It physically starts with two guys. Neither of us had training for this nor came from Ivy League schools nor were academics in any institution in America.
Both of us wearing many hats. One hat was for handling the entire back-office that handles customer service support, technical support and a host of other functions. The other being the entire sales force, the technical support, the customer service support, installer, troubleshooter, relationship manager and there was no time for off days or even lunch on many occasions.
When you are starting without any loans, venture capital, bankers, mentors nor mastermind groups, you unfortunately have to DO IT ALL!
In this space, the overwhelming majority of independent entities operate off of loans and venture capital. If you think of say Square, run by Jack Dorsey, they are heavily backed by venture capital and banks. This changes the entire landscape of how business is conducted and who the business is actually geared to serve. Our entity is debt free and was created for our clients, sales consultants and staff, not for investors.
Without having the support of a large staff, loans, mentors, pricey seminars, etc…, we made a ton of mistakes. Some were very very costly as well and in most cases, it had something to do with simply relying on or trusting people that we thought had our best interest at heart. From new employees to banks to firms that you have to partner with in our space. The word “vulture” is what comes to mind when thinking of this.
Our back-office was literally being handled by a single person whom had to learn on the fly, as different scenarios were thrown at him and to the point of working with a mandatory 3rd party vendor that more times than not was the actual impediment to our success on a daily basis. Its still unbelievable how horrible their level of service is to this day. Having to simply navigate around this was and is a living nightmare!!!
We’ll cover more about that in the future. For now, the beginning started with two guys and as you know, if you have no sales, you have no business. The need for me to produce didn’t feel like pressure, although everything was predicated on how much business could be generated. Hiring staff, our office, equipment and everything needed to run a business relied on our sales. It didn’t feel like a ton of work to me because I actually love interacting with people and resolving their issues.
For me, its simply finding out what the business needs, what they do and what will work best to resolve the issue. All this starts with learning a little about the person through building rapport. We’ll cover that all throughout this journey.
Why did we even begin and what do we do?
First, we offer electronic commerce to businesses and individuals that need credit card processing. This can be anything from processing through a low-end credit card terminal, cell phone, ipad, pc or your internet browser. There are so many variations to this and different areas of speciality.
There are various levels of operating in this space. From Retail to Wholesale and Beyond. We are going for the option of “Beyond”. Why? We’ve learned the very hard way that when it comes to money, you really can’t depend on nor trust entities that have their own best interest at heart and this is on many levels. More on that in another blog post.
Why did we even begin? Both of us came from totally different industries, wanting a better life, more freedom and in some instances this requires more capital.
We worked in this industry with other entities prior to branching out on our own. I won’t mention any names for legal purposes, yet the level of ethics was at a disturbingly low level, something that is literally tolerated in the financial space, if you are connected with the right entities, people and it is profitable for all.
Always doing the exact right or perfect thing is impossible when you are learning, yet once you know, its now the individuals responsibility to do the best they can. So, with that, we had to run away from the entities that we were associated with in order not to further damage not only our clients, yet ourselves as well.
What we discovered is that when you don’t agree with how things are being done, you are also quickly made an outcast, troublemaker, complainer or nuisance. In each instance once I made it known that I’m not about the b.s., the money started to get funny.
This is not something unique to these entities that I or we came in contact with. This is how the “big boys” do it. Not hard to believe, yet its odd. If an entity will take advantage of its clients, called merchants in this case, they will also take advantage of the sales consultants or reps that bring them business. Unfortunately, many sales consultants fall prey to this because they look for big names, recognized banks such as Wells Fargo and more, not realizing how things actually work and their involvement as simply a pond in the game.
I could talk for days about horror stories and how the “big boys” are able to create money out of thin air and how so many are on the losing end of the stick, those sales consultants and in many cases W-4 employees that look for the big names, the short-term cash and salaries. Also, the clients or merchants that have blind faith in the recognized names also come to a rude awakening that they have zero clue on what they signed while at the bank.
This was a major reason for us to step out on our own! I tried to make a fuss, complain and not participate, yet was simply cut off and everyone acts like they have no clue of what you are talking about. There was no way of changing anyone or anything, its a system that was created long before me and will be here long after me.
Going back to the beginning. I was aligned with, lets call it “one of those types of entities”. Once we realized what was happening, we tried to make light of it and jokingly say that we were being taken advantage of without the vaseline. Just raw brute force if you were not with their program. My partner and I connected through a mutual acquaintance based on my level of sales skill and his level of back-office operations. From there, I left and went to another entity that we both thought was more ethical until one day, the truth came out and wow oh wow!
I really wish I could give exact examples and names, yet I’d have to check to see if that has any legal ramifications. Oh my goodness! Talk about crooked people running companies that take advantage of clients and the sales consultants…. The crimes that happen on street corners are so petty, ridiculous and small, that its actually sad and even the petty crooks would stop their dealings overnight if they knew that there were 100 times more profitable ways to legally, not ethically, yet legally extract money from businesses and people.
So we had no choice but to branch out on our own. I mean how much longer can you be aligned with crooked dealings that you aren’t even allowed to share in the spoils, but you are told to provide refunds to the clients for it. Yeah, how about that!!!
To branch out on our own was a very tough start. I was running from business to business all day everyday for a good while without a single check. Maybe a year or more. Everything was used to pay the business bills. I think my shoes had holes in the bottom afterwhile. No complaints as its part of the game.
I’ll end it here as I could go on for days. Our business was created for a few reasons, yet at the focus was to make this is a win-win for our clients, sales consultants and staff. We want lifetime benefits for all involved.
As of this writing today, literally from zero, the ground up, we are just a little over $60 million per month in sales. Its not only about the money for us, yet its also about providing lots of opportunities for others that enjoy serving and providing value to others. Our staff is friendly, fun and we are all growing. Our sales consultants cover the entire spectrum of personalities, but our core know that we have their back and in many cases had to put our money where our mouth was to prove it. Not everything is perfect here, yet what is. We are improving on a daily basis and looking forward to exponential growth.
Of course we won’t be able to please everyone. Many people, clients and sales consultants alike think me-win and that is just life and good luck to them, yet our motto is win-win or we all-win.
We’ll cover more in our next blog, “Building Our Sales Consulting Team”.
P.S. Don’t forget:
You’re just one sale away…