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Junto Global Business Mastermind: Jon Tucker


First, what you need to know about Jon:

Jon is a badass with an attention to detail and a knack for systematizing and discovering inefficiencies. This level of detail is seen in the amount of information he provided, and for those looking to add efficiency and save time & money, this detailed blog post is GOLD.

For those who don’t already know, Jon is a long time Junto member who started a marketing agency called Compete Online.

Jon iterated his business to a productized service which he is close to scaling to seven figures. He is an expert on Systems.


Fireside chat conversation:

What is a system? Why is it important?

•    Businesses do stuff for customers
•    Systems are the means to that end
•    If you make systems easy to understand and execute, you can hire people to do each primary function for your customers
•    Then your business (not “you”) can do more stuff, and you get more $

What is your story with systems as an entrepreneur?

•    Always been in service businesses
•    Marketing agency is where I learned most. Being in service “deliverables” based business, efficiency is important (and easier than some businesses)
•    Started working with outsourced team overseas in 2007, and that forced me to get good at defining what I wanted
•    I refined that from 2007-2013ish – doing lots of marketing agency services, but the core business model wasn’t scalable
•    Then started HelpFlow. It’s productized service, and MUCH more scalable.
•    We have almost 30 people, 3 managers run most of it except sales / product dev, and this future transition is in motion now.

What is the best medium for different Systems

•    Key pieces to get right- CLEAR end point, CLEAR starting point,  provide some guidelines for the middle, and MOST IMPORTANT is culture where it’s expected to ask quetions if you’re not sure what to do.
•    Our system infrastructure is (1) video for complex explanation (2) text / image checklist to reference (3) and task list that walks them through executing it (refers to the process).
•    Always have a text checklist, even if core process is a video. Otherwise people won’t watch the video.
•    Don’t “do it for them” referring to tasks that are clearly a flaw in the system – Fix the system, and have the employees refer back

Examples of systems (1 for agency to show the concept, 1 for helpflow to show it applies to every business – not just agencies).

•    Example of Marketing agency deliverables

HelpFlow systematizing example around hiring

I got burned out with hiring agents. I didn’t enjoy it once I figured out the best approach.
Key factors to system were (1) get lots of applicants (2) vet replies quickly (3) qualify their skills in bulk (4) and only spend manual time on reasonable candidates. Efficient ways to do that were (1) post job many places (2) all applicants must include something unique in opening sentence (otherwise they didn’t read it) (3) bulk qualify their skills via quiz (4) do chat agent interview via chat w/ multiple agents at once (5) then do screenshare chat interivew to watch their screen (6) then do culture etc. interview stuff.

What to do when you don’t know next step in system

•    The HARDEST part of systems is how to systematize everything – there are bound to be parts that need critical thinking / your decision / your action. SO, make that PART of the process. Many of our systems, esp. in early days had steps to “ask Jon”.
•    Every time you have to do something yourself, you’ll see the system for that step a little clearer – then you can systematize it. (Example of PDF optimizations for agency partner).
What that (systems) allows us to do
•    ROI example from agency above – I was making $700-$1000 per hour of my time invested.
•    We hire awesome agents I’m confident in – but I don’t do the hiring anymore
•    General peace of mind knowing the business is working – HelpFlow is a giant system. Running a business where you have to do everything or no one knows what you know sucks – and it’s not “cool” to experienced business people ; )

Best resources and books on systems

•    Make a private website your team can search NOT a giant Google Doc. Use Google Sites.
•    Work The System, by Sam Carpenter – it’s the manual on how to systematize your business. (E-Myth is a story to show the power)
•    Record your screen with Screenflow (mac) or Camtasia (PC). Keep the files in Google Drive embedded in Google Sites. NEVER use a third party video recording + hosting service (jing etc.). Own the system.
•    Slack for text + Zoom for quick video convos when discussions are needed
•    “Sweet Process” seems to be popular, though I don’t use

•    Don’t over-systematize
•    Give your team authority, have culture of confidence in them. That + systems is magical
•    Once the system is running, don’t mess it up by tinkering. Once you’re removed from the system, you should not be the one to decide what needs to be changed. As CEO I still mess that up sometimtes- but not as much recently
•    What is your most memorable Junto experience?
•    Do one on one’s every two weeks with direct reports
•    Team huddles (weekly)- Monday
•    Rhythm of meetings is key. Scaling up has a great
•    Super clear end point
•    Super clear beginning
•    What you know about the middle
•    Competent people

How can you connect with Jon?

Watch other contributors below:

Chris Duncan – Sales, Marketing and Systems

Tyson McDowell – Leadership, Raising Capital, and Culture

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