There aren’t many times I am puzzled in my answers, but recently I had to stop and think about the response I had to give when someone asked me what I have learned in my business experience.
I want to take the time to pass on some valuable lessons that I have learned throughout my past @20 years in running a business.
1. Partnering in a business with family DOESN’T work.
2. Treat your helpers as you would want to be treated.
3. Owning my own business has freed a lot of time that is spent with my family. A job requires you to work at someone elses pace, and schedule.
4. Never let another person try to treat you like you are desperately needed as a contractor because those people are only after their bottom dollar, and not you in ANY respect.
5. Offer work, but don’t screw yourself waiting for someone to work.
6. The customer is NOT always right, but find appropriate ways of discussing matters.
7. If you don’t try to make a business succeed, then it won’t. If you are after the “Fast Buck”, then play the lottery because your customers, and reputation depend on patience.
8. Biggest thing I can convey is that if someone says they have a great job, and will be somewhere for as long as they want… ask them how long they have been with their longest position, and then ask them what their position is. 9 out of 10 will end up telling you that they are contractors, or they will claim something in the lines of being “Gods Gift To Humanity”. If they always have to be the “Boss” of something, then that person is never going to make it. You have to start at the bottom in order to get to the top.
9. When you get a commitment of schedule from someone make sure you understand all facts.
10. If you want more work from someone that is giving you work then make sure you are willing to help them get more work so that you can work as well.
Is there anything that you have learned that isn’t part of something that I have said? Let me know.
My business has changed what it has done many times. Actually I should say that it has added many things over the years. This year we started doing Foreclosure Work. In my area there are many people walking away from their homes because of Hurricane Sandy, and many other things.
We do the things that make it possible to continually check on a property, and also keep a property from incurring fines due to violations. Some of the work includes winterizing, rekeys, lockboxes, board ups, and more. In doing this work we have seen many things that are totally amazing, devastating, and funny. I don’t like to see people lose their homes, but at the same time I am a firm believer that if you purchase something you better be able to use the hypothetical crystal ball, and evaluate your future.
Some of the hardest things for me personally to do would entail me doing a property check, and finding someone living in the home. Normally you will find someone that has no idea that their landlord hasn’t been paying the mortgage. Usually I will tell the people that I would personally stop paying the landlord if I were in their shoes. This is normally because the people ask me what they are to do next. I advise them that they need to contact the bank that is responsible for the property, and update them on their status. This will not stop a foreclosure, but it will give the bank a chance to evaluate if there is a contract in place, or what needs to be done.
I really do enjoy having a paycheck coming weekly. I know that if I were in some of the other states that the work may not be as good doing this. States that do not get very cold do not get snow work, or winterizations. New Jersey is a good state to live if you want to make a decent paycheck. As long as you have some sort of financial brain you can do anything. I only say this because I know a few people that couldn’t manage any amount of money if they tried, and there are more jobs here in New Jersey than anyone can imagine. You don’t have to have a large monetary payout to succeed. You need to be consistent.