Most of my examples will be related to the real estate lending business because that is the field I have been if for 45 years. The nomenclature may change with different industries, but the concepts will be similar.
Review your Vendor Support relationships. The results of vendor(s) delegated responsibilities are always a reflection of your professionalism. Replace those who do not possess a master’s competence.
Regulatory compliance expert. With the hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations, and multiple government agencies, federal, state, and some overlapping, and some even redundant, you need an expert not only in your field, but also labor relations. You may be liable for the actions of your experts.
Accounting Support. This includes a top-rated CPA, or Enrolled Agent Tax Expert, in-house accounting, Trust accounting, outside auditors, retirement planner, etc.
Tech support. You need hardware, desktops, monitors, multiple servers, backup systems, Wi-Fi connections, phone and phone/computer interface, all connected to the outside world by high speed cabling. You will need a 3rd party vendor to connect to the outside world. You also need an on-call diagnostic expert who can remote connect into your system, or portable computer, upon request and fix problems.
Software support. A customer relationship software package(CRM), is a must. There are many available either as a software package installed into your system, or an on-line one. You also need a support system like Microsoft 365, that has outlook, a word processor, and spreadsheet. Many practitioners also use a loan processing, a trust accounting. You may enhance your efficiency by installing multiple monitors, perhaps 3 to use your software packages to maximum efficiency. If someone sends you an email, you may want to transfer the data into a CRM, or into the loan processing system. You also need a commercial quality server and workstation security software package to protect against outside intrusions. Lastly, you need a cloud-based backup system for your servers, and your desk tops.
Marketing and support systems. This is a complex subject that needs a ton of elaboration. I will only mention limited aspects. You need a product or service of which you personally develop a masters competence level, a list of prospects that is ever growing, a direct mail or email marketing system, along with a high-quality interactive web site. You will develop a consistent contact management system in order to communicate with your prospects, which will in turn, develop into business relationships, and also friendships. Friends do business with friends. This is the primary engine that will drive your business forward.
Organizational size. Do you want to build a company with brick-and-mortar square footage, and a substantial fixed cost base every month, including rent or ownership expenses, hiring, equipment, insurances, liability for others, and the stress of dealing with staff? Calculating variable expenses that will expand and contact as needed is difficult. Trying to judge the elasticity of demand for your product or service may be difficult. For example, loan volume production volume in the real estate lending business can expand and contract overnight. The government can raise interest rates or some major news story causes people to get skittish, while buyers and borrowers may need time to readjust or just exit from any business decisions all altogether? Elasticity refers to the tendency of quick up and down fluctuations in business volume.
You also must be concerned with scalability of your operation meaning the ability to adjust to taking on much higher volumes when needed. This requires that your infrastructure be large enough to quickly increase staff, equipment, and support systems that all move in tandem.
The third option is to outsource all or part of your support systems necessary to drive your business forward. There are excellent small companies whose sole function is to provide services on an independent contractor basis. Examples in the real estate lending business are independent processors, loan services, escrow officers and legal documentation providers.
9) Outside services contractors generally give you less stress, providing that they are highly competent and professional. They are hard to find and keep busy. Also, both elasticity and scalability become problematic when you are the do all, catch all, of your company.
The best approach requires a lot of thinking and discussion with your mentor group.
Comments about you being the business driver. We all have our ups and downs. Getting back up can sometimes be difficult. We have many things, including external forces and internal forces to deal with such as age bias, gender bias, and good vs marginal health. The ability not to give up, and to always snap back into a successful new energy and charge forward to advance is a learned talent. I have a few suggestions that are majorly important. A WRITTEN PLAN, NEW DECLARATION OF SCHEDULED DAILY ACTIONS, GOOD ATTITUDE, DRIVE, FORTITUDE, TENACITY, AND WILLINGNESS TO TAKE ON NEW RISK.
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