sharing the exact one we used in Callahans next week. But the whole thought process here is we want to take all the things your employees could ask you and organize them in a pamphlet like this sort or an online document, and then we can use things such as to-dos or different features and different platforms such as CRM like Service Autopilot or different things through Google or automated text messaging through your Voice-over IP, but the whole idea here is to create a standardized document that organizes all your equipment, the maintenance, and how to use it. My wife had a quick question how to put the detergent in here. And it literally dials in, if you can see this, and it points out exactly where to put the detergent. It actually struck a chord in me just like one of my employees would go, “Hey. Where’s the choke on this piece of equipment?” or “How do I change the oil?” So it’s all documented and standardized piece of equipment. And then we took those processes that needed to be done, pre-day and post day before the crews went out, and created documents with equipment-specific pictures and numbers. So the mowing crew, the maintenance crew, the pruning crew had specific pictures of each type of equipment that they’re supposed to load and what they had to do for pre and post maintenance on it, and it standardizes. So no longer we get 30 minutes or an hour across our service area, and the crew would call and say, “We forgot our gas cans”. They would have a visual representation each day that they keep, either electronically or physically check off.

So my challenge to you today is go out and create a document just like this for every piece of equipment that you have. Go on and highlight the areas that need to be used in a commonly asked questions by your team. So by organizing this, you’ll be able to go in and automate the pre and post tip information and any of the information that crews may have in the field. So we love electronic stuff, and we may also want to take something like this and laminate it small enough to fit in the glove box of each type of crews. So now they are reliant on a central database of knowledge to how to use the equipment, how to maintenance it, and what’s expected at pre and post trips. So my challenge to you is go out, create an inventory of your equipment, and basically, create a manual how to use each part of the equipment. So now, the knowledge is not relient on you, the owner or the manager, but the crews are self-reliant, and they can take ownership just like in this manual here at the Marriott, how to start/stop and insert the detergent. But they’ve gone in great lengths in this book, really impressive. The go into each type of alarm clock, each type of TV and controller. But once it’s done, it’s done forever. And this is also going to force you to standardize your equipment. So it’s going to help you standardize your process systems out in the field as well as your equipment maintenance. Just like Southwest, all their planes are one type of plane. They use all the same parts, and the mechanics and the pilot and even the attendants are trained to one process and procedure for that one type of plane. So as we’re looking at this, we want to think about how can we standardize our operations to minimize the upfront work, but then we want to document it with pictures and text, hopefully, in English and Spanish. But this picture representations, even if you couldn’t read this, are so self-explanatory that anybody, probably not even with a high school degree, go out and answer the questions himself. Now you’re making your crews reliant on the knowledge database and standardization of the equipment. So we’re going to organize, automate, and then hopefully, through this process, you’re going to go out and dominate your local market. So, hopefully, this is helpful. Write your comments or questions down below. But I’m going to be sharing next week, when I get back, how we actually did this in Callahans. This was just a quick reminder of what we had done in the past and made us very successful and kind of take those things for granted. But before we had a document like this, I was constantly in phone calls, five or six a day, firefighting, literally telling people where the choke was or what equipment they needed to load for maintenance or mowing crews. So I hope it was helpful. Looking for your comments or questions down below

30 day business challenge, can you leave your business for 30 days?

30 day business challenge, can you leave your business for 30 days?

Mike Callahan here with a 30-day business challenge, and no, it is not weight loss– if you’ve seen my midsection lately. But my question to you today is- Could you leave your business for 30 days and still have it running the same way it is today or even better without you? It got me thinking a lot of times as business owners we are a slave of our business and cannot leave the business. All things revolve around us is a single point of failure. Well, after taking a few days off here and thinking about Mike Michalowicz’s book Clockwork, I’m going to go through, starting next week, the things that you need to do in your business to basically be able to leave your business for 30 days. I want to say what’s up to David Long- I believe he’a got a birthday coming up or maybe today, so happy birthday, brother. But basically, we’re going to be looking at how to get out of your business for 30 days and set up process and systems to allow the business to run just like Mike Michalowicz talks about it in Clockwork. Now, this is something I’ve done in my business several times. Believe it or not, most of the time the business actually works better without me because I am trying to micromanage or am the bottleneck to growth. So we’re going to be going over starting next week the things that you need to set up in your business to be able to leave it for 30 days and above. Whether it’s a family emergency, or you just want to get away and enjoy some sun and fun, a lot of these business owners don’t have that option. So I’m going to go through and show you exactly what I did on my business journey in my lawn care business to be an absentee owner. So watch out for it starting next week.

So I guess the question today is, “Are you able to leave your business as it is for 30 days and let it run the same way it is without you?” Or do you even think this is possible? I’m here to tell you that it is possible, but there’s some naysayers outside. I would love to hear some comments and thoughts in this. But starting next week, the week of July 1st, 2019, I’m going to be posting pretty much every day possibly in a private Facebook group– or not even private, public Facebook group where we’ll keep that knowledge database of how to actually create a business you can leave for 30 days and become an absentee owner. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even reach out to Mike Michalowicz to see if he can give us a hand with some of the content and executable plans he put in his work Clockwork. But if nothing else, I’m going to go to and show you exactly how I did it in my business, some of the wins, some of the losses, and exactly how we made some of those losses success by overcoming a documenting process and system. So I want to say we talked to Josh as well- I know Josh has got one hell of a business in– he’s well on his way to creating that 30-day-free-from-the-business plan. So drop your comments, questions below. I’m going to back out of here but look for it starting next week, the week of July 1st, the 30-day plan or the things you need to have in place to get away from your business for 30 days. So any comments, questions, drop below. We’ll check them out. If not, we’ll see you next week with the steps you need to take step-by-step to create a business that will allow you to be an absentee owner for at least 30 days.

How not to be the single point of knowledge (failure) in your business.

How not to be the single point of knowledge (failure) in your business.

Hey, Mike Callahan here in sunny Savannah, Georgia, at the site of the live Simple Growth event coming before Martha Woodward’s QDS event. We’re going to have a live event at the Brice Hotel, but my video today is, are you holding all the knowledge in your head, a central point of data that cannot be disseminated across your organization? Well, the thing we use is called a wiki. So I just got a message a few hours ago regarding a workman’s comp policy that needed to be sent to a HOA management group. So I was able to really quickly send a message to Christine in my office, and she was able to take that message and go into our company’s wiki and get that information out there. So this is going to allow you to hit the road, not be a slave to your business and be the single point of failure. So if you’re looking to join us in sunny Savannah, Georgia, look out. We got an amazing event coming up live with Mike Callahan, myself, and the Simple Growth team. And my question to you is, do you have a central knowledge base, a wiki, that allows you to hit the road and do things like this without being the single point of failure.

Stacking your virtual employee bench

Will I see you in person while you are out learning your competition? I will be speaking live across the United States 9 times over the next 7 months! #lawncare #snowremoval #cleaning Organize-Automate-Dominate

Will I see you in person while you are out learning your competition

Hey, Mike Callahan here, got a question for you- Will I see you on the road in the next seven months? Going to be speaking live nine different times across the US, East to West Coast for the lawn care, snow removal and home cleaning industries. Going to be going in and most of the talks talking about how to organize, automate and dominate your local markets. So the question today kind of going out, not more of education and just a question to you, are you going out investing yourself in out-learning your competition? Some of the biggest takeaways and advancement in my business is been going out getting outside of my comfort zone and meeting other industry professionals in either the same industry or different industries. So my challenge today is hit the road, hop on a plane, go out and meet other like-minded individuals in different industries and different parts of the country, and go out and learn how you can go out and organize, automate and dominate your market. So hopefully, be looking to see you somewhere between the East Coast, West Coast or somewhere in between in the next seven months. Going to be doing some live speaking engagements for the lawn care, snow removal, and home cleaning. First is going to be the end of July for the top 100 snow removal companies in the United States. Absolutely stoked talking about next level sales. And then we’re going to be continuing right up through the end of February. So hopefully, to see you live in person. And let’s go out to work together and out-learn our competition and dominate our local markets.

Are the “flat tires”’or negative events in your business taking away from your positive focus and ability to grow and scale your business?

Are the “flat tires”’or negative events in your business taking away from your positive focus and ability to grow and scale your business?

Hey, Mike Callahan, I want to suggest a question here- Are the flat tires in your business derailing your success and your ability to scale faster and dominate your market? Well, I just got done plugging a tire here. My wife’s car picked up a nail and it was flat this morning, but these things in our businesses, the nails in our tire, the unexpected things are going to happen in our lawn care or home cleaning businesses. How are you going to face these challenges? Are you going to face them with optimism and look forward and see how you can learn from them? Or are you going to let them derail your day in negativity and suck the life out of you and your business and your team members from the negativity that could possibly be coming from this.

So my challenge today is face the business obstacles, or the flat tires in your business, with optimism-  What can we learn from them? How can we be proactively ready for them? And when they do happen, how can we have the mindset of positivity so we’re not letting it derail our day or our team members’ days? And I can’t tell you how many days and times we went down to our shop and one of our trailers or trucks caught a nail. The team didn’t know about it, we got down there, there was a flat tire. We’d have individuals on the team that would face it with optimism. They would go in and fix it and get ready and get a new tire on the truck just as a back-up, maybe an extra can of Fix-A-Flat, whatever that took, so they were ready if that next flat tire came up or there was other people that literally derailed their whole entire day and their positivity and their positive focus was gone. So my challenge to you today is, no matter whether it’s a flat tire in your business or a growth or scaling obstacle, maybe a no-show-no-call employee or a troublesome consumer that is sucking the life out of you and changing that positive focus, I would suggest getting rid of that negativity – whether it be a client – or refocusing your energy on a positive focus to overcome the flat tires in your business. So face your challenges with optimism and how could you proactively be ready when they happen. Because it’s not if they’re going to happen, it’s when they’re going to happen. So if we’re ready for them, we expect them, it is going to allow us to drive to our end goal whether it’s a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or quarterly sales goal or employment goal or maybe a work-life balance goal. These things are going to happen. So my challenge to you is how are you going to face the challenges that are going to come up in your business today and in the next 30 days with optimism and a positive focus to move forward and grow and scale your business with a great work-life balance that you’re not going to kill yourself from a heart attack of the basically self-imposed stress and anxiety that we all face in our business. So drop your comments below how you handle the positive focus and positive outcome when negative things happen in your business.