I am creative director of my own company and possibly looking to work with a good business development person to try and win leads for the company. Then we would see how it goes perhaps they get a finders fee, equity steak in the company etc. Just looking some ideas as I don't have the time to be sourcing work when I am doing the work.
This is a common problem with "Doer" business owners.
It won't be easy to find someone to work on commission. Truly able commission-based salespeople know they are a) in demand, and b) capable of setting their own price. So why should they work for you? They're going to go to where making sales is like shooting fish in a barrel. Not where they have to struggle to survive.
If you can't afford a salary, and I'm talking 9-12 months' salary while your first inside salesperson "figures it out", you're not ready to have someone in that role. Hire inside first, where you can keep an eye on them, and have them transition to outside and higher pay later. Most business owners get this completely bass-ackwards and it never turns out well that way.
But in my experience & opinion, you should not be looking for a salesperson at this time. What you need is an automated funnel that brings you opportunities. And for that you will need focused, paid traffic.
The idea that a magic salesperson will, like the genie, serve you up wins, is compelling. But it is not reality. Build yourself the solid foundation of a lead generating and qualifying funnel, so you only talk to a steady stream of people who are ready to buy. That's how to use your time and resources effectively at this stage in your company's development.
Would you like to discuss online lead gen as an option?
You might invest in some high-conversion-rate landing pages, placed in the right traffic flows, with some attention paid to branding.
In other words, that's a bit of web design, a bit of copy writing, a bit of A/B testing, a bit of domain buying, and probably some ongoing pay-per-click campaigns which could be managed by you yourself or by an SEM expert.
I would usually recommend investing in such marketing tools first, since they're semi-passive and cheaper. Hiring someone to go find clients is probably costly, and you'd be dependent on that person indefinitely.
Eventually, business owners who don't invest in harvesting their own leads will find that someone else has stepped in as a middle man to sell them on at higher prices – possibly on an exclusive basis to a competitor.
Paying per lead is more expensive yet more convenient. Building the lead generating pages and SEM campaigns is more work up front; but ultimately it might be simpler, cheaper, and function more as a business asset.
A tradeoff. Really, it's the difference between renting a home and building a home where none exists. And in your case, you don't have that pay-by-lead option yet because nobody has seen your niche and spontaneously offered to sell you leads.
This lead-gen approach is more passive than hiring a dedicated human being to work for a salary or commission. You might not have someone knocking on doors, but you would have some equipment to harvest whatever market interest is already out there – meaning people who may already be looking for solutions or simply curious.
Hard to say if this would work for your business, since we don't know what that business is. But it does work extremely well for certain industries and business models.
What I've described involves some professional expertise beyond what I do. Maybe I have 1 or 2 pieces of the puzzle, though, in case you'd like to chat.
As the owner, it is imperative that you make time to work ON the business. Commit a few hours a week to reaching out to business development folks on LinkedIn or emailing your professional network letting them know you are searching for a person to fill this role.
It is not a hugely time consuming process, but it is something the owner of any respectable company should want to have a hand in. The person you hire is going to be the reason you flourish or die.
A few hours per week will help ensure your tomorrow is better than your yesterday.
Let's jump on a call, if you need more info.