Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Daniel Gold, CEO at Future Energy Solutions:
What does your company do?
Future Energy Solutions (FES) is an industrial lighting manufacturer. Through its unique Gold Initiative program, FES is able to offer potential clients custom energy-efficient lighting upgrades with truly zero capital outlay. Under the program, FES takes over all obligations for the client’s lighting, including all maintenance and replacement costs for a fifteen-year period. By doing this, FES, is able to break out a fixed liability from a company’s balance sheet and turn it in to an asset. Future Energy Solutions currently operates in 38 states and has over 1,500 companies’ sites under management. It has saved businesses in America over $87,852,260.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
At FES, I wear two distinctive hats. I am first and foremost, the CEO, overseeing the day-to-day operations of this rapidly growing business. My second role is that of national sales director. I feel privileged to operate in both roles as each one has its separate challenges and rewards. The most controversial of which is trying to separate the correct operational and fiscal obligations of a company, with the desire to rapidly grow the sales. On many occasions, the pursuit of sales growth can be detrimental to the type of business we are, yet turning away customers is an incredibly challenging thing to do. I also enjoy learning each and every day from the outstanding team I have been fortunate enough to build around me.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Our biggest challenge is overcoming the “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is” mentality. Many businesses can’t believe our businesses’ model of transforming lighting systems into new, brighter, energy-efficient ones at no upfront capital cost is real. Well, the Gold Initiative is real and, once businesses understand the proposition and how good a deal they’re getting, they become believers and customers for life. After all, what business turns its back on free money? The reality is, what I created is so simple that it’s actually complicated.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
The problem with youth is it’s wasted on the young, as reflected by the adage: “IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW.” I’d say: listen to your elders and be cognizant of how privileged you are to have their guidance. The generations ahead have seen it all before. Life is cyclical so don’t believe you know things that you’ve never encountered. Don’t fear failure, all really great leaders learn from errors. As a result, they can do things differently and more effectively. There’s really no substitute for experience. Lead from the front. Know how to do every job in your business better than your employees so you understand success and how to get there. And, never turn off your phone! Being a leader is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week thing. You’ve got to be prepared and willing to put in the work if you expect to be successful.