What’s eating the roots of your business?

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I spent all last weekend murdering Vine Weevil Grubs in my garden pots. Somehow over the last two and half years where I have been so busy either buying and building my property portfolio, or writing a book about how I used Other People’s Money or setting up a training business ….. I had forgotten about my garden and how much pleasure I got from it.

I suppose there are two clear messages for me – first about not forgetting the simple pleasures in life – like pootling around in your own garden and also if you don’t tend to your garden – the Vine Weevils will!

These rotten little black beetles are really hard to kill and once they get established in your pots and containers they lay their eggs which once they hatch the trouble really starts. The grubs are tiny to start but by eating all the plant roots and bulbs you carefully planted with loving care ……. they grow into fat caterpillar like creatures and your plants all die.

As I was murdering these white beasts (similar to something they make celebrates eat on TV!!) I started to wonder if while I had been busy building and developing my businesses over the last two years – something had been eating away at the roots of my businesses without me knowing.

So many businesses fail, some for lack of investment, some for lack of systems – I know I have those under control. Now I needed to think about the roots of my business – the veins and arteries that provided the life blood – CASHFLOW – could anything be attacking below the surface.

As I thought more about this metaphor I started to realise that I do have one property, that although it has definitely not lost me money, it has never been a really good rental earner for some reason (maybe it has “Vine Weevils” ).

I travelled up to Manchester to speak at the property meet and took that opportunity to cross over and meet with my lettings manager. We went through every property that I have bought either for myself or my clients and looked at the rental performance and maintenance needs on each property – house by house.

I was right one of my properties was under performing – time to act. Unfortunately in this case it is not as easy as tossing out the old dirt and buying need – tenants in my case.  So I carried out some research about potential house prices in the street – ran my own numbers and realised that it would be viable to sell this house.

Normally I would never suggest selling your portfolio. Why would you sell property that generates your cashflow. However there are certain circumstances – for example I have bought some flats (something I generally never buy because all extra maintenance charges and nowhere to put an extension!) with the specific purpose of selling those out of the portfolio in the next 3-5 years at the point I decide to retire. It prices and plans perform as I expect then I should walk away with a tidy sum to start my retirement I can cope with that.

This particular property is now on the market and if I achieve close to asking price I will hopefully clear sufficient profit (and my capital back) to reinvest in another two new properties.

This is a brilliant time of the year – full of new buds of spring, sunshine – a time of growth. Is your business planted in good soil? What are the “Vine Weevils” that could attack your business? What condition is your “pay dirt” in?

Bring on the sunshine – business and plant pot growth :)


To our mutual success, wealth and happiness
Vicki – The Property Mermaid


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About the Author:

I am a Property Sourcer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Adventurer. I am passionate about property, scuba diving, and helping people become independently wealthy.