1. Find out how scalable your core business activities are. If you can’t leverage those core activities through people or technology, why are you doing them? Remember, activities that don’t require your institutional knowledge, your personality, or your direct input are inherently expandable. That means other people can do those activities as long as you intentionally set the standards and tone.
2. Rome was not built in a day. Expansions take time, so start small and dominate your own market before moving into another (or someone else’s) area. Make sure your unique brokerage model is so successful that it’s able to finance any and all potential losses in an expanded market. Allow your own market success to propel you forward.
3. Reinvest your earnings. You already know that your brokerage firm needs to have three months of operating expenses on hand. Once you’ve expanded markets or added new locations, that emergency fund will also need to grow. This means committing to reinvesting a good—and probably larger—portion of your income back into your business. By building healthy, “just-in-case” financial resources, you are building your ability to test new opportunities in ways that other brokerage firms cannot. Remember that more cash translates into more flexibility and a greater chance of survival.
4. Effective leadership pilots expansion. Up until now, you’ve been the person running your brokerage firm. You’ve put in the hours, hired and trained staff, recruited agents, generated leads, and plugged all the holes. When growing your firm, the talent you bring on board to help execute your distinct vision will make or break your efforts. The leadership talent you attract will make sure everything works. Remember that leadership talent is attracted by cutting-edge opportunity. Know that your commitment to operating your unique vision in multiple markets means that you are creating opportunities where other people can also succeed.
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