Real Estate Investing Business Plan

Real estate is one of the booming sectors and everyone wants to make a mark here. There is a lot of competition and only those with vision, passion, and the ability to work hard can achieve this success. In this field, one of the most important things a businessman should be aware of is a business plan. It basically includes creating a written outline that evaluates the economic viability of your business venture based on real estate investment. It helps you define your objectives, i.e., what you want to achieve from this particular venture. It also helps you to focus on your goals, aims, and targets.

A carefully designed plan can also help you attract more lenders, investors, and banks. It makes you look neat, professional, and reliable, which is very important for the investors so that they can trust you and believe in your abilities. It also helps you to find out probable weaknesses and shortcomings in your plan that you can improve. Mentioned below is a template for it that would help you to create one on your own.

Main Elements

Executive Summary
In this section, you are supposed to write the long-term vision and mission of your venture. Here, you should provide the reader with a brief introduction to the entire business plan. As the name suggests, you should pen down the overall plan in a summarized manner. You must also mention your objectives and start-up details, along with some general information about your business.

Company Background
In this section, you should write about the entire history of the company, the people associated with it, and its journey so far. The kind of ownership of the company, something about its owners, achievements of the company, etc., should also be mentioned here. If it is a new company, then why and how it is/was established, who is it inspired by, etc., should be mentioned.

Market Research and Business Strategies
Here, you should write about your target industry, customers, and real estate financing status. You should give the detailed description of the real estate investing industry you wish to work with. Apart from this, you should also mention about your understanding about the industry and how you would like to work with a difference. You should also write about the business model you have already established or planning to design. Also, mention the strategies you have formulated for the same based on your market research analysis.

Marketing Plan
Here, you should mention everything about this aspect, including how you are going to market your new venture. Provide detailed information about promoting and marketing strategies, including which medium you will choose to advertise, how frequently you would engage in this activity, how much budget is allotted for advertising, etc. And to decide these things, you need to study the opponents, identify your USP, and plan accordingly. All these aspects have to be mentioned, so that readers come to know about the viability of your business plan.

Financial Plan
You must write how you are going to start this venture and from where the initial money is coming. You also need to mention the probable profit and loss you are expecting. You must describe the entire begetting plan with adequate details. Also, mention the sales projection and implementation strategies of all the projects. This helps the investors ensure that you are not involved in any illegal activity and that it is safe to be associated with you.

In this section, you would mention the assumptions related to your business venture and the industry. For example, you can make assumptions about the interest rates or growth rates, etc., based on the background research of the industry and your business plan. This helps the investors to understand your confidence level, as well as your risk calculation abilities. It also provides them a chance to know about your thinking process and your perception about the industry.

Management Summary
In this summary, you should appeal and motivate the people to work with you. This is quite similar to the closing statement, where you should mention that goals are realistic and you have the manpower and strategies to reach them. You have to write this last piece in such a way that your faith in this venture should be reflected clearly from your words. You should use promising and regressive language that would make the readers live your dream.

You can personalize the above template as per your needs and choice. Use a catchy and simple language that is easy to understand. A rightly and precisely designed and formulated business plan is sure to fetch great success to you.

The Complete Business Innovation

Good ideas may surface from the farthest reaches of the organization. Thus, the challenge for top executives is to stimulate experiments across the entire organization, select the most promising of the lot, and disseminate them quickly and appropriately throughout the business.

We are living in a time when information and technology has given rise to abundance, so the competition in supply market is growing at a steady pace. Good ideas, in times like these, need to be nurtured and applied as efficiently and effectively as possible, in order to reap economic benefits.

Early research on innovation tended to address the organization’s ability to respond and adapt to external and/or internal changes (Burns and Stalker) (Hull and Hage). Subsequent work on innovation stressed more on proactive innovation and distinguished between the types of innovation. There are three types of innovation (process, product/service, and strategy), each of which can vary from incremental to radical and from sustaining to discontinuous.

Emphasis was on the organization’s ability to promote both process and product innovation, regardless of an immediate need for change (Kanter).

Innovation vs. Invention
Joseph Schumpeter defines innovation as the combination and creative application of existing and new knowledge of elements to improve existing and/or develop new products and services, production processes, organization-methods, and commercialization, in order to create or preserve added value.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines innovation as ‘making changes to something established’. Invention is the act of ‘coming upon or finding discovery’. It is important that we do not mix innovation with invention.

Business Innovation
Innovation is generated at individual, organizational, and environmental levels. Let’s look at various types of innovation.

1. Innovate Market or Innovation from Market (Consumer)
2. Innovate Industry or Innovation from Industry (Competitor)
3. Innovate Product or Innovation from Product / Process (Operations)
4. Innovate Team/Organization or Innovation from Team/Organization (Management)

Innovation from Market
“A business has only two basic functions marketing and innovation”, says Peter Drucker. However, Robert Tucker suggests five necessary steps to make a business innovative.

1. Innovation must be approached as a discipline, practiced and taught to employees.
2. It must be cross-functional, and not just left to the R&D department.
3. It must be proactive, and not just responsive to what competitors are doing.
4. It must involve everyone in the organization and everyone’s performance evaluation should include it.
5. It must be customer-centered.

First, second, and forth steps belong to innovation from organization. Third and fifth belong to innovation from market. Market surveys and research enable an organization to be innovative.

Innovation from Organization
Jim Biolos in Harvard Management Update offers the following six steps that need to be followed while making a team innovative:

1. Make sure that the members of the group are communicating with one another in a free-flowing or maybe even a freewheeling way.
2. Make sure that all the team members have equal and enough responsibility.
3. Show confidence in the team.
4. Provide the appropriate resources to the team, and make sure the members know that those resources are available.
5. Make sure that each team member has a challenging role in the work.
6. Monitor the pressure.

Team’s Success
A team usually consists of up to ten people, who devote about one-quarter of their time to the project for three to four months. Participating in a team is considered a plum assignment, because it provides exposure to top executives.

Employees of China’s multinational electronics company Haier, for example, discovered by visiting rural customers, that they frequently used their washing machines not only to wash clothes, but also to clean vegetables. Taking this new information and the potential market into consideration, Haier made a few modifications to its machine, and was able to make it versatile enough to wash both clothes and vegetables. This helped Haier become the market leader in rural areas of its home country.

Innovation from Management
“Managers don’t simply copy something they see elsewhere. They take pieces of practice or technology that they find and recombine them in novel ways to solve customer problems”, says Philippe Pommez, Natura’s R&D Director, “The hard part is not finding the new technology; it is knowing what you are looking for. This is where our conceptualization of new products and new lines that serve local needs becomes indispensable.”

Managers of companies situated in developing countries, sometimes despair of closing the gap with larger and better-funded multinationals. Clearly, there is hope for companies anywhere in the world to win through innovation and creativity.

Innovation from Industry
There are three important fundamentals of innovation and entrepreneurship.

First, an Industrialist searches for innovative opportunities and develops an innovative idea into a practical business or a service. Second is the industrial strategy that brings innovation successfully to the market. Third is free enterprise itself, and it focuses on the organization that is the carrier of innovation.

Innovation in Products
Switching to a new market with the same product can be considered innovative to some extent.

However, innovation in products is always the basic goal of any team, within an organization. Views of the customers through research and surveys are carry forwarded to the R&D team for further product innovation. Ultimately, it depends on how good you are at learning from the market, industry, and your team. Johnson & Johnson, the American multinational corporation, is a great example of constant and successful innovation in its products.

Fun Team Building Ideas

Individuality counts but teamwork divides work and multiplies success. Teamwork is something we practice daily, but subconsciously. Such as marriage. If you are married, and married for some years now, it is due to teamwork that you have a successful marriage today. If you are a fantastic teacher, it is teamwork that has got you that position. Had there not been students to praise you would never know you were good at teaching. Teamwork is all about maintaining your individuality yet working together in a group, respecting everyone’s point of view. Moreover, teamwork becomes an important quality that an employee should possess if you are at the workplace. It is the duty of teachers and parents to inculcate the quality of teamwork amongst children from a very young age. Children then learn, to socialize and start respecting others point of view. Now, to get that “we are a team” feeling in children, below are a few fun team building ideas.

For Children

Teamwork enables children to work towards a common goal as they work in their respective abilities and allows them to take turns; instead of doing the task all by themselves. Team building also gives them an opportunity to emerge as natural leaders.The easiest way to foster team building amongst children is to have a few team building activities.

Spill the Beans: You can gather all the children together, give them a piece of paper and a pen, and ask them to write down questions regarding other teammates. Once they are done, collect the chits and start reading them aloud, asking the written questions to the child in concern. Make sure the children have not written anything that sounds offensive or bad. A question-answer round gives children a chance to get to know each other better, and hence fosters the feeling of being a team.

Scavenger Hunt: A scavenger hunt is a part of an important team building activity, since it ensures working in a group to win the hunt. It is a fun game indeed, and you can hide small treasures in places with a clue written on a piece of paper, and get children searching for the treasure. While doing so, teammates interact with each other and celebrate the spirit of teamwork.

Divide and Assign: Team building not only improves the productivity of work assigned to a group, but also ensures self development, leadership skills, improves communication, and increases one’s ability to listen to others and work closely as a group to solve a problem. You can divide kids into two groups and assign a task (it could be project work or some art work). In this way, team members identify their strengths and weaknesses, and channelize them in the right direction as a group, for best results.

For Adults

Sports Day: A sports day is the best way to interact with your colleagues and get to know each other. This idea comes from personal experience as my workplace organized a sports day. There was active participation from all departments, which resulted in us getting to know each other, and then working with each other or working on a project together became easy. This sort of activity also creates a healthy and fun environment at the workplace.

Outdoor Trip: Well, this is a real fun team building idea. An outdoor trip allows you to lose your inhibitions and mix with your colleagues like never before. In fact, an outdoor trip allows adventurous co-workers to come together, have fun and bond well. The bond that develops during such activities, boosts team bonding at the workplace as well.

Charitable Work: Doing charitable work is a fun team building idea. Here, you tend to indulge into some humble service, and at the same time, bond with your colleagues, hence fostering team building. This sort of bonding is the main ingredient of team building, which remains at the workplace as well. It is highly important to improve work and team productivity.

Those were some great activities for building team spirit to choose from. Organizing a potluck, performance art program, or engaging the team in a problem that requires teamwork and systematic planning to arrive at a creative solution, can be considered too. Evaluate the kind of team building program you want for your group, or even your employees, to improve team productivity and the company’s growth.

Small Business Ideas for College Students

College students consider working at fast food joints as the best option to earn money. However, starting a small business can also prove to be a great idea to earn extra money without spending much time. Let us have a look at the different options available for earning money while continuing the studies.

Small Business Ideas for Students

For beginners, these cool small business ideas should prove to be a good source of earning money.

Tutoring: It is a perfect business for students who want to earn only as much money as is required to cover the monthly expenses. In order to start tutoring, you should consider teaching subjects like Mathematics, Science and English. This business doesn’t require any kind of investment and it is possible to earn enough to pay for monthly expenses.

Handmade Crafts and Items: Selling handmade craft items can help you earn enough cash required for your daily expenses. The craft works, paintings, knitting, etc. could be sold at fairs, gatherings, etc. You could also think of selling art and craft items. The art and craft items one has prepared in his school days can be used for the purpose.

Yard Work: It is one of the small business ideas for college students who wish to earn money without spending anything. One can mow grass, carry out weeding, etc. and charge people for the service. If you have some know-how of gardening, you can help neighbors in giving their garden an artistic and beautiful appearance. Tending vegetable patches of your neighbors can also help you earn a decent amount of cash.

Freelancing: The activity of freelancing includes writing for newspapers, doing photography, etc. It is a creative job and helps in bringing out the best in your work. However, there are a lot of uncertainties involved in this activity. For example, the news need to be appealing and one may not get paid if the employer doesn’t find it interesting. However, one of the advantages of freelancing is that one doesn’t have to invest anything beforehand.

Laundry Service: Starting a laundry service is one of the good business ideas for students to earn money. One can advertise this small business through mouth publicity. Since washing clothes is quite a boring job and not many people are ready to do it, one could find a better business opportunity in this work. A good washing machine, capable of washing multiple clothes would prove to be helpful in easing out your work. Moreover, you could also save time for studies and other extracurricular activities.

Cleaning: Just like laundry, you could think of starting a cleaning business. College students always need an affordable cleaning service. Being a college student yourself, you would find it easy to market your service and thereby, prosper in this business. You can add food-delivery to this service of cleaning. It won’t require you to search for a market separately. This way, you get to learn new tricks of the business.

Data Entry Jobs: It is a kind of job that can be done even by a layman since it doesn’t require much skills except for speedy typing. It is a good source of earning money for students in their free time. Basic knowledge of handling computers is enough to do the data entry job. A data entry job is considered amongst the popular online businesses for college students.

Setting up a Website: A person who is good at working with websites and computers as a whole can try out this activity. You could earn more than enough for a month’s expenses through this endeavor. However, setting up a website requires in-depth knowledge of programming languages and functioning of computers. In short, it is a geek’s job to set up a fully functional website.

Entertainment: If a person is fond of playing a musical instrument like piano, guitar, etc. he/she should try to earn money by performing at wedding receptions, parties or other such occasions.

College students have access to hundreds of people who make their marketing job much easier. In fact, the whole college can be viewed as a potential market, provided a person is ready to work hard in reaching out to as many people as possible. There are however, a few things you need to take into consideration before starting any business on campus. First of all, you should check whether the university policies allow for any business activity. Also, you shouldn’t make your roommate’s life hell just because you are churning out profits from your business. Finally, the most important thing – studies should not be ignored. Because you are a college student, your first priority should be studying sincerely. The business should not affect your academic performance.

There are many other small business ideas apart from the above mentioned ones like snack delivery business, bakery service, writing service, etc. Thus, you should find an appropriate business that helps earn money to fulfill your monetary needs.

Team Building Exercises for Small Groups

A team, in simple terms, is when a group of people head towards a common goal. Heading towards the goal is considered a task, and this task in turn is divided into many smaller sub-tasks. The making of a team is essential to cover these sub-tasks, as each requires different skills and different functioning. A team in an organization is the perfect example of a symbiotic functioning. To build this team, we bring to you some effective team building exercises. Some of these can be implemented or applied in bigger groups as well. The importance of these exercises is highly underestimated today. They not only help in building the team, but also in improving the overall environment of a workplace. Not to forget the better productivity that can be achieved through effective working. Team building activities are slowly being inculcated in the work culture as a compulsory phenomenon. These exercises are best suited for groups that comprise 5 – 10 members. If you want to see some amazing improvement in the functioning of your team, these exercises are exactly what you need.

Quick Team Building Exercises for Small Groups

Strengths and Weaknesses
All the members of the team should sit down together every once a month and discuss each other’s strengths and weaknesses. If one member is weak in a particular process, he can ask someone to help him out. Sometimes, work can be exchanged depending on who can do it better. This consideration will bring about a feeling of comfort in the team members, and thus help build the team further in terms of proficiency. The work will be done in the most efficient way as everyone will be putting in their best. When help is provided in any way from team members, it helps in growing as a team. Every member should write down his strengths and his weaknesses, and keep adding to this list every month, even the smallest details.

Problem Solving
It is not possible to discuss your problems everyday, as this will only delay the work you need to get done. For a month, write down all the problems you face on an individual level. This can also include another team member’s attitude towards work, non co-operation from another member, and so on. On the last day of the month or on the first day of the next, discuss these problems as an exercise to build your team. Dedicate that day of every month to this exercise of problem solving. When the problems in a team are solved together, it gets in a feeling of joint work. When someone helps to solve the problems you listed down, you immediately feel good about the gesture and make sure you don’t disappoint that team member.

Enhancing Communication
One of the best, is an exercise that enhances the communication in that group. This exercise can be something as simple as each member taking turns and discussing what he / she feels about the work of the other members. Initially, you can start off with easy exercises to build communication. You can discuss each other’s goals and achievements in life, so as to know each other better. Once this is done, you can decide and play one communication building game every week, on the last day, just for an hour. You’ll can sit together and form a system of easy messaging within the group, where long messages can be converted into short ones, through abbreviations and codes, to save time in the work processes.

Some interesting team building games can prove to be excellent team building exercises. These games will not only help in some recreation but will also give the team some time to interact on a social level. For example, give all the team members a task, work related but more fun. Something that they can do easily. Whoever completes this game the earliest, gets a reward! Another great way to go about these games can be this. Whoever wins the game(s), gets to be the team lead for that month. Members together can also attend workshops and seminars that talk about team building. The company can arrange for these workshops and seminars in the office itself. Thus, team building can be some great fun too! Here are three examples of games you can play to build your team.

Game # 1: Ask all the members of the group to sit in a circle. Each member will write down one good trait about all the members present, and one bad trait too. Once everyone has finished writing, one by one they will read aloud what they have written. The others will either agree or disagree to each trait. If majority of the votes agree, that member should change the bad and also focus more on improving what is already good. This game will motivate the members to improve the skills where they lack.

Game # 2: Every member gets to prepare a list of 20 questions, all of which should be related to knowing more about someone else. For example, ‘What was your dream as a child?’, ‘What are your current career plans?’, and ‘Tell us something about you we don’t know’. Sit in a circle while playing this game. Any member can start from his right. He needs to ask 1 question per member, one by one. At the end of this game, the members will know a lot more about each other than they did before. Knowing your members in the first step of team building.

Game # 3: Write 20 words related to your work process. These words can be names of processes, software, and important customers you work for. Mix up all the words to form a game that represents a word jumble. Mix up your sheets and make sure you don’t get yours in return. Every member will get 1 minute to solve this puzzle game. At the end of this game, members might learn more about the work, and this will undoubtedly also increase the team spirit.

Set Common Targets and Goals
Setting common targets and goals for the entire team, every month, can lead to team building many ways. When the entire team has to complete a task in a given time, they have to work together as one. In turn, the team members can themselves set targets for the month or week. Setting a milestone together and finding the best ways to cross it also adds to the enthusiasm in the work. In this process, the employees also understand the importance of working in a team. Working in a team is very beneficial as your drawbacks are covered by your teammates. Once every employee understands this, they will value their team more, and a feeling of respect will develop between all the members.

These were some interesting team building exercises for small groups that you can implement in your workplace, and see the positive effects for yourself. Working as a team has obvious advantages, but it is also important for the team to function properly. Team building gets you closer. Effective communication and proper distribution of work are the key factors in building a proper team, so focus mainly on these. These exercises will also make sure that the environment in the office remains enthusiastic and active! Best of Luck!

Creative Marketing Ideas

You may have the ingenious product in the world, but what’s the point if you can’t find the market for it? Without a market, a product is as good as dead. Every small business has to engage in aggressive marketing, if it aims to reach its best potential. Most naive entrepreneurs believe that marketing takes a lot of money and it is only meant of giant business organizations. NO! Do you really think Facebook and YouTube used any great marketing techniques, to make a niche in the virtual market?

It is difficult to come up with creative ideas, which is why we are here to help you. These ideas will work the best for small business firms, if they are used with a hint of intelligence. So, let’s see what you can do, to make your business grow faster.

Creative Ideas for Marketing

Small Business Marketing Ideas
Small business marketing ideas focus on tapping the local market, before we take a long leap. Small businesses like catering firms, wedding planning firm, a designer boutique, restaurants and basically the ones that operate at small levels, find hard to bring on some attention.

First to hook on to social networking site, it’s free and it works wonders. Make a page for yourself on the most popular social networking site, send out invites, add all your friends and keep updating your status messages in tandem with the events at your firm. This attracts a lot of attention. Next idea is, to get press releases published in the local newspaper. This will probably cost you a free lunch or dinner for the journalist, a little goodwill and the best foot forward. It’s all worth the effort! Give away awards such as, customer of the month, and advertise this in various places. Make a blog and update it every week, join the clubs in the city.

Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Once again Internet marketing comes to the rescue of your abandoned real estate business. Real estate marketing ideas have to look reliable and trustworthy. Classified advertisements, catalogs, flyers, special reports, E-newsletters, E-books, Internet marketing, radio ads, yellow pages, press releases, sponsor an advertisement, podcasts, business cards and public relations are some of the real estate marketing ideas. Creating t-shirts, pens, calendars, organizers and other stationery items for your employees and valuable customers works very well too. Sending seasonal greeting cards and sending wishes on birthdays and anniversaries are also some PR ideas, which can win you markets. Creative marketing ideas for real estate, should be implemented with tenacity, since it takes a while for people to notice such a business.

Apartment Marketing Ideas
As a novice builder you may be looking for apartment marketing ideas to get some lucrative business, this season. Thus, gaining an insight into real estate marketing, is the need of the hour.

You can promote your projects through the print media, radio advertisements, banners and huge balloons. If you are looking out for tenants for your apartment, then getting in touch with the local coffee shops, shopping centers, colleges, recreation centers, parks and putting up your advertisement there can get you some great offers. Creating an interactive website, making unique offers, highlighting the USPs, giving the prospective customers a look around the place and promoting your apartment through reputed real estate agents are some more creative ideas for marketing your apartments.