By Ed McLaughlin with Wyn Lydecker

Before you start your business, you need to ask: How do you succinctly describe the product you will sell? It is critical to be able to verbalize the details of the product’s attributes, its position in the marketplace, and its competitive advantage.

My business, USI, started out by offering to manage corporations’ real estate portfolios and the multiple transactions which each portfolio generates monthly. Most big businesses have a lot of real estate holdings: offices, warehouses, retail outlets, distribution centers, or data centers spread across the country or even the world. Each one of these locations has to be managed: rents paid, property taxes paid, leases negotiated, new buildings bought and sold, etc. If the company is growing, then management will be looking for additional space. If the firm is cutting costs or contracting, then management needs to reconfigure or eliminate space. My business was going to take on the management, planning, and execution of all of this work.  

More specifically, USI would manage all of the real estate transactions, execute a share of the work directly, and work with local brokers on behalf of our corporate customers.

Traditionally, real estate transactions were handled entirely by local brokers, individual deal by individual deal. I identified the need for a more efficient process that would disrupt the market.USI would become the customer’s single point of contact for all their transaction and information needs. We promised to reduce occupancy costs, while rebating a share of the commissions to offset the customer’s real estate department costs.  

We hadn’t thought of every service we could offer from the beginning, but we had a vision for selling a full suite of integrated services. When starting out, you need to focus on the basics of your product’s attributes, its position in the marketplace, and its profit potential, while keeping the ultimate vision in mind.

 “The Purpose Is Profit” is scheduled for release in summer 2014.

Copyright © 2013 by Ed McLaughlin  All rights reserved