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Business Tips from Cherif Medawar, Real Estate Hedge Fund Manager & Educator

An Interview with Ashlee Jones, Vice President of

1. What makes a good business idea a great and successful one?
If it can produce a profit and there is huge market hungry for it

2. What do you think are the most important traits of successful Entrepreneurs?
Knowledge: To manage self and business
Creativity: To transform problems into opportunities
Ability to communicate: To sell others on the idea, product and business model and raise capital

3. How does one know that there’s a real need for a product or service?
You have to get in the habit of being curious about people and things:
a. Start by reading Books and magazines and check the work of experts regarding emerging trends, changing habits, and new needs.
b. You must have the willingness and ability to observe and analyze, communicate and evaluate on your own.
c. Then of course, once you come up with an idea for a product, invest the money to have a “market viability study” although it could cost thousands of dollars, it will save you time, money ad effort either by dissuading you from pursuing a dead end or by being able to be more focused on the market potential and then you can always use the study prepared as part of your business plan when you raise capital.
d. Then survey and test, before you commit and invest.

4. What are the most important first steps a new entrepreneur should take?​
a. Invest in self to get maximum knowledge and ability to raise capital
b. Get a MVS (Market Viability Study) on the product
c. Get a clear end goal of what is to be accomplished and the exit (time or money wise)
d. Regarding the business, find out who did it, who is doing it and who else in planning on doing do it and learn from them
e. Go meet with people, connect with others and build relationships
f. Start as soon as possible, keep at it, adjust, improve, till you create a system, automate it, scale it and then exit as planned

5. How do you create a business plan that works?
Anyone perusing a business plan would want to see the six most important elements spelled out:
a. People (You, team and customers)
b. Product, property or project (the problem/solution the product offers)
c. Positioning (competition, versus you ad the market place and pricing)
d. Performance (what has happened, is happening and will happen)
e. Profit (how much, how soon, how often and for how long)
f. Potential: Market Viability Study (covering the market and potential of the product and the business model)
If you cover these points, you will make it easier for angel investors, partners, banks etc, to respond intelligently and quickly.

6. Where can I get help creating a business plan?
I think anyone can do a business plan and a basic market viability study. So you must start it, then if you wish, retain companies that specialize in studying the market. The other 5 points: People, Product, Positioning, Performance and Profit could be done by the inventor or also by and other companies specializing in drafting business plans.

7. How do I compete against the “big guys”?
You do the ordinary, extraordinarily well. And follow the formula of success:
a. Always be prudent, secure and paranoid about a margin of safety and reduce risk by testing before investing
b. Remain Focused, and diligent about the steady, reliable, guaranteed and growing cash flow (while keeping an eye and control on expenses)
c. And finally remain solvent, liquid with a good amount of cash reserves

If I can add a three more things:
1. Stay nimble, flexible and fast to adjust
2. Always have fun so you can keep the creativity flowing instead of the stress
3. Finally and most importantly MAXIMIZE your website presence through SEO. Be a monster in the digital world with Business Social Media. Remember a small 2 people company could have a better website and social media presence than a large conglomerate and no one will know the size difference except yourself.
Focus on all the above points because we know how a better digital presence can make a difference in marketing, branding and finance.

8. How do you build a great team?​
You begin by selecting intelligent, energetic and ethical people and you keep nurturing them through communication, action, results, adjustment, improvement, growth and the cycle of growth continues until they lead the way using the right culture you’ve built together. All this provided of course they are interested, willing and able to keep up. The group must grow together and enjoy the process.

9. What makes an investor put their money into a deal?
Investors will open their wallet if:
a. They feel that the rewards far offset the risk (based on facts and figures you presented like the market viability study)
b. The probability of success far outweighs the impact of failure (based on the system and automation you have producing sales results that could be scaled)
c. They know they can manage the risk in case the results do not pan out (based on their ability to control the process and changing course quickly or stopping or shifting gears or reselling etc. if they need to)

10. How do I find investors and business partners?
a. Go to places where investors go to invest (clubs, gatherings, meetings, organizations, mailing lists etc)
b. Have a great product and business model to present
c. Learn to pitch and raise capital (This is the most important skill an entrepreneur must have)

11. What is the most important part of my presentation?
a. Provided you are in front of the right audience (market)
b. And you are using the right medium (personal presentation/pitch)
c. The most important part of your presentation/message would be:
Your ability to explain and/or demonstrate the viability of your product and business model in the market (Nothing is more powerful than existing sales and pending orders that you cannot fulfill with your existing system and automated process because you need some capital to expand/scale)

12. If I am in a full time job, do you think I can still become an inventor, start my own products and business?
If you have a job as in a regular no hope, no excitement, and no creativity place. A job where you go every day 5 or 6 days a week to do a boring, routine like activity, then that should be a good motivation for you to start and grow outside of this dead end.
The idea is to consider that everything happening “to you” is happening “for you” and start reframing your world into the great potential it is. There are opportunities all around you to grow and help others grow with you.
Being in that dead end job maybe the best thing that can inspire you, so if that’s the case contact me and I will empower you to reach your maximum potential no matter your starting point. They key thing is whether you want to start or not.