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Are You Protecting the Golden Goose?

Are You Protecting the Golden Goose?

December 31, 2014

If you’re an entrepreneur or an intrepreneur, by definition you’re someone who is willing to take risks.  

As you embark on the new year, you’ll be faced with opportunities, and as you evaluate them, you’ll want to decide how risk tolerant you really are. Without taking risks, your business won’t grow. But you don’t want to jeopardize all that you’ve worked so long and so hard to create — the heart and soul of your business, what I call “the golden goose.”

Your Overhead Burner

Your overhead burner is your breakeven point. It’s what keeps your business “cooking.” If you take too much risk, you won’t have enough money to maintain your overhead burner, and you’ll be endangering the golden goose.  

But how do you grow when you don’t have the capital to risk?

Earning Your Way to Growth

One of the best ways to grow your business is by bringing in new hires. I believe in the philosophy of ABR: Always Be Recruiting. I’m constantly looking for A-players to bring into Brand Launcher. In fact, the principle is to attract and hire an A-player — even when you don’t have a specific role for one! I’ve done this many times in my career, bringing in great talent and finding a particular role for them later on. These are people I knew could benefit the company.

But do you have the money to pay them? Many organizations take the risk of hiring without having the available funds – and by doing so, they put the golden goose at risk.

So what can you do? Your first option is to earn enough money to bring in a new hire without jeopardizing the golden goose. To do this, you set milestones and focus on selling your way to growth. And, since it takes time for A-players (or any employees) to find their comfort zones, you can also start them off slowly on the runway before they take off.  This minimizes your risk. For example, you can hire for the short term with the intention of making a long-term commitment.  If you’re planning to hire someone at an annual salary of $48,000, you can hire them for 3 months at $4,000 a month, or $12,000 for the short term. This allows you to bring in an A-player while giving you more time to reach your sales milestones and earn the entire $48,000.   

This way you spend a little, make a little, and never touch the golden goose.  

Saving Your Way to Growth

A second approach is saving your way to your goal. If you remove low-level tasks from your plate and the plates of other high-level people, you save time for doing what you (and they) do best... making important contacts, bringing in new business, and creating more revenue streams .    

A great example comes from a realtor whom I met in Atlantic City.  While I was down there to meet him, people would ask me the typical Atlantic City question… did you win?  My answer was, I’ll know in a few months.

Now, this realtor wanted to bring in an A-player as an associate. To do so, we discussed how he could delegate several of his tasks to other people, saving himself time to do what he does best — exploring larger joint ventures and making important deals. Would he save enough time to earn enough to bring the A-player in as an associate? I think the answer is the same as my answer to the Atlantic CIty question.

Will this be a win? He’ll know in a few months.

Make 2015 the Year of the Golden Goose

This year, make a concerted effort to seek out A-players without risking your golden goose.  Remember, once they are onboard, A-players pay for themselves and increase revenues.

Take the following steps:

  1. Make sure you maintain your overhead burner

  2. Keep an eye on your golden goose at all times

  3. Look for A-players always

  4. Have a plan to meet financial milestones and raise the funds for your new hire, or…

  5. Save time to do what you do best: forge key relationships and increase revenue

  6. Start your new hire(s) off on a short term basis to mitigate your risk

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,