Managing a WP Maintenance Business w/ Sam Mulaim from Fixrunner
And we should be live. Welcome everybody. Thanks for watching. I'm Yan coffee host of the WP agency summit. And I am here with Sam from fixed runner who runs a very, very exciting maintenance company. Sam, thank you so much for coming on.
Yeah. Thank you very much for having me on your, webinar. Absolutely. And it is the first webinar that you are doing. So I'm very honored that you chose me to, to be the one hosting this.
for everybody who's watching, please let us know where you are watching from. It's always exciting to see all the different continents get engaged with each other because we are streaming to various places on Facebook and YouTube. And it's always super cool to see people from all across the globe connect. On these events.
So just leave a comment with where you're watching from. And also, I want to encourage you as we're going to talk about how to build an agency, how to build the maintenance part of an agency rather. And Sam is going to share some of his lessons learned around managing staff, managing the day-to-day hiring training. Onboarding customers.
And so on, there will likely be sections where you have questions about, so please always ask your questions. That's the one thing I cannot stress enough, Sam, as a really nice guy. So don't feel intimidated even if he's running. A very successful WordPress agency. always ask your questions.
That's why we do these webinars. We want you to get value out of this, with this being said, Sam, can you take a minute and introduce yourself? Yes, absolutely. So, again, thank you very much for having me, on this webinar. And yes, I didn't really do a interviews since I opened it. This company, I was.
No more in a direction of, of working on, getting profit from Google ads and organic traffic. And then I started a little bit, you know, talking to some people in the community and, I'm in a stage that I want to share some of the things that I've learned and hopefully help some other people that are trying to make it, in this industry. So, thank you very much for that. I'm, San well I'm, I'm, 41 years old. I am Israeli. I live in Israel today.
I have three, kids voice, that that's more or less about me. And I run a, this company fixed runner full-time from, 2016 is where I started committing to this 100%. I do a lot of things online before that, but. This is basically today. The only thing that I'm working on that is so exciting, like a full family of three, and then even running such an exciting company, you couldn't do this without your team, I assume.
So I would love to start with that aspect. What was your first? Yeah, so definitely I always done might be much regard. I'm very lucky as far as that, but I always, Had good, good people with me. And, definitely, you know, my team and their dedication is everything. so, you know, when I started, it was just, you know, I decided that I'm tired of all affiliations that I'm doing. I did all kinds of affiliation stuff, and I got tired of it the night.
One or two like B from business that is actual business and not, not, some kind of an affiliate, program. So then, you know, I have fixed on our, which is something that I thought of 2013. So at the beginning it was only me and I made another hire from Upwork.
That's how it started. I in 2016, I said, I'm like here, you know, I, I recognize that this, this is a really need for many businesses. So I started running this business by myself from, from home, hired a guy from Upwork, and we started running the agency.
I remember that I put the, my, my Google AdWords live and I was actually able to get some, Customers in the first month. and then, you know, I realized, okay, so th th this is what I like to do. And at the beginning of my company, one of my hiring was from, you know, the first month Trump was from Upwork. The second year, the guy that I got was also from Upwork and the third guy was already, you know, a friend of, one of the guys I, that he's working for me. That's how it started.
So after I had the three guys working for me, I was already, close to after one year about a hundred, members. So, well, yeah, after one year I was, you know, almost at a hundred, the, active members and then paying customers, members of your retailers off your packages, essentially? Yes. Yes.
After the first year. And I knew from the beginning that it's going to be pretty hard to. You know, grow the business from home hiring, remotely, some freelancers. So I basically had a trip to Belgrade. I went to, you know, I saw there was a really cheap ticket to bet. Right.
I always knew that I want to go to Eastern Europe to find some, you know, good talent and maybe open an office. So I went to Belgrade and, you know, back then I was already a customer of, managed w a lot of people are knowing, you know, no commitment is a Hopi. I, I came there and, you know, I called the, I called, not, not quote, but sent a message to, my account manager.
his name is , so he might've need to go to the office. And, when I went to their office, First of all, they were extremely nice and, you know, offered to help me in any way that I need. just for my first visit over there. I told them that, you know, my business is growing and, I want to have, some, some, some base in Europe where I can hire some, some people, do help me grow the agency.
So, you know, they were so nice that actually. On my way back to the airport, I decided I'm going back to school fast. And it was as fast as 10 days later, I was back in Serbia. and I, basically took an office. They found some, someone to assist me.
She's actually with me today, helping me, with everything that I need there. So I started hiring people in the survey and that's how the company started going. by, by me coming to Serbia and I found, you know, some, some good people, some of them brought friends and that's how basically I have my theme today. That is a really inspiring story. I would love to dive into this and I think you'll have to come to creation soon too, to meet each other.
Absolutely. We're already having that. That is so cool. Thanks everybody for spending time with us. I love seeing you here. so essentially.
You took the opposite of what everybody else seems to be doing in this space. Everybody else talk and talks about remote hiring, just going to Upwork online jobs or pH or any other platform, and try to find remote talent. You took a step in the opposite direction, building a real office and brought people together in that office space.
Why do you think you took that step rather than focusing on more remote work? Well, we can talk a lot about that because now there's a place, you know, Colby King, my office is still there. I mean, they still have my office, but all my guys are working remotely. So the office is basically just, just there. We were, you know, the whole eight months I visited only, one time and some of my guys are going there. Once in a while. So, you know, it's, it's a little bit of a waste and I'll talk about it in a minute, then, you know, how I actually changed that it would be the way the business works too fit to the current current condition.
So, you know, when I thought I should take it in an office in, in Serbia, one of the reason was that. I knew that once I have my developers together, a lot of them are together. It will be easier to train them. It will be easier to get the business, going faster.
I will have more control over some of the things that are going on in, in, in the business. I like meeting people. I like, you know, have an actual connection with the people that I work with.
So, I guess that's, you know, it was a really good decision going in that direction. You have to take some of the, team there and, and, and, develop all my team in Serbia, just because I, I thought about the training part, which was true up until eight months ago. So, you know, when COVID started, then we started seeing some of the problems. Then we, we have, but it wasn't real problems because everything was still functioning. Very good. But I started seeing that when I'm bringing more people onboard, it's a bit harder to train them and it's a bit, you know, depressing when you're, when you were home all day.
Some of my guys didn't really like it. I mean, I gave them the option to work some days from home, but some of them want to go outside and talk to people and. And got together and you know, we're doing fun stuff a lot of time when I'm coming to serve you out, you know, either you do going to, you know, some dinner, the whole team or doing some, you know, what are all kinds of things that, that basically makes us, you know, a good the amendment. It feels like almost like a family. It's not, it's just, you know, some people in different places around the world that don't know, don't know each other and have no connection. So.
This is, this is basically, why, why chose this way? But since, COVID started and they're all on my, I don't know, I don't know. Even if an all this will end, I don't really know if it will ever go back to be the same way it was because a lot of things have changed then, I, I started doing things in the business to fake to that situation. So for example, we have built, you know, in the past couple of months, we've built a really.
impressive fourth out of four, our theme. So whenever somebody comes. And, and you member comes, there is a thought with a lot of information that, that we put into it from our knowledge that is, you know, really quick notes or, or a quick video, not something that we really have to invest a lot in making it 3d. Like when you find little kind of inform the blog. So, you know, when they will be able to come and learn some of the things that we have learned quickly and easily.
So that's, that's how basically. we're trying to do it today. Is that the main, is that the main resource for training your staff, that this internal portal that you have? Well, it cannot be the only thing because, you know, we have, we, we, we get a lot of knowledge during the years, so we're still pouring stuff into it, but it's that, and we have people who've experienced it in the, in the company. So. You know, team leader as well at the beginning, we'll take somebody that just joined them. We're training him slowly on the process of things that we have set from star.
so I guess it's about, you know, it's, it's, it's, it's the part that we're aiming to, do a lot of it through the portal and it's not run for training it's auto for also for like, you know, some of my, my team. That is doing fast and sometimes, you know, not everyone remembers everything. So we have all kinds of checklists and all kind of quick fixes and whenever somebody is running it, but something really hard, you just, you know, all the information there then really helps us, the, the, the management. Yeah. Your ultimate knowledge base.
Really? Yeah, absolutely. I love it. And then you have a, what sounds like a mentoring program, which I really love because at fosters relationship in between the teams and when you have somebody who's more experienced guide the junior people through the process, I think that. That has two benefits, really? From my perspective, one, obviously the junior learns how to do things your way, but then also I would imagine that the senior people who's mentoring actually takes on responsibility for the performance of the junior guys, because he will also be held accountable against how the people he mentors or she mentors are performing.
And then you have the self enforcing training program really that ensures you always have high quality and training. Definitely. definitely it's something that really helps you. How does them as well when somebody you come and he knows, first of all, we don't put a lot of pressure on them.
Especially at the beginning. Imagine somebody comes to a company, he sees, you know, a lot of the kids, he doesn't know the processes, the demand that you're telling him, Hey, you know, first you don't have to be stressed about anything. And anything you don't know, you have this person to go to where you can ask questions and I always tell them, even you have to ask the same question 10 times. We're okay with that. I don't try.
I don't want to put pressure on anyone that comes and work in our, in our company because they're not, I don't believe in working under pressure in any way. yeah, of course, you know, Ryan as a company, we have points that we had pressured. Maybe we got a lot more tickets than, you know, that, that, that what we would want to get with the current thing we have. But then, you know, we get the steps and more hiring and, and the changes we need to do in order to reduce the stress. But going back to your question, definitely.
Having somebody senior, being attached to somebody that just joined, no matter how experienced the developer is, is something that helps a lot. Believe me, I've seen people that are, you know, really experienced developers, but when it comes to the basic. Maintenance and debugging, they're not, they're not praying to do it. They just, they never do it. They know how to write an API code, but they wouldn't want to know.
They wouldn't know how to track exactly. you know, the speed issue of, of, of a website, which is not always a plugin, like, you know, a lot of posts you see on the internet. So if that's something that requires. Yeah, I agree. Yeah. I have a really nice question from my friend Lee coming in that I would like to shove into our conversation right now.
It is a little bit in depth, but I think it's, it's a really nice segue into how you structure your support. And that is how do you handle WordPress multi-site support? Do you offer that level of support? Because it is a different beast than just having your standard WordPress site. It's funny as fuck. It's a funny question, because we were talking about it today. Me and my team leaders, we have a customer that is asking about the whole decide and he was telling me, you know, I I'm trying to convince him not to go with a multi-site because every post you almost read on, on multi-sites in the internet, cetera, you know, we don't really recommend one with a multi site, but if you decide, you really want to go with a book, decide here is what you need to do ABC.
Now a lot of people don't understand that, you know, multi-site is not for somebody who have two or three websites. That's not the reuse of it. We don't recommend, people going, going with that.
just, just because it's easier to manage and work on, on regular websites, but when it comes to multi-sites yes, we do offer support for that. It really depends. What is the amount of websites that this person had on the, under network? So, you know, if you have up to 10 websites, it would be under our advanced plan, which is $149 a month. If you have more than that, he wouldn't go on a call with one of our agents and we're basically gonna feed up plan for him unless it's a one-time fix.
So, you know, we'll also give it a quote, the quarterly it's always more expensive than dealing with a regular website because not all my team is trained to work with. Multi-sites. Me personally, CD box sometimes too.
Yeah. It's, it's harder. It's harder to debug, especially with websites that have a lot of, websites on the network. That's, you know, three key.
we always try to do all the debugging, obviously on a, on a staging environment, which is another story because you have the greatest, the staging of our might be doesn't always work as it should because it's more complex. So yes, we do offer, We do offer support from one decide, but, it's definitely not within our regular pricing. Yeah. Yeah.
Thanks for that. That makes total sense. And actually, I would love to use this question as a segue into your selling structure and into your package structure. You've touched upon it very briefly that you have a one-time fixes and most people find you via Google ads or organic traffic. And then from the one-time fixes, you have a process in place that enrolls them as a member. So that, that is putting them on a retainer.
That provides this lovely recurring revenue we are all striving for. Can you please walk us through the process of maybe setting up the Google ad campaigns and then onboarding them to the one-time fix and then the upsell? Right. So as far as the is, is the Google ads, I don't, I don't do it myself anymore. There is not even somebody in the company that works full-time for that they hired. A third party to do the Google ads for it, but it's Google ads.
Like everyone knows, you know, you can advertise under many keywords for, for Google ads. but I think the more important than being used the actual process. So, you know, I'm not the biggest expert in creating Google ads, but I can share what, what we do as far as, as far as the process.
So we have quite a lot of members, as, as, as I told you, I wouldn't say 95% of them started from a one-time fix. Very rare that somebody would come and sign up for our, for our maintenance plan, immediately, unless they got recommendation on our service. so it works like that. Somebody let let's talk about the Google app. Okay. Let's say, let's say somebody is looking for move calmer support.
he has an issue. They're coming to our website. They have two options, one option.
They start checking with one of ours. They agents, they described their issue. we give them a quote for what never, you know, we think it is, it starts on $49.
We give them a quote. If they agree to the well, we tell them, you know, we're going to open a ticket for them. We don't ask them to pay upfront, which is our first interaction with them.
Imagine somebody come to us with an issue. We hear what, you know, what is the issue? We take the information, we gave them a quote, and then we're all going to pick it. We don't take any payment in advance, so everything is done quick. He just came, he got like an answer quickly.
He got a quote. Then somebody immediately start working on it where it's not that the issue is fixed. At that point, the person that came to the chat had an issue came, explain what is the issue? We fixed it.
And he's happy. That's the first bonding we have with them. We're building the trust right there.
once we have that part done and we're making sure that the customer is happy, then we review the website and we see what else we can do for them. A lot of websites. You'll, you'll be surprised you going to the website and you see a hundred plugins and the website is really stall. Oh, you see that it's not really optimized or it doesn't have backups. Or there's many that it doesn't have SSL.
I mean, every website almost have things that can be offered. So that's where we offered them a quote. We tell them, you know, you have an option to get a free review of what we can do for you.
If you're not interested, here you go. Here's the payment you can pay for the fixed. So we don't, we don't try to like, you know, invent stuff or try to make them, you know, go and afford only then give them a link from the payment. We give them the option. You want to get a free quote, a free review.
Let's go on a call and you want to get a quote for the fix. I'm sorry. You want to pay for the fixed here's the fix. And then he pays for that. And that's the end of the direction for this thing. So we have a lot of times with customer interested to know what we have to say.
We go on a quota with them and we explained to them now, you know, it's different for every website. Some websites have issues with speed. Some websites have. issues with, with malware that we see once we connect the website to block four, so 17 is different for every, every website. And then some of them will decide to join on, on, on that call to the plan for. Our minimum of three months, and then basically was there with us for three months.
It's enough time for them to see what is the value of our service. Not, not everyone stays with us, but a lot of them do stay with us because they see the value of the service. one important thing that I want to say is we have many cases that somebody would come for. A small fix would pay $50. He will pay him.
He will leave. It will not run any court, but then. The numbers and reports that I'm pulling and see. And then with the experience of the year, I eat years, I can say that a lot of them will come back for more fixes.
And we have many cases that people came for, Frisbee sick and fixed. And then the third fix, they already joined a membership. So. You know, I have not one case has many cases that somebody came and paid $50 for a fix. And a couple of months later, they became a member of that bays, hundreds of dollars a month for four, for the support that he needs. Cause it's different.
You know, some are just small, mom and pop shops. Some are, you know, big enterprise. It really, really depends on the level of, website they have. I love your emphasis on not selling your customers too hard on the retainers.
I think that is something that many people can learn from. Excuse me. That is, just having a conversation with your customers. And just being transparent about what you can do for your websites or what you cannot do for your websites.
Because I would imagine that if you come across a website that is highly customized with, with some custom code that a developer wrote who didn't care to document the code, then it is a very different beast of maintaining their website or even fixing the simplest box on those websites. And I like that it is essentially the trip wire offer is the one-time figs to get the foot in the door with the customers and to, to show that you know what you're talking about and that your team can deliver. And then you can foster the relationship from there, with all the content that you put out on your blog, and maybe you email market to them and build a relationship to then con confuse, confirm the fit for the membership.
Right. So definitely. I mean, I think that that's what really makes people do business with us at the end of the day, is, is it starts from fast response. Okay. Nobody wants to have an issue on wait for three days for somebody to reply through. So we're talking about Fest, we're talking about minutes, anyone who's watching this can send a message on our website, just the question.
And he will see how fast to get the response. So that's the first thing. Second thing is that we fixed it and we fixed this quick.
another thing that buys a lot of the customers is that we don't think the payment upfront. So definitely that helps, you know, they don't know us, they just want to get the website fixed. it has a lot of issues, you know, that we can talk about. Like, some people are not paying for the service, even though they got it.
But most of them do. I mean, I'll put it in short that most will pay. and, and that's basically, buys the trust with, with, with the people, like you said, and I'd say it's that, that's what we bring in the, Mo most of the business. So we talked about Google ads.
It can be the same thing from, organic results. So we have a lot of articles that are explaining how to. How to set up SMTP, for example. Okay. Or, or, you know, my, my WooCommerce emails are not sending, but I see all open of searches that people are doing. So we have an article that explains how to do it.
We're actually explaining to people how to do it, but not everyone is interested in and doing that. They just prefer to have somebody else do that for them. So, yes, it's drive it.
Most of the people that are running to this, Arctic automotive practice do it themselves, which is completely fine. We're happy to help anyone. but some of them will come and, you know, one, hire us for, a buck that they have, then they see the level of service and that what's made thing showing. So I would definitely think that, you know, doing a hard, sell on membership is something that is really, really hard.
I, I, never went in, is that right? I know there are some companies that, that do that and there are successful, you know, they're sending only memberships. you can do any one that fixes with them or, and it's fine. I mean, that's, that's their way of working and I guess everyone has their own funnel, right? That's the beauty of the ecosystem too.
And that's something that you highlighted off-camera before this call too, is that it is so vast. I mean, the WordPress ecosystem is so huge that there's plenty of room for all sorts of companies doing their own thing and finding the processes that resonate best with them. And. One thing that becomes really clear, the longer we talk is that the team really is the backbone of, of any agency, really, especially the way that you are running this. So I would love to know what your day-to-day looks like.
Like how do you ensure that the, the people on your team are trained and then stay productive? Okay. Well, there's a lot of, day to day processes that I've been in order to make sure that I, keep myself sane cause managing a 24 seven, agency is definitely not something that, by the way, Well, if we're talking about long lead developers and the people that are doing the maintenance it's 17, but in total twenty-five people that are working full-time in Fixler. Other than other people that I hire, for example, the guy who's doing the ads for us Edwards is he doesn't work for me. He's just like, you know, he has his own company. So. and I knew hire other people outside of a fixed owner, but SEO and stuff like that.
Other people that are working do the full-time and, in fixed owner. So, you know, I would say the first thing for me to be able to understand what's going on, who is working and what are are you doing is, he's a time doctor. So probably a lot of you guys are familiar with the time doctor. I'm going to share my screen real quick. So, You could see it, I guess so. Yeah.
you can see, I can see here actually, who is working online, what they're doing. th this software has a lot of, a lot of features in it. that, that gives me screenshots of what they're working on. there is like, you know, I see the, for example, specific developer is working on a website, and the number of ticket. So there's a lot of, important information. That you can find on time Docker.
And that gives me an idea of who is working, on w what, anyway. Now it's important to say I don't use it to spy on my guys. I don't really care. Or if they're working, the whole, the whole shift, or they're like, you know, a little bit of a resting for, for a couple of minutes, that's not the purpose of it.
The purpose of it is to, to number one. Have some kind of, of a nine year what they're working on, how long it takes. If we see somebody work the whole month on, on denti kits, and you know, that's what he marked over there, all the stuff there was a problem, but I don't use it for that. I don't really care what they're doing.
I want to see a clean, Think it a system. And I want to see at the end of the day, I want to see good, responses from, from the customer, which is our raping. that's, that's really all I care about. And I don't, I don't look at, you know, how much they work. I mean, there are people as well.
They, they're not robots. They cannot work every minute. That's not the purpose of this, of this software. Yeah, that would also be a colossal waste of your own time as well. If you were to spy on your, on your team members.
Yeah. I, I don't use it at all. We also use it to track time worked on the client. So, you know, I, in, in fixed on our, we don't sell unlimited fixes. There's many companies that says unlimited fixes. whoever works in this industry knows that most of the times it's okay.
But you're always going to run into this customer that is going to take it to the max. This unlimited support that we don't offer that we offer. you know, we have different different plans, up to custom plans, which starts from an hour and a half a month after even 30 hours a month. So we keep it for tracking. If we see a customer, you know, they have six hours on his, the quarterly plan and he used seven hours or eight hours or nine hours. He's not going to hear from us.
We're not going to even contact him. But if we see somebody that he's abusing. The system and he's like, keep sending tickets. We're going to tell them how you've, you know, you sign up for this plan. You got not only six hours, you got 10 hours, but from this point, if you want more support, you either need to renew or upgrade or, you know, pay for other requests you're making.
So I'm using time doctor for that as well. going back to your question, you were asking me about how do I, I manage, you know, my time. So everything is. Kind of automatic in a lot of ways, I'm not a part of the, support anymore. I've in a way that there is team leaders, everyone, on what time they're coming, they're going into the center. And all the, all the, tickets are coming to Zendesk and even the one-time fixes are coming to synthesis.
So when, you know, and every shift there is a theme leader, there is monitoring all the tickets that are coming. If they're coming, you know, and that's a fixed from a member that will go and we'll be assigned to one of the developers. If it's, something that requires a quote, I've trained my team leaders to, give the right quote to the person. This person will get a reply really fast. He will reply back that he agrees to the quote.
and that's it. This ticket will be assigned to a developer and once it is done, it's going to go through the process. Of, of, basically talking to the customers, which is something that I do until today. I like it. I think I'm good at that, being modesty.
Yeah. But you know, it's not, but my guys are doing that as well, but I it's something that I still do. I'm still involved, you know, in, in some of the processes when. talking to customers for the first time, understand what their needs and, basically offer them the right, the right plan.
so that's just the process, you know, of, of, of the support, which I think is the most important thing, really, you know, if the list of things that I have to do, we, we don't, we don't think about, we don't think about when a customer comes to us. It doesn't matter if he's a member, are you fixed? All we have in mind is how we can help. We'll deal with the money later. Of course, if it needs to be upfront, we need to tell them how much it's going to cost.
We don't want to surprise anyone with anything, but all we have in mind is how we can help them. And from that point, it's kind of easy. So that's the process of the support is, is pretty much automatic in the way that he works. And I have other processes for, for, you know, for talking about the Edwards is that you were asking earlier, I have a good tip that I gave some of the viewers that.
You know, we have not only Edwards. We are using a, a software name, a leader online that is basically helping us on the STEM. Exactly. what is the most profitable sources that, we have that brings us leads, so it can be, in our free private Facebook company. you know, we stopped it because obviously we saw it's not bringing the results we want, but if we're doing ad words, then we know, for example, which keywords are performing the best, how much money we got from that keyword. And in my case in specific, it also gives me an idea of let's say, somebody came and did I know.
Did a transaction with us for a small amount, for example, $50, a hundred dollars, $200, but it doesn't matter for one time. I can always see easily when he comes back. He's he's past, transactions where he came from.
Exactly. Like, so I can see that's how I can see a lot of that. People came from a specific app pay few time, one time fixes, and then eventually they came and became a member, but I can see actually the source.
if it's organic, if it's, from, from, we'll go glad. So it's a really great tool that I recommend using. It's really important to measure that because you can only improve when you measure something, otherwise you would just shoot in the dark every time you try something. Absolutely.
Absolutely. I can tell you that before I used this, this tool. I was throwing a lot of money over experience, experiment in things that I didn't really have DACA hum how good they are. So, you know, it's just something that I recommend everyone doing track track.
What exactly brings you most of the, profit. and remember it's not always in the first transaction, you don't look at it at a customer. And if you look at Google ad words, in my opinion, we're spending way more than anyone in this industry on Google ad words. And there is a reason for that. You don't see immediate ROI. You just, you know, some, some months you're spending money closing deals and, and you're even short, you could spend, $10,000 in, in Google ads and bring it on the.
Six, back. And we mentioned you put the money on that. You put your work, you put your tools. So in, in your head and you're thinking, Oh, well, I'm losing money, but it's not true. It's not true.
for sure, because for the long run, if you're know how to work and you know how to, manage this type of business, if this profitable, if you, you know, and you have obviously the fund, the funds to do that. So that's, as far as the Edwards in again, Every, every department has its problems. We have people that are doing SEO. So, you know, there are tools. I get reports on what is done on VSCO and with these people, I usually do like a call once a week, once in two weeks, just to see where we're standing, what are the plans? And.
And wherever we were going. So I would say to wrap this question up B, I'm kind of like all over the stuff. Some days I'm looking at how, how is, how is the theme, doing on the supports? some days I'm more focused into SEO. Some days I'm focused on building new processes. You know, I kept that in that, you know, this company is, is working full, full time. from 2016, I can tell you that I'm still learning things and I'm still improving things then.
I don't think it is this thing ends. I think that there's yeah, that's true. I agree on that 100%. One thing I would love to circle back to is the idea of implementing team leaders, because that is obviously a very important step in removing yourself from the day-to-day business.
And that is eventually. What I would assume many agency owners aspire to is they want to escape the hustle. They want to escape working 10 to 12 hour days just because they don't want to take an eight hour, eight hour day job. So I'd rather work 12 hours on my own, rather than eight hours for an employer. when was the time you felt that it was, the right step to bring on a team lead? W what what's, I would imagine it is a little bit like a chicken and the egg problem where you, you know, you need to, you need to do something, but you don't have the funds to do it eventually.
So I'd love your perspective on that. So yeah, this wasn't easy and I am lucky to have the right people. I'll be honest at the beginning. I couldn't even find somebody to.
Do you think this kind of responsibility? you know what I did, I basically work many hours a day. I mean, I was around the clock focusing most on, providing service and, and, you know, once I started adding people to my agency, then you start recognizing who is more of a good fit. To be, you know, a, a team lead.
that's how, that's, how it turned out for me. So I have some people that I brought in. I trained them myself with a lot of things that I do. And at some point I recognized, you know, that this, this person is, is the right fit, to be a team lead. And then, you know, have a conversation to that person that already works in your company.
You explained what are your expectations? You make sure that they get paid enough to, you know, to, to, to, to make, make this a part of their life. I mean, a lot of those people came from places. This is where they want to work eight hours. And then the rest of the time they want to do some other freelancer work because sometimes in freelancer, there is more money you was doing like a one time. So you want to have this thing that he's safe. And you'll have another Chanda when you were making a little bit more money.
So everyone that works with me knows, I mean, I don't have a problem with them doing some freelance and work, but then where they're working fixed, honoring their hours, they're here. They're completely dedicated. But my team leaders, they know they can, they cannot do that. They cannot work.
They cannot do things. Outside of a fixed honor there, they get dedicated to that, that they they're getting paid enough to make sure that they, you know, they're not going to have any worries about money. and again, it was, it was a process.
It wasn't something that I could immediately, you know, get somebody and decide that he's going to be my, my teammate at the beginning. I put a lot of weight for it, myself. And obviously, you know, we find, you get to know a lot of people, people are coming and go. And most of the people that actually started working in fixed Hunter are student here. Most of them, not all, but a big part of it at your company definitely does.
Excuse me. I didn't hear that. That speaks for a nice culture. It fixed runner. Yes.
Yes. So that's, that's, that's That's basically how I decided who is who's going to be a team lead. It was during a process of me hiring people at the beginning. It was only, it was only be putting a lot of effort into like, get to that point. Then a lot of them are good developers, probably, you know, I wouldn't consider myself a developer and a entrepreneur. So I don't, I don't, I don't think, you know, I'm not.
Or they voted for, I have a lot of knowledge and work risks, but even these people, since I have a lot of experience in doing what we're doing, I have trained them to, you know, not, not how to write CSS, but processes and other stuff that they're basically. Helping us manage. And it's another important thing. You mentioned that at the beginning, I can say maybe I've given this company and I put it together, but I can tell you, 100%, this company, this whole company is the guys that are behind it. I, there's no way in the world that I would run something that works so nice without people that are, that are dedicated.
So definitely my, my theme is, is, is, is, is a big strength of this business. Yeah. And that, that is so important. I really respect your humbleness in this step, because it is easy when you are the founder of a company too, to see yourself as the driving force. Whereas really, if you are not executing the day-to-day and essentially bringing in the money, delivering the service, if somebody else is doing that, they are the backbone and you are just quote unquote, pulling the strings and keeping things together.
Yeah, I would love to talk about that business aspect for, for a moment before we, start wrapping up this conversation. especially what I like to talk about, and this will be a little bit uncomfortable. I'm putting you a little bit on the spot here, but if you were to start all over what business decisions that you would do differently when you started fixed run again? I have a long list, but I want them to the important things I had, you know, one of the first thing that I would do is probably only I would make people, sign on an NDA and contract at the beginning when they work with me. Not that I'm worried about. Somebody coughing. I don't have a problem with it.
I'm even sharing things here and I have no problem, you know, you're you, you know, the conversation we have, I told you I'm all about helping people and it's, and it's, you know, I, I don't have a problem with that. And there was enough food for everyone, but I have cases in the company that people there were still working for me were copying things within, you know, my, my company, that I find out later, which was a very ugly thing. So obviously I removed those before, from, from, from doing anything, but that's probably the first thing I would make sure that I have, you know, some NDA conflict time with any, with anyone did works. Anyone that works for me, I don't have a problem with they go outside. Then they even do the same business model. It's all fine.
But not when you're, you're, you're a part of this. You can't sit in, in a business where have a lot of them, you know, so many leads and so many. And, so that's what makes no sense at all. Yeah. So that's probably the first things that, that I wanted to have.
I would, I would do different. other than that, you know, things that are learning today, I would have started with this sport dog that we're building in the past couple of months. Probably before in those small, small changes just, it will probably make my life easier when I'm looking at the whole picture, today at the beginning of, so I didn't sell any, hosting and they were integrating the hosting in our funds, which is very successful.
I have a lot of people are doing, memberships with us that have hosting in that, in that. Integrated and it's, it's, it's good for our business, obviously, because we have, you know, we're, we're basically getting them on something we're comfortable with working with. We know they're getting the best, the best hosting, fast hosting, and then it's easier for us to, you know, do, to handle their, their websites. I mean, it's good for them. A lot of them don't wanna.
You know, come to, some company that is doing the maintenance for them. And then there's a problem to make that they say, Oh no, it's your hosting. And then there's like, you go to your hosting and go to, they don't want to deal with that.
They just want to have something that works good for them. So, you know, these are, these are the, most of the things probably that I would, I would have, changed. Other than that. I think we, we did not bad. That's not the worst, conclusion to draw after running.
I like to stay humble, like you said, really nice. So we've covered a lot of ground here and I appreciate your transparency and your openness about sharing, not just the success stories, but also the not so pretty things about running a business. If people want to get in touch with you, obviously they can go to fix, run out or com. I would love to end this with, maybe a short summary of the lessons you've learned and what entrepreneurs in this, in this business need to understand, like, what is one of the mindset shifts you had to make in order to really run, fix, run on to the level that you are at right now? So I would say that, you know, getting into this type of business, really, you know, everyone can, can start with that. th they need to understand that the, the, the, the first thing that they need to think about is basically how they help the customer and not always, think you know, about the, the endpoint, which is the subscription, or how much he's going to pay you.
once, once you are very transparent, then you. Help a customer and you do it fast. You really, you really care about, you know, what's, what's going on with our business. That's the thing, the key to, to the, to our, our success is that we really care.
We really, you know, a customer have a, something is going on his website. We want to get it fixed faster than they do. And I think that that's the main thing that people should be focused on. Don't don't think about the elbow. I just to make him joined because this, this is, this is the last part.
They, they will join once. You'll give them good service. They will join and they wouldn't want to go anywhere else. Yeah. That's probably the, you know, how, how I, how I see it. So, yeah, I need to get in touch with me.
I'm you know, on, on, on, fixed on our people can always come in and fill out a contact form and, you know, ask my attention on, we can come on Facebook. I guess lady make them broccoli with gentle or. Yeah.
Have you, you are in the WP mastery, Facebook group as well with the fixed runner profile. And obviously everybody who's watching this. If you want to get in touch with Sam, you can direct message me too. And I'm happy to set up an introduction.
If you're watching the replay, please type the word, replay into the comments so that we know, and even in the replay, leave your questions in the comments. I will make sure that you get the answers from Sam or myself. Appreciate you spending the time with us, Sam. Appreciate everybody. Who's watching this and we'll say goodbye. Talk to you very soon.
Thank you very much. I had fun. Thank you.