Today’s Entrepreneur is Yesterday’s Superstar Employee

Think about this headline for a little bit and then ask yourself this simple question: How did I get the confidence to start my own entrepreneurship? Understanding, of course, that your entrepreneurship is an extension of yourself, it’s reasonable to conclude that you have already proven to yourself that the skills, knowledge and experience needed to operate a business are all a part of your make-up, but had been honed during a former employment position.

You may have used this talent to catapult your employer’s company to super success status; but could not claim any more of the company’s success than what your position commanded, which was somewhat short of the value you added. Now that you are an entrepreneur with your own business that needs to be catapulted to success status, you’re betting on this same talent to take your business over the top; and that is certainly understandable.

However, you need a plan for your business and it cannot be the same plan used by your former employer; although the time and energy you put into it will undoubtedly be the same, if not more. Yes, you need a new plan for your new business. A plan that is just as good as or better than the one under which you became a superstar while carrying out the duties for your former employer. A plan to grow. A success plan.

Your strategy must be a proven one that has worked for small businesses as well as some of the larger companies; and it must be a strategy that is flexible enough to allow for the kind of adjustments that will become necessary as your business begin to grow and take on additional responsibilities, new staff and renewed objectives. Of this new staff, perhaps the most important part, is the sales staff whose function it is to promote and market your product/service, but also a positive image of your company.

Understand that no matter how small your company is, you can hire a sales force that can catapult company growth like you never imagined. Therefore your plan must supportive of astronomical growth and the strategy employed to execute such a plan must be instructive as well as thorough; taking into account that while you have a natural ability to build your own business, the help you will need to achieve massive success must also have “natural” ability or be capable of being taught to perform at the highest levels of achievement.

In other words, the kind of help you’re going to need is individuals who are considered to fit the profile of top producers in your type of business and you – based on your strategy – must be able to identify this type of individual based on a psychological profile, or the person’s past achievements. This type of person might be someone you can put in a bad situation with poor tools, no training, bad resources and still, within a few months, begin to out-perform any other individual within the same setting.

Since it will be your responsibility to select the kind of superstars you want for your company – as you had been when you were employed – you may be interested to know, if you don’t already, the two things that drive the superstar. They are both critical traits and they work perfectly together when you can find them. The first is empathy and the second is self esteem.

Empathy is described as the need to bond with others; to find something likable about every person. It is a wonderful trait to find in a salesperson and allows that individual to just keep going at the client every which way, trying to find more and more ways to serve that client, to please that client. Empathy is a key trait and part of your interview process – part of your overall strategy – must be specifically designed to find their empathy.

Self Esteem is described as a strong sense of self; and you have to recognize that great sales results come from people with very high self-esteem. Only a person with an extra dose of self-esteem persists with a client time after time even after the client has said no. People with weak self esteem will walk away after only a single rejection, because they fear rejection and therefore never actually close a sale.

Studies show that 48% of salespeople give up after only one rejection. Only 4% will try more than 4 times. Yet it takes 8.4 rejections to get a meeting, and even with eMail Marketing it takes 7 emails to a subscriber before the marketer makes a sale. What makes the difference between someone who will face that rejection one time and quit or 40 times and never quit, is purely personal self esteem.

Another aspect of a strong self esteem is personal ambition. Don’t you love it when you hire someone who innovates, expands upon and improves every single task you assign to them? You were that person with your previous employer, so it stands to reason that you will have a pretty good understanding of this type of individual, and as such will be profoundly empathetic to his/her desire to join your company’s sales staff.

Another characteristic of self esteem can be described as the need to please, which can make some people of this ilk seem overly eager-to-please in a job interview; but you shouldn’t let a little bravado put you off; it is the quintessential trait in every superstar. In an interview, the person is the product, so they must present themselves with confidence to assure you that s/he is the one you’re looking for. Such aggressive behavior will scare some employers, but it is exactly what you need in a salesperson, and something you know only too well.

Are You Managing Your Business Bottom Line?

If you don’t keep track of how much money you’re making, you have no idea whether your business is successful or not. You can’t tell how well your marketing is working. And I don’t just mean you should know the amount of your total sales or gross revenue. You need to know what your net profit is. If you don’t, there’s no way you can know how to increase it.

If you want your business to be successful, you need to make a financial plan and check it against the facts on a monthly basis, then take immediate action to correct any problems. Here are the steps you should take:

  • Create a financial plan for your business. Estimate how much revenue you expect to bring in each month, and project what your expenses will be.
  • Remember that lost profits can’t be recovered. When entrepreneurs compare their projections to reality and find earnings too low or expenses too high, they often conclude, “I’ll make it up later.” The problem is that you really can’t make it up later: every month profits are too low is a month that is gone forever.
  • Make adjustments right away. If revenues are lower than expected, increase efforts in sales and marketing or look for ways to increase your rates. If overhead costs are too high, find ways to cut back. There are other businesses like yours around. What is their secret for operating profitably?
  • Think before you spend. When considering any new business expense, including marketing and sales activities, evaluate the increased earnings you expect to bring in against its cost before you proceed to make a purchase.
  • Evaluate the success of your business based on profit, not revenue. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of dollars you are bringing in each month if your expenses are almost as high, or higher. Many high-revenue businesses have gone under for this very reason — don’t be one of them.