There is going to be a paradigm shift in growing your business, and that is FunnelWave, the smart site application that was developed so you can finally have access to everything that you need for your business. In this episode, host Nathan Hirsch talks with the Director of Success at FunnelWave, Luis Muniz, about achieving fast, profitable growth while staying in your core genius or competency. As he narrates how he started his agency from scratch, Luis talks about his first hire, hiring virtual assistants, and working and communicating with people internationally. Giving some tips on how to make a great funnel and how to keep your clients happy while also managing your team and getting new clients, he also shares an advice to entrepreneurs who are looking to scale their business.
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My guest is FreeUp client, Luis Muniz. How are you doing, Luis?
I’m doing fantastic, Nathan. Thanks for having me on.
For those of you that don’t know, Luis has a background in management training and business planning. He’s the Director of Success at FunnelWave. He’s been working with small businesses and startups for several years, helping implement gross strategies that focus on fast, profitable growth while allowing the owners to stay in the area of core genius. Which is what we talk all about, staying inside your core competency. First, let’s take a gigantic step back. What were you like growing up? Were you a rebel? Were you a straight-A student? Did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I was full of self-limiting beliefs. I was the outcast. I was the kid who didn’t have a lot of friends, but I went to everybody else’s defense. It was an unhappy home environment. I got into a lot of fights with kids that were picking on other kids. I was always standing up for the little guy. At the end of the day, I always took responsibility for the situation that happened. What I ended up doing was it made me somebody that was willing to go against the grain and do the right thing. Even if it wasn’t the most popular thing to do, which is why we go on the way we have.
Talk to me about starting an agency from scratch. What is that first year like?
Build the back end of your business while building the front end so that you can bring in more customers and service them.
That is the most insane thing that I’ve ever experienced. I thought college was the most difficult thing that I had ever done. It took me seven years to finish. I had switched my degree several times. I faced poverty the whole way through. There were these times I picked fruit on the way home from college to be able to feed myself because I was so broke. It was this thing that I needed to have happened in my life because that first year of having an agency was like being pummeled from every direction. You had to have a strong inner voice to allow you to grit through and be determined to finish.
Talk to me about your first hire. Who was it and how did that go?
I first hired outside of FreeUp. It was not a good experience. We had a major problem that ended up causing us to revamp our entire team. Derreck and I had decided to go off to Europe and get these hires that we’d had trained and we’d spend time and effort with to run the business. We came back and nothing was done. Everything had collapsed in on itself. We had dumped a lot of money into something that was not even a minimal, buyable product. We were fed up with chasing people around, begging them to apply themselves, try to learn some things and trying every stick and carrot that I could possibly think of. We said, “This is it; we have to fire everybody.” It’s not going to work.
Was that an office? Was that remote?
We had a mix of people. We had people in our office and we also had people that we work remotely. We like to bring everybody back to the office whenever we can. We’ve always worked with people around the world in varying capacities. These initial people that I started off with, it was not working for us.
Talk to me about using FreeUp for the first time. What was that like?
It was able to go into somewhere and have fulfillment on demand. I can go in, pull a lever on something and here’s a variety of options for that solution that I need. The best thing about it was that even though some of the things that we get into at FunnelWave are niche and off the wall. We could still get somebody that had the ability to do what we needed. I didn’t have to spend hours and hours searching for it. You have to understand that before FreeeUp, I was spending hours and weeks at a time trying to get one project done. Now I’m firing at all stops, left and right.
What is your process like when you’re hiring a freelancer, a virtual assistant? Walk us through that.
We use a different approach. I’m assuming than many people. My partner, Derreck Smallwood, is an organizational genius. For years, I have been talking to Derreck about organizational management theory. That says, “There is a set pattern of things that you can do inside of your business to have two outcomes. That is productivity and long-term retention inside of your business.” What happens when you get people that aren’t willing to apply themselves, you have to search for days and weeks to find an applicant. Especially in nowadays’ marketplace was in the US we’re facing the fiercest job market in the past 60 years. It was a recipe for disaster.
What we did was we implemented a process in Trello and Slack. Wherein we bring a lot of people into the business and we say, “Listen, this is the project that I have.” Nathan makes a lot of people available to us. We start running them through a process, “Here’s my documentation.” In this documentation, it’s going to tell you the next step. If you don’t read that then you don’t ever get passed the first invitation. Once you’re in the second stage, “Here’s the Trello board that you’re going to work on. You need to go through, read all these cards. There are going to be the next steps that you need to take to move on to the next process.” It’s built-in such a way that those people that are willing to apply themselves and to get the work done. They quickly rise at the top of the ladder. I already have people that are team leaders and taking care of projects. I have some people that are chasing me for more work which is what I want because in the past it was always the other way.
As a leader, everything is your fault and your problem.
Talk to me about communication. You’ve got all these people. They’re all over the world. You’re using Trello, how are you communicating? How often are you communicating?
My background for my degree is in international business. It puts us in some areas of specialty for working with people internationally. To be entirely candid here, Derreck’s ability to organize and use the different technology that is available to use these days is the key to this operation which is never expected. What we do is we bring people in and we implement Slack so that we have first and foremost, a record, a searchable database for all of our interactions with these people. That gives me the ability to switch people in and out of positions. That person didn’t work out, or they need to take the week off, I got another person. They jump right into the thread and they continue on. They can see the complete history of what was going on.
It’s the same thing with Trello. With Trello we’re able to have multiple teams that operate in different departments. For example, I have a website development team. I have a podcast development team. I have a branding team. I have team leaders. The best people get to be in the leadership position but everybody else that would be the assistant, the support, the X, Y, Z thing to get that department up and running. They’re able to be switched out until I get the people that I need to be in there. Everything is as searchable as Slack. You can use searches. You can use a lot of organizational processes using the Kanban board. These tools are finally able to be properly used in my business because Nathan connects me with people that have the relevant background. On the management side of things, I know what it takes in order to grow a business and use good operational tools. If you can’t get a team to use them, then it doesn’t matter. I don’t have that problem anymore.
I know you have the 2 Comma Club Award. What do you think holds agencies back from getting to that higher level, maybe someone who’s doing five figures? They want to do six, they want to do seven, they want to do eight. What’s holding those agency owners back or business owners back?
There are two main things that I have identified that hold these people back. This is a problem both for the agency and every single one of their clients. If you specialize in Facebook Ads, SEO, or building websites, you do that thing. That’s all that you do though. In order to get more revenue into the business, you have to go acquire more clients. I’ve been in that position. What happens when quality does not apply to what you’re doing? All of a sudden, you start to have turned. You have high expenses. You’re not able to scale fast enough.
For the customers, this is a problem because now your agency isn’t bringing in the quality of leads. If the customer, the client has the leads coming in and they’re turning into paying customers, they have a lot more revenue available to pay the agency. Sometimes they try and add a few other services, websites, SEO that goes together. Google Ads, sometimes. At the end of the day you, the agency owner, are not trying to expand your operational sphere which you could barely do, to begin with. You have to learn a whole new world of things. This prevents you from building your funnel. Build the back end of your business while building the frontend of the business so that you can bring in more customers and service them.
I know funnel is your area of expertise. Where do people go wrong in the funneling? What are some tips you can give the average entrepreneur not to make a good funnel but to make a great funnel?
The thing that you have to understand, if you’re new to funnels especially, is the concept of the average cart value. What is the value of each customer that you have coming in? Sometimes people tell me, “Luis, I only offer Facebook ads. I only do X, Y, Z things. I don’t want to have multiple, different offers out there.” Do you know what happens when you have multiple offers? You can change the average cart value. Once you have multiple, different products, and multiple different entry points for doing business with you, you can have a lead not be a cost. A lead can be a revenue-generating source. Additionally, once you break even on that lead revenue-generating source, that’s your lead gen, not closing. The lead gen, what happens is that you can have a break-even situation. Breakeven, that’s a formula for $1 million business. You can acquire new customers without investing any new money in it. That keeps you from having to take on outside investment because the truth is, I love Shark Tank. Those guys are taking your best efforts in the business. You don’t need some outside investors to come to drop $1 million if you can hit breakeven. Breakeven is the bare minimum. You should be trying to profit.
One of the things that agency owners do wrong is they’re focused on getting new leads and new customers but they’re not taking care of the current customers they have. I call it a leak in the business where those customers over time slowly start to dip away. Some people that are hiring freelancers maybe struggled to keep quality control. How do you keep clients happy? How do you keep that going while also managing your team, while also getting new clients?
You need to make sure that you treat both of these people with the same type of philosophy. All too often I have to preach to my customers about the customer experience, the customer journey and the fact that when you get this right, not only is each customer worth more money to you, but they bring their friends and family with them as well. When it comes to our contractors, we treat them like dirt because I am paying you to do a job. That is not the philosophy to have. You should be working on the experience, making things quick, making them easy, and making them a lot to stick with you. You know what happens when you do that and you take out that little bit of effort to make sure that your contractors have a quality experience, they do a better job. They make you more money. They produce more revenue, take that approach in both avenues with an experience-based business. You’re going to see a recipe for a multimillion-dollar company in no time.
Through collaboration with other people, you can quickly get the knowledge and resources that you need even if you’re a tiny business.
It’s the same whether it’s a contractor in your office, or a virtual assistant in the Philippines, a freelancer, white label partnership. Let’s say you’re working with another agency that’s doing your fulfillment. You want to have a good relationship with that. You want to treat them well even though you’re paying them. I completely agree with that. What else? What did I miss? What advice can you give the entrepreneurs who are looking to scale their business?
The advice that I would give them is we need to work on your mentorship network. Make sure that you have the right people advising you out there. All too often, I see people paying for coaching programs. From people that, yes, they will get you somewhere. Yes, they do know something. Yes, they have made money. How difficult and how long do you want to spend on this? When you have a good mentorship network, it gets you close for free opportunities to promote yourself, promote your business, to get knowledge and resources. I’m learning stuff on almost every single solitary call I’m on, whether they’re prospects or they’re a partnership, or X, Y, Z other things. Sometimes, it’s vendors that supply things for my company. It gives me the ability to expand and to reach all kinds of people.
Additionally, you need to make sure that you are absolutely focusing on scaling. Here’s why I am somebody. I’m going to tell it to you guys like this because people sometimes tend to think that I’m okay about spending other people’s money. Growing up, I was homeless. I have slept in a bush. I have eaten hotdogs for months at a time. I have gone to sleep not knowing where my next meal is going to come from. I can make a penny scream. There’s nobody that survives more than me.
When I started working with Derreck, my partner, he helped me understand that in order to win that 2 Comma level work, that there was going to have to be a paradigm shift in my mind where I said, “I’m going to go deeper. I’m going to apply more. I’m going to have this, and I’m going to spend to get to where I want to be.” I realized that I was going to have to offer a wide variety of products being an expert in my area and be able to apply myself in such a way that it would cashflow the business. When you work with somebody that has a mentorship network or has the solutions to everything that you need in your business, no longer are you the limitation. Through collaboration with other people, you can quickly get the tools, knowledge, and resources that you need even if you’re a tiny business.
For example, when Derreck and I started to do FunnelWave full- time, I went from a guy who’s had multiple failed businesses and seen good people by themselves for years make pennies. To somebody who was able to do $100,000 worth of business in the first 90 days, that was life trends for me. These things work. They absolutely change you. They will change your business. Things finally get easy.
Any last thoughts on hiring remote or on FreeUp?
Do it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t think about it. Hire and hire a lot. Give these people a good chance. Know that as a leader, everything’s your fault and your problem. The solution to it even is that you have to go in there and offer an organized system and process to help these people come on board and be prepared to win. If you hire somebody and you’ve put nothing in place before them, it’s your fault that they failed. If something doesn’t work and you didn’t learn the reason why it didn’t work and make changes to make it work, you’re never going to hit success. It’s not an experience problem. It’s not your customer’s problem. You’re the problem. Identify the problems. Put things into place and keep moving until you hit the next one. Business is a series of problems that we’re going to solve.
Where can people find out more about you? What are you most excited about?
I’m most excited about the fact that there is going to be a paradigm shift in growing your business. In that it’s FunnelWave and the smart site application that we’ve developed, you can finally have access to everything that you need for your business. No longer are you going to have to go to somebody for lead gen, and then somebody else for advice, and then somewhere else for marketing and budgeting. We are going to be able to bring the people everything that they need to scale from zero to $1 million so that people that are good at one area of their business can do that one thing and succeed. Hard-working individuals should succeed. This is America, the land of opportunity. You can find us at FunnelWave.com or find us on Facebook. Search FunnelWave and you’ll find our business page. The lines are always manned. Come and hit us up if you’re looking for fast, easy business growth without having to take on outside investment.
Thanks for coming on.
Thank you, Nathan, I appreciate it.
Luis Muniz With a background in management training and business planning, Luis Muniz is the director of Success at Funnelwave.
Luis muniHas been working with small businesses and startup for several years helping implement growth strategies that focus on fast profitable growth while allowing the owners to stay in their area of core genius.
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