People talk about how to start your business without any money. I did it – with OPM (Other People’s Money). I bought an apartment building and got the capital to fund renovations – several hundred thousand dollars, at 16.89%. I did not spend ONE DIME OUT OF MY OWN POCKET!
I am asked, “How could you take a chance like that to start Your business?” Easy. It was NO CHANCE. I knew the business I was getting into. I had enough confidence in myself to know that I could deliver. I had a rock-solid business plan, presented a rock-solid proposal to my investors, delivered ahead of schedule, and exceeded revenue projections. After 3 months, my investors agreed to let me refinance at 1 point above prime.
I made money every month I owned that building (over 6 years), and I made money when I sold it (almost 200% of the purchase price).
Come On In, the Water’s Great
So, did I just jump into this business with a list of unanswered questions? Absolutely NOT. I did my research. I networked with other investors. I joined an organization with people that had the same interests. I attended meetings. I signed up for workshops and seminars. I ABSOLUTELY KNEW what I was getting into. I ABSOLUTELY KNEW all of the issues, and mapped out different scenarios that provided a clear path of action should scenario A, B, or C happen.
And, after I did all this, I started a consulting firm that HELPED OTHER NOVICE INVESTORS and Small Businesses GET THEIR BUSINESSES STARTED! I have been doing this since 1997. And now that I am retired, I am “Paying it Forward”, helping YOU start your business. All you have to do is ASK!
Back when I had my business underway, and under control, conducted “getting started” workshops for new or wannabe real estate investors. I would rent out a country club ballroom, invite members and guests from the real estate investor’s club, and charge $11 for lunch, which barely covered the cost of the room. I would spent the day conducting workshops on building a business plan, doing a Pro Forma statements, business organizations, zoning, permits, and licenses, obtaining an FEIN, and how to interview with a mortgage broker (I invited MY broker to join me). I had accumulated quite a collection of references, videos, courses, etc, so I created a “lending library” of materials that people could sign out for free.
Customers for Life
I also had quite a list of CLIENTS, many of whom didn’t PAY ME until they got THEIR businesses started, but then THEY “Paid it Forward”. I never charged for consulting. I generated revenue from hardware and software sales, and IT service contracts only AFTER you were on your way to start your business, was I willing to sell you Dell computers, Microsoft and other software, build your networks, configure your Quickbooks accounting system, write your operating procedures, build your databases and websites and put service agreements in place. The last of the service contracts expired last year – when I actually “retired” for the third time.
Are You Starting a Business or a Hobby?
I keep talking about how to start your BUSINESS. If you are not willing to think of this seriously, as a business, then what you have is a HOBBY.
There is a well known character, prominent on the internet, known for being flat-out rude and disrespectful, who would cut you off and say, “Thanks for taking my time, and I’m glad I could help you clear that up, now go away”. He assumes that you have done your diligence, figured out the issues, researched it, and determined that HIS THING HE IS TRYING TO SELL YOU is a foregone conclusion of tireless business research and organized assembly of facts. He also assumes that there is no reason in the world why someone would not simply take him at his word, blindly follow his direction and, like sheep, simply hand over their money because, after all, his Ivy League doctorate proves that he is better than you and his superior intellect should relieve you from the burden of independent thought.
That is NOT the role of a consultant. A consultant is there to HELP YOU LEARN THE QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK as you are CONDUCTING that research. You see the problem is that YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW. That is the role of the trusted advisers you should have on your team, to be used appropriately when their expertise is called for: a consultant, an accountant, and an attorney.
If It’s About the Money, You Are Not Focused on the Right Issue
Every business needs to borrow money unless someone has a generous benefactor with deep pockets. Accept it and move on. I DO understand the animosity associated with putting down $100 a month to engage in a business like WorldProfit. What that tells me is that YOU NEED SOME HELP. You need to do some research. You need to write down some questions and one by one, check them off when those questions are answered to YOUR SATISFACTION.
I would also like to remind you that WorldProfit is NOT MY PRIMARY BUSINESS. My business toolbox has MANY TOOLS. WorldProfit fills the need for many of them, but I also have OTHER TOOLS. WorldProfit is a GREAT PLACE to start your business with great training, great tools, and so many options. If these tools can HELP YOU FULFILL THE OBJECTIVES YOU HAVE DEFINED IN YOUR BUSINESS PLAN, then they are relevant.
Fill Your Toolbox With the Right Tools
For newcomers, I strongly recommend WorldProfit, but it does not always fit the bill for everyone, and that’s OK. That’s where “consultative selling” comes into play. I’ve been known to walk away from a sale if it is NOT RIGHT for the client. A Marketer measures their success by the number of sales. A Consultant measures their success in terms of CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE.
You Need Trusted Advisers Not Salesmen
WorldProfit members are a COMMUNITY of people WILLING TO HELP. You don’t need SALESPEOPLE or MARKETERS to talk to, you need TRUSTED ADVISERS. I could name at least a DOZEN WorldProfit members in the next 3 minutes who are WILLING TO HELP.
The great thing about this is that ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS SHOW UP WHEN THE OFFER IS EXTENDED, and ASK what you don’t know.
So, when are YOU going to start your research to START YOUR BUSINESS? If your answer is TOMORROW, then consider this statement: “Procrastinators Need Not Apply”.
Spaho Consulting, LLC (retired)
Life Balance Networks