Tuning Up with Tour de Profit’s Rich Allen
Your secret formula for business success.
Rich Allen is the Business Advisory Professional Speaker and Founder of Tour de Profit.
Tour de Profit creates radically-engaged teams for business owners. Rich helps business owners engage their team in a way that allows them to be able to get the benefit of them not having to do all the work in their businesses.
Learn more about how Tour de Profit can help you build the best team for your business by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.
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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, we're all reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.
And with us right now, we've got Rich Allen. Rich, you're a business advisory professional speaker, and you got a great brand. It's TourDeProfit.com. So just like Tour de France, it's TourDeProfit.com. Yeah. Great website. Great branding. So Rich, thank you so much for joining us.
Again, Josh. Thanks for having me on man. enjoyed it.
Yeah. What is the problem that you solve for business owners?
You know what I do, Josh has helped business owners engage their team in a way that allows them to be able to get the benefit of them not having to do all the work in their business, or team really get after it.
Alright, so I'm gonna I'm coming to you for a little bit of psychological counseling. Because I have an amazing team. But I'm, you know, I still find myself working 1216 hour days.
You know, that's, that's not
uncommon. I know. No, not at all. So what what's wrong with founders? Why do we do that?
You know, a lot of the time, Josh, we, you know, we, we are so particular about how we want things done.
That's it, then we do
it ourselves, right? We we don't have the confidence in somebody else doing it. Mm hmm. And, and so as a result, we tend not to delegate as much as we Should we hold on to too much?
Yeah, I know, the curse that I have is I've been an internet developer since the mid 90s. So I know how to do everything, you know, I can do my own CSS and PHP and, you know, I can operate on any platform. That's not necessarily a good thing. I mean, it's, it's great to know that stuff. But man, it is so hard for me to relinquish that.
You know, oftentimes, Josh, I find that the business owner that knows the least about their their business is the best business owner. Because then they can actually do the work, right? They can't turn the dials. So what they do then is spend their time focused on running the business. And a lot of times we find ourself if we know the business well, we'll get in we'll do the haircuts if we know how to do hair cut. Right, but if we don't, we'll let others do it while we run the business. Yeah.
Okay, so what are the steps to letting go?
Well, the first step is, and as you know, and everybody does, right is you got to know where you want the business to go. So you have to have a vision, you have to steer your business the direction you want it to go. And with that, when you do if you create a compelling vision for your company, interesting, you'll attract people who are compelled by that vision and want to do it. And in fact, they'll take as much ownership in the business as you do. And so that's step number one, right is to build the vision of what you want to create. And then I'd say step two is build the organization structure for the business that you want to have three years in the future. Most people only build their org chart for what it is today and it's a small organizational chart, because they do it by person. I say Do it by function and do it three years in the future. Because then you can truly see, paint the picture to everybody what you want the business to be and who and what responsibilities need to be completed in the business.
So, kind of an example that I can, you know, just since we're talking about this is we're kind of moving how we do our memberships, we're trying to, you know, the these, you know, this kind of exclusive membership we're making this way, way more accessible, and we're kind of moving from one platform to another. So technically, you know, over the past five days, I've spent way way too many hours doing that myself. And the reason why is, I guess I don't, you know, my, the developer I have, I just don't think that she would be able to have the urgency that that I have, like, I Really want this done? And I want it done today. So if I were to give it to her, I'd have to be patient, there'd be all this communication back and forth. I know there'd be like things that she would do. And I'd be like, Well, no, it's I don't really like it. Like, I'm not seeing it. That wasn't my vision like that. syringe helped me out.
Well, you know, here's where, here's where I think it starts, Josh is, you know, most people, if I were to ask most business owners, and perhaps you and I would say, Tell me what, what the job duties are for every person on your team. Most everybody is probably made them up themselves. In fact, most people don't have them written down. And I would say, the three things that we want it for everybody to know in their job is what am I responsible for? How am I going to be measured? And what are the behaviors I need to have to be successful in this position? Right, and if we can, as business owners think that through for each person position on our team. Once we give that to people, they say, Oh, this is what you expect of me. And this is how I'm going to be measured. Awesome. I'm gonna dive in and I'm gonna get it done. But a lot of times we're at we're asking them to read our minds on how quickly we want it done, how urgently we want this to happen. Right? And, and a lot of times, most of our team members aren't good mind readers.
Yeah. So in terms of hiring and onboarding, then we'll kind of start with hiring. Maybe one challenge might be that a business owner may say, Gosh, I really would like somebody who's at this level. But I don't have that budget. I only have this budget. What do you do?
Here's what I would say to do. And and I see this all the time because we help people do a lot of hiring and hire the right people. Most people If you look at most job postings that are out there in the world, they're written for the skills that they want the people to have when they come and do the job. Yet, no one ever gets let go, or we never have frustration with somebody skills we have, we have frustration with their, the behaviors they bring to the job. Hmm. So I say start with fit first. Do they fit into the culture that you want to create in your business? Because in most cases, we can teach and train the skill if we have someone who has the right behaviors, and right attitude, and right in motivation, right. But oftentimes, we'll work on skill first, and look and typically when we look at skill, that's when it becomes a price. Objection. Whereas if we were looking at fit, which is a cultural thing, then we find people that are really excited. about joining our team.
Yeah. So what would a job posting look like if you're posting for fit?
A job posting that is looking for fit would be it would look like Josh, your marketing piece that you use when you sell your, your membership. Right in other words, we would write our job postings as if we were marketing our product. And but you think about it most job postings aren't written that way. They're written to tell us to tell you all the limitations, what you have to do, what you can't do, what you have to be able to lift, how often you have to work, whether there's overtime, rather than being a marketing piece. We ought to market our job.
I like that. That's that's pretty good advice. So actually, so market the positions. You know, I have seen some companies that you know, usually when they get to the higher level, and they start putting a little bit more thought and resources into attracting great talent. Well, they'll actually produce, you know, videos talking about, here's how amazing it is to work here.
Exactly. So why shouldn't we do that? For every position on our team?
I love that. All right. So, um, you also, in terms of onboarding, like, what are best practices for that, or what's kind of your main thesis on, you know, really having that go successful.
I, here's, here's a trick that I use with all my clients and it works. Unbelievably. You tell somebody look for the first 90 days, I don't want you to change anything. I simply want you to come here. Understand how we do business, get to know everybody on the team and make sure that everyone on the team knows that you're a resource for them. And at the end of the 90 days, we're gonna let everyone who's currently on the team, vote on whether you Get to stay. And at the end, and it does two things. It's a crazy approach. But the the folks that do it, it works magic. Everybody who comes in says, All right, I got 90 days, and I'm gonna make everybody like me. And so they get these behaviors going up being very helpful and stand to do extra work. And if I'm done, ask somebody else how I can help them. And then on the other hand, it gets everybody in the business invested in making that person successful.
This is so rad. Okay, rich. Where do I learn all of this? You have is do you go through all this in your book? This is fantastic.
Yeah, I do. This is, you know, my book is all about my dad used to run his own business. And frankly, Josh he was terrible at it. Yeah, he had he was not a very good business owner. And he struggled his entire life. So what I did, just after my dad passed away, I decided to write a book. And tell his story and using all the things that he did right and wrong but to help business owners get it right the first time and many of these are just small things that that frankly when you think about them they're pretty practical but we get so in the middle of our business we tend not to spend time thinking about this yeah
yeah. So rich I seriously wish I did you know I I love when I talk to someone new and I really can't wait to read this myself and get this to Elisa which book is this that I should this is the ultimate business tune up. Okay. And that is available on Amazon. It's on your website Tour de profit calm. So I'm gonna get a copy for me. I'm gonna get a copy for Lisa who's been kind of our de facto HR right now. Wonderful. Elisa is like wearing like, you know, five hats in the company. They love it. Oh, thank God for her. She's Oh, she's terrific. Bye Um, you know, we go through that as well, because, you know, we're a completely virtual environment. We're moving very, very quickly. So we have experienced some turnover when you bring someone in. And you know, it's fine if it's not a fit, but it's it's frustrating because it's kind of it sets us back timewise? Of course it does.
Right. And you here's, here's, I think the big thought, you want to make it difficult to get on the team. But you want to make it once somebody does get on the team. They know exactly what's expected of them. And I think a lot of times we because the market has been so tight, it isn't obviously right now. But in the past couple of years, it's been really tight. And we've lowered the barrier. Yeah. And when we lower the barrier, it's easy for people to step out just as easy as it is for them to step in. We got a we got to lift the bar.
Yeah. You know, one thing that you talk about is employee engagement as well. Well, and what is a? What's a great way to kind of assess that within an organization?
You know, in fact, I built an assessment for that very purpose, because I think this is what happens, right? People build great businesses, but then the the people on the team aren't pedaling very hard. And you got to ask the question, Why? Well, I think it has a lot to do with. Similar to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, right? We've got really three levels. We worry about ourself, and whether we're okay. Then we worry about those around us, our team. And then lastly, we can do the things that that help our customer. So I think we have to be cognizant, we have to pay attention to those three specific categories of is the person satisfied personally? Do I have a good relationship with my boss and my team members? And then lastly, are they connected to my customer, you in a meaningful way, that's what gets creates engagement.
Yeah. If you don't mind, this is kind of fun here. So I've got your assessment open right now. And so the first question is, we each went through a comprehensive onboarding process and orientation program after being hired. So I'm going to give that probably about a four. Yeah, but not real great. Not not super comprehensive. I think a lot of what we end up doing is we bring someone in. Alright, welcome to the deep end of the pool.
Here's how we here's how we all came in. And, and we'll see if you survive, then I guess you keep the job.
That's exactly you're exactly right.
Yeah, exactly what happens.
So another one. So next question is we know and agree with the performance standards and desired behaviors that must be maintained to be successful here. I can't imagine that again. here's, here's where my brain is on this. I think that A lot of founders, a lot of, especially if they're the, you know, in that growth stage, there's a lot going on, you know, we will use the excuse, I don't have time to, uh, to spend with a lot of, you know, measurements and, and, and that sort of thing. And so therefore, it's just like it's all like OJT. And we'll see, we'll see how things are going here based on you know, based on how you show up to work,
right? And look, I hired you thinking you already know how to do this job. So just step in and do it. But in reality, Josh, and you know, this, right, somebody could come in and they know how to do what you need to done. But the question is, are they going to do it the way that you want your business to show up in the marketplace? And we have to be crystal clear on that with everybody on our team. Critical?
Yeah, can you talk about So one question here is we Understand compensation. And I've skipped a couple here. So if you want a full assessment, well you got to go to Rich's website. And rich again, tell people what website and click on it's right in the top right hand corner.
Right? It's Tour de profit calm tour. And in fact, I made a page that was that's backslash thoughtful for your listeners, if they want to get some free resources, I put them there. But you can get to this resource on my main homepage.
That's fantastic. One other question is we understand how compensation decisions are made in the company.
That's Nope. I you know, and tell me more about that. Like, how would you discuss that with the HR team? Here's the reality. Everybody, you know, we know this because over half of the people currently employed in a business or in a job, they're actively looking for another job. And partly because they don't see what their next Opportunity is they don't see, or they hear other people talk about their compensation and they say Geez, are not being treated fairly. We tend not to talk about compensation because we don't really have a design behind it. We kind of react to the squeaky wheel. Rather, what we ought to do is we got to be really clear with people that says, look, we, we pay at market for the base wage, we have a bonus plan. We have a profit sharing plan, whatever it is, but lay it out so that people can make their own informed decisions rather than making a decision based on rumors and innuendo that they're hearing from everyone around them.
Any special considerations when filling out a sales team?
Yes, I have a I have a strong bias. If you don't imagine Josh. I am not a big fan of commission plans. Hmm. For one reason, they're dope amine driven And it doesn't drive team behavior. Right when I'm if I'm in a commission role, that means I eat what I kill. Mm hmm. And I tend not to then worry about other people on the team. What I'm worried about is whether I can close the deal. So I'm not a big fan of that. But I do think that there are ways around that if someone wants to be creative in how they design their compensation programs.
Yeah. Well, great, so rich. This is absolutely fantastic. You've got the assessment on your website. Tell me about the kind of the growth of your company. Like Where did you come from and how did you build it to the level that it is now?
You know, Josh, I, I, I used to be I used to run a manufacturing business. I worked with my dad and his business. That was a failure. I wanted to figure out how business worked. I had the chance to run my own business. I took a $30 million manufacturing And grew to a little over 100 million. We ended up selling it to our biggest competitor. I retired about 15 years ago. And I decided I was going to take what I learned along the way to help small business owners basically avoid the pitfalls that my dad made and to accelerate their growth. So that's what I've been doing. And I work one on one and in group settings with owner operator businesses to get them out of the operator role and into the literally into the ownership role.
Yeah. What is life like when you're in the ownership role?
Well, life in the ownership role is where you're the cheerleader, you set the vision, you set the standards, you cheerlead your team, and you have people assigned in every operating role in the business. So you can go focus your attention on the mission or passion that you're really All about, right? That's what life is like when you're in the ownership role.
Yeah. When you want to roll out, what does it typically look like when, you know, founders listen to our conversation right now is like, Doggone it, we're gonna start doing this 90 day, you know, we're how do you how do you roll that out in a way that to get your you know, you want to get your team on board with that. So for example, the talking about the, you know, the hiring thing and say, listen, the team is gonna vote whether or not to to keep here or not. How do you get there by off on that?
You know, you got to, obviously have to lay a little groundwork. As I mentioned to you earlier, Josh, I use a bike as a metaphor for a business. Yeah. So every component of a bicycle matches perfectly to a component in a business. So the first thing is to figure out what part of your bike needs to be tuned up. What part of your bike should you focus on? And then we can once we map That out, then you can go in there specifically make a few adjustments. And these small adjustments and different areas of your business can have a huge impact. But the place that it makes the biggest impact is being able to share with your team, how a business works. And that's why I use a bike. Because most people in the business have no clue how our business really works. They're just there for a paycheck. What I've found is when we can engage them in discussion that really makes sense to them, they can step up and help us solve the problem.
Yeah. So rich, if you don't mind, what would you like? What What is the general just a couple minutes? What are the general pieces of the bike and how do they fit into the business framework?
Yeah, so really quickly, you steer a bike with the handlebars. So you steer a business with your vision, your standards and your purpose, right but what what matters more than then than just making you money, the frame The bike is what holds everything together in your business. That's your, your organization structure, your accountability system, and your job responsibilities. The front wheel, the bike represents your ability to win new customers. So there are some details in there that you have to be really good at to be able to win new customers, the back wheel or your bike, obviously, then, is how to serve those customers. And oh, by the way, Josh, both wheels have to go at the same speed or you're going to crash. It's just a logical thing, right? your brakes are your financial controls, because we have to know when to pull on the financial controls on either the front or the back wheel. And then we have a seat where our team sits. And that's our, our hiring program, our onboarding program, our compensation plan, our communication plan, our rewards program, all the things we do to make that seat so comfortable that our team will put maximum Power to the pedal of our bike.
Well, fantastic. Rich Allen, thank you so much for joining us again. You're a business adviser, your professional speaker. You're found on the web at TourDeProfit.com. And am I actually on your speaking site as well? RichAllenSpeaks.com. But I absolutely so excited to read this coming weekend. I'm going to read the ultimate business to nap. This sounds absolutely so perfect for us. Rich, thank you so much.
My pleasure. Thanks for having me on, Josh.
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