As an investor new to the industry, small business goals should take precedent over almost everything else. All things considered, it’s your goals that will set the tone for your entire career and help you navigate the waters of today’s real estate investing landscape in less time. But what does that mean for today’s investors?
It’s true what they say: time is money. However, the age-old adage we have all come to know and love isn’t exactly accurate by today’s standards. While time is certainly a valuable commodity, the true value of time extends far beyond monetary value. In fact, time isn’t just money; it’s everything. Think about it. Time is the one thing we are always running out of and can’t get back. It’s the one thing that everyone would benefit from having more of. That said, it’s our obligation as real estate investors to recognize that time is our most valuable asset and to do everything in our power to see to it that we are utilizing our time effectively.
Since there are never more hours in a day, it’s in our best interest as investors to set small business goals — systems, if you will — not to make more time, but rather to be more efficient with the time we still have.
I want to encourage every single real estate investor to establish a series of small business goals. At the very least, it’s our goals that point us in the right direction and act as our True North. How else can you expect to get where you are going, if not for setting some goals of your own? Remember, it’s those that proceed to identify what it is they want out of their company that will know the appropriate steps to make their dreams a reality.
It’s worth noting, however, that not all small business goals are created equal. It’s entirely possible for your own goals to range from trivial to invaluable. What’s more, each individual investor will likely have their own set of small business goals. For the most part, your goals are unique to your business, but I would argue that there is one specific goal that should be made by every single investor in the entire industry: setting up systems. More specifically, if you haven’t contemplated introducing systems to your business, you are doing your own company a severe disservice. There is nothing else, at least that I am aware of, that can actually make your small business goals more obtainable than the proper systems.
Systems, as their name would lead you to believe, are essentially proven ways of carrying out tasks that are currently in your business. In other words, a system is a process; one that will offer up the easiest and most efficient way to replicate the results you desire. Think of systems as a step-by-step instruction booklet for everything you do on a daily basis.
Outside of the people I work with and my knowledge of the industry, nothing has proven to be more valuable to my development as a real estate investor than the systems I introduced to my company. You see, systems make it possible to replicate success, no matter who takes on a specific task.
Take, for example, the process that has become ubiquitous with finding real estate leads. Most first-time investors will execute a trial and error approach. They will conduct research until they are comfortable with the specific actions they want to take, then they will proceed to carry them out. However, as investors new to the industry, they are simply playing a guessing game as to whether or not they made the right decision. They won’t know until sometime down the road whether or not their strategy worked — not exactly efficient.
Systems, on the other hand, offer investors a way to streamline the process. Instead of spending valuable time at each stage of the process — left only to wonder if you are making the right choice — systems will point you in the right direction from the minute you get the ball rolling. A good system, for that matter, will not only help you find the easiest, most efficient way to complete a task, but it’ll also make it more likely to replicate the result you are hoping for. What more could you ask for?
Perhaps even more importantly, I maintain that everything you do as a real estate investor can coincide with a system. Everything from finding deals to ordering office supplies should have a proven system in place that allows anyone who is doing it to replicate desired results. In fact, I recommend creating a system for creating systems. What better way to streamline your business than to streamline the very method you are using to streamline your business? Did I lose you, yet?
Remember, the results proven systems can replicate are great, but they are not the only end goal. As an investor, the time systems can save you is perhaps more valuable than anything else. And don’t forget, time isn’t just money; it’s everything.
I want to make it abundantly clear: It’s not the systems themselves that are integral to the success of real estate investors the world over, but rather the time they free up. And therein lies the secret to a truly great real estate investor: systems make business more efficient, essentially freeing up your time to focus on other, more important activities. It’s what you do with the time you are given that will make or break your career.
Those that are, more or less, skeptical of the importance of systems have probably fallen into the same trap so many people have in the past: the one that equates success to hard work. Without getting ahead of myself, I want to make it abundantly clear that I am a huge proponent of hard work; it’s the foundation of today’s greatest investors, but I digress. Hard work doesn’t always translate to more success or monetary gain. It’s entirely possible to work hard and have nothing to show for it.
Perhaps even more importantly, it’s also possible to work less and realize better results, provided you have the right systems in place. What’s more, the time freed up by implementing the right systems could easily become your greatest asset. Think about what you could with with your extra time. For starters, you could shift your attention to more important activities — those that make the company money. It also stands to reason that you could free up more personal time to spend with family and friends. What’s more important than that? Nothing, in my opinion.
Small business goals are integral to the success of investors. That said, few goals should take precedence over establishing proven systems. With the right systems in your corner, there’s no reason you couldn’t expect to be simultaneously more successful and efficient.