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What's Your Business Philosophy?

Written by Denise Lones on Monday, 22 September 2008 7:00 pm
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A business philosophy is not just a set of fancy words by which you run your business. It's much more than that.

It's actually a deep-rooted system of core beliefs that provide the reason you are in business in the first place. It's not just about making money. Sure, that's a big chunk of life. But when it comes down to what really matters, we don't do it ONLY for the money.

Most agents do not have a business philosophy and don't truly understand what it means to have one. Some agents think they have one, but often break or bend their own rules.

For example, my business philosophy is, "Be the best I can be to help others, and never stop improving."

While this drives my staff completely nuts, it is something that I live by. If it isn't the best it can be, we're going to redo it bigger and better. If I find a flaw, I want it repaired now.

My business philosophy keeps my standards high -- higher than anybody else I know. In my business, it works. My clients expect me to be constantly improving my systems. Without nonstop innovation, I would be out of business. Without constant upgrading, I wouldn't be able to give agents the latest and most advanced advice.

I even do this at home. If a countertop has a chip in it, it's gone. Outta there.

Of course, there's good and bad in this. Having the constant improvement model as my business philosophy means that I am constantly moving and changing.

While I'm personally fine with that -- my personality actually thrives on that -- that may be the worst business philosophy for you. A business philosophy needs to be personal, mean something to you deep inside, and most importantly it has to be something you can live by.

So what's your business philosophy? Or do you even have one? If you don't, take some time this week to think about what's really important to you and your clients.

Here's an example of an agent's business philosophy that works well for his personality: "I will get your home sold faster and more efficiently with less hassle than any other Realtor. Period."

This suits him very well because he's driven, competitive, thorough, and market-savvy. What that means for him, though, is that he has to be up on his game. He has to know market conditions by the hour, understand pricing at a deep gut level, and be able to negotiate effectively at a moment's notice.

He told me that when he sits down and talks with a client who is completely unrealistic about what they want, he says, "I can't take your listing." His business philosophy is so important to him that he can't compromise it by taking on a client who will not fit his model of excellence. It just doesn't work for him to disappoint clients or to set up false expectations.

So how do you even begin to think about your business philosophy? There are three steps you can take today to create one:

1. Ask yourself, "Why am I in business and what do I want my clients to remember me for?"

For example, my constant improvement model makes clients remember me for the latest tools, techniques, strategies, and systems for building a real estate business.

How about you? Do you want to be known for the best service? The most effective sales process? The best client care programs? What is it that you want clients to remember you for?

2. Sit down with a pen and paper and start writing.

Flesh out the core elements of your business. Brainstorm. Just write until you can't write anymore. Describe your ideal client. Describe your ideal transaction.

Write out the feelings you get when you help people complete a transaction. Get deep on yourself.

3. Take those core elements and test your business.

Once you've identified the core elements of your business philosophy, ask yourself, "Where am I not living by this philosophy?"

In my business, if a new technology tool comes on the market and I ignore it, I'm not following my business philosophy. I need to get that product and test it to see if it's any good. That's what I do.

When you take these three steps, you'll learn a lot about yourself and your business. People who live by their business philosophies become the most successful in their field.

Start developing your business philosophy today and reap the rewards starting tomorrow.

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