Selling mortgages is not rocket science artworkDave Hershmanbusiness model, marketing, sales, long-term, invest, vendors, partners Setting up the right business model for success Many who are in sales and marketing or own small businesses are too busy trying to earn an income to worry about their long-term business model. Unfortunately, if you want to build consistent income and long-term success, the business model becomes an essential part of the equation. There are many aspects to a successful business model, but we would like to point out a few that should serve as the foundation for building your business. Look at the long-term Yes, it is important to earn a living each and every day. But, the myopic view we experience by living day-to-day can cause us to move in the wrong direction in the long run. When this happens, we can be blindsided by industry and market changes and miss golden opportunities. Were you prepared for the last industry slump? Are you ready for the next big change in the industry? There is no better example than the end of the real estate boom. There is no doubt that many investors, homeowners, real estate agents and mortgage personnel were caught off guard. Many of these people would have made different decisions and helped their clients make different decisions if they were looking at the long-term consequences of their actions. The question you must ask yourself is, "Where do I want to be three, five or 10 years from now with regard to my business?" How does this differ from today, and what plan must you employ to make this happen? The issue here is prioritization. You must identify the most important actions to implement to reach these long-term goals. Invest in your business Your long-term business model needs to determine what it will take for you to achieve the success you are seeking. In other words, what do you need to invest, in terms of money, time and energy? Businesses that are short of monetary and human capital are sure to flounder. It is important to note that we are talking about all aspects of investment. Usually, when one hears the term "investment," they think in terms of money. Yes, the investment of money is important, but, if you invest the money and not the time or energy, the business is bound to fail. Do you remember the last time you purchased a software program and didn't learn how to use it effectively? This is an example of investing the money, but not the time or energy. The money was wasted, because you did not complete the investment. Energy will not make up for a complete lack of capital and vice-versa. What must you invest in? You must invest in education, technology, marketing and more. You may have to invest in an office, an assistant, a computer program or the education to help you better serve your clients. Select and elevate the right vendors to partners All too often, we select our vendors in a way that we would not want to be selected as a service provider. For example, perhaps we don't want our clients selecting us for having the lowest price, but we select our vendors because they have the lowest price or they take us out to lunch. We want vendors who are going to help us succeed. First, we have to show them loyalty. When things gets busy and you need high-priority service, is the vendor going to give your client that priority? Do you deserve that level of priority? The vendors have to help you succeed, by not only providing excellent service at a good price, but also helping you to achieve your business model. This help may include the development of new business sources, or perhaps, if you are an owner or manager, the recruitment of sales or operations personnel. Vendors will not step up to the level of partnership, unless: -You specify that you require this level of relationship and exactly the help you would like; and -Be clear that helping you will benefit them, as well. They certainly should know that when you grow and prosper, they will also benefit directly. We could not think of three more important aspects of a long-term business model than the following: 1. A long-term view 2. Investment in your business 3. Integration of vendors as partners What changes do you need to make, to make these happen? Dave Hershman is a top speaker and leading author in the mortgage industry with eight books--including two best sellers for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. His mortgage school is the only comprehensive advanced curriculum in the industry. For a schedule of classes, free marketing samples, speaking information and articles by Dave, call (800) 581-5678, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.originationpro.com.