Sink Handle Podcast Episode 13 G2 (1)

Episode # 13 - What Kind of Help Do You Need? w/ Jenni Davis

There has been a lot of talk around here about getting help, but what kind of help do you need?  Today, I have asked Jenni David to help me walk through the different options out there, from virtual assistant to Director of Ops, and what you can expect.

This week’s episode features Certified Director of Ops and Certified OBM, Jenni Davis, of JMD Business Solutions. We talk about all of the different types of virtual help available to business owners.  We explore hiring in the online space, the different levels of experience to hire from, and how that differs from the typical hiring practices of the corporate world.  

Topics Covered:

  • The many different types of online help and how they operate
  • Acceptable rate expectations for different levels of online help
  • Common industry myths

 

Jenni Davis is the founder of JMD Business Solutions. Since 2007, Jenni has worked with 6 figure businesses as a Profit Strategist and Trusted Advisor. Working across a broad range of industries, she has helped her clients build wealth and profit by cleaning up and maintaining the financial structure of business through operational efficiencies.  Jenni is a self described Nerdy Numbers Girl, who teaches that Profit does not happen by accident. It is a well crafted machine that is developed over time with streamlined systems, proper finance management, and teaching business owners to find their passion and purpose while watching the profits grow. 

When Jenni is not partnering with her clients, she can be found spending time with her 3 grown children and husband of 32 years. She also enjoys riding her bike on the beach, or cuddling up with a good cuppa tea.

Featured on this show: 

Kelly Reynolds 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Episode 13. Today I have a special guest with me, her name is Jenny Davis. She is from JMD business solutions. And she is my friend. And I've asked her as my first guest because we are going to talk today about getting help and the kinds of help that you have out there. And previous episodes, we talked a lot about getting help for our businesses and the kind of things we need to think about in talking to some new business owners, it has become very clear that they don't know what kind of help is available to them. I've brought up a virtual assistant and no one really seems to know what that is. So I figured that we should talk about that. And I thought Jenny would be perfect. So Jenny is a certified director of operations and online business manager. I came from the wall street side of things, but Jenny comes from the accounting side. So she's going to kind of fill in a little bit of the things that I don't really know. So welcome, Jenny. It's great to have you here.

 

Jenny Davis 

Thanks, Kelly. I'm so excited to be here and to be your guests. I can't wait to chat with you.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

This is great. Well, we can easily chat forever. So let's get to it. Because as my audience knows, I like to just talk and ramble sometimes. Okay, so today we're talking about what kind of help is out there. I think it's really important to have a distinction between the corporate side that a lot of you may have come from where things are, that are really important are titles (like Vice President, Senior Vice President, director) like all of those things are very, very important. And I feel like the online world is much more about function and the outcome that matters. You are a Facebook ads manager or something like that.

 

Jenny Davis 

Yeah, the terminology is a little bit different coming from corporate into the online space for sure.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah. And I think that it's, it's a, it's a different world, and you don't really, you know, and there's a lot of terms that get thrown around that. There, there isn't a clean definition for so one person may think one thing one person may think it means another. So we thought we'd kind of chat through these today. First one virtual assistant. What, what is? What's the first thing you think of there?

 

Jenny Davis 

Well, I think that a lot of people just new to the online space. They don't know what they don't know what a VA, a virtual assistant is. A good comparison to a VA would be someone that would be considered a remote worker. So someone not coming into the office working remotely from home, and that might help them understand the role of a VA, which can be many things,  a VA. It's a very broad term,

 

Kelly Reynolds 

right? Yeah. I think a lot of people that come and think it's just like a secretary. I don't even know that word doesn't even get used anymore. Somebody called me up the other day with that kind of idea of like, Oh, they do data entry. But that is such a teeny little part of what they do. They can pretty much do... anything.

 

Jenny Davis 

Yeah. VAs are my superheroes.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Oh, yeah.

 

Jenny Davis 

I mean, they can do anything. And these, like you said, they're not entry level. We have VAs that can do, what?, we have Facebook marketing we have you know, you have your social VA you have your, your tech VA, your general admin VA. So many.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah, and I think that's a good that was a my gonna be my next one because tech VA i think is a huge one. It's almost its own thing, tech person who can go in there and do all the tech things that you don't know how to do, especially if you've come from somewhere else, where you've never had to do any of this virtual work before. Or you have to set up something new. Like I was just telling everyone last week that I can't figure out ConvertKit I haven't done I have to figure that out. Or I would hire a tech VA. So that's that kind of virtual assistant. It's the help... I want to see "worker bees" but I don't know if that's insulting.

 

Jenny Davis 

I think they're fantastic. I mean, I do accounting, I don't do tech. So when when there's a question about one of my programs Dubsado or Active Campaign, you know, it's my VA that I run to you because she is a wizard. She knows all of it.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yes

 

Jenny Davis 

I wouldn't be able to function without her

 

Kelly Reynolds 

I feel like a lot of people will start at VA, that will be their first hire because they can be so flexible, those General V's, I can jump in and figure things out. That's where I started. What Alright, so this is I think comes up a lot is like the idea of what we should pay them. And I think it's a very controversial thing to use foreign VAs for $2 an hour versus US VAs for a living wage and all of that, and I don't want to get into a huge thing about it. But where would you put the range of like a US? General VA, just so people have an idea of like what they should expect, and they're not insulting people.

 

Jenny Davis 

So I think a general VA would start somewhere in the 15 to $25 an hour range, probably more the latter of that. And then of course, it goes up from there, depending on their specialty.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah, and more skilled, more experience. Yeah, yeah, I agree with that.

 

Jenny Davis 

And the other nice thing about a VA is this isn't a regular employee on payroll. This is generally a contractor.  You purchase sets of hours, and your overhead stays low. But yet the work is getting done, they can get it done twice as fast as you can try to figure it out. I mean, there's so many benefits to it.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah. And there's also the idea of like, we have to remember, they're independent contractors, right, which a lot of people don't, they've always been like W2, they've always been full time having an independent contractor, they don't get paid minimum wage because they have to pay both their taxes. And like all the taxes, the company's not paying any of that they also have to buy their own computer or all the other things that normally a corporation would provide independent rates versus a W2 rate in a corporate environment are very, very different things. I just want to point that out. In case anyone's was like, Oh my god, $25 an hour. So we talked about general admin. So there's tech VAs, there's marketing VAs that are really into building out the marketing part or they're great at social media. A lot of VAs don't call themselves VAs. They call themselves a social media manager or they call themselves a marketing coordinator or something like that, so that they sound much more like a business owner instead of just like a secretary, right?

 

Jenny Davis 

Because they are a business owner. This is their business. And they're and that's another point, Kelly is that these are not employees that you're hiring and giving that job description to, and they're just checking the list off. They have an investment in this, it's their business. They want to do good work for you, because they want the business to continue. And they want those good reviews to come from you as well because they work with multiple clients, like we do.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah, totally. Your reputation. This world is very small, this online world and your reputation, it matters and it, it travels fast when you don't do well. You know, this is going to be Jenny's expertise more than mine. A lot of people think because I'm a finance that I know anything about accounting. I don't I got out of accounting and second year of college because my classes were at 8am and it didn't work for me. So I would love for Jenny, for you to explain the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant because I don't think most people think that there's anything different. They don't think there's anything different between Wall Street. It's like there's so many different sectors here. I do bookkeeping. I'm not a bookkeeper. I'm definitely not an accountant. Can you shed some light on the different aspects here?

 

Jenny Davis 

Yes, gosh, yes. This is a big question. A lot of times, a lot of people use these two jobs interchangeably, but they are definitely not the same. Although an accountant can do anything a bookkeeper can do. You'd be a bit surprised if you hired your accountant to do the bookkeeping requirements of your business. When you got the invoice, obviously, they're gonna cost a lot more than a bookkeeper is gonna charge you. So what is the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper? Very different. a bookkeeper is hired to organize your financial data. So you want to bring the bookkeeper in to organize all your income from the accounts in which that is Income flows in. So checking accounts, Stripe, PayPal accounts, anything that the income is flowing through, they're going to be managing those type of accounts. They're going to be coding all of this income and expenses and producing the financial reporting for the business.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

And then bank reconciliations, which was a big thing with me.  Reconciloe your bank accounts people!

 

Jenny Davis 

Yes. Yes, it was so important. So important. So yes, we want him to reconcile the bank accounts that make sure that we're accounting for absolutely everything that's flowing through there, depending on the level of bookkeeper that you have there several tiers and types of bookkeepers. I mean, you can have a bookkeeper that's working solely at compliance level, just to get those taxes done at the end of the year for you. And then you can have a bookkeeper that is a higher tier bookkeeper, that is doing some more of those CFO jobs for you, and helping you analyze those financial reports, maybe tracking metrics, things like that cash flow, of course. accountant, generally in this arena, this online business world is going to be for tax accounting. It's really where you see the need for that. They're the ones that are going to come in, they're going to let you know about your estimated tax payments set you up for that. They're going to probably consult with you for tax projections through the year, and then complete your yearly tax return. But generally what you're going to see it an accountant doing in this industry.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

That's great. Yeah, I mean, they're very different things. They're very different things. You know what I mean? Like, I can't do any work, I don't do taxes. My Account also I'm big on going okay, what should we do here? What is the advice? They are the advice givers, especially like with PPP money or if you got an EIDL lone? All that we've talked about those together.  Yeah, is like trying to figure out what we do with the money what I'm allowed to do. They're the ones who know the laws, which I think is the other reason I'm not an accountant. I just want to be a really highly paid bookkeeper. I I love numbers. I do not like laws. So I didn't want to know any of that. But They are the ones who are going to know all that like, what what can you write off what you can do not write off mine has been a big help in that, which all of this is very different than what I used to do in Wall Street. I used to trade stocks, I have no idea of any of this. And that's the funny thing is everyone thinks I'm going to know how to do their taxes. And I'm like, I have no idea how to do your taxes. That's why I want everyone out there to understand all these different things really are different jobs. So we've gotten we've talked about virtual assistants, the different kinds like tech VA, or marketing VAs and that kind of thing. bookkeeper and accountant. Now, I think there's another one that we were going to talk about, because we're both director of operations, and we're both online business managers certified, both of us. And there is there's very few of us that crossover to both. A lot of people think they're redundant. I don't think they are at all. I love them both. I'm still in both of the associations. I'm still involved in both of them. And I think they're they have different strengths. Jenny and I were going to go through this is well, this question comes up a lot on social media, like I don't understand why you do both. I don't understand what it is. What's the differences? I think I did the OBM first. That to me is much more marketing bent, and more launch based. So if you're, you're, you're, you have a course you're selling and you launch a big sales pitch twice a year, three times a year, whatever that is that kind of project management around that. That's a big part of the OBM.

 

Jenny Davis 

Yeah, and I would say also, with the OBM certification, it's kind of like the VA leveling up.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah.

 

Jenny Davis 

Someone that maybe has been working as a VA, they probably have been doing OBM work as a VA. And at this point, they're, they're going to level up their business. So they're gonna, instead of just focusing in on one area, they're gonna become a manager over all of it become step into that OBM role and start managing for the online business owner.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah, yeah, managing the team and the like that operation side of it too.

 

Jenny Davis 

Right. Launch launch.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah. So then the other side, which we are both newer to, I think we both did the OBM first, right, and then we both did the DOO. So Director of Operations, that is it's less launch base. I mean, obviously, people are doing that kind of work with launches. But I think it's less focused on that. I think it's more kind of like a corporate at. What did you say before? What did you call before you were saying something? It's much more like, Oh,

 

Jenny Davis 

  yeah, I I, when I look at when I think about the DOO role, I think about it as 'over departments' , where I think the DOO role focuses more in on definitely the HR side of business.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yes!

 

Jenny Davis 

...and...

 

Kelly Reynolds 

That's a major component of it, yeah.

 

Jenny Davis 

Finance, where those are things that are touched on- well actually finances isn't touched on with the OBM, but are touched on slightly in the OBM realm, but really focused heavy in on the DOO side.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah, it's much much more of like a Chief Operating Officer kind of idea for this virtual world, instead of more of a launching manager, Marketing Manager kind of thing. So these roles are much more high level and more expensive, because they're, most of us are coming with some kind of corporate background or at least business experience of our own before we start this, these, the Director Of Operations, Online Business Manager, these are things that you level up to, or you've come from a high level in corporate, and then you've kind of moved over into this virtual version of that. You were some kind of department head or something like that. And now you're, you're going virtual. I think that's the route that comes in there. So you're getting a higher level service. These are not people that are just going to type numbers into the spreadsheet.

 

Jenny Davis 

Exactly. Exactly. Right. Well, they're, they're coming from a position of leadership, either one.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yes, that's a big thing.

 

Jenny Davis 

I mean, they have to know how to lead their teams and and manage and the one thing that is very similar in both is the project management portion of those jobs,

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Which I think everyone who is managing anything online or not, has to have be able to move a project along in some way right. Otherwise, nothing gets done. You're going to charge the I feel like it's the lower rates here, just so I'm getting like these are just ballparking figures, but I want to run out there kind of have a ballpark of what we're looking at, for the VA could start at 15 to 25, as a general, then go up to like tech fees, it could be from there up, right 40s, 50s, depending, I think the deal will be, they're starting $65-75 an hour, on average, I want you to think that way through, that's not maybe the structure that maybe they have a rate a package rate or attain or something like that. But just so people understand you're getting a higher level person, but you're charging, you're getting charged more.

 

Jenny Davis 

Exactly. And these higher level positions are also generally only working retainer, you're not you're not paying an hourly rate for them. So you're you're purchasing a retainer fee each month for them to complete, you know, whatever it is that you're doing, whether with the DOO it's on ongoing support, monthly support or within OBM through a major launch or whatever project that they're working on.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah. So and it's, they're also team management. So someone would be expected to also hire other team members other VAs, let's say or, and some people, obviously Everyone has their focus. You and I are much more finance people, but we do hiring, whereas some other people are much more HR focused and they don't want to look at finance.

 

Jenny Davis 

Exactly! We're a special breed Kelly, we are,

 

Kelly Reynolds 

we are a special breed. So where would we need one of these? What what level Do you think your business needs to be at? Before you are looking at being ready for a DOO/ OBM?

 

Jenny Davis 

I think you definitely need to be in the six figure range for sure. Yeah. So you know, if you're not already seeing profit in your business, you need to be at the point where you know, you're ready to hand the reins over especially at the DOO level, you're ready to hand that reins, the reins over to your number two, which is going to be your DOO to run run the show, while you are doing revenue producing activities,

 

Kelly Reynolds 

right? Yeah, you're gonna go out and make more money. So this person can run things. So you're out of the day to day, I think that's one of the biggest benefits to hiring someone like that. They come in, and they're like, I'm gonna run this while you go make some money and going, like you got to the thing, I'm gonna run this stuff. I'm gonna run the show. And you, I think the six figure is definitely the minimum because you have to pay this person a couple grand a month, you have to be making enough to be able to afford to make those kind of investments.

 

Jenny Davis 

Exactly. And like you said, it is definitely at minimum.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah.

 

Jenny Davis 

So now you might be able to bring an OBM in a little sooner because that's more project, fewer doing a launch, you might hire and OBM to manage that. But on an ongoing regular basis, you definitely need to be above that six figure ring. Yeah,

 

Kelly Reynolds 

you need to be able to afford this people. Just like all the other conversations we've had about money in this podcast. You have to be able to afford things.  You need to figure out if you can afford them. I have a business for that you should go my website. Okay, and then from there, there are the specialty things. You're not going to have them in your business all the time. But they you might bring in a branding expert if you're going to rebrand everything. Or you might have a Facebook ads person who is dedicated to running really good ads and know what works. They know how to do everything. And there's lots of great ones out there where a funnel builders or that you're not going to expect your virtual assistant here paying $20 to know how to do all of your bookkeeping and run your funnels and do your ads. And I don't know, pick up a dry cleaning and take care of your kids. Like there are some job descriptions out I've seen that are like, and I'd like you to make dinner and it has to be organic and I'm gluten free. Like you're like that's impossible. None of this can be true. And you want to pay me nothing. So yeah, we see a lot of very, very interesting job descriptions. Yeah. What are some? Is there any common myth you think? is out there on these kind of different positions besides the fact that a bookkeeper is an accountant, and an  accountant is a bookkeepers?

 

Jenny Davis 

Oh my gosh, what's the biggest one. I think? Yeah. Um, well, I think that, like you just said with the VA is, you know, you have to really be clear. You have to define what these job positions are that you're hiring for, you know, any good any good business owner should if they don't already have it need to have a job description laid out, processes in place so that when you get this qualified person and hopefully that's what you're hiring as a qualified person, that that you're treating them right? Because a lot of times you know, you have the myths are that you get these terrible VAs that you they've come in and they wreck everything. My belief is that generally, there isn't bad employees, there are bad managers. You know, we have we have we have to provide our staff with what they need so they can excel at what they're good at.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

I couldn't agree with you more. And I want you all to hear out there that Jenny said you should need, you should have systems as well. That's what I harp on every week is that you need systems and you need to be clear, and there should be no scope creep, everyone should know what's going on. Right? So it's not just me saying all these things, Denny agrees with me. So that means we're both right. Because it's important, if you want this person to stay, they need to be happy, and they need to feel like they know what their job is, and that they can do it. Well. They've done how many studies where it doesn't matter how much money you make, if you feel like you're doing a crappy job, or you feel like you're never you're in a no win situation, you're never going to be happy and you're not going to stay. Even if you pay extra. It doesn't matter. You have to treat them well. And that's also the thing like job description, onboarding, all that kind of stuff. Ah, we could get we could talk right days on that.

 

Jenny Davis 

Forever. Right? Yeah. I would say we we want to always treat them well. Find out what their love language is. Do you love flowers. Do you love really cool pens? Do you? Like, if you're a nerd like me give me a good pin any day. That is one good pen though. Yeah, good pen for my notes.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

I'm a note writer. There's notebooks everywhere. They're not in the screenshot right now, but Johnny can see but their notebooks everywhere.

 

Jenny Davis 

You know, appreciate them, appreciate them, find out what their love language is and appreciate them when you when you bring on those new hires.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Yeah, I highly agree. my team's been with me a while years at this point. And I'm making sure that they're told all the time how wonderful they are and, and send things and I take care of them. Yeah. And I'm also very clear with them like what they expect they expect. I don't call them at 2am on a Saturday and expect them to do work, things like that. I totally agree that bad managers make a mess. So that's what we're not going to be we are going to be great managers out there. We are going to get our systems together. We're going to know what's going on. We're gonna have contracts and look at things. Last week we were talking about this, we were talking about all the things that we were going to put in place so that we had a really great setup. I think Jenny is proving that I know I'm talking about. So (at least on this) I want you to get out there and start thinking about what kind of help you want. And then think about what a job description is, even if you've never seen a job description. Just write down all the things you might think you need. Like, I would like this person to do these three things, make them real easy, and then just start small. And then you'll figure it out. I was a terrible manager. I'd never had a manager on Wall Street. I didn't have to manage in my business here. And then all of a sudden a team. And the first couple of hackers, I can tell you, we're not great. And it was my fault because I was a pain in the ass and I didn't know I was doing and they didn't work out well. And I worked really hard on figuring out how to be better and treat them well and be clear. And I think those are the overarching themes, right? We're both on that. So uh, I want to thank Jenny so very, very much for being my first guest on this podcast and so excited to get to talk to her because I like talking to her. So you will be able to find her everywhere on the show notes all of her stuff, but she is JMD Business Solutions. Where can they find you out there?

 

Jenny Davis 

Oh, well, they can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and my website.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

Fantastic. I will put everything in the show notes. You can find Jenny if you need help. So nice to have you. Thank you so much for being here.

 

Jenny Davis 

Thanks, Kelly. I really enjoyed it.

 

Kelly Reynolds 

And for all of you out there, start thinking about what you want, what kind of help you want, get a job description, just write down a couple things you need and then you can start to get clear. And then you can ask for help with all these different kinds of help that are out there. Alright guys, I will talk to you next week.