The Art Of Selling Houses: How To Keep Your Books Ticking Over

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Real Estate|The Art Of Selling Houses: How To Keep Your Books Ticking OverKeeping your books full as an estate agent is partly hard work and partly having the gift of the gab. Being able to sell houses involves crafting a delicate balance of being persuasive but also keeping everyone informed. You don’t want to be the real estate agent equivalent of a snake oil salesman, but you also want to keep your books nicely ticking over. If you have just started in real estate, here’s how to get your houses selling.

Marketing strategy

It doesn’t matter what condition they’re in: the houses on your roster need to be well presented online for people to consider them. Even if you have a wreck on your hands, someone who is looking to start a passion-project will want to get a sense of what they will be overhauling. You will come across as a much more reliable real-estate agent if your marketing is of a high standard. Using professional photographers and marketers, such as Yught, will get you a service that is specialized in real estate.

Part of your marketing strategy should involve a strong online presence. A brilliant website allows you to capture your personality and tone of voice. This is hopefully, what will draw potential clients to you – and importantly, gain trust with customers. Your website should be easy to find and accessible. Existing on social media is also important to advertise exciting new properties and open a dialogue with house-hunters.

Don’t rely on word of mouth

Positive word of mouth will certainly benefit you in your career – but that doesn’t mean you should rely on it. It’s been said that a real danger for any new real estate agent is making the assumption that friends and family will get them business. In order to become a successful real estate agent, the reality is that you will need to work hard and network. Don’t wait for the work to find you – you will need to source most of it yourself while you are starting out.

Specialize

Your education should not stop once you finally become a full-time real estate agent. It is important to keep learning not only for the betterment of your skills as a real estate agent, but also to help you specialize. If you want to find a niche set of customers in a particular price bracket, it is recommended that you become an expert in a particular area. As with any job, this comes with a combination of experience and knowledge. You will need to build this up over time, but it could be incredibly beneficial to you – it may even become a real passion.

What will keep your books ticking over is a devotion to your job. Your devotion should be reflected in your marketing strategy, your work ethic, and in your dedication to learning more as an agent. When you combine all of these features you are building the foundations for a successful and busy career.

Are You Prepared to Be the Boss and Run Your Business?

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | Are You Prepared to Be the Boss and Run Your Business? | Entrepreneurship
 
Whether you currently have a stable job or you are still in the process of finding a job, the idea of running a business and being the boss looks very appealing. With the unemployment rate that the economy is experiencing, it means that many companies are still struggling to survive. The idea of starting a small business can be quite a scary idea because the success rate is low. If you feel that you are up for the challenge and you are ready to take risks, then you must make the necessary preparations. To increase your chances of being successful here are some tips on how to prepare you for business.

Define your goals

It is easy to say that you want to have a business, but you need to be very specific with your goals and wishes. Ask yourself what kind of business would you like to have? Are you planning to sell services or goods? How long are you giving your self before you start hitting your business goals? Your intentions of running a business should be genuine, or else there is a big possibility that it will fail in the long run because you lack passion and commitment.

What are the costs?

It does not matter whether you want to start small or big, but the bottom line is that you need money to make your investment sustainable. Do you need to figure out how much capital you need to start the business? Do you have enough savings to cover all the costs? If not, are you willing to apply for several loans to increase your revolving funds? You need to have a clear vision of whether you can continue supporting your business in a few months or you will end up closing down because things are not going according to your plan.

You need experience

Before deciding to open up a business, you need to have some first-hand experience of handling people with different personalities. It would help if you also learn the ropes in the industry that you are about to be part of. It is a good idea to get several months or years of experience in companies in the same industry, so you will have the confidence to manage your business.

Find ways to save money

Most start-ups struggle with finances. That is why you need to be thrifty and wise when it comes to your expenditure so that you can survive the competition. Think about your monthly overheads like rental, utilities and staffing. These will be your top three expenses. Try to look for a place with lower rent or do it from your home. You can work on your workforce by hiring a sufficient number of people only.

Lastly, you need to look for a trusted Utility Bidder before moving to a new office space or setting up a physical store. It would help if you found an electricity and gas provider that is affordable and offers excellent service.

5 Challenges of Starting a New Business From a First Time Business Owner

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | Entrepreneurship | 5 Challenges of Starting a  New Business From a First Time Business OwnerYou might have heard the stereotype that millennials don’t know how to work hard, how to pound the pavement, how to put in the blood, sweat and tears it takes to build a business from the ground up but, I am here to smash that stereotype into smithereens.

I’m 23 years old and started my business when I was just 21. Usit (www.usit.care) was an idea that I had that babysitting could be done better. It could be done wiser. It could be done with more benefit to the worker bee and the worker bee hirer. Still in college with a full load of classes, I certainly made my share of embarrassing mistakes, but I lived to tell about them and I think the mistakes made me stronger and even more determined. I am going to use the word “Challenge” instead of “Mistake” as a necessary euphemism because mistakes conjure up negative emotions while “challenges” are something to overcome and persevere through- which I did and I still do as I work to expand my business into a small empire!

Here are 5 challenges I faced and some essential ways to mitigate those challenges so you don’t become discouraged while on your path to building your own business.

1. Find the right team

You’ve heard it said you are the company you keep – and it’s true. Aim high here. Finding the right Co-Founder or partner(s) in your startup journey is a difficult one, especially in the beginning, but even if it delays your launch, don’t settle here. Don’t go straight to your friend, family member, or roommate. Go to someone who has a complementary skill set (it doesn’t help if you are both good at the exact same things,) someone who is as passionate as you about the business, and someone who loses as much sleep about the business as you do. Find someone reliable, someone with a similar work ethic, someone with the same ‘failure is not an option’ mantra.

2. Finding advisors and mentors

Again, you are the company you keep. Seek out smart, successful people with proven track record. I wouldn’t be where I am now without a supportive startup community, mentors and advisors, and other founders. Get advisors who understand the startup world because they’ve lived it already. You don’t have take everything they say as a blueprint for what you must do – each business is different, but let their ideas be springboard for your own.

No one knows your business better than you do. I go to my advisors when I’m conflicted with business decisions, fundraising questions, pitch help, or general advice. They are important nutrition to the over health health of your business so find the right ones who have different skill sets and experience. You’ve heard it said “Diversify” in your financial investments. The same is true when assembling your team. “Diversify.” Find people with different superpowers. Find a person who excels at sales, find a whiz marketer, find a tough-as-nails lawyer to advise you on all things legal. You get the idea.

3. Keeping your team motivated during tough times

To hit the peaks, you’ll be in your fair share of valleys. What goes up, must come down. You can’t defy the laws of gravity so know there will be tough times. Staff can smell fear a mile away. Never give off that sense of concern even if you feel it on the inside. It’s up to the Founder to rally the troops and keep the team motivated and positive. If you’re freaked out, the team will be freaked out and success never flourishes in fear.

4. Working with limited resources

It pretty much goes without saying that when starting a new business, you are working with limited resources. “Money does not grow on trees.” But there are big decisions to make about when to fundraise, how to fundraise, the how and when of green lighting big expenditures that require an investment. Talking to mentors and advisors to decide when the right time is to tackle those big questions is essential in maintaining a healthy bottom line.

5. Rejection

Take a “No” or a closed door in your face as a personal challenge. No great companies were built without rejection. No actor gets every part he/she auditions for. No singer got a record deal without hearing some naysasyer along the way. You’ll face a lot of “No thanks, Not Nows, Not Evers,” but rest in the knowledge that it’s just part of the process. That said, don’t discount every bit of criticism you receive. Constructive criticism may well be your best asset. Follow your gut, and dust yourself off every time you’re thrown onto the ground from the bucking horse that is the startup world.

Good luck! I am rooting for you!


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Ifrah KhanIfrah Khan is the Founder and CEO of Usit, the last minute babysitting app that connects busy parents to vetted college student babysitters in their community. Ifrah was named one of Atlanta Inno’s 25 under 25 entrepreneurs in 2018 and has a passion for how technology can help create new communities and opportunities in dual sided marketplaces. She just completed Atlanta Tech Village’s Pre-Accelerator and is focusing on disrupting the babysitting industry by turning what used to be a huge pain in the butt for both parents and sitters into an easy and exciting process. Ifrah supports and brings together other young entrepreneurs with her position as a Kairos Society Executive with a mission of focusing the next generation on problems worth solving. She graduated from Emory University’s undergraduate business school in 2017 and previously worked in Finance at Accenture. Although she’s not a mom, she is passionate about helping mothers and children in need which is why she serves on the board of Helping Mamas, a fast growing local Atlanta non-profit aimed to help moms and children in need.   https://www.usit.care/

Five Productivity Mistakes for Entrepreneurs to Avoid

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Productivity| Five Productivity Mistakes for Entrepreneurs to AvoidMost entrepreneurs are led to believe that successful business models prosper quickly and easily. However, in a study by Statistic Brain, “Startup Business Rate by Industry Business, the failure rate of all U.S. companies after five years was over 50 percent, and over 70 percent after 10 years

Too many entrepreneurs may be focusing too much on their hopes and dreams of success rather than maintaining daily best practices to stay productive and healthy. Here are five mistakes entrepreneurs should correct in order to help them achieve a more productive day and a healthier lifestyle.

1) Don’t Ignore Your Own Well-Being:

Exercise, relaxation, and spending time with friends and family is key to having a healthy mind and body. According to the Gallup Wellbeing Index, 45% of entrepreneurs report being stressed compared to 42% of “other workers.” Entrepreneurs also report being more likely to have “worried a lot” — 34% vs. 30%.. Physical and mental healthcare the most important components for long term success at anything, especially the highly stressful project of building a successful business. Disregarding your personal welfare in favor of pushing yourself to the limit and beyond can result in a negative domino effect and usually compounds every other mistake you’re making. Most often these topics are unspoken and not confronted because there is a need to be perceived as confident and able to handle anything, but this is a real problem that takes down many entrepreneurs and causes them to fail. Neglecting your health and working yourself until you drop isn’t good for your business, even though that may be the kind of culture that is being promoted in the social media narrative. It’s not worth the damage you’re doing to your life, and it doesn’t produce good results for most people anyway.

2) Don’t Overthink Strategy:

It seems as if many of us spend way too much time thinking about what we should be doing instead of actually doing it. People assume that entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffett mostly think about their long-term vision because that is what you hear about in the media a lot of the time. What you don’t hear as much about is what they do every day to move towards those long term goals. They didn’t build huge businesses spending most of their time strategizing and dreaming about the future. Most of the time you spend working should be producing some kind of tangible results for your business. You can spend some time thinking about where you want to be in 5 or 10 years, but that should be a small part of your schedule. If you don’t produce results now, you will never get to your long term goals.

3) Avoid Distracting Communication:

Some entrepreneurs will spend a lot of time micromanaging and refereeing personality conflicts in the workplace or engaging in their own workplace drama with partners, colleagues, and investors. This usually leads to a destructive cycle that harms the business. If there are people on your team causing you too much stress or drama, you need to remove them from your team as soon as possible. Or if you can’t remove them, you need to think about removing yourself and moving on to something else with your life. Like a bad relationship, if you can’t fix it, you have to move on. Hanging around for the drama or trying to “win” a bad relationship is not productive, and it’s the same thing in your business. Nobody wins in these drama filled scenarios.

4) Lack of Prioritization:

Many entrepreneurs will find that they lack the ability to prioritize their time. They spend way too much time on things that may be interesting or happen to catch their attention even thought those things aren’t important for the business. You should not be spending much time on low value items that can be done later, delegated to someone else, or often completely ignored with minimal consequences. This seems obvious, but many entrepreneurs fall into this trap, obsessing over things like the corporate logo, mission statement, team happy hours, office space, employee complaints, or many other things that don’t usually produce tangible results for the business. One of the worst examples is working very hard on acquiring and keeping small, unprofitable customers. Another example is spending a lot of time trying to build a corporate culture long before the business has achieved any success or traction. Success and traction builds your corporate culture, not the other way around. Focus on producing good results and many of these other things will not matter or can be handled later when you have more resources.

5) Time-Management:

You should have an awareness of time, value, and desired results when planning meetings, events, or activities. Your time management is crucial to productivity and successful decision making. As you better manage your time, you will be more aware of your own productivity and results you are generating. The more aware you are of your own time management and results, this will also help you better manage your colleagues and help them to make the most out of their days. This will also allow you to have more time for yourself to relax, exercise, and lead a more balanced life. There are many good productivity tools for helping you accomplish this, but any simple calendar, timer, and alarm apps will do the job. The software won’t fix your time management problem or make you more productive. This is about taking responsibility for budgeting your time, staying aware of how you are spending time, and then holding yourself accountable to your schedule unless there is a compelling reason to alter it.

Avoiding these five common productivity mistakes won’t make you a billionaire. But avoiding them will give you a much better chance of success than the 70% of entrepreneurs whose businesses fail.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Christopher GreyChristopher Grey is the co-founder and COO of CapLinked, an enterprise software company offering an information control and risk mitigation platform for the sharing of confidential or sensitive documents and communications outside of the enterprise. Previously, he was a senior executive and managing partner in private equity and corporate finance for 15 years and directly involved in the deployment and management of billions of dollars of debt and equity investments in various industries. Christopher founded two companies, Crestridge Investments, a private equity firm that made debt and equity investments in micro cap and middle market companies, and Third Wave Partners, which made debt and equity investments in distressed situations, and was managing director of a subsidiary of Emigrant Bank, the largest privately owned bank in the country. Most recently, he is a co-founder of TransitNet, a platform for security token issuers offering title verification, chain of ownership tracking, and other post issuance tools for improving the security and reliability of security token ownership.

Scaling A Small Business Tips

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Entrepreneurship | Scaling A Small Business Tips | Scaling Business
 
It’s no easy feat scaling a business, it is pretty difficult and takes considerable effort. At the beginning of a business, the owners will practically do every job that needs to be done. Things that involve a wide spectrum of skills and knowledge from different business departments, such as dealing with sales and marketing. It also means understanding taxes and corporate compliance including employment regulations and laws. And finally, usually, for small businesses, It will involve having to interact with customers on a daily basis.

Spending all your time fulfilling these roles can make you think that your business is far from any growth or expansion and in doing so would damage its foundations. Sometimes this is not true. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for those who struggle to grow their business. Scaling a business is a strategic program framework and requires an element of planning with compiling the business assets into one fluent engine in motion.

Like anything else in life, including business, you will have to put in the time if you’re looking to reap the benefits of success. Don’t focus on the short-term outcome of your work but look to the long term and build sincere value to your customers.

Here are some ways a small business can prepare for growth and scaling up.

Build A Good Sales Funnel

One of the first ways to quickly grow a business is by building a sales funnel. If a business does not have one, they’re making a monumental mistake. Sales funnels can help to somewhat automate your business functionality making it more established.

Upgrade Your Technology

Scaling a business will require some essence of updating the current system in place that takes care of the business needs. Whether it is a fleet of smartphones or vans, sometimes the investment will need to be made to keep clients and customers satisfied with your products or services. If your business requires minimal IT but still requires digitalizing documents or even hosting a web site, check out Hudson Valley IT Services company, who will take care of your site needs.

Customer Management System

Now manually tracking transactions is hard and can take up a lot of space when storing them in cabinets. No one wants to do that. Paperwork can get burdensome as the business grows but if you want to scale quickly, use a customer management system. You can find plenty to choose from online and make sure you choose the right one that depends on your line of work.

Email Lists

Back in the day, it was a little book with all the client information but now one of the best and most effective ways to grow a business quickly is to build an email list. The more people you can send offers and deals to the more potential sales you will have.

Scaling up takes time and strategic measure need to be in place to be able to counter-act any problems that may occur. Have you scaled your business recently? Share your tips on what you found helped you in the comments below.