How Tom Golisano Built Paychex Into A Billion Dollar Company

Financial success stories are what business legends are made of; entrepreneurs starting their own companies with a few thousand dollars from their life savings and their credit cards. Most of founders fail, but there are the rare ones that succeed to become billionaires.

On the Small Business Radio Show this week, billionaire Tom Golisano, founder and chairman of the Board of Paychex, talks about his keys to success and what he looks for in companies he currently invests. His new book is called “Built, Not Born: A Self-Made Billionaire’s No-Nonsense Guide for Entrepreneurs”. Tom discusses how much he loves entrepreneurs and how important they are to the economic success of the United States.

Business Advice from Tom Golisano

Tom started his career as a salesperson for a payroll processing company that serviced large companies. At the time, no one was offering the same service targeting small businesses. It took him four years to get his first 300 clients! As a result, Tom preaches patience to entrepreneurs. He believes they get overly enthusiastic about their ability to attract new customers and over anticipate their company’s growth. Getting customers to switch from whatever their current solution is harder than they think. In Tom’s case, they had never even considered outsourcing their payroll.

Entrepreneurs need to ask themselves how much money they will need to start their business. As a result they need to make it sustainable. Tom suggests simply writing on one page. Record what sales will be for the next period of time. And include the profit margin on each customer. This helps the entrepreneur. You can determine how much cash flow they will need in the short run.

Tom’s entire corporate philosophy translates into “a good deal for everyone”. As a result, he explains “if they are not getting a good deal from you, they will not stay with you.” For example, he originally combined 17 companies together to create Paychex. All former owners received equity. As a result, they eventually really profited.

He adds only one golden rule to becoming a good manager. “Treat people the way you want to be treated. If you have honesty and integrity, they will follow you.”

Listen to the entire interview on the Small Business Radio Show.


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Defined by Nature: Planet Earth Habitant, Human, Son of Eladio Rodulfo & Briceida Moya, Brother of Gabriela, Gustavo & Katiuska, Father of Gabriel & Sofia; Defined by the Society: Venezuelan Citizen (Human Rights Limited by default), Friend of many, Enemy of few, Neighbor, Student/Teacher/Student, Worker/Supervisor/Manager/Leader/Worker, Husband of Katty/ Ex-Husband of K/Husband of Yohana; Defined by the US Immigration System: Legal Alien; Defined by the Gig Economy: Independent Contractor Form 1099; Studies in classroom: Master Degree in Human Resources Management, English, Chinese Mandarin; Studies at the real world: Human Behavior; Studies at home: Webmaster SEO, Graphic Web Apps Design, Internet & Social Media Marketing, Video Production, You Tube Branding, Trading, Import-Exports, Affiliate Marketing, Cooking, Laundry, Home Cleaning; Work experience: Public-Private-Entrepreneur Sectors; Other Definitions: Bitcoin Evangelist, Human Rights Peace and Love Advocate. Author of: Why Maslow: How to use his theory to stay in Power Forever (EN/SP); Asylum Seekers (EN/SP); Manual for Gorillas: 9 Rules to be the “Fer-pect” Dictator (EN/SP); Why you must Play the Lottery (EN/SP); Para Español Oprima #2: Speaking Spanish in Times of Xenophobia (EN/SP). Social Media profiles: Twitter/FB/Instagram/VK/Linkedin/Sina Weibo: @rodulfox
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