In order to achieve true success, you need to have a strategy on how you’ll get there. I’ve learned over the years that when creating a strategy there are a few things you need to do.
Determine your aspirations and goals
If you don’t have an end goal you’ll have a hard time creating a strategy. Rather than just “I want to make a lot of money” create a tangible goal like, “I want to make a million dollars in five years” or “I want to match my employment income with investment income by the end of next year.” Determining your end goal will help you stay focused.
Gather all the information
When creating a business strategy you need to consider all the variables and gather any information you can. What do you need to make this goal happen? Names, numbers, dates, and so on. In real estate you need to calculate purchase prices, look at neighbourhood comps, figure out all the miscellaneous financial requirements, determine payment dates, get financing – the list goes on.
Develop a mission statement
This goes beyond just setting a goal. A mission statement is created to describe your purpose, and it’s an important part of your business strategy. Why you’re doing what you do, why this business exists. So you may have set a goal to make a million dollars in five years, but why? A lot of people skip this step, but I recommend it because it will help to give you a purpose and help you stay focused when things get tough. Some famous examples include:
- Oprah Winfrey, “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”
- Richard Branson, “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.”
You’ll notice that neither of these is about business, but when I think of either of these two people their mission statements seem spot on with what they do and how they present themselves.
Come up with tactical plans
Your tactical plan is a list of the actions you’re going to take to make all of this happen. For real estate investing it could look something like this:
- consult a financial expert to determine long term financial goals
- consult a mortgage advisor to determine the best options for financing
- tour available homes with real estate agent and home inspector/contractor
- determine repairs necessary and calculate associated costs
- calculate potential rent based on after repair value (ARV)
- create a marketing plan for finding tenants
- place offer on a property based on all the above factors
Regular performance review
Check in every so often to make sure you’re on track. Whether you’re working alone or with partners/staff, it’s always beneficial to review what you’ve done and where you currently stand so that you can reassess and make whatever changes (if any) are necessary.
Whatever your business and however you decide to run it, always put deadlines and strategic plans against your goals – otherwise, they’re just fantasies.