Business Unusual: Delegation & Remote Workers

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Jill McKenna:
Hello everyone. I am Jill McKenna. I am the Marketing Campaign Manager here at Ruby, and I’m so delighted today to be speaking with Jehan Noon, CEO and founder of NoonDalton. Thank you so much for being here, Jehan.

Jehan Noon:
My pleasure.

Jill McKenna:
Do you mind expanding a little bit upon what NoonDalton does?

Jehan Noon:
Yeah. We provide really resources for local businesses to scale their company. And my background was, I worked for Deloitte Consulting for 10 years doing outsourcing for investment banks, started a few companies, needed some back-office support. And I figured if I could do this for banks, I could do this for my company.

Jill McKenna:
Another thing you said that is probably one of the most exciting realizations to come out of all this for me is just for small businesses is the fact that the talent pool now opens up. If we’re all working remotely, we can now look at other markets for talent and really expand the experiences that we’re having on our teams.

Jehan Noon:
There’s different models. So you can go out directly and find someone and hire them, or you can use a third party where they manage in that culture. So that would be where we employ them, they’re full-time employees. Payroll, benefits, all that stuff is taken care of by us. And there’s some advantages and disadvantages. Obviously there’s additional costs, but there’s more service around there where you have your manager, you have places to escalate. Whereas sometimes we’ve heard kind of horror stories of people hiring directly in those where the company sends the computer and then they never hear from them again. So there’s risks and rewards and, and you kind of get what you pay for. It’s definitely going to be cheaper. Our clients are usually 40 to 60% savings than hiring here.

Jehan Noon:
But at the same time, you can knock it out of the park. You can find someone and go direct and they could be with your company. But I would say it’s more on the one-third you can get lucky, and two-thirds, you’re going to go through some trials and tribulations. So I think understanding how do you train virtually. So for ours process documentation is key, training and recording, and then having the person that’s learning that training create those process documents for them to prove to them, yes, the client, that A, I actually understand what was just taught to me, because when you learn by doing and then teaching someone else. That combination of that really advances the training.

Jehan Noon:
There’s going to be mistakes. It’s not a foolproof method, but at the same time, it gets you so much further down the road. =The other thing is having screen-sharing sessions. So Zoom, our best practice is you get on Zoom. The client walks you through step-by-step on their screen. Everything’s being recorded. Then they hand the control over back to us. We go through it because you learn by doing, making those mistakes, clarifying those, and then just incrementally building up. So getting on an eight hour Zoom training call to go through training, not the best use of anyone’s time, because by hour four through eight, the retention is gone. It really breaks it up into digestible chunks, make sure they’re able to do the activities, report back, review. It’s a very iterative approach, but you can spread it out throughout the day where you’re not just jam-packed as well, is kind of what our best practices are to really bring on and onboard virtual staff.

Jill McKenna:
We haven’t talked about this previously, but I’m curious when do you feel like people, what’s the tipping point of when people would want to start researching a company like NoonDalton to work with? When the right time for a business?

Jehan Noon:
I think the, just going through the scenarios of when people reach out, one is they need to scale a team quickly and they have certain budgets that they need to hit. So for instance, I need 10 customer service agents, or I have a big project coming in, we just take all the heavy lifting off of them, say, “No problem. Let’s start out with kind of a trial. Here is one or two staff.” Make sure the proof of concept works and then boom, we’re off to the races. So once we have one or two of them solidified we know what we’re doing, the scaling effort is like clockwork.

Jehan Noon:
The other things are when a client is struggling with, or when they have new job recs. So I always challenged them, “Do you need to have a person you’re paying a hundred to a $150,000 doing activities that maybe can be done for nine or $10 an hour. There’s a lot of overpaid people. They’re not overpaid people. They’re people that are very highly paid to do work that they should not be paid to do. They should be really focused on their core activities, and core activities we define as anything you can train someone else to do in less than a week, isn’t your core activity. You should not be wasting your time on that. So in the quadrant of quick to train and takes up a lot of time, to elevate your local staff, those are things you can push off to draw either local, offshore. The cost savings of offshore is obviously there, but it’s applicable to any, any person in your organization, even within your own company.

Jehan Noon:
And one of the tricks we suggest is going through and saying, asking your staff to look through your outbox from the last two weeks, and then identify are these tasks things that someone else could have done for you if you were to train them in less than a week to do. And that way you’ll actually see some, because you’ll see reports that go out. Did you need to generate that report? Or could you have said, “Hey, due process, or do report one. Send this to so-and-so.” So now you’re more managing versus actually having to get in and doing those.

Jill McKenna:
I’m laughing because I was a small business owner and there are just no truer words then realizing that what you’re doing is not the most time and cost-effective. I’m thinking of small business owners who are so used to cleaning the bathrooms, doing absolutely everything, and they hit that five, six-year point where they’re established and they forget that they can stop doing that. It’s really important.

Jehan Noon:
Yeah. I mean, look at Ruby. We’ve been using you guys since I don’t know, almost since we started. And it is knowing that someone can do it better, focusing on that and just be done with it and know it’s going to be done the best it can be, is a huge relief. And now you can move on to the next task, next task, next task. If you’re busy trying to figure out who’s going to answer your phones or are we losing leads, those are really big, important things. And when you know you can trust someone and it allows you to move the ball forward. And that’s really when a new client comes into us, it’s not going to be perfect no matter what, but do we move the ball forward, and do we get faster and faster as time goes on. If there’s repetitive issues, if there’s exceptions all over the place, things that can be leveraged by other people, I say the easiest are the ones you figure out what’s easiest to train, but also processes that don’t work typically.

Jehan Noon:
I think we’ve talked earlier about what are the things that really don’t fit. And I would say the hardest would be junior salespeople, because there’s so much shadowing. There’s so much one-on-one time that you need to bring them up so much, and if you’re not physically there or they’re not next to you, it goes very slow and there’s a lot of burnout because the training just doesn’t come. If you have a very easy sales process, it’s not as bad, but if there’s anything part of that.

Jehan Noon:
And the other one is whenever there’s a lot of variability to the activity. So it’s not step one, two, three, four. It’s if step one happens, do these ABCD, and if step one A happens then do like. That’s where you need a lot of experience that it’s very hard to train someone else to do. And those are the things that can be done. They just take a lot longer. And that’s really not the best use to try to get someone up to speed because of the complicatedness of the activity.

Jill McKenna:
That makes a lot of sense. Thank you so much for all your insights. If people want to find out more about NoonDalton, where is your website online and where can they find you?

Jehan Noon:
Yeah, it’s pretty easy, www.noondalton.com and we’re working 24/7. So really, our approach is to understand what you’re looking to accomplish. And one of our keys are no. We like to say no a lot, because we don’t want to go through the hardship of stuff we’ve already done and know either doesn’t work or if you’re not ready for it, it isn’t. So for instance, we get a lot of inquiries about outbound sales. So, “Hey, can you call?” If you’re already doing it, and you already have a process, no problem. But if you’re setting things up for the first time, you’re going to know what’s a good sales call. Do you have recordings? Do you have leads? Do you have connection rates? Because people are like, “Oh, I want 300 dials a day.”

Jehan Noon:
“Okay, well, how many dials do you do?” “Oh, we haven’t done it.” “All right. Then are you are using a dialer? How many hangups?” There’s all these things that you have to hash out before you’re ready to even remotely think that this is going to be successful. And if you don’t have KPIs internally to compare, how are you going to compare someone else externally that doesn’t know your business as well? And that’s where I really push back business owners and people [inaudible 00:10:36] is they need to roll up their sleeves and do it, and then that way it’s a repeatable process to be able to scale and evaluate.

Jill McKenna:
Perfect. Thank you so much. Thank you for your time. Thank you for all your thoughts, advice, and insight. It’s truly helpful, I’m sure, for our community and our customers.

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