Turn Your Job Into a Business

In my last blog article, I discussed the fact that most distributors don’t really own a business, but rather, they own a job. The test to determine if you own your own business is if you can fly to Hawaii for three months and tell someone else where to send your check.

The key words in the above sentence are “someone else.” In order to truly own a business, you need to find a way to make money from the efforts of others. Almost all people think this means they need to hire sales reps. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not. It’s very possible to make money from the efforts of others without sales reps. More about that later.

First, let’s discuss hiring sales reps. There are some important considerations I encourage you to review prior to hiring sales reps:

  1. Have you maximized you? Have you found the best way to delegate all non-revenue producing activity? I call it the $20-per-hour work. $20-per-hour work includes sourcing, pricing, order entry, order follow up, billing, credit, collections, accounts payable and most other administrative tasks. Wealth building activity is finding new customers and selling more to your current customers. (Eventually we will add two more items to the list of wealth building activities.)
  2. Identify what type of sales reps you want to hire. The two basic types would be those with existing industry sales experience (and presumably accounts that will transfer), and those without industry sales experience that need to learn our industry from the ground up.
  3. Be sure you are ready to hire, manage and retain successful sales reps. Your checklist should include sales and industry training and orientation programs, sales and marketing tools, programs and processes, well-defined compensation packages, and a sales management program to monitor your sales reps’ growth and success.

Once you feel you are ready to hire sales reps, you will want to consider sources for identifying candidates. As we all know, referrals are the best sources for new customers, and it’s the same for identifying sales reps. Let your friends, customers and suppliers know you are looking for great sales reps. I believe virtually anyone you would want to hire is on LinkedIn. So, learn how to use LinkedIn for identifying and recruiting candidates.

Finally, let me encourage you to be willing to make mistakes. Most successful people I know have learned as much from their failures and mistakes—and perhaps much more—than from their successes. Be willing to make mistakes, but be shrewd enough to identify your mistakes as early as possible and minimize your losses.

As I mentioned above, it’s also possible to make money from the efforts of others without hiring any sales reps. Stay tuned for more on that in my next article.


Read past articles in Greg’s Million Dollar Mindset at Promo Marketing Magazine

AboutGreg Muzzillo, Founder of Proforma

Greg Muzzillo started Proforma as an industry distributor in 1978. The company grew quickly and in the early 1980s Proforma was recognized for three consecutive years on Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing companies in North America. In the late 1980’s Proforma introduced its membership program to enable distributors to retain their business ownership and independence, and to share in sales and marketing resources, purchasing power with industry suppliers, one back office including all billing, accounting, vendor payments, cash flow, computer systems and more. Today Proforma has more than 750 members with over $500 million in sales. Proforma has over 100 members in its Million Dollar Club and more than 40 members in its Multi-Million Dollar Club (With sales ranging from $2 million to over $26 million). In 2014, eight Proforma members were named to Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 List of the 5000 Fastest Growing Companies.

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