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Chris LoCurto


July 1, 2014

Knowing When and Who to Hire [Podcast]

Today’s podcast is all about hiring – when to hire, who to hire and how to bring on team members that aren’t directly generating revenue.

Subscribe to the podcast: iTunes  Stitcher Radio  SoundCloud

As a solopreneur, when you’re trying to build a business, you’re wearing a lot of hats. In the early phases, when you’re just starting to create revenue, subcontractors are a great way to get tasks done without investing in a salaried position. Always focus on creating revenue before hiring.

Once you’re moving in the direction of bringing on a full-time team member, for me, it comes down to looking at either a sales person or an assistant. A sales person will cost justify immediately. If they sell something, you pay them. If they don’t sell something, you don’t pay them. It’s not a fixed expense. Now, here’s the flip side, what if you are the great sales person and don’t have enough time to do everything else? That’s when you bring on a administrative person. When the administrative stuff is off of your plate, you’re freed up to bring in more revenue. Make sure you’re just not covering their salary with the extra revenue, ideally the extra time will allow you to generate two to three times what you’re paying in salary.

From there, when it comes to hiring an accountant or graphic designer or marketing person it all comes back to cost justifying the position.

Accounting: I’m of the philosophy that in the beginning you do all of your own accounting so you understand the P&L process. As you grow and have a lot of receipts or invoices, utilize a small business book keeper that specialized in accounting and tax  services. Later on, when you’ve got team members generating outside expenses and using debit cards, etc. then it might be time to bring on a salaried accountant. Make sure that person doesn’t just understand the books but understands the P&L process. When it’s time to hire a CFO, this absolutely has to be someone that’s experienced and can show your team how to win and take the business to an entirely different level by guiding and leading. At this time, you’d have around 40 people on your team and would be generating at least a million dollars in net profit.

Human Resources: You’re not going to hire an HR person early on. I want you doing all of those interviews and as you hire leaders, they can do the interviews and get with you towards the end of the process. A big piece of HR is creating culture. How do you establish your companies culture? How do you make sure you’re bring on someone with the right culture? Force the culture that you want or your new hires will bring the culture from their last organization and force it on you. When you’re generating half a million dollars in net profit, that’s when it’s time to start looking for a salaried HR person. If you’ve got plenty of revenue, bring on a rockstar. This is someone who has plenty of experience and can show you how they’ve brought success people into businesses and helped grow leadership.

Here’s a recap of the whole process, from start to growth:

  • Start with subcontractors so you’re not bringing on full-time hires.
  • When it’s time to bring on a team member ask yourself, “What is the most important role I can bring on that’s going to create more revenue and cost justify itself?”
  • If it’s a sales person, they must cost justify themselves. If it’s an admin person, you’re freed up time will cost justify their fixed expense.
  • Make sure you’re adding people according to your needs.
  • Non-revenue generating positions must always cost justify. You need to have plenty of revenue so you can watch and make sure you’re doing the right thing for the business.
  • Later on, start bringing on heavy hitters that will explode your growth.

Question: What are your hiring questions?


Chris LoCurto


March 4, 2014

Steps to Grow Your Business [Podcast]

March 4, 2014 | By | 6 Comments">6 Comments

Today’s podcast is my response to a great question that came in on the blog from Matt Ham:
Chris – how do you decide the next right steps when processing through growing a business? Is there a particular order that you recommend?

Subscribe to the podcast: iTunes  Stitcher Radio  SoundCloud

  1. Revenue: It’s all about revenue in the beginning phases. Where there is no margin, there is no business. If you’re not actually making revenue, guess what, you don’t have a business! Utilize guerilla marketing and social media to build your platform as inexpensively as possible. Once you’re making a profit and the business is humming, move to the next step.
  2. Hires: Who do you hire first? Based on the first step, I’m always going to start with a sales person. Why? I need to bring revenue in and a sales person cost justifies. If they don’t sell, they don’t get paid. Now, if you are the one selling and doing an incredible job, you’d be best served to hire an admin person to take tasks off your plate that keep you from selling. Admin people are a fixed expense. If you don’t have the revenue, be careful on the budget balance.
  3.  Marketing: Think tactically not expensively. What can you do with your website? Is it functional and aesthetic? What can you do with SEO like keywords, adwords, content creation, etc. How can you continue to bolster your platform by spending a little bit of money?  Sneak peak – we’re going to be launching marketing coaching soon. 
  4. Strategic: Up until this point, you should be focused on the here and now. Once you get to this step, you should start thinking 6 months to a year out. What can you do as far as future initiatives? Are you launching new products or services? What about marketing strategies? What is the most important thing to grow the company in the next 6 months. Don’t just drop ideas into place and hope they work out. You need a system that outlines the most important thing to do going forward. After our Strategic Planning events, businesses usually leave with 4 to 6 initiatives and they leave knowing nothing is more important that those items. If you focus on those things, you grow.

Those are the steps I’d go through if I was a small business starting out or growing. On the next episode, we’re going to be answering any question you have about the process of strategic planning or our event. Comment on this post and be sure to listen for the answer on The Chris LoCurto Show next week!

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Question: What do you want to know about Strategic Planning?

Chris LoCurto


April 23, 2012

4 Things You Should Never Do In A Job Interview

Interviews are never really fun. I don’t know anyone who says, “I love going on interviews.”  If they did, I would be seriously worried about them. They are probably a career interviewer.

Most people dread the interview because they aren’t sure exactly what they should or shouldn’t say. I completely understand this. I’ve been on a few myself. But I have a lot of experience doing the actual interviews. And since I’ve been behind the desk more than in front of it, I’ve had plenty of time to discover the things I don’t want to hear from a candidate.

Here are just a few interview downfalls:

Leaders, pay attention. You should be looking out for these too.

  • Do you sail? – Growing up in Lake Tahoe, I spent many of my summers sailing. In my old office, I had two pictures of old wooden sailboats and a model of a wooden sailboat. It wasn’t uncommon for and interviewee (or a salesperson) to ask if I sail. That alone, no problem. But when you try to talk like an expert on sailing and you have no clue about sailing, I’m done with the discussion. Taking that tack (sorry) is great when you know about a subject. It’s a bad choice when you don’t.
  • Do you have dental? – I have absolutely no problem with you wanting to know what our company benefits are. But when you ask me early on in the interview about them, you show me one very important thing: You’re all about getting a j.o.b. instead of being on fire for the opportunity I’m offering. I’m still doing the interview, but I’ve also gone on to doing other work in my head.
  • No, I’m good. – No matter how much you feel like you know about the position you’re interviewing for, remember to ask some questions.  Have at least three ready. If not, then once again, it tells me that you’re not really going after something you’re passionate about. It’s just a j.o.b.
  • I can do that – Never tell me that you can do the job that I have available. Show me how excited you are about the position and that you would be so lucky to have it. It’s crazy how many people I’ve interviewed say, “Yeah, I can do that.”  No you can’t–at least not for me. I want someone who wants the job.

These are just four of the many things you shouldn’t do on a job interview. But if there’s one thing I know about my commenters, you’re about to get more incredible advice.

Question: What other things should someone not do in a job interview?