How To Find A Business for Sale

Are you looking for a business for sale? If so, then you have probably heard all sorts of outrageous claims on-line. Claims such as: “make money without lifting a finger,” “no investment required,” and “make money while you sleep.” While it is true that some businesses can practically run by themselves, this is only achieved after a lot of time and effort has been put into developing a solid base for the company. Do not be fooled by the snake oil salesman that claim that you can have a successful business without putting any time, effort, and money into it. The good news is, though there are many scams and get rich quick schemes out there, there are also many legitimate businesses for sale. The great thing about having so many companies and individuals that have a business for sale, is that you have many choices and options. On the other side of the coin there is a seemingly insurmountable amount of research to get through in order to make the right decision. I can’t tell you exactly which company is right for you because of the simple fact that everyone is different, and what works for me might not work for you. I can however, give you some good insights into what to look for when looking at a business for sale.One more great thing about having so many different businesses for sale out there is that you no longer have to write a business plan, rent a building, find something to sell, and hope that you can gain a client base before you run out of money. While a brick and mortar business is still an incredibly viable option, it is also not the only option for someone who wants to work for themselves. I am referring, of course, to the realm of multi level marketing, and network marketing. These business plans have not only opened up business ownership to ordinary people, but they have made it possible for a person, with no real business knowledge or experience, to take the reigns of their own business and make their own future.So, the number one thing I run into when talking to perspective clients about a business for sale is that many people have been burned by various other “opportunities” and thus they have a bitter taste in their mouths about jumping into something new. So how can you tell between a scam and the real deal? I have set some common sense steps to analysing a new prospective company.1. Make sure that you have what it takes to run your own business, everyone has fantasies of telling their boss to take a hike, but the reality is that running your own business requires a large amount of time management skill, as well as a will to succeed and a work ethic to back it up.2. Money, every business costs money to get started, even if you are promoting affiliate links, unless you are a marketing prodigy you will more than likely be buying some sort of training material to figure out what you are doing. In my personal opinion, a good target number to look for when looking at a business for sale, is 500 dollars or less to get started.3. Product, if a company sells a product nobody wants to buy then how will you sell it? I know this sounds simple and shouldn’t even be mentioned because it is so basic, but it amazes me how many companies ask you to sell something that would be nearly impossible to move. The best kind of company to get involved with is one that either has a corner on a market, or is more advanced than the competition. Again, I know this sounds like it should be the first thing you think of, but it is easy to get caught up in the sales hype of a well crafted landing page.4. Compensation plan, how does the company reimburse its affiliates or representatives? there are many types of compensation plans, as well as many other people who are more qualified to talk about them, so I won’t go in-depth on this.5. Team, what kind of teamwork is present in the company? A good business for sale will stress to its reps just how important teamwork is, to put it simply, a network marketing company will either live or die by how well it fosters a support system within its team. This means that there should be an efficient way for them to train you, preferably a website that has training calls and videos for you to go through rather than sitting on the phone for hours listening to training.6. Public Opinion, how well is the company doing at maintaining its public relations? What is the first thing people do when they hear about something new that they are curious about? Most people these days Google it, that is why, if you’re trying to sell something to someone and they Google it to find reviews, if all they see is negative then it will be very hard to sell regardless of whether or not the product is incredible. With information so easy to come by on the internet these days a company has to spend a lot of time and effort in order to maintain their image or else they might as well pack up their stuff and close their doors. There are two ways I check this, one is to Google it, the second, is to check the company out at bbb.com. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to find information on a business for sale.7. How does the company operate? Many Network marketing companies today focus mainly on internet sales, they utilize social networking heavily for their sales, while others focus more on person to person sales. It is very important that you decide which one you are more comfortable with and make sure that is what the company you are looking at utilizes. If you are computer illiterate and don’t get along with technology at all then person to person might be best for you. I would strongly recommend that anyone that wants to get into network marketing goes with a company that is fully web integrated, believe it or not, there are a lot of companies that still prohibit or make it very difficult to market on-line. This is very important, if you get into a company and get trained in it only to realize that they only allow you to market in certain ways, it can be very hard to be successful.These are just some pointers to help separate the bad from the good, but at the end of the day it all boils down to you. Are you the kind of person who can take charge, schedule, plan, execute that plan, call leads, and most importantly, close a sale? This is the most important part of the whole process, because at the end of the day, your success relies about 75 percent on you and 25 percent on the company you represent.

Why Real Estate Investment?

Why should you invest in real estate? Well, investing in real estate for profit is one of the most popular approaches to generating additional income in the United States today. In fact, if you pay attention to recent press you will have seen numerous reports about the real estate investment craze that seems to be sweeping the Nation.When done carefully and intelligently, real estate can yield fantastic benefits that can not be achieved through any other type of investment. Here are just a few examples of why real estate investing can be such a powerful wealth generator.1. Real Estate Markets Are Slow to React – Although real estate, like everything else, has ups and downs, it is generally a lot slower to react than the stock market. For example, you won’t get up in the morning and discover that your real estate investment is worth ten or twenty percent less than it was yesterday.2. Leverage. You can borrow money to buy real estate, whereas, generally you can not borrow money to buy stocks. You can control a large dollar value of real estate with a small amount of your own money by using loans and mortgages. The stock market, by law, limits the amount of leverage (margin) you can use to buy stock. There are no such limits with real estate.3. You Can Purchase Real Estate For Less Than Its Market Value. In many cases you can purchase a property for as low as 60 to 70 percent of the market value. When buying stocks, you may be able to find a stock that is considered “under valued” but generally it’s tough to do that on a regular and consistent basis.4. Real Estate Offers A Tremendous Amount Of Tax Advantages Through Depreciation. Real estate basically has two values, the land and the building(s) on the land. For example, if a property is valued at $250,000 and the assessed value of the land is $75,000, the building would be worth $175,000.The government allows real estate investors to depreciate the value of the building in equal parts over its “useful life” which is defined as 27.5 years. So for example, based on the $175,000 building value above, the annual depreciation value would be $6,363.63 ($175,000 divided by 27.5). This means that for tax purposes, the investor would be able to reduce his/her annual income by $6,363.63!Many people find the notion of depreciation to be confusing since it’s not really a loss of money. I recommend you check with a qualified tax professional for more details and how this can benefit you.5. Real Estate Markets Are Insulated Local Markets. For instance, when the stock market falls, it takes down just about everybody and everything involved with it. When home values drop in one city such as New York, generally it does not affect property values in other cities like Boston or Chicago. To protect yourself, you can have a “geographically diversified” portfolio of real estate investments to hedge against these types events.6. You The Investor Can Control The Value. Another aspect of real estate investment is that unlike any other investment, this investment is controlled by the investor. For example, as an investor, you can increase the value of your investment property by making some modifications to the property such as adding a garage or replacing the carpet, etc. With stocks or any other investment, the investor can’t do anything to increase the value of the investment.7. The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). When a market has prices that always “fully reflect” available information, it is called “efficient”. The stock market for example is considered by most to be an efficient market. When you call your broker to purchase or sell a stock, you can be sure of one thing – the price you bought or sold the stock for was indeed the “correct” price for that stock on that day and at that time. Why? Because the existing price for the stock will already incorporate and reflect all relevant available information about the company such as earnings, and other metrics.With real estate, the market is very inefficient. Unlike the stock market, with real estate, the “correct” price discovery mechanism is left to each buyer and seller to figure out on their own. There is the almost always uncertainty as to whether the price offered by the seller is too high or too low. Moreover, there is typically little to no help available from analysts and research agencies (like when dealing with stocks) in this respect. This inefficiency is the very reason why real estate offers such a great investment opportunity to be smart and win! But it requires experience and a sharp eye for good deals and great negotiation skill. This expertise can be developed.If done correctly, real estate is probably one of the smartest investments you could ever make. Hopefully this short rambling has provided you with a fresh perspective of the many benefits of real estate investing. So be smart, continue to learn and above all don’t wait for some magic moment, just get started.To Your Success!Rik Foote
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Reduced Sales in the Auto Industry Requires New Responsibilities For Automotive Advertising Agencies

The role of the automotive advertising agency in today’s consolidating auto industry must change to accommodate the needs of the auto dealers that they serve. Reduced sales volume and profits have forced auto dealers to reduce their automotive advertising budgets and sales staff. As a direct result, automotive advertising agencies are being challenged to deliver more for less and reduced budgets and floor traffic suggest that they must increase their areas of responsibility to justify their agency fees or risk losing accounts. More importantly, they must learn the auto industry from the auto dealer’s perspective if they expect to be able to contribute in any meaningful manner.Assuming that we all work our pay plans to maximize our own ROI in our chosen careers in the automotive advertising industry, I thought I would share some best practices regarding an auto dealership’s Internet sales processes with my fellow automotive advertising professionals to help them better serve their auto dealer clients. Not all of the situations I discuss will apply to every auto dealership so take note of ones that do and save the others for future reference in case they surface in some other form. I will cover common issues that are part of human nature. After all, the key to success in the car business is in the people – not in the franchise or facility – so most problems start and finish with people.The Internet Department — From The Dealer’s PerspectiveAs a former new car dealer and current consultant on dealer operations and marketing I am constantly amazed by the disconnect between dealers and their key personnel. I liken the miscommunication of their common goals — to sell more cars/service and make more money — to that of a long marriage. Courting equates to the interview and the first few months are like an extended honeymoon. Once the excitement wears off it is a lot of work to remember why you got married in the first place; but worth the effort!Dealers are people too! They often indulge their emotions in the hiring process based on the fact that they need help more than the applicants need the job! Great interviews get an applicant the job with the dealer’s hope and desire to solve a problem – not make a friend. Their business needs eventually outweigh their emotions and words like bottom line profits, accountability and the latest buzz words — verifiable R.O.I. — take over. Dealers should always have job descriptions and areas of responsibility along with supported compensation plans based on individual and department guidelines and objectives. Unfortunately, not many auto dealers have those today and few automotive advertising agencies are prepared to provide them.Today’s market losses have forced dealers to make difficult decisions that should have been made before a position was even considered. The survival of the fittest must apply! It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it and the Dealer must base his decisions on performance and individually contributed profits or we will all suffer the consequences! That observed deficiency is a perfect opportunity for a forward thinking and prepared automotive advertising agency to earn their fees when direct sales won’t support them by passing on the observed need to their auto dealer clients while providing them proven processes to satisfy them.Re-defining the role of the Internet Sales Manager, (ISM), at the Dealership – Customer Communication Center, (C.C.C.) vs. Business Development Center, (B.D.C.)The A, B, C’s of the car business — Always Be Closing — go beyond the showroom floor and apply to the ISM as well as their staff. The key to the close, however, is to know the answer before you ask the question, or at least provide a limited response that you can control!Based on your new found knowledge and understanding of the dealer’s requirements of their ISM, I suggest that you ask the hard questions before your dealer client does! The more you and the ISM are involved in the selling process in both vehicle sales and fixed operations the more productive and profitable you will be. The more accountable and verifiable your R.O.I. to the dealer the more secure your income and the account. Sell yourself and the added value that you bring to his Internet department to your dealer with the leverage of verifiable performance in a clearly defined position on the team beyond what most dealers envisioned from their automotive advertising agency and be paid accordingly.I propose that you literally have the tail wag the dog, so to speak, by suggesting that the Internet Department become more than a lead generator with limited selling responsibilities. All communications, before, during and after the sale can, should and soon will be handled over the internet and/or on the dealership’s website which should now be part of your shared area of responsibility with the ISM.Currently, Business Development Centers, or B.D.C’s., coordinate selling opportunities developed on the telephone, showroom floor, service drive, data base marketing and in many cases the Internet. They rely on linked technology like telephony systems, vendors, such as Whos Calling, and onsite data base management systems, (DMS), such as ADP or Reynolds and Reynolds and customer retention management systems, (CRM), like Higher Gear or DealerUps, that are all now available on the internet.Who is better prepared to coordinate communications and even transactions on the Internet than the Internet Manager supported by an involved and educated advertising agency? Who has the best understanding of computers, software and integrated links to access and apply information directed to the contacts sourced from the auto dealer’s automotive advertising investments? It better be you!Customer Communication Centers, or C.C.C’s. provide a more integrated and accessible central point of contact at the dealership for their customers in both their brick and mortar dealership and their online virtual showroom. All customer contacts for sales, service/parts and office should be channeled to one location from all sources including telephone, email, mail, internal DMS and CRM, Internet — you name it! The cross-sell opportunities between sales and service/parts by having one contact person suggesting shared opportunities is obvious but unlikely if they are handled by two different people or departments! Less obvious opportunities like customer complaints and key vendor communications provide the ability to turn a problem into a solution but only if channeled properly.The Internet is hosting telephone, DMS and communications through webinars and emails so take charge and credit with the dealer. Re-define your role at the dealership by increasing your areas of responsibility!Integrating the Internet into the selling process — Sales and Fixed OperationsMost dealers have been traumatized by software solutions they are still paying for and never used. Usually they require secondary input, are redundant with other more integrated systems to the selling process or just lack real world applications to their deal flow — which is driven by human nature on all levels. Inspect what you expect coupled with standards like you can’t manage what you can’t measure can be applied to support your close for enhanced opportunities for you, his staff and your dealer.Place the Internet C.C.C. squarely in the middle of all selling processes. Of course be careful what you ask for since an astute dealer will, and should, hold you accountable. No pain, no gain — so go for it!As admitted, the devil is in the details, and there is no standard application to apply to all situations. Deciding what to do and what to delegate, and how to best integrate with the auto dealer’s current systems to minimize disruption, is the key. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water but expecting different results from the same action is a good definition of insanity.The auto dealer’s sales staff and service writers hate you — join the team!The automotive advertising agency has always been perceived by the auto dealer’s staff as an outsider and the ISM has only recently earned the respect that he deserves by the old car guys who may still be fighting the shift to the World Wide Web. The Internet Geek of the old days has matured into a key manager in most dealerships and the trend is growing! You can’t possibly expect to cross train on all aspects of operations — but you should try! Evaluate the current communications, customer and deal flow and create a business pro forma in concert with the ISM and the other department managers to develop a profit and increased R.O.I. for all involved and you will earn your position on the team.Inter-department squabbles in the car business will always exist but your new position on the team — if introduced correctly — will transcend individual motives to resist your efforts to improve everyone’s bottom line. Taking on the burden of helping the ISM and his team to make appointments and providing centralized communications — both internally and externally to the dealership — will free everyone else up to sell more cars, service and parts!Real time paperless reports available online — or in the DMS/CRM — will provide the department managers with the information and tools they need to do their jobs. Your complimentary secretarial services, automated and managed follow up systems to recapture lost sales opportunities coupled with your shared goal to increase appointments, sales and customer satisfaction is not a threat but a blessing!Establishing goals, accountability — getting paid on the bottom lineMost automotive advertising agencies and ISMs are involved in search engine optimization plans, (S.E.O.), and search engine marketing plans, (SEM), with applications on their website that track leads, conversions and R.O.I. — or they should be! Your goal should start with continuing your efforts to increase traffic to your auto dealer’s website rather than the telephone. It represents the most sophisticated tracking software available; now and for the foreseeable future. Your ability to track results is where your accountability part gets covered!Sales goals theoretically start with the dealer’s market share responsibility for the manufacturer, (M.S.R.), but fixed and semi-variable expenses quickly establish more pressing goals. Covering the Nut is a street level goal which must be met or none of the others matter. Have the dealer provide you with what he expects — or needs — and that should become your common goal!An example of a realistic goal for an auto dealership should be 4-5 generated appointments per day per person; selling one. This represents 120 + appointments each month, 80 +/- that show up and an additional 20 units per person per month based on a 25% closing ratio.Include areas that you and the ISM can directly impact and monitor like new and used vehicle sales — units and gross profit, sales and service appointments, customer satisfaction scores and all monthly sales or performance goals. Define the areas of responsibility that you will handle and decide on which ones you will delegate. Compute the budget, staff and facility you will need, online and in concert with your conventional advertising and community networking proposals, to develop the traffic required to achieve the sales and performance goals the dealer has established.Use industry guidelines as far as closing ratios and conversion ratios specific to the auto dealer’s franchise, size of market, staff, inventory and facility to “back into” your sales vs. traffic needs. Resource local media statistics, like cost per point, C.P.P., to determine the most cost effective media to dominate within your budget focused on the Internet customer and then dominate it.On broadcast, for example, a 5 plus frequency and a 50% reach coupled with consistent and coordinated dealer specific brand-tail messages, (branding and retail), over a ninety day period with creative directed to your dealer’s web site as well as a monitored 800 number will absolutely drive traffic.Of course expenses must be considered based on line item percentage guidelines vs. other expenses to preserve profits. Another common budget tool is to establish a per unit cap based on experienced expenses per unit which range from $250-$500 per car but it can double in certain markets. Pick a basis for your budget, any basis, and stick with it!Monitor shifts within budget based on results and R.O.I. per investment but never increase the budget without a proper risk to reward consideration and an acceptable projected R.O.I. The days of guessing are over; so be right!Do all of the above, design an agency fee tied to specific performance under your control and you will have deserved a bonus tied to the total dealership bottom line because you have contributed to it. More importantly, as a valued member of the team your agency relationship with your auto dealer clients and their staff will survive today’s downturn in the economy and the auto industry with its reduced conventional advertising budgets.