This article was written for brokers. by SPEEK CEO & Founder, Will Hedrick. SPEEK is the parent company to brokers. and is a real estate brokerage/startup in Charlotte. Learn more & connect with Will here. Learn more about SPEEK here.
A simple title for a fairly simple blog. Let’s talk about my experience with starting businesses. As most of you know, my brother and I started our first business in high school. Hedrick Custom Designs was a custom furniture, decor, and accents business that operated for almost 2 years. From dining room tables to outdoor classroom installments, we did a lot. My brother took over fabrication & design, and I managed the marketing and sales aspect. Our first shot at the business was about as good as it could have gone. Of course, we could have had more sales and cheaper production, however, we started our business with little initial investments. We were a DIY family. Never, and I mean never, did we hire someone to do anything. We had every tool possible. We knew this would be a great advantage for us to start. So we built a few things and put them out there. People started reaching out. Right after we closed, I started in real estate. After operating under two different brokerages, I launched SPEEK. There was plenty that went into the launch, so let’s dive deeper into the steps that got me there. Reverse engineer the process.
Do not start with the product. Start with your customer or client base. Yes, a 17-year-old cut a hole in a blanket so he did not have to let the cold in while getting the remote to change the channel. Thus the Snuggie was born (that’s the true story, read it here. However, unless you are just as lucky, you should assure your success. Think of your customer. Who are they? What are their needs? How can you connect with them to learn more about their needs? There is an extensive due diligence process that needs to be conducted. Then you will understand what you are getting yourself in. Think of all of the businesses that started as one product but, as they evolved they have completely changed - it is because they did not conduct enough due diligence, in the beginning, to figure out what their customers needed. Fortunately for myself, I had over a year of experience in the real estate field and access to other experienced agents to expand on their needs. The real estate model is completely outdated and I knew that it was time for an upgrade. SPEEK is doing just that. Determine your Pace. If you are not cash-flush or investor-friendly, you are simply not going to be able to compete with those that are. There is nothing wrong with this. Your success story is going to be different. You will have to determine what pace you are going to run at. Some businesses are running the 100m dash and others are running a marathon.
Not only will this prepare you not to compare yourself to your competition, but this will also help you decide the crucial partnerships your business is going to be built upon. Build a Strong Foundation with The Right People. I would much rather have a hole than an asshole. That is an excellent hiring motto you should keep close. Nothing will hinder your success and growth than an awful partnership. Make sure that who you are hiring is going to be an excellent addition.
Since that is out of the way, now we can talk about how beneficial hiring or outsourcing work can be. Hiring right out of the gate is not always going to be doable. However, outsourcing some work to others definitely can. Social media management, media production, copywriting, marketing funnels, and plenty more avenues can be outsourced. Check out Fiverr for some cheaper, online freelancing options. Focus on continual growth Typical business plans are outdated. I’m sure that statement just made a variety of people very upset. You should have a variety of plans: monthly, yearly, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years. However, those plans are most likely going to change. What happens if you do not hit a sales target. Or what happens if you do and blow it out of the water? Are you going to stick to the same plan? No, you are going to improvise and grow according to what is going on with the business. Keep your business plan broad. Be ready to improvise.
There are hundreds of other pieces of advice that I could go into. I am sure I will one day, but for now, we are going to start with those. If you are thinking of starting a business, no matter the size, do it. Instead of thinking what if it fails, think what if it succeeds? I’ll leave you with that.
Your Friend, Will
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