Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Terry Sutherland, President of Transforming Business Solutions, located in Nashville, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business provides Fractional Leadership to private businesses. I am a Fractional Executive with experience in core disciplines such as sales, product management and development, business development & process & productivity improvement, to name a few.
A fractional leader is a proven and experienced, game-changing executive contracted with small or midsize businesses for a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost. Fractional leadership lets you work with executive talent who may otherwise be out of reach to help you reach your business goals and transform your company.
Our clients are typically private businesses, from start-ups to 100 million dollars. Most clients are struggling to grow revenue and profit and have high stress internally as well as high attrition. Many of the clients have taken their business as far as they can with their current team and expertise and require the expertise of a proven outside executive to help for a short period of time.
Tell us about yourself
For over 30 years, I served in multi-sector corporate leadership positions, working with a diverse clientele that ranged from small businesses to Fortune 100 and 500 companies. My passion for driving growth and streamlining operations earned me a reputation for producing impressive results through my astute and well-executed strategies. With strong skillsets in sales, business and product development, process improvement, and planning, I bring unique and comprehensive insight. By forging trusting relationships with key partners in the corporate world, I gain access to critical channels that will carry products to the forefront of their markets and surpass clients’ goals.
What motivates me is to take a group or company that has high stress, frustration, attrition, and poor team interaction and turn it around and see the positive impact it makes. When you see not only the financial KPIs change but also how the teams operate, the positive attitudes and stress and attrition reduced, it is very rewarding.
In 2020, I decided to start Transforming Business Solutions to focus strictly on the private sector. The reason is that helping privately owned businesses is more rewarding as it is the owner(s) own money. I have seen owners in private businesses with extreme stress go through a divorce and health issues, as well as how it impacts their families when the business is struggling. It is very rewarding to use my expertise and help change how it impacts everyone within the company as well as their families.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have been fortunate to have a lot of business accomplishments in my career. Hands down, the most significant accomplishment of owning my own business is that I can completely control my schedule and the number of clients I take on. This allowed me to spend more time with my family, which was something I could never balance in the corporate world.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is balancing your time creating a pipeline of new clients while balancing the execution of your current workload.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Create a business plan and investor deck as if you were looking for funding. This is crucial because if you can build the plan and deck, then it should show exactly what you are doing, how you are going to do it, when you are going to do it, and how you are going to make money. I see most new owners with an idea or a widget, which may be great, but without the strategy and execution, it is nothing more than an idea. Running your plan by people you trust, preferably investors, owners, and executives, would tell you if they understand what your business is and if they would ever want to invest in it.
- Be ready for the launch of your business. I see too many businesses into year two and beyond that are still in startup mode as they launched before they were ready. Launching is the best time to gain momentum IF you are ready. If you are not ready with all the tools, processes, marketing, etc., in place when you launch, you will never achieve your desired result. That is one of the problems I see with many companies after they have grown to a certain level; they do not have the infrastructure to support the growth.
- Balance your life with your work. Don’t let the startup of the company become the most important thing in your life. I see too many owners that don’t have the right balance, and that is when the stress comes in. Your best work will come with you have the right work/life balance.
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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