Francis Santa was born on May 4th, 1959 in New York and he grew up in Rye, New York. He was originally in the car business for over 10 years, and during that time he owned and operated a General Motors franchise in Connecticut. He then started his business, Business Image Lift, in 2016 after years of research into the field and moved to the beautiful Boca Raton. Today, he is a successful businessman, an avid runner, and a loving family man. He has been married to his wife for over 30 years and has three children and has recently welcomed two grandchildren into his family.
Where did the idea for Business Image Lift come from?
After dealing with my own struggles with negative online content posted about me that was incredibly one sided, the idea for Business Image Lift was born. After years of research into internet laws and removal techniques, we created an innovative way to remove negative content using the legal system.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
After my morning prayers, we start our work day with a staff meeting to discuss what has been done and what needs to be done. Then, my team gets to work on their respective tasks for the day and I begin handling my portion of work for the day. Since every day is different, there is no usual routine in our office. This is why our morning meetings are crucial to maintaining organization and productivity in the office. I generally spend a good amount of time on the phone with clients, and then the rest of my day is filled with either meetings or niche work.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The first step of course is always to get together with my team and experiment. We would never do work for a client while flying blind, so before we use a new technique we first perform a few test runs to gather data. If we are not seeing the desired results, then we reconvene as a team to brainstorm solutions or alternatives. There is a fair degree of trial and error, but in the end we know that our techniques are 100% effective and we are not simply throwing ideas at a wall to see what sticks.
What’s one trend that excites you?
As someone who has always valued my physical fitness, I am very excited by all of the new exercise trends today. There are a million new ways to stay active and healthy, and getting to try them is always fun and enlightening.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit that keeps me on top of my game at all times is that I always answer my phone. It may seem simple, but it’s one of the most effective business strategies in my repertoire. It can be tempting to screen calls, but you never know when a potential client is trying to reach you or when a current client may be calling from an alternate number. Staying on top of necessary communications means I never miss a beat!
What advice would you give your younger self?
If anything, I would just say “keep on going and trust in the process.” There have been plenty of trials and tribulations on the journey to building my business into what it is today, and there have been many times when I was tempted to give up or make compromises that I didn’t think were right. However, I kept pushing and stayed true to myself and my values and in the end I have built this incredible business on my own from the ground up.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I only have one phone for all of my needs, personal and business. While some may think it is necessary to set boundaries and use separate phones for separate uses, I find it much more advantageous to carry and use just a single phone. Not only does it help me to be more available, but it also helps to build trust with the client. They have my personal number, not just a business phone.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing that I do and that I encourage others to do as well is be religious in checking to be sure work was done. Going back weeks or even months to ensure that nothing fell through that cracks has saved us an enormous amount of trouble. We are all human beings, and we will all make mistakes at some point. It may feel unnecessary at times, but double checking that all of the work for each client was finished or is being handled is important to running a growing business.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Encouraging referrals from our clients has been crucial to growing our business. Since the nature of our business can be sensitive, one of the easiest ways to vet potential clients is by having come through a client we trust. It also helps us inspire trust in our clients because they know that they can count on us to take care of them as well as their friends and family.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
One service that we have found very useful is Monday, which is a CRM site. When we sign up a new client, we create a profile for them on monday where we can collect the details of the client’s individual case and keep track of all of the work we have done and what still needs to be worked on. The more your business grows, the more difficult it is to keep track of everything that is going on, so having a system that makes it so simple is a real lifesaver.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
As a devout Jewish man, I have to say the Torah. Even if you are not a part of the Jewish faith, there is plenty of valuable insight to be gained by reading it though.
What is your favorite quote?
I always say “if it doesn’t make sense, then it isn’t true.” While not everyone may agree, we use it as a rule in my business. Especially when it comes to the internet and online services, there are often offers that are too good to be true. I tell all of my clients that if someone offers them a service that does not make sense or refuses to explain anything about their process, then they are likely being scammed.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.