This is part two in the series of how I became an entrepreneur.
Although there are several different types of leadership in business, for the most part, there are two different types of roles and people who take them on. There are those who create projections, understand cash flow, expenses, employee roles, payroll, taxes, and start up costs. And there are the rest of us. We figure it out, estimate, plan in our heads, see the plan, move forward while creating the plan and bend like a river to accomplish our goals.
Knowing where you fall on the spectrum of leaders is key to your success. If you don’t take ownership of your strengths and weaknesses, they can become your biggest internal struggle.
There are plenty of books that can guide you towards marketing, sales and how to run a business, but trying to take on the wrong role will most definitely hinder your progress.
Once I figured out and expressed my vision for our company as the key sales and marketing person, I was very clear with my partners with what I needed from them. I knew my skills and they were and are sales and marketing, being a good cheerleader, thinking on my feet and having several balls in the air at once. Lastly, as a business owner, I owned my statements, if I made a statement it was fact, if I made a commitment I honored it. I knew and know to this day, what I bring to the table.
If you have a partner, you need to make sure they are just as committed to their task and your success as you are. You also need to be confident in their ability to perform their job, so you can do yours. The right partner will make sure that you have what you need to accomplish your goals.
As a team, we set out to build a whole new company model, brand and product. As the sales/marketing arm, I set out to bring in new employees and new business. We spent months planning and projecting our new income and expense opportunity. It was a realistic, not pie in the sky, very simple but aggressive plan. In the very first couple of meetings I had with prospective employees, I found out what I already believed to be true, that our model was conceptually a game-changer and a winner. What I also found out was that the first prospective employees I met with knew their value and would want 20% more than I had anticipated paying in compensations. I had already accounted for a competitive increase, but not an additional nearly 20% increase. We wanted and needed these specific industry people to make our plan work. Well, there went our payroll budget, which affected our projected profit almost immediately.
Once our key prospective employees committed to join us, we reached out to the next tier of prospective employees who also raised the bar on our payroll expectations, but again we were already building out a new location for the new business, we were all in so to speak, so there was no turning back. It was on me, the sales guy, to make sure we hit our stride.