Entrepreneur or Salesperson?

winningI have spoken to many people who want to start a business. They see the excitement of not only owning the company, but owning their time as well. Most mention the freedom of working the hours they choose.

Many also visualize the pride, excitement, and success they anticipate that can come with being an entrepreneur. All is good, right? Until the topic of sales enters the conversation.

“Sales?” they say. “SALES?” It’s like I just threw a bucket of ice water on them.

Business ownership equates to being in sales

They say that they don’t want to sell; they want to be the owner.

I don’t like to burst people’s bubbles, but if you are a business owner, you are also a salesperson. If you cannot talk about your company, your product, or your services, how will you grow your business? But you have a sales manager and a sales staff! That doesn’t matter – as the owner of the business, you are always “on” when it comes to promoting your business. You are always “in sales.”

I know one person who wouldn’t call people back. Someone would say they aren’t interested right now, but “please call me in a few weeks.” The call was never made, because this business owner thought that the person was just being nice. How many lost dollars were left behind because of the fear of selling?

Others shared that they really enjoyed creating the business, establishing the processes, doing all the prep work that goes into a start-up. But then reality hit when it was time to go find business. They couldn’t even talk to friends about it. Nervousness and uncertainty set in. There are many marketing initiatives to promote the business, but in the end, success in sales is what seals the deal.

Achieving success

With the Nationwide Inventory Professionals business package and license agreement, we share years of experience in the asset inventory industry. We provide business processes, knowledge of years gained in the industry, a certification program, and much more. Almost everything you need to succeed – to win at being a business owner. Almost.

There is one thing we cannot provide.

Sales.

If the business owner is without self-confidence, motivation, and a desire to succeed in sales, sales will not happen. And without sales, the company cannot exist. Winning at entrepreneurship requires winning at sales.

Before starting any business, ask yourself how you feel about sales. Ask yourself if you’re an entrepreneur AND a salesperson. The answer will help guide you what direction is best for you to take.

 

 

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What Is Success

SuccessSuccess is a moving target.

For the entrepreneur, it can – or really, it should – continually be examined. Success can be one measured goal today, and years from now something quite different.

When starting a business, your definition of success might have been just to be able to pay the bills each month. When you think about it, you really had very low expectations. The bills were paid … Success!

But that’s OK! You were learning the industry. You were learning the business. You were establishing processes and procedures. You might have been learning how to be a sales person for the very first time. Accomplishing all of this was a huge success, actually.

But what next? If you’re “just paying the bills each month,” eventually success will end up being failure. After all, you didn’t go into business to just pay bills. So your initial vision of success must be revisited.

The next step to success

Now that the functions of the business are established, and you’re paying your bills, you must move your targeted goal upward. What is the “new” success? It might be making a final payment on your business loan. It could be that you are so busy, and bring in enough revenue that you can hire your first employee. Or possibly add a product or service to your current offerings.

Your next step could be evaluating your clients. Were you previously just taking anyone who was willing to pay you? Now it’s time to evaluate your ideal client and focus on that niche market. Will success be when the majority of your customers are the market you’ve chosen to pursue?

With Nationwide Inventory Professionals, refining our processes and improving the features of our business package was our next step. We continually ask ourselves how we can make it better. For instance, we upgraded our website, improved the newsletter, and added new features to the License Agreement. Our manual has grown from less than 125 pages to over 200. Pages full of more experiences to share, more marketing efforts to pursue, and more knowledge for our Licensees. These were huge successes for us because we are improving our Licensees’ opportunities for success as well as our own.

What do you want besides owning your own business?

There must be other identifiers of success in addition to just being able to say “I own my own business.” Not working 7 days a week, 18 or more hours a day, would be a great way to measure success. Reducing your working hours to just 5 days a week, with weekends off is another way to look at how to define success. Better yet, taking a full week or longer vacation is a great yardstick to realize you made it! Maybe you are seeking work/family/social balance. What a wonderful sign of success when you’ve achieved that goal!

If you want to be successful, feel successful, and reap the benefits of your success, you will get there faster and with less anxiety if you define what it means to you, and what it looks like when you get there. “I’ll know it when I see it,” is not the answer. You must know it first or you’ll never get there.

Once you have defined success, you’ll feel empowered to actually take the bold and often scary steps needed to make it happen.

 

The next step toward success

The next step is to take the next step.

Whatever your definition of success is, you must still revisit it. Notice the change in yourself as you and your business grow. Achieving success gives you a building block to search for the next level of success. Without tackling new initiatives, new ideas, new goals, you will not experience new success. Growth will only happen when you redefine what your next success will be. Continue to grow by knowing, and then redefining, what success means to you.

 

New Year, New Inspiration

PastFutureIt’s a new year, and the time when many act on their dreams of business ownership. Sometimes it’s a new-found dream, and others have had this desire for years – even decades. I let dream of starting a business simmer in the back of my mind for over 30 years. Yes, 30 years.

There are many reasons someone will put their dreams on hold. Some common ones are fear of failure, not ready to give up the steady income, feeling they don’t know enough, afraid of what others will say because of walking away from a “secure” income.

But there are so many more reasons to pursue starting a business:

  • Pride of business ownership
  • To be your own boss
  • Control over your schedule
  • Be known in your community
  • Work the hours you choose
  • More time with the family
  • To fill a passion through the business of choice
  • Control of the amount of income you have
  • To be the one making the decisions

If the thought of starting a business was dormant for a while, review this past year; it might give you inspiration. Is now the right time to renew your dream and achieve it in 2017? If home inventory is an industry that interests you, we encourage you to visit the Nationwide Inventory Professionals website to learn more about how we can help you start your inventory service within 30 days.

New Year Is A Time To Look Back

memorylaneAt the beginning of each year, there is constant talk about new goals, new plans, new ideas. This is good, as it is important to look forward as we plan for our future. However, it is also important to look back and reflect on the year just completed.

Especially for business owners. It’s a must to pause and remember all you’ve accomplished. Due to the daily efforts of running a business, it is often too easy to forget about the achievements, improvements, and successes you made. This is often due to making small tweaks and adjustments that individually are not much to talk about. But then when you add them all up, you have made major strides to improving, updating, and upgrading your business in many areas of the daily operations.

Take a moment to celebrate! Reviewing what you’ve done will help guide you as you make plans for 2017. It will even energize you! We are pleased with the steps we’ve taken over the past year to make our home inventory business package and license agreement even more valuable. The key improvements are:

  • created a Licensee log-in area on the website that provides resources and tools.
  • improved the manual by adding more quality information, growing it to 200+ pages.
  • developed an area that provides online downloads of all documents and marketing materials.
  • moved the Licensee newsletters to a blog format so they have all newsletter information within a quick search of key words.
  • finalized two business relationships that will enable our Licensees to market additional services – opportunities for additional revenue streams.

Though a lot has changed – and will continue to change – there are a few things that have remained the same – a high quality marketing package, ability to be in business within 30 days, and continued mentoring, as we share our industry knowledge gained through our many years in this industry – all to serve the continued and growing need for a home and business contents inventory service.

How about you? What did you do last year to improve customer retention, increase your customer base, improve your systems, add new processes, etc? Take a moment to write them down. Remember them!

Nationwide Inventory Professionals Licensee Earns Certification

The National Inventory Certification Association congratulates member Gina Wagner for achieving the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist.

gina picture 5The National Inventory Certification Association™ (NICA) is pleased to announce that Gina Wagner, owner of Wagner’s Inventory Services LLC in Brooklyn, Ohio, has recently earned the designation of Certified Inventory Specialist (CIS). Achieving this designation confirms her knowledge to provide quality residential and small business contents inventory services.

To earn this certification, Wagner passed specified courses developed by NICA, agreed to conduct business according to the asset industry Code of Ethics, and accumulated a required number of Continuing Education Units. There is an increasing awareness of the necessity and benefits of having a prepared photographic and written record of one’s personal property. This knowledge and the ever-increasing busy lifestyles of homeowners and business owners alike create a growing demand for a professional inventory service provider.

Achieving certification is not required for the contents inventory professional. By choosing to invest in  continuing education shows Wagner’s desire to learn the industry and let her clients know that she has gone the extra mile to ensure she provides quality inventory services. Wagner explained, “I believe in serving clients with professionalism and excellence. Having achieved my CIS designation helps show my dedication to my clients, my company, and the industry.”

Mike Hartman, Executive Director of NICA, said, “I was impressed the first time I met Gina. You can hear her excitement about this industry in her voice. Having narrowly missed a house fire really drove the need for an inventory home to  her. She now is on a crusade to teach others of the need for this service.” We are pleased to have her as a certified member of our association.”  

Based in Brooklyn, Ohio, Wagner’s Inventory Services offers residential and business asset inventory services for the Cleveland Metro Area and all of Northeast Ohio. 

New York Company Selected As Examiner For Nugent Appraisal Services

New York Inventory Group, a personal property inventory company, now offers USPAP certified appraisals.

NYIG-LogoNugent Appraisal Services is in an aggressive expansion mode – adding four additional service areas in the last year. New York Inventory Group, a Licensee of Nationwide Inventory Professionals, serving the New York City area, is the most recent examiner selected by Nugent. “As our onsite examiner, the experience and expertise of New York Inventory Group enables us to capture the quality, detailed item information we require to identify items and accurately appraise,” offers firm President Ray Nugent.

Nugent Appraisal Services produces USPAP compliant, certified appraisal reports that meet the highest industry standard, as required by Insurers, Government Agencies, and the Courts. Their reports are used for Estate Settlement, Equitable Distribution, Insurance Scheduling, Damage Claim Resolution, Charitable Donation, Divorce, and Buy/Sell Decisions.

Nugent Appraisal certifies the value of thousands of items monthly from around the country, from digital images, descriptions, and documentation secured by their own appraisers, examiners, and inventory professionals like New York Inventory Group. Ray Nugent adds, “we are excited about bringing our appraisal service to New York City and the surrounding areas. The professionals at New York Inventory Group are a critical part of making this happen.”

About New York Inventory Group

New York Inventory Group, a Licensee of Nationwide Inventory Professionals, provides personal property inventory services for home owners, renters, and small-to-medium businesses throughout the New York City area. These services are requested by clients who want to be prepared for a disaster by being able to recover more equitably after a loss. Additionally, an asset inventory is beneficial for estate settlement, separation of assets/divorce, prenuptial agreements, and financial and estate planning. Business owners also benefit from this document by using it to track assets, plan budgets, eliminate unnecessary purchases, and when approaching a buy, sell, merger or acquisition agreement.

About Nugent Appraisal Services

Nugent Appraisal Services is a Florida-based 3rd generation family-operated personal property appraisal service that has been in business since 1976. Nugent Appraisal certifies the values of Fine Art, Jewelry, Collectibles, Memorabilia, and Residential Contents. The service was started by Ray Nugent Jr., in Naples, FL in 1976. His son, Ray Nugent III, joined the firm in 2001 and moved into the role of managing the daily operations seven years later. The firm now utilizes the talents of three generations of the family, when granddaughter and Appraiser/Gemologist Olivia Nugent joined the firm in 2012. Daughter Carolyn Nugent Olliff and daughter-in-law Gwen Chapman Nugent complete the 5-member family leadership appraisal team.

In addition to conducting onsite appraisal examinations in homes, offices, and secure facilities, the firm serves as the exclusive independent appraisal service of a growing number of U.S. Department of Justice service offices and asset securement services for estates, trusts, and family offices.

Indiana Home Inventory Professional Chosen As Examiner for Nugent Appraisal

Nationwide Inventory Professionals Licensee, Hartman Inventory, now offers USPAP certified appraisals in central Indiana

HI-smPRESS RELEASE – Hartman Inventory, a Licensee of Nationwide Inventory Professionals is the most recent exclusive examiner selected by Nugent Appraisal Services. “As our onsite examiner, the experience and expertise of Hartman Inventory enables us to capture the quality, detailed item information we require to identify items and accurately appraise,” offers firm President Ray Nugent.

Nugent Appraisal Services produce USPAP compliant, certified appraisal reports that meet the highest industry standard, as required by Insurers, Government Agencies, and the Courts. Their reports are used for Estate Settlement, Equitable Distribution, Insurance Scheduling, Damage Claim Resolution, Charitable Donation, Divorce, and Buy/Sell Decisions.

Nugent Appraisal certifies the value of thousands of items monthly from around the country, from digital images, descriptions, and documentation secured by their own appraisers, examiners, and inventory professionals like Hartman Inventory. Ray Nugent adds, “we are excited about the opportunity to bring our service to the Indianapolis area, and the professionals at Hartman Inventory are a critical part of making that happen.”

About Hartman Inventory

Hartman Inventory is a Licensee of Nationwide Inventory Professionals and a nationally certified personal property inventory service for home owners, renters, and small-to-medium businesses. Owners Mike and Cindy Hartman created their business in 2004 after working in the corporate environment for over 30 years. Their passion for this industry was fueled through first-hand knowledge of two burglaries. They realized the value of knowing what you own prior to a loss.

In addition to disaster preparedness/recovery, an asset inventory is beneficial for estate settlement, separation of assets/divorce, prenuptial agreements, and financial and estate planning. Business owners also refer to this document to track assets, planning budgets, eliminating unnecessary purchases, and when approaching a buy, sell, merger or acquisition.

About Nugent Appraisal Services

Nugent Appraisal Services is a Florida-based 3rd generation family-operated personal property appraisal service that has been in business since 1976. Nugent Appraisal certifies the values of Fine Art, Jewelry, Collectibles, Memorabilia, and Residential Contents. The service was started by Ray Nugent Jr., in Naples, FL in 1976. His son, Ray Nugent III, joined the firm in 2001 and moved into the role of managing the daily operations seven years later. The firm now utilizes the talents of three generations of the family, when granddaughter and Appraiser/Gemologist Olivia Nugent joined the firm in 2012. Daughter Carolyn Nugent Olliff and daughter-in-law Gwen Chapman Nugent complete the 5-member family leadership appraisal team.

The firm has added other talented appraisal professionals in order to deliver the highest appraisal standards in the six service offices throughout Florida. In addition to conducting onsite appraisal examinations in homes, offices, and secure facilities, the firm certifies the value of thousands of items every month from around the world from images, descriptions, and documents of origination. The firm serves as the exclusive independent appraisal service of a growing number of U.S. Department of Justice service offices and asset securement services for estates, trusts, and family offices.

The Value of Failure

FailureHave you tried something new, found it didn’t work, and feel horrible that you failed? You are not alone. However, it’s important that you change how you feel about it. Don’t look at it as becoming an expert at failure. Change your thought about the outcome.

Trying something and not succeeding is much more beneficial than doing nothing. If your fear of failure keeps you from doing new things within your business, you will certainly fail. Not trying will only result in not succeeding.

One of my favorite quotes that I feel really illustrates my point is by Michael Jordan. He said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

When starting a business as well as building a business, failure is part of the experience of business ownership. There are many things I tried that didn’t work out. For instance, I invested in a marketing campaign that cost thousands of dollars and netted zero dollars. Failure? No! I learned not to use that method of advertising ever again. Another success was when I adjusted our inventory service process and found the “old way” was the best way. Failure? No! I learned that what I had was simpler, easier, and better for the client and for me. These failures now benefit our home inventory Licensees, as I share our mistakes and failures through mentoring. Without having learned these lessons myself, each of these independent business owners would probably make the same mistakes that I did. What a great opportunity for me to help others avoid these mistakes!

There are many examples of what one would consider failures. Instead, each time you find something that didn’t work, consider it a success in learning. New efforts also result in successes. You don’t know which it will be until you try it, and either way you’ve achieved success.

There is value in learning what doesn’t work as well as what does work. Constantly finding new ways will keep moving your business to greater success.

 

 

Cleveland Ohio Native Opens Home Inventory Business

Wagner’s Inventory Services LLC offers asset inventory services to Northeast Ohio residents and business owners.

gina picture 5Gina Wagner had been thinking about starting her own business for several years, but faced one big hurdle – figuring out what she wanted to do. It hadn’t been easy, and was something she had been considering for years. After hearing about the home inventory industry, her life experiences encouraged her to start her to enter the asset inventory service industry in Northeast Ohio.

Once she learned of this niche, Gina spent more than two years talking to people who experienced a disaster. She also verified the need for this service through discussions with insurance agents. Using these conversations for her own education, she learned of the long, daunting process that is normally required to file an insurance claim. While still giving a home inventory service some thought, she almost had a house fire from a surge protector that caught fire. This was her defining moment for the type of business she wanted to own.

The flexibility of the inventory industry fits well into her busy lifestyle, enabling her to continue her full-time employment with an accounting firm, and also remain as a co-publisher of a 10,000 subscription newspaper in Brooklyn, Ohio. She realized that she would benefit greatly if she had help during the start-up as well as the growth stages of her new business. Wagner’s search led her to Nationwide Inventory Professionals.

Gina stated, “Why reinvent the wheel when someone else is already out there doing it, and doing it much better than trying to learn it on your own. They are a wealth of information and I can learn so much from them. They will help me provide a better service to the client, which is the ultimate goal for Wagner’s Inventory Services.”

In addition to disaster preparedness, there are many other life events that require an inventory of one’s belongings, such as estate settlement, financial planning, division of assets/divorce, pre-nuptial agreements, and business asset tracking. Gina realized the value of home owners and business owners to have documents of what they own.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Gina also lived in Florida and Wisconsin. Returning to Ohio, she now resides on the border between Cleveland and Brooklyn. Wagner has an Associate Degree as a Computer Programmer / Systems Analyst. To serve her creative side, she also has certifications in Floral Design and Graphic Design. Gina is currently working towards her certification as a Certified Inventory Professional (CIS) through the National Inventory Certification Association.

Certified, bonded, and insured, Wagner’s Inventory Services serves business owners, home owners, and renters in Northeast Ohio. For more information, contact Gina Wagner at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

5 Things To Consider When Starting A Business

5 QuestionsYes, there are plenty more than 5 things to consider when choosing to start a business. However, I feel these are the 5 most important issues to start with when deciding what you want to do when pursuing entrepreneurship. These will help eliminate many ideas. And the process of elimination will help you get there more quickly than not having these qualifying questions.

There is a common thread among those who think about starting a business, and that thread is freedom. This freedom is described in many different ways – to be your own boss, to have flexibility, to make your own decisions, to no longer have to work for someone else…the list goes on. But, the bottom line is the freedom to be you!

Many people have asked me why I chose the home inventory industry. With all of the options I could have pursued, what was it that made me choose this? It came down to 5 areas of consideration. By answering the following questions, I was able to narrow my focus and really concentrate on a business that would serve my purpose.

1. Product or service? Do you want to provide a service or sell a product? This is a huge question, and probably the first one to be answered.  This will quickly help you hone in what you want to do. If you want to sell a product, then you immediately can focus on what type of product and all service industry options can be removed from your thoughts. Likewise, if you prefer offering a service, any idea that includes selling a product can be removed from your list of options.

2. How much help will you need/do you want? You might want to start with a clean slate, empty page, from scratch. Or, you might prefer to not re-invent the wheel and find a business that includes receiving help. There are many options available for you in the form of a franchise, start-up kit, business package, or other variety of business models. Taking advantage of someone else’s expertise and knowledge will enable you to be ready to do business quicker, and often will provide you with a mentor to guide you.

3. Brick-and-mortar or home-based? Can you work at home, being able to ignore the many interruptions, and often the many temptations to do everything except what you need to do? I am aware of one home-based business owner who was always dealing with home responsibilities that she eventually had to rent office space to force herself to focus on the business. Know yourself, how you function, your ability to focus, as well as many other issues that come into this decision. Both have their pros and cons – only you can decide what’s best for you.

4. Solo-preneur or business partner? My wife and I chose to start a business together, so business partner was our choice. When you’re making this decision, be sure to give this plenty of consideration. If you are a control freak, you might not do well with a partner. If you don’t want to share in the responsibilities or the success, you might want to go it alone. If you prefer having someone to share the ups and downs, as well as the work and the investment, then a partnership is probably your best choice. Whatever you choose, know yourself well enough to make the right choice.

5. What will you get out of it? Besides money, that is. The reason to begin a business is, of course, to make money. But there has to be more than that. Do you want to help others? Solve a problem? Make life easier for your clients? Is it something you would do for fee if you could? What is the “feel good” part that will make you want to do this day in and day out?

When we chose the home inventory industry, we wanted to have a home-based service business. Since we had been burglarized, and friends who had losses due to fires and tornadoes, this type of service met our desire to help others. We also chose to start on our own, and the first few months proved to us we would have preferred investing in someone else’s experience and knowledge. This is what encouraged us years later – once we learned the industry and gained a great deal of knowledge – to develop a Business Package and Licensing Agreement to assist others wanting to begin their own home inventory service.

There are many more decisions you’ll need to make when you start a business. However, I found these to be the most important because they will guide you and keep a focus when you face all the other choices you’ll need to make. Once these 5 key questions are answered, you’ll have a basic plan to help you stay focused as you move forward.

Uncover your hidden entrepreneur.


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Home Inventory – A Guide for Homeowners and Renters

Home Inventory – A
Guide for Homeowners and Renters


The many reasons for a home inventory, plus a do-it-yourself guide and templates.

 

A Business Guide to Asset Inventory

A Business Guide to Asset Inventory
Protecting your company assets.

Copyright 2017 Nationwide Inventory Professionals, LLC © 2013. All Rights Reserved.
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