I was talking on the phone to a friend of mine today (he is 70+ years young and still working every day as a real estate broker/investor) and was stupefied by a statistic that he shared with me: over 10,000 people a day will be turning 65 staring in 2011.
Even more staggering is the fact that this wave of humanity will be turning 65 every day for the next 20 years! There are close to 80 million Baby Boomers that will live longer, work longer and be healthier than previous generations.
What have you done to prepare your business for this wave of consumers with dramatically different needs than their parents? I took a big step twenty years ago when I moved from my hometown of Buffalo, NY to Florida. I firmly believe that the Florida sun, beaches, year-round outdoor activities, great international airports, low taxes and low cost of living will continue to pull new residents to the Sunshine State.
An interesting article from ZDNet suggests that what you and your company do on free social media platforms (especially Facebook) matters more than your company website that was built at a cost of a few thousand dollars to many millions of dollars depending on the scale of your enterprise. Facebook is the hub that connects all of the interactions on the Internet to a new generation of consumers. In the late 1990s a firm’s web presence was more important than their legacy “bricks and mortar”. In the second decade of the new millennium social media has replaced a company’s website as the focus of dynamic interaction with their customers. Companies will react to the new social media realities or perish.
My personal story is relevant to the discussion. I have been involved in commercial real estate investment, development, brokerage and finance since 1985. I make money only when transactions occur (an investor buys, sells or finances). When Lehman Brothers fell in September 2008 the global capital markets were shattered and transaction volume plunged 85-99% depending on what metrics you analyzed. I realized that I needed to network with more people and expand my base of influence in order to survive the meltdown. If you would like to learn how I went from 20 social media connections to a vibrant network that connects me to over 14.2 million people in under three connections follow this link to join the mailing list for my commercial real estate advisory business, Bison Financial Group. I will send you a secret link to my presentation, Building (and Destroying) Your Personal Brand . I’ve applied these concepts to my personal business and ramped up a pipeline of commercial real estate opportunities starting from scratch to over $326 million in less than two years. Enjoy!
Today LinkedIn announced that they have over 85 million members. From time to time I like to click on the “network statistics” tab. This morning I noticed that I have 2,350+ first level connections and in less that 3 degrees of separation I can connect with 14,247,700+ people and growing every day. Stunning to think that in the Fall of 2008 I had less than 20 LinkedIn connections and today if my LinkedIn network if it were a country is now the 69th largest in the world. LinkedIn is a fabulous tool to network with folks that are primarily engaged in networking for business reasons rather than other platforms that encourage people to share stories and pictures of their cats eating cheeseburgers.
If you would like to learn how I went from zero to hero in the world of social media networking follow this link to join the mailing list for my commercial real estate advisory business, Bison Financial Group. I will send you a secret link to my presentation, Building (and Destroying) Your Personal Brand . I’ve presented this content at two national commercial real estate conferences and to numerous entrepreneurs in the Tampa Bay area. Get it now while the content is still free. Enjoy!
I think that this is a bit of a chicken and egg question, but I think that the answer is availability of capital. Hard for a company to expand, buy equipment, rent more space AND hire new employees if they can not get access to capital.
Since the collapse of the global financial markets in September 2008 I’ve focused my energy on building relationships with alternative capital sources (hedge funds, private equity groups & CRDs – Certified Rich Dudes). I’ve been searching for a simple, scalable, brainless program to represent and ramp up a focused pipeline. I found it!
My plan for creating a supplemental income stream in areas outside my core strength of income producing commercial real estate is to focus on the capital needs of small businesses that have been shut out from obtaining funding from traditional sources. The personal credit of many of these business owners has been decimated by the global financial meltdown. My focus is to connect people, opportunities and capital.
We are creating a small business lending platform under www.Loan4Biz.com and would love your feedback on the programs we are establishing:
Owner Occupied Commercial real estate loans (SBA & non-SBA funds)
Factoring Accounts Receivable
Unsecured working capital loans from $5-100,000 * (credit score from 500)
Unsecured working capital loans for from $50,000+ ** (credit score from 720)
Merchant Cash Advances against credit card receivables for companies that can not qualify for a working capital loan
My partner, Lyn Matteson, has over 25 years of experience in corporate finance with august lenders like KeyBank and Charter One bank responsible for over 250 business development officers.
Send me an e-mail or call 727-537-0330 if you see a potential strategic alliance (or if you need access to capital). Footnotes:
* Lyn has closed 31+ unsecured working capital loans with an innovative small balance lender. Sweet spot is loans in the $25-100,000 range. Simple, one page application and logical, repeatable process. Read more: http://loan4biz.com/loans/working-capital-loans
** Must have excellent credit and strong global cash flow. This is a wealth management product with no upper limit on the loan amount.
My brother, Jared, and I run a 2-person real estate advisory firm out of a small office in historical Downtown St. Petersburg, FL. We started using Google Voice a year ago and we have been very pleased with this free service and how it has simplified people getting in touch with us and leaving voice mail messages in individual voice mail boxes (rather than calling office, mobile and home) and then sending transcribed voice to text e-mails and voice to text messages to our mobile phones.
As our confidence in the SanDiegoDigiart service grew, we’ve ruthlessly cut features and services from our Verizon office phone system. Google Call is their newest free service. Google Call lets you make phone calls to any type of telephone directly thru your computer rather than it needing to bounce to a land line (or mobile phone). It will let us go from 6 land lines to 1 land line (just so we can keep our legacy phone that’s we’ve used for 10+ years). This astonishing free service will let us reduce our Verizon phone bill about $250 a month. That $3,000 a year savings is meaningful to a small business.
If you grew up the the era of only 3 TV channels in the 1970s… you remember ABC’s School House Rock. School House Rock taught me math, science, history & civics better than (just about) any teacher from my youth – I still don’t remember the Preamble to the US Constitution unless I sing it. I wanted to thank good old Mother Necessity for my education of the last two weekends.
I’m very proud to say that I did what most 12 year olds have done countless times… I designed and created my own personal website. In a different economic time I would of hired a website developer to create and launch my new personal website. This time would be different. I wanted to go through the intellectual challenge of selecting a web host (GoDaddy), choosing the software platform (WordPress 3.0.1), creating the look and feel of the site all on my own (thanks to Michael Soriano of Fearless Flyer web design for the great theme).
On this site I will share ideas on a wide range of topics that interest me. One thing I will not be discussing is commercial real estate… if you care about what I have to share about commercial real estate visit the OrlandoDigiart website. Enjoy a little School House Rock: