How to Get More Foreclosure Cleanup Business Using Free Meetings

Chamber of Commerce meetings are fertile ground for foreclosure cleanup businesses. A foreclosure cleanup business is responsible for primarily the cleaning, clearing out and maintenance of properties that have been foreclosed upon. Services offered by these enterprises involve interior and exterior repair and maintenance ranging from debris removal, boarding of windows and doors, changing locks, inspections, painting and more.

Local and International Chambers

As new foreclosure cleanup businesses open their doors, they are looking for low-cost, effective ways to get the word out about their businesses. The Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) is a solid starting point for new foreclosure cleaning entrepreneurs. Most cities and towns across the United States and throughout the world have Chambers. It is a membership organization comprised of mostly local businesses whose goal is to network, promote and further the interests of enterprises within the community.

When most think of these entities, they think local; however, there are several national and international Chambers in existence. These bodies are governed in part by a Board of Directors whose primary task is to assist in establishing and governing the policies of the Chamber.

Membership Size

Some organizations have less than 50 members, while others have well over 300,000 members (i.e., the Paris Chamber of Commerce). The oldest English-speaking Chamber in the world is right here in the United States; the New York City Chamber of Commerce. It was founded in 1768. On a national scale, the United States Chamber of Commerce is, according to its website, “the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses… ” Wow, networking opportunities galore lie in Chambers of this size.

Membership Fees

Membership fees to join a Chamber can range from a low of less than $100 dollars annually, to upwards of well over a few thousand dollars. Fees often depend on the size of your organization, the number of employees, and other factors.

Free Meetings

While most organizations charge a membership fee to join, a great many have initial FREE meetings. At these free gatherings, new business owners can attend to learn about a particular group and ultimately meet other members and potential members.

Small business owners seeking to grow their businesses should plan to attend a free meeting in their town and in neighboring communities. When attending these free meetings, foreclosure cleanup business owners will often have a chance to introduce themselves and their business to the room.

During the introduction portion of the free meeting, it is imperative to voice your business’ unique selling proposition (“USP”). A USP is simply what makes your business different from other ones within your industry. If you haven’t devised your USP, now’s the time to think about setting your business apart from the masses.

One-on-One Networking

After the formal free meeting, there will often be a one-on-one networking opportunity. Bingo! This is what you want to grow your business. As a foreclosure cleanup business executive, plan to carry your business cards, company brochures, or postcards for the networking part of the meeting.

Meet as Many Business Owners as Possible

When networking in a Chamber environment, entrepreneurs should try to meet as many business owners as possible. While it’s imperative to be a good listener as others are explaining their businesses to you, it’s equally important NOT to get cornered by one business owner.

WARNING: It’s easy to tuck away in a comfortable corner of the room and shy away from making contact with new people, especially for those who don’t network often. But while you may feel most comfortable in a cozy nook, you will likely wind up leaving with only one or two business cards.

The goal is to “touch” as many people as possible and exchange banter about your respective businesses. The more business cards you leave with, the more successful the event will be from a marketing standpoint.

Your Elevator Speech

TIP: Prepare an elevator speech about your business. In one or two sentences, sum up who you are, the name of your business, what your business does, and how you’re different.

Following Up after a Chamber Meeting
After the meeting, plan to follow up with those you’ve met at the meeting within the next week. (Ideally, within the next few days.) This can be a phone call, a quick email, a formal mailer or an informal note.

The intent of the follow-up is to establish a rapport with the business owners you’ve met. Invite them to learn more about your business, and, remember, be equally open to learning more about their business as well. Even if you don’t need their particular business service, you may be able to refer someone to them who does. In turn, they can do the same for you. That’s the benefit of successful networking.

Gold Mine in Contacts

Any successful entrepreneur will tell you business is about contacts, contacts, contacts. Their database, contacts’ list, is their greatest asset. A proven way to grow your business and build your contacts list is to network at Chamber of Commerce meetings.

10 Extremely Important Tips for a Successful Business Launch

What’s Your Passion? If you are thinking about starting a business, it should be something you enjoy. Since a lot of time and energy goes into running a business, it is smart to look at your hobby or professional experience as a potential business idea. For example, if you are good at sewing, consider a tailoring shop; or an accountant could look at bookkeeping or tax service. Now, imagine what your life would be like if you spent the majority of your day actually doing what you love. Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? To improve your chances, here are 10 Extremely Important Tips for a Successful Business Launch.

Tip 1: The Name Game

Now that you’ve narrowed it down to ONE ‘business idea,’ you’ve got to figure out a name. A major challenge in starting a business is the process of searching and choosing the right business name. Choosing the right business name can mean success while a poorly thought out name could doom your business from the start. Three smart business name tips:

A smart business name must be unforgettable. It is imperative that potential clients be able to remember your business name. I’m sure most people have heard of Nike, Walmart, Target, Home Depot and McDonalds. Like these household names, your name should be easy to pronounce and memorable.

A smart business name must describe what your business does. When you create your business name, potential clients should be able to understand what products or services your company offers. For example in ‘ Browder Consulting Group,’ the word “Consulting’ is a clue that I provide specialized advice; or as in Lynn’s Styles & Cuts,’ the words ‘Styles & Cuts is a clue that this is a beauty salon.

A smart business name should be as short and sweet as possible. As you advertise your business, it is important that your name display well on your marketing material, such as business cards, ad campaigns, domain name and email. As potential clients search for you on the internet, you want it to be an easy spelled and searchable name.

Tip 2: On a Mission

A mission statement is an important tool that tells others who you are, what you do, how you do it and why you are superior than your competition.

It identifies and clarifies the business’ vision, purpose and direction.
It provides the path and focus needed for making and implementing decisions.
It helps define to your future employees what they are doing, why they are doing it and where they are going.

Tip 3: Make it Legal

Be diligent in choosing the best Legal Form for your business. This is one of the first important decisions that you will have to make. This decision can have long-term implications, so here are a few things to consider when deciding which business structure is best for your business:

Scope of business you plan to attain
Size of your business
Business’s vulnerability to lawsuits
Tax implications based on the different ownership structures
Level of control do you wish to have
Expected profit/loss of the business

Tip 4: Surround yourself with a Progressive Team

Who do you need to know or collaborate with as a part of your external team? Having the right people on your team will allow you to focus on your business and help you to avoid costly mistakes. For example, you might need the following:

Certified Public Accountant: best form of ownership, establish bookkeeping, record keeping procedures and tax planning, etc.
Business Attorney: reviewing lease contracts, determining the right business structure, etc.
Computer Information Technician: set up systems, repair issues, etc.
Human Resource Management Consultant: assess your current HR processes for compliance, navigate through delicate labor issues, set up hiring processes, compensation and benefits and create employee manuals, job description and Standard Operation Procedural manuals.

Tip 5: Research Licenses & Permits Needed for Your Industry

As you can see, there are many steps involved in starting a business. With the daunting task of figuring it all out, it’s easy to overlook the important legal requirements associated with permits, licenses and registrations. Here’s a list that your business might need:

State Requirements: Business licensing requirements may vary from state to state.
Business Licenses: Depending on your state, county and city, a business license may be required for tax purposes and to conduct other basic business functions.
Occupations and Professions: Depending on your profession, state licenses may be required for occupations such as, appraisers, accountants, barbers, building contractors, cosmetologists, funeral directors, physicians, private investigators, private security guards and real estate agents.
Tax Registration: Some states carry a state income tax. If you establish your business in a state that does, you’ll have to register and obtain an employer identification number. If your business engages in retail sales, you will need to obtain a sales tax license.
Trade Name Registration: If you plan to run your business in your local community only, registering with the state may be adequate.
Employer Registrations: Are you planning to hire employees? If so, you’ll probably be required to make unemployment insurance contributions.

Tip 6: Know Your Clients

A common mistake that I encounter with new business owners is that they don’t know who their customer is… possessing a poorly defined target market. Most want to sell their products or services to ‘everybody’ instead of narrowing their targeted customer base to a manageable size. You must do your homework… i.e., market research. I’ve created a business resource guide to assist you, Resource Guide for Women.

Tip 7: Got Marketing?

In business, marketing plays a key role in getting the word out to your prospective clients. You must create an image and be consistent! It’s important to mold and hone your business image to successfully appeal to your prospects and customers. By choosing a relevant company name, answering your phone professionally, creating a professional and clear elevator pitch, investing in professional business cards, logos and brochures, etc… all are key in marketing your business.

Tip 8: Don’t forget Uncle Sam

Understanding tax obligations is one of the most important issues facing small businesses. The local, county, state and federal agencies does not care that you didn’t know or you forgot to pay your taxes. You will be subject to penalties for not paying on time. Here are some resources to assist you:

For a list of state agencies: business.gov/states/
For a SBA resource guide by state: smallbusiness3.com/magazine
For IRS business information: irs.gov/businesses/index.html

Tip 9: Don’t forget the ‘B’ Word… Budget!

Create a start up budget. Because businesses are different, each will have its own specific cash needs at various stages of development, so estimating your start-up costs may vary. Some businesses can be started on a shoestring budget, while others may require considerable investment in inventory or equipment. It is imperative to know that you will have enough money to launch your business venture.

A few ways to prepare:

Create a list of anticipated expenses for your first three years
Projections are fine, be realistic

Have a tracking system

QuickBooks, Quicken, Ledger, Excel spreadsheets, I don’t care which you use…. It’s important to put a system in place that works for you. Personally, I use QuickBooks. I can send files to my CPA, easy to work with. In addition, as the treasurer on the board of a non-profit organization, I also use Quick books to reconcile the organization’s bank statements and to bill our member’s annual dues.

Open a business checking account. The worst thing you can do is run your business from your personal account… it is an accountants nightmare. Open up a business account so that you can separate the two… plus it tells others that you are serious and professional.

Tip 10: Put it all together… in a plan!

Last but not least, you must write your business plan. By failing to plan, you are planning to fail. If you can’t take the time needed to plan for the success of your business, then don’t waste your time starting one. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first three years. This is staggering but true! Invest your time in researching and writing a business plan. Many prospective entrepreneurs think that a business plan is very hard and tedious. The truth is it’s a powerful tool that can help you plan and achieve business success.

So, what is this thing called a business plan? Well, a business plan is your blue print or what I tell many of my clients, it’s your bible! A business plan defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your company’s resume. It will help you arrange strategic alliances, obtain financing and attract key personnel. By planning for success, you will be able to overcome many hurdles that may arise.

A closer look at why a business plan is important:

To secure funding, your lender will request your business plan with completed financials. DO NOT approach a lender without having a completed business plan. In his/her eyes, you will look unprepared and too risky. By being prepared, you will have a better chance at securing funding for operations or expansion of your business.

It is a great way to test the feasibility of your business idea. By the time you complete your market or competitive analysis, you will have a clear picture of the viability of your idea.

As you can see, there is a lot of work involved before starting a business. To ensure success, it is important to research thoroughly, take advantage of the resources available to you and learn as much as you can. Preparation is key to a successful start!

Quick Overview On Small Business Coaching

Notwithstanding the presence of the innumerable national and multi-national companies, the small businesses remain the fuel of any country’s economy. Majority of the financial transactions and the commerce revolve around small enterprises even now. This only shows that their importance can never be overlooked. In this regard, small business coaching for the owners comes noteworthy too.

As a matter of fact, only a few of these small companies are run by skilled businessmen. Most of their owners and managers at the same time are individuals who have other morning or evening jobs and are just able to have a small business on the side. Moreover, they fare their businesses with their own basic knowledge grounded only on day-to-day experiences.

Such business management can soon lead your venture to struggle. This, together with an effort to maximize their return of investments, brings small-scale entrepreneurs to aim for additional marketing strategies. They, then, turn to business coaching services.

A business coach can do a great job in letting his entrepreneur clients gain business insights that were previously unknown to them. A small business owner can get into a problematic situation and may not be able to see open possibilities for a perfect or immediate solution. Helping you to see things objectively, a business coach can put you back to the track of business success.

The following ideas answer the two most asked questions from these business entrepreneurs. If you are one of them, feel free to read on and contemplate on the thoughts which you can relate with your own dealings as well.

Why is small business coaching needed? Business owners need it simply because it serves as a great tool that can transform your business from being basically successful to remarkably successful.

It is true that tips on business success can be obtained from books. However, having an expert to guide you can bring written pieces of advice into life. This simply means an expert can make sense out of these tips for your business’ current situation and teach you how to use your scarce resources to the fullest.

A coach can analyze the good and bad points in your business accurately. Sometimes you lose objectivity in drafting plans and making decisions. Thus, it is better to figure things out with a business expert.

He, too, can give specific suggestions to your business situation. Businesses differ from each other. And so, the solution given to a problem of one small business cannot be offered applicable to that of another despite their similarity in nature.

Herewith, the second question is asked. Where do I get small business coaching? Services of this kind are not hard to find. You can always make a quick search online and see advertisements from them. Printed yellow pages also hold postings of them. Colleges and universities usually provide business coaching links. Online discussion boards can also give you information about these business coaches within your area.

Do consider that you are not hiring one as an employee. You are actually in search of a partner whom with his expertise will help you in attain business success. During the interview, do not flood the coach with a list of to-do for your business.