As MOBE has grown, so has my focus on the importance of communication and the reliance on technology to get it done.
Back in 2006 or so, I had a little business in my hometown of Perth, called “Home Helpers.” It was a one-man operation: I mowed lawns, washed cars and did other kinds of household manual labor.
I had a cell phone and kept my clients’ phone numbers in it. They also had my number, and when they needed a job done, they would call me. I had a little car that I drove to school, home and to my clients’ homes.
In my room at home, I had a calendar on the wall where I kept my work schedule (e.g., Aug. 30: “Mr. Smith, mow lawn, 3pm”).
I didn’t do continuous marketing to my clients though I might have called a few of them to try and drum up work when things got slow.
Communication was simple and so were any scheduling changes. Finance was simple, too. As far as businesses go, running Home Helpers was as easy as it could be.
MOBE started out of that same bedroom and then moved to a small office. There were never more than a few employees there. Communication was easy: I just talked to people or emailed them.
As the business expanded, I began hiring people outside of Perth—outside Australia.
We’re now at more than 180 staff worldwide. In our headquarters in Malaysia, there are only eight or 10 of us, while the rest of the staff—technicians, administrators, designers, writers and more—are located in the US, UK, Asia and countries all over the world. So, we are mostly a virtual office.
Communication-wise, it has a very different approach than Home Helpers.
MOBE has seven organizational divisions—Finance, Technology, Human Resources, Sales, Support, Events, Executive—and each has a dedicated manager. The employees in each division report to their manager who is responsible for their tasks and productivity.
The company also has a general manager. I usually communicate to the general manager and he, in turn, communicates with the seven divisional managers, who then communicate with all other staff.
So, I no longer have the easy mobility I had when I was still running Home Helpers. If I make some new change, I can’t just go off and implement it because I have to ensure that everyone is on the same page first.
All Staff on the Same Page
One way we keep everyone informed is through weekly meetings with the entire staff. We do these as a live webinar, where each staff member can log on, listen and, sometimes, even ask questions. Our big meetings keep everyone on the same page. Each divisional manager also has their own staff meeting webinar every week that only includes their team members.
Internally, with staff members or teams, I use Skype to communicate. Each division has its Skype group, and there are even dedicated Skype groups for smaller teams within a division (e.g., the content writers, who are in the Tech division).
Our teams also use a project management platform called Teamwork which interfaces with email as well.
Our Clients and Partners
MOBE continually reaches out to our leads, customers and partners via e-mail and webinars about new products and any changes they need to know.
But even more importantly than us communicating to them, the lines are always open for them to contact to us. We’ve had really good results with our Facebook groups which we regularly monitor; so if people have questions or problems, we can answer them quickly.
Affiliates can also get their questions answered during the various daily or weekly MOBE webinars that we offer.