The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program is an investment in the potential of small businesses like Risch Results. Designed to provide invaluable insight and guidance, the 4-month program equips entrepreneurs with the tools they need to navigate the path to success.
As an entrepreneur, founder and president Jolene Risch had been looking for the knowledge and resources to propel Risch Results to new heights. It was through this program that she found the keys to significant and consistent growth. This is Jolene’s story from her experience with the GS 10K Small Business Program, which help facilitate the growth of Risch Results.
Partnering with Babson College, Goldman Sachs took the program to small businesses across the country. This involved collaborating with community colleges to deliver the curriculum, led by experienced facilitators and industry experts. As program members progressed, we were given the opportunity to pitch our ideas to financial advisors at Goldman Sachs, providing real-world feedback on business goals. Additionally, the program challenged us to embark on a growth project, where we explored areas of expansion and development tailored to our own businesses.
Below, I am excited to share the four most remarkable insights I gained from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.
1. Be open-minded to new ideas and create a growth plan.
In order to grow your business, become a visionary. A visionary must plan and forecast their goals. Once you have a plan, you can then determine the steps needed to make those goals a reality. That might include innovating new ideas to address client needs. For example, after writing down our plan, I was able to see how fractional recruiting could be a creative way to serve clients in industries like construction, and help separate Risch Results from the pack in our marketing.
2. Build a team by thinking outside of the box and casting a wide net.
People with transferable skills and experiences who share the company’s values make great employees. As a small business, you may not always have access to unlimited resources to hire the most experienced professionals for every role. However, by seeking coachable individuals with similar expertise, you can assemble a team that thrives. We provide our clients this insight. And, we truly put it into practice as we built our team at Risch Results.
None of our team members had previous recruiting experience. Their backgrounds ranged from marketing and public relations to sales and HR. What united them was their exceptional people skills, can-do attitude, solution-oriented mindset, and genuine care for others. Their diverse backgrounds also allow them to excel in different aspects of the business.
3. Gain a solid understanding of the accounting and financial aspects of your small business.
Your financial insights should guide your decision-making process. Learning this principle inspired me to seek guidance from a coach. Now, I make intentional budgeting decisions and allocate our financial resources wisely. Goldman Sachs experts like Leslie Hassler stressed the significance of cash flow, securing loans, and leveraging banking services to support our goals. Armed with a solid financial plan, you can foster strategic growth and business development.
4. Craft a mission statement and get intentional about your small business’s values.
At Risch Results, we have committed to mitigating unconscious biases, after recognizing its role in sourcing top-tier talent. This conviction has become so key to our operations that we now offer training programs for our clients on reducing unconscious bias. Additionally, we have directed our attention towards diversity and inclusion initiatives, exemplified by the creation of our DEI statement. Following our approach to building our own team, our recruitment process incorporates value-based and behavioral interviews. We focus on finding the ideal candidates based on cultural fit rather than solely industry experience and education.
I highly recommend Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program for small business owners. From human resources and hiring to banking and accounting, the program delved into a new pillar of entrepreneurship every week. It was like an MBA program, but with the added benefit of using our small businesses as real life case studies. In just a few short months, I felt prepared to overcome whatever challenges may come my way as an entrepreneur.