Every entrepreneur is different, yet they have so much in common. The more time you can spend with them to understand the peculiarly creative and self-absorbed way they view the world, the better you will be able to sell to small business.
And if you can't spend time with them, read interviews with them – especially Q&As, where you get to see how their minds work.
In today’s National Post, Libby Zneimer had a great lifestyle-oriented interview with Sam Chebib, president and CEO of Nightingale Informatix Corp., which sells services and software for the health-care industry. Here are a few revealing tidbits:
Q: What are your key functions?
A: I focus primarily on executing our strategic plans, and spend most of my time with my senior management team and major clients. I am very involved in all of our operations, but work very effectively through my executive team.
Q: How many hours do you work each week and when do you start?
A: I work anywhere between 70 and 80 hours per week and 1 usually start at 7:30 a.m.
Q: How often do you take work home?
A: I always have something under my arm when I leave.
Q: How many phone calls do you get? How often do customers call you directly?
A I get 20 to 30 calls a day, and I'll take about 10 to 20 of those. Of those calls, one or two a day will be from customers, which I always take.
Q: How many meetings do you attend? Do you like meetings?
A: Between four and five per day. I like some of them, for example, those meetings where I can brainstorm ideas with my team and come up with solutions to strategic concerns.
Q: Are you a workaholic?
A: No, I am just trying to get a job done and I happen to enjoy doing it.
Q: Does your family think you work too much?
A: Of course they do. I've never met a family that didn't.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: I get to hire and train highly talented people so they can do most of my job for me.
Q: What’s the best perk?
A I can admit when I've made a mistake without fear of being yelled at.
Q: Do you have hobbies, sports or a fitness routine?
A: I love tennis and skiing, but I don't get to do them often enough, and it's getting more difficult all the time.
Themes to think about: his sheer busy-ness; results-focus; work isn't work when you own the company; the barely-concealed feeling of immunity at the top; scarcity of leisure time; customers really do come first.
How would you market to someone like that?