This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is William De Temple. William is a serial entrepreneur, author of Raise Capital Quickly, and has taken multiple companies to over $100 million. He is the founder and CEO of 9 Figure Company which teaches entrepreneurs a system to scale their company to $100 million or more in 3-7 years. And this isn’t just theory, William has proven this system doing it with his own companies and now a number of clients.
I don’t know about you, but if someone was going to sit down and teach me a process to grow a company to over $100 million, I’d sit up and listen very quickly – and that is what I’ve asked William to do in this episode for you. To share his system, experience, and knowledge gained through an incredible Misfit Entrepreneur career!
William grew up on a ranch and they were always stretched for cash. At 11 years old, he got a paper route which quadrupled through some innovative ways to sell. He even delivered papers on the winter on horseback.
After he graduated college, he got a job, but very quickly discovered that having a job was not for him. He decided to start his first company. It was the early 70’s. It went from $0 to over $12 million in annual revenues in about 7 years. A buyer came along and offered an amazing offer, so he sold it.
He then went on to build companies in everything from tech, which he took through an IPO to service and manufacturing. Each of them growing to over $100 million each.
He then got recruited by venture capital to be a turnaround expert. Things were great, but William’s father in-law got very sick and it required he and his wife to move to Florida to help him. This was a culture shock for William compared to Silicon Valley.
After a little while and some discussions with friends, he decided to start helping companies grow and learn and put into effect the strategies he used to grow companies over $100 million.
What did you learn from growing up on a ranch that helped you most in your career?
- There is no problem that is not surmountable. There is always a solution to every problem.
- When you run into a problem and you are worried. Stop, step back. Identify the problem. Then identify the solution. Then execute it.
At the 9:30 mark, William tells us about his system for 9-Figures…
- There is always a system for everything.
- William used the strategy of building a house.
- Most people jump in and don’t think the process through.
- You have to know the right order to build a house to do it right.
- It’s the same thing when building a company.
- There are 8 internal practices in building a company.
Every business is in business to solve a problem…Most entrepreneurs when they start a business think that all they need to do is market and sell. And if that is all you do, you will never achieve great success.
Let’s go through each of the 8 areas. Explain them to us and give us something that in each area that an entrepreneur can do to succeed in each area.
First, it all begins with the founder.
- First, as a founder, do some true market research. Get some help if needed but verify there is really a market out there.
- Get the book, “How Google Works” by Eric Schmidt on how they scaled Google.
The 2nd area is Marketing
- Don’t just start marketing.
- Do the market research and find the “low-hanging fruit”
- Look for those niche pockets of easy to sell customers
- The big companies cannot serve every market, so there is a ton of opportunity out there.
- A lot of people think $100 million is a big number. By 2040, the Global economy will be over $200 TRILLION dollars. $100 million is a spec of dust in that bucket.
- You need to open your mind to selling on a global basis.
The 3rd area is sales
- The disciplines for marketing and sales are totally different.
- If possible, you should not one person doing both areas.
- Get a marketing person to do marketing.
- Get a sales leader to lead sales.
- It will create better synergy and better results to have focused individuals.
The 4th area is operations
- There are two types of operations. One is a manufacturing type. A service entity is a different type.
- They are different, but in many ways the same.
- Management is agnostic across the board.
- You need to track everything and know everything around your real costs and what your cost of goods sold is.
- A lot of companies are not charging enough for their product or service, because they don’t know the true cost.
The 5th area is finance
- The financial side of the business is very important.
- The founder needs to understand finance and/or work closely with the financial side of the business to learn and understand the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statements.
- Most people just want to see “profit,” but there is so much more that goes into it which understanding will help you do projections correctly.
- Your goal should be to get as close to or greater than 20% net profit. This gives you the buffer in case something doesn’t go well. It also put you in the “investment grade” category.
What else is needed to be considered investment grade?
- Founder needs good credit
- Need to have the 8 areas well dialed in.
- Need a solid plan and good financial projections
- Be careful with assumptions to make sure they align well with the financial projections – the investor needs to see the correlation and clearly understand how you are getting from point A to B to C and so on….
The 6th area is human resources
- HR’s primary job is not about hiring and firing.
- HR’s biggest job is helping to team to work in synergy, especially with good training and investing in the success of employees.
The 7th area is IT
- It is important to have a very good ERP system in place as it can help you in planning and growing your company in all areas.
- A lot of businesses can’t start with a full on ERP, but can start with modules and grow from there.
The 8th area is quality control
- Quality control also included quality assurance
- Quality control ensures the end user is getting what they are buying in the right way.
- Quality control will also help to find and fix process and human errors to make the company better.
You’ve spent time with everyone from Les Brown to Richard Branson – what have been your biggest takeaways? What have you seen most consistent across these people?
- Their passion is most consistent.
- Richard is the epitome of passion. He is so passionate about what he is doing for the people.
- All of the founders that have grown $100+ million companies have deep passion and 50% didn’t go to college and 50% did.
Best Quote: “Every business is in business to solve a problem…Most entrepreneurs when they start a business think that all they need to do is market and sell. And if that is all you do, you will never achieve great success.”
William's Misfit 3:
- Make sure you give back however you can. Find a way.
- Get involved. Network, join organizations where you can participate and help and meet others like you.
- Always appreciate your customers. Treat them with great respect and treat them well – even when they don’t treat you the same.