In this episode, we get to know more of Carl Taylor, the CEO of Automation Agency, as he talks about what Automation Agency does and who they serve.
Carl shared what automation is for him, for his business, his team, and for his clients. He also shared what strategies they implemented and the challenges and achievements they’re proud of during the pandemic.
We also get to know Carl’s thoughts on how technology will play a big role in shaping businesses behaviour, consumer behaviour, and more.
In this episode:
- Who Carl is and what he does
- Carl thinks of himself as the freedom guy. He finds solutions to work smarter rather than harder
- Automation Agency is Carl’s primary company, a done-for-you implementation service, whether you’re trying to do online marketing, marketing, and some of your other operations.
- Carl first started being an entrepreneur at 15. He is almost two decades in business.
- “Now when I think of automation, it’s just me not doing it. Meaning automation includes people; human automation – other people doing the job or doing the task or parts of it. So it’s a mix of tech and team when I think of automation.”
- How did the transition happen from “I’m getting someone to do the job for me” to “There’s possibly a business in this”?
- In 2011, Carl, who just started a new business as a coach and teaches people how to buy, build, and sell business, noticed that his fellow coaches are asking him technical stuff like how to automate emails and such. He then thought to quit coaching and help coaches implement the technical side of their businesses.
- “Because I was getting frustrated at people, not always implementing what you tell them to do, I was like, ‘I could just do this for people’.”
- The original inspiration for Automations Agency was that Carl will build a team of people that he can use himself and he’ll offer his technical services out to to other people which will help pay for his team and operations.
- Automation Agency is a flat monthly concierge service, where you get a team of graphic designers, web developers, automation people that you don’t have to train. You just need to come up with the ideas and tell them what to do.
- The core problems they solve are hiring and managing staff, and training them which is expensive in time and can be costly, depending on where you’re trying to hire.
- The challenge now with Carl and for Automation Agency is how to build a solution that matches where people are at. Clients get to a certain point where they’ve outgrown what Automation Agency does. Carl and his team are looking at how they can have a second tier of service offerings.
- “It breaks my heart to think that people are going to cancel us. When now is the time they should actually lean on us. You need to pivot and change your business. Now’s the time to use us more, not less.”
- “One of our biggest challenges has always been churn. People kind of getting to a point where they either outgrew us because they needed something we didn’t provide, or they ran out of ideas cause they didn’t have that strategic educational mind. And so that’s some of the areas we’ve been focusing on ourselves to deliver more value.”
- Carl’s biggest challenge within his business
- Covid brought about fear to most business owners and clients, and that is one challenge that Carl faced, specifically, managing client expectations and the way they view the company as a service. The other side has been on Carl’s and making sure that as the company grows that their quality, consistency, can stay the same,
- Carl’s webinar turned podcast called Protect, Pivot, Profit.
- “In a time like any recession or any kind of time that people start freaking out is the one time you shouldn’t cut back on marketing. Yet it’s the default that we always do. Every business owner, even me, like the first thought is, ‘Oh, what costs am I going to cut?’ But as soon as you do that, you’re literally shrinking.”
- Carl discussed some factors that can come into play when you start to build a team, and mentioned his team as an example.
- “Average efforts multiplied will always beat a single, perfect performance”
- Strategies that Carl and his team implemented to manage their clients’ fear with Covid
- One thing that Carl noticed with a lot of people in the coaching world is they roll out all these extra offerings without putting any kind of end date. Setting up a deadline ensures that the coach or business owner will be able to manage his/her time and knowledge without compromising commitment to these extra offerings and their main services.
- Carl’s other business, Business Builders Academy.
- “A really easy way to do an online course is just do it the way you’d normally do it. And then look at how do you tweak it to make it more digestible online.”
- Carl mentioned the importance of recording the activities that you do and will be done again in the future. This can be through video, audio, or written recording. These recordings can be used for team training, creating training manuals, or internal recording.
- Carl’s biggest achievement in the past six months
- “The financial year of 2019-2020 was our best year ever in business. So that’s a pretty big achievement, I guess, in the height of all the COVID craziness.”
- The pandemic turned into a big opportunity for Carl.
- “Day to day operations have not been disrupted for us. It’s really just meant that the market is kind of catching up to where we’ve been.”
- “When I look at the overall like global economy in general, it’s forced businesses to move what was coming in 10 years maybe. It’s just sped it up because it’s always been coming.”
- The pandemic has a huge effect on every business now, because it changes the behaviour of consumers, which changed the behaviour of the workers who are at the companies that you might be your clients. And so it changes behaviour all along the chain.
- Where does Carl see his business or the market in 12 months time?
- “I think augmented reality, virtual reality, sometime in the next 10 years, there’s going to be some really exciting things in the kind of the training coaching space in particular. I think there’ll be a lot that could change in how we do online courses, because that allows you to have a bit more interactivity with someone delivering a live class, a bit more like it is in a room, but without the room component of it.”
- Carl sees the opportunities in technology and further explains how this could mold the market.
- What is it through the last six months that’s kept Carl motivated?