“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” -- Zig Ziglar |
I’m just going to put this out there plain and simple: Life is often brutally hard. In a matter of moments, thousands upon thousands of our fellow citizens can be blindsided with near unimaginable horror. We witnessed exactly that with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The horrific images are etched in my mind: mothers holding their crying children in waist-deep flood waters; elderly in submerged wheelchairs; and homeowners surveying what little remains of their former dwellings. The silver lining to the cloud that brought all that destruction is, of course, the response from so many who gave money, time and donations of necessities. That’s what made all the pain tolerable. And I know your heart – like mine – goes out to every single person affected by the storms.
But let me move into the heart of my article. I remind you that suffering and need are everywhere. Our own communities are not immune to quieter woes. Woes that don’t get the media coverage of large scale disasters: high schoolers dropping out of school, spouses being abused, hunger, mental illness, drugs, gangs, and as Realtors know all too well, even homelessness.
My point? You’re needed in your community.
And my challenge to you is simple: Add community service to your 2018 business plan. Make it just like any other item in the plan – marketing, budgeting, operations – whatever you typically put into your plan – add an equal amount of space for helping ease the needs in your farm area or beyond.
Why? Because you’re more likely to do the tasks you’ve taken time to write down. And the answer to why you should do community service? Well, answers are nearly endless. First and foremost – and I know you’ll agree – it’s the right thing to do. In essence, you’ll be putting your best self into your business plan – and in my opinion – that’s the greatest item you can add to any plan.
But beyond that, it’s simply good for business. Many studies have shown the consumers will gravitate toward – and often buy from – community-minded businesses. That’s not my opinion – that’s just a cold hard fact backed up over and over again by legitimate and scientific surveys. So, with all of this in mind, here are some tips to add to your community service section of your business plan:
1. Think problems – Pinpoint the area in your city where you want to focus your service – probably your farm area or the neighborhoods where you work most often. Then research what problems exist there that interest you and that you can help solve. Education, homelessness, community revitalization, disaster preparedness –if you have trouble finding one, see what local nonprofits are working on.
2. Think relationships - Grab a piece of paper and put you in the middle with a circle – and then draw lines away from the circle and add an important potential partners who can help you solve those problems. It might be a church, a civic organization, a professional association, a bank, other businesses, on and on. And don’t forget co-workers, friends, family and even past clients or current prospects. Give yourself a solid hour with that piece of paper or until it’s full.
3. Think action - Now, just as you would in any other section of your business plan, plan out what specific actions you need to take to help ease the issue you’ve chosen to solve: mission, goal, objectives, strategy and tactics. Again, the more specific, the better.
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Bubba Mills, Corcoran Consulting, real estate, real estate coaching, residential real estate, Realtor,