The world of business is never finished evolving. Just when you master one area, another shift happens and sends you scrambling to fit the new pieces in. Business owners are constantly sifting through the new scraps brought their way in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve or at least with it. Like a tree, the world of entrepreneurship has numerous branches. Sitting in an office or being on the board of a one business or another is no longer the common imagery for what a businessperson is. Business has been redefined to take on a new role – innovation. Those behind the desks need the help of innovative entrepreneurs. The men and women on their feet looking to create the next software to take over the field, the newest machines to make building a business easier, and online tools which make reaching your customers a cinch.
The cycle of entrepreneurs creating tools for their fellow entrepreneurs continues to grow and change. Entrepreneur Sam Saab took the cycle to heart by learning how to combine two loves, activism and engineering, to help make business run smoother for companies. “I was an activist out of college and at that time a lot of non-profits in the Washington, D.C. area were starting to leverage and recognize the potential and capabilities of the IBM PCs,” says Saab. Knowing he could make a difference in how they operated, Saab lent his experience and engineering background, “They needed an entity to help them build their databases. The opportunity was there to continue to be an activist and be involved with the nonprofit world and still be able to leverage that technology and my engineering background. I wanted to help them bridge (the gap) between what they need to do to run the non-profits and also have a better way of running their business.”
Entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs has existed for years. Businesses building what their customers need and what fellow businesses can use have helped improve all business fields over time. Small businesses are acutely aware of what works. They need the best advantages in order to shine the spotlight on their growing business. “Our second company was focused on small businesses. We took the software we had built for ourselves and our consulting firm and turned it into a commercial product to help other small businesses.
Being such a steadfast entrepreneur is one thing which Saab delights in. A fact that he found difficult to part with as his business grew. “I was a one-person entrepreneur for 6 or 7 years. It took a transitional point for me to move away from always wanting to be the consultant in charge, taking care of the accounts I was responsible for, and trusting another person to operate at my level and transfer the trust I have with my clients to them. From day one what I found that was required to run, manage, and grow my business is the fact that it’s really all about relationship management.”
Being good at business and helping fellow entrepreneurs isn’t enough to keep your company afloat. Knowing your customers, understanding their needs, and showing a softer side to a stern numbers face is what matters when you’re trying to make your customers feel connected. Sam knows that there needs to be an extra ingredient, “We’re a software company with a heart because we care about who we’re doing business with. The entities who are using us to run their business know that we’ll be there.”
Yet another branch of entrepreneurism deals with location. There are hotspots throughout the United States which help entrepreneurs and focus on the small business community. Washington, D.C. is one such area. Having moved from California, Sam Saab has found that there is a lot of room to flourish on the opposite coast. “It’s a fantastic place for two different reasons. First, it’s a business hub. It has a lot of tourism and the economy of this area is very resilient to setbacks even when other parts of the country are having issues. There is a lot of long-term contracting and a lot of larger organizations which are able to sustain the economy in a larger way. That really creates stability.” Another great thing Saab comments on goes back to his activism roots. “There are a lot of non-profits and a lot of activism in this area. It’s probably because there is more than one way of lobbying. There is lobbying the money way and lobbying based on grass roots. The grass roots lobbying is a part of my heart and soul. It’s an effective way of feeling strongly enough about something to take the necessary steps to make a difference in the world.
The great tree of entrepreneurism will continue to change. For anyone bold enough to dive in Saab has some advice, “Love what you do. Believe in what you do. Don’t start a business because you’ve heard somebody else made money at it. Being an entrepreneur you will deal with a lot of challenges…and you will overcome them. But you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. Passion will drive you and give you the ability to overcome any challenges.”
Sam Saab is the President and Founder of Results Software –CRM, Project, and Business Management software for a variety of companies. Learn more about Results Software and connect with Sam on LinkedIn