A lot of people say, “I’m comfortable with investing in people and paying them market rates and all this kind of crap” – I think that’s bullshit. A lot of people tell themselves that, but in practice they don’t, and they really don’t do it unless they have funding. –Ross Andrew Paquette
Hi everyone! Today we talk about making tough calls to grow your business with Ross Andrew Paquette. Ross is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Maropost. The company was founded in 2011 and has grown to become a fully unified customer engagement platform designed to provide a single solution for all areas of business—across marketing, commerce, service, and more.
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In the early stages of the company, I did a lot of things on my own, which I’m always very happy that I did. Being a company that didn’t take any funding, we didn’t have the ability to hire a VP of Sales, VP of HR – every VP-of-everything wasn’t an option.
By having to get involved in all those areas, I gained an understanding of not only what it takes to build and grow a business but an appreciation for what’s required to accomplish those roles, and an understanding of how things operate.
I don’t have a finance or marketing background, but I very much understand those roles. I had to go out and generate leads as a marketer; I had to go manage our customer billing from a finance perspective. I had to do a lot of those tasks at a time when we were actually quite large – we had six people in the organization doing about 7 or 8 million in revenue.
I believe a big part of us being able to get there was taking the time to really learn all those areas, as opposed to saying, “We’ll just go hire somebody for that and I’m just the overseer of everything that’s happening today.”
I don’t think I really appreciated the fact that if I invested maybe $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 a year or more, I would get a significant increase in the quality of the individual. It was more like, “This person just needs to do this job, what’s the least amount of money I can pay to get that job done?”
But then I never considered, “I paid that person $60,000, but if I paid $90,000, I wouldn’t have to deal with issues 1-10.” I’m paying on one side or the other.
A lot of people say, “I’m comfortable with investing in people and paying them market rates and all this kind of crap” – I think that’s bullshit. A lot of people tell themselves that, but in practice they don’t, and they really don’t do it unless they have funding.
Where I see a lot of organizations get into trouble is they make these decisions – pandering or as I would call it, “being held hostage”, which is a more dramatic version of that. They bring in people under a certain pretense, and I think most organizations are very transparent about that.
This is what you’re going to get for benefits, this is our office, these are the perks, the package – all of those things are quite clear. But then people come in and it’s like, “OK, well why don’t we have bean bag chairs? Why don’t we have Starbucks coffee? Why don’t we have these office upgrades? Why don’t we have standing desks? Why don’t I have a wide-screen monitor?”
The list goes on. And I feel like organizations sort of get into this circular approach of pandering or being held hostage by everybody where they feel like, “OK, we have to do this.” But what if you really can’t do that?
There’s a cost to all of these things. If you can’t afford to do that today, but you end up having to do it because you’re worried about people leaving or acquiring new talent and such, what is that going to mean for the future of your business?
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