They Call It “Urban Blight”

Appraisers and lenders call it external obsolescence, and it’ll lower the value of your Commercial property accordingly.  Blight makes the surrounding commercial properties less desirable in multiple ways:

* Customers may be turned off and turn away from a business district.

* Business owners may steer their searches for their next store front or office location away from a blighted location.

A lack of desire to shop in a blighted location, rent space or purchase a building, not only affects the value of your commercial property when you own a building in that location, but you could consider it a negotiating tool if you’re negotiating a lease for space there.

We had a conversation this morning with a local business owner about blight.  She’s been growing her business over the past four years and in a particular downtown location over the past 9 months.  She’s rapidly outgrowing her current small studio/office space and she has her eye on a recently-vacated storefront across the street from her current location.  In fact, she told us that the more she thought about it, the more excited she became to make it happen.

Our conversation arose out of her possible need for a business line of credit to finance the acquisition and renovate the new storefront.  We pointed out the adjacent vacant location as we stood upstairs at her studio looking out at the street and the other thriving businesses in the area.

The worst news about this particular blighted location is that pretty much every other business owner in the area knows about the owner of this building, about how it’s been vacant for over a year, and about how that owner has never truly cared for this property’s external and maintenance appearance.  Some business owners banded together and filed complaints with the local economic development council.

Frustrating for those business owners, yes, but we suggested a negotiating opportunity for our potential business financing client.  We suggested she snap a photo of the blighted storefronts and present those to the property manager of the storefront she wants to rent when sitting down to complete lease negotiations.

The fact is, as too often happens in a blighted location, there are business owners seeking to be in that location and willing to ignore the blight and hoping that potential clients/customers will also ignore it.  In this instance, this business owner has had wonderful success with her customers on this blighted street.

So, she’s invested in the location already.  Her desire to grab that storefront and move her business to the next income-producing level isn’t clouding her judgment at all, but it certainly helped her forget about the nasty looking storefronts.  We pointed that out to her and made the negotiating suggestion.

Visit our Financing Fodder YouTube Playlist for more information on how to prepare yourself when requesting a business loan.

How We Avoid Prospecting

Professional salespeople know when they wake in the morning they have to do the one thing that is sure to guarantee an income:

Prospect for new business.

In a way, salespeople begin everyday looking for a new “job”, don’t they? Because without a new client to purchase what they’re selling, how is there any any hope of a paycheck in the future? Even if that salesperson is a salaried professional, without showing results for their employer, there’s no guarantee the employer will continue to employ that salesperson.

I think therefore, we can agree that a professional salesperson, whether commissioned or salaried, knows that prospecting for new business is the number one priority for their days, each and every day.

That’s not to say they all follow through on the actions necessary to prospect. “Prospecting avoidance” is a commonly understood malady in the sales profession. Sales Managers everywhere constantly harangue their sales teams to hit the pavements, ring the doorbells, make the calls, set the appointments, to fulfill the promise of prospecting.

Avoidance of prospecting comes out of the simple psychological fear of rejection. We all have it. Besides, as simple as prospecting can often turn out to be when you actually do it, it can also be as difficult to initiate.

It’s no wonder then that business owners who are NOT professional salespeople may suffer from this very disease of prospecting avoidance. The creative excuses people come up with to avoid having to make prospecting calls are legendary. Yet, as the owner of your business, unless you have a professional salesperson or sales team working for you, you must must, must, Prospect for new business.
The only way to overcome your avoidance of your emotional pain about Prospecting is to simply attach a level of importance to this task.

We hear so often from Business Owners of being distracted with other important tasks: making payroll; attending to a malfunctioning machine on the shop floor; taking a call from the accountant/attorney/spouse/pesky customer/excellent customer/number one account/printer/fleet mechanic and on and on and on.

The Business Owner has attached a level of importance to each and every one of these tasks. Attach that same level of importance to Prospecting. You must. Absolutely must. Your business health, wealth and survival depends on you doing so.

Once you make Prospecting as important an activity as any other in running your business, all those other avoidance afflictions melt away into nothing. Fear of rejection disappears. Procrastination towards your Prospecting Plan converts to an optimistic sense of urgency.

And, yes, you may even like Prospecting.