Greetings from the metropolis of Cedar Crest, NM. Wow….It feels good to be back!
It has been a long six weeks for me. You see, six weeks ago, I returned from Maui Mastermind and came down with the flu…then pneumonia. Not only was I stuck in bed but I was also hooked up to an oxygen machine. It was definitely a humbling experience. But it did get me thinking…..
During my time in bed….I did not do anything. Fading in and out of consciousness and long hours of really bad daytime TV….In my long absence….my businesses continued to run without me. How could this be? How could the businesses that I spent that last seven years building, run without me? How did they not LOSE money while I spent weeks coughing, vomiting, and hallucinating? Well….It was all intentional….it was all planned. The plan five ago was to make my business a “level three buiness.”
You see, five years ago, I learned about a concept of a “level three business”. I remember attending the very first Maui Mastermind, where a speaker, Curtis Oakes, said a statement that I would never forget. “My weekdays are my weekends, and my weekends are my holidays.” Curtis had built a successful business that ran without him. At least, that I how I understood it. When I heard Curtis Oakes say that magical phrase….I knew what I needed to do. I needed to figure out how to make my businesses run without me.
So what is a “level three business”?
Well….it is a business that runs without you. But, not only does it run…but it grows without you. At the same time, you can
How was I going to take myself out of the the day-to-day operations without driving my business into the ground? Well needless to say, it was very difficult and there was no magic bullet (no matter what others tell you). And still, to be honest, there is a lot of room for improvement. But….here are three big areas that I concentrated heavily to make the transition to a level three business (there are a lot more but…give you a good idea):
1) Technology – Automation of several of the business processes was a priority. Identifying the processes and implementing the correct technology was key. Technology not only allowed for consistancy but also allowed for “easier” business management overall. A big “plus” is the right technology is easily leveraged for other areas of the business. For example, one of my companies is a commercial property management company. We implemented Yardi Voyager (web-based property management software) in order to not only help on the management and accounting side but also to assist on the asset management side (more on asset management below) This was a huge financial and time investment…and loaded with mishaps….but I can look back as say it was well worth it.
2) Outsourcing – We looked at all business areas to identify what could be outsourced. Many areas were outsourced. For example, our human resource department (including payroll and benefits) was outsourced to a Professional Employee Leasing company (Trinet).
3) Asset Management – Implementing Asset Management (True North Asset Management) was probably the most helpful in transitioning to a level three business. I never heard of Asset Management before. But asset management is a power concept of “managing the manager.” I deal with one person who is managing all the property management companies that manage my properties (including my property management company) different parts of the country.