So you’ve attracted potential customers to your business.
Then you convert them into becoming paying customers.
And now…it’s time to deliver.
“Deliver” is you and your team making good on the promise of what you told your customers you could do.
And now it’s time to do it.
Deliver the education, the lessons, the learning, the teaching, the program…whatever it is that you teach…it’s time to deliver.
But there’s an organization and operations component to pulling that off. And that’s what this podcast episode is all about.
And if you’re ready for more, head to teacherzone.com/webinar to take a deeper dive into Transformation Formula.
Watch it Here
Or Scan the Show Notes Below
0:00:05.6 Tyler Marolf: Welcome to the next episode of the Teacher Zone with Chris and Tyler, brought to you by TeacherZone.com. And I’m here with Chris Bates, I am Tyler Marolf, and today’s episode is part three of our transformation framework applied to our teams. Now Chris, first of all, how are you doing today? And give us those three things that as founders we’re in charge of again. Let’s start with that. How are you, man?
0:00:32.8 Chris Bates: I’m good, man, I’m fabulous. If you’re starting with this, then just know this is part of a series, it’s a four-part. We also have a webinar called the Transformation Formula. Get that on TeacherZone.com. Also, we have another podcast where we talked about leadership, and that’s what Tyler is alluded to right now. That podcast with transformational leadership, so a lot to do with transforming. So Tyler, what makes a leader?
0:00:58.1 CB: It’s three things. It’s vision, it’s people, it’s finances. Those are the three things that we as leadership focus on. Stop being everything in your business, you’ll reduce your stress. And surprisingly, you’re gonna have happier staff who’s more aligned with your vision, you’re gonna grow more because people are gonna now have… You’ll have the time to actually work with your teams on marketing and attracting more and converting and all the things we’re talking about. So those three things; vision, people, finances.
0:01:28.3 TM: That’s it. Those are the three. So today, folks, when we go over the transformation formula and that webinar, it’s a super fun webinar, you should find it on the website and take the webinar, it’s a teaching class on the framework itself that we extracted from extremely successful lesson businesses in the industry to create that framework for you.
0:01:48.8 TM: But this series is fun because we’re gonna apply how do Chris and I not work in the business so we can keep the mission and vision alive and healthy and work on it. So those are the… That’s the difference today. So we’re gonna be talking about this episode, which is the “deliver” part of the framework. So we did attract. Right, Chris?
0:02:13.2 CB: Mm-hmm.
0:02:13.6 TM: We did convert, and now episode three is the delivery, how the company gives the customer what they came and showed up for.
0:02:27.9 CB: It’s your proof. It’s like what you said you would do. The deliver is now, “Okay, show me, do it.” So we attract, that’s taking people out in the community and saying, “Hey, do you want what we have?” Covert is saying, “Oh, you do. Let’s get you going. Let’s not waste time.” And then deliver is you now, it’s now about you actually walking the walk. Proof.
0:02:58.5 TM: It is absolute proof. Your customers were so impressed with your clear messaging that they wanted to sign up, and now they’re hoping and they’re trusting that your delivery is gonna be similar to the vision in the first two pillars that we went over in the last two episodes. By the way, go listen to those two. If you’re catching this on right now, go back two episodes and listen to Attract, then Convert, and then come back here.
0:03:26.6 CB: And just to be clear, guys, the next two, deliver and transform. That’s your business, right? Convert, deliver, transform is your business. And deliver, transform is the day-to-day. Deliver can be seen more as the ops, like operations, if you will, and transform is the why, it’s the emotional part of your business. It’s basically why you got into the learning business to begin with. So we’ll cover that team of ours next.
0:03:54.9 CB: We’re actually talking about our own team, we happen to own a performance academy that teaches music, and our kids do great performances and stuff. The reason we’re talking about our own is just to give an example of how you can align your teams. This is not like the end all. Tyler and I are a work in progress too. This is just giving you an example of how we do it, so that way you can kind of wrap your head around, “Okay, how can I do it?” So I don’t take it as like, “You must do it like us.” No, no, no. This is just, we’re…
0:04:23.5 TM: And these principles are applied to, I mean, technically any business and leadership model every anywhere, but right now, our focus, if you’re tuning in for the first time, is towards any lesson in teaching business. So it doesn’t matter what you’re teaching, you wanted to get there and start teaching it, that’s what this framework is for. And let’s go ahead and go for it, Chris. Do you wanna list… Do you wanna list the first three or just start with the first one, how do you wanna do it today?
0:04:57.2 CB: A quick outline for “deliver”, guys. So if you, hopefully you watch the webinar, but in the webinar, we talk about the quadrant, which is the “attract convert, deliver, transform”. In “deliver” we, there’s a billion things we can go over, but we chunked it down to three to keep it simple for all of us. We even have a worksheet, by the way, in the webinar, so you can go get the worksheet, watch the webinar from our website.
0:05:17.7 CB: But bottom line is scheduling location, that’s the first part of delivering a lesson business, ’cause we’re selling time. So by selling time and we have to determine in a scheduling location. Another part of deliver is actually attendance and then make ups, ’cause you’re keeping track of like whatever it is you owe them. And then payroll so you can sort of keep, align all that.
0:05:42.6 CB: The reason we promote that we’ll talk about in a minute, but if you’re not taking attendance, it’s time to start. Super important part of proving that you’re giving what you said. And then lastly is communication. I know for so many of you that come to us for our help with Teacher Zone and we have friends all over, communication’s a big one for all of us because gosh, it’s hard to be consistent, isn’t it? So we’ll talk about that.
0:06:07.3 TM: Cool, so let’s start with scheduling the location. Ask yourselves, how do you keep track? Do you keep track? There’s people listening right now that they might have a pencil and paper ledger and no real record of the historical data of who came through and who is coming through their institution. So that is huge.
0:06:34.0 TM: So that, like Chris said, not only is the teacher and the employee or the independent contractor, however you run it, volunteering their time, the owners and the workers say, “I agree.” Okay, did it happen? Do you have record? Or worst comes to worst, what if law enforcement gets involved or a divorce attorney or something, and they wanna know if someone was in your premises or not that day, and they subpoena something. Do you even have any proof? Are you gonna go like, “I think so”?
0:07:07.3 TM: So, anyways, we’re trying not to make a mountain out of a molehill here, but this is basic Business 101, keeping track. So then there’s the location, Chris, right? Where are we? Where are they? Were they at home? I mean, we all got trained overnight, Chris, on how to do virtual online learning through a pandemic. So now schools are maybe parents being careful, not sending the kids in, but quickly jump in on a virtual lesson. Do you know where they were then as well? So Chris, do you wanna elaborate on this a little.
0:07:37.8 CB: Yeah, pre-pandemic, we had three models that we saw in the industry with regard to location. We had in-person, we had virtual. And that in-person could either be in your home or in a fixed location or whatever. We had virtual, which is still live but virtually, and then we had video learning. So those were very clear cut and defined.
0:08:05.9 CB: What’s so cool about the pandemic, if there was one thing that came out of it that was good, it’s that the whole world got trained on tech. So now all those lines are kind of blurred, aren’t they? So we’re seeing a lot of us go a little bit more hybrid on the three, because they’re just different ways of delivering value for learning.
0:08:22.4 CB: So, let’s talk about our team, Ty. So, as far as our delivery team for scheduling and location, Melissa Marolf, who just happens to be Tyler’s beloved bride. [chuckle] Melissa is amazing, and she’s dealing with all the cat herding. I know all of you, either you’re dealing with it or someone on your staff, Melissa happens to be the person for us that’s leading that charge. We also have a lot of it to do with the teachers. They’re on that team too. So if we look at the team members of the scheduling part, it would be Melissa and the teachers.
0:08:56.4 CB: It’s important to define the team. One of the reasons that we’re breaking these down into the teams, guys, is because if we’re gonna make all of us better leaders, part of being better leaders is the three things we talked about. We’re supposed to make sure that we’re imparting our vision, we’re giving the people what they need, that’s our team or the teams. And then lastly, we’re in charge of the finances or the resources of the business.
0:09:21.6 CB: So, have good teams, and if you don’t have them, start defining them so you can start building them, and that’s what we’re trying to inspire you to do. So this team is Melissa and the teachers. Tyler, the first thing that we schedule, obviously, is what we all do, which is private in groups, right?
0:09:37.7 TM: Right. Yup, so that goes onto the schedule, and you’ve got the outline in front of you, Chris, so go ahead and tee off and I’ll start off the the next one.
0:09:48.0 CB: Basically, the private and group lessons, for most of you, it’s a fixed time. Some of you offer drop-ins or you’ll have a different like, “Oh, we’re gonna do this workshop Wednesday night,” stuff like that. But there’s always a schedule, isn’t there? It’s not typically totally free form.
0:10:03.6 CB: Even if you allow people to drop in, you’re saying, “Between these hours.” So when you’re selling lessons in a lesson business, you’re typically selling time of some sort, and so that learning takes place within a time parameter. So that’s why scheduling location can be so important, and by keeping track of that… And a lot of you, if you’re still on Google Docs, you’re still on spreadsheets, at least you have a system.
0:10:27.4 CB: We had one customer that converted, they were still on wall calendars, like pen and paper. It’s still a system, just not transparent. A cloud-based system allows families to be able to check in the apps, so we have apps to be able to check on the desktop schedules, to be able to basically do whatever they want. In other words, however they’re comfortable receiving that information.
0:10:51.4 TM: Right, and that’s why this pillar is so fun, Chris, ’cause this first item of the three, which is scheduling location, ties into the third one, which we’ll get to in a second, which is communication. So at Los Rios, those are in tandem, automated as well. So, even though we’ve got a team making sure the schedule is right, once that person is on the schedule, once Melissa activates that person, she’s done with them. That’s it, and we’ll move on. So that takes us to attendance, make-ups, and payroll is our item number two.
0:11:26.1 CB: And before we jump into that, I just wanted to say one thing, Ty. I don’t know about you guys, but one thing I’ve noticed Melissa’s been able to do lately is people can go in and cancel in the apps and all, but if she knows ahead of time or if they reach out like last minute, especially for the last minute ones, “Oh my gosh, Johnny just came down with a fever.” Melissa’s been able to actually say, “Well, how’s he feeling? Does he wanna jump on a virtual rather than just miss the lesson?”
0:11:54.3 TM: Right. It has been a godsend. So Chris was like, well, the pandemic forced us into a really quick solution for this to streamline something we were already doing, but only 0.8% of our customers were using prior to the pandemic. And then all of a sudden, it jumped 40% and everybody needed to be online. So we did some amazing APIs with Google Meet or any meeting software in existence codes right into our software.
0:12:28.5 TM: So Los Rios, all those kids have to do is press the little green camera in their app, no meeting link required, and they drop in and they see their teacher. So that is a big, big win that we’ve had and all of our customers have that use Teacher Zone as well, but that’s a Los Rios custom improvement that the families have been utilising.
0:12:50.8 CB: Yeah, because the cool part is that it’s frictionless. It’s not, “Oh oh, we just burned 15 minutes looking for the link.”
0:12:56.0 TM: Right.
0:13:00.3 CB: It is time is of the essence. So, okay, sorry, now let’s get into attendance, make-ups and payroll.
0:13:06.2 TM: Alright, so the team leads on attendance, this is a big one. So our teachers are the managers of their schedule, they real-time take attendance, whether they’re attended, or a student cancels, or maybe a teacher canceled ’cause they’re sick. And then the big one, there’s one called “no-show”.
0:13:28.3 TM: So those are the four choices, the teachers pull it up on their dashboard, right in front of them, select one, hit “save” and start teaching, and it’s done. And the whole system is notified that that’s there, forever. The reporting will have it forever. But here’s the neat one, Chris. If there is a no-show, does the teacher have to pull up his cell phone, start texting Melissa and operations or us, and start to find out what’s going on? Does he need to direct message the 14-year-old girl on Instagram to say, “Hey, where are you?”
0:14:03.4 TM: No, never again. The system sends out a beautiful customised per Los Rios what we require, note that has a little call to action to let us know if they’re okay. The teacher doesn’t have to do anything but hit “save”. Everyone’s notified.
0:14:21.6 CB: It’s kind of a no-show Amber Alert, and so if you activate that in Teacher Zone, what’s great is that it’ll actually, like Tyler said, text your custom message. So Tyler made a really fun one in ours that actually says, “Is everything okay?” So what’s so cool is that mums or dads or grandparents, people will respond back almost instantly to Melissa and say, “I’m so sorry.”
0:14:46.8 TM: Right, but most importantly, operations gets the notifications as well. So text message and email goes to the families on the account, then operations email that goes to all ops sees it as well, real-time. And do you act that second? Maybe not, but here’s what we also found out, schools around the world that are using Teacher Zone are hitting “no-show” within the first few minutes of the lesson, and it causes the parents to remember they had a lesson today.
0:15:18.6 TM: Especially when things are virtual, they’re forgetting that it’s time to log on to the computer and have a virtual lesson. So the Amber Alert has been a tool, besides the chat that’s built in, by the way, they could have used. They use it as a tool to get mum’s attention because no one wants to see, “Chris Bates, your child was a no-show at a Los Rios today,” is like the subject line. And they’re like, “No you didn’t,” and it causes people to jump on, click the green camera, get into their lesson a couple of minutes late. So that’s just a funny side story, but people…
0:15:54.9 CB: By the way, Tyler, I think this is something important. You have always… The one thing you’ve done really good… Not the one thing, but one of the great things that you do well is that you really, as a leader, you help our customers really understand the rules. And our customers, we’ve iterated for 12, almost 12 years now, like how important it is to show up. And so people feel guilty.
0:16:20.8 TM: Yes, yup. They feel guilty at our school if they gotta take a vacation, and they’ll tell us, “I’m so sorry, but we have to take two weeks and not one this time, but we just haven’t done it in so long. We haven’t seen grandma in Australia in so long. And we’re like, “It’s okay.”
0:16:39.5 CB: You know, Tyler, for fun on the attendance side, I just pulled my own son Hudson, so Hudson’s a sophomore, he’s been at Los Rios for a number of years. I just pulled up, he’s had 568 lessons. He’s had 415.25 hours of group and private lessons at our school.
0:17:02.8 TM: That’s amazing, and that’s only since… He’s been at our school well before we had Teacher Zone installed. So imagine what that would look like if we started in 2012 when he was like 2.5 feet tall?
0:17:18.1 CB: Right. What’s so great about that as a parent, I gotta tell you, is there’s just a satisfaction with online learning of being able to get some data and be able to know what… Like we talked about, proving, the “deliver” is really all about the proof is in the pudding. The attendance is a great way of you proving what you’re getting, and then lastly, what comes with the attendance, Tyler, is payroll. And so how does that work?
0:17:41.9 TM: Well, the payroll is really easy. If the teacher takes attendance and we set our preferences how… Every school in TeacherZone.com can set their preferences custom to exactly how they work their payroll culture, how hours are paid, etcetera. So ours, we just hit a button and our main team member is Gandrud Financial. Mary Ann at Gandrud Financial is our payroll department.
0:18:06.7 TM: Every two weeks, she gets the payroll report directly from Teacher Zone and direct deposits go out and we don’t do anything, because the teachers took attendance real time, and it’s all integrated.
0:18:19.7 CB: So the team leads, by the way, guys, so we already said scheduling locations, Melissa and the teachers. The team leads on attendance, make-ups and payroll is basically the teachers and our bookkeeper, Gandrud Financial.
0:18:32.4 TM: Right. Oh, we forgot one important team lead. You’re not gonna…
0:18:37.0 CB: Well, that’s the next one.
0:18:37.6 TM: Who’s in charge of make-ups?
0:18:41.8 CB: Oh, students.
0:18:43.9 TM: Yes, the parents and the students are actually the team lead, and if something’s a little weird, like on a special occasion, Melissa may have to help for some reason, but otherwise they open their app as a parent or a student, either one, they go to “schedule”, they select “banked”. Those are those lessons that are approved to be restored, those are re-schedules. Choose which one, and where it goes based on open times, and then once it saves, it immediately notifies the teacher and the administration.
0:19:18.9 CB: So if you guys are listening to what Tyler just said, I hear so many of you tell me that your bane of your existence is how much time is spent on re-scheduling, and the back and forths. Tyler just told you that your team lead on that one is your students and parents.
0:19:33.5 TM: Yeah, you know the parents that actually bug you about them? Just give the job to them and be done with it.
0:19:42.3 CB: It’s their job. It’s not yours any more.
0:19:42.8 TM: I’m not sorry. By the way, they expire at Los Rios Rock School in 60 days. You guys don’t have to have an expiration date if you do use Teacher Zone. We do. We don’t wanna deal with those stupid things, and we found out the parents don’t either. No one has time for those stupid things. That’s a whole nother podcast, by the way. Go to Make Up Lessons Solved, is about 15 episodes ago, and listen to that one. Right, Chris?
0:20:11.7 CB: Yeah. What’s so great is that if we’re able to free up our time to be able to be better leaders in our business, and I hope you don’t have a problem with that term “leader”, because it’s important, it’s actually… We’re so grateful that we’re given the opportunity to try and help people be better, help our customers have a better experience.
0:20:33.0 TM: It’s an honour, Chris. To be able to be the third party mentor that the children or students will remember until they’re 80. That is an impact. If you’re making an impact like that, then you’re a leader, and it’s okay to say that.
0:20:51.0 CB: 100%, it’s okay. So the last part to this is communication, so with the communication on deliver, remember, this is “deliver” the proof’s in the pudding, who are your teams on deliver? So for communication, we have a team member that has saved our time immensely, like you call it buying back your time. Who’s the team member? [chuckle]
0:21:10.8 TM: Oh, well, we haven’t programmed a more inflection in his voice, but let me… Hold on one second. Hey, Mr. Teacher Zone, you here? Yes, I am here. Thank you so much for your help and being the team lead on over 50% of the communications at Los Rios. You are welcome. See? That’s him, everybody. Mr. Teacher Zone has literally singlehandedly taken over more than half of our communications. Tell them how, Chris.
0:21:45.6 CB: What’s great about communications, guys, is we have other people that are on the team. Mr. Teacher Zone is leading it, but then we have humans involved too. We have Spencer Hayden, who’s our social media and dealing with email newsletters, stuff like that. Spencer Askin is dealing with our performance emails, stuff like that. And then of course, we do have the admins and teachers chatting with students and parents and all that kind of stuff inside the system.
0:22:12.3 TM: Right, groups chats and one-on-one chats, parent to teacher, student to teacher, and then the student to group. Or teacher to groups. Groups cannot exist without a teacher or a higher security level involved. And guess what? The big caveat, we were like, “How are we gonna do this? Little kids chatting?”
0:22:33.8 TM: We figured it out and it’s about as basic as it can get, and it was right in front of everyone’s faces and we should patent it, no “delete” button in the chat. Everyone’s integrity is on the table. And you know what, there has been one instance out of 180,000 students in the last four years that’s happened, that we’ve had to deal with. One. And it’s been years. So that communication is super powerful. So the team leads, who are the team leads on those communications, on the chats, Chris?
0:23:05.4 CB: Well, the chats basically, again, it’s not us, and that’s what’s so great. Admins can do it, but ultimately you’re putting that on your teachers and the families. Because like in our chats, we have created communication that where students really feel a deeper connection, because that community, the other six days when they’re not with you, is super important. So that’s where the leads are them. And then if we just get into the list of what that team, the communication team, Mr. Teacher Zone and…
0:23:39.3 TM: Let’s do Mr. Teacher Zone first. 70 plus custom notifications that we as Los Rios go into Teacher Zone and we change every one of them to say, “Los Rios Rock School” instead of “Teacher Zone”, totally customisable, and even can change the body of each text or email that goes out for all the different instances.
0:24:04.5 CB: You know what my favourite is?
0:24:08.3 TM: Which one?
0:24:09.5 CB: The one you made that says, for assignments.
0:24:13.0 TM: Oh, “jackpot”?
0:24:13.0 CB: Yeah.
0:24:14.6 TM: “Your practice is inside. I wonder what’s inside?” That one?
0:24:17.1 CB: Yeah, yeah.
0:24:21.3 CB: It feels like I got a present or like I won.
0:24:23.9 TM: And you know it’s funny, it’s probably a good idea to change that every now and then. It’s been like that for four and a half years, we have not changed it once. Seems to be working just fine. So every time a teacher goes in, and this is part of the transformation formula, I’m not gonna give you too many hints ’cause we’ll do that next episode.
0:24:38.4 TM: But every time a teacher goes in and assigns an amazing assignment or a lesson plan, not only do the parents know it was assigned as soon as he hits “save”, “Your practice has arrived,” or, “Jackpot, your practice from Los Rios has arrived.”That is completely up to us how we want that to be said, and the teacher does not have to send a thing. They create what they would have already created anyways and hit “done”. And everyone is notified.
0:25:06.3 TM: That’s one of… Well, technically two, if you count the text and the email version, that’s two of the 70 notifications that brings the system to life. So Mr. Teacher Zone is an AI based on the coding to make sure that the delivery of everything we give them, everyone knows where they’re supposed to be, what they’re getting, when it’s due, and when they’re coming back.
0:25:32.1 CB: Yup, and one last thing, guys. We also have Mr. Teacher Zone integrated into other integrations, like Zapier which is thousands, so you can actually, when you get a new registration, it’ll zap that info. So that’s sort of a communicative, it takes stuff off your plate.
0:25:51.5 CB: We also have it communicating with Tri-Tech, if you have a POS system and you use AMZ. We also have it communicating with Google, so your students and parents and teachers, they can actually do our Google call sync so that it’s syncing into their iPhones and Androids and everything as well. So not only do we have the 70, not only do we have the chest, not only do we have that, but Mr. Teacher Zone is also integrating that communication to other like your CRM, your email platform and the like.
0:26:24.9 TM: Exactly. So that’s huge. So you heard about the group and solo chats, you heard about the auto reminder. So notifications that bring the system alive to make teachers lives easier, parents and students more in the know. Operations, happier, sleeping at night. That is the idea of this communication part of this particular quadrant piece of the framework, which is “deliver”. The how. So Chris, who and what are we discussing next week? Give them a little teaser without giving it away. So the pillars transformation, what do they have to look forward to?
0:27:03.2 CB: Well, the deal is that like Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
0:27:10.8 TM: Yup.
0:27:12.5 CB: And who you are as a business is if you’re in the learning business, you’re in the transformation business.
0:27:16.9 TM: Yup. I’m guessing you got involved because something sparked in your life and you never wanted to stop doing that thing, Jiu Jitsu, music, golf, Chris loves golf, and whatever. And therefore you wanted to spread the wealth, share the gospel of golf, whatever that is, and give that away. Why? Why did you want to give that to them? And that’s what we’re gonna get into next week…
0:27:46.3 CB: As we know, yup…
0:27:47.3 TM: And how the transformation is applied to teams?
0:27:51.8 CB: ‘Cause learning, as we know, transforms lives.
0:27:52.5 TM: That’s it.
0:27:52.7 CB: So we’ll get into that next week. Thank you, Mr. Tyler. Thanks for the proof is in the pudding on the deliver side. [chuckle]
0:28:02.3 TM: You’re welcome Mr. Chris.
0:28:07.2 CB: Now we’re gonna have to make a cartoon avatar, I love it.
0:28:14.5 TM: Basically, Mr. Teacher Zone was born today, guys, but we had to give him props where it was due. So next week, next episode is the “transformation” part of the quadrant. Until then, guys, thank you so much for tuning in. And again, this podcast is sponsored by TeacherZone.com. Go there, find out more about us. And we’ll see you on the flip side. Take care. Bye Chris.
0:28:36.8 CB: Bye Ty.
0:28:41.1 TM: Mr. Teacher Zone out.
0:28:45.8 TM: That was a fun one.