Have you ever wondered what the secret to actually scaling a business is? In this episode, Chris discusses what scaling is and how it’s truly achieved with automation. He breaks down what you need to do, what to avoid and even gives real-life examples of how he has helped companies scale. This is an episode full of insider wisdom you definitely don’t want to miss out on!
You’re listening to the all systems go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot. Learn how to deploy automated marketing and sell systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis.
Chris Davis 0:33
Welcome to another episode of The all systems go podcast where we invite startup founders and digital marketers to discuss strategies and software used to build automated marketing and sales systems. That scale. I’m your host, Chris Davis, the founder of automation bridge. And in this episode, I want to talk about scale, I want to take the time and actually focus in on how it’s truly achieved with automation. And I think this is important, because unfortunately, the term scale has become more cliche in the market, it’s
Chris Davis 1:16
the, it’s like most lazy marketers, they just throw the term around to impress you, or to say something that they know is going to pique your interest and somehow convert it, you know, they, hey, hey, we’ll scale. Right? And it’s just like, well, well, wait a minute, what does that mean? We’ll help you scale? Oh, yeah, we’ll scale your marketing, we’ll scale your sales. Right. And it’s like, they can use this these terms, this terminology, but really struggle on delivering and bringing it to pass, and mainly because they just don’t understand what it is. They think that scale is growth scale is a type of growth. Yes. Right. But But rapid scale is really what people hear. When when you say scale, nobody is is is thinking, yeah, in 10 years, I want to be there. Right? If you give somebody an option and say, Hey, would you would you like to scale quickly? Most people, by default, are leaning towards fast scale. Now, this doesn’t mean that there are not entrepreneurs out there that understand things our process and I understand things take time, what I’m telling you is preferential. If someone if you were to ask somebody, do you want to scale? And they said yes. And you say you want to do it slower, fast, nine times out of 10, maybe we’ll go with the Pareto Principle eight times out of 10, they’re going to say fast, right? So instead of going to the dictionary, I want to explain what I mean when I say scale, and what I witnessed it to be. So I don’t want you all to ever be confused. When you hear Chris, or anybody affiliated with automation bridge, say scale, this is what we mean. And simply put, scale is increasing your output exponentially, while keeping the input as controlled and lean as possible. Okay, I’m gonna say that one more time scale, is increasing your output exponentially while keeping the input as controlled, and lean as possible. And that just means what I put into the system doesn’t change much, or doesn’t have to change much in order for that output of the system to greatly increase. Okay, so I want to control what if, what if the same efforts on the front end could create exponential back end results? That’s what I mean. That’s what scale it to me. This is what scale is the and this is a correlation that evades most business owners and entrepreneurs, because they understand that if they they’re living a reality of truth, where if they want more out, they need to put more in and that more usually results in time. And it’s usually their time. Right? And other cases is higher time and now they’ve got this big team and they’re overwhelmed because one person is managing 10 and and it’s like well, I can’t put any more on them. Right I don’t want to overwhelm them but we need more so we’re getting close to to where scale where the secret to scale truly is without without getting in ahead of myself, okay.
Chris Davis 4:34
But, but, if we if we think about it, if if you follow me, let me not say thing, but if you follow me true scale is achieved through the process of increasing efficiency of all operations, and mainly back end with the intention to keep things as lean as possible. And I talked about this in the All systems go episode number 98 when we talked about efficiency, the efficient entrepreneur versus the effective entrepreneur, and how automation is all about efficiency, we talked about it there. So give that episode a listen, if you haven’t. And again, this is my definition for the space that I’m in. It may be different scale in another industry, may be five years. Wow, we did it in five years, we really scaled in my industry. We’ve got quarters, hey, we’re trying to scale this quarter, we’re trying to get this done this quarter, because by the end of q3, right, the SAS companies that that I consult with that I help them, they don’t have huge amounts of money to spend on a large payroll and other resources that larger corporations have. They need the most out of their current team, their current funding that they’ve raised, and all of their current efforts, all of which cannot increase the time required to do so. Because the founders time is finite. Their effort, their energy, their brain capacity. And what happens is it becomes a losing game. So how do you break the correlation between time and effort in and what you get out? How do I actually scale by I don’t, Chris, I don’t like my correlation, I can I can reach a million, I really can’t, if I just work 80 more hours this week, or if I hire 10 more people. And I’m not saying anything is wrong with that. But you’re listening to the autism go podcast, we’re talking about automation, and crease in the increasing of efficiency, so that you don’t have to do as much, which means you let me just say this, just because you don’t have to do it doesn’t mean that you just dump it on hired help. Delegate Yes, but don’t just dump it on, hey, I just don’t want to do this. Because that has has negative implications as well, when we get to what the true secret is. And matter of fact, let’s just get there. What is the secret? If you want to scale, it’s not in it’s not where people are usually talking about the secret to scale is you increase your capacity to deliver period. Many will agree. But what I found is you’ll hit a a capacity issue before you hit a lead generation issue, especially for service based businesses and SaaS companies. For instance, if you’re looking for new users, you may be a strategic partner away, you may be a, a webinar away, you may be a presentation away from cracking that code. It’s you’re just lacking the strategy. And what most people do when they lack strategy, they go to the market to what everybody else is doing. Oh, they’re running paid advertising, oh, they’re blogging, oh, they’re this or they’re that. Instead of really taking the time to invest, and getting a sound strategy and realize, wait a minute, I’ve got resources that are tangential to me right now. I don’t have to run paid advertising at this level, I can reach out to these partners, these founders, these these communities, and get an insurgence of users. Right? So lead generation, for me, in my experience, it doesn’t become as much of a mystery more than a strategy. But once you have that in place, what you’re going to do is get overwhelmed on the back end delivery. And that’s, that is the part that’s the part that people overlook. And they trip up, and that is what prevents them from scaling. Okay, so the secret to scale is increasing your capacity to deliver how you deliver your product and or services is going to have a direct impact on how you scale and what your scale looks like. I’ve seen companies go from start getting started to overbooked just off referrals alone. They needed to they started out they needed to land a couple clients. And before they knew it, they didn’t have capacity to take on anymore. Because those clients were satisfied and told other people and now they’re like, oh my gosh, I I’m out of capacity. But guess what? I’m not at the revenue that I need to be either. So what do you usually what do people start doing? They start looking at their pricing. Oh, I’ll just increase my pricing. Since I can only take on three. I’ll charge all of them. $33,000 And that’s my way to 100k.
Chris Davis 9:38
Right. Let’s be honest, it’s a tough equation to solve if I have more than enough work but don’t have more than enough money made from that work. It’s not always a pricing issue. Sometimes it is. It’s not always just pricing though. I need more but I can’t handle more. Right there. This is all about your delivery, streamlining the back end processes. Many times we focus too much on the front end. And this is why most of my time isn’t spent on establishing marketing and sales systems. When I’m consulting for highly profitable companies, usually they have some form have that in place. Honestly, I’m just, you know, like amplifying that through organization and streamlining. And now this is really a good place to insert. This is what the automation service provider program covers, is how to get your marketing and sales systems in place so that they’re automated so that you can check this box is where every business should start. Because you need a systematic and consistent means of generating and closing leads. That is literally why I created the program. Okay, this podcast is what is all about what takes place after that is successful. So many of you are struggling just getting that in place. If you’re a digital marketer, what are you waiting on, come join the program, join a community and speed that process up. Okay, if you’ve already got that in place, and you’ve been scratching your head, how do we get more, I can’t hire more, I’m overwhelmed with the people that we have that keep listening. So when you have good Legion, and a conversion system in place, you don’t have to keep modifying or adding to it, I want you to go listen to the all systems go Episode 111, it was about my first time getting a system in place. And you’ll hear me say, once I got it in place, I realized, wait a minute, it did not require all of this ongoing attention. It was pretty self operative self containing the systems work they were generating leads, they were converting leads every now and then you know, you’re looking at your metrics, you do a tweak now, here and there. But these are not eight hour tweaks, maybe it’s 30 minutes a day, you get what I’m saying your time is now freed up. So when you have that type of system in place, you just need to keep sending people through it. And being strategic right tapping into the right audiences.
Chris Davis 12:15
But doing so is a whole it that’s an entire different podcast, how to strategically generate leads online, right, it differs by industry. There’s some broad rules and strategies that work but for the most part, many people the mistake that they make is they jump over who they have direct access to, to try to reach people who they don’t know. And when you’re thinking about concentric circles and the middle being people who you know, the most the outer circles being people who know nothing about you. There’s a lot of marketing that you all need to do better with strategic wise on the people in those inner most inner circle concentric circles, a lot of money to be made that’s left on the table. Okay, but again, another episode. Right now I need to make the assumption that you already have a steady stream of clients, your next hurdle was going to be how you deliver to your clients. And this is relative, you could have a business that you just started out, maybe you’re making $50,000, and you want to be making 100,000 however, you’ve got 10 clients, and you just can’t see, listen, how would I bring on another one? Let me just stick with what I got. Maybe some time will free up. Right? So it’s on it depends on the scale. And where you’re at in business. However, how you deliver your product, and or service is going to determine how you scale. So delivery consists of three things want to be clear, onboarding, fulfillment and conversion. Onboarding is, and this is all after they become a customer, by the way. And we talk about delivery, it’s delivery to customers alone. I guess I should have said that earlier. I guess I just assumed when I say delivery, you weren’t thinking of lead magnet demos and no customer delivery. I’m so sorry. It took me 14 minutes into this podcast to clarify that. customer delivery. Okay, I want you to make any assumptions. I’m trying to connect all the dots for you. And customer delivery consists of onboarding, fulfillment and conversion, onboarding, getting them started on the new customer journey, right? Because the the lead customer journey has ended. Now I need to get them started and get them acclimated as a customer. Right? So getting them acclimated as a customer. Let’s say that, right? fulfillment is completing that journey, right? So we got them started. They became a customer, they’re on this journey. Onboarding, make sure they have everything that they need to complete it. Fulfillment becomes the completion of it. Conversion is the start of a new journey. So We convert a customer, we get them acclimated we complete, whatever it is that they convert it on, then we convert them again, it’s cyclical, this is your fulfillment. And some of you the good thing is, you have the conversion element built in, ongoing, maybe it’s a retainer, maybe it’s a subscription, maybe there’s, you know, that’s part of your proposal, right. But this is the process, how you move through those three, those three phases is going to determine how you scale and automation looks different. For these areas of business. We’re no longer talking about landing pages. A lot of times, guess what, we’re not even heavily that much heavily focused on the CRM, we break beyond the the quote unquote, basics of marketing and sales. And by the way, this is where most digital marketers taper off. This and I’m in the deep end, now I’m in the ocean, okay, digital marker, you can, you know, as long as your feet was touching the bottom of the ocean, the sand, you were you were good in the ocean. And maybe you could even swim a little bit, but you get fatigued quick, you got to go back to shore. Automation, we go into the deep waters, okay, beyond the marketing and sales systems, and we get into applying automation to other operational areas of your business. Okay. In the, in the famous words from, from one of one of the movies I grew up watching, don’t be a minutes while drinking juice in South Central. If you can’t swim, you bound the trees. No more true statement, then when we talk about automating the other operational areas of your business. Okay, we’re going in the water. Nothing against you all on the shore, digital marketers, marketing and sale, there’s a lot when you go to the beach, isn’t that where the party is? Right? Everybody’s on the shore, you know, knee deep, maybe five deep, some people are up to their neck and no water playing is great. There’s a lot of success to be had nothing wrong with it.
Chris Davis 17:13
I ever, for those that want true, big deeper, deeper pockets, they want bigger scale. They want more. It’s not for everybody. We’re out in the deep end, Deep Blue, you’re not you can’t see the bottom. Okay. This is what I like to refer to as administrative automation. Not only is it hard to swim out here, guess what? This isn’t the sexy stuff is just not you know, it’s not the fun stuff that that you can talk about, you know, look at what I’ve done. If it’s, if you’re talking about it to another techy person, perhaps. And you can go listen to the all systems go. Episode number 47. And that’ll go into detail about the sexy and not so sexy side of automation. But this is definitely the non sexy part is the administrative automation this but however watch this in by non sexy is I’m starting to see more marketers start to say hey, look at my SOPs download this. So we’re starting to see some people acknowledge, you know, like this is important, right? But this is where the CEO and the CMO start to breathe easier as a because this is where they start to experience a relief, as streamline streamlining and automating these processes that they’re over, removes a heavy load from them. And I’ll say this, they get left out, can we just be honest, we I’ve seen founders put a lot on their CEOs and CMOS, and rightfully so their their job is to shore up operations. But that doesn’t mean that they have to do it all themselves of drive themselves into the ground doing so you still have technology at your A at your disposal. So a lot of traditional CEOs and CMOS. They know how to do it with people and processes. They’re learning how to do it with technology. So for you founders, a great gift to your CEO or CMO, just ask them, hey, if I brought somebody in to help streamline some of these processes, automate what we can automate to take more off your plate. Would you like that? It they won’t even have to think about it. They’ll be nervous saying yes, because they think it’s a trick question. Because truth be told, founder, let me just tell you this. This is the conversation as happening when you’re not around. They’re actively thinking about man. How can I make this easier? I don’t want to overwhelm them. I don’t want to tell the founder, but bad things are really broken back here. And I’m a little nervous that in time this might break. It’s working now, just as real, this is happening in your business right now, I’m not lying to you guys listen to this episode with your CEO or CMO, and they’re gonna kind of look at you like, well, he said it, it wasn’t me, but he’s not wrong. You’re right. Unless you see him, I was just our CEO, I was just, you know, very to the point like, Listen, this is what I’ve been telling you. You needed to hear from him? Well, doesn’t matter. Are we going to move on it? Or what? Right this is? This is real. This is scale everybody. This is what is? This is what’s involved. Okay. So so what does it look like? Let me give you a few examples. So just so you can wrap your head around it from some of the companies, I’ve helped increase their capacity for scale. One is automated document creation, and folder creation. Did you know that? Are you automating the creation of documents right now? Or is that just something that’s not on your radar? I mean, let’s think about what if doing automation at a certain point in an automation, it could trigger the creation of a document a certification, anything, and take the information on the contact record, place it in a template and automatically send it?
Chris Davis 21:20
What would that alleviate for you? What if every time you bring on a new client, you need a folder and a certain file structure in place, and that can all be done for you. Now, we’re not just talking about removing the low from your CEO or CMO. We’re also talking about the elimination of air. If every time a person has to do that. We know what the fingerprint does to automation. It’s a threat. It’s a big threat. And I want a shout out to my certified automation service provider. Samantha pointer Fox, she helped me with a recent client on doing all of this via Integra mat. We did some of it was Zapier but mainly Integra mat. Because when creating folders and files, there were certain permissions that only Integra mat could overwrite, and zapier couldn’t. Hence another reason why you need somebody who’s in this space learning actively. All of my service providers, all of my certified service providers, weekly daily are learning from myself and each other to figure these things out for you. Okay, that’s one automated document creation. Another is creating an onboarding program and experience using an LMS. I did this at Active Campaign. I’ve done this with a variety of startups, the LMS, the technology is interchangeable. But the idea is you bring on a new client. I’ve done this in b2c, b2b. b2c, he done it in all all industries. Is there steps that they can walk through, don’t walk them through a checklist? Make it an experience? Doesn’t have to be lesson one, Lesson two, it’s getting them acclimated. Hey, here’s here’s what, here’s what you just did. Here, here’s what’s coming next. Right? LMS can be very effective, mainly because you can track the progress. We can track the progress, you can see where they are. So you can see where the breakdown is fairly easily in your onboarding process. As somebody who’s completed the entire program was a and still has questions. Well, maybe it wasn’t that effective. What happens when they’re not completing? Maybe there’s some value miscommunication there, right? It’s trackable. This is technology that’s usually used for like courses, coaches and consultants. But this has very, very powerful implications and results for small businesses and enterprises. That last last one I’ll throw up, there’s revamping the sales pipeline to sync with your project management tool. This is heavy, this is heavy, because you may have a cost of lead pipeline of customer pipeline. And, again, and customer delivery is not just about the stages of the pipeline, it’s really those tasks. And all of those tasks may not be able to live in your CRM. You know, when when when I do these integrations, I’m mainly using clickup. Some people love Monday, there’s still some some dinosaurs out there using like Basecamp.
Chris Davis 24:22
Teamwork is fairly limited in my experience in terms of automation, but clickup allows me there’s let me give a shout out to Asana. I don’t use it. Don’t recommend it. I know a lot of my friends and peers do not for me. clickup just has so much automation. That’s another topic, right? Project management software automation of project management software. You see how discipline they have to be on these podcasts, don’t you? I can go on a tangent on any point that I bring up. But the whole point is, there are some tasks, there’s some processes that should not exist in your CRM. So when is that point? And when can your CRM then talk to your project management space? Create the tasks, spin up a checklist, automatically assign people to it. And there may be some people on your team that just work to your project management software. Can you see the orchestration of the back end here, I’ve got an A program that people go through. And as they’re going through in their onboarding, we’re preparing the folder and documents to share. Because we need to share sensitive information or we need to collect information, we’re going to keep it all centralized. And as they’re going through the program, we’ve got tasks that need to be completed on our side. And they’re easily distributed through our project management because integrated with our CRM. And this is just the beginning. Just saying that see, oh, CMOS. Did you? Did you get excited a little bit? Did you get a little tingling your toes? Like, oh, my gosh, there’s a way to do that. Yes. And there’s a way to do much more. Again, those are just a few. There’s new use cases and needs that arise daily, it seems for me, you know what the more SaaS companies I engaged with, the more I see. But to summarize at all, if you’re looking to scale, you need a basic marketing and sales system in place. Check. We’ve talked about that many times on this podcast. Once that’s done, the majority of your focus is defining your customer delivery processes, streamlining them to make them as lean and efficient as possible, then, automating as much as you can. Remember, we don’t want to ever over automate, that’s never a good thing. Never a good thing. You need intelligence here, everybody, because the wrong person will come in and just say, Hey, is that this Integra mat that, oh, we’ve got a tool for that. No, no, no, no, no, no. You don’t want that. You don’t want to over automate. Okay, so you need some expertise? Again, I’ve got them if you want to become that resource Come on. Like they’re, where else are you gonna go to learn this? Alright, but too many entrepreneurs don’t realize their time is best spent on the back end once they have an effective front end established. So you want to scale the secret to that, especially for you in service based businesses. And this applies to a lot of SaaS companies. Because SaaS has expanded beyond just software for consumers. There’s a lot of b2b SaaS companies out there that have a subscription platform, but also the customer delivery involves people and services. Okay, if you want to scale, you’ve got to get focused on the delivery, fulfillment and conversion of your customers. Post customer experience. That is where the scale that’s where you increase your capacity. That’s where you increase your your ability to generate revenue without increasing the time required from everybody collectively. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The all systems go podcast. If you enjoyed it, make sure that you’re subscribed at the time of recording the all systems go podcast is free to subscribe to, and it can be found in Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts new episodes are released every Thursday, so make sure you’re subscribed so that you don’t miss out and while you’re at it, please leave us a five star rating and review to show some love but also to help future listeners more easily find the podcast so they can experience the value of goodness as well. We’ve compiled all resources mentioned on the podcast, as well as other resources that are extremely valuable and effective at helping you grow your marketing automation skills quickly and you can access them all at allsystemsgopodcast.com . Thanks again for listening. And until next time, I see you online. Automate responsibly with friends
- [1:07] Why the term “scale” has become a cliche in the market
- [2:55] Chris’ definition of what scaling your business actually means
- [6:56] The true to secret to achieving scale
- [9:38] What to do when you’re ready to increase revenue but don’t have the capacity to output anymore
- [13:34] The 3 things your customer delivery process should consist of
- [15:38] Where most digital marketers make the mistake of tapering off
- [17:13] What administrative automation is and it’s contribution to truly scaling
- [21:22] Real examples of how administrative automation can improve your business and workload
- [26:24] Cautions to take when attempting to achieve scale with automation
Want to Be a Guest On the Podcast?
We're currently accepting guests for the podcast that are SaaS owners, marketing automation consultants, and digital professionals that have produced high results with automation.
If that's you, or you'd like to recommend someone, click here to apply to be a guest.
About the Show
On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.
Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.
Chris L. Davis
Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant