There are many reasons why people choose a sales career. For some, their choices involve choosing a large or small sales company to work for. Some salespeople—confident in their sales skills—have a burning entrepreneurial spirit that drives them to want an enterprise of their making. These are the sales entrepreneurs that rely solely on themselves, their passion and their ability to close sales.
Being an Independent Rep vs. Owning a Sales Business
Independent sales reps are sales professionals who sell the products or services of a company. However, they are not considered employees of the business. Thay may even sell products for several businesses.
In effect, these independent representatives are often considered 1099 employees. The Internal Revenue Service uses Form 1099 to report the wages paid to independent contractors and workers who are not employees. Independent sales reps agree to the compensation plan—often commission or commission plus salary—that the product or service producer designs.
While very similar to independent salespersons, the sales entrepreneurs differ in what they sell and in the relationships they have with the producer of the product or service they sell.
The sales entrepreneur is usually the person who finds a product or service that is marketable that they feel needs more exposure. They will design a marketing sales approach and approach the producer to offer their plan for a better way to market the products. If successful, they form a partnership with the business. Their compensation most often includes either a share in the profits or equity in the producing company. In short, a sales entrepreneur takes significantly more risks as he has a vested interest in each step of the product/service's lifecycle.
Also, an entrepreneur can be someone who has developed a new or different product or service. They know it is better than the competition offers. Instead of selling the products of another company—or hiring an independent rep to sell their product—the sales entrepreneur represents themselves and sells the product.
Before Starting Your Own Sales Business
Being on your own is not for the faint of heart. These professionals have no one but themselves to rely on for their income and no one to blame for their failures. They need to have extremely strong time management skills. They must also possess great networking skills.
Being 100% on independent, sales entrepreneurs need to be self-motivated, self-directed, focused and be willing to work long hours and long weeks.
This career is certainly not for everyone. In fact, few sales professionals would ever even consider starting a business whose success is entirely on their shoulders. The perceived security of working for someone else or at least representing an established manufacturer is a powerful draw in the uncertain world of sales.
Reaping Your Rewards
Ask enough sales professionals about their most pressing issue with their job is and you are certain to hear "the company I work for..." Their issues will vary but many sales professionals do have issues with their employer. Either the pay is not good enough, their sales manager micromanages, the competition is driving away profit or any other number of complaints.
Yet if you ever hear a sales entrepreneur complain about their boss or company, you will know that they are only complaining about themselves.
A sales entrepreneur is free to make any and all decisions. They decide on course directions or to try a new strategy. If something is not working, they can change it immediately without seeking the permission of anyone else.
While most sales professionals enjoy autonomy and freedom, nothing compares to what a sales entrepreneur experiences on a daily basis.
Once an entrepreneur earns success, their profits are not divided up between others. Unless the entrepreneur has employees, every cent of profit they earn, they keep. Certainly, not everyone is successful when going on their own, but many are. And those that realize only moderate success are generally more satisfied with their occupations than others.
The funny thing about those who become sales entrepreneurs is that even though they may fail and have to find employment with an established business, it usually isn't too long before they are out on their own again, chasing success on their terms.