When he was 16 years old, CEO Dan Schneider was making balloon animals at a T.G.I. Friday’s. He quickly realized that by delegating the balloon-making to friends he could make more money- effectively starting his own balloon-making agency. At 17, he went into the cell-phone sales business. At 19, he was the owner of 12 lucrative cell-phone stores.
Today Dan is the founder and CEO of SIB Fixed Cost Reduction. SIB (the acronym stands for Solutions Integrated Business) audits companies to find cost-reducing opportunities. If they find savings, they’re on contract for a percentage of the money they’ve found. If they can’t find savings, they don’t charge at all. It’s an unusual pricing strategy that foregoes the short term profits in exchange for long-lasting relationships.
It’s not the only thing unusual about Dan’s approach to growing his business: he famously offers a $50,000 bonus to employees who remain with SIB for five years. Dan discusses with us what drove him along in his unconventional style of success, as well as his fresh perspective on topics as diverse as scaling companies, creating vibrant company cultures, and benefiting from what he calls “reverse mentoring.” Reverse mentoring involves learning from other company’s problems – and figuring out how to fix them. After all, Dan specializes in generating solutions.