This week, Trent Dyrsmid – founder of Flowster and host of the Bright Ideas podcast – joins us to share what he’s learned from helping thousands of businesses improve their processes – to the point where you can monetize them. Oh, and if you like the sound of $300 worth of FREE growth processes via Flowster, do read on!
As you may (or may not be) aware; I pride myself on delivering energetic introductions to each guest we have on APP, so it’s my absolute pleasure to give Trent the enthused-Marcel-intro-treatment, which goes a little something like this…
A serial entrepreneur, husband, and father, Trent hosts the Bright Ideas Podcast. Additionally, he’s founder of Flowster; a business process improvement application used by thousands of businesses globally, and ranked 254 on the 2019 Inc 5000 of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies.
When he’s not running his businesses, you can find them careering around with his family, on dirt bikes and mountain bikes.
Points of Interest…
- Knitting Digital Marketing with E-Commerce 2:39
- Being Processes Focused & Applying the ‘Mom Test’ 6:42
- Monetizing your existing processes 13:54
- The process for reviewing your processes 15:50
- Key Takeaway Re Monetizing Processes…
Knitting Digital Marketing with E-Commerce
Trent has three different businesses, one of which is a free workflow software company, Flowster. Functioning similarly to Trello, Flowster can be used by anybody in any industry to create workflows and processes. However, as any good marketer knows, if you’re trying to be everything to everyone, you’re actually nothing to no one…
“Until we have become the world dominant player, we will be sticking to our knitting of e-commerce! So, we market our software to the e-commerce niche – as the premier workflow and process management tool for e-commerce business owners.”
Trent used to run a digital marketing agency for several years, before transitioning out of that into e-commerce. As for how that move from the general digital space came about and what the journey involved? Trent is refreshingly honest about how he got where he is today…
“It’s all the fault of the podcasts! I’ve been hosting Bright Ideas for 10 years and it’s given me more opportunities than I ever could have imagined.”
Essentially, Trent started the podcast to interview people and learn more. As a result, he became a firm convert to marketing automation. Eventually, his audience grew to the point where inbound inquiry started coming in, with an array of outfits asking if he could help them out. Then, as with all self-aware entrepreneurs, the obvious happened…
“The agency was born kind of by accident, to be honest with you! Then, we became a HubSpot partner, and really started drinking the inbound marketing Kool-Aid and the agency continued to grow.”
As with most good things, however, it came to an end. Trent dives into this in more detail at the 4:30 minute mark.
Being Processes Focused & Applying the ‘Mom Test’
Over the years, Trent’s seen a lot documented inside of Flowster – his standard operating procedures software. Therefore, I asked him to define some of the issues he’s observed most people struggle with when it comes to creating and delegating processes to their team.
“The first question I get from people is, ‘Where should I start creating processes?’ Then, the next question is, ‘How do I create processes?’ If people want more detail on this, they should read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber, this is where I learned all this stuff.”
In a bid to distill Trent’s process, I’ve attempted to whittle it down to the following…
- The first processes or standard operating procedures you should consider documenting includes the most repetitive tasks that can be replicated by someone else.
- The easiest way of doing this is; on one half of your computer screen display the repetitive task you want to offload. On the other half of your screen, document the hell out of the mundane task you are doing.
- You now have a highly detailed, step by step process that allows you to offload this repetitive task to someone who can replicate it easily by themselves.
For those of you currently thinking, “It only takes me 10 minutes to do this task, whereas it might take me an hour to create a process to show how to do the 10-minute task”, remember, time adds up. The non-process-focused CEO will keep spending 10 minutes ad infinitum. The result? You’re never free. You effectively become a slave to your business.
When documenting processes, it’s best to keep in mind someone who knows nothing about your business. For example, Trent says a stellar indicator as to whether your process is functioning is if your mom could sit down in front of your computer and undertake the task without any questions. If that means starting the document with “Turn on computer”, so be it.
Monetizing Your Existing Processes
The more well-documented your processes are, the more overhead there is in maintaining them. How do you empower your team to ensure your processes are staying up to date with the transitions/changes that might happen in the process, the tools you’re using, et cetera.
In Trent’s case, he has three streams in operation…
- Free customizable process templates via Flowster – which don’t require constant updating
- Premium processes focused on running Amazon Reseller or Amazon Brand Management – which do require constant updating
- Flowster Content Partnerships – where a process creator is invited to curate their process
“I will find a specific expert who maybe runs a Facebook agency, or a digital marketing agency, or an Amazon agency, or whatever it is that their expertise is in, and I say, ‘Let’s make your processes available to the Flowster community. You are responsible for keeping your processes up to date, and we’ll come up with a compensation structure that makes it a mutually beneficial endeavor’.”
So, if anybody is listening and they’re thinking, “Hey, I have processes that I’m already maintaining! I’d like the opportunity to monetize my processes in a way that I’ve never thought of before”, please do give Trent a shout.
The Process of Reviewing Your Processes
Admittedly, you may have to manage – or at least train – these partners, or give them some resources around ensuring things stay up to date. What are some of the strategies that Trent views as most effective to make sure these processes spend minimum time being broken?
Rather than being consumed by Inception levels of meta; Trent says it’s a way more straightforward process.
“The Flowster partners are keeping them up to date as it is. So, when we structure an agreement with them, we require that every quarter they make updates to the processes because I know stuff is always changing. Facebook‘s changing its interface, Amazon‘s changing its interface. All the tools are changing all the time.”
In fact, I had a conversation with Brad Peterson not long ago, where he pointed out that you’ll know if your processes are working correctly only by breaking them every 12 months. Why? Because it means your company is outgrowing them – and that’s a good thing.
As for Trent’s single most important process that he has implemented in his career that has freed up his time? Scoot yourself along to the 18:36 mark of the video to find out!
Key Takeaway Re Monetizing Processes…
Start at the top of the funnel, before working your way back. Then, once you have defined a throughput problem, look into the business to decipher how best to resolve the issue.
Additionally, Trent is so sound he set up a special page – https://flowster.app/agencyprofit – exclusively for our APP advocates. Through this, he’s offering YOU $300 worth of free growth processes. Don’t say we never give you nothing!
Want to see more from Trent? You can do that via…
Did you learn anything new from this episode? Let us know in the comments below! Our next installment of #APP, on February 3rd, will see us chat with Dev Basu. While our previous blog with Jesse Tevelow is over here…
Marcel is an agency profitability optimization consultant, keynote speaker and the CEO of Parakeeto. He’s on a mission to help the average agency get the information they need to be more profitable. From sharing educational content and resources to creating tools at Parakeeto to make measuring the most important metrics easier – everything he does is aimed at making agency profitability more accessible.
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