You’ve spent much of your career in a boardroom. You’re well spoken. Dealing with movers and shakers is second nature to you. You’d like to find a way to build a business of your own that’s profitable and flexible, providing in-demand products and services to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Well, you’ve found it…
An economic recession has always meant two things: 1) The competition for jobs becomes fierce, and 2) The need for businesses to actively manage their own survival becomes imperative. While survival can translate into slower, smarter growth, it can also mean cost-cutting and downsizing, or at the very least, rightsizing.
Companies that develop products and provide services designed to assist employers as they navigate such trying times, and especially those that do it very well, often will thrive…companies like Carolina Profiles, Inc.
A Growing Industry
It’s been close to two decades since Jim Sirbasku and Bud Haney identified a seeming epidemic in business…the inability of employers, no matter the size or shape, to identify and retain the right candidate for the right job at the right time in any quantifiable way. In other words, there just wasn’t a method to the madness.
As a result, companies were full of marginally productive employees, quality control was virtually non-existent and training was scattershot at best. The practice of promoting the best performer in one job to a different one oftentimes had deleterious effects on the bottom line. And then, of course, there was the age-old challenge of how to identify the top-level performers, keep them on-board for the long haul, then find more people just like them and do the same.
Today, Sirbasku’s and Haney’s initial observations continue to fuel what has become the world-recognized, industry leader in the development and implementation of employee assessment products and services to address these issues, Profiles International. Bryan Summers is the President of the company’s Southeast Area Office, Carolina Profiles, Inc.
According to Summers, employers have to make carefully calculated decisions that will enable them to weather the current economic downturn in ways they have not had to in recent memory. As a result, he says, “We’re in growth mode, not only in the Southeast, but companywide. We need strategic partners who are motivated to start their own business in this industry, and we’ll give them all the tools, training and support they need to be successful.”
Building a Business
Summers knows of what he speaks first-hand. It’s been 15 years ago that he left corporate America, burned out and with no “Plan B”. After years in mergers and acquisitions, he was just tired of being the bearer of bad news. “I was the guy who’d come in and tell everybody, Relax. We’re just changing the name on the door. Everything will stay the same…” In this day and age, that sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? Well, for Summers, being the heavy all the time just got old. “I wanted more quality time in my life. I wanted to make a good living. But most of all, I wanted to do something I believed in, that added value in a way I could feel good about,” he says.
Now presiding over the number one area directorship for Profiles International for ten years running, Summers says he’s never looked back. “This is an amazing opportunity for the right person with the right background who wants to be his/her own boss,” Summers says. “I make more money now than I ever would have in corporate America, and I’m much happier.”
Profiles International/Carolina Profile’s success is due in large part to its unrivaled, comprehensive portfolio of computer-based employee assessment, retention and management tools. Developed in close consult with occupational psychologists, human resource executives and a myriad of other invaluable professionals, the company’s products are customized to meet the needs of any employer, big or small and of any kind. In addition, programs can be individually tailored and updated as needed to achieve any organization’s most pressing objectives and realize its ultimate, long-terms goals.
Today, Summers sees demand for the company’s products and services growing in a number of key industries, including small banks and credit unions, government agencies and even small non-profits. But perhaps the greatest growth will be in the manufacturing arena. As this sector of the economy becomes even more competitive, employers must be very methodical and strategic when it comes to hiring, managing and retaining their workforce. “It’s tough to acknowledge, but in order to survive, many companies are busy becoming half the size they used to be,” Summers laments. “Our products are designed to help them make the smartest decisions they can under the circumstances, all of which adds up to incredible savings in terms of both time and money.”
A big part of what Carolina Profiles, Inc. does is focus on job matching. “We can look at an organization’s top ten percent of performers, and figure out how to identify, recruit and retain just the right candidate to match that top-performer culture. We teach employers how to make hiring a poor performer the exception, not the rule.” With budgets tight, the need to hire and retain good talent is so paramount that ongoing employee assessment systems are actually becoming a necessity, not a luxury.
The Right Candidate
That’s great news for the Carolina Profiles, Inc. team and anyone else who thinks he/she has what it takes to succeed in this field. According to Summers, the best candidate to become one of the company’s strategic business partners doesn’t need any past sales experience. “I had no sales background whatsoever. Truly, it’s not necessary,” he says. “This is not hard. The products are so well designed that there is no ‘hard sell’ here.”
The most important characteristic a person can have to thrive in the business, Summers says, is tremendous comfort identifying, approaching and talking with higher-ups who are responsible for employee performance and hold and/or manage the purse strings. “Controllers, operations managers, directors of nursing… these are the folks on the front lines who deal with the daily challenges of hiring and firing, while maintaining a certain budget and ensuring optimal performance levels are met. It’s these kinds of people we most want to talk to,” he says.
According to Summers, an annual income well into the mid-six figures is not at all unlikely after the initial start-up phase of 18 months or so. That’s a pretty solid return on an initial investment of just $12K. Start-up fees include the necessary operating systems, everything needed to set up 25 new clients right away, inventory worth upwards of $35K and unlimited and ongoing training, support and marketing assistance. The only additional cost a partner incurs is an annual internet site hosting fee of $1,200.
But perhaps the most rewarding aspect of being a Carolina Profiles, Inc./Profiles International strategic business partner can’t really be quantified at all; it’s priceless. “I live wherever I want. My job is completely flexible. Ninety percent of all my business is done on-line,” Summers says. “There is a quality to my life that I never thought possible, and I feel really good about the fact that I’m providing businesses with something they really want and need to be successful. I’d like to make sure other people just like me get the same shot that I did.”