#103: Webflow Will Change How Your Company Works with Uros Mikic

Guest Intro

Uros Mikic is the Founder and CEO of Flow Ninja, a Serbian-based Webflow enterprise partner and development agency.

What You Learn

0:00 – Guest Introduction 2:40 – Why Webflow is Superior 8:16 – Transitioning from WordPress to Webflow 11:25 – Fast-paced development with Webflow 15:25 – Webflow University and their hands-on community 18:12 – Is Webflow a no-code platform? 23:12 – Challenges of promoting Webflow 29:34 – Cost of building on Webflow 32:22 – Sean’s idea to scale Webflow 36:15 – Helping your employees to grow 42:42 – Creating a Healthy Work Culture 52:23 – Benefits of Hiring More People

Episode Links


Intro (0:00) Sean Weisbrot: Why is Webflow better than WordPress? Why should people be thinking about Webflow to build their websites instead of WordPress? Uros Mikic: Yeah, so I actually, I mean, I was really a kid at that time, kind of when you started using WordPress, actually, but I feel like Webflow is probably kind of the game-changing tool as WordPress was at, let’s, you say 2008. Guest Introduction (0:21) Sean Weisbrot: Welcome back to episode 103 of the “We Live to Build Podcast.” I’m here today with Uros Mikic. I hope I didn’t destroy that. Uros is the founder and CEO. I’m assuming you’re CEO. Uros Mikic: Yes. Sean Weisbrot: Okay. You’re the founder and CEO of Flow Ninja, an end-to-end Webflow agency based in Nis, Serbia. So far, they have built over a hundred websites for clients like Upwork, Clara, the Berlin museum, and Engine. When he is not working on this company, he’s a teacher and a leader in the first no-code community in the Balkan region. I’m really excited to be talking about Webflow because my team started talking about it. We currently have a WordPress website. I honestly don’t really know much about Webflow, which is one of the reasons why I brought you on. I’m very curious about it. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are curious about it and I’m sure that probably most people haven’t even heard of it. So, hopefully, this is a very interesting conversation for everybody. And why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself beyond the intro I’ve just provided and then we’ll move on from there. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Thank you for the invitation, Sean. So yeah, I basically started in Webflow around six years ago. I was in your shoes, like, around six years ago, working in WordPress. So at that time, I was trying to find a perfect solution for kind of my agency, for the bill, for building websites, et cetera, et cetera. And then I tried WordPress. I mean, initially, the problem that I had with WordPress is that it was really oriented with plugins. Like you probably know kind of anything you wanna do in WordPress, you’re gonna require a plugin to pay for or whatever. Like it wasn’t secure like security breaches were happening often. Like it was updating then the plugins weren’t kind of being updated as frequently as WordPress. So you’re scared to press the update button on your website and you’re just kinda praying that this works, don’t touch anything on it, and kind of when, when there’s a better time we’re gonna be updating the website. So that’s where I started to go kind of platform by platform. I use Wix, I use Squarespace, Shopify, and none of them actually kind of gave me what I wanted until I discovered Webflow. And then basically realized that this is technically front-end development kind of for 2022 right now. But at that, what, time about 2016 or whatever, just because it gave me everything front, a front-end developer can do, to me in like 10 times the amount of time, 10 times the less time that it took for frontend development in the end. Why Webflow is superior (2:40) Sean Weisbrot: I’m definitely aware of needing to deal with plugins for WordPress, not knowing which plugins you can trust, not knowing which ones will break your entire website if you update them like that’s a complete mess. I am so tired of it. I’m actually, I started WordPress, I think in 2008, 2009, I may have been like one of the early adopters of it. Because before that, I was using LiveJournal for my blogging about travel and things before I moved to Asia. So that was like 2005, 2006. WordPress was incredible. It was like this huge sea change of how you develop things or how you design websites. And so, how can someone understand the difference? Just like a very, very basic level? Like, why is Webflow better than WordPress? Why should people be thinking about Webflow to build their websites instead of WordPress? “Webflow changes Website Development” Uros Mikic: Yeah, so I actually, I mean, I was really a kid at that time kind of when you started using WordPress actually, but I feel like Webflow is probably kind of the game-changing tool as WordPress was at, let’s, you say 2008 because you’re gonna have the possibility to build everything on your own terms. So instead of, let’s, comparing it to a popup instead of kind of buying a plugin for a popup, you’re gonna be architecting how the popup looks. When does it appear, at which time kind of do we want to add cookies or custom code for that? Then in terms of any other plugins, basically, you’re gonna be able to either write custom code or develop everything in Webflow pretty easily, kind of, with zero code, kind of possible. Then on the other side, you’re gonna have the most quality code possible that Webflow is gonna be pushing out. So kind of, you’re not gonna be worried about speed, lighthouse tests, kind of SEO and all of those, kind of, parts that are pretty important for the website. As in, the kind of, WordPress for any specific SEO, you’re gonna require Yoast SEO or kind additional plugins for that. Whereas in Webflow, all of that is gonna be integrated. And then, kind of with just kind of building the websites on your own terms, kind of the more benefits coming with Webflow are its own CMS because in WordPress for comparison, the CMS is I feel pretty clunky. You’re always gonna create either a blog post or a version of a blog post or something like that. And then if you want something more complex, you’re gonna end up with a headless setup, where CMS is in WordPress and you have a headless set up somewhere else, versus in Webflow is gonna allow you to create a really kind of unique CMS where you can build 300, 400, 500 landing pages or kind of category pages or things much more advanced than a blog with a click of a button. So kind there’s not gonna be any coding involved or anything. And the best thing is specifically us, we’re working with enterprises. You’re gonna be able to remove the development from that completely. So, our role at Flow Ninja is usually we develop the website fully in 80% to 90% of cases. Clients are not gonna required to maintain that website later on. And then you, as a founder, can continue adding new features to it pretty easily. You can create new pages from existing components pretty easily, or create CMS pages, or like, if you’re an enterprise, you’re gonna just give it to the marketing team and they’re gonna have a lot of fun. And basically, I like to see it switch their websites to real-time marketing. Instead of thinking the next quarter, we’re gonna be planning a marketing sprint kind. You can go day in and day out and just kind of adjust your ad types and adjust the planning pages you’re showing to your customers. Sean Weisbrot: So I’m definitely gonna show this to my marketing director after we’re done before anything is edited, just because, like I said, we’re using WordPress and I can feel that pain already, just the way you’re talking about it. Because I know, if we want to add a new page, it’ll take us four days to four days to think of the content and, and hammer out any of the issues with the content. Then it takes another three or four days for the designer to design the content. Then it takes another three or four days for the developer to develop the content, you know, to develop the page, you know, and add the content. And then it takes a, at least a few more days to fix all of the bugs on mobile and the web version so that we can push it out. So it’s like weeks almost of work just to get a page out. Uros Mikic: Yeah, yeah. That’s what most of our clients are having problems with. I feel like we have a bunch of clients kind of coming from WordPress to Webflow at the moment. There’s around 40%-42% of websites on the world on WordPress and just 0.5% on Webflow. So the market is gonna really, really huge. And I feel like we haven’t had a client coming from WordPress to Webflow that they work and missing WordPress in the end, everybody was super happy to move from a platform and just to have something sturdy. “Do clients approve Webflow?” I mean one more thing in terms of kind of security is Webflow is gonna be a whole all-in-one package. So they have 99% up time. So, you’re not gonna worry about, like in WordPress, which template you’re gonna buy to start the website, is that good? Which hosting you’re gonna use, is that hosting good? This is gonna have uptime, low downtime. How are you gonna secure the hosting? How are you gonna secure the website, et cetera, et cetera. On the Webflow, there’s only one. So, they can give you the tool to kind of create the website, gi ve you to the tool for the editor, for the marketers to edit the content and then provide hosting and security at cell certificate, a global CDN and everything like that. So basically, you’re just compiling all of the softwares you previously used into one platform and then moving on from there. Transitioning from WordPress to Webflow (8:16) Sean Weisbrot: So, is it painful to switch from WordPress to Webflow? What, what kind of issues are there? Is there like a straight up migration tool or do you have to basically start a website from scratch? Uros Mikic: Yeah. So that’s the biggest pain and maybe the biggest cost, kind of cost kind of downside that there is, because you’re gonna have to develop the website from the ground up. If you like, there are maybe some tools that are kind of transitioning from WordPress to Webflow, whatever, but none of them are gonna give you great results, and are actually gonna give you the, all of the benefits Webflow has. So usually, it’s either clients have a Figma file or we just copy the website over from WordPress by looking at it, kind of building it page by page from the ground up in Webflow. And that’s one of the biggest kind of costs that there is. And then afterwards, you can enjoy kind of the fruits of your labors on that front. In terms of problems, there are many problems like you can encounter like, because WordPress is a much older platform. So like how much good the Webflow is because it doesn’t have plugins, that can be a downside sometimes because instead of paying for a plugin five bucks a month, you’re gonna probably be developing with JS and APIs and kind everything on the back end to integrate something kind of for Webflow to work as it was working in WordPress with just few clicks. That can be one of the downsides. Then in terms of SEO, I mean, when you’re writing schema and stuff like that, you’re doing that manually. So there is not a plugin that you just kind of say, I want this, this and this to be running Webflow and kind of it migrates it over into your website. You have to write everything in the head, which can become boring with time, and then, you can make mistakes in that front. So, that’s not nicely integrated. And then, if you’re creating some CMS pages kind, you can have only one folder structure versus on WordPress, you’ll be able to have basically, a category then a post, then maybe another category, then another category. And then, that can go pretty deep. That’s been kind of where we, at, start adding redirects and many other things to kind of avoid that problem. Sean Weisbrot: I can see why Webflow is taking some time to blow up. Because, yeah, I think for example, that folder structure is really important to us in what we are doing, and having to basically start over. I mean, we’re, our website’s at a point where we don’t have that many pages, maybe 10 or 12, but once we raise more money and we launch properly and we’re doing real marketing, we’re gonna get dozens and dozens and dozens, you know, potentially hundreds of pages at some point. I’m sure because every single feature needs to have its own page and every section of the application needs to be marketed. So, there’s a lot of, and then, there’s blog posts, and, you know, there’s all sorts of different things. So you can get quite complicated building a large company website, or having to make that switch over. Fast-paced development with Webflow (11:25) Sean Weisbrot: What is the timeframe for like doing all of this? For example, let’s say you have, let’s say you have 10 pages and you wanna switch over. And let’s assume you have Figma files that you can work with, which we do. How long does it take, how long does it take on average? Uros Mikic: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So based on that, I mean, it can take from three to six weeks. I mean, sometimes up to three months, depending on how kind, how large the feature set is for the website. But let’s say the most basic website you can develop and QA it properly like an agency, like in house, in just three weeks for, let’s say, 10 pages. And that’s where the most of the speed of Webflow is coming from. And that’s kind of honestly my biggest problems with the agency, because with WordPress, you have long development times, you have maintenance and then, you can kind of scale the agency pretty easily, versus we are here kind of just on a runway, like the longest client is around three to six months. Like that’s the longest client amount. And then, you’re just kind of crushing out items, which is fun for developers and designers, because they can always build something new and just kind of get stuck into that repetitive process. But then in the end, it’s a little bit scary just because you don’t have a lot of secure cash flow in the end. Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. That definitely can be an issue. I mean, obviously you wanna serve your clients to the best of your ability and you don’t wanna keep them on longer than you need, but if you help them so quickly that you like need to then go look for more clients. Is there, I’m just playing kind of coach here, is there no way to keep people on a monthly retainer once their initial project is done, to like, just be their developers for the website to be like, “Hey, you want to add more pages? Yeah, sure. Give us the content and give us the design. We’ll put it together. No problem.” So, like you can basically, you allow them to outsource their website stuff to you so that they can focus on just doing the actual marketing. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. There is. I mean, that’s the problem. I mean, that’s how we positioned ourselves is like us working with enterprises. That’s where most of our kind of retainers in the agency come from, just because we have a specific team for an enterprise and they’re working anything web related, web design, and web development, and kind of building that end-to-end structure in that front. So there is, but a client needs to be much larger comparison to WordPress. So they’re gonna need kind of your maintenance in the end. Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. Makes sense. I get kind of concerned thinking about like switching to Webflow because I feel like my team would just go crazy with wanting to develop stuff really fast. They’d be like, “Oh, let’s do this, let’s do this, let’s do this.” And it’s like, “Whoa, like we don’t even have the energy to think about, you know, what we’re gonna be marketing next.” You know, we’re trying to figure out our roadmap and how to continue improving it and things like that. And like, sure, you’re getting ready to make this page, and it might take a few weeks for you to work on it. But like, if they’re freed from having to spend all that time thinking about executing, like I wonder what we would do with all their time, you know? Uros Mikic: Yeah. That can be a problem from time to time. I mean, first of all, on the scope creep, as you said, kind of with many clients, we start working, and then, when they see how fast it is, the projects just become bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and you can never complete it. So we’re always gonna, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s, let’s tone it down.” Let’s launch something kind of maybe exactly as you have it on your website, or like maybe a redesign of that, and then start adding features kind of from time to time. But I mean, recently we just launched kind of a direct mail campaign for our client while working on the kind of main marketing website and just kind of launched, I think, 400 pages in a week with a CMS, just basically changing the logo of the company. They’re gonna be reaching out to, some copy around the page and just got some specific contact keepers that they’re gonna be reaching out to. So, I mean, like, it’s also great because your marketing team can start doing the job they actually like, instead of just focusing on how are we gonna complete this small project, and then, gonna work on the next one? And they have like hundreds of them in the background. Webflow University and their hands-on community (15:25) Sean Weisbrot: So as you know, I’ve got this podcast and I built a WordPress website for my podcast two years ago. It’s absolutely horrific. I’m using the Divi theme, which you may have heard of, possibly. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Sean Weisbrot: I think they’ve sold like 80 million worth of licenses– incredible, incredible growth. It’s a fantastic plugin, great UI/UX components, but I’m not a designer, and I was thinking about hiring my startups designer, which shh! Nobody needs to know. I was thinking about hiring the designer to help me to do a redesign of the WordPress site and then a developer to help me redevelop the podcast site as I’m turning it into an education company. But, I think it would be cool to play around with Webflow, but I don’t know anything about it. So let’s assume I’m an individual kind of solo entrepreneur in that regard. How would I get started with understanding Webflow and possibly playing around with it? You know, assuming I don’t have a budget to work with someone like you to, to design, you know, to do it, for you to do it for me. “Wanna learn how to use Webflow?” Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah, of course. I feel like Webflow is really different from any other platform in that case just because they have their own university. So, I mean, there are many courses you can pay for whatever online, but I don’t think any of them are worth it. Webflow has technically created a movie like set for kind of all of their tutorials and you can go on the university and let’s say in a month, you’re gonna be able to create a pretty simple website afterwards. So on your side, you are gonna have some advanced features, some advanced functionalities or whatever. So just going to Webflow university, and then, kind of you’re gonna be all set by watching kind a lot of tutorials completely for free. And then afterwards, another great part about Webflow is the community itself, because I haven’t seen anybody that committed to the community, just because Webflow was pretty small, and like, it was really dedicated to the community. Anything you search for, you’re gonna either find a YouTube video kind of maybe by me or by other agencies kind of, that are kind of doing that for free. There is a forum. So any question you post, like somebody from the forum is gonna answer you or somebody might actually had that problem. So you’re gonna be able to see how to fix that, kind of in general on the forum. And that’s all only if you wanna learn Webflow actually kind of how it works and just kind of play around with it. But there is also the other part that is kind of the template marketplace. So in that case, you’re gonna be able to pull the template, see how it works, and then basically reverse engineer your website to look how you want it to look like from your kind of, from your designs. And that’s how you’re gonna be able to see kind of how the CMS works. Just kind of see what they were able to do with the CMS, and kind of what are all the features you can play around with in Webflow. Is Webflow a no-code platform? (18:12) Sean Weisbrot: So, like I know with WordPress, like I said, kind of like using the Divi theme, I can use front end blocks, so I don’t have to code anything. All of the details of the elements are there. So like, if I wanna change the spacing or the borders or the colors of anything, it’s literally a click. Like I don’t have to, I don’t have to code a single line. So it is in itself a no code solution. How much no code is Webflow, would it, would I have to code anything or would it also have these kind of front end blocks that I could play with? Uros Mikic: Yeah. So I feel like Webflow is a no code in a good sense, just because it’s gonna teach you the front end and actually under, you’re actually gonna understand how the web works versus the Divi theme and all of the other themes– you just have a preset of things. You don’t actually care what it do, you just know that that’s gonna change the color of your border or whatever. So on the right side of Webflow, you’re gonna have a panel. That’s gonna have all of the, I mean, there’s gonna have padding margin, sizes, colors, transitions, they also have an interaction pedal that is completely no code in that sense. So you’re gonna have all the possibilities to do, but you’re actually need to, you’re actually actually gonna need to know what every single CSS property is gonna actually do before actually pulling the trigger. So, it is gonna require you to actually under understand a little bit of how the front end works in the end. Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. So it’s something that, it sounds a little more complicated for someone like me who I’ve done website, I’ve built websites before, but I never learned CSS. Like I learned HTML, you know, I learned a little bit of JavaScript I guess, but like, I don’t know anything about CSS and like, I’m sure I could learn, but I’d rather not. I’d rather like pay someone else to do it, you know? Uros Mikic: Yeah, yeah. That’s true. I feel like Webflow is doing maybe a little bit of a bad marketing on that side, just because everybody’s coming into a Webflow expecting it to be completely no code. They like that any, I mean, that’s their whole kind of mission for the future that anybody can build a website, but at the moment, how the situation is kind of, kind of going at the moment is for every single client, we’re writing a lot of custom JS. So, you’re gonna have a custom calculator. You’re gonna have a custom onboarding flow, kind of a custom integration with greenhouse or whatever. And all of that is gonna require JS work, API integration, uploading to ABS, and et cetera, et cetera, but that is just as we are an agency. And then also kind of, if you’re a designer, if you’re passionate about frontend development, you’re gonna do great. But if you’re just expecting everything to work as in Figma, just kind of dropping things in and positioning everything absolute like in Wix or whatever, that’s not gonna be the case. You need to build everything from the ground up. So like kind of positioning the wrap or positioning the section, the container, that the grid, then what goes into the grid like a column, then a heading, then having a global heading, et cetera, et cetera. So it takes the whole development process, but you’re just building visually. You’re never gonna write a line of code for CSS usually, or HTML in Webflow. Everything is gonna be a drag and drop, kind of ‘what you see is what you get’ editor in the end. Sean Weisbrot: I mean, Figma is a what you see is what you get. However, that’s a very basic kind of a use case. And what I found is they do have these constraints and grids, and auto layouts, and scale, and things that you can actually create a design system with. And you can make things really beautiful and functional. So Figma is great as a no code solution because at the basic level, you basically drag and drop, but if you want more control and you want to develop standards, then you need to learn how those functions work. So it seems like Figma and Webflow are kind of similar in that regard. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. I completely agree. And kind of basically in Webflow, the thing that we like doing the most is creating those kind of design systems as that’s what companies are paying for the most is. We go in, we create, let’s say, you’re gonna create a lot of sections, you’re gonna have micro components, like labels, buttons, kind of all of the items on that front. And then, when I hand off the websites, for example, to you, you’re gonna have like 100, 200, 300 components you’re gonna be able to play around with and create new pages, create new experiences and everything like that on Webflow. And you’re gonna know that everything has been QA. Everything works that you cannot break anything, that you don’t have to worry about CSS or anything else, that you can just kind of start playing around.. And then, basically, give the marketing people kind of access to Webflow with the components. And every single marketing person can create the website on their own. So, like, they have content, they are not gonna be so creative that every single time they’re designing a new page, but it’s maybe even better for scaling a company. Instead of kind of thinking that a creative solution is gonna attract customers, sometimes it’s gonna be more about a content than how you position yourself and not just creating the most creative approach to a section or whatever, and losing time on it. So, I feel like if you start giving this your marketing team, they can go pretty nuts after creating a design system. Challenges of promoting Webflow (23:12) Sean Weisbrot: What’s the hardest thing about pushing Webflow as an agency, because I know it’s very easy to go, “Yeah. We’ll build you a website. What do you use WordPress?” Like people don’t even ask, “Oh, are you using WordPress or Webflow?” Like maybe the tide’s changing. Maybe people are going, “Oh, are you Webflow or WordPress?” But I feel like a lot of like entrepreneurs probably don’t even know or care. They’re just like, “Oh, you can build a website. All right, let’s go.” Uros Mikic: Yeah. That’s, that’s true. I mean, specifically to the kind of percentage of 40% of the internet being on WordPress, like that’s just the number itself. Like no, just 0.5% of people actually know about Webflow. I feel like recently it started to become a lot easier. Before we had problems like two years ago, like, it was really a selling process. So, like, it was five meetings just kinda showcasing it, creating a website in Webflow for free, technically a landing page, just to showcase to the client how good the editor is, how good the kind of design is, and all the features. But recently, it’s starting to get a lot easier with their marketing being kind of upped a little bit. But their problems as we are a European agency, and the Webflow being a US-based company with GDPR and everything. So that’s where we have problems and where clients actually get pushed away from Webflow in the end, just because they’re a US company. All of the data is transferring to US and then from US to a global CDN afterwards. So, it becomes that really a pain to create a Webflow website, GDPR compliant, and then you’re gonna lose some of the Webflow core features, so you can make actually the web GDPR compliant in the end. Sean Weisbrot: Okay. Let’s discuss this just real fast. So, my company is from Singapore, I’m American. We use a German, I think our Google servers in Germany, just because we really don’t wanna deal with American servers. So, how does an American company be GDPR compliant and use Webflow together? Uros Mikic: So, you can be GDPR compliant up to a point. So, like, kind of we do custom cookies, kind of to defer all of the scripts and everything like that. The way we develop it, we download Google fonts and kind of many of those small features. But then, in the end, the final piece of hosting is gonna be a problem. So you’re gonna use, you’re gonna have to use other softwares that are basically pulling from the Webflow hosting, removing some of the Webflow scripts. Because for example, Webflow JS is always gonna be sending data to Webflow in this core in the US, and then, reuploading that to another server without that kind of data, and having it live that way. So, it’s a little bit of a pain if you wanna be fully GDPR compliant, but we see that many companies in the end, not actually don’t care, but don’t actually go to that extent. They implement everything possible on Webflow and just kind of have it there as Webflow slowly working on GDPR. Like, they have it in their kind of roadmap. So, hopefully when they release GDPR compliance fully on Webflow, I have no idea what’s gonna be the kind of final timeline, maybe by that point, the GDPR kind of laws are gonna become even stricter that they get kind of some fines or whatever on that side. Sean Weisbrot: Okay. Something just happened in your room, your light changed. I don’t know what that’s about. Uros Mikic: Uh, yes. Sean Weisbrot: So like half of your face is like blue or purple. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. My light just overheated for some reason that can, that can happen. Sean Weisbrot: Okay. Fair enough. Uros Mikic: Yeah, we can, we’ll continue this way. Sean Weisbrot: So, Webflow is working on building GDPR compliance. What happens then to the companies you’ve helped to create GDPR compliance, kind of by doing it yourself. Does an update from Webflow mess up their compliance? How does that work? Uros Mikic: No, I mean, on that side, I feel like we’re just gonna have less things to worry about because technically, that’s our software we’re paying for to make sure that the website is GDPR compliant and our hosting on top of Webflow. So, we’re gonna be able just to kind of cut that end loose, kind of reduce the cost on our clients so they can continue with just Webflow again. So, it shouldn’t impact anything if you just kind of go ahead and make the website GDPR compliant on that side. Sean Weisbrot: Okay. So is it possible for you to kind of create a script that just like makes every project GDPR compliant or do you have to manually change everything every time? Uros Mikic: Yeah. So, I would love to, if there is a script to create something like that, but as you know, every single client uses different kind of marketing scripts, different kind of integrations on their website. So in the end, it’s gonna be pretty hard for them to kind of automate everything. So, it’s a manual process we have to do, and you have to check it kind of constantly. So, it’s like, let’s say, weeks of process to make sure that none of the scripts are triggering before needed or whatever. Sean Weisbrot: Well, that’s fine. You just charge them more money, right? Go, “Oh, you want GDP compliance check mark. Okay. Let’s add $5,000.” Yeah. Whatever it is. Uros Mikic: Yeah. That’s true. I mean, there’s multi-language, just because we’re using wig lot for multilanguage like, it’s another tool. So, like, that’s another feature, they, some clients require. So, that’s another scope, because you need to do QA integration, itself is easy, but you need to do QA, make sure that everything works on German specifically. That the website doesn’t break when it’s in German, et cetera, et cetera. Sean Weisbrot: That reminds me of H&R Block, it’s a tax agency in America that’s, like, very well known. I used them to file my taxes in America and they basically charge you, like, extra based on the number of forms like, “Oh, you need this form. You need that form. You need that. Yeah, no problem. Extra $50, extra $200, extra 500,” whatever. It’s a good way to do business. It’s very easy. You go, “Oh yeah, I know. It’s gonna cost me to provide this service to you. So I’m just gonna add this, just, you know, provide a checklist.” So actually let’s, let’s talk about this. Uros Mikic: That’s actually, I mean, yeah, I mean, on the previous topic, I mean, I hope to integrate some sort of items on that side, on our side, just because we’re technically so really time-based. So, hopefully, with time, a little bit more value-based because we just organized, like, our unofficial three-year anniversary for a company and the agency that does the organizations, they take 10% of the costs. So like you spend 10K like on the event, they’re gonna get 10%, you spend a 100K on the events, they’re gonna get 10%. And they do the exact same amount of work in the end. Cost of building on Webflow (29:34) Sean Weisbrot: So let’s get into the cost of this. How much would it cost to develop a standard small to medium business style, you know, Webflow website? Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. So, I feel like if you have the designs, like, it can be in the range of 5,000 to 10,000 euros. So, if you have the designs kind of, we just go ahead and make, go ahead and develop everything. You have some specific requirements, et cetera, et cetera. So on that side, it can be affordable, looking at that, it’s much quicker than any of the other tools on the web. If you go kinda, as you go, like if you require maybe an agency like us to develop and design the website, it can go as high as like 20K to 30K. If you need some more custom integrations, it can go to 30K to 50K and then it can scale from there. But I would say on our side, like 20,000 euros to like 30,000, 40,000 euros– these are kind of usual kind of project base, but there are also freelancers on that side. So, if somebody doesn’t really care about having the topnotch kind of certifications that they need for the website, they can develop the website under $5,000 in the end, but by a freelancer or something. There is Webflow experts kind of group also. So, you’re gonna be able to choose between enterprise partners that we are, or go ahead and choose a professional partner that is maybe gonna be a little bit cheaper on front to develop the website. So there are gonna be a lot of options, but just make sure to hopefully go with certified experts and just see how much that’s gonna cost and kind of know that they’re gonna give you a real price in terms of cost and how much it’s gonna cost about the website. I wouldn’t go and hire developers on Upwork. That can be one of the hard things just because I started there. But then, it became really popular looking at that, there are many that, there’s a lot of jobs and that the market is booming. So, everybody that was a WordPress developer just switched their title to a Webflow developer and they can mess up a lot of things and cannot develop it properly. So, experts channel can be the best, like, experts.webflow.com can be the best place to find people to work for your project. Sean Weisbrot: So, how do you know someone is certified, Webflow actually has like courses they run, then they certify this themselves? Or… Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. So basically first of all, I mean, depending on the professional partner or the enterprise partner. For the enterprise side, you need to have enterprise clients to even be considered; for a professional one, you send over five or six websites you’ve been built. And you also send the backend of that, so Webflow check that. So, it’s a really manual process. So, you’re gonna, you’re gonna know that you’re getting somebody good in the end if you go with the experts channel. Sometimes, like the only problems that I saw is sometimes, people are overbooked. So, that’s the only place where you can have a bad experience. But apart from that, everybody is really nice and kind of Webflow certifying them. They have usually people have a badge on their website on the bottom right, so you can see if they’re a professional or an enterprise partner, so you can know that you’re in a good place. Sean’s idea to scale Webflow (32:22) Sean Weisbrot: So, it sounds to me like there’s an opportunity for you to help more people get certified in Webflow so that the cost per developer goes down, because there’s a higher supply. Uros Mikic: Well, I don’t like to look at it that way just because I usually like to be on the expensive side. And I feel like there’s a lot of value in the thing we’re doing. So, if you’re comparing us with a development agency that will develop something for 6 to 12 months on a usual development schedule, clients, even if they pay 30K, 40K for a website, they’re saving a 100K to a 200K euros in the end, comparing it to a, kind of, a full development flow. So, with the services we’re offering, I’m not even worried about it to, kind of, the cost are gonna become lower as well for adds more and more features that are gonna be more and more complex features to that. And then, the custom integrations we’ve done. So, I’m not kind of too worried about pricing kind of going down with time. Sean Weisbrot: Well, I wasn’t referring to your price going down. I was referring to your cost for hiring someone to do the work for your agency. Uros Mikic: Oh Yeah. Yeah. Sean Weisbrot: You were saying that you’re worried some people are overbooked, which means there’s tremendous demand and not enough supply. And when that happens, the developers can charge higher prices. And so, if there’s more developers with those skills, there’ll be less people who are overbooked, which means you can afford to hire more people and scale faster at a lower cost to yourself. Uros Mikic: Yeah, that’s true. I mean, we have, one of the benefits, as we’re living in Serbia, like, the wage costs are much lower than in anywhere else. And then, basically, all of our team members are full time kind of in house in our agency. We have a hybrid model of working. So, we usually take a front-end developer, we have kind of a bootcamp of three months, and then a front-end dev becomes a Webflow developer. So, we have a pretty good lead flow of people actually coming into our agency, leading that flow, and then, working for us, and then, technically earning higher wages than they would kind of as a front-end developer, just because they can do that much more with Webflow in the end. Sean Weisbrot: Fair enough. I was kind of thinking about it as like you could do like an internship program with like younger people who wanna learn development, where you can give them an opportunity to gain experience working for you. And then, you can get them certified through Webflow. And so, you get people who are young, hungry, energetic, and then you get, you know, great work out of people who are trying to build up. And then, you know, if they stay with you, they stay with you. And if not, they go off into the world and do their own thing. But, you know, you can kind of be like an incubator, because you were talking before about how you’re the leader of a no code community. So like, are you doing that? Are you like offering these people who are looking to get into Webflow these opportunities, or? Uros Mikic: Yeah. That’s exactly what we’re hoping to do. Kind of as I’m freeing up my time as a CEO a lot. So before, like, until like, I think, two months ago, like, my time was really tied up, so I could not focus on any external projects. So right now, kind of, this is something we started around a month ago, and we’re hoping to do exactly, as you said. Attract a lot more people from Serbia, from the region to Webflow, hopefully teach them kind of not like hire them for internships. We have paid internships. I don’t like free internships. So like they’re not getting never… Sean Weisbrot: I never said free. You should always pay. Uros Mikic: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. There are agencies here that are doing stuff like that, like with free internships or whatever. So, like, just saying that front that that’s not what we are doing. But yeah, it’s a great thing to do. And as you said, I never thought about actually getting them kind of actually certified, but that’s also a really great technique to have a lot more people being that much more hungrier to work, and to do that much better in the end. Helping your employees to grow (36:15) Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. So for example, like with my team, you know, when I am hiring people, I’ll say to them, “What are your career goals, right? And how can I help you to reach those goals?” And oftentimes they’ll go, “Oh, I wanna get a certification in this. I wanna get a certification in that.” And like, you know, it’s a few hundred dollars or a thousand, $2,000 for that certification. So, you know, my goal is I want my company to be able to pay for that because it’s expensive for them. And if they get that certification, it means that there’s more value that they can bring to the company. And even if after they get the certification, they choose not to stay with us and to go somewhere else. I mean, whatever, that’s their decision, but I see, kind of, my role as the owner of a company to help upskill the people as much as possible. So, for example, like, I just hired a video editor for the podcast because obviously we’re doing video now and I have experience in video editing, but not in managing two streams, two video tracks where you’ve gotta sometimes show just my face, or sometimes show just your face. So like, it becomes really complicated at that point. And he’s 19 from the Philippines. And I for the startup, I have a lot of people from the Philippines. I’m used to working with their culture and I told them, I said, look, “I know you’re young. I know you’re hungry. I want to upskill you from being a video editor, to being a producer. I want you to become so good at what you do that I don’t have to do anything, but give you the raw file and you turn it into a beautiful show. I wanna trust you completely to make all of these creative decisions.” And he was like, ”That sounds great.” You know, I said, and “I want you to look into the analytics of how these videos perform, so that you can be informed, or you can make better decisions about how to edit the videos in the future so that the quality of the content you’re producing becomes better, so that you can also inform me about how I can, you know, do better recordings, so that I can make the show more interesting to make it easier for you to do your job as a producer.” And he’s like mind blown. At 19, like here’s this stranger, he’s just hired me for a job, and he’s like thinking about my future and how he’s gonna, you know, help me do all these things. It’s like, that’s how I look at all the people I hire is like, “How can I make you the best possible person that I possibly can with your career?” So that, even if you don’t do it for me in the future, like, you’ll have those skills. “This is how you lose employees” Because I never got that when I was working for other people and I desperately wanted that because I felt like everyone I worked with had no idea what I was capable of. I could, I knew what I was capable of, but I never had anyone go, “Let me hold your hand, let me help you. Let me give you opportunities. Let me pay for your upskilling. Let me, you know, do this and that,” they just said, “This is your job. Stick to it.” It’s like I didn’t stay with those companies very long because I felt no connection to them whatsoever, other than a paycheck. It’s like, I loved the idea of what I wanted to do, but I didn’t feel like I had any opportunity for growth. So there was no reason to stay. And I think especially with Gen Z, there is this very strong urge to have a sense of purpose at their job. And if they don’t, if they don’t see the opportunity for growth, if they don’t see that the owners care about them, they’re not gonna stay loyal. So I feel like for you, especially in Serbia, especially in, in that area of the world, I think there’s tremendous opportunity and tremendous hunger for young people to have opportunities to make more than the minimum wage of what is it, like, 700 euros, 800 euros in Serbia. So yeah, that’s the way I look at it. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. I completely agree. I recently started implementing that in our agency. So, like, for example, we have a really senior designer for Miami like that we could not afford to be full-time. And then, he basically has weekly calls with our designers, has one-on-ones with the designers. So, like, they can grow and kind of learn a lot more. Almost everybody from the company has English lessons, because I was lucky in a sense that I think I speak good English, but like many people have a really bad accent, or they’re not just not secure to talk to people. So, like, we pay for everybody’s English lessons. For Webflow people, one thing that is technically differentiating Webflow people is knowing JS. So that’s what we’re really focused on that kind, “Okay. You’re a Webflow developer. Everybody can develop a Webflow, they can learn with time, like let’s say in a year you can become a really good Webflow developer.” But then, we also hired an external consultant for JS, so that if they don’t know how to write JS for something, the guy’s writing it, and then, they sit down and kind of just deconstruct it, just see how, how it works. So, I also see a huge value kind of, we have a fund that everybody can use for paying any courses or whatever they want to. So, that’s the biggest thing that motivates people in the end, or going to boot camps. We went to conferences together, and like, I like, for the first conference we went to together, that’s where I saw all of the benefits you just said. Just because I was more of kind of, “We’re gonna learn things, we’re gonna do items or whatever,” but it was more that people who were invited to the conference for really owners that the company’s gonna pay for accommodation, that they’re gonna pay for trip, kinda of, all the lunches there and whatever, and just kind of coming back from a single conference, we came back that much more bonded and that much more with a purpose, whereas before that. So, it is something that I’m looking to invest a lot more in the future. And I would love to also get on a call after the podcast with you just to get a lot more tips on how to motivate people even more. Yes, as you have, a little bit more experience in that area. Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. That would be good. I’m happy to do that. I’m glad that you’re doing that. It’s really cool. And what do you, you were, what? 24, was it? Uros Mikic: 23. Sean Weisbrot: So yeah. Like, people from my, like people from my generation, I just turned 36 yesterday and I straddle the Millennial-Gen X line. I’m like, not even close to the Gen Z line. A lot of people in my generation don’t see things the way you do, or people even older than me, they don’t see it the same way you do. And so, I think having that kind of conversation with you about, “Oh, this is, you know, something you can do for your team. It’s like, yeah, duh, like, of course that’s what I want. Why wouldn’t I give that to them?” I see, I think, a lot of people my age and a little bit older, they don’t see it as they don’t see that very well. So, I’m glad that you’re doing that. It’s really cool. Creating a healthy work culture (42:42) “Treat your employees as you treat yourself” Uros Mikic: Yeah. So, I mean, from that side, I mean, I’m looking at it more like, “Everything I’m doing, my team is able to do.” So, like, if I’m able to not come to work on Friday or whatever, start to work on Friday at 3:00 PM, like, I shouldn’t be mad at my people, like, for coming to work at 3:00 PM, maybe on Friday or whatever. Sometimes let’s say you go to a party, or something, like, you might be hangover. Like, we have a normal company culture. Like, if somebody is hungover, they’re gonna say, “I’m not gonna do almost anything productive today. I’m just kind of here to chill, whatever,” and that’s completely fine. So, that’s what you feel you need to understand with a company, that everybody’s is the same as you are, and you should treat it that way. And then the company’s gonna scale much faster looking at it. Sean Weisbrot: Well, that’s why I decided to never have an office anywhere and to basically have no, no determination of when people work, because a lot of the people we hire are either engaged, married, or have kids. There’s like, I think two people who are single that’s me and one of the other employees. And so, I wanna be wherever I want whenever I want, right? So, I spent three weeks in Greece, and then, two weeks in Slovenia. Now I’m a week in Spain and I’ll be here for another week or two, and then, I’ll be in Portugal for at least a month or two. So like, I wanna move around. So why can’t my team? “Work is not your everything” I don’t wanna work at eight in the morning. Maybe I wanna start work at noon. Like, you know, everyone should be able to make a determination for themselves of where, you know, where do I work best, when do I work best? And have I taken care of my personal life first, so that I can come to work thinking, you know, just about work and nothing else, because I know, I’ve been there. When I was married, and I would have a fight with my wife, which when I was married, right. I’m divorced now. When I was married, if I had a fight with my wife, it ruined the rest of my day. I couldn’t think about work. I was only thinking about what went wrong and how can I try to resolve it when I get to see her next, you know, in the evening. It’s like, you know, if your kid gets sick and you have to take him to the doctor and you’re sitting at work, like, you’re not thinking about work, you’re thinking about taking your kid to the doctor, like get off the computer and go take your kid to the freaking doctor, like, take care of your personal life first before you think about work. So, I think there’s this huge cultural shift. And I think COVID’s really the thing that set it off. There’s this guy I am going to interview really soon. And one of the things that he does for his team is he gives them all virtual reality headsets so they can play together. It’s like, they play mini golf and, you know, table tennis and all that. So like, “Hey, I wanna blow off some steam. Well, Uros you want to go play some mini golf with me. Yeah, sure. No problem.” It’s like, you know, I see a lot of really cool stuff that people are starting to do now for their teams. Uros Mikic: Yeah. But I also have a different point of that, kind of, technically, we have an office and we have like a 400 square meter office or whatever. Like, there’s like a coffee shop. There is, you know, table tennis and all the usual stuff you have in the office, whatever, focus rooms and stuff like that. But I feel like specifically for younger people, we really like to bond with each other and kind of even like, we just, we met kind of, we’re gonna be talking over podcast or whatever, but there’s nothing that’s gonna be replacing the face to face conversation. And then, also, the first time you speak to somebody’s face to face, the next time you jump on a meeting, you’re gonna have maybe a thing you did together to laugh about or whatever. And only then, talk about work and just kind of have that much better connection. So that’s why on our side, we usually have people for first three months mandatory to be in the office. So they meet everybody who’s at that point in the office and just kind of meet the team and can become that much more bonded to the company. And then, when they know everybody, whatever, they could go ahead, travel, do whatever they want to, or like kind of like live their own life. As you said, like with no constraints, but they at least met everybody in person. They know how, how everybody’s feeling, how like how they should talk to different people. Just because I feel like when I talk with somebody in person, I know how they’re gonna react after that. And I know how I’m gonna be talking to them. Whereas online, like you’re gonna talk to everybody in the same way and that can maybe come up wrong in the industry. You’re not gonna feel the emotions. Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. It’s difficult because for us, our team is spread across like nine different countries. So Uros Mikic: Yeah, that’s true. Sean Weisbrot: I, and I know. So for example, I wanted to, so I went to Greece in April and my hope was that the company could afford to pay for all of the execs. There’s five of us; to meet in Greece together because one of the guys is from Greece and one of the girls was living in Turkey and it’s like an hour from Istanbul, whatever. So I figured, okay, “She can come, I can, you know, I’ll be there. He’s gonna be there.” And then, the other two guys, one is in Malaysia and one is in the Philippines. Now, the guy in Malaysia’s got a wife and kids, the guy in the Philippines has a wife and kids, you know. Me and the girl in Turkey, we’re both single, so, it’s easy for us to travel around; the guy in Greece has a wife and kids. So, I wanted to bring those other two guys over and they’re like, “I don’t know how you expect me to get there without my wife.” And like, “I can’t go there for a week or two, and leave my wife and kids behind it just, it’s not gonna happen. So if you wanna pay for them to come to Greece two. Okay. But otherwise, like we, we just can’t do that.” Especially because the guy in Malaysia, his kid’s like a year old, you know? Uros Mikic: Yeah. Sean Weisbrot: And I was like, “We can’t afford to do that.” So, you know, let’s wait another year or two, but like, the guy in Malaysia, I’ve known for 20 plus years. Like, I’ve known him in person for many, many years in my life. But, I got to meet my marketing director, who’s in Greece. And when I get to Portugal in a few weeks, I’ll be able to meet my product manager, who’s now living there. She’s moved from Turkey to Portugal, just like I’m moving to Portugal. So I’ll get to work with her more face-to-face and all that. So that’s good. But my hope is that the team moves around and meets each other. And actually, some of the guys in the Philippines have met each other and gone on holiday together, you know, with their wives and kids and all that. So, that’s good. But like, you know, we’ve got a person in Pakistan, a person in India now, person in Greece, in Portugal, Malaysia, and the Philippines. And like, it’s not easy to get everyone together, you know, for us, but… Uros Mikic: Yeah, that’s true. That that’s true. I feel like that’s the tradeoff. So, you were probably gonna get a little bit better talent just because you have the whole world to choose from instead of choosing from your area. But I feel like on our side, we have maybe a little bit more tighter culture in the company. So, we’re gonna be making up for that loss of talent, like maybe on that global scale, because we have a much closer culture in the company and just kind of we’re scaling as that. Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. So one of the things that we do is we use AltspaceVR. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. Uros Mikic: I haven’t yet. No. Sean Weisbrot: So some of us have VR headsets. Actually, I left mine in America. So now, one of us has a VR headset and you can also access it from a desktop. And there’s this game. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Cards Against Humanity. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. Sean Weisbrot: So, someone created a virtual reality version of it and it’s called, uh, I can’t remember the name. Anyways, it’s basically the same thing. So like, we’ll get 10 people together or 8 people together, and we’ll play this game and it’s a lot of fun because you get to see how people think and how they put together, like their answers. And you can start to see patterns of like, for example, one of the team members, like, every time they will pick my answer and they don’t know it’s my answer, but they like my humor. And so like, you get to see, who’s picking who, and not because they have any way of knowing who’s submitted the answer, but they can, you can intuitively understand the psychology behind the way they think, and what makes them laugh, and therefore, why they chose that thing. And so, you can see, “Oh, this person’s humor fits this person’s,” you know, so you can, you can see those connections. And that’s really cool because it’s unspoken and probably nobody else on the team is thinking about it, except for me because of my background It’s like, I look into the deeper connections and all that. So, that’s something fun that we do. But I mean, yeah, I would love to arrange for people to get together. There’s this place on Airbnb. It’s like, you can rent an island for like a thousand dollars a night or something like on an island. You get an island, it has like a building and there’s wait staff. And it’s like, all the food and everything is included. They do everything for you for like, it’s like a thousand dollars a night for like, let’s say 10, 15 people. So, I’m like, that sounds great. You know, let’s rent an island for a week for 10 people, you know, it’s only seven, eight grand. It’s like, fantastic. But then of course, you gotta pay for them to fly there. And for visa, if there’s anything. So like, of course, it’s not just seven or eight grand, it’s like maybe 20 grand, but, um.. Uros Mikic: And also timelines. Is everybody gonna be available? Like, he’s, their kid’s birthday on that day. And so, they’re not gonna come or whatever. So like, they’re also many different… Sean Weisbrot: Oh, you just bring their kid and let them celebrate their birthday on the island. Uros Mikic: Ah, okay. Yeah, we’re younger. So like, there’s gonna be probably some drinking involved in front an island, and then, kids together on that front are not gonna play out so, so well, but yeah. I guess that’s us. We are like, usually 25, 26 are people in our agency. So, like, I still have to come to those problems slowly. Like, I just came to vacations for the first time with a team of 25 people. So that’s a nightmare to organize, just because to everybody, you don’t need notice, you’re gonna take a vacation whenever you want to, but I just have, but, and then, I’m just kind of working overtime or whatever, just to figure out how to plan all the workload without them, that they shouldn’t worry about because they have a job, they shouldn’t worry about when they’re gonna take on vacation or like, whatever. Benefits of hiring more people (52:23) Sean Weisbrot: Sounds like you need an operational manager or director. If you don’t have one now, let them do that. That’s their job. Uros Mikic: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Hopefully, I mean, like we’re scaling people from kind of the inside of the organization. So, like, kind of, we just have technically a CTO for recently kind of format flow, technically a unique CTO position, from a developer that’s been working with us. I mean, since I started working six years ago, whatever, like, not technically full time, six years ago. But yeah, slowly as kind of the time progresses, hopefully, we’re gonna have some more people kind of coming up. Just because, I mean, I’m a little bit scared of hiring externally, but I know that’s the thing that’s gonna move your business that much further in having somebody that has completely different kind of points of things that you’re doing in the business in the end. Sean Weisbrot: The best advice I can give you from this point of view is if you want the opportunity to be completely needless, you know, completely unnecessary in your, in this business, hire a daily operations manager, director, COO, whatever you wanna call them, give them control over managing the human side of the business. And then you just get to be the fun guy. Uros Mikic: I never thought about that. I might think of who can be from our team, or hiring externally. That’s that. That’s true. I don’t know, have you read a book? The E-Myth? Sean Weisbrot: I’ve heard of it. I think you’re like the second person to mention in the last few weeks, but I haven’t read it. Uros Mikic: Yeah, it’s great. So that’s how I’m trying to slowly, as the business is older and older running it, technically he says, kind of, how when you go to the best hotel there is, you’re always gonna get the same experience and just kind of conveying that into your business, how every single client that comes, even if you’re there, if you’re not, if you’re busy or if you’re not, then I had the exactly, the same business and that’s completely catered kind to your customer. Like, for example, McDonald’s whenever in the world you go to McDonald’s, they have an unbelievably good process and everything is just gonna work. And that’s how I’m starting to think of my business. And then, we’re just hiring a customer success manager. So, as we have a lot of clients turnover, like earning money from the existing customers is probably the best thing we can do, but we’re not, so just kind of interacting with them, seeing what they like, what they didn’t like and just kind of improving that process. So, but, the operations manager is gonna for sure be the next position I’m gonna be looking at, either kind of promoting somebody to, or something similar. “Grunt work is not your job as CEO” Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. So the way that I see it is any position that takes your time or any task that is repeatable and takes your time is a task you shouldn’t be doing. So, let’s say you spent fifty or a hundred hours thinking about just planning that holiday for your team. If you had an operations manager, they could do it, or they could have an assistant. And that assistant’s job is to organize everything so that they can still think about how to manage the rest of the daily stuff. So that you can think about how you can train your customer success managers, so that they can think about what they need to be asking people, so that you can increase your revenue from your existing customers before they churn out. Right? So like, as I was talking to a guy recently who hit a revenue ceiling, because he’s running his business by himself, he’s making 20 grand a month, but he’s doing it, everything himself. And he’s sitting there, he’s your age? He’s 23. And he’s enjoying himself, he’s saving a hundred percent of the money because he has no cost living at home with his parents. And I’m like, do you wanna spend the rest of your twenties making 20 grand a month? Or do you wanna hire someone to handle your, you know, nonsense stuff that you do? So you can have the time to think about how to grow to a hundred thousand a month or more. And he is like, “Oh, that would be great, you know.” I was like, “So, why aren’t you hiring someone?” He’s like, “I hadn’t thought of it.” He’s like, okay, well, yeah. Uros Mikic: Yeah that’s, true. “Building a business vs Freelancing” Sean Weisbrot: Now, you have the thought. Now, you have the thought. Now, you have to decide what do you want. Do you wanna be a company with employees or do you wanna be a freelancer who keeps all of the money for himself? I’d rather have a business that does tens of millions of dollars a year and has a team to share it with than to have a hundred thousand a year and keep it to myself or 200,000 a year, whatever, and keep it to myself. Uros Mikic: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I completely agree there. And I know in my process, just because let’s say if you’re making 20K, to make 20K again, as a company profitably, you’re gonna need to hire that much people, and you’re gonna have that much more revenue in the end to kind of have that kind of clean cash in the end. But that is allowing me to, let’s say, I go to Africa for 10 days and not open my laptop. Whereas previously, if I was away for 10 days, everything would be falling apart and I will be probably stressed out or burned out in like two years or whatever. So, it’s not the way out. “Hiring the right person will save your company” Sean Weisbrot: Exactly. An operations manager allows you to go away for two months and the company does, or a year, and the company doesn’t burn down because, I mean, obviously, you have to trust them. But like operations managers as well, like, they’re not just managing the people. They’re also managing, you know, like all of the different departments and what does your data structures look like? How does data flow between departments? You know, how do you manage your server load? How do you manage, you know, different revenue sources? Like there, there’s a lot of different things that they can do. It depends on what you’re good at, what you wanna do, and things like that. My, COO is like a God send. He’s incredible, seriously. Like, I told, yeah, I’ve only said this publicly once before, my company would’ve burned to the ground years ago if I hadn’t hired this guy, but, and he’s a good friend of mine for 22 years. So, I knew that I could trust him. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. Our lead project manager, like she’s technically the, exactly the same thing just for projects. Just because I know our company would burn down, like, if we didn’t have our lead project manager. So, probably the next step is maybe hiring few more project managers gonna beneath her just because we have three, but just to, so she doesn’t have to focus on project management, then, just kind of slowly progress into the operational manager and just kind of think of follow the procedures I’m thinking of solely, I guess. Sean Weisbrot: You just said something perfect. If she’s really good at what she does, take her out of it and have her train and manage other people. And you know, that you’ll trust her because you trust her now. However, you also need to focus on, I don’t know if she has experience managing people, but managing managers is a totally different game. So, you have to be aware that, you know, she is capable of managing managers. Because it’s one thing if she’s managing people who do the work in the project, but it’s another to manage the people who manage the people who do the project. Uros Mikic: Yeah. And that’s what I’m scared of the most. Like, I’ve tried having, let’s say, a three-way company, like let’s say to me, it’s a manager and then it’s somebody doing the job. And then, it’s really easy to know how everybody feels and just to know the feedback loop is not that high. But soon as you introduce the next, the fourth step, I’m kind of scared of losing kind of maybe either some data or losing some feedback from our customers, or losing feedback from our employees. Sean Weisbrot: And that’s why you need an operations manager because it’s their full time job to do that stuff for you. Uros Mikic: Yep. I have the to-do list on that. Yeah. Sean Weisbrot: It’s the introduction of that next layer that enables your company to get to 10 or 20 million dollars a year. Uros Mikic: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s for sure what I’m gonna be introducing. Like, it feels like it’s also really scary in terms of cash flow, just because it’s like, let’s say, we just added a customer success manager. It’s not technically bringing your revenue, but it’s bringing your revenue long term. So, it’s again a non-billable position. Like, as you’re, we are a small team, like, I mean, 25 people is not a lot looking at a global scale. Like, another non-billable person is gonna be a little bit higher for the business, but I feel like it’s gonna be really beneficial in the long term to actually scale from these, like, from these cash. Like, we’re going to too much further, further on. Sean Weisbrot: I bet if you hire an operations manager and two more project managers and you remove yourself from the project, you remove yourself from the operations, in a year or two, you’ll need to have 20 more customer success managers. Uros Mikic: That’s true. Yeah. Yeah. Hopefully, that’s gonna be the case. I’m looking forward to that, but I’m also scared and I know, I’m not actually scared, but at the moment, let’s say, this is, like, let’s say, we will bring in an operational manager, a few more devs and come to 30 to 40 people, like, it can be sort of a lifestyle business. Whereas it’s growing slowly, basically, like at one point, this is not gonna cause any stress on me. I can focus on different things in life like, I’ve skipped, let’s say, six years from 15 to 23 working 20, 12, 16 hours a day. And only recently started to travel a lot, started to enjoy life a little bit more. So, I’m scared of, should we go to, let’s say, create a system to go to a hundred people or should we not? I’m kind of still thinking that in my head. Sean Weisbrot: All that depends is what you want. The thing is like, you can do certain businesses in a lean way, but there are some things that are very resource intensive. So, you can very easily have a team of a hundred and you might do 30 million a year, and if you only had 40 people, you might be stuck at 5 million a year. You know, you may need that large jump in order to, because a lot of them might just be sales people, right? You may have a ton of sales people doing, you know, receiving inbound leads or doing outbound leads. So, it really all depends on, don’t focus on the number of 100. Just know that you have to decide what kind of a business you want, and how big you want it to be, and how much money you wanna make, and why you wanna make that, and how you’re going to use it, and how you can give back to your team and to your community and, you know, do the things that make you happy. And that’s kind of the most important thing. And don’t think about the number, but just know your company will break at certain numbers of people, as well as certain revenue, revenue ceilings, or plateaus, or whatever you wanna call it. So certain levels. So, you know, you’ll get through them if you want them, if you want to, and if you don’t want them, then you don’t have to go to them. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. But I feel like as some are really passionate person in terms of working. I get to, let’s say 10 people, then everything is working like perfectly, then, like it becomes boring after three months, and then, your class being 15, like, and then, something breaks, then you’re kind of fixing everything again, get to 20, fixing everything in 25. And I mean, it’s still great, but then probably right now, I’m feeling like, “Okay, we can get a little bit more.” So I have a little bit of a bigger challenge in how to manage that. And the customer success is still at the point basically that we had it before. “Your company’s growth is in your hands” Sean Weisbrot: So the way that I look at a traditional business is the more money you reinvest from the revenue, the more likely you’re gonna grow, the faster you’ll get to those goals, the faster you’ll break your business, and that’s fine. But again, it’s all decision making, you know. Like, you could say, “Okay, my company does 5 million a year and there’s like 2 million profit. I’m gonna take 1.8 million home this year, and I’m gonna invest 200,000 in marketing for the next year.” Like, or you could say, “I’m gonna take 200,000 home this year and put 1.8 million into, you know, marketing, and hiring and upskilling and you know, whatever.” So, as the business owner, it’s on you to decide what you wanna do with that money, you know? Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. But I guess I have a pretty, pretty good place to live in just because I don’t have where to spend that money, or do I wanna spend it like in the end? So, it’s much more fun for me. Like, specifically, lately, I don’t even look at numbers. It’s more about, I know we make really good cash flow currently, and like, we’re reinvesting everything kind of buying the best equipment. We just hired five more people for an internship, like for three months test period. So like, we don’t need them, but like, probably in three months when, like, two of them are good to start developments, they’re gonna be able to join the team and continue there. So yeah, I feel like that’s the thing that motivates me more is reinvesting and then scaling and seeing how people grow and specifically seeing how people grow. Just because I saw the same people three years ago, and see them now, and I’m like, “You’re probably better at management than I am. Good job.” Like, how did this happen? So it’s fun. Sean Weisbrot: Well, that’s the best job that you can do is to make your team better at you on specific things so that you don’t need to do those things. There’s a lot of things I do now, still, that I hate doing that. I’m not good at like, I’m a generalist, right? Which means I’m okay to good at a lot of things, but I’m not great at anything. And so, I can start pretty much anything I need for the company, but then very quickly it breaks or it sucks. And so, I need to hire someone who’s a specialist in that thing to come and fix it and then, you know, build on it. So… Uros Mikic: Yeah, but that’s also, I feel like while you’re a CEO, like, for example, let’s say, if you create a podcast like this, maybe first few podcasts are gonna become bad. You’re gonna understand the process. You’re gonna know what to look for in a person you’re hiring, and then, you can kind of delegate it, versus if you didn’t know how to start it in the beginning, it would be really hard to hire somebody to start it for you, or just kind of organize it from the start in the end. Sean Weisbrot: I mean, yeah, I did a podcast years ago, years ago just by myself. So this was the first time I did it with two people, and I’ve been doing it for almost two years. I’m still editing the audio, but now that I’ve gotten to video, I’ve hired a video editor because I am not messing with that. Because at the same time, the editor can do five minute clips for YouTube and like 40-second clips for all the other platforms, which again, like, I’m not gonna play that stuff. I just, I don’t have the energy for that. And that’s one of the reasons why the podcast hasn’t really blown up is because I didn’t have the energy to invest in doing all of these different clips here and there and subtitles and all this, because I have the startup. Like, I’ve gotta run another company that has 12 employees and do this. And so it’s, it’s a lot of energy, a lot of, uh, time taken up. Uros Mikic: Yeah, yeah. Sean Weisbrot: But I am looking for a person to help me with the actual sound part, the audio part. And I’m looking for potentially a VA actually, no, I’m looking for someone to help me with. So, like, I’ve got transcriptions, so, I’ve done like this one click transcript generation for each of the episodes, but I’ve got about 83 episodes that I haven’t fixed the transcriptions and turned them into chapters with timestamps so that I can put them on Google, and YouTube, and all that. So, I’m actually looking for someone to help with that as well right now. So, not sure if, you know, anybody in Serbia who’s looking for some extra work, but I’m willing to talk to them. Uros Mikic: Yeah, yeah. We can think about that. Like, there are a lot of people they’re doing copyright that they can maybe adjust to transcribing, or something like that. So yeah, that’s a possibility. Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. Copywriting, isn’t so important. It’s really being able to listen to the audio in English and then make sure that they fix the transcriptions because the transcription’s already there, so they just have to fix it. So, that’s like the biggest problem is finding someone who’s English level is high enough that they can hear what I’m saying. And if their English is good enough, they can listen at 1.5 X. They can do it even faster, but it’s like hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of work easily to get all of them up to date. Because, like, I didn’t do it before, so now I’ve got this massive backlog and it’s really important to get chapters on YouTube to segment all the videos and things like that. So I’m like kind of, I’m trying to like, I spent almost the last two years doing everything for the podcast for myself. And then, you know, a few months ago I was like, I’m broken. Like, I love the podcast, but like I wanna get into the video and it’s just gonna be more complicated. So, like, I need a sound engineer, I need a video engineer, and I need some like sort of VA, someone to help me with like the other additional stuff that, like, I just can’t like put the energy into anymore. So that’s kind of my own journey. Uros Mikic: Yeah. There are a lot of people teaching English in Serbia. So, you are gonna have a lot of pool of people to get them away from teaching kind of English. Like, they usually teach English for Japanese people, Chinese people or stuff, something like. Sean Weisbrot: They’re Serbian people? Uros Mikic: So they’re not earning. Yes, yes. Sean Weisbrot: How much are they earning? Uros Mikic: So, like, they’re yeah. So, like, from 500 to 1000 euros per month, something like that, it’s a usual wage there they’re earning, and they’re working like eight hours a day. And sometimes into some strange hours just because of the times and differences between the two countries. But for some people it’s fine. So, like having a job to do something like engaging, like, a little bit more engaging just because the teaching becomes too repetitive, and just kind of listening to podcasts, or like doing something more, they can be a great pool of people for you. Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. I mean the like if anything, they should look at it like this, the knowledge they will gain by listening to these episodes is invaluable. The only thing I’m afraid is they’re going to learn so much, they’re gonna think they can start their own company, and then, they’re gonna leave. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Sean Weisbrot: They’ll be like, damn, I can be a CEO now. Uros Mikic: Yeah. But you said you wanna upskill your, all of your people. So, like, that’s gonna be one of the benefits for them. Like, after listening to podcasts for six months, you can open up your business for free. Sean Weisbrot: No, I know. But like, well I guess after six months I wouldn’t need their help anymore, maybe, it depends. If they do other things, if they’re like an assistant for other things as well, then, yeah. I’ll have a reason to keep them on. But if they’re just doing the transcripts, then like it’s, you know, it’s a batch work. It’s a project right now and that. Oh, I hate to do this. Unfortunately I just realized my time with the meeting room is done. So, we’re gonna have to end this. Uros Mikic: No worries. Sean Weisbrot: And I’ll have to end the recording. It’s been fantastic talking with you. I’m gonna probably, I’m gonna keep all of this. I’m not gonna, I may not publish all of it. I’m not sure. I haven’t decided because I’m like trying to get into a membership program. So, like, I may do half of the video is like free, and then, the other half is, like, only if you’re a paying member. I’m not sure. I’m trying, like, plus, I recorded our intro call. So, I’m like trying to find ways to add value to the membership so that people are like, “Oh crap.” Like, “I get to hear extra stuff that these CEOs are talking about with each other.” So like, I may end the, like, after 40 minutes or so, and then, like the rest is like, “Oh, if you’re paying member, you can listen to us talk about like what we’re actually doing inside of our businesses.” Uros Mikic: Yeah. Yeah. That could be a case. I mean, one of my friend is like that, that I showed you the podcast that I was in, he’s doing like for paid members. Like, they, he’s sending the podcast two weeks before. So, like they get a podcast first, and then after that, when it’s public, everybody else gets them. Sean Weisbrot: Yeah. Uros Mikic: So like, that’s one of the things, and then, he’s also doing a paid memberships, kind of, let’s say, a month with me and you. So, like, for example, we’re gonna have a specific topic and I’m gonna do a workshop on top of it. So, I don’t know for him, it’s like 60 euros per month or something like that. And then he’s offering five CEOs doing some workshops. So, for me it might be something simple as developing a Webflow website and then actually showcasing how it looks on the screen. The thing that we talked about, somebody’s doing a session about kind of leadership or something like that. And then, he had like a lot of like 300 to 500 people just paying him pretty easily every single month. Sean Weisbrot: Cool. Uros Mikic: So, it’s a great revenue stream for him. Sean Weisbrot: All right. Sounds good. I’ll I’d like to know more about it. Let’s end this episode here. Uros Mikic: Yeah. Sean Weisbrot: Uh, how can people follow up with you? Uros Mikic: Yeah. So the best place is LinkedIn or Twitter. I don’t use any other social media. So, ideally, Twitter is gonna be the best, but then LinkedIn, if they have some business kind of inquiries or something like that. Sean Weisbrot: Okay. So I’ll put that in the show notes. It’ll be on YouTube. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me, Uros, appreciate it. This has been a great conversation, very valuable. Hopefully, people look into Webflow after they watch this. And if you have anyone that’s interested in developing a website, definitely look at Webflow before going to WordPress just blindly. And don’t forget that entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. So take care of yourself every day. And make sure you have a beautiful website so you can attract many great potential customers who make you and your team tons of money, so you can pay to upscale them and everyone lives happily ever after. Thank you, Uros. Uros Mikic: Thank you. Thank you so much for inviting me, Sean. Thank you everybody for listening. Sean Weisbrot: Thank you for standing with us until the end of this. We know that you’ll like the other two that are on the screen now. The one on the top, right, is the episode that we think you would benefit from by listening to next the most. And the one beneath it is what YouTube believes is also a really good choice for you. So, thanks again for sticking with us, and we hope to see you on the next video.

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