Focus on the Yeses!
Rich Manfredo is the president and CEO of the payroll service provider Paystubs Services Incorporated. He is a third-generation Fresno-Clovis area local, and is also actively involved in local community services, and serves as the president of the Rotary Club of Clovis.
Manfredo comes from an entrepreneurial family, with both his father and uncle owning their own businesses as he was growing up. It didn’t seem out of the ordinary for Manfredo to shoot for that, too. At age sixteen, Manfredo began working at Mid Valley Sports, a sporting goods store. He later moved to Jack Pieroni Ski and Sports before entering into entrepreneurship himself at twenty-six years old. Since he didn’t have a half million dollars laying around to start his own business, his parents put up a third, his ex-boss from Mid Valley Sports put up a third, and Manfredo put up the final third to start the first athletic shoe store in Fresno. The store became profitable by the second year, and they rode that wave for nearly fourteen years until Herb Bauer made Manfredo an offer he couldn’t refuse… to buy the store. Manfredo stayed on for a year to fulfill a contract with Bauer, but by then he had worked in retail for about thirty years and was ready for something new.
What It Takes
It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of money to start a business. Rather, it takes a willingness to take risks, a willingness to put in long hours, and a willingness to get back up after every failure. One of Manfredo’s strongest attributes is his ability to look past temporary setbacks. If he let himself be controlled by negative feedback, he’d find himself afraid to pick up the phone or go out onto the sales floor. “Once you look past that and you focus on all the successes… focus on the yeses… you suddenly find yourself having a lot more of them.”
A New Start
Manfredo didn’t decide to go into the payroll industry by himself. Customers in the store were noticing that he wasn’t his normal, jovial self, and he had to assure them that nothing was wrong, he was just bored. One of those customers finally told Manfredo that he should consider a new career. He took Manfredo to lunch and showed him his payroll company, and asked if he was interested in becoming a salesperson for payroll. Although Manfredo was interested, he had no experience with computers. The customer assured him that he’d be trained, so he rolled the dice and took the job. The first day, he came into work with no computers and left with three computers. He went home, hooked his computers up, and entered the payroll business. The most difficult thing for Manfredo was going from being one of the most knowledgeable people to one of the least knowledgeable people in his chosen career. He had been very comfortable in the sporting goods industry, and he was very uncomfortable using the computers. But the comfort zone is a bad place to be in, because you don’t experience growth there.
Success in Payroll
It only took Manfredo about three months to get comfortable with his new job, and the success started coming in. The company was signing up new accounts as quickly as he could get out into the field. Manfredo attributes his success to having been trained by very good salespeople. He started off watching his father as a youngster, then he watched Pieroni and copied him until it became natural. “If you copy something that’s successful, then modify it to fit your own personality, you’re good.” Manfredo spent about five years at that company before being asked to join a larger regional company. He spent about three years there, but then the company was bought by an even larger national company. The changes that the national company put into place made Manfredo unhappy, so when a friend called him for help re-organizing a small company that had begun and failed, he accepted. He received part of the company in exchange for becoming their sales manager. That worked well for a few years, then Manfredo sold his portion back to his friend.
Paystub Services Incorporated
In 2010, Manfredo started Paystub Services Incorporated. The company prioritizes customer service. “I’m way more focused on them (the clients) than I am on me. I want them to be successful. One of the biggest benefits of working with a payroll service like Manfredo’s is liability avoidance. If a company has even one employee and hasn’t paid their taxes and withheld them correctly, they will be penalized severely. In fact, that’s the second most common reason why companies go out of business — they don’t pay their payroll taxes. With Paystubs Services Inc., they are well protected against that liability. Another huge benefit of working with Paystubs Services Inc. is the time saved that can be used towards generating revenue instead of being spent on payroll. For every single employee, companies must track their hours, track their overtime hours, and track their sick leave, among other things. All of that is included in Manfredo’s standard pricing structure.
For the past fifteen years, Manfredo has been on the executive committee for organizing the 300 Club Dinner for Big Brothers Big Sisters. The 300 Club Dinner is a local dinner attended by 300 men who each pay $300 for their seat at the table. They are served a gourmet meal, and there’s a silent and live auction. The goal is to raise as much money as possible for Big Brother Big Sisters. Manfredo has also been in the Rotary Club of Clovis for about five years, and is serving as their president this year.
Advice to His Younger Self
Manfredo’s biggest challenge has been being afraid of change and getting stuck in his comfort zone. “Don’t be so resistant to change.”
The Hard Times
Manfredo’s family and skiing, being on top of a mountain somewhere, get him through the hard times.
You can stop by the Paystub Services Inc. office at 1586 W Shaw Avenue in Fresno, give them a call at 559-492-1124, give Manfredo a call at 559-250-1847, or visit their website.