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What are your SaaS company's current growth marketing challenges and wins?

December 05, 2023

How SaaS Companies Can Effectively Create (And Document!) Processes, Fun Ways To Hold Your Leadership Team Accountable, and a Game-Changing Hiring Tips With Suzie Cyrenne of Buster Fetcher

In this episode, Jeanna welcomes Suzie Cyrenne, Co-founder and COO of Buster Fetcher and Zumalka, to discuss remote work culture and processes.

Suzie Cyrenne is the Co-founder and COO of Buster Fetcher, a software service that detects delivery delays and creates refund requests for merchants. She’s also the Co-founder and COO of Zumalka, a provider of online, high-quality, natural pet products. Suzie is passionate about the empowerment of women in business, which she highlights on her podcast, Women Powering Ecommerce, launched in June 2023.

 

 

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • The origins and development of Suzie's two businesses
  • Systems for creating efficient operating processes
  • Strategies for building a thriving remote team culture
  • The benefits of a daily nine-at-nine meeting
  • Tips for mastering time management
  • Effective methods for recruiting and hiring

In this episode…

Working remotely offers a world of advantages — but leading remote teams, documenting processes, avoiding Zoom fatigue, and finding incredible hires can be tricky. 

Fortunately, business co-founder and COO Suzie Cyrenne helps us navigate these challenges in this episode of Remotely Cultured. Suzie dives into the art of creating and documenting effective processes in SaaS companies, using the EOS system for structured growth. She discusses her daily nine-at-nine meetings as an innovative solution to keep remote teams aligned and energized, and she reveals her comprehensive, multi-step approach to hiring that emphasizes cultural fit and behavioral insights, ensuring the recruitment of team members who truly align with the company’s ethos.

In this episode of Remotely Cultured, you'll uncover practical strategies for fostering a thriving remote work culture, from engaging team members in process development to implementing concise, daily team meetings that combat Zoom fatigue. Suzie's insights provide listeners with actionable tips for building and managing successful remote teams, ensuring efficiency, accountability, and a positive work environment. Whether you're an entrepreneur, a team leader, or a remote worker, this episode offers valuable lessons and tools for navigating the remote work landscape effectively.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Transcript:

Jeanna: Hey, everyone, welcome to Remotely Cultured. I'm your host Jeanna and calling in from Roatán, Honduras, where I run FPS and host this podcast. This episode is brought to you by First Page Strategy. At FPS we use data and big ideas to produce exponential growth for product-led brands who need to nail their acquisition goals and want to work with a flexible, non-traditional agency. For example, in one year we've grown a client's total revenue 197%, their organic revenue by 300%, and their paid revenue by over 1,000%. If you're in SaaS, FinTech, or startup and need to hit your 2023 high-growth acquisition goals, check us out on firstpagestrategy.com. Okay, joining the podcast today we have with us Suzie. Suzie co-founded two successful businesses — an e-commerce store in 2013 and a software company in 2018, where she currently serves as COO of both companies. She's passionate about empowering women in business evidenced by her podcast "Women Powering Ecommerce" which launched in June 2023. Welcome Suzie, where are you calling in from today?

Suzie: Thank you, Jeanna. I'm super excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me. And I am calling from Quebec City which is a city in Quebec Canada.

Jeanna: Nice. I love it. You're our very first guest from Quebec. So I'd love for you just to tell our listeners really quickly, what is it like living in Quebec? Like what's the culture, how is it different from other places in the world?

Suzie: Mmhmm. That's a great question. So Quebec is the only French-speaking province in Canada. So that's one particularity. I would say it's very European-like compared to other provinces. So it feels like, especially in Quebec City, it feels like a little slice of Europe. 

Jeanna: Oh that's lovely. 

Suzie: It's beautiful. It's home to the Château Frontenac, which I think is one of the most photographed hotels in the world. Honestly, I love it. The temperatures — we do have a little bit of winter but we have all of the four seasons which are beautiful. So it's great. I love being here. And in the winter, we just escape when there's a little bit too much snow.

Jeanna: Yeah, so is there like a skiing and snowboarding culture though?

Suzie: Yes, absolutely. So I'm definitely a snowboarder. I grew up around the mountains and still snowboard up to today.

Jeanna: Cool. Yeah, me too. I grew up in Seattle, Washington — very far from that now, but I used to teach snowboarding so it was at one point a big part of my life. And what about the culture in Quebec, like what's unique to the area? Is there a food or a festival or something that is purely unique to Quebec City?

Suzie: Oh, yes, there is. I would say the first thing that comes to mind is our popular poutine. I don't know if you've heard of that. 

Jeanna: Yeah!

Suzie: It's a dish of fries, gravy, and curd cheese. It doesn't sound too good maybe to some people but it's definitely delicious. You have to give it a try. And yeah, it's it's home to this dish. And that's definitely the first thing that comes to mind. Absolutely.

Jeanna: Well, I've heard a lot about Canadian poutine. I haven't actually tried it myself. So I'll have to make a trip at some point and get it straight from the source. 

Suzie: You have to.

Jeanna: All right, before I dive into our questions and topics for today, I want to give a quick shout-out to Renée Warren who introduced us to Suzie. Renée is the founder of We Wild Women, a PR agency for creative entrepreneurs and lifestyle brands. So if you're in need of PR help, go ahead and look up We Wild Women on the internet. All right, Suzie, you mentioned that you yourself have founded two successful businesses, which is so impressive. One is enough sometimes, right, as an entrepreneur, so to do it twice is really cool. Can you tell us a little bit about both of those businesses and your journey as an entrepreneur?

Suzie: Sure. So I used to have a completely different background as a dental hygienist. I love that industry. But eventually, I just needed to do something else. Something to change my routine. I needed something to grow as a person. And I had this opportunity of creating an e-commerce company. My husband had been in marketing and creating e-commerce stores for a lot of people for a long time. And then we saw the results he was getting and creating success for others and I was in the health industry — still love that industry — and we got this opportunity to sell this line of natural products for pets which my mother-in-law had created at the time. But she was only French-speaking and she could only sell to people in Quebec and in France. So we saw this opportunity to just have her own online store and sell those wonderful products to English-speaking communities which are huge and humongous. Definitely something you can do worldwide. So that was the beginning of our journey. And that was in 2013. We still have that e-commerce store. I'm still running it, though we have learned to delegate a lot so it's almost running on its own today. And from a need that we had as an e-commerce company, which was trying to save on our shipping fees, we developed this software that at the beginning it was for ourselves only. Because when you ship a $30 product on the other side of the planet and someone wants it very quickly, they'll pay extra shipping and in the end if it arrives late, you're responsible and you have to refund the customer even if it's not your fault. So we discovered that you can actually ask for refunds for that shipping, and that's when we discovered there are so many other ways you can save on shipping. We developed a little something for us, but then we decided to help other businesses you know, with the same problem we were facing with so that's how we created our SaaS company. And so yeah, still, I mean, that's a little bit newer 2018 And it's still running. I'm loving it, too! Completely different from e-commerce. Yeah. So a lot of fun.

Jeanna: Wonderful, and your role is COO. So what does that mean within your companies? Like what do you own as a Certified Operating Officer?

Suzie: Yes, that's such a good question. I used to — just the beginning of January, my husband and I, because I co-founded both businesses with my husband and we used to be co-CEOs, so we were butting heads trying to do the same job. And sometimes that can cause issues because we don't have the same strengths. We don't have the same weaknesses. And honestly, we're totally opposite in our personalities. So we just reevaluated that and realized that if I took on the role of the more, more of a — so basically, what I do as a COO is more strategic, more structured, I take care of the organization of the company, the structure, let's put it that way. Any structure — the finances, the team, the processes. And my husband will concentrate more on the ideas, just the visionary of part of having a business. So it works out really well. So I've started really taking on that role more seriously for both companies since the beginning of the year. And it's honestly worked so wonderfully. So that is a little bit of what I do.

Jeanna: Yeah, love it. I'm a visionary myself, so I understand needing to have someone in that operations role that is really good at the processes. So it's a good partnership. And when you started the pet company back in 2013, that was your first foray into e-commerce, right? 

Suzie: Yes, exactly. 

Jeanna: And now you basically in your podcast, kind of speak to women in e-commerce and are passionate about that e-commerce industry and kind of giving advice. So what are some of the lessons, high-level, that you've learned that you'd like to talk about with people that are running e-commerce businesses?

Suzie: I mean, we talk about of a lot of things. Of course since I concentrate more on, I mean, I know I have the marketing sales basics, I do concentrate more on my day-to-day life on anything that's more around process structure. So one of the things, for example, we implemented this year was the EOS system.

Jeanna: Yes, yes. Us too!

Suzie: Well, there you go. I have the integrator role. I'm not I don't say that to everyone. Because if unless you know about that, but so the I don't know if everyone knows about the EOS system, but basically it's short for an Entrepreneurial Operating System. And you just have to divide your your company into six key components. So you have a vision portion, people data issues, processes and traction. So I mean, so I will walk the women in e-commerce through the things I learned along the way. I'm very much into just sharing my journey as to where I'm at, what am I learning today? I love sharing my successes, and I'll definitely do that but what am I struggling with today as an entrepreneur in e-commerce, or just in a SaaS company? So that's definitely something I like to do because I feel like a lot of the stories you hear out there are the success stories and then you don't know all the work that's behind all of that. So I'm super okay with being vulnerable, honest, and just okay, I'm in the trenches right now with this issue. And let's let's chat about this. And just I like documenting around my journey. So it could be a lot of things and sometimes as an entrepreneur, it's just a lot of it is yes, tactical, but a lot of it is a lot of it has to do with your mindset. So that's something important you have to address and that I love, I love anything that's personal development. So I'll share a lot of that. Because it can get lonely out there as an entrepreneur, so definitely you want to make sure that you feel like you're connecting with other people going through the same stuff as you are.

Jeanna: For sure. Yeah, it's a total roller coaster really. Um, and so this you talk candidly on your podcast about some of the issues that you're facing as a as an entrepreneur, what's something that you, what's like one of your most recent episodes? Can you give a little insight into what you talked about and kind of some of the problems that you face as an entrepreneur?

Suzie: Absolutely. Recently, I was talking about processes so I think that's one thing I'm actually going through right now. Having come in more, almost full time into our SaaS company this year, I wanted — my husband was mostly in the company and just running it, him being the visionary and having all the ideas so there wasn't a lot of things. Nothing was written down. We had no processes. So I'm like, okay, we have to do something we definitely have to write our stuff down. So actually I, I decided to really take my team and make sure we, together, create processes across the organization. And it's not the sexiest topic or thing to do, but it's definitely needed. So what we did and what I'm trying to do is, make sure I asked myself, How can I make my team engaged and excited about working together? And create our processes in a short period period of time? So what we did and what we're doing right now, so I'm still testing like, but I'm sure in the end it will still be good. First I decide on like, how we're going to structure things beforehand. And then I presented this project to the team as a short-term project. I gave them a two-month deadline to create everything and put it in Notion — that's the software we use to document everything. And I feel like I'm learning a lot about co-creating instead of just top/bottom telling them what to do. I feel that when you give you tell them like the angle, what's important for you by what date, but then you let them decide, how are they going to do this? What time during the week will they take time to create those things? I finally — it kind of bit brings in a little bit of their creativeness into the process and makes it more fun and we create a, I just decided to put a very short deadline to it that way we're just like sprinting and then we can go on and do something else. So for now, I think that that's working really well because for having done the other company before and creating such things the procedures, it could I mean you can do that five days a week, full time. I mean, it's never perfect, right? So so that's currently one like little struggle we're going through in the sense that I'm just trying to approach this differently, making it more exciting and just see how everyone can contribute and not being the one to micromanage and check every single thing that's been going on.

Jeanna: Yeah, I love it. And this is a topic that's like talked a lot about in remote work right now is this idea of documenting and I don't know why it's only a remote topic because really every brand should be doing it but maybe they think just because you have an office you have a handbook I don't know. But Notion is super popular tool these days. And so just to summarize for our listeners, what you're doing is asking your team to start documenting their processes for their role in Notion within two months.

Suzie: Yes. 

Jeanna: Okay. 

Suzie: Yeah, so just every team leader of each department, they take care of their own teams and everyone documents their role, what they do.

Jeanna: Yeah. Cool. And have you come up with any process — because it's something that we also went through the documenting journey actually, we've been working on it for the last two years because we kind of chunked off like what's most important to document and then we just keep going deeper, deeper and deeper. So yeah, definitely a project that's never done. But one thing that we're trying to kind of solve right now is how do you keep that up? So we're looking at like, is there a quarterly review for everybody's documentation? Monthly review, annual review? Have you thought about that piece yet?

Suzie: I haven't put too much thought into it as to what we're doing now. But having done it with the other business, for having documented everything, I think, usually the time what you're saying is perfect. If we could do it on a quarterly basis, and just add that to a checklist of things to do. I think that would be the best thing to do. But the reality might be a little different.

Jeanna: Yeah. 

Suzie: We all get overwhelmed with all of our ongoing projects and we're kind of running out of time. And usually when you realize you have to update your processes is when you onboard someone new and then you realize they're not up to date.

Jeanna: Yeah, so true. 

Suzie: So I'll definitely look into being a little bit more proactive, but like right now we're trying to, we're looking into hiring someone new so the first thing that comes to mind, are we okay with our procedures, like can I onboard this person? And usually it's a last minute thing — Okay, let's just double check everything is up to date. If not, let's put it like, let's work on it quickly. And yeah, but so so that's what I've been doing. But definitely, I think it's something if you can be proactive and just include it into your routine. That's definitely the best thing to do.

Jeanna: Right. Cool. How long have you been working remote and what are your team sizes?

Suzie: I've been working remote since I started the companies.

Jeanna: Wow, nice!

Suzie: Yeah! I'm a big remote team believer. The idea behind building the businesses at first was to be able to work from anywhere in the world just because we love to travel. So that was already the first thing that made us build remote teams from the start. 

Jeanna: So you yourself as the founder could be location independent. 

Suzie: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. 

Jeanna: That was my purpose, too.

Suzie: And you're doing pretty well! So yeah, in the team sizes. So for now for our e-commerce brand we're about, we're a smaller team now. Maybe 10 people. And our SaaS company's about 25 people so, yeah.

Jeanna: Yeah, wow, and running both of those! Wow, that's a lot of work.

Suzie: It's the power of delegating. I've learned that the hard way, I guess. You don't have a choice. Eventually you have to sit down and ask yourself how you're going to do this and find systems to make it work. Because you can't micromanage everyone, you're gonna burn out, that's for sure.

Jeanna: That's right. And I think EOS actually like is a good teacher of that as well. If you're a founder who's in a place where you're ready to transition out, which was me last year, and that's kind of when I got started on the EOS journey and I really wanted to step back and up. And so if anybody listening is going through that that's like a great tool to kind of get yourself there a little bit quicker. Um, cool. Let's talk a little bit about building a thriving remote team culture. Because you're running, COO, you are... are you wearing the people hat? Or, okay you are. You're wearing the people hat. And so you are the owner of culture within both companies?

Suzie: Ah, yes yes. 

Jeanna: Cool.

Suzie: I would say that e-commerce, like I said before, now it's a smaller team and I have someone in OPS to take care of a lot of this stuff, but yes.

Jeanna: Nice. And so how have you built your culture out? Let's talk a little bit about some of the things you've specifically done to make sure that your culture is a beautiful culture as a remote brand.

Suzie: Yes, absolutely. So one of the things I've implemented, I'll talk about maybe my SaaS business that has 25 people. 

Jeanna: Yeah. 

Suzie: I think that's the most challenging I've had so far because the more people, the harder it will be to really create a good culture that's the same throughout the whole organization. So of course the EOS definitely help. I would say that really taking care of our team leaders, first and foremost, is very important. Because everyone that's leading a team, you want to make sure that they're leading it with the same — the right values, the right mission in their mind. So we really make sure we take time with them on a weekly basis, we make sure to have a meeting together to, to just update ourselves and share some wins and make sure we really take care of the people and if we can, we'll chat once in a while throughout the week, just take a minute or two and just, you know, take the temperature and see how they're doing. So when they're taken care of I feel that they'll just make sure their own team will be taken care of. 

Jeanna: Yeah. 

Suzie: And if we make sure they understand the culture and where we're heading, they understand our values or vision or mission, all of that. They'll be much more able to transpose that to the rest of the team. Now we've just started to implement what we call a daily nine at nine. I did not have meetings before on a daily basis where we would actually show up in video every morning. We'd just use Slack and just say hi in the morning, things like that. But I decided to test out having a daily meeting, so at nine o'clock it lasts for a maximum of nine minutes. And we just you know pump up the music, we start off with just a little bit of music, something to set the mood, and then I have each team leader share a win from their team from yesterday, and then they have to set their goal for today. So that makes a really good, big difference because every single morning they have to ask their team members, "Okay, so what are our wins for from yesterday? And what's their main goal for today?" So we've become more focused towards our goals. I love since we started that. And so we do that, and we make sure to also take that time to reinforce some of our values, our mission, or just sometimes I'll share some comments that one colleagues said about another behind their back like per se. So it just creates a nice culture where it's been doing a lot of good and then we end it off with some music. And so that just gets everybody pumped for the day. They start the day with a win and they know exactly what their goal, like their main goal as a team for the day. So that is definitely really good for culture. And that would be my number one thing I'm actually very happy we've implemented this year and the only thing I regret is not doing it before.

Jeanna: Yeah, that's so cool. I love that that's such a great idea. But what I love the most about it, though, is that it's only nine minutes long, because for as a remote culture, we're always thinking about how can we minimize Zoom because I think one of the pitfalls of remote is that people then just end up scheduling a ton of Zoom meetings and they sit on Zoom all day, they're exhausted, they're burned out. They don't have time for work, and we really try to go against that. So a nine minute stand up every day is like something you can get done but isn't you know, going to take a huge chunk of your deep work time or your async work time.

Suzie: Exactly.

Jeanna: And so positive right like that really like sets the tone as having a really positive fun culture. If you're like blasting music and stuff like that. That's beautiful.

Suzie: Yep, absolutely. 

Jeanna: And how do you guys connect across levels? Like if you're, you know, you do this with your leaders, but how as a coal company are you guys connecting and maybe getting to know other people in cross-functional positions and levels?

Suzie: So we try to do one-on-one meetings here and there, and I personally try and just do a little meet and greet on Slack or just call someone on a video call and just chat. Like today, one of my team members, I haven't spoken to her in a while she's in customer service for our e-commerce, so I just Slacked her, I'm like hey, how are you doing? She's like, you know what, it's not going well. So I just hopped on a video call we chatted for like 5-10 minutes. Because sometimes you just need to take that time but sometimes we don't. I'm not gonna say — I'm not perfect. I can do much better on that end, but I'm just trying to really make an effort to remember to at least, even it doesn't have to be long but just say hey, how are you doing? Just it takes it can take a minute, you know, it doesn't have to be super complicated. That's one thing we do. And of course our team meetings — we have one on a monthly basis and again, we're really into like being positive and sharing wins, so we usually start our our team meeting with everyone shares a little something about themselves from like last month or something that we're happy about. So it kind of allows us to stay connected as much as we can. And another thing is that we ask our teams to complete a weekly report at the end of their week. So it's a Google form. And it's just asking them, we want to know about your performance, but what we ask them is what are your week's highs? What are your week's lows? And it doesn't have to be about work. If you're telling us that your pet died then please let us know. Or something like, your child started walking. 

Jeanna: Yeah, personal and professional wins. 

Suzie: Yeah, we want to know those things. Yeah. So we read every single one of those and every week, and we might we try to reply to a lot of them. We might not reply, but I tell them look, we might not reply to every single one of them every single week but we're reading every single one. So we want to know what's going on in your life. So that definitely helps at least if we see something that needs to be addressed. We'll address it right away.

Jeanna: Yeah, love it. And have you guys ever incorporated in-person into your remote culture yet? Like have you met as a team?

Suzie: We have, we have. So for the e-commerce store, we had it in the beginning, where a lot of the people were based in Quebec, but now I have one in Honduras, one in a few places around the world like Ontario, so it's a little bit harder to connect. But in the beginning, we did and right now for the SaaS company, our team leaders are all based in Quebec. I think we're like three hours apart, the maximum, so every quarter, we'll do an off-site meeting. Like last quarter, we booked a hotel room for two nights and we just did our quarterly meeting in person because that's, I mean, remote is lovely. I'm pro-remote. But there if you want to get creative there's nothing better than just sitting on a couch drinking something and just chatting. It just creates that environment that honestly you're not going to get remotely. If that's your only way. Fine, do it. But nothing beats in person for those kinds of things. So, yeah, for those quarterly meetings we make sure to do them off site.

Jeanna: Interesting. Cool. All right, and let's transition a little bit and talk about like how you recruit for your company and hire. This is a tough topic for — uh oh, I lost my headphone. Give me a minute.

Suzie: Oh, that's okay!

Jeanna: Hiring and recruiting is a tough topic for all entrepreneurs it can be even more difficult as a remote founder and I know ourselves at FPS, we've gone through many iterations of refining our hiring process. And so how do you recruit?

Suzie: So it depends on what I'm looking for. If I'm looking to hire a higher-level position, and when I say that, it's someone that has experience in leading a team or if I'm looking for a specific, a specific — how do you say it? education — or anyway, something specific, I'll use LinkedIn Recruiter. Usually, that's definitely a place where I'll go and hunt for some talent. If I'm looking for something that doesn't require the same same amount of experience or knowledge then I love to hire in the Philippines, something that doesn't require the same time zone. So I'm a big Filipino advertiser, just because yes, of course, it'll be cheaper labor than here in Canada. Not I mean, we still make sure we pay them, you know a really good —

Jeanna: Fair wages. 

Suzie: Yeah, yes, exactly. That's very important for us. But it's definitely a great way to grow your business without taking so much out of your cash flow. So so I'll just see what we need but those are usually the two places I'll look for. But it really goes down to the interview process. I've tested so many things. I think I've probably interviewed like in the three digits for sure of people. And what I came down with my own method that I find works the best and that's from a lot of trial and error trying a lot of things and in the end you just want to make sure you don't drop the ball and did not see a red flag when you could have seen it. So the way we do it is, one, we screen the person. So we do it in four steps. So screening is our first one. So usually in 15-30 minutes, max, I'll just ask, we'll do a video call. We do them all remotely. And so we just make sure to screen that person. What are your career goals? Just a few basic questions just to make sure would they fit with their core values or are they just looking for a job or are they actually an actual A player? So just a few questions and you get the vibe and you see pretty quickly if they can move on or not to the next phases. So we do a first screening then we do the actual interview, which we take the resume and I don't know if you've heard of the book. It's called "Who: The A Method for Hiring".

Jeanna: I haven't! Yeah, I haven't. "Who: The A Method for Hiring".

Suzie: Yes. Oh my goodness, that is a game-changer. 

Jeanna: Okay! 

Suzie: I would recommend that book. It has a lot of really good reviews. You can find it on Amazon or elsewhere but it's such a good book and they took over like 80 I think CEOs of big companies and they really kind of interviewed all of them and came down to a recipe that actually is proven and works. So that's what they recommend, they recommend to do a screening first and then the interview — that's what I where I was going — with the interview, they actually ask you to take their resume and you actually ask them the same questions for every like position, maybe the last three positions. And the idea behind those questions is to find patterns. So you try to find patterns of how they reacted. Are they always talking bad about their bosses? Are they always the victim for whatever happened? Are they talking like about results, actual things they've done? So you're just trying to look for patterns because chances are 99% of the chances are they're going to just repeat that same pattern from their other jobs. That is amazing. Like honestly, I cannot recommend doing that more. It has really helped us so that's the second thing. Yeah.

Jeanna: Really quickly before you go on to your next step. I'd love to know, like sit in that step a little bit and ask, are you asking specific questions of, of the worker about each of their jobs? Like let's say there's three questions and you're repeating that, or are you just open-ended asking them to describe each of their positions?

Suzie: That's a really good question. So we do ask the same questions for each positions because the goal is to see if we can find patterns. So by asking the same questions, you'll see what the types of responses are. So for example, how on on a scale of one to ten, how will your boss or your manager — what will they give you on a scale of one to ten? And then it allows them to — and the questions very important. It's not "if" I call them it's "when" I call them, so that way they have to be transparent, very honest about their answer. And usually it'll uncover things that maybe they wouldn't have told you before. And another question is, for example, what are you most proud of in that position? So it gives them a chance to just share their passion or you know, their accomplishments and see how they value themselves. And another thing is, what are you not as proud of or I don't, I'd have to go back to my questions, but what is one mistake you've done and what did you learn from it? 

Jeanna: Yeah. 

Suzie: So it just, the goal is really you want to get the most honest answers from them to find, are they like always the victim at each job position? Are they trying to avoid results or things like that so yeah.

Jeanna: Yeah. That's so great. I love it I'm gonna go out and like literally run and read that book because we have struggled, yeah, for like, businesses going into it's eighth year and I feel like we're constantly refining our process, because no matter how good we get, I mean, 90% of the time, we'll hire someone great. And then we're still having kind of that trouble person, and sometimes that is really tough when you have a small culture because it's like, you know, if you hire someone quickly and then have to let them go quickly, that really reflects on a leadership team and your hiring process. So hiring is really tough to get right and kind of trying to figure out and navigate like, like you said, the red flags is is tricky, but cool. And so what are you Are there any other tips kind of in like the third or fourth round or the closing of your process that helps you find the right person?

Suzie: Yeah, so doing that definitely helped us but it's still not waterproof. I'll say it like that. And so we've put in place doing a task project, just giving them a task, a task that they would do with us on just a daily basis that way they can know, will they like what they're doing day to day because the job posts I mean, it's so it's hard to understand what your job really is going to be on a daily basis. So we do that and that way you know how they work, too. Are they communicating well? Are they delivering on time, things like that. And we all go, at the same time, more or less, call their references as well, because a lot of, for some people, they've passed all of those steps wonderfully, and we've called references and they're like, no, don't work with that person. So that's really a good —

Jeanna: Wow!

Suzie: Yes, yes, we've had that. Yeah. And, and one last last step. I'm just to make sure like, we're as rock solid as possible. I've added that last step just lately just to meet with the CEO, which is my husband, just to get another vibe. He understands the culture. He understands the vision. He'll sense if there's something off with that person. It's just really nice to get another perspective. And I feel that's pretty bulletproof up till now. It's not perfect. You cannot get perfect 100% But it's worked well for us.

Jeanna: Love it some great, really great tips in there. And what about time management as a remote worker? Are there any tools or tech stack or tricks that you use to keep yourself focused as a remote founder, remote leader?

Suzie: Hmm, I think that's one of my favorite topics. Just because I've worked so hard to get it right and just maximize my time. I'm loving it. So first of all, I make sure I have a good morning routine and why I'm saying that is just throughout your day if you're going to work and give so much to others if you don't take first care of yourself. First in the day, nourish your mind, your body, your soul, all of that. I mean, then if you're going to put a lot of time to building your company helping others if you didn't do that, it's not going to work out. And so I make sure I get up super early and just do all that and so that's definitely one thing. And I like at 7am I'm done. I usually wake up at four I think. So I do those things.

Jeanna: Whoa! That seems early!

Suzie: Yes, I did not I did not start that way I read I think it was from reading a book called Miracle Morning? Morning Miracle? A few years ago.

Jeanna: Yeah, I was just gonna ask are you following Miracle Morning? Yeah, so I do some of that but a little bit later in the day.
Yeah. Which is fine, which is fine. I just find that when you do it in the morning it just, I take care of just you know — when you go on an airplane if you're going to crash and the oxygen masks you put it on yourself first so it's really in that mindset that I do it. But once that's done I'm like all in and I'll really want to give everything I have for the rest of the day for work. And one things, one of the things I do is just make sure I take my schedule and I do some time blocking in advance for everything that needs to be done. I don't just do whatever I feel like doing in the moment, that's for sure. So my week there probably you take my calendar and you'd a lot of people would freak out because there's like it's I just allotted time for everything. There is no blank space, but it helps. It definitely helps. It allows me to stay focused and it prevents distractions because I know there's a time for everything. So that really helps and to allow me to do a really good time management is to learn to delegate. I really had a hard time doing that it was not easy. But eventually if you're gonna manage a lot of things altogether, you cannot do it all on your own.

Jeanna: Right. 

Suzie: And I've learned to stay away from "I'm the one that will do it best". No, that's not true. You're not the best for every single job. So I've learned to just do that. And one thing that really helped me is just tell that person okay, what's the end goal that I'm looking for? Like with the result and the rest? You do it your own way, because that way you'll get what you want in the end and they'll they might not do it the same way that you would do it, but it's totally fine. In the end it'll work out. So delegating it just allows you to concentrate on just the higher level things that you need to get done in a business. That only you can do. So it just frees up time for that. So that's a really big time saver. And maybe another thing Yeah, just yeah, one last thing is I that's what I'm telling you today, but if you don't audit your time constantly then it's just — you're gonna start sliding sideways. 

Jeanna: One hundred percent. 

Suzie: So just try to regularly review my schedule and see where I'm spending my time because it's so easy to just add stuff without thinking about it and your schedule. And you could probably delegate that task or you know, so it's definitely something I love to do once in a while and I always see place for improvement. So yeah, that's how I manage my time and it works well for me for now.

Jeanna: Great, those are great tips for other entrepreneurs. Um, okay, so final two questions before we wrap this up. I would love to hear you tell our listeners today what is your one #workfromanywhere item or tool that you can never live without.

Suzie: I missed the first part of the question. So you'll have to tell me yeah, what?

Jeanna: What is your #workfromanywhere item or tool that you could never live without?

Suzie: That's such a good question. My number one tool I could not live without. I think up till now I talked about Notion before I think I'll say Notion as of now because it's so powerful and it can do so much. I've added all of my even personal things, my reading list my — it just can do so much. So my life is, a lot of it is centered in that tool. And I mean, I could say so much. So right now, that's the number one.

Jeanna: Yeah, that's such a popular tool these days. I mean, I see it cropped up and being used everywhere. We have a different tool that we're using to internally document we actually document inside a project management tool, but I'm, I need to like just play around with Notion on my own because it's raved about so it's gotta be good and I'm a big tech girl. I love new tech. So I'll go ahead and I need to give it a checkout. Okay, if someone wanted to learn more about you and your businesses, where should they go online?

Suzie: Sure, so my two businesses: zumalka.com And busterfetcher.com. That's our SaaS company. And of course, I do have my podcast womenpoweringecommerce.com If you ever want to check it out.

Jeanna: Yeah, and if anybody would like to be a guest on Suzie's podcast, she's open for guest opportunities, Women Powering Ecommerce, and we're done for today! Thank you Suzie for your time. It was so nice to have you here. 

Suzie: Thank you, Jeanna. Thank you for having me! I'm very grateful. 

 

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