Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christian Banach, Principal and Chief Growth Officer of Christian Banach LLC., located in Bolingbrook, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a business development and growth consultancy that helps marketing agencies and martech companies land 6- and 7-figure opportunities predictably with large enterprise organizations.
Tell us about yourself
I started a concert promotion and experiential marketing agency in high school and would grow it to over $10MM in sales. The business boomed, but then the 2008 Great Recession happened. Things screeched to a halt. Like many agencies, I had grown through word-of-mouth and referrals. To rebound, I hired a consultant who taught me the fundamentals of business development.
I felt reinvigorated. I closed my firm, took what I learned from the consultant, and pivoted to a career in agency business development. For a decade, I worked at independent and holding company agencies across marketing disciplines. I discovered that my superpower was hunting and generating top-of-the-funnel opportunities. I was involved in millions of dollars of wins with companies like Kohl's and Constellation Brands.
Over the years, I still felt an entrepreneurial itch, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. When the pandemic started, agencies lost clients, and some closed their doors. It reminded me of my agency during the Great Recession. But this time, I had the expertise to help as that consultant did for me. I left my high-paying agency job and launched this consultancy to help agencies grow.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
What I've enjoyed most as a business owner is being a part of the development of employees. I've had the pleasure and privilege to give individuals their first career opportunities, develop their skills within our organization, and go on to become business owners and leaders themselves.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things as a business owner is learning to delegate. The business is my baby, and I am so passionate about it. It can be challenging to let go of certain roles and responsibilities, especially if you're good at them. But that's not scalable, nor what's best for the business. You must hire great people, give them the resources to be successful, and get out of their way so they can shine.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure to have a product or service that uniquely solves a problem—one that is urgent and important.
- Speak to potential customers. Through customer interviews, validate that they're experiencing the pain point. Identify the audiences experiencing it most and build ideal customer profiles.
- Create an irresistible offer. Put simply, structure your product or service so that the customer perceives it as highly valuable compared to the cost. Make it such that they'd feel stupid saying no to it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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