Suggestions when starting a business from nothing

-When I started, I focused as much as possible on selling. I was the main owner, and I thought it was easier to delegate recruiting and staffing than to delegate sales.

-Figure out how many sales calls you need to make each day to hit your goals, and strive to exceed them every day.

-I would temper this by adding that you need to avoid risk as well. Every business type has its own risk. For me, it was predominantly workers’ compensation. I should have focused better on acquiring clients in low-risk positions. Try to avoid jobs with too much heavy lifting or in positions in which there’s a higher chance to get injured. My biggest mistake early on was not going after enough clerical positions or just enough low risk positions. The workers comp, long run, has hurt me a bit.

– I keep focusing on finding better clients, not just any clients. We try to get our current clients to increase their business with us and advise them on how find better employees. Part of what we do is communicate with them, earn their trust, and advise them. And yes, sometimes this means telling them something they don’t want to hear. I think of sales as a recruiting strategy. Want to lower turnover? Find jobs people actually want to have. Every business can have their own version of this: 1. advise your client, and 2. earn even more of their business. It’s often said that your best prospects are your current clients.  

-Don’t get too bogged down on paperwork and minutiae at first. Try to focus the main working hours during the day on sales. Any calls I had to take or do that weren’t sales related I tried to push off until Friday at 4 p.m. or after 5 p.m. 

-I got involved in my local Society for Human Resources (SHRM) chapter, and I got involved from the beginning in leads/networking groups. In person is still better than virtual. I still participate, and I’m in it for the long run. You still get clients that way, just not as fast as cold calling. But they’ve been good clients. Every business owner who wants to grow their business, network, and stay up-to-date on their business should consider joining their local trade chapter.

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