If you’re a small business owner, or you’ve always dreamed of starting your own business, you’ve probably run across ads like these. Companies that “guarantee” you’ll get a grant to start your own business that never has to be paid back. Purchase their product, and they’ll give you the “secrets” to making all your money troubles go away.

Set Business Development hours/days. I set aside one day of the week for Christopher Nashed. This is the time that I am planning, working on projects/articles, developing new products, scheduling workshops, or contacting potential clients. The whole day is spent in my office. I don’t schedule any appointments outside my office. I’m a woman on a mission.

Todd: Well, Digital River is a leading global e commerce outsourcing company. So, they basically provide the e commerce infrastructure for large software publishers that write software like Symantec, and they also provide marketing services.

Lead Generation Package – No cold calls. Before you make a contact with a prospect send out a lead generation package. This could be a post card or letter or simple flyer. Printed and mailed is better than faxing. All you want to do is whet their appetite. Tell them a little about your product or service. Who you are, what you do, why you are different.

I am a strategic planner and AICP certified city planner. In the 1990s, I actually worked as a city planner managing transportation improvement programs, capital improvement programs, and comprehensive development plans. These are mega project oriented plans. I coordinated the City of Atlanta’s 1997 Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and its accompanying Capital Improvement Program (CIP) representing 400 projects valued at $3.6 Billion. I also managed the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Transportation [Environmental] Enhancement Activities (TEA) program was 90 proposed projects valued at $62 Million.

Many a sales person I come across is caught up in chasing after the next sale, wasting so much time during the day instead of constantly developing and cultivating a large pipeline of prospects. I see them reading the paper, surfing the internet or standing around yackin’ about the weather and recession. These actions show laziness, lack of focus, and desire or unwillingness to venture out. In other words they aren’t hungry enough. If you work around people like this, I would recommend that you step away from the pack and make a positive change.

In that time you develop your networks, your confidence and consequently your ability to get to places, that maybe only a year before you could not get to.

Based on the idea of having sergeants, are you a small business owner or someone who is self-employed? Which model are you more interested in? And if you want to be a small business owner rather than self-employed, do you know of any potential sergeants in your network?