Jeff Testerman co-founded BROKERHUNTER.com in 1999, the leading Financial Services employment website in the U.S. He’s a graduate of the University of Georgia – Class of 1997.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
“Find your niche and be the very best in your business space. Become an expert in your niche and clients will listen to your advice and recommendations. Always be looking how you can fill the needs for your clients. What you’re specializing in right now could change in a year from now, as business needs change. You must be nimble and be able to change and go where your customers’ needs take you.”
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Not expanding into other niche industries when the opportunity was presented. When you see an opportunity that makes sense, seize it. If you don’t, someone else will.
You really need to be open to the changes in your industry that could be brought on by a number of things — like new technology, industry regulations and economic conditions, just to name a few.
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Try to cash flow your business the best you can during the startup phase. Do not get overextended and benchmark your success in small steps. Set revenue goals and have growth steps built into this.
For example, when revenues hit X, then you can updgrade or add new technologies — but don’t try to grow too fast and get overextended. Ultimately, that could lead to customer dissatisfaction, especially if you take your eye off what is really important.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
LISTEN to what your clients are telling you. You will be surprised at what you can learn.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
That actually changes pretty regularly as our business changes. I think when you first start out, you just want to make it and be in business the next year. After 14 years now, and having gone through several business cycles including recessions and record unemployment, I take pride that we are still in business and providing a service to our clients that is second to none. We are truly providing our clients a solution to them to help grow their business and helping people get back to work in the financial services industry.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab , a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.