So I sat there and I thought to myself, wow, what an impact, not smiling had
Welcome to builder nuggets hosted by Dwayne Johns and Dave young. Hey, our mission is simple, build freedom. We are a couple of entrepreneurs turned business coaches who have dedicated ourselves to helping our builder remodeler clients create the most rewarding businesses in the industry. My co-host Dwayne has been a successful builder and remodeler for over 30 years. He's seen the highs and the lows. From the beginning though, Dwayne has been on a quest to find a better way to run a contracting business. In 2016, he found that better way. That's how I met Dave, a lifelong entrepreneur and visionary who measures his success by the success of those around him. He reached out one day with a formula on how to transform my business and the rest is history. Since then, we've teamed up to help hundreds of contractors like you build better businesses and better lives. Now we've decided to open up our network and share our secrets so we can start moving the needle with you. It's collaboration over competition. Each week, we bring together industry peers and experts who share their stories so that we can all build freedom together. .
(00:08): If you're a regular listener to the podcast and today's guest will be a familiar voice. She's COO CFO and original culture cultivator at belay, which is a leading virtual staffing solutions company. She is a lifelong learner, avid re history buff and architecture geek. It is my pleasure to welcome back Lisa zeal to build our nuggets nation. Welcome Lisa. Thank you guys. I am thrilled to be back. This is gonna be so much fun. Thank you. Absolutely. I mean, it's great to have you back on, I am a big fan of belay, the services you guys provide. I actually used, and no, this is not a commercial, but we're just excited to, to have you back on why don't you for those that might not have caught the previous episode, just real quickly a bit about yourself, how you got involved with belay and you know, maybe a quick overview of what, what belay is and what they provide.
(01:57): I got a kind of a cool story. Like you said, I'll give you the high level, but basically our CEO Trisha show, I was her neighbor and she was working for a gentleman that him and his wife wanted to create this company back in 2010 way before the pandemic, right? Where where you would actually work, helping to find organizations, remote staff. And she said, do you wanna come and help us build this thing? And I said, sure. And so started out as five hours a week, quickly turned into 50 hours. I've done everything from se as a virtual assistant myself up to you know, now CFO CEO, like you, like you stated. But yeah, we provide virtual executive assistants virtual bookkeepers social media managers, which is really cool and website specialist to help you grow your business, we believe that you can, you should only do what you can do. And so by outsourcing other roles that may be burden you or stress you out, or you're just plain, not good at enables you to grow your business. And so that's my, my casual elevator pitch there is if you're looking for someone to give work to you, don't like to do filet probably has a solution for you.
(03:10): Well, that that's a perfect segue. And anyone who listens regularly knows that we are big fans of outsourcing and to some people that can sound cold or almost like you're passing the buck, but in reality, it's about maximizing your highest and best use. How do you guys help business owners overcome the mindset or the stigma that they're just trying to get something off their plate? How do you help them to see the value and what they could achieve by using your resources? Yeah, I mean, I, I think that if we sit down with somebody and start to total up the amount of time that they are spending, perhaps on low level task or tasks that could easily be outsourced, it's a quick and easy math problem, you know, as the owner or as a, an office of a company, your your hourly rate, you probably don't think about it too often because you're, you're salaried or, you know, you're just an owner and you're taking those owner draws, but if you boil it down to how much time you are spending in your hourly rate, it's shocking to see how much money you are actually spending. And so I think that first we sit down and say, okay, are you booking any of your travel yourself? You know, how many, you know, proposals are you writing? Are you doing any invoice?
(04:27): Are you trying to do your own expense reports? Right? We, we, we kinda narrow all this stuff down and then say, gosh, if you could have 10 extra hours back in your week, what would that feel like? And for some people it's, I wanna grow my business more. So I wanna spend more time networking. Only I can do that, or maybe you're in a organization where you need to be the one out doing the sales. Hey, I can only do that. Hey, that that's, that's great too. For other people, they just want to spend more time doing what they love doing. And that could be spending time with family and friends could be fishing, could be playing in a, around a golf or it could be working on another business that they're excited about starting. And so it's just bringing it back to the forefront that because you can't handle it all doesn't mean you're doing something wrong. That means your business is growing and you should be excited about that. And so why not bring somebody in to you're doing so you can grow your business faster, bring in more revenue and let you spend time doing the things you love most
(05:30): Painting that picture. You, you, you know, you made that very clear and we talk about freedom a lot, and it really frees you up to dedicate your time or your resources. Like you said, whether it's a game of golf, fishing, investing in your team, investing in your business or a new business, this is really the way people, people scale their businesses and scale themselves. One of the things people probably first ask is, okay, what does it cost? And that makes us cringe because we try and work with people to understand what sort of an investment it is and the return on it, because the cost is really the change in what you're not doing, or the, the value really comes in what you are no longer doing. And we know that there are not a ton of builders who sit down and say, I'm super passionate about bookkeeping and accounting or booking travel or whatever it may be. How do you help somebody? Right. Get over the mindset that they're the only ones who know how to do it. Do you ever run into that? Where you've got somebody who's been doing it their way for a long time, and then they need to bring a new resource in, how do you get that new resource up to speed? What does that look like?
(06:34): Yeah. Or they'll say, it's gonna take me too long to train somebody how to do this. I, we hear that a lot too. Right. And, and you know, one of the things that we always suggest is to have a really robust training plan. You know, that's actually a resource that we help provide here at bale. But you know, if, if this is peaking your interest and you're like, I have definitely area is in my life that I can delegate out. You know, I recommend, you know, creating a, a training plan. What's hard is when you just sit down with somebody and you start throwing things at that's where the success rate is usually not what you expect it to be. Cause typically people have this mindset or this idea that it's not gonna work, or they're not gonna do it my way, or it's not gonna have the same outcome because they've done it before.
(07:21): And it didn't work. There's a failure there. And so instead of just, you know, throwing your hands up and saying, it's never gonna work, I'm never gonna find anybody. Who's gonna understand my business or understand the way I like my travel. Sit down and, and start writing. Hey, I, I always want to have aisle seat when I'm fine. Or my hotel room. I, I like to be on the top floors and I want this kind of be like writing all those things down helps you realize that probably all the steps that you've been doing before, what you think only you can do, right? I'm doing air quotes here when only you can do where no one's gonna know how to do it is probably list of 10 things that you could easily pass off to somebody else. If you just sat down with them, showed them that document and helped them understand it.
(08:08): At that point, it starts to give you freedom. And probably there's some areas of improvement in your own process that an expert who's a virtual assistant or a bookkeeper, or again, even social media manager. If, if you're looking to build your brand and social media these days, that's what they do best, you know? And if you're a builder or developer gonna go out on a limb here, but you're probably not the best one to be booking your travel or worried about, you know, your SEO on your website or, or your social media. So tell them how you've been doing it and what you do, and maybe your preferences, but let them maybe show you how it should be done. You know, that's the, the setup part, people hear us talk about it a lot here, delegate and elevate, elevate, and delegate bringing somebody on whether it's a virtual assistant or for that better, anybody that you would hire or bring into your organization. You've gotta dedicate some time on the front end to making sure, first of all, do, how do you communicate together? You know, understanding each other, making sure both sides have the right tools and the right expectations. It's all part of the setup. So that's, and you guys do a real acting test of that. You guys do a great job of that. Give us overview of some of the different services that are provided by belay, maybe specifically for some folks that are, you know, builder remodelers in, in our audience. Yeah. And then of course, with bookkeeping, we were gonna kind of dive into that a little bit deeper, but yeah. Give us some of the, the different services that you guys do provide.
(09:28): Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And, and the great thing about it is specifically for those builders and remodelers, you know, I'm imagining here, you know, I've had friends and family members who are also in the industry and you really wanna be mobile. And so the idea that you would just have somebody who only works in your office, or, you know, a dedicated space and you're popping in and out all the time. Anyway. So like a virtual assistant, for example, a virtual assistant is at their home office and they are, have a set amount of time that you've agreed upon that they're gonna work for you each month. And so when you're out, you know, driving around to projects or maybe you're networking, meeting people, you've got somebody who's checking your email, who's doing your a calendar for me. One of my favorite things, oh, I just love this about my own virtual assistant is when I'm in meetings recording podcast or, or traveling she's in my inbox and she's reading my emails and she's taking care of task that she knows she already has a handle on, for example, Hey, I'd like to meet with you to, is this and this work I don't ever, ever even see that email because she has a list of rules and requirements.
(10:42): It just goes on my calendar. I never see the email, right. Or if as a CFO, if I get questions about banking things, right, she's able to take that email and send it over to my director of finance and take care of that. I'm not having to look at any of those emails because someone taking care of that for me. So it's the email calendaring, travel management project management, right? I mean, she handles all our events here. So think of a virtual assistant is really just an, an additional partner to what you're already doing. And so it, it gives you more margin and it, and it gives you more time in your day. Kind of like, I like to say multiplies, you multiplicity is one of my favorite movies. If you guys ever, ever seen that. I love that movie. So it's like creating a copy of yourself.
(11:23): But with task that you've trained them, how to do next up, you know, bookkeeping, bookkeeping is difficult. All of us know that we probably need an account in a CPA. It's getting close to tax time, so I'm gonna use it. But for some reason, we tend to think when we have a small to medium size business, is that we can do our own expense reporting. You know, we can probably do our own invoicing and, and collections depend upon how many people on your staff, right? You don't need to be worried about that. You need to be worried about bringing more revenue in, or it could be that you've got your CPA, who's doing your financial reports, but they've hundreds of other clients. They're not sitting down with you to go, Hey, have you about a budget? I'm that getting little outta its just having that additional resource.
(12:11): Somebody in who's truly dedicated to your business where some of those higher level folks like your CPA or your accountant who's maybe in your local community has only taken a look at 'em. If you're lucky, quarterly more than likely. They're probably looking at it once a year when it's tax time. And then I just got talk about social media managers, right? You're trying to build your brand. You want more are people to know about what you're building, what you're remodeling. We know that social media is where most of us are consuming our news right now. And also where we're building our trust for new brands. And so it's not just about pictures, but it's actually about having a strategy and that's where virtual a can do some posting for you. But a social media manager is going to be able to put together a plan and an action plan with real metrics that drive you to the result that you're looking for and you know, to round it out, why not put, throw in their website specialist because we all need a website now as, as part of that, you know, kind of social imprint that we have on the world.
(13:16): Yeah. And I think what I've loved the best about is the flexibility part. The fact that you can add hours, you know, as you need them, you, you figure out what types of services that you're gonna, and that can change. That can change. You know, this month there might be some more things that we focus on next month. It could be totally different. And, and it allows me to, to scale some of the things that I'm doing without having to take on, you know, a vast majority of, of other stuff, more noise for myself. So I, I love that. Yeah. The neat thing too, is all of our, our team members that work with our clients are all us based. So they, they understand the culture here. They understand businesses, we have a really thorough matching process. So for example, the building and remodeling communities, we're gonna look for somebody who has that priors. They're gonna kind of get a, a jump on what you're doing. If you've got a slow season, you can decrease the number of hours. You're not gonna have somebody, you know, having to worry about finding them work to do, because you already agreed to pay them a salary. You can go up or down, or maybe it's a busy season. So again, not just filet, but if you're looking for that kind of service make sure there's some flexibility there.
(14:18): Yeah, it, we had a really good example of that this morning, Dwayne and I, in our weekly meeting, we were looking at some event planning and some things that we want to do. And we just added that to the Saha list that this is, you know, she's already done some work here and this is something else we can take off our plates. And what we find is when you're sitting down and having your weekly or monthly meetings, or even just when you're out doing any task, if you find yourself doing something that you feel like, wow, this is not the best use of my time, document it and start thinking who not, how, how do I do this? Who can I get to do it? And the other real sign is if you're procrastinating on something that is a really good sign that you don't wanna do it and you should get it off your plate.
(15:03): So just be honest with yourself because those now gets are things that are gold to somebody else and led to you and to your business. So just being aware of it and tracking it and, and switching your mindset to sort of a who not, how to quote Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy, that type of business. And that's, that's scalable when you take yourself out of it, you've just increased the value of your business and your own freedom and the focus of your time. So there's a whole bunch of benefits around that. But you mentioned, you know, with bookkeeping services, you probably have an accountant already and their different roles. How do those two roles intersect? How do those, how does a belay bookkeeper interact with the accountant and the business owner? Yeah.
(15:49): Great question. I'm, I'm probably my, my might surprise some folks, but I bet you, if you have a CPA, ask them if they en enjoy doing the, the daily task and the answer's gonna be no. What they got into business to do was a little high level things. They wanna do your taxes. They wanna think focus on strategy. They don't want to be doing the bookkeeping, so they don't wanna worry about your monthly revenue who either invoicing. If there's collections, they definitely don't wanna be worried about your expenses. And so the point on that partnership is you're really alleviating the CPA to do what they were created to do and what they get excited to do. And that's again, that strategy. And so we've got systems in place to utilize whatever accounting software you're using. Of course, QuickBooks is really popular, you know, right now I know a lot of people are, are trying some other ones on the market, but all of our bookkeepers have the ability to work with those different platforms.
(16:46): Those software platforms, we've also got a bill payment system that you would email your bills to. And your book is actually gonna take those bills. And based off of, you know, the rules that you have already established, be able to pay those on your behalf and then run your financial reports. There's also going to be some checks and balances. So say you've got some folks on your team right now that have a credit card for your business. You're probably too busy to, to double check all those expenses. But for some reason, you get this pit in your gut that just says, I don't know, should mine, should this stuff be this expensive? I don't know. I just gotta pay it because American express needs me to pay the bill, but, and I'm gonna submit it to my CPA, but CPA doesn't know if you should be paying for your employee to go to lunch every day.
(17:32): They're just gonna go, okay, well, they had meals and entertainment. I'm gonna focus, you know, push it over to there. And so your belay bookkeeper can start to say, Hey, there's a lot of receipts to this. You know, Bob's barbecue. Is that OK? You sure this is what wants to be happening. So by looking at the financial reports, seeing trends, understanding what your goals are, they're able to walk through that with you on a monthly basis, and then be able to send very concise standardized reports that go to your CPA so that when tax time comes, you have all your receipts. They're not in a cardboard shoe box or a big brown Manila envelope. And and financial reports that show all your income and all your expenses so that your CPA can look for the best ways to save you money on the tax side of it, which we're all looking for, right? We're all looking for ways as a small to medium sized business that we can save money. And so by leveraging a bookkeeper, you're not only freeing up your own time, but you're able to give really important information over that CPA. Who's also gonna be able to save you money there too.
(18:37): Well, it eliminates a lot of the dread too, of that end of the month, or however often you're reporting or, or I have to get this sure, this done it's already done for you. And then you can spend, instead of the hours that it takes to do that, spend an hour analyzing the data and collaborating, and maybe instead of an annual meeting with your CPA, you can bring them in and invest in an hour of strategy, monthly or quarterly and get so much more guidance and direction out of it. So I think that's really, yeah. Key. And, and the other thing that keeps pop into mind is the larger your staff. Like we, we see people that have like in-house accounting with them and they're oftentimes finding other things for them to do. They're a Jack of all trades because they've invested in them, they're paying them a salary and then they try and find other things for them to do. In this model, you get a dedicated lights out specialist in this area. That's just maximizing on it. And like Dwayne had mentioned earlier in while you both did, it's scalable. If you need more, you add more it flexes with your, with your business. And we've talked about this on the show before too scaling. Isn't just growing. Sometimes you have to scale back and that flexibility being able to go in, in both directions with your time and attention and resources is key to creating a more efficient business
(19:59): And, and too, by leveraging outsourcing and a, and I'm not a against finding someone in your local community who can serve as a bookkeeper. I think with leveraging an organization, like we have expectations and processes in place that we recommend for our bookkeepers. We strongly recommend for our bookkeepers to use, for example, due date, someone financials are done and sent over. Right? And so, again, that's one less thing you have to worry about of going, okay, do you think I could have my bookkeeper send me rep reports by the fifth of every month or by the 15th, but then maybe you don't follow up. And so it just keeps getting drug out and drug out and drug out, right? Well, we have expectations. And so we, we're gonna guarantee that you're gonna get your reports. When you say you're gonna get your reports, we're gonna gonna guarantee that there's been an approval process of any expense that you go to pay any invoices that, that you're looking to pay. And so, again, there's accountability built in there and we're talking about finances. Everybody gets a little scared because they don't really wanna give it up, right. They're afraid that maybe their fraud is running rampant right now. You know? And so we're able to put some parameters on it rather than just L finding somebody local in your community that might not have some of the security that we've been able to, to layer in
(21:21): Wanna level up, connect with us, to share your stories, ideas, challenges, and successes. The builder nuggets community is built on your experiences. It takes less than a minute to connect with email@example.com, Facebook or Instagram, want access to the resources that can take you and your team to the next level. One call could change everything. The accountability word is key there. As you were telling that story, that wa that's or that example, it was account ability coming to mine because left to our own devices. Many times we'll let this stuff slide, but now it's systematized scheduled. Somebody else is bringing it to you. And that's somebody else is an, is a dedicated expert. That's dug into it completely. And we, we tend as business owners to skip some of the little details and maybe slack on accountability there call the spinach factor sometimes like left to your own devices. You won't eat your spinach, even though you know, how good for you it is. Yeah.
(22:19): But you know, somebody else is serving up spinach smoothies for you. I know just from experience, there's a lot of builders models out there. One of their biggest frustrations is just getting all the stuff to work. And especially when accounting comes into play, you know, they could have project management software, they could have other job costing software, whatever it is, and then trying to get all that to maybe communicate or talk properly with their accounting software. And nobody wants to do things twice or, or three times, you know, so that, that ability to work with a virtual assistant that can, and I'm sure that you've probably got some folks that dabble in all of those systems, like they'll, you know what, they don't mind working in some of those other platforms to help connect the dots. As you said, whether it's creating reports, uploading getting invoices into systems and things like that. That's, you know, that's a powerful task that once you get a person on board that really gets their head around that that saves time, not only for the business owner are probably a lot of other folks on the team, correct?
(23:12): Oh, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, to your point, the job costing just in and of itself, you know, I mean, the way that the economy is going right now, I mean, everybody's margins are being squeezed. And so folks are having to raise prices. And, you know, I know that, especially in construction, you started it, you know, you quit loaded out a project in, you know, 20 early, 20, 21. You're starting to work on it. You've already sent it over to them. All of a sudden wood is increasing sheet rock is increasing. You're like, oh my gosh, everything's going up, up, up. How do you go? How do you even know that you're gonna gonna make a profit on it? Right? And so by having an expert, and again, again, some of those tools that you've mentioned, but bringing that in to a accounting software where you have a partner who you're going to meet with weekly, if you want to, who's gonna be able to say, Hey, here's a cash flow report.
(24:01): Here's what I'm seeing. This is what's due. This is what's coming. I've run a couple projects that you're working on right now. And it looks like your margin's not great because you know, cost of things is increasing. I think you gotta go back to the client and talk to them. You're not gonna be surprised. Come when the project is done to go, oh gosh, well, I should have paid them. You know, instead of them paying me. And so, so I think that knowledge is key in every area of your business. And what I like about bookkeeping is nobody gets into business to be, you know, to not make money. Again, we're talking about for profit businesses, you wanna be able to take owner draws. You, you wanna be able to have flexibility in what you're doing. You wanna make money. And so having some like a bookkeeper who can help you understand those numbers and have good conversations with data and metrics and trending information just helps make you a smarter business owner. And ultimately that grows your business.
(24:58): That's the exact word that came to mind. It was the business owners that are making smart investments in these things, the ones that are going to be the most successful. And it would probably be great to put you on the spot a little bit here. And I want you to think about a business owner that came in to your network that was really scrambling or, or even doing things well, but the one that your, your team has had the most impact with, and it doesn't have, have to be a construction owner. It can be any business, but have you seen somebody come in really looking to take their business to the next level, embraced all this love to hear about an experience like that, because there's probably business owners listening to this right now that are thinking, what does it really look like? What, what result can I expect? And then, then we can dig into how to get started again in, in a second, but hearing a story or two about that would be helpful.
(25:52): The great thing is we've got several stories about it. So I I'll try to narrow it down to a, to two, you know, let me talk about bookkeeping first. I think this is a great story because I think it is probably where most of your listeners are at right now and it's that they do have somebody that they're leveraging. And so we had an organization that thought they were doing the right thing and they had outsourced their CFO services. CFO's a big title, right? Outsource CFO services. And so they were paying a lot of money for it. And they kind of came to us and said, I don't know why our BI isn't growing. I feel like we're, we're stifled. I don't know where our cash is going. We created this business so we could actually take cash out and grow it for some reason, we're the least paid in the organization.
(26:40): And yet we have this gal who's coming to us, a CFO. And I don't feel like she's giving us any information. And I was actually knew this organization. I was like, something's not right for us. You know? And so long story short, I said, gut, you hired too high. You didn't need a CFO at that level. Right? You already have a CPA, which you need is someone who's in the day to day tax of what's happening in the business. Moved them over to belay, got them. Alay bookkeeper set them up with weekly cash reports, helped them understand how their financials should be run because the CFO wasn't running them correctly. Right. And created a real budget for them. That was not hypothetical. It was a real budget based off of the financial reports. Once we were able to dig into some of the historical information, they've now been able to add three new team members that they didn't think they could afford before because the CFO wasn't giving them the information they needed.
(27:33): They're now able to, to take owner draws out. And they're finally the highest paid people in the organization because they know where the money is going. And they give weekly reports of this needs to be paid. This is the invoices that are outstanding. These are the people that I'm tracking down. And so I think that's a really good story about, you can feel like you have all the right people in your corner, but if there's a missing component and you still sit around and go, I don't feel like I'll wear, I know where my money is going. Then you don't have the right person in the right seat on the bus. And so the bookkeeper becomes that more again, that tactician who's able to give you real time data. And I'm thrilled to say, like I said, they now get paid which they should, why start a business again, I go back to this, if you can't get money out of it. So they're getting paid and they've added more team members. And I mean, gosh, they're gonna exceed, you know, double digits, you know, millions here by the end of this year, just because they have a clear path of where they're going. So that's a, a fantastic bookkeeping story that I love to tell, because again, I think it's real world.
(28:39): It's interesting. They just skipped a step. It sounds like they went to the CFO, the outsource CFO too soon before they needed. And they went for the wrong resource and, and being able to identify exactly what you need at that time. And we'll talk about this. I got, I've got some questions for you about getting started after your, your next story, but what a great spot to get to where now you actually can make the investment in a CFO because you're giving somebody all of the, all of the data in a very organized format. You understand it, you're working together on it now it's, it's time to make that investment into the next level because you've elevated yourself and, and your business and your team. So yeah. Makes, makes total sense the right resource at the right time.
(29:21): Yeah, absolutely. And, and I think that in today's society, we put a lot of, of weight around titles. It feels good to our ego to say, oh yeah, we've got, you know, I've got a president of my company and I've got a CFO and, you know, you can kind of throw those things around. What I always like to tell people is, is don't let this inflate your ego, you know, get an ego boost somewhere else, hire the people who just need to get work done. Don't worry about I'm gonna make, 'em a director I'm gonna make, 'em a vice president now. It's OK. Just to have someone who's here to just do a job. If they've earned it, then eventually you get to that point. But I mean, a CFO, I mean, you're looking at at least five, $10 million before you need a CFO. Somebody put that can come with that strategy level before that you just need a bookkeeper.
(30:06): Well, if you boost your bottom line substantially, your ego is gonna be just fine. Right? Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. The VA story, we're actually gonna be doing a white paper on this. This is sort of fun. We've got a, a gentleman who was a business out in Montana and, you know, had gotten to the point, came to us, hired a, a virtual assistant, hired a few more virtual assistants. So basically he'd hire a virtual assistant for that role and then would see the additional skillset that they were coming to the table with. Cuz again, these are all individuals, the majority of them have a college degree they're coming out of very, they're just looking for flexibility. Everybody wants that. Right. And so he was starting to notice, oh, this person's got this additional skillset. Okay, cool. I'm gonna go ahead and buy them out. Which is an opportunity that you have working witha is that if you are partnering with a virtual assistant and you want to bring them into your staff full time, you can pay a, a very small fee and you can work with them directly.
(31:06): And so we were kind of joking that we felt like he was sort of building this business based off of the individuals that he was finding through Vala. And we just got word two, three months ago that the very first virtual assistant that he hired to work with and then bought her out to to work with them directly. He's making the CEO of his company because he's going to be able to step out of the day to day operations. He's going to own not run is what our founders used to say. And he's gonna be able to focus on just networking and enjoying life and building his business because he brought the right people onto his team. And so I think that's really cool that, you know, again, it was a, a startup business. He needed some additional help was able to, to find additional people outside of, but, but built it with Valle and is now in that position where he has all that freedom that you guys, you know, talk about so frequently because he's got the right people. So I think finding the right talent is key and, and trusting the right talent. And so we're thrilled to hear that a story that
(32:04): That's, it's, it's an amazing story. And we love when we hear stories like this, because it's an example of good leadership. It's a leader who is willing to be led and yeah, you have experts. You're listening to their council. They're driving your business for you in a lot of ways. And if you have every aspect of your business covered, that's how you elevate yourself. You're elevating them and yourself at the at the same time. So that, that's pretty exciting. I'm I'm thinking how much easier it sounds starting any business by bringing in remote resources like this that are already specialists. They, they just need to learn you, right. This may be a good time to talk about how do you get started? Is there, what does the initial consultation look like? Do you have a special intake process that you do to dig into these things?
(32:53): Does somebody call you and I'm sorry, I'm firing all these at you at once, but does somebody call you to say, Hey, I, I, I wanna work on social media marketing and, and then you get into the, the nuts and bolts with them and, and start to say, Hey, well, why don't we look at four different facets of your business and dig into each of those and you don't have to do them all right now, but why don't we take a look at all of these things together? You, you probably have different examples or different companies upset. Yeah. I wanna learn about all of it. And some that say, well, let's just start here. And either once, probably an okay. Starting point, but how does somebody get started with you? Yeah, a absolutely. And you can fire all the questions away anytime I can handle it. So yeah, typically how it starts out is, is somebody has seen or heard of us a lot of times on social media or perhaps this podcast or referrals, we love referrals and they're gonna reach out to us and fill out an online form. And at that point they get a call from one of our solutions consultants. And to your point, Dave, they're gonna sit down and they just really wanna learn about your business. Where is your pain points at right now? Why did you give us a call in the first place? And from that point, and, and here's the funny thing we've had folks come to us and say, yep, I know that I need a social media manager. That's why I'm calling you. I'm calling you because I need this.
(34:11): And then our solutions consultants dig in and they're like, Ooh, wait a second here. That's not actually what you need. What you really need is a virtual assistant, because you already have a strategy set up. You've already built a brand. You're just tired of making the post and answering the questions on your own. And in addition to that, you have no one who's looking at your inbox. So a virtual assistant's a better place to start. Also you mentioned, we've had people come to us and say, I need 'em all. And we have realistic conversations and we give them some prices and help them understand, and then go, you know what? You're just not ready for that yet. And the great thing is we've literally turned folks away who we didn't think were ready, cuz we're all about success. We're not here to sell to everybody.
(34:49): We know everybody's not meant to be a client who will come back two or three years later to say, my business is finally big enough and I'm now ready to, to work. Witha that's what gets us excited. So after that consultation where we're sitting down and we're learning a lot about your business, where you're gonna get the biggest bang for your buck, then you know, there's an implement a small implementation fee that allows our team to start working on our side. So we're gonna start combing through our, our database available and vetted service consultants for the, the service that you're looking for. Right? So they're ready and available and they have the skillset you need in Nicos. This is soft skills and hard skills. Cause I mentioned, if it is somebody who's coming from the builder remodeling community, we're gonna look to see if we have a, a specialist who has that experience.
(35:34): And so we've got our talent acquisitions team. Who's kind of grinding away at the back. And then we're gonna introduce you to a CSE, which is basically an account manager. Who's gonna sit down with you again and ask some more detailed questions that maybe your solutions consultant didn't have time to get to the good thing about it is all that information flows through. So you're not having to repeat yourself. We're just asking deep and deeper questions. And then from that point we assign your service provider and we have a kickoff call and you guys run off, you know, into the future, but you're never alone. And, and that's key here because at any point, if there's a, a roadblock, you're struggling, not sure about training your CSE, your account manager is there to help you all along the way. And so they're gonna be checking in with you. They're gonna be checking in with your service provider, making sure that the relationship is going well. And so that's a real key component of us giving you resources, helping out and helping you to communicate cause like any new relationship, it takes a little while to get to know each other. And so we wanna kind of bridge any gaps that are there.
(36:39): And it, it sounds like that development of the new relationship starts with a mutual time investment in each other before it moves to a financial one. So your company belay is committing some time with the solutions, a dedicated solutions consultant to invest in you as a potential client to see if you're a good fit. And you're genuinely investing the time to go through that mutual exploration. And then once there's enough mutual interest, then you get into, then you work with them to understand the, the fee structure and all, and, and the next steps as you develop a customized plan for them.
(37:16): Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, and I am going shamelessly brag on us here a second, but that's one of the things that we're real proud of is the fact that it's not you think about some marketplaces, right? That you can just go and say, I need a virtual assistant. I wanna pay $15 an hour or whatever. And you, you go out there and you find a dashboard and you pick somebody and then you go off to work with them. We don't feel like that. That is a successful relationship. And so that's why I said the hard and the soft skills. It is a thorough matching process. We're just not looking at a database and going here's 10 names. The first one looks good and throw 'em right. We're actually interviewing that service a provider again, to make sure that we feel like they understand the role that they're gonna be placed into.
(38:02): They're also committing to it and then we're sharing it with the client, Hey, this is who we've picked for you and our expertise. This is who we've picked for you. And they've gone through all of these, this process. We've vetted them. We've, you know, tested them, especially our bookkeepers. You know, we've looked at background checks, we've done all that for you to make sure that it's the very, a best possible match. And so I think that's key because it's not an algorithm it's, it's not just a computer spitting out a name that we give, well, it's not, it's not a commodity and you're speaking the language of the custom builder and a builder and a model or community, because that is what we do. We try to deliver a custom experience and we are by nature outsourcers as well. I think there's an opportunity to take this to the next level and learn some things about how you work together on something like this. Because we use an outsourcing model. We use electricians, we use plumbers, we use designers. We work with them. Not many builders that are listening to us right now are good with anybody building their work. They're not looking for the $15 an hour commoditized solution. They shouldn't expect one either. Like if you want to have custom treatment, just like the experience you deliver, you need to invest the time and resources into this. Just like you did developing your trade network or your market partner network or your architect network, same sort of thing.
(39:24): So this should really resonate. This has been some great stuff. As I said, I'm a big fan of BELE. Love what you guys are doing. I've had huge success with it. I know you gonna continue to have huge success going forward as we do everybody that we get on the show, we like to kind of close it out with you talking a little bit about what you're excited about coming up in this new year, whether that's personally, professionally what sort of stuff do you have coming up? Over the next six months to a year personally, we were kind of chatting before we started the podcast. I'm entering the the short term rental field. So I'm super excited about, you know, having a project there and, and digging in my teeth and understanding that model and, and hoping to grow right. Hoping to get more properties under my belt. So that's what I'm, I'm excited about this.
(40:07): I see a belay short term rental project management solution in your future. I know we gotta talk. We gotta talk after, because I think there's a real need for this in the marketplace. And I know for myself, I'm looking for, for that service as well. So maybe we'll cook something up together. I like that idea. I like that. I feel like I'm an expert in V R B and Airbnb. I'm getting there, I'm getting there and I don't want to be so it's, you know, it's no. Well, thanks again for taking some time to be with us. It's always a pleasure are having you on here. And we enjoyed it. Thank you so much for asking me again. Always so much fun with you guys. Hey, thanks for listening, Dwayne and I love hearing from you. Your stories are inspiring and your challenges can be overcome. Got a cool tip idea for a show problem that you haven't been able to solve, or maybe just struggling to figure out what you need next and where to get it. We can help hit us firstname.lastname@example.org and start building freedom.
Hey, thanks for listening, Dwayne and I love hearing from you. Your stories are inspiring and your challenges can be overcome. Got a cool tip idea for a show problem that you haven't been able to solve, or maybe just struggling to figure out what you need next and where to get it. We can help hit us email@example.com and start building freedom.