Month: December 2019

Personal Business Planning Tips

Customers and most particularly property owners, business owners, and tenants are at the centre of your business model. Long term customer relationships and referrals will help you grow your market share as an agent.

Given all of these things you really do need a business plan to move ahead as a commercial real estate agent. Without some form of plan you will likely struggle. The plan will help you with focus when it comes to the key issues in your personal business. It will also help you with prospecting and growing market share.

Here are some of the bigger issues to merge into you planning process:

  • Where is your property market? You will need to define exactly where your listings and contacts will come from. It could be a town or a city, but either way you must define it so you know where to prospect on a daily basis.
  • Set some boundaries inside the town or city as your primary focus area. Define a ‘primary location’ that contains enough property owners and properties for you to work on. In most cases that should be 2000 businesses and properties. When you do this you can break the zone up into streets and zones where you can dissect the property ownership and tenant information. That will then help your prospecting activities.
  • Understand what a client looks like to you and the type of business you can get from them. In most cases you should be focusing on property investors, property developers, business owners, tenants, and owner occupiers. When you know what the ideal clients are, you can then find them and set up the required presentations and market information.
  • What will be your property focus? It is an interesting question, but you really should focus on a particular property type and location in your geographical area. From that you can easily understand the factors of property use and occupancy. Prices, rents, lease strategies, and marketing alternatives then take shape and become far more specific; on that basis you are of higher value to the clients that you serve. You are then a specialist.

 


Partnering With Other Entrepreneurs

Ownership

  • Pros: Pride of ownership, freedom from others control, time invested will show higher return, flexibility to make decisions.
  • Cons: You never know when you can invest 40 hours or 80 hours into the business this week. Having to compete with other companies. No guarantee of success.

If partnering just for capital, an entrepreneur may think twice. Partnering mistakes are costly because a partner may not have any expertise for the business or not willing to invest the same amount of time.

Control

When it comes to partnering, a lot of people immediately think about 50/50, so everyone can have equal control. You need to avoid this because “there are too many cooks in the kitchen.” There needs to be a person who can make the last decision. Research shows it is best to go into a partnership of 60/40 or 70/30. Every business needs a person who has an overall control and accountability. This way employees will not be confused in knowing who the boss is.

Personality

  • Pros: different and more diverse characters may benefit in various tasks such as finance, people, product, marketing management, etc.
  • Cons: Facing the same issues but two people may react in different ways.

Partners vision

  • Pros: It is best if having a partner who has the same vision, passion, and goal as yours.
  • Cons: Partners many times see the same product going in two different directions.

A mix of generations

  • Older partner: Lifetime experiences, knowledge, and more flexible work hours but not much energy and might be considering retirement soon.
  • Younger partner: They are savvy with new technologies and full of energy. Eager to work but lack of real-world job experiences or some specific skills needed. Less flexible work hours or not fully committed to the job.

Think long and hard before you invite a partner into your dream!


Start A Business From Scratch

Businesses Fail

The main reason we start at the customer and solve his or her problem is because we need the foundation of a product that will sell for a profit. One that will continue on for years to come. Without that, there is no business. If you go all out and start a business without this kind of product, the business is likely to fail. In fact, even if you come up with a great product, you still have a high risk of business failure. But without a great product, it is almost a certainty.

The Customer’s Problem

Finding a problem to solve is finding an opportunity. You add value when you uniquely solve a customer’s problem with a product they can buy.

What is a product?

A product can be a physical product such as a shovel, a digital product such as an eBook, or a service such as business consulting. It could also be a method of distributing that adds value, or a way of organizing or combining existing product lines. Really the product is up to whatever you can imagine.

Trial Sales

Initially you can sell under your own name, which is the same as a sole proprietorship. If you find that your product sells, you can always sell your sole proprietorship to your corporation or LLC. But until you find a product that really sells for a profit, you should continue using trial sales.

What problem do you have?

After finding a product that sells for a good profit, evaluate your own business problems. Evaluate how you can serve the customer better, your concern for liability from damages or injuries, potential cash flow pitfalls, and so forth. Incrementally improve your business as you discover your own problems, especially focusing your attention on the customer. At this point you will probably want to consider business structure.


Time to Live Outside the Box

This box is a dream killer. It’s an entrepreneur crusher. So, where did this box come from? And how did we get in it? Well, here are my thoughts on what this box is.

It starts when you’re a child. They send you to school to get an education. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting an education. However, one of the dangers about school is how they start putting you into the box. They tell you to get a good education so you can get a good paying job and then, after 20 or 30 years, you can retire and start living the life of luxury. That’s how you become a success in life.

So, we go through Elementary, Middle and High School with a box mentality. And when we go to college, we’re still stuck with the box mentality, right? Then what happens after college? We jump right into the box and get a job.

Well, the job it’s almost like school:

  • We get up early and get to work at eight or nine o’clock.
  • We get a break at 10:15, and a lunch break, if we’re lucky.
  • Then we go home at six o’clock and get stuck in traffic.

There’s our life, still in the box, still following tasks, still doing what we’re told, so we can get a paycheck and try to simply exist.

So, we build our whole life doing all this stuff so when we retire, we can have an amazing life. But what happens when we retire? Did you know that a lot of people who are retiring die days or weeks later? They did what the box said and now they’re in a box in the ground. Why? Because they let the box destroy their dreams, vision and purpose. They felt they had nothing else to live for and passed on.

Don’t let the box steal your dreams, vision and purpose! It’s time to live life outside the box and fulfill your destiny. What you have to do is get rid of that box mentality and start living your dreams. If you ever want to get outside of the box, the first thing that you’re going to have to do is change your mindset.

It is, arguably, the most important tool that an entrepreneur has at his or her disposal. That’s because no matter what kind of business you’re trying to run or kind of entrepreneurial venture you’re attempting, your success, whether inside or outside of the box, has everything to do with your own positive attitude.

  • Many people inside the box aren’t even aware that they have a negative attitude. Many people have negative self-talk going on, down deep where no one else sees, but to the world they put on a positive face.
  • Only you can decide if you need to work on your mindset before reaching your dreams.
  • To live outside the box, you must destroy the negative image you have about yourself and process the effects of toxic experiences in a positive way.

When trying to achieve life goals, your positive, determined mindset will keep you focused on your dreams and purpose – no matter how hard the trial is.

There’s a lot you can learn while being inside the box. However, it is vitally important to remember this key point: never let the box steal your dreams! Change your mindset because a positive mindset is the most important tool that you have at your disposal. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, then it’s time to live outside the box.


Up-Leveling Your Success

  • Being In Squirrel Mode. When you spread yourself too thin, it’s hard to fully monetize your business. One big mistake I see people make is when one thing isn’t working, they see the next “shiny object” and try something new. The result is they never fully put in the work it takes to make a new objective take off. Having a mentor can help you find the focus you need to experience growth. They can help you create a plan to use your money, resources, and time in ways that laser focus your results.
  • Not Admitting When Wrong. Being your own boss is awesome. You get to call all the shots and be captain of your own ship. But the problem is that you always get to be “right” – even when you aren’t. There can be great value to having a mentor to reframe your situation and show you areas that need improvement that you may be overlooking. Having someone speak the truth to you when it’s needed is critical to growth.
  • Getting Stuck in Victim Mode. It can actually be cathartic to gripe and moan about how busy you are, or how out of control things have gotten, etc. but some people find a certain kind of honour in projecting themselves as a martyr that way. But people who succeed know the value is healing those wounded areas. A mentor can hold your feet to the fire and help you move through the bleeding wounds and address the bigger issues.
  • Not Looking in The Mirror. It’s your team’s fault. Your software isn’t working right. The market has changed… The excuses can go on forever. Until you realize that you are 100% responsible for everything that happens in your life and business, nothing changes. A mentor will be honest with you about the role you played in failures. They can help you learn the lesson, grow, and move on. Personal growth is key to your success.
  • Trying to Do it All Themselves. Women are especially hard on themselves when it comes to thinking they should know everything they need to know to run a business. It’s a sign of weakness ineptitude if they don’t, so they set off to learn everything all themselves. The problem is, the more they set off to learn someone else’s skillset and expertise, the less they are focusing on their own core competency and thus, not on their own business. A mentor can help you determine what you should be doing yourself to grow and expand your business, and what you should be outsourcing and delegating. This allows you to take advantage of someone else’s skillset so you can spend more time focusing on your own.

Keys to Achieving Entrepreneurial Success

Know what you are going to do to make money

If you are going to be a successful entrepreneur it is important to know how you are going to generate income. Exactly what is your vision for entrepreneurship? Being an entrepreneur is not like having a hobby. You much be able to transform your idea to income.

Don’t be so quick to fire your boss

I know you are probably so excited to transition from employee to entrepreneur that you are ready to turn in your “two weeks” notice and never look back. But is that really the best choice to make? There are many benefits to keeping your job. It is a wise idea to keep your job so that you can have money coming in to pay your bills. If you don’t have money coming in to pay your bills that is going to be very stressful, and it will be challenging for you to unleash creative entrepreneurial ideas with a stressed out mind.

It is also a wise idea to keep your job because you can use money from your job to fund your entrepreneurial vision. You can set aside a portion of your paycheck to buy things you need to launch and grow your business. It can be more beneficial for you to wait to leave your job after your business has grown and you are financially secure.

Don’t give up

Being an entrepreneur is not easy and success probably won’t happen overnight. So you must be driven and have determination. Honestly, there may even be some times when you want to give up but you can’t. Have a plan for business success and keep taking action. Back your action with faith and expect amazing things to happen.


Business Process Consulting

Ownership and Trust

Most small business environments are created by an individual or a family. In the case of a small family business, relationships can be close and intense. This means that such businesses can often be emotionally laden environments. When families have interpersonal difficulties, emotional intelligence in business can be difficult to maintain.

As such, this particular form of ownership can create potential risks. These risks can often be exacerbated when there is a high degree of power concentrated in one person, usually the founder of the business, or in one or two other family members. Such concentration can lead to poor decision-making, a myopic mindset and/or an unclear focus.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon successful and effective small business owners to establish a business policy development framework that ensures that these risk factors are managed and, where possible, eliminated from their companies.

Effective business owners welcome the idea of adopting a governance model that ensures that the best interests of the business are served, as opposed simply to serving the interests of one or two individual family members.

They also set time aside to invest in leadership skills development, at this governance level, as they know such development is essential for the success of their business.

Having the Right People in Governance Roles

As in the recruitment of employees, the recruitment of company directors must be closely attended to in small business. For example, just because John or Mary is the son or daughter of the business owner, it does not necessarily follow that the company will be best served by their sitting in a governance role.

This role is best served by bringing the right mix of skills to bear, together with the proper mindset and the ability to separate family matters from business concerns. This is best practice in business development and risk management.

Having clear specifications, roles and functions spelled out through policy and position descriptions enables people to be bound to a code of conduct and underpins effective decision making at this important strategic level. Again, adequate time must be deliberately and consciously devoted to this function for it to be performed effectively.

Objectivity in Decision Making

One of the real dangers for small to medium-sized businesses is having the proper separation of roles between strategic, longer term thinking and the more immediate operational concerns. These two streams are separate, though highly interrelated. In a family business, there are the potential traps of meddling and getting bogged down in operations, on the one hand, or being too distant and passive on the other. This can be even more complicated when a family members who sits on the board of directors of the business is at the same time managing a business unit operationally.

The critical role of governance is to stay focused on the strategic level and to pay attention, for instance, to the positioning of the business in the market place, succession planning and leadership development. The proper delegation of authorities and responsibilities is critical in allowing operational people to get on with what needs to be done in the business on a day-to-day basis, without interference.


Plan a Personal Business Retreat

Most of us are busy not only within our business, but also have roles in family and community, as well. As our business begins to take off, we have less of the quiet time we need to work “on” the business rather than “in” the business. And, because we expend a high degree of energy, we need respite. In fact, where we get our new ideas and renew our energy is often while we are on retreat.

My formula for fantastic business success is to regularly pull myself away from my business. This stretches me in several ways.

  • It forces me to train employees and trust them to run day-to-day operations while I am away.
  • It forces me to clear my calendar and budget for personal business retreat time.
  • It helps me keep my own ego out of the business and put my attention on the present and future possibilities.
  • It forces me to change my daily environment, literally getting a fresh perspective for myself and my business.

In fact, one mark of an entrepreneur who thinks too small is one who insists he cannot get away from his own business. This a sign of overwhelm, fatigue, and over-control. Here are five tips for how to do quarterly business retreats that will refuel you and your business.

  • Decide what is really nurturing for you, and select accordingly. Your body and spirit may need anything from physical exertion to sunshine.
  • Stay within your budget. Retreat centers range from free (monasteries) to the ultimate luxurious destination. Don’t stress yourself more by going into debt.
  • Plan far ahead. Clear your calendar 3 to 4 months ahead of time. This gives you plenty of time to make travel arrangements and a bit of time put away some money. It also gives you something to look forward to, a time you know you’ll rest.
  • Put away the guilty feelings. It is a gift to others to model self-care and nurturing to those you care for.
  • Enter and come back lightly. Schedule a lighter day before you go and when you come back. You’ll reap more benefits if you are not pressed to the last minute before you leave, and have a day to acclimate when you return.

Think about your work style and take what you need with you. A few pads of paper, pencils or pens, a computer, a list of ideas you’ve had and need to assess, a list of problem areas you need to think clearly about should all be in your briefcase. Because I work on computer, I will only go places where I can get Internet access. Which, these days, is just about anywhere!

Make your retreat a combination of rest, daydreaming, good food, activity, and work time. Your mind will clear and you will gain instant focus on things that have been bugging you as your mind, body, emotions, and spirit relax and renew. Things that seem truly frustrating and unending will suddenly become clear. You’ll find yourself making decisions you’ve wallowed on about and wondering why you thought it was so hard!

I recommend quarterly retreats, a week at a time. At the least, get away for 4 days. Stay away from e-mail and the phone as much as you can, and at the most once a day. Take a break from social media, too. Your business issues will lessen and juicy new possibilities will flow. You’ll get back home enthused and renewed, and that alone boosts your business success.


Signage in a Startup Business

Function

The most important function of a sign is that they act as your salesperson silently. The sign will draw attention to the business. You will see more customers coming in. the signs will also help one to differentiate the business from the others. Signs are a link between a business and its customers.

Types

There are several types of signs found. Some are ground mounted that can be placed in the exteriors. They can be of various shapes and sizes. They are placed beside the road to attract the attention of the passerby. They are useful in the places where more people visit the place.

Importance

Signs guard the marketing strategy of any business. So, put up the logo of your company. This will surely help to grow the brand value. They can promote your business or convey necessary information to the audiences. As the signage will be visible all day and night long they will give you continued results. They can be used both for on-premises and off-premises usage. They always pass a message to the passerby in a quick and effective way.


Getting Ahead Of Competitors

Firstly, you can buy your competitors‘ product to determine their sales process (and service) and get on their mailing list to see future promotions. The relatively small price you pay for their product will pay for itself many times over in the knowledge you gain by finding out what they are doing and how they are doing it.

If you use this strategy, do not use your own name because your competitors may recognize your name as their competition. Instead, use your spouse’s name, a fictitious name, an employee’s name, or an alternative company name (if you have another company) that will allow the mail to get to you without revealing who you are. Also, make sure you use an alternative address, email address and phone number.

By purchasing your competitors’ products, you can find out exactly what they are doing, who they are dealing with and how they are doing it – all by their email and snail mail correspondences. You will also be able to experience exactly what a regular customer would go through and you can then judge their product, service and operations against yours. This gives a great advantage to all of your customers because you will know the pros and cons of your competition and can more effectively sell your product or service.

Another strategy would be to have one of your employees or friends call your competitor. They could pose as a satisfied customer wanting to see what products or services the company is working on for the future.

An absolute must is to perform a search for keywords in specified newsgroups to find out if your name, or any other information about your company, is being used without your prior knowledge or permission. This is critical, since you will know exactly what people are saying about you and your other competition within moments of them mentioning it. It gives you the opportunity to defend yourself or solve customer service problems before any damage is done.

Anytime a competitor tries to “badmouth” you in any newsgroup or public forum or even compare your products/services unfairly, within hours you are there to reply to the post and deliver the truth or your account of the situation.

Now, put yourself in the competitor’s shoes. Imagine if anytime you wrote something, your competition was right there – as if they were watching over your shoulder all the time. Wouldn’t you be very careful in the future as to what you say and wouldn’t you be dumbfounded as to how your competition was always one step ahead of you?

Bear in mind the old customer service rule – bad news travels ten times faster than good news. One dissatisfied customer will tell ten other people, while one satisfied customer may tell one or none. All it takes is a few postings of dissatisfied customers to lose a lot of business. Can you imagine how powerful it is if you are right there to publicly take care of any customer service problems when a dissatisfied customer posts anything negative about your product or company? This will impress the thousands of people who read newsgroups but don’t post on them. It’s better to find dissatisfied customers instead of them having to hunt for you.