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Pyramid Scheme

A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment, services or ideals, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme or training them to take part, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public. Pyramid schemes are a form of fraud.Pyramid schemes are illegal in many countries.These types of schemes have existed for at least a century, some with variations to hide their true nature, and many people believe that multilevel marketing is also a pyramid scheme.

A successful pyramid scheme combines a fake yet seemingly credible business with a simple-to-understand yet sophisticated-sounding money-making formula which is used for profit. The essential idea is that a “con artist” Mr. X, makes only one payment. To start earning, Mr. X has to recruit others like him who will also make one payment each. Mr. X gets paid out of receipts from those new recruits. They then go on to recruit others. As each new recruit makes a payment, Mr. X gets a cut. He is thus promised exponential benefits as the “business” expands.

Such “businesses” seldom involve sales of real products or services to which a monetary value might be easily attached. However, sometimes the “payment” itself may be a non-cash valuable. To enhance credibility, most such scams are well equipped with fake referrals, testimonials, and information. The flaw is that there is no end benefit. The money simply travels up the chain. Only the originator (sometimes called the “pharaoh”) and a very few at the top levels of the pyramid make significant amounts of money. The amounts dwindle steeply down the pyramid slopes. Individuals at the bottom of the pyramid (those who subscribed to the plan, but were not able to recruit any followers themselves) end up with a deficit.

Business sector of a real estate

With the development of private property ownership, real estate has become a major area of business, commonly referred to as commercial real estate. Purchasing real estate requires a significant investment, and each parcel of land has unique characteristics, so the real estate industry has evolved into several distinct fields. Specialists are often called on to valuate real estate and facilitate transactions. Some kinds of real estate businesses include:

Appraisal: Professional valuation services
Brokerages: A mediator who charges a fee to facilitate a real estate transaction between the two parties.
Development: Improving land for use by adding or replacing buildings
Net leasing
Property management: Managing a property for its owner(s)
Real estate marketing: Managing the sales side of the property business
Real estate investing: Managing the investment of real estate
Relocation services: Relocating people or business to a different country
Corporate Real Estate: Managing the real estate held by a corporation to support its core business—unlike managing the real estate held by an investor to generate income

Within each field, a business may specialize in a particular type of real estate, such as residential, commercial, or industrial property. In addition, almost all construction business effectively has a connection to real estate.

Professional university-level education in real estate is primarily focused at the graduate level. Focus in towards the commercial real estate sector, primarily real estate development or investment rather than residential real estate sales conducted by a REALTOR.

“Internet real estate” is a term coined by the internet investment community relating to ownership of domain names and the similarities between high quality internet domain names and real-world, prime real estate.

Proper delegation equals success

How many times have you been given an assignment with absolutely no direction? Whether this assignment was delegated to you by your family member, friend, or a boss, there is probably at least one incident you can look back on and remember that you were beyond confused when it came to the assignment. Proper delegation can go a long way to help you and to help your employees to understand what is expected of them and how they are supposed to get their job done. As a manager, there are 2 things you need to have that will help you with proper motivation:

Clear communication (delegation)
Performance management (encouragement)

If you can clearly communicate these messages to your employees, they will be able to make better decisions and it won’t be nearly as hard for them to understand what their role is with the company.

Job duties
One of the first things to do is to hand your new employees a list of their job duties. This will allow them to understand exactly what their role is with the company. They will be able to see what they are expected to do and how they should go about doing it. As you hand them a list of their job duties and responsibilities, your employees will be able to see what they need to do but also to know how they are going to be judged by you. Putting in measurement standards is a great way to help them get a clear definition of their job. What also happens with the employees when they know what to do is that they actually get a chance to see how they can do their job better. This way you can tell them what their ultimate goal is and they can come to you and start asking for suggestions when they feel they may not be going down the right path with the project.

Better Delegation
How do you assign tasks to your employees? Are you telling them in person, emailing them the assignments, or just expecting them to know what to do? You need to focus on your delegation and ensure that you aren’t confusing your employees. Better delegation on your part will lead to a clear message and it will be much easier for your employees to enjoy working for you and to get their projects done in a timely manner. The delegation is more than “here is your assignment” it also comes down to the little details as well including the following:

Here is your project

This is what is expected

This is when it is due

When you provide specific and detailed information about the project and how it needs to be done, your staff members won’t be nearly as confused and they aren’t going to get as frustrated with you for not telling them what you wanted from the get-go.

Employee Motivation
In addition to clear communication, you have to be the one that works hard to keep your employees motivated. What are you doing to show them that you appreciate their hard work and the effort they put into the business? Employee motivation is a big part of running a successful company. If you want your employees to be happy and to work hard for you, it’s important for you to give a little to them. They will see what you are doing and will have a greater appreciation for you. Rewards can help you motivate your employees to work harder and it also shows them just how much you do care about them and need their help to keep the company running.

The Bulletproof Business Plan

It’s straight-shooter time in the search for investors. No fluff. No dodges.

In January 2000, when Patricia Adams started looking for outside funding, she put together a business plan that was just 15 pages long. The CEO of College Capital, a two-year-old business based in Scottsdale, Ariz., knew what investors were looking for: “a short, quick, fast read explaining what [the business] is and explaining how much money you want,” Adams says. What she herself needed was $1 million to move her college-preparation services onto the Internet.

Two months after Adams started sending out her business plan to venture capitalists and angels, the Internet bubble popped, and suddenly investors were guarding their checkbooks more closely. In the end it took Adams a year and a half to find the money. By then, summer 2001, her business plan filled two three-inch binders. “It’s a little bit of overkill,” Adams admits.

CEO PATRICIA ADAMS: When the market changed, so did her business plan — drastically.

Indeed, 25 pages is a more typical length for business plans, even now. Still, the business plan that impresses investors today is a very different beast from the one that pulled in the dough two short years ago. These days it’s back to basics with a vengeance. So what makes a business plan truly bulletproof at a time when the air seems to be thick with bullets? Here’s our take on the “new” fundamentals.

The Executive Summary
Investors are looking for a clear, solid business model that makes a profit or will make one soon. So among other things, you need to describe the business in an understandable fashion.

That was the advice that Donald Spero, director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, at the University of Maryland at College Park, gave Chesapeake PERL. The first time he read its plan’s executive summary, he thought it was too technical — not an uncommon problem. So Chesapeake president Terry Chase revised the summary, rinsing out the jargon and using much simpler language: “Our manufacturing system changes simple insect larvae into efficient mini-bioreactors that produce recombinant proteins at both high quality and low cost.”

“It tells you something about what they do even if you don’t understand what a recombinant protein is,” says Spero. “Second thing, she explains that this can reduce the time by a lot and the cost by maybe an order of magnitude to produce stuff that sells for between $1,000 and $3,000 per gram. That’s a way of saying there are good gross margins in this business.”

The Market Analysis
Simply citing a study about total market size from Gartner or Jupiter Media Metrix “isn’t very compelling to investors today,” says Brad Weirick, partner and chair of emerging technologies at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, who works with many West Coast start-ups. “They’ve seen the same glowing reports for every company they’ve funded, and yet a lot of investors are having problems with those companies.”

Instead, talk about your competitors in detail in your business plan: identify direct, indirect, and even potential competitors and describe their offerings, their percentage of the market, their funding, and their pricing, distribution, and promotion strategies. Most important, the plan should be crystal clear about how your own offering is different and why it gives customers a better value.

Some evidence that customers will buy your product — and buy it at the price you’re charging — is essential in a business plan today. Take the plan of a former General Motors engineer who went to angel Carl Meyering recently looking for funding to produce a new electronic monitoring device to protect battered spouses. Though the engineer’s business was promising, Meyering didn’t agree to fund it until the entrepreneur secured a $250,000 order from an Ohio court system.

If start-up founders can’t produce full-fledged paying customers, they might do well to provide information on beta customers, who have used a test version of the product. Results from focus groups made up of potential customers can also provide some proof of demand.

Finally, when it comes to sales and distribution, entrepreneurs shouldn’t rely on an if-you-build-it-they-will-come model any longer, cautions Kathy Elliott of the Boston angel group Renaissance Partners. Today a business plan should include information about the industry’s principal distribution channels and typical sales cycles and a well-thought-out — if possible, proven — model for the company’s own sales and distribution. Elliott cites the example of one start-up that recently won over Renaissance after switching its plans from hiring an expensive sales force to using already established value-added resellers.

One model that angel and venture capitalist Patty Abramson of Women’s Growth Capital Fund and WomenAngels.net, in Washington, D.C., likes to see is sales and distribution partnerships with larger, more established companies. They bump up a young business’s credibility, she says, not just with investors but also with customers.

Proper use of manager

Managing a team is very different from the way in which you manage individuals. Managers have a number of responsibilities and the team manager has to approach their business issues quite differently. A team of employees is compiled of various personalities and various talents and skills. You need to be able to work effectively with all of these personalities, even if you do not always agree with them. A team manager needs to elude leadership and they must be able to acquire the admiration of their employees through their strong leadership abilities.

The team manager receives direction from the senior manager. They can offer their direction via email and paper or they may offer direction during staff meetings and other places. If you need a team to have more employees on it, you normally need to turn to your HR department to find a replacement person on the team. The HR department needs to approve the move to have this person shifted to the team as it will impact other areas of the company and you may need to hire on new employees. The team manger can sometimes choose their team or they are forced to work with a team that is already in place.

A team manager has one skill that will stand above all others and that is communication. A team manager is responsible for running so many personalities that they need to send clear messages to all of them in order to keep everyone on the same page. Use all of the communication sources that are available to you from email to phone and even person-to-person communication that helps to keep everyone on target. The other thing you want to notice about communication is how easy it is to do as long as you are on top of it. You need to watch out for how many times you are having meetings that are unnecessary. Communication during meetings can sometimes go the other way and it can become pretty frustrating to control the meeting and to keep your employees all on the same page during the meeting.

One of the other major roles of a team manager is having the ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. They must be able to take a look at their employees that stand out from the others and can easily boost your team as you make these members in charge of harder tasks. Picking out the employees that have a chance to stand out will not only benefit the team but the company in general as they can eventually become team managers as well.

If you choose employees in the team to have additional power over other employees, you need to be very clear of your expectations for them and to also make sure they clearly understand how they need to communicate with them and make everyone work together. You need to be clear with your employees so that confusion does not exist and you need to also help your employees learn how to manage risk effectively to benefit the company in the best possible manner.

Team managers need to watch for biased treatment. This is one of the biggest hurdles you will face as a manager as there are always going to be employees that stand out and you will tend to favor them. Just be careful about the way in which you treat your other team members or it will start to tear apart the team and leave you with a poor image and your employees will not have a good impression of you and trust you to lead them.