The Entrepreneur Age is Limitless!

entrepreneur, startup, "job search", entrepreneurship, "business dveelopment", "small business"

I recently read an article in the NY Times talking about how the job market for teens this summer was limited.

I remember thinking about summer jobs. In my family we had one car growing up. I know that sounds almost crazy in this day and age! That issue, however, created some challenges in my job search. For example, the nearest mall was about 30 miles away (another crazy thought in this day and age; being 30 miles away from a mall!) so working in retail was not an option. But, if I wanted to buy the stuff I needed as a teenager (clothes and music) I needed to find a job. I turned to babysitting. Now that I think back to it I see so many similarities to starting my own business as an adult. I leveraged my parents to reach out to their friends (networking) and started from word of mouth. Pretty soon I had my regular families that I would work for. I also landed a work-study job after school to supplement the babysitting income.

I think this is the perfect time for our teens to go out and create work for themselves. There is plenty of opportunity around our communities; we just need to be a little creative. In our neck of the woods we need kids that would cut the grass or weed gardens. The average price to have your grass cut is about $35/yard. A teenager could charge $20-$25 and get most yards done within 1-2 hours. Kids can make a good hourly wage and then if they do a good job build their network and bring on new clients. There are many opportunities out there: Walking dogs, yard work, painting, etc. The key is to identify the needs within the community and then offer those services. Young families are busier than ever and any chance to get some help is greatly appreciated. Summers are so busy that I know I would love and extra pair of hands around for these odd jobs.

So leverage this opportunity to develop your business skills and get out there and have some fun. The kicker: You will make some money at it too!

Photo credit: fooyoh.com

Employee-Customer Interaction Starts with Engagement

The focus of building a trusting relationship with customers takes time and patience…but what else? In a recent post from Brian Solis, he says that changing your company’s focus to the quality of the customer experience should be top-most on your list of company priorities.

Listen, Customer, Customer-centricity, "Employee-customer relationship", "customer service", custome rfocus

Once in a while, we come across an experience where an employee might not seem 100% customer focused. Sure, they might be interacting with the customer…but are they listening? Hearing the input and feedback carefully, and having the employee interpret it properly will ultimately build a longer valued relationship with the customer. A process similar to this one takes some training and practice for employees, but it’s a great way for a company to change their tactics in grasping what is most valuable…not necessarily the product, but the people and the brand.

Similar to Tony Hsieh’s WOW customer experience…listen and give back 105% more than what they’ve expected. This will create a brand that is solid rock. My favorite quote in Brian Solis’ post that fully represents the real employee-customer relationship is:

“Customer-centricity begins with internal transformation and the willingness to adapt or create processes and programs that break down internal silos. It’s not just about communicating with customers; it’s about showing them that listening translates into action within the organization to create better products and services and also foster valuable brand experiences and ultimately relationships with customers. It’s also about empowering employees to improve those experiences and relationships in the front line and to recognize and reward their ability to contribute to a new era of customer engagement and collaboration.”

His words are powerful and completely true. What are some of your successful customer experience stories?

 

Post written by Julie Skowronek, Assistant Marketing Manager at Whiting Consulting.

Photo credit: Allbizanswers.com

I’m a Start-Up, and I Need to Start Hiring… Now What?

What is going to make your business grow? Hiring the right people. What is the most important asset to your organization? Hiring the right people. How are you going to meet your business objectives? Hiring the right people. Yet most organizations don’t take the time to really think about how, who, or when they are going to attract people to their organization.

For some reason, hiring is very reactive, and this puts pressure on making quick decisions versus taking the time to really think about who, what, how, and when.

So let’s take a step back…

Your company is growing, which is a great thing. You are at a point where you need to add talent in order to meet upcoming demand. plant in hand

Sometimes, you have to be more reactive even when you are a start-up because in order to scale you have to have demand. Think about where your bottlenecks currently are… where you have the most exposure and need to fill in that gap to make the next leap. For most organizations it is sales, marketing, or development. You need to find folks that can bring in new business, you need folks to promote your business, or you need to add and develop technology to stay ahead of the innovation curve.

I tell my clients to be proactive as much as they can regarding their hiring needs. Map out a hiring plan in six (6) month segments and think about where you are going to need folks to meet your upcoming demand. Give yourself as much time as possible. If you are not at the point where you can either hire a recruiting company to help you in the process or your network is not rich in this area, allow yourself a good three (3) months to bring on that resource.

Recruiting takes time. You already have a day job and you want to ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to find the right resource.

·      If your company is just starting out and you are making your first big hire, make sure to have a “pitch.” You have to remember that candidates are consumers; they are seeking out their next job. This equates to a major purchase, and they are going to do their research.

·      Make sure you have a detailed job description. It is important to have thinking clearly outlined. This will make the process run more smoothly and the candidate will have a better understanding of their overall responsibilities and expectations of the role.

·      Ensure that your interview team is consistent on what the company is hiring for, that the team is “on board” with the choice to hire, and that everyone understands what the benefits are going to be. Everyone should know what this person’s responsibilities would be. Candidates want to see that your team knows where they are going to fit into your company’s picture and what contributions they are expected to provide.

Also research what the going rate is for the resources you are looking to hire. Many start-ups simply cannot afford the pay-level of the people they are looking to hire. They want VP-level skills for a mid-level manager’s salary, but in the end, this can hurt your overall process by not biting the bullet and hiring at the salary level you really need. If you are going to make the right hire, invest in where you need to grow your organization. Having a candidate settle for a lower salary in the end is not a win/win situation.  This process takes planning and strategy.  But, if executed effectively, you can have your new employee making significant contributions to your company’s bottom line within 90 days of hire.  That is music to the ears of any startup company.  Invest on the front end and your return on the back end will be substantial.

‘Managing Forward’ Series Part I: Advice on Managing Young Professionals


I had a great student job when I was in college.  I had the pleasure of working in the SUNY Geneseo College Student Union and working for a great mentor, Chip Matthews, Union Director.  I often lean on the learnings and advice I received from Chip, and wanted to know how he was doing since I left (I am sure the place is falling down without me!).  I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the topic of managing college students with Chip Matthews.  What follows is the first in a four part series of that conversation.  I was thinking that with an increasing amount of these young professionals entering the workforce today, what better person to get advice on managing them than Chip?  He lives this every day!

Chip Matthews gives his detailed experiences and advice on how to properly and effectively direct college students.  The topics range from: motivating young professionals in the workplace, personal connections to today’s young employees, developing an efficient value-added internship program to your business, and also suggestions for the recent college graduates to take with them to the workplace.

After my discussion with Chip, I had time to soak in all the content (I hope you will too!), and I realized that he truly respects college students. Not once did he mention the everyday term “Gen Y.” Chip’s words were all positive about his experiences working and managing college students. I hope you enjoy his words of wisdom, and come away with some useful nuggets to use in your own situation!

Post written by Julie Skowronek, Marketing Coordinator at Whiting Consulting.

Business Development and Channel Director (New York, New York)

Whiting Consulting is searching for a high-energy, aggressive, results-oriented, and over-achieving individual to join our Business Development team as Business Development and Channel Director. The key responsibility for this position is driving new revenues and increased sales through the company’s existing SI and channel partners as well as identifying and signing addition channel and partner relationships.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Responsible for developing the strategy and execution of our channel partnership program focused on financial and insurance sector.
  • Maximize revenue by effectively recruiting new channels and managing the channel account relationship process.
  • Conduct needs analysis to understand client’s business objectives.
  • Create detailed channel account plans, potentially including: customer overview, business objectives, strategies, competitive situation, SWOT analysis, identify top opportunities, and able to initiate executive involvement when required.
  • Establish strong relationships with key channels, SI and consultant partners.
  • Creating and executing partner enablement plans.
  • Working closely with partner field organization to drive partner leads, qualified joint opportunities, and deals.
  • Presentations and meeting with customers together with partners sales teams.
  • Attaining an annual quota of qualified opportunities, successful POVs (Proof of Value), and revenue via partners.
  • Integrate into partner sponsored customer and partner sales events, training, sales meetings, etc.
  • Training to Company sales organization on working with the resell partner on opportunities.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Essential Education, Experience and Skills

  • Require minimum 5 years of industry experience.
  • Comfortable negotiating multi-million deals, managing a complex sales process involving multiple stakeholders.
  • History working for a start-ups.
  • Proficient at building relationships and partnerships with senior level executives.
  • Experience identifying/initiating/developing partnerships and alliances with resellers, system integrators or solution providers in the financial services industry.
  • Experience in driving revenues through channel partners.
  • Successful experience creating strong pipeline together with Global SIs.
  • Exceptional presentation and interpersonal skills; Excellent relationship-building ability..
  • Familiar with the IT management, performance management, Application Management space.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Eng. or related fields, MBA a plus.
  • Profound experience and relationships with Financial service providers and Financial vertical in the Global SIs.
  • Advantage for previous experience with: Accenture, Cap Gemini, FIServ, FIS Global, Jack Henry, S1, Open Solutions.
  • Apply by sending your resume to resumes@whitingconsulting.com.

    %d bloggers like this: