Building Internal Tools First

In now by Michael Michelini

What is Mike Up To Now – Aug 30 – Sept 5, 2020

Summer is OVER and it is getting chilly here in Shenyang, China. Did “leave the 3 block radius” yesterday and went to a zoo with the kids. Released a turtle into the wild which felt great. So what am I upto now? Just basically grinding online. No travel plans for the rest of 2020 it seems.

* More internal tools upgrades for the team. All that “fun” stuff, internal HR policies, CRM, payroll, SOPs, etc. Just a great time to clean all of that up being stuck working and not moving.
* A season 2 of Ecommerce Gladiator is bubbling, 90% likely to go in but still too early to discuss outside GFAVIP membership.

For those who want to read more – Here’s more info I share to the Shadstone team, but have to remove names and clients info, for obvious reasons:

Week Plan Aug 30 – Sept 5, 2020 Shadstone Limited

Hope everyone is enjoying the new handbook and other tools. We have been on a roll updating and upgrading our internal tools. This is something I learned from Amazon – they had a huge amount of hosting for Amazon’s own website and services, so they built out their AWS (Amazon Web Services) division and made it like a separate business for others to use – and they are their own customer.

That is the idea on some of these tools we are using. Like the HR (Regarding Work), the analytics (Attraction Funnel), the email marketing (Helium Rises) , SEO reporting (Ranking Solutions), even the company handbook – we can have other companies use these tools we have learned and built out.

But the main investment in these tools is for the team. Over the years I have been criticized by mentors/advisors for spending too much on payroll and the team and to simply cut when cash is needed. But I am investing in the long term, and I truly believe a team is the most valuable part of a company.

I truly believe we are on track to build a long term defensible company. Our current clients are happy and extending their contracts and giving us more projects and making referrals. The GFAVIP program is getting more traction and current members are happy and also making introductions.

Without an amazing team like we have now, this wouldn’t be possible. A company is 3 things (CEO), customers, employees, and owners (investors / bosses). I truly believe the “employee” or I call “team” – is most important. And I have changed that idea over the years – in the past I thought – as many do – customers are everything. But I have learned – if you get customers but you don’t have a good team to implement – you will lose the customer. If you have a good team, those customers will stay, and they will refer new ones.

Building a team and these systems has taken years. Many of you have seen it firsthand.

We are getting through that and more great team members want to join. Thank you to those who are stepping up for new projects, as well as referring your friends to work on projects with us. This is what I believe the top indicator of a good company culture.

I’ll be honest, I doubted if we would be able to have a good 100% remote team culture. In earlier years, we had some in an office and some online – but that often left the online team out in the cold. So by all being online (or all being offline) is what I believe the only real way to keep everyone on the same page.

This is why we write these week plans. To keep you informed.

Ok, sorry for the rant – let’s talk business.

As mentioned above, new projects from clients.

100% on the new handbook – the old Google sites is not deleted, but we removed your access to test if you can find the new SOPs and everything is ok (as google sites is deleting their “classic” version mid next year). Please try to update your portal tasks, your other SOPs, etc. Also tags are very helpful to search and sort SOPS (thanks Michael G!)

Re-Starting my “Michael Michelini” personal branding again, with goal of one “1 minute” video every Thursday on social media. Last week’s was “Why I love SEO” and seems to be getting good reactions with even people messaging me projects.

Hope the next update is the Regarding Work HR system. We know the biggest request is multiple checkin/checkout (flexible hours).

Working on Ecommerce Gladiator “season 2” with a GFAVIP Member. A bit too early to say publicly, but the general terms and conditions of the program have been accepted by the new “gladiator” (Diane) so this week should really confirm it. Also adjusting the gladiator program based on “Season 1” as there are definitely things that could be improved.

CRM – “relationships are everything” or some quote like that. Working hard on updating a new CRM to better tag relationships and keep on top of top contacts. Using it from GFAVIP but also other relationships.

What the team is working on:
Please update your new handbook profile if you haven’t already – we are getting feedback it is really helpful for others on the team to know who is who and who is doing what – plus it adds some “personality” to our online workin.

** I write this to help each other know the projects happening, I AM NOT WRITING everything as I may even forget. I am just trying to help keep us all informed of some highlights. If I forget something, sorry – it is just a overview. logo (check the site) – trying to make GFAVIP more “standalone / sub-brand” of Global From Asia (I know some, even me, and Wendy, get confused) so there is Global From Asia, GFAVIP, and Global From Anywhere is just kinda a backup in case we really setup all over the world and maybe make new sites. Or maybe put other sites under the Global From Anywhere brand. The idea is –, and other sites – we promote membership – even thinking on to promote – and the logo of GFA is what I want the brand to be – not the words “Global From Asia”. There are other brands I see that are just the acronym and many do not know what the full name is – ICBC bank (Industrial C____(even I don’t know) Banking corp), CMHK (China Mobile HK), HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation).

(removed from public bloG)

Thanks team, hope that helps – it even helps me to write it all out.

We also have more freelancers working with us as writers and sales but are delaying to add them to these internal tools (handbook, slack, portal) until they work with us longer / we need them to access. Just so much work to onboard a new team member – and I want to stick to having our core team working with people who are vetted and passed the probation.

As always – feedback is appreciated! I try to keep an open mind and let’s make things happen.

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