Commercial Real Estate Marketing Plan – Key Points to Win the Client

In giving a client a marketing proposal and strategy to sell or lease a commercial property, a number of things need to be well detailed in the proposal itself. Here are some of the main ones that should never be overlooked in your property proposal.

  • Why Should I Use Your Agency? It is an important question and hopefully you have a very clear idea of the advantages you bring to the sale or leasing process. Generic statements like ‘we know the market’, ‘we are the best agent in town’, ‘we have been here for 50 years’, and ‘we will serve you well’, just do not cut it in competitive markets. Consider why your real estate agency can stand clear and separate to other competitive agencies in promoting the property. Make sure that the client knows without any doubt why they should choose you as the agent of choice. Do not base your marketing point of difference on low commissions or agency paid advertising; that just does not work in this market and will put you out of business fast. Your agency must have something that is special and not copied from other agencies; it should also be so unique that you are the first choice as the real estate agent to take on the listing. If you do not have this clear mindset, then welcome to the world of the ordinary real estate agent that has to fight for every listing. Be separate than everyone else, create your point of difference and then market it well.
  • Happy Existing Clients & Recent Sales: Evidence of market activity and positive results will always come in handy as you attempt to advise the client on the right strategy to adopt for their property. In this property market with an abundance of available property stock, you should never take on overpriced listings. On average it is better to walk away from them and work with listings that are closer to the market price or rent. Your time is a valuable resource and must be protected from unrealistic vendors. A realistic property owner that works within the property market is far better than a property owner that is trying to set their own property market.
  • Prospective Buyer Activity on a Property: Telling the seller or landlord of your current and prospective sources of enquiry is a worthwhile part of your marketing plan. This lets the owner of the property know that you are really on the right ‘wavelength’ when it comes to locating tenants and or buyers. Some agents also adopt the strategy of getting a series of inspections done quickly with potential buyers from their database even at the early listing stage. It is surprising how many listings are sold or rented even before they reach the market officially.
  • What is Value? What is a Property really worth? Whilst exact prices and rents are hard to pinpoint, you should have a reasonable idea to within 5% as to what price or rent you could achieve with any given property. If you have no idea of the rent or the price then it is better to put the property to the market on the basis of ‘expressions of interest’. In that way the market will tell you what they think. With some very unique properties this is necessary given the limited pool of buyers that can participate in the purchase.
  • Methods of Sale and Timing: The main possibilities when selling a property are usually sale by auction, sale by tender, sale at a price, sale by negotiation, expressions of interest, trade or exchange. Knowing the best one to choose is the key to success. Putting the property on the market at a price is the less successful way of property marketing. The reason for this is the market will judge the property and try to reduce the price; if the property is too highly priced it will ‘kill’ any genuine enquiry before you even hear about it. One other fact needs to be remembered and respected here; a property will become ‘stale’ on the market after about 90 days. If it does not sell by then, it is better to remove it from the listing books for some reasonable time, to freshen the property for the next stage of marketing that you need to go to.
  • GANTT Model: For those of you that may not be aware, this is a way of graphically displaying activity. It is a common graphing process. It just so happens that it is a very powerful tool when you put it in a commercial property proposal for sale or lease. The display shows the client exactly what you are going to do for them and when.
  • Question and Answer: As part of your property marketing proposal, it is wise to have one or two pages that handle the concerns and questions of the client. From the preliminary meeting with the client you will have ascertained what matters concern them; you can merge these concerns and your answers into a Q&A format within your proposal.
  • Executive Summary: Always use an Executive Summary at the front of your document. It should be no longer than 2 pages, and bring all the main points to the front of the proposal. Adults generally do not want to read a lengthy document, so all your great work may largely go unread unless you can get the key points to a place that interests the client to read further.
  • An Exclusive Selling Agency Agreement: Why should you do one? The obvious answer is that you can best serve the listing and the client; you can also control the competition agents that may be chasing the same property. Open listings are not desirable and are essentially a waste of time unless you specifically have a purchaser that is a strong contender to take the property immediately. Occasionally I come across an agency that has a business approach of listing everything they can regardless of agency type; whilst this method can work, it does require you to have a very large number of listings and plenty of signs on properties. In only that way will you get the enquiry and conversion numbers that you need for KPI’s on commissions.
  • What are the advantages to a Vendor in having only one Agent when selling a Property? Tell the client why one agent is the best way to go. Multiple agencies working on the one property do not allow focused communication of offers and marketing coordination. Tell the client how you will connect with them on marketing, negotiation, due diligence, and property settlement.
  • Advertising: Yes advertising is expensive and it is still necessary, although you can be selective. You need to get the property message out to the market in the most efficient and direct way. How you do that is really property specific, although the conventional processes of newspaper marketing (expensive) are becoming less necessary. The internet is taking over as the main advertising channel in commercial real estate sales and leasing, and offers your client far better and cheaper ways of putting the property to the market. A key strategy for property marketing is to create 3 different levels of marketing for the client to consider (gold, silver, and bronze), as it gives them the feeling of control when it comes to spending on vendor paid advertising.

So these key points should be well handled in your property proposal. When you get the points clearly set out, the client knows what you can do and why they should choose you as the property agent of choice.

Make Unforgettable Memories at Gold Coast With Cheap Car Rentals

The pride of Australia and undoubtedly, Queensland’s most popular holiday destination, Gold Coast can be your pick this summer vacation because this is where you can relish a peaceful time with the hustle bustle of urban living at the same time. You can choose from its vast options available for accommodation, which include scenic resorts, motels, and hotels. You can even drive straight to your rented apartment using car rentals at Airport or choose a caravan or a camp. Whatever you choose, you are sure to have an out of the world experience in this exotic seaside town.

Gold Coast has a number of exquisite beaches that are spread over 70 km of expanse. That gives you plenty of choices. If you are here with family, Rainbow Bay is befitting for you because it is a place kids love. It has surfers, other families, swimming areas and interesting food. In fact all beaches here are carefully patrolled, have shade spots and numerous eateries. Gold Coast even boasts of having the best of surfing beaches in the world. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is something for everyone. However, if you are looking out for a private patch, then you can drive straight towards Northern coastline using Gold coast car rental and find solace from the noise of the crowd.

In case you want to have a stroll on a calm beach side, you do have serene suburb of main beach where you can hear the wave’s dash against the rocks, truly a unique experience. If you don’t enjoy the excitement of surfing on waves, It has some enchanting still water spots. Drive straight to Broadwater and inland rock pools using car hire in Gold Coast and explore these places, which offer you picture perfect time whether with friends or all alone. If you are lucky, you would occasionally, find exotic colourful birds fly past you. You can carry your food with you or set up a bar-be-que to feed yourself some delectable hot chicken or vegetable as per your choice.

The Gold Coast has a longer whale-watching season than any other bay because of its geographical location, seeing whales swim is, by all means, an exhilarating experience. It also has the most interesting theme parks and parklands where you can enjoy a green treat. Hit the road at night availing cheap car rentals in this city to choose from its vibrant clubs. Do all this and more because this sizzling spot in Australia will surprise you with its offerings.

Internet Marketing Gone Stale? Maybe It's Your Attitude

Heard it all before? Yeah right… I always get a kick out of people those that are in their own business and tell me they’ve heard it all before. Ask those same people how business is… “things are tough, the economy stinks” a number of not-so-brilliant statements start pouring out of their so-well-educated mouths.

The funniest ones are those who say they have heard it all… never implement any of it… and complain about how it is all re-hashed information that isn’t of use to them and their business. Those are the ones that are always on the lookout for the next shiny object they can blow their money on.

The pay-per-click product of the week.

The Google arbitrage million dollar formula of the month.

The software-that-does-it-all-for-you-while-you-sleep magic bullet that promises them riches overnight.

Ask those same people how many new strategies they have tested in their business in the past month. Or how many new lead generation campaigns they tested. Or what kind of new customer communication campaigns they have sent out to their prospects and buyers in the past work week.

That’s about the only way to shut them up about how flipping brilliant they are.

“Well, nothing recently.”

“The last one didn’t work out so well.”

“This internet marketing stuff doesn’t work. Direct mail is too expensive and never gives a good enough return. “

Blah, blah, blah (insert stupid excuse here).

Here’s a tip that is guaranteed to make you a bundle.

Implement one new marketing activity a day for the next month.

It can be as simple as writing an article that you send out to your list, meanwhile copying that same article to one of the online article banks.

Copy that same article to your blog (which you just need to have…. period).

Mail that article out to your buyers.

To your prospects.

Consider each of those one marketing activity a day.

Day 1 – write an article and email it to your list.

Day 2 – post it to your blog

Day 3 – send it to the article directories

Day 4 – get 200 copies of the article printed and mail 100 of them to your prospects

Day 5 – send the other 100 printed ones to your buyers

Then do something different.

Day 6 – call 5 of your past clients to see how they are doing. Leave a brief message if they don’t pick up. Tell them you are just phoning to say hi, see how they are doing, and see if they have any feedback for you.

Day 7 – call 5 business owners that would make a good joint venture with you. See if they have any ideas on how you could do a co-promotion to each others list.

Day 8 – find 5 online forums that your prospects would likely visit – invest 2 hours there and dig around looking for comments and feedback people are leaving. See what kind of questions they are asking. Look for the ones that come up on a regular basis.

And so on.

You can do one thing a day like this.

Things like: a tele-seminar, an article, a blog post, a press release, and so on.

Are any of the above ideas rocket science?

Are they shockingly new ideas?

NO!

BUT, have you done any of them lately?

Have you actually taken the initiative to do one thing a day to build your business (checking email is not a proactive marketing task, nor is talking to friends on Facebook, or sending out an inspirational quote on twitter).

I’ll tell you what.

You do one thing a day like this for the next 30 days.

Every single day.

Each time you do one or more of them make sure your website link is there, along with your phone, facsimile and email.

Just because you have heard them before, doesn’t mean they aren’t any good.

How can you possibly expect to grow a business when you haven’t even implemented the BASIC tools like this? You can’t. It isn’t about all the fancy shiny objects out there on the internet. It isn’t about waiting for the “next big thing” that will make you a bundle.

It is ALL about taking massive action on a daily basis.

You do that… and if you can honestly show me what you did, and show me the lack of any results from all that effort… I will pay you $20.

It may not be a lot… but it will be my apology to you as obviously my ideas suck and didn’t make you money.

I doubt you will come back to me with zero results.

I have been doing this for 8 years now, and have never seen this simple system not work.

I dare you.

Double dare you.

Just try it.

And report back what happens.

Things I Have Learnt About Commercial Real Estate Prospecting

In commercial real estate today, the prospecting model that you develop will make or break your career. Far too many agents overlook the requirement to develop a prospecting model as part of their business day and business week.

It takes about three months to establish and grow your contact base from consistent prospecting. It takes about the same time to lose momentum in both listings and commissions.

Most people are entering the commercial real estate industry understand the need to prospect and cold call. Unfortunately most of those people will reluctantly undertake the process and avoid it at every opportunity. Over time that will have significant impact on their income and market share.

Here are some ideas to help you with your commercial real estate prospecting model. You can use a variety of these strategies and add some of your own based on your local area.

  1. Understand where your market is located. Determine exactly where your business will be coming from. That will involve both a geographical area, and or property type. You can then focus your efforts into the region and talk to the right people.
  2. Know who you should talk to. When it comes to talking to business proprietors and property investors, the right people with the correct levels of decision or control should really be the focus of your attention. The business community will offer great opportunity to you providing you prospect into it every day. You will find so many leads relating to tenancies, rentals, sales, and purchases. Asking the right questions is the key to the process.
  3. Have something worthwhile to say. The people that we talk to have limited time and will initially give us little of their attention. For this reason, the first initial point of contact has to be relevant and to the point. This says that you should have something worthwhile to say that is of interest to the prospect. You may specialize in sales, leasing, or property management. Your opening conversation should center on one or more of those issues and how it may be of some use to the prospect.
  4. Create supporting systems as part of your contact call process. It is a fact that we should be talking to many people every day. The only way you can effectively do this is to have some form of database and follow-up system. It is a personal process that cannot be delegated to administrative staff. In only that way will you achieve ownership and accuracy of the data.
  5. Take action every day. Systemized action will get you further into your market so that you can assess results when it comes to meetings, listings, and commissions. The prospecting process should feature as one of the first items in your diary every day.
  6. Return to the same people as part of a contact plan. Over a 90 day period you should be returning to the right people that have some relevance to your property market and or market share. It is quite likely that it will take three or four telephone calls to the right person before you will get a meeting. Consistency is the key to the process.
  7. Have something relevant to talk about and some information that the prospect requires. A successful contact process will normally involve relevant information that is up to date relating to the local property market. You can create a newsletter as part of that process.

The prospecting process is a very specific business process. When you treat it with respect, your commercial real estate market can be much stronger with both listings and commissions.

Things I Have Learnt About Prospecting and Cold Calling in Commercial Real Estate

In any real estate market and economy, the prospecting process remains fundamentally important to the success of the real estate agent and individual salesperson. Prospecting on a daily basis is the key to progress and success with both territory control and domination.

Here are some key facts that I have learned from prospecting and cold calling over the years:

  1. Most people working in the industry rank very poorly when it comes to prospecting on a regular basis. This is a significant opportunity for those that get their prospecting model under control.
  2. Face to face contact remains the ultimate conversion factor when it comes to prospecting. Everything you do should point towards a successful introductory meeting with the qualified parties.
  3. The telephone is a very powerful tool for creating meetings and contact with the right people. The cold calling process you use must be consistent and professional. Gone are the days of sleazy sales pitches.
  4. One of the more successful traditional methods of marketing that has been around for years is the signboard. The more signboards you get into your territory, the more momentum and ease you will have with building listing and sales opportunity. The signboard infers that you have market presence and domination. That is what the local community and property investors think, providing you have a good number of signboards placed on quality property throughout the area.
  5. E-mail marketing and database use is now critical to both the individual salesperson and the real estate agency office. It remains a tool of constant contact of relevant property information to qualified prospects. These are people that already know you and expect information and property updates from time to time. Growing and shaping the database each day from personal contact across the sales team is fundamental to progress and market share.
  6. Some less experienced salespeople tend to rely on E mail as the first and final point of contact. The process of Email is convenient and easy to use, however it has little benefit in prospecting and will not replace the benefit of one to one contact. If the prospect does not respond to the Email, a typical salesperson will usually discard and forget the prospect. The reality of the prospecting emails that you send is that most of them are deleted and discarded.

Prospecting for commercial real estate listing opportunity should be based around unique and personal contact. The more that local people know you personally as a professional and knowledgeable real estate expert, the more listings you will achieve. This image and mantle takes time to develop but it will occur through diligent personal contact.

Internet Marketing Training For Home Based Business Owners

How To Set Up and Start Operating a Home Based Business

I remember myself anticipating to having my first website ready when I first started, as if when I would have it ready, my business would become internationally known at a blink of an eye! Being Enthusiastic is essential… Another thing that is essential though, is to try to keep your feet on the ground. Becoming known on the internet is a Step By Step process that you have to go through very carefully and with consistency. The more focused and consistent you are from the instant you start, the sooner you will achieve your business goals, by accordingly following your business plan! Most of All: Do Not Panic!!

1) Establishing Your Target Market:

This is probably the most important thing you can do when getting your business started. You have to do your research on Who Your Customers Are before you get into any type of marketing and advertising. Especially with Pay Per Click advertising e.g., on Google AdWords you have to know what are the right keywords for your business in order to attract the right people to you, that will ask exactly for what you have to offer. Marketing to the wrong set of keywords will kill your business, produce a substandard leads. On the other hand, marketing to the right set of keywords or the right target market will explode your business.

2) Find A Good Domain Name And Hosting Company:

This is the second very important part of your business foundation. Having a good domain name that relates directly to your offering business opportunity and a hosting company that has reliable customer service daily 24/7, Live Support to make sure your website – blog is up and running effectively.

3) Decide What Method You Will Use For Your Promotion Plan:

Squeeze Pages or Branding Site? After you have established your target market, and set up a domain and a hosting account for your website, you will need to decide what type of Marketing Site you will use. Squeeze pages and branding sites are different, but both are necessary tools for the internet marketer. As with any other topic, you will get different opinions when it comes to Squeeze Pages or Branding sites. I use Branding Sites as I want people to get to know who I am and where I come from before starting any kind of partnership or business deal with them.

Difference between a Squeeze Page and a Branding Site:

A squeeze page is a mini sales page. Squeeze pages are also called opt in pages, splash pages, and landing pages. It’s the first and most important page that you will create and the place where your people will leave their name, email and number, in order to get more information about your business opportunity. Your squeeze page should have a smart eye-catching headline and invoke curiosity. The content of your squeeze page should address to solve a ‘problem’ or fill a ‘void’ of your customers.

Branding sites are designed to brand YOU. Word Press sites are great for branding. Word Press sites have a home page. The home page allows you to provide more information and detail than a squeeze page. As I mentioned earlier the branding site is meant to give your people information; lots of information about you, your product, and your services.

Lay out your branding site with a home page about your product and service. The “about me” tab should be all about you…your story, your background, and your truth.

It is a peoples’ Business and people will connect with you if they like you first and trust you later.

4) Pay Per Click Advertising:

Get Yourself Acquainted with the Forms and The Functionality of Pay per Click Advertising.

What is Pay Per Click?

Pay Per Click Marketing is the fastest way to drive traffic to your web site, that is a fact.

The three big pay per click sites that are recommend are as follows and they are in this order for a reason with Google being at the top.

The three major search engines are Google, Yahoo, and MSN, but Google is the Leader of the market.

Google is the main pay per click marketing search engine.

How Does Pay Per Click Work?

Pay Per Click works by you selecting keywords that are related to your business, product, or service.

1. You choose keywords or long key phrases

2. You bid an amount on those keywords or key phrases to get them seen

3. Google determines which ads to show

So how do you get your ads seen?

1. Write an attractive ad (great copywriting is a key factor in all marketing)

2. Bid the right amount

3. Make your ad relevant to your keywords as well as your website

Google AdWords Program has unlimited free informative tutorials on how to set up and start your PPC campaign. There you will have the choice to target your ads according to language, country, set your own preferred bids on your ads and keywords, and set specific days for your ads to run or pause them anytime you wish.

After you make your keywords research, when you will know what you are doing it won’t be that difficult to get your ads seen throughout the web. To many people rush to get their ads out on Google and do not do the proper research, or work with experienced marketers and coaches.

You can apply the strategies you use for the big search engines like Google,Yahoo and MSN. Googles’ pay per click program is called Ad Words. There is a difference between “paid” search results that appear on the top and right-hand side and “Uncategorized” searches – the search results that appear on the left-hand side of the search page which are free and can make wanders if you manage with good Search Engine Optimization to get your ads there on the first pages of these engines.

5) Article Marketing Advertising:

Article marketing is probably one of our most interesting and cost effective ways to market.

This method requires a process and time to get results and visibility. It is a way for you and your business to become known on the web and be considered as an active part of the Online Marketers Community. What happens when you do article marketing is that people pick up your articles for content on their sites, for content. It’s huge. Your content is spread around virally.

The way this works is you write an article, something of value. Be sure you check out our chapter on outsourcing on next paragraphs, because if you don’t like to write, you can outsource it to experts.

When you write and submit your articles, you are putting in your links on these articles, the articles that you originally produce. These are one-way back links to your site, so when people pick up your articles for content, the Google crawler picks up the links and your site goes up in ranking. That means more visibility for you, more traffic to your site and recognition, traffic and hopefully sales.

The articles you submit should be relevant to the topic of your business. They should pertain to what you are doing and whatever business you are in. In this case your articles should pertain valuable content for your readers to go through concerning Home Business Industry Topics. These could be Internet Marketing Techniques, the advantages of running their own business from home, freedom of time, ‘How-To’ articles which are a very ‘HOT’ plate for the search engines and many more.

Make sure that your articles are around 300-500 word long. You want to be picked up as providing good content about your industry or business. You should have a bio attached to the article. BIO is the only place that you can ‘sell’. It’s the place for you to ‘TAKE’. This is where the link to your website or splash page will be located. The bio should be about you as the author. At the body of t
he article you only ‘GIVE’: Content of Value. The links in your Bio should come back to your website.

Your Bio should include 2-3 sentences pertaining 1) Who you are and what you do, 2) A reason to visit your site after reading your article and 3) A call to action, for them to do so.

Make room in your life to submit at least two articles per week; set aside a specific time or day to make it happen. You have lots of information you can write about in whatever industry you are in. You can do it manually, or you can purchase submission services through Article Submitter Special Software. They have over 1000 places to submit your articles. It is time saving and accelerates the process of distribution and visibility.

6) Video Marketing Activity (HUGE)

Run a Google search on a topic like ‘best home based business opportunities’. Most likely, in addition to articles and websites, there will be several videos that pop up in the search results. Imagine having a dynamic and powerful video that introduces your product, service, and company live with your voice on and researchers landing on your beautiful video instead of being sent to a single and ‘one of the thousands’ splash pages. Google is very attracted to videos and pick them up quickly. It will help your ranking. Video Marketing is a very powerful selling tool as well as the fastest free way to get those ads out there. Use it in order to stay ahead of the competition.Your ultimate goal in marketing is to have your ads not only seen by as many potential customers as possible, but to be in front of as many of your targeted customers as possible.

The way you treat your Video Marketing campaign is the same with how you treat your PPC campaign and your article marketing campaign. You must focus on a specific ‘keyword-driven’ target market. At Step 1 I mentioned the importance of establishing a target market and a core group of keywords. The same keywords will be plugged into the videos when you submit them. Ultimately, everything comes up to your initial development of your target market and core keywords.

As in Article Marketing you can 1) submit your videos manually to limitless video directories for free like You Tube, Yahoo Videos, Google Videos, etc or 2) Submit to as many as possible directories through Video Submitting Software that do massive distribution of your videos with a click of a button.

7) Press Releases Marketing Method (Get Faster and Higher Ranking)

Another way of effective marketing of your website is to write and submit Press Releases. The information in your press release needs to be viable, newsworthy and high value content. Inside your press release, you should have one-way links that bring readers back to your site – your branding site or your squeeze page. The difference between the articles and the Press Releases is that in PR you can place your URL link in the ‘body’ of your content, once every 100 words. Press releases are a great SEO tool that can quickly improve your ranking. There are a lot of sites looking to gather information to build the content on their websites, so if they pick up your press release, and inside your press release you have one-way links back to your site, the search engines will know and act accordingly by rewarding you with higher ranking.

This is a method that requires some time to build a reputation. Give it some time and as long as you do this on a consistent basis, sending out once press releases per month with relevant, high value information, you’ll start seeing increased traffic to your site. Again there is a free PR submission option and a paid one. Again it will be up to your budget flexibility.

8) Social Media Marketing:

Millions of people everyday are viewing, updating, or connecting with others all over the world. These sites are very easy to get set up on, as all you have to do is sign up with your information and you are ready.

As of today the big three that I use consistently for internet marketing are Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Ecademy.com. There are hundreds more out there and this is a great way to let people know about whom you are what you do, as well as what your product or service is all about. Social Networking Sites are considered as the Hottest Market Place and reports have shown that people search and finally trust opportunities through viral tools, such as all these today’s Hot Marketing Trends.

You must apply the ’90-10%’ Marketing Rule which means, that the 90% of your posts and interactions must be about you socializing, making connections, letting people know you first and only a 10% talking about your business. People don’t like to be sold. Be human and treat like you would like to be treated. It is a Peoples’ Business.

9) Outsourcing Resources:

Every marketing method I mentioned so far, every tool that you are given to use can be outsourced. Evaluate the time that you can give to your business, filter the activities that are most compatible to your character and nature and outsource the rest! Web design building, hosting etc. You cannot outsource everything assuming that your budget is limited; you will have to learn how to do some of them, apply at least 2 of the previous mentioned methods for your business. Article marketing, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click advertising is definitely skills that anyone that starts an online business should master for himself and his business’s success.

Take it Step By Step when growing your business and grow your outsourcing at a steady pace. You always have the control of all your marketing activities. You are the leader and the one that will lead you to Success!

Make sure you are on the right track and apply the knowledge you learn, every single piece of it day by day! And of course enjoy yourselves always!

The Life Cycle of Acquisition-Based Companies

A few years ago, I was discussing this phenomenon with the CEO of one of our clients. His company had grown almost entirely through acquisition, and for several years the company had experienced revenue growth rates exceeding 20%. However, the company had plateaued with respect to earnings, and looking at their overall performance it became clear to him (and to the Wall Street analysts that watched his company) that a great deal of money had been left on the table. Working with that CEO, I developed a model called the ACL Life Cycle. Understanding and using the ACL Life Cycle has proven enormously beneficial to clients depending on an M&A strategy for continued growth.

The ACL Life Cycle

The ACL Life Cycle describes the maturation process of companies who grow substantially through acquisitions and mergers. Using the ACL model, we can clearly identify the company’s current position. Knowing that position, and then looking forward at the company’s financial objectives through the lens of their business strategies, the specific actions that are needed become clear. Those actions can then be formed into an executable plan with associated performance measures, and managed through completion to bring the overall enterprise to heightened levels of financial performance. It is important for acquisition-oriented executives to understand the major phases and characteristics of the ACL Life Cycle.

Businesses who have survived one or more acquisitions and/or mergers are usually left with some degree of disintegration among their processes and systems. A company’s success in reaching the financial objectives of the merger or acquisition is directly correlated with the degree to which that disintegration has been replaced by a set of business processes and information systems that are common enough to generate enterprise-wide leverage. Implicit in that commonality is enterprise-level direction and guidance, manifested in company-wide business strategies and performance measures that align all of the combined business units. These businesses move, in this post-acquisition or post-merger environment, from an acquisition-based operating model to one characterized by shared services and a general commonization, to a stage where the enterprise “whole” really is able to become something greater than the sum of its business unit “parts”. It is more than the typical cost-reduction synergy anticipated in most of these transactions; it is a new platform for innovation, and an even higher level of innovation-based leverage.

Companies who experience substantive growth as a result of business acquisitions typically follow the ACL life cycle. ACL in this context stands for: Acquisition, Commonization, and Leverage. Many companies never leave the first stage of this maturity scale, and still more remain at the second stage. The most successful companies are usually those who recognize the importance of moving through all three stages, and consistently implement a structured process for doing so.
All companies experience pressures that push them toward decentralized operations, including idiosyncrasies of specific market niches served, the uniquenesses of isolated business processes, unusual needs of specific customer populations, and Uncategorized organizational entropy. At the same time, most of the companies that are successful in achieving the financial performance objectives established for the newly merged enterprise manage to overcome those challenges, electing to pursue the advantages of leverage, including:

  • broad synergistic brand recognition, enabling cross-selling, bundling of products and services, and improving revenue
  • interchangeability of business process resources, enabling the company to reduce its asset base
  • commonality and scalability in equipment / skills / facilities, facilitating innovation and growth into additional markets
  • higher utilization of business assets, reducing unit cost
  • lower levels of redundancy, resulting in reduced operating costs

These companies also typically find that maintaining compliance with financial reporting standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley requirements are enhanced as a result of strengthened internal controls.
Some companies make a deliberate decision to remain “holding companies”, which simply buy and sell diverse businesses that have only marginal relationships with one another. These conglomerates prefer to manage the portfolio through buying and selling components, and allowing the leadership teams at the individual companies to manage ongoing operations from strategy through execution. A few of them have been quite successful, and this article is sometimes not as directly applicable to those at a corporate level. It works very well, however, for their major divisions. Companies that benefit most from understanding the three stages of the ACL Life Cycle are those companies who have decided to focus on a single core industry – Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Chemicals and Polymers, Textiles, Electronics, Telecommunications, Consumer Products, Medical Equipment producers, Healthcare providers, and Financial Services providers are all good candidates. 

The Acquisition Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Acquisition Stageof their life cycles are usually focused on revenue growth, and capturing market share. They are characterized by high levels of autonomy in management, in the reporting of site-level data to the corporate parent, and in the design of their business processes and systems. Companies who remain in this stage for long periods of time following acquisitions usually act as holding companies, with the corporation allowing individual divisions or sites to operate almost as independent companies with their own P&L, strategic plans, and market-facing branding. Often, companies in the Acquisition stage lack a common vision of the future of the overall business, and tend to operate at cross-purposes among the operating units. They sometimes even compete against one another for the same customers. They share little operating information, making it nearly impossible to coordinate and deploy “best practices”, effectively distribute work load, utilize general market intelligence, and grasp other elements that could provide corporate-wide leverage of the businesses’ assets and resources. A few industry-specific examples here should help to illustrate the situation:

Manufacturing companies in the acquisition stage are usually characterized by redundancies in raw materials, equipment, staffing, and other business resources. Because manufacturing companies are relatively material-intense, a great deal of cost can be tied up in raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods. Since acquisition stage companies have so little visibility between business units, there is little opportunity for them to reallocate these assets in order to use them effectively. As a result, the most costly resources remain the most underutilized. In addition, acquisition-stage companies have not centralized the management of even commodity-level business processes, such as finance, human resources, and information technology. This lack of centralization leaves additional inefficiencies in place around accounting staff, employee benefits provider subscriptions, business software applications, data centers, and computing equipment. 

Telecommunications companies in the acquisition stage also have unrealized opportunities for greater leverage from their business assets, but these more often take the form of redundancies in network equipment, network coverage, retail outlets, partner agreements related to the sale of their products, and interconnection agreements with other carriers. In addition, acquisition stage telecom companies often have a substantial amount of unrealized leverage in the lack of integration among the data bases and information of their various divisions that could enable shared service operations for commodity-type processes such as billing and cross-selling of products and services. Like manufacturing companies, telecom companies in the acquisition stage also typically have unexploited opportunities around the consolidation of data centers and related equipment and staffing.

Healthcare providers in the acquisition stage usually find opportunities in different areas of their businesses, because of the differing cost structure of their operations. The bulk of their costs and their opportunities while in the acquisition stage of maturity in the ACL Life Cycle are related to employee salaries & benefits, and to medical supplies and drugs. It is less common for these businesses to be able to effectively share inventories and equipment, since the nature of their business is rooted in community health care that requires local service provision. The opportunities that do exist, which are typically not exploited well in acquisition stage health care companies, are related to centralizing commodity type business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems, and leveraging required service and supply procurement across the enterprise. 

Financial Services providers, such as banks, brokerages, credit unions, financial planning companies and tax & audit services exhibit yet another cost profile, with the largest elements typically including personnel and occupancy costs. In these businesses, like health care provision, being where the customers are is critical. The companies’ ability to understand the changing demographics and match up their branches as well as their skills to the targeted customer base is often a differentiator between the companies that succeed and those that fail. Financial services providers who are still in the acquisition stage of maturity in the ACL Life Cycle often do not have the commonality in fundamental business processes and systems to readily reconfigure their operations to meet the changing needs of their marketplace. Their acquisitions or mergers have enabled them to grow horizontally, typically into adjacent markets. However, lacking an adequate foundation of commonality in processes and systems, there is substantial money left on the proverbial table as a result of ineffective resource deployment, and delays in the reporting of operational performance data that would enable the company to be more responsive. These companies also fail, in their acquisition stage, to take advantage of their larger purchasing power to gain leverage around purchased services spanning items as diverse as employee health care and branch-level office supplies.   

The Commonization Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Commonization Stage of their life cycles have usually awakened to the value of focusing on Return on Net Assets (RONA) and Return on Invested Capital (ROIC). In order to begin to capture improvements in these areas, companies in the Commonization Stage often turn to shared service models of operations for selected business processes and systems. Strategies and performance measures begin to crystallize around common themes that span multiple operating units or divisions. Among the areas of focus for a shared service model in this stage are Finance (A/R, A/P, General Ledger, and Financial Reporting), Human Resources (Payroll, Benefits, and Employment Records), and Information Technology (Computer Hardware, Network Administration, and selected Software Applications Management). Some companies in the Commonization Stage also move Procurement and other aspects of Materials Management to a shared service model, enabling the corporation to more effectively leverage its broadest possible purchasing power.

Manufacturing companies in the commonization stage of maturity typically have shared services in place for commodity types of business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems management. As they advance through the commonization phase, some of them also begin to pull together a common platform for procurement, encompassing at least their most costly and common raw materials. A few in this stage reach a point where their data center
operations are completely centralized, and may even be outsourced to a third party like CSC. Toward the end of the commonization phase, centralization of work deployment and capacity utilization as well as process quality emerge as companies begin to deploy common processes and systems in customer requirements management, enterprise requirements planning, manufacturing execution systems, and distribution management systems. 

Telecommunications companies in the commonization stage of maturity also typically have shared services in place for commodity types of business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems management. As they advance in maturity through this stage, telecoms also become aware of the available leverage in centralizing the management of some of their most valuable assets. However, unlike the manufacturer’s raw material focus, for telecommunications operations those elements are things like spectrum licenses, network equipment, connection agreements, partner agreements, distribution centers, and retail outlets. Centralizing the management of those assets to identify overlaps and redundancies enables telecoms to emerge from the commonization stage with much more effectively leveraged business assets, providing broader market coverage with a lower total asset base and generating much higher earnings on that consolidated foundation.

Healthcare companies in the commonization phase of maturity find substantial benefit in the commonization and centralization of their commodity type processes and systems.  This is primarily because of the impact on cash flow and earnings when the employee base is reduced through shared services, and employee benefits and supplies are both leveraged in terms of the broader purchasing power of the company following a business acquisition of significant size. However, there is also an especially rich opportunity available to healthcare companies in the commonization stage that stems form the leverage available related to insurance coverage – not for the employees directly, but covering the potential liability of the company itself. This category of cost is typically about the third largest slice of the pie, and significant reductions there can translate quickly to a meaningful earnings impact. 

 Financial services providers in the commonization stage of the ACL Life Cycle, like healthcare providers, often find substantial benefit in the commonization and centralization of their commodity type processes and systems. With roughly half of their cost of operations wrapped up in employee salaries and benefits, there is an opportunity for meaningful impact on cash flow and earnings when the employee base is reduced through shared services, and employee benefits and supplies are both leveraged in terms of the broader purchasing power of the company following a business acquisition or merger. The next significant area for financial service providers in the commonization stage is the capability for rapid reconfiguration of the business based on enterprise-wide visibility of operational data and market intelligence.

The Leverage Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Leverage Stage of their life cycles are usually embarked on a fierce drive toward adding real value. They are relentless in their efforts to fully utilize the assets of the entire corporation, driving out redundancy and its associated costs. They are then able to pivot on the fulcrum of those more agile processes and systems to implement innovations that foster organic growth resulting in greater market share, greater revenue, and improved earnings for their shareholders. Leverage Stage companies also establish a structured and repetitive process of assimilating new businesses, gathering and incorporating market intelligence into company-wide strategies, and innovating on the basis of these new combinations to capture additional market segments. These companies are characterized by coordination and centralization of major business functions such as the planning and allocation of R&D, production work, inventories, raw material purchases, personnel, and factories & equipment. They centrally manage a broad spectrum of common business processes and systems, including customer requirements management, product data management, enterprise requirements planning, manufacturing execution systems, and logistics management. They are constantly changing, evaluating and configuring business assets to meet future market needs, acquiring and developing new businesses, and shedding assets that no longer fit their evolving model.

Manufacturing companies in the leverage stage of maturity typically have shared services in place for most of the critical business processes of their company, having reached beyond the commodity level processes and into those which deliver the most value to their customers. Examples include sales & marketing, order entry & customer service, capacity planning and management, production scheduling and shop floor control, and distribution requirements planning. As they move through the leverage stage of the ACL Life Cycle, some of these companies leverage the commonality of their processes and systems to produce innovative new products and services, identify additional market opportunities, and develop industry-changing relationships that reach through their supply chains. 

Telecommunications companies in the leverage stage of maturity also have shared services in place for most of the critical business processes of their company, including the seamless provisioning (often called “flow-through provisioning” by industry insiders) of all telephonic services to customers stemming from a single telephone conversation responding to an individual inquiry about a service. This type of capability is only enabled when all of the information from what have historically been disparate data bases is available in an intelligent form through excellent systems integration, based on exceptional levels of commonality and strength in enterprise-wide business processes.

Healthcare companies in the leverage stage of maturity have typically discovered and implemented leverage-based improvements in their major cost structure elements as a result of enterprise-wide information visibility flowing from systems integration and centralized management of critical business processes. Health care companies generally also have uniquely challenging business conditions related to three other areas where leverage level operations can be a powerful tool. 

The first of these areas is employee safety. Most health care organizations are spending a substantial amount of money in this regard, with training and documentation of company polices and safety-related practices requiring an increasing amount of company attention. The integration of systems and commonization of processes in a leverage stage health care company offers opportunities to more quickly incorporate internal best practices, externally imposed business requirements, and feedback about lessons learned across the entire health care organization regardless of geographic dispersion. Commonization and centralized management here can result in substantially lower cost, and more importantly, substantially higher and more uniform levels of employee safety. 

The second area is bad debt. The integration of customer data, and effectively interfacing a common set of enterprise-wide processes and systems with outside service providers such health maintenance organizations and insurance carriers, substantially reduces the amount of bad debt in leverage level health care companies. 

The third area, and perhaps the area of richest opportunity, is the area of patient medical information. This area is tricky because of legislation related to patient privacy and guidelines recently established for the maintenance and communication of patient medic
al information. However, one of the fundamental challenges faced by health care providers is the absence of available medical history, particularly when a patient is admitted to an emergency room or urgent care facility. Particularly when a patient is unable to respond to questions directly due to an incapacitation illness or injury, time can literally mean life or death. Making all necessary information available to the physicians and other health care professionals involved as quickly as possible is extremely important. When critical business processes and information systems for the management of this information are brought to an effective level of commonality, the rapid dissemination of the needed information can be greatly improved, while patients’ expectations around the privacy of their information are still met. 

Financial services companies in the leverage stage of maturity, like health care companies in some ways, must balance the needs of differing local customer geographies against the advantages of centralized management in critical business processes and systems. There is real value in allowing some latitude to local branch officers and customer-facing staff such as loan officers to accommodate the unique circumstances involved in specific cases. However, these companies often find that a significant advantage of the leverage provided by enterprise-wide commonization of processes and systems is the ability to see the nuances of differing markets at a corporate level, and recognize broader trends among those different markets more quickly and clearly than they could before. This improved visibility, in turn, enables management to reconfigure their service offerings, redeploy resources such as sales dollars, and organize sales campaigns for those specific markets more quickly than they could previously.  

The best of these companies, regardless of what industry they occupy, utilize their common platform of processes, systems, and information to understand the needs of their customers in unique ways, and fluidly translate those needs into the features of their products and services. A few, at the very top of the game, come to understand the customers’ needs even before the customer recognizes them, and when necessary they reconfigure their entire business to meet those needs, gaining unassailable competitive advantage. The enterprise-wide leverage they achieved as a result of carefully and skillfully handling the post-merger or post-acquisition integration of processes, systems, and data provided the platform from which innovation launched them to new levels of performance. Examples could as easily be provided for companies in pharmaceuticals, retail operations, or the food & beverage industry. The lessons learned and the techniques vary a little, but the principles are the same.

Go on a Shopping Expedition With Gold Coast Car Rentals

It would be practically impossible to think of a holiday, without indulging in a little retail therapy, and if you have to come a shopper’s paradise like Gold Coast, there is no way you can leave without at least a few bags. With cars for rental, Gold Coast becomes easy enough to traverse.

Now, when you come to the Gold Coast, you really need to think about and plan your shopping trips, because there is simply too much for you to choose from. Perhaps, the first thing you should do when you get into town is get yourself Gold Coast car rentals. This way, not only will you be able to get to all the places you want to visit, but also get your purchases back to your hotel.

As mentioned before, the choices on the Gold Coast are extensive and these range from high-end shopping to local markets. It is up to you where you want to shop and what you want to shop for. The local markets include those held at Surfers Paradise, Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach and Coolangatta. Other popular markets include Tamborine Mountain, Robina Town Centre, Canungra Country Market, Paradise Point Art and Craft Market.

With cars for hire, Gold Coast shopping can be much more fun, because you can shuttle from branded shopping to street side, with ease. Perhaps one of the first places you should head to is the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, which is home to some of the best retailers in the country. You can find almost anything and everything you need, under this roof and at reasonable rates as well. If at any point of time, you feel hungry or thirsty, there are several restaurants, bars and cafes.

The Oasis Shopping Centre is another place, worth visiting, because here you will find over 100 stores, which deal in specialty products. You will be able to find gifts to take back home, latest trends and fashion, including clothes and accessories as well as a supermarket. The best thing about this place is that you will also find a range of services, such as a bank, a post office and salon.

If you want a slightly more stylish shopping experience, then Harbour Town is the place for you. This is where you will find all the big brands, including, end of season lines of renowned designers. The shopping center also boasts of the country’s premier purpose built outlet shopping experience.

Travel Nursing Benefits

Travel nursing gives you the right opportunity to satisfy your medical aspirations. With travel nursing jobs, you can choose the most stressful and fulfilling process of serving people, located in various states of the United States. All you have to identify a good placement agency where your dreams can be turned into a reality.

There are many traveling agencies who recruit travel nurses to place them in different hospitals and medical facilities in order to fulfill the shortages of medical personnel in different parts of the US. However, the compensation package, accommodation and utilities of each placement agency vary from each other. Being a new phenomenon in the healthcare sector, travel nursing is seen as the bright future for women going for full time nursing career. Normally, traveling nursing jobs are set up for a short term basis but it can be extended after the mutual agreement from both the employer and nurses part.

This can be chosen for many reasons. One of the main reason is this job can fulfill your traveling desires. You gotta see different geographies and feel their difference and exclusive beauty. Secondly, you can experience the working of nurses in different cities or states of the United States. Besides these, you will be awarded with a good and well furnished home, attractive salary package, other allowances and benefits to enjoy a great and high standard of living. Above more, it is the duty of travel agency to help nurses to get their passports, work licenses and other documents in order to work comfortably.

These jobs also offer other advantages including above market payment rates to live and work in a new place or area. It also includes provision of certain utility services, health, dental and workers compensation as well as payroll benefits. Many times a traveling nurse agency also offers 401K and other retirement plans. A travel nurse is paid by the agency it contracts with and the mode of payments is generally by direct bank deposit checks.

So if you are a nurse, trying to make a good career, opting for travel nursing can give you some of the added advantage.

Benefits of Wedding Car Hire

Car rentals have gone beyond the realm of tourism and have grown to become an essential part of any big occasion. The Wedding car hire is a trend that has steadily gained popularity over the last decade. Choosing just the right wedding day car has become as important as choosing the right Decor and the right wedding dress as the kind of car one chooses indicates a lot about the individuals personality. Finding the perfect car for the newlyweds to drive away in at the end of the ceremony only enhances the picture-perfect culmination to a very special day. Choosing the wedding cars is not confined to just the car the bride and groom would use; picking the right ones is not as simple as it seems. The vehicles need to complement the overall theme of the wedding while simultaneously serving a functional purpose. One may need to hire bigger wagons to partake in the much required wedding shopping and to move things from one venue to another.

Similarly people can hire Luxury cars to take guests to the wedding venue from their respective houses or take them from one venue to another.

It is best to use wedding car hire services can provide you with a wide variety of vehicles, so that you can avail discounts when you hire numerous cars together. The necessary information can easily be found online by using any search engine.

On ones wedding day there are always things that can go wrong last minute, you don’t need to add your car rental to add to that list. To ensure that car hiring doesn’t prove to be counterproductive it is essential that the cars hired are fuel efficient, in good condition and come with a qualified chauffeur attached.

It is important to check the background of the car hire company and go through customer reviews so that you have a hassle free wedding day.

The type of car one hires for their wedding day indicates a lot about their personality and adds to the theme of the wedding significantly. Old models and luxury cars are considered the most fashionable. Vintage cars are most often used for classical weddings. They render a sense of impactful simplicity to the bridal party’s entrance. Expensive luxury vehicles infuse the theme with a touch grandeur, sophistication and lavishness. Limos dominate the list of the favorite wedding vehicles, most likely due to their size and exceptional design. They are the best choice when it comes to transporting wedding guests together as they comfortably seat up a relatively large number of guests.

Car rental companies that cater to such occasions give brides and grooms the opportunity to ride in rare and trendy car models to commemorate this joyous occasion. They do so by providing clients with deals and reasonable fees. With car rental companies around, it is now possible to have an exquisite wedding ceremony no matter how tight your budget.