Articles & Publications

By Robert Reiss
Published in: Forbes.com

Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg gave powerful advice when he said, “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”

The one common thread of most great entrepreneurs I know is they are always on the lookout to learn from other top entrepreneurs. In this article I ask four great entrepreneurs about their secrets of success and what advice they have for other entrepreneurs.

-Judith Glaser, Founder and CEO, Benchmark Communications, who created a new communication business model, and grew her company to 2,500 consultants globally

- Len Green, Founder and Chairman, The Green Group. Also best-selling author, a top Babson professor, noteworthy investor and owner of 75 horses who have won 2,300 races including the Kentucky Derby 

-Brian Scudamore, Founder and CEO, O2E, which includes four beloved brands like 1-800-GOTJUNK?

-Alex Robbio, Co-founder and President, Belatrix Software, the pioneer of the Argentina technology outsourcing model

Robert Reiss: A. Talk about your business and the secret to its significant success.

Brian Scudamore: We’re no ordinary franchise business; we’ve got a secret recipe that’s helped us dominate not one, but four home service industries. We stand out from the masses by professionalizing industries historically known for shoddy customer service (ie. junk removal or moving). With 30 years of proven success under our belts from 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, we’ve worked out the kinks, refined our processes and since added three more brands to the family. Each is poised to disrupt the home service space in the same way their big brother did.

 

While we’re disrupting industries, we’re also removing disruption from our customers’ lives — smashing pain points to make their lives easier. They asked for on-demand estimates; we acquired a tech firm with the expertise to make it happen. They wanted later hours; our franchises are now open until midnight so we can serve customers when it’s convenient for them. We constantly innovate and adapt to demand, and our agility helps us stay ahead of the competition.

O2E Brands started with one man and one brand. Now, we’re an international franchisor worth $250 million, with over 250 franchises across North America and Australia. Our competitive advantage can be boiled down to four simple words: It’s All About People. Our number one priority is (and always has been) to hire happy, passionate people who are amped about reaching big goals. We take care of our employees and in turn, they take care of our customers.

Len Green: I have always been excited and passionate to find out why entrepreneurs and their businesses were successful. Once I had discovered that there were patterns, I then set about categorizing them into proven strategies, tips and techniques.

I found I could greatly influence the next generations of entrepreneurs by teaching entrepreneurship for 17 years at the #1 entrepreneurial school in the US, Babson College. I taught without books or tests—just had the students solve real problems that companies actually had. When we established our accounting firm, The Green Group, we decided that we would emphasize entrepreneurship instead of just being a number cruncher. We have been able to help hundreds of companies become more profitable. I have also invested in several companies where I could help structure their entrepreneurial thinking and, in many cases, become extremely profitable. The culmination of all these experiences for me was writing the best-selling book, The Entrepreneur’s Playbook, along with Paul B. Brown.

Judith Glaser: In the early 80’s I came up with an idea that I had not seen other consultants explore. Many consultants in my field were studying ‘culture’ and they created complex formulas to use to analyze success. I saw an area no one was focusing on, and named my company after it. Benchmark Communications, Inc. was incorporated and as soon as I launched my company I started to get interest from CEO’s wanting to understand if we could assess the quality of the communications inside of their organizations and also with their customer’s – and advise them on how to assess their conversations and how to change them to be more successful. I ended up with almost a dozen large-scale projects with brand name companies to help them ‘benchmark their communications’.

Over the past 35 yeas we have grown this technology for how to benchmark conversations and communication, and have worked with companies globally helping them transform and elevate their ROI, the quality of their organization, their brands and their culture. Companies that we’ve worked with us have grown from $250 million to $4.9 billion, and from $1 billion to $12 billion, and have created new market niche’s that never existed before. The methodology behind this cataclysmic growth for companies is called Conversational Intelligence, and it is now being brought around the globe to 75 countries by our 2,500 coaches and consultants who are part of our incredible team.

Alex Robbio: I don’t think there a secret to success. Instead it’s about constantly trying to overcome challenges, and learning from mistakes so in this spirit I am always thinking about the decision making process and about the decisions that have contributed to my Belatrix’s success as well as those that might have been detrimental.

In my business, while having a strong value proposition, competitive pricing, etc. are all very important, since we are in services at the end of the day it’s all about the people, so a lot of my thinking -and some regrets- have to do with past decisions regarding people.

Having studied psychology I’m very much aware that our perception of events or individuals results from our own prejudices and distortions - so for me it was always important to challenge this, and challenge my mental model. So early in my career, I tried as much as possible to base my decisions on reason and logic. However with the passing of time, I have also come to realise that hunches or impulses actually result from the experience I have accumulated. I can’t always tell where these hunches come from, but I choose not to ignore them completely anymore. If today I face a situation where there is a discrepancy between what I intuitively know, and what logic and reason suggests, then I make sure to put myself on alert. I look to refute or confirm those fears, such as by getting advice from people I trust, or double-checking the information.

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The above is an article excerpt. For the complete interview and the rest of the questions and answers, read the article on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertreiss/2017/12/04/advice-from-entrepreneurs-who-have-transformed-industries/#5bc67b628de1

 

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