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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

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Dec
15

Can You Pass this Business Plan Exam?

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assignmentIn December, I’m featuring business planning. Suggest to your agents they check out Up and Running in 30 Days, my blog for achieving agents. I’ll provide lots of planning tips and free documents.

What should a business plan do for you? Appease your owner? (I’ve been there, so I know….) Or, should it actually provide you specific, day-to-day guidance about what to do to make your business thrive? If you’re a practical person like me, you don’t like to do ‘busy work’. You and I believe, then, that a business plan should have a practical application for every day of your business.

The ‘Business Plan’ Exam

Take this quick ‘exam’ to see how your business plan stacks up: (and give it to your agents so they can check their plans, too).

1. By going through your process of business planning, you get the ‘vision’ and mission principles to make the positioning, marketing, hiring, and termination decisions right for your particular business.        T                      F

Got that vision? Few business plans start with vision. This causes huge problems when real estate professionals try to implement—such as implementing a marketing plan.  A potential coaching client told me she ‘wasn’t very good at marketing’, and wondered how to get better. You can’t become a great marketer unless you have a very clear vision of who you are and where you expect your journey to take you. It all starts with a crystal clear idea of your vision, mission, and positioning in the market. Your business plan should contain these very important statements. Then, when you design an institutional marketing plan, you’ll be able execute your thoughts and feelings visually.

If your vision and mission aren’t well defined in your business plan, you simply have no solid foundation to make those tough leadership decisions.

2.  Your business plan starts with reviewing and researching the past year in all your business areas.                                             T                         F

Have you really reviewed your situation? If your planning ‘template’ doesn’t lead you through the analysis of key business statistics, you simply don’t know what happened. So, you can’t possibly make decisions for next year, because you don’t know whether to do it, stop doing it, or start doing something differently!

Example: In your office, what percent of your listings sold within normal market time? What was the percent of list price to sale price? Few business planning templates ask you to grab these statistics and analyze them. Yet, these are the statistics that directly point you to your strategies and tactics for the coming year.

3. Does your business plan have an ‘action plan’ area, so you can translate your yearly and monthly goals into daily actions—and actually schedule these actions?                                                      T                         F

No action plan means you just wasted a lot of time: I have seen so many business plans that only played on the ‘results’ playing field. Writing down the results you want are great, but if your plan doesn’t get down to where the rubber meets the road, (what you need to do daily), you simply are doing an exercise. In other words, you have to get past the ‘what’ and get to the ‘how’ and ‘how much’.

For example: You may say you want to increase your ‘sold’ listings by 25% in the coming year. How are you going to do that? Here are some possibilities for your action plan:

Through recruiting: Hire 12 listing agents that have demonstrated they list properties that sell quickly. That’s 1 per month. That’s 5 interviews per month. That’s 100 recruiting calls per month. Now, you can break that into weeks and days.

Through training: After researching each agent’s numbers of listings and listings to sold ratios, you are going to create and implement a high accountability training program to teach your agents the skills of successful listing. You will put your training series, which will be a series of four classes, presented 3 times a year, on a training calendar to hold yourself accountable to do them. (And, a calendar is a great recruiting tool).

4. Does your plan consist of integrated, ready-to-follow systems so you can delegate?

T                      F

Ever thought your systems WERE your plan? Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited, says that a business plan consists of the integration of your systems. Most managers and agents feel they are working too many hours. They want to be able to delegate specific duties. But, without systems and processes in place, delegation is impossible.

Is your Business Salable?

Pretend you wanted to sell me your business. I walk into your office. What systems do I see? What systems can I buy from you, so I don’t have to ‘reinvent the wheel’? What systems do you have that integrate and reflect your values in the overall way you do your business? If you don’t have systems in place that I can readily take over, I might as well start my own company!

How did you do on the ‘exam’? Here’s your opportunity to think through your business at a much deeper, more meaningful level. Doing so will re-motivate you, re-ignite your passion, and provide you some solid answers for next year.

Click here for an overview of what a leadership planning system should contain.

Want to see more on business planning? Check out my online program Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. All the instructional webinars and documents are online, and very easy to complete and implement. This is a program created exclusively for real estate owners and managers. And, when you purchase the manager’s package, you also get access to all the agent’s planning videos and documents.

Complimentary Business Planning Webinar

Just did it with an enthusiastic group last week, and now it’s available to view–along with a PDF of the slides and more. See it here. Why not show it to your agents?

<p><a href=”http://getarealestatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/leadership-elements-qualities-25801327.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-3525″ src=”http://getarealestatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/leadership-elements-qualities-25801327-300×246.jpg” alt=”http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-leadership-elements-qualities-image25801327″ width=”300″ height=”246″ /></a>This month, I’m featuring the topic ‘leadership’. Why? Because it’s one of the biggest real estate industry trends (and probably world trends) of today and beyond. Look for leadership strategies and trends (not just in the real estate industry), plus ready-to-use documents to go from ‘maintenance management’ to leadership.</p>
<p><strong>Is your leadership style ‘tell them what to do and expect them to do it’? </strong>It seems so easy. You’re the chairperson or manager. Just take charge, tell people what to do, and they’ll do it. NOT. It’s just not that simple. At least, it’s not that simple unless systems are already in place and people  know what their tasks are.</p>
<p><strong>Seven Truisms about Effective Participative Leadership </strong></p>
<p>It’s not enough today to be good at a traditional leadership style. In fact, you have to really ‘turn your leadership style’ upside down to become effective. You must become a ‘participative’ leader. What is a ‘participative’ leader? One who coordinates, facilitates, and encourages input and collaboration.</p>
<p>Here are seven truisms to help you flex your natural style toward more participation from your team members.</p>
<p><em>Truism #1: New chair people don’t know what’s expected of them</em></p>
<p>Just because people accept the title it doesn’t mean they know how to proceed with the job. Most people have never chaired a committee, so they don’t have the skills. It’s especially challenging when it’s a new task. They need to have clear direction, a job description, job responsibilities, and exactly who to go to when the job doesn’t get done.</p>
<p><em>Truism #2: People don’t know HOW to get it done </em></p>
<p>Even when people know what to do, they don’t usually have checklists, systems, deadlines, and assignments to get it done; it doesn’t work to leave it to a person (95% of the time, the other 5% will figure it out on their own) to decide how to get the job done.</p>
<p><em>Truism #3: Myth: “Leaders are the  “idea people” and aren’t supposed to get into implementation (someone else will figure out how to get the work done)</em></p>
<p>When leaders say that, they immediately put others into the “secretary” mode. Their mentality is, someone else beneath them should be able to figure out how to get that done. That’s a secretarial or assistant’s job, isn’t it? But, your committee members don’t work for you. They work with you. You can’t expect someone to raise his hand and offer to be your assistant because you came up with the idea.</p>
<p><em>Truism #4: Verbal-type people resist processes and systems</em></p>
<p>There is a natural resistance in us (maybe especially in we verbal-type people) to organizing processes and systems. We love to talk about the idea. We don’t like to clarify exactly how that idea gets into process.</p>
<p><em>Truism #5: We ‘big idea’ people think we can delegate systems design to an assistant   </em></p>
<p>Having worked with assistants for over 15 years, I have found that not true. Assistants need help in systematizing any process that YOU want done. They are good at systematizing their own processes–but not good at all at systematizing ours!</p>
<p><em>Truism #6: Leaders know committees take most of their time REPORTING to the larger group, not deciding on issues or processes</em></p>
<p>A mistake that committees make is to try to design processes within the large committee meeting. Instead, create task forces to report back quickly to you.</p>
<p><em>Truism #7: When accountability factors aren’t built in, things don’t get done.</em></p>
<p>This is a dicey issue, because you’re working with volunteers. Or, in the case of a real estate company, with independent contractors. At the same time, your association or business also expects the services and programs you promised. There’s a great difference between “do it the way you want” and expecting results and “do it the way you want” and let’s check how it’s going regularly.</p>
<p><strong>Sharpening Your Participative Leadership Skills</strong></p>
<p>What truisms do you want to add from your experiences in leadership? What do you see of yourself in these truisms? How can these help you lead? What needs to be done in  your leadership position to gain greater skills? These skills are learned over time, and the pay-off is an association or business that is ‘owned’ by all those involved, with empowerment assured.</p>
<h2><a href=”http://getarealestatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/LM-Cover.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-3455″ src=”http://getarealestatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/LM-Cover-286×300.jpg” alt=”LM Cover” width=”286″ height=”300″ /></a>Support for New Leadership Strategies</h2>
<p>We hear so many great ideas–but, when it comes to implementing them, they seem difficult or distant. And, it’s hard for us to have confidence in our ability to implement. Why not get the support you need to step ahead and lead your office or company to greatness? Your first step is simple, free, and will be informative. Request a ‘complimentary consultation’ to see how Carla’s unique one-on-one coaching program works, and how it may be able to help you get ahead faster and with more confidence. <a href=”http://carla-cross.com/coaching/complimentary-consultation/” target=”_blank”><strong>Click here</strong> </a>for more information and request. Read more about Leadership Mastery Coaching <a href=”http://carla-cross.com/coaching/leadership-mastery-coaching/” target=”_blank”><strong>here.</strong></a></p>

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