The One Secret Sauce to Success

The One Secret Sauce to Success, a guest post by Barry Moltz.

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing all their energy on raising capital for their business instead of working to find paying customers. While getting investors does increase cash flow and the time to succeed, it is no guarantee of success. There is only one secret sauce: paying customers. Look no further than your prospects for the real small business magic.

If you have paying customers, you have the start of a real business. Revenue gives your company choices. If there were a “Ten Commandments” for business, the first one would be “go forth and sell.”

The days of sales being relegated to the “sales staff” is old school. In a small business, everyone needs to sell. Only sales will build your business. Nothing else. Forget all the fancy marketing positioning of your company or the design of great logos and branding. Go find out if prospects will buy what you are selling.

This is very hard for most entrepreneurs. Many people are afraid to sell because they have the fear of rejection. The good news is that people no longer want to be sold, but rather they want to be educated. Prospects buy from who they know, like and trust. In other words, initially spend most of your time with prospects that have the pain your company solves (and the money to fix it). They are the ones that will build your company, not investors.

If you just keep raising money, and have no customers, your enterprise is really no better than a Ponzi scheme. You get stuck into the cycle of raising money so you can get more money.

Finally, ensure that each team member is contributing to the bottom line of the company on a daily basis. Every employee should ask themselves this question: “Did I make money for the company today?” In any entrepreneurial venture, there is simply no room to put people in the “overhead” category. You can’t have anyone on the team who isn’t vital to obtaining or retaining customers.

What did you sell today? Get cooking.

Barry Moltz always introduces himself as an entrepreneur who has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 20 years. He’s an expert at helping companies gain more paying customers. The author of four business books, Barry’s a nationally recognized speaker on small business and has been on TV and radio, including CNBC’s Big Idea with Donny Deutsch and MSNBC’s Your Business. He has his own radio show Business Insanity Talk Radio on AM560. Barry has participated in Rev1’s speakers’ series and was master of ceremonies at last year’s VentureNext.