I know that a lot of you are struggling to get your business off the ground: get your first sales, get a little growth in revenue, perhaps hire your first employee. It is always a struggle to get things going, but sometimes you will have a situation where you will get more business than you can possibly handle. I have written about our experience with this kind of problem, where our business growth was somewhat out of control because of being listed on Yahoo, but I have also run across another business that had the same situation. It was a one man shop that brokered logistics services. The owner ran across some government business, wound up selling millions of dollars, and had a very hard time dealing with it all. Last year the company grossed between 10 and 15 million dollars with probably half of that gross profit before salaries and such.
The company has only been in business 7 years, since 2003. The owner is an exceptional sales person but in 2000 – 2001 was basically broke and penniless. He sold used cars to try to earn enough to support his family. He also waited tables. This all happened because the great MLM business we were all doing had collapsed. Where I went back to work, he had to start again from scratch.
Today the owner of this logistics company has 7 acres of property on a river in Florida, a boat, jet skis, a golf cart to get around his property, a 2006 corvette, a brand new Cadillac Escalade, and two other cars. He also owns several investment properties. All of what he has is fully paid for, no debt. Plus he has enough in secure investments to provide him with income for the rest of his life. In fact, he bought the Escalade with his American Express.
The business now has 5 total employees: all of the labor, trucking, and other work is brokered out to other companies. It is still a lot of work and the business has challenges. After several years, the business may be losing the government work that made them so incredibly busy. Since they started getting the government logistics work, they had not sold any additional work because they were so incredibly busy. Now they must devise a strategy and build a sales team and sell again, but motivation to rebuild is definitely an issue.
If you find yourself in this kind of situation, there are people who can help. I know that you may be an entrepreneur and a sales person, but not a business manager. You may have a hard time trusting people because you’ve been burned. I understand. There are people who can help and I can definitely put you in touch with the right people to help you with your problems. People who are trustworthy and who will really help, and will help you feel comfortable that you are really going to be helped and not leached upon.
Business consulting is not cheap but will pay dividends. It will help you get control of your business, your personnel issues, and your business problems. You will sleep better at night and have the time to think for 5 minutes. The right business consultant can help you get your business growing again. And consultants are like temps, they take no benefits and go away once the project is complete. No need to fire them.