Today, we are talking to Glen Rothquel, Founder of Leads 2 Profits, Australia. Glen’s background is in Investment Banking – but after seeing the ‘light’ he decided it would be far more fun working for himself.
Glen has worked his way up through the ranks and has “walked the talk” on several occasions, having bought, sold, started or invested in over 14 different businesses in the wholesale and retail industry.
Sounds like Glen has earned his stripes, so let’s have a listen to what he had to say and find out for ourselves.
PBI: What’s your official business name and when did you get started?
GLEN: My business is called Leads 2 Profits, we’re based in Sydney, Australia and we started in 2012.
PBI: Why did you decide to go down the road of self-employment?
GLEN: I’ve been in business for myself for over 20 years after a very successful career in Investment Banking. In that time, I’ve either bought, sold, started or invested in over 20 businesses…not all of them successful, unfortunately. Self-employment is in my DNA as I come from a family of “shop-keepers” so I was always destined to work for myself at some point.
PBI: How did you actually get started? Did you start full-time, part-time or build up to it while working a full-time job to tide you over?
GLEN: I made the decision to get our of investment banking and to just leap into working for myself as it was something I always wanted to do. I thought it would be an easy transition but it was a lot more challenging than I expected. Running your own business and having to be everything is a lot more difficult than picking up a pay check every few weeks. So I resigned and started a consulting business thinking it would be easy to get new clients. It wasn’t.
PBI: How have things developed since business day one? Have you diversified, or have your services remained the same?
GLEN: I’ve had businesses in Retail, Wholesale and Services so I’ve pretty much covered the spectrum. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. They say you learn more from mistakes than success, and I think it’s true. I really do come from the school of hard knocks as far as business ownership is concerned.
PBI: What area of your business would you like to see improve within the next 6 months and why?
GLEN: More consistent lead generation and conversion. It’s one of the things I help clients with, yet I neglect for my own business. A bit like the plumber with the leaking tap. Having a consistent quality lead flow will take away the anguish of having to get new clients when projects complete. It would be good to have new business lined up and ready to go.
PBI: How are you improving on that area?
GLEN: I’m focusing a lot of energy into LinkedIn as I really see it as an underutilized resource with huge potential. However, it takes a lot of time and commitment as most things do.
PBI: What’s your best tip for someone considering starting a business in your industry?
GLEN: Get absolutely clear on WHO your target market is and WHY.
You simply cannot be all things to all people. It’s a mistake to go wide. Go narrow and go deep. Get your message crystal clear so when your ideal prospect sees it, they KNOW it’s talking to them.
PBI: What’s the most popular misconception that prospective clients have about your industry and what’s the correct answer?
GLEN: There is a perception that “consultants” come in, review your business and challenges and then go away and prepare detailed documents on what you must do to fix your problems, and then leave you to get on with it and send a big bill.
Sadly, there is a lot of truth in that. Very few “consultants” actually get into the trenches with you and get dirty. Try and find one that does.
PBI: Who is your ideal client?
GLEN: Small to medium sized business owners (SMB) with an existing business, doing between 1M and 10M turnover. They need to already have something to work with. A good product or service. An existing base of current and past customers. And a good attitude. Open to new ideas and prepared to have a go at turning things around. Positive, enthusiastic and fun. Definitely no whiners, complainers and victims! Life’s too short!
PBI: If you had a chance to say one thing to a brand new client, before they met you in person, what would it be?
GLEN: Take responsibility and ownership for where you and your business are. Only then can you really do something to change it. The reasons are not “out there”. The reasons and solution are “in here”! It’s all about mindset. Get that right and you can change anything.
PBI: Thank you for a very informative interview Glen.