No Need to Re-invent the Wheel

CavemanWhen caveman Brawn decided to make the wagon move easier, he had a few choices. He could continue to drag it along the ground, which was extremely hard work. It seemed to take him forever to get where he was going.

He knew that his best friend Rock invented the wheel, and thought about bartering Rock’s knowledge and tools so he cold make his own wheels. He knew it was worth the investment considering how much faster and easier it would be to move his wagon.

A third option was for Brawn to look at what Rock did, watch how he created his wheels, and then re-create some wheels of his own. I believe this is how the term “don’t re-invent the wheel” came to be. Why spend all the time re-inventing when you can invest in someone else’s knowledge, skills, and experience?

It makes sense not to re-invent the wheel when it is time to start your own business.

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Build Your Business With Quality Materials

BuildingWe are all aware of the value of using quality materials when building a house. When starting with a firm foundation, followed by high quality wood and bricks, you’ll have a house that will stand up and provide a great place to live. If you use shoddy materials, what happens after a few years?

When taking a quick drive through a neighborhood where the builders used average or sub-par materials, poor quality is evident. Just a few years old, these houses are showing wear and tear that would normally be seen only on decades old houses. Compare those results with houses built by a quality-focused builder. Though the neighborhoods are the same age, there is a huge difference – from the foundation on up to the roof of each individual house. The owners of these houses realized the value and were willing to invest in building their dream.

Building a business

The same is true when building a business. You will need plans, blue prints, and a builder. Consider assistance from a franchise, business opportunity, or business package, all of which are often called a “turn key” business. They provide the blue prints, plans, and materials (knowledge, experience, tools, and mentoring) that are key from creating a firm foundation to putting on the finishing touches.

Shop around, check with the companies before investing in your business “materials” to learn what they supply. As I continue with this analogy, also remember that there is always the need to work – and work hard. You will spend hour upon hour starting and building your business. You will spend hours adding furnishings, remodeling, and refining what you built.

You will work through the same process when building a business. Starting with quality will provide the tools for a more efficient process, with fewer mistakes, and a large support network as you move forward. You will also spend hours upon hours building your future and living your dream.

A Manual or a Mentor

Either-OrIt’s time to start your own business, and you have a major decision to make. Should you purchase a manual or invest in a mentor?

This is often an either/or question. Purchasing a start-up kit or manual of how-to’s will provide you with a certain amount of information to help begin your journey to successful business ownership. You will receive some useful information that will answer some of your questions. However, a start-up kit does exactly that – it helps you start.

Now consider investing in a mentor. This person will have had years of experience, knowledge, and the desire to help you start and grow your business. Of course, the investment in this type of assistance will certainly cost a great deal more than a start-up kit. Wouldn’t it be great to have both?

Reduce costly mistakes

Using our business package and licensing agreement as an example, you can have both. The manual provides years of experience, processes, and procedures to help you start your personal property inventory business. The other items help you grow your business. Licensees receive a website, brochure and flyer templates, electronic newsletter, certification, membership in two industry organizations, inclusion in the Chubb Insurance preferred vendor program, unlimited mentoring, and more.

This means you have assistance from the beginning, during the start-up phase, and continued mentoring through your licensing period. No surprises to your budget. You know going into the business what costs you’ll be facing.

There are similar business models for other industries as well. Invest in yourself and the future of your business. Invest in a manual and a mentor … and more! It doesn’t have to be either/or.

The Business Serves The Passion

QuestionsWhen you are thinking about starting a business, how do you decide what to do? Few people (if any) wake up one morning and decide they are going to start their own business. Many think about it for weeks, months, years, before taking action.

 

Of course, some grow up knowing they will take over the family business one day. But that is not nearly as frequent as starting a business either different from the family business or being the 1st-time entrepreneur in the family.

One of the reasons for not jumping into it over night is that it takes time to ensure you are doing the right thing. This is a major step!

Questions to ask yourself

  • Product or service?
  • Home-based or off-site?
  • Solo entrepreneur or with a partner?
  • Self-funded or investors?

Those are the easy ones. The difficult one is deciding what industry. What will give you the desire to get up every day and work for your customers?

The passion

Often people think they must do something they have a direct passion for. I see this a little differently. I see the passion of what you want the result to be. For example, the home inventory service I started in 2004 served my passion to help educate people why they need an inventory. Our burglaries taught me that you need this information to properly recover from a loss.

Likewise, years later, when developing the business package and license agreement for the asset inventory industry, my passion again is educating others who choose to start their own inventory business (without the long learning curve I experienced).

I don’t have a passion to jump up out of bed each morning and go count and photograph things. But I do have the passion to serve and educate others on how they can protect their financial future.

Nor do I have the passion to talk on the phone for hours on end, but I do have the passion to help others grow their business and become successful.

Therefore, the passion doesn’t have to be the same as the work you’ve chosen. It all boils down to just one question in the end: What can I do that will serve my passion?

Sometimes You Need to Sweat

sweatingWe have all heard that it isn’t a good thing to stay in our comfort zone. The reasons are that you won’t grow. You won’t grow your business. You won’t try new things. You will become complacent. Every day will be the “same ole, same ole.”

There are, of course, many more statements that same the same thing.

Comfort zone. Keep out!

The idea of getting out of your comfort zone can be frightening. But for business owners, it is a requirement. Staying in your comfort zone means that you will not meet new friends or be introduced to professionals who could become referral sources for your business. It will also prevent you from trying new ways to market your business or keep you from offering a new product or service.

No sweat!

Sometimes you need to sweat a little. When you aren’t comfortable, well – that’s when the fun begins. As a business owner, I have found that these are the times when I make the most progress. That’s when the new ideas form. That’s when business grows. That’s when success happens!

That’s when it’s been worth all the sweat beads. Sweating is a good thing, and when you’re out of the comfort zone and find it becoming comfortable, you’ll  be able to say, “No sweat!”

And then it starts all over again.

5 Things to Do When the Excitement Wears Off

YawningWhether in life or business, sometimes things just seem to get dull. Boring. Blah. Ho-hum.

When you are a business owner, that can be brutal to your goals, motivation, and eventually, revenue.
You need to get back on top of your game quickly. So how do you keep it fresh, so to speak? What do you do to keep yourself excited about what you do?

5 quick fixes that help me out of that rut

  1. Take a break. Often just a few hours of mindless TV, listening to a book on tape, spending time with family, or going golfing – whatever sounds good to me at the moment, gives the opportunity to tune out for a while. When owning a business often requires a 7-day-a-week focus, these mini-vacations can be therapeutic and re-energizing.
  2. Skim a motivational book. I don’t have time to read an entire book in a day, so just skimming it will give me some new ideas.
  3. Think about my clients. This is a great pick-me-up, because it reminds me of all the people I have served; that’s a great feeling!
  4. Ask others what they’re doing. Even when other business owners or professionals are in different industries, most often their process can be transferred into mine.
  5. I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” The answers get me fired up again.

Feel the excitement again

As a business owner, I often find myself bogged down by all the “must do” tasks each day. Feeling the excitement all over again is a quick and easy fix when you enjoy what you do.

What do you do?

Boomers Are Giving Up

BoomersAh, the good ole’ days. You graduate, get a good paying job that provides security, and then you retire from the same company decades later.

Those days are gone. It’s hard to find a good-paying job. There is no such thing as security. And those work for the same company for decades until retirement are few and far between.

Instead, there are constant news items telling us of companies that have offered early retirement settlements. Others are facing a huge labor force decrease, or downsizing.  Often it is the employees in their 50s who are receiving the pink slips.

As this article states, Baby Boomers are giving up and dropping out of the workforce. Not because they don’t want to work any more, but because no one wants them. They are too educated, have too much experience, and expect higher wages than a fresh-out-of-college person requires. Many are just giving up!

It doesn’t have to be that way. A home inventory business is an answer to this issue for many Boomers. There are so many life events that require – or at least benefit from – a home inventory, so there is an unlimited number of opportunities to provide the service. A few of the benefits with this type of business:

  • Home-based business
  • Low investment
  • Minimal physical activity
  • Easy to learn
  • Flexible so you can work the days and hours you want

Most seasoned professionals want to begin right away with their new venture, and also see the value in not re-inventing the wheel.  The Nationwide Inventory Professionals Business Package and License Agreement is a great fit. With a small down payment and easy-t0-manage monthly payments, you can be ready to do business within 30 days! The website is created for you. The electronic newsletter is written and distributed for you. You will receive numerous templates of business and marketing documents. The manual provides detailed, step-by-step guidelines on how to complete a home or business inventory. That knowledge, along with continued, unlimited mentoring and coaching, will help you start your business quickly and we will be there for you as you grow the business.

From one Baby Boomer to another, don’t give up. Take control of your future! I encourage you to check out the details of this business package here. Then, to learn more about the industry and the inventory business, request more information - you will hear from us shortly.

Is Anyone Out There?

hoping for phone callHave you heard a new business owner say, “I have a website, but no one is calling me.”?

Unfortunately, I’ve had this conversation more than once. There are quite a few instances when I have received a phone call from a person who started their business months ago. They are seeking assistance, asking how we find business for our home inventory service because they can’t figure out why they have failed to become successful.

I believe a website is imperative for the asset inventory industry, and it must be of high quality. The website represents you and your business. The professionalism of the website represents the professionalism of your business. Quality websites represent quality service. A thrown together website with errors indicates that is what your service will be. However, you can have the best website money can buy and still not have traffic.

People need to know you are in business

Just having a website and not promoting it is no different than hanging a sign on a door and expecting people to come it. They have to know you exist. How? That’s were other professional marketing materials come in – brochures, rack cards, newsletters, etc. Use these materials to drive traffic to your website. And once they arrive, make sure they are visiting a company they want to do business with.

Tell them you are here!

Network. Call referral sources and ask for appointments. Tell them you are here and how you can serve their clients’ needs. Then network some more. Be your own champion. Be your own sales representative. If you don’t tell people you are open for business, they won’t know. You can’t just put up a website and wait by the phone, hoping people will call. They need to be aware that you exist. It’s up to you to call them.

Often this is all too much for a new business owner to handle. Instead, you can go find business while we take care of the marketing pieces. Quality marketing is essential, especially in the home inventory industry. This is why we provide the essential marketing pieces in our business package and license agreement. And when you have questions – any kind of questions – our mentoring agreement will ensure that we’re here to help you achieve the success you desire.

Lost In the Crowd

lost in the crowdI have spoken to many home inventory business owners who don’t understand why they aren’t getting any business, and are calling me to ask for help. Though we are under contract with our Licensees and are limited to what we can share about our processes and procedures, I can give them general advice.

Often, the conversation goes something like this:

Them: I need some help with my business.

Me: What is the specific issue?

Them: I’m not getting any business.

Me: What is your domain name; I’ll take a look at your website.

Them: I don’t have a website. I don’t need one because I joined the (name of an organization), and they have me listed on their site.

Me: Do you have your own page that gives details about your company, with your own domain extension? Do they promote you frequently? Do they help direct people to your listing?

Them: No, just my company name and phone number. But people go to their site all the time. They have a high traffic rate!

Me: Are the people who visit their site looking for a home inventory business, or are they visiting that site for other reasons?

Them: *crickets*

Lost in the crowd

When you are listed on someone else’s website, that’s a bonus. However, it should certainly not be the only web presence. Having your own website gives you your own identity. You won’t be competing with all the other companies and all the other information on Chamber, Better Business Bureau, and Association sites.  A combination of both is great because you’re given additional opportunities for exposure. You have credible back links. You have achieved credibility by being associated with them. But you must have your own site. You need to have your own identity. If nothing else, it shows that you are serious about being in business.

A website tells them who you are

This is why we provide a website with our business package and license agreement for the asset inventory industry. It is essential to build a reputation about your company. It is that important to have others learn about you business, your expertise, and your professionalism. No one can tell people who you are and what you do better than you can.

A listing on another company or association website should not be your only web presence. The plus for this extra exposure is that you’ll be seen as a credible company, based on the association and their reputation. You’ll have valuable back links. Other members will be inclined to do business with you or refer you, based on your membership with them. But as your only web presence? No. You’ll be lost in the crowd. Use these back links to direct people to your website where they can learn more about you.

If the Tortoise and the Hare Were Teammates

tortois-hareIn the story of the big race between the tortoise and the hare, we learn a valuable lesson. We learn that it’s best to be slow and steady rather than to dart out quickly, give it all you’ve got, and then lose steam and not make it to the finish line. The exhausted hare, unable to finish, watches the slow tortoise succeed.

Rather than one or the other, rather than being competitors, I would have liked to view them working as teammates. Wouldn’t it be a wise business decision to take the best of both and merge them into your business strategy?

Be the hare to start your business

Think of the benefit of starting quickly. Taking the approach of the hare, you do want a fast start. You want to have a professionally created logo and your business cards designed. Another immediate need is to get your website content written, the website design created, and then go live to inform people know about your company. Other immediate needs are to begin developing your newsletter, write a press release, and, of course, learn about the industry as quickly as possible. Who will do all of this? Where will you find the time? And the big question … how quickly can this all be done? All of this must be in place before you start to promote your business, if you want to have the confidence that you are presenting a professional image.

Be the tortoise when building and growing your business

Now think of what you’ll need next, once the immediate needs are met. A mentor to guide you through the start-up, into the growth of your business – the slow and steady process – to grow at the pace you choose. If you’re starting part-time, your needs will be different from those who are beginning with a full-time status. Having a mentor to help you decide the best strategy, marketing initiatives, and to keep you up to date on the changes in the industry, is essential for you to move forward and be successful.

Why not both?

Think of the benefit of starting quickly – getting your website and marketing materials created in a very short time so you can start marketing your business. Think of learning from a mentor, who will provide knowledge, guidance, and experience. Investing in a business package and/or licensing agreement with someone who has been in the business for years can be the answer to all of these needs. There is no need to be the tortoise or the hare. You can be and have both.

Family. Flexibility. Financial Freedom.


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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 2014 Nationwide Inventory Professionals, LLC © 2013. All Rights Reserved.
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