In every business what starts off as an idea often turns into a part-time gig – which hopefully grows into a successful company. In this episode, we’re challenging the way you think about your business growth thought process with Susan Diaz, CEO and Founder of C+P Digital. Tune in to learn about Susan’s Flexibly-Committed business model and how your business can grow today!
To grow or not to grow – that is the question
Susan started her journey off as an independent content creator where she provided various types of writing for companies and agencies from her couch – living the true solopreneur life.
It was when her family member told her, “when you hit 50%, you need to start thinking about whether you will go into a model where people will book your time into the future or if you’ll go into a model that involves other people.” In other words, you need to decide if the future of your work will grow in team members or continue growing on an individual level. Susan shifted from being a solopreneur to a leader building a world-class senior team now known as C+P Digital.
C+P Digital became a trailblazer in the FinTech, health and technology space with her team innovating ways to create accountable, diverse pieces of content at similar price points as a standalone article. Today, they are a full-fledged digital marketing agency for small to mid-sized companies providing content as well as support initiatives for female entrepreneurs.
So… how did she do it?
A lover of oxymorons, Susan dubbed her process as being flexibly-committed to signify that everything has been thought of from end-to-end. When starting a business, we think about what tasks need to be done, at what level and from who.
C+P Digital was born when Susan found a group of talented individuals she wanted to work with and with access to them on an on-going basis. The difference between her on-boarding procedure and others? The flexibility in which her team works.
Each member is dedicated to their clients but works in a way that makes sense to their own schedule. This means that every team member enjoys the flexibility of being part-time but are committed to working a mandatory set of hours – whether it’s 10, 20 or 40 hours a week. When they start those hours, whether it’s a 9 AM start or at midnight, her team has the freedom to work when they are the most productive.
Whenever a team has extra time on their hands, Susan doesn’t necessarily pile up more work. Instead, C+P Digital fosters an environment of continuous learning where team members are given training on skillsets they can improve on and are later given opportunities to utilize those skills with bigger clients. Having a flexibly committed team gives team members a chance to work within their genius, develop their skills and in a way that works best for them.
Step one: get into the right headspace
The first thing you need to do is get into the right headspace. Let go of the idea that everything needs to be done by you or done in the way you do it. This includes acknowledging the fact that someone else might be better at doing something that you need in your business.
Think about what you’re good at, what you can do but would rather not do, and what you know you’re not good at doing at all. It makes the most sense for you to do the things you’re good at doing and love to do and to outsource everything else that makes you uncomfortable.
Step two: analyze your finances
The second step is to analyze your finances. Susan warns that you always have more to spend than you think you do!
Think of everything you need to operate your business – what tools, how much time, taxes, and your current budget right now. Then, write out a job description with what you can afford to provide your potential team member. Susan’s team has created a unique pricing tool that can help you price your products and services – something that she personally struggles with. (Let me know if you can totally relate too!)
This helps you analyze the cost of doing business plus your cost of goods sold – allowing you to clearly see how profitable your company is and an estimation of how much you should be charging. This also helps when you’ve got a potential client with a budget to help you estimate what you can do for them within this limit – taking away the guesswork out of giving quotes and pin-pointing the scope of work. Try it out and let the team at C+P Digital know how it goes!
Step three: thinking diverse
The third and final step is to think diversely. Susan says that a winning team is one that is virtual, inclusive and feminine.
We live in a digital world – with the rise of remote workers, it’s no wonder that teams now need to be able to work virtually. Unless your work is client-facing where you need to meet with them in person, Susan points out that there isn’t a need to work at a formal office or desk. This also makes it cheaper as an employer when you don’t have to rent space or pay for equipment – leaving more money to compensate and invest in your team.
Your team must also be inclusive. Susan says that immigrants are a big, overlooked section of talent – something that resonates deeply with her. As an immigrant herself, she found that newcomers to Canada often don’t have the connections or infrastructure to find the work they’re looking for. As a result, she noticed that undiscovered talent go months without employment or take on jobs as baristas or service staff. Immigrants not only come with a wealth of experience and new perspectives, but they’re also willing to start at the beginning in order to learn the ways of the market.
Susan emphasizes a team that is feminine because she started working with moms and caregivers. Her model was perfect for them – it allowed them to do what they do best on their own terms. Many of these talented team members were often dismissed by bigger companies due to their parental duties – something that has little to no effect on their ability to deliver good work. Susan noticed that women are often too modest and tend to undersell themselves when in reality they carry a level of emotional intelligence – a trait that is crucial to communication and marketing.
Resources From This Episode
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