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#2 Platinum’s Founding Principles

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When I started Platinum Property Partners, there were a number of founding principles upon which the business was built. Just like a house, if the foundations aren’t solid, then the building will collapse.

I believe that personally and professionally, one of the most important things that you can do is to have solid foundations.

 

By sharing the core success principles with you, my sincere hope is that they’ll be of real value to you in your own business. I’m also sharing them because I want future staff members, Platinum Franchise Partners and investors to understand more about the organisation that they are considering joining.

The Platinum Way, Part Two:

Back in 2005 and 2006, as I was building my own property portfolio, I had more and more people asking me to help them replicate the financial success and business model that I had developed.

So I did what most other people in the training, coaching and mentoring business did, I put on a weekend seminar. Two days of full-on, value-packed information and learning. A partner and I gave a no-holds-barred insight into what we were doing and shared our ‘secrets’ of success.

At the end of the weekend, we got great feedback. The course was a roaring success. Or so we thought.

But there was a fundamental problem. When I started to speak to people a few months later, I noticed a disturbing pattern…

No one was applying what we taught them. They still said the course was great, the information was practical and the delivery style was inspirational, but they just couldn’t replicate our results.

This troubled me greatly.

Why? Because I have always lived my life by a few mantras and one of them is best summarised like this:

I spoke to my then business partner and a business consultant that we were working with at the time and I shared my frustration. They didn’t see the problem. 100 people paying £500 for a weekend seminar brings in a cool £50,000 for a weekend’s work, less £10k venue costs and expenses and it’s a clear £40k gross profit. Good money by most people’s standards!

But I wouldn’t let it go.

I’d attended lots of courses and paid for coaches and mentors and I could see that there was a fundamental problem with the wealth creation and business opportunities industry.

The uncomfortable truth was that the only people who really made any money were the people selling the courses. These courses provided ‘information and inspiration’ but what they lacked was actually the most important element, ‘implementation’.

So in the summer of 2006, I went to the south of France on holiday with my wife Lucy and our four children, while I was still wrestling with this dilemma.

There was no way in the world I wanted to run “property seminars” that promised the earth but delivered little beyond information and inspiration.

The feel-good factor after a training course soon wears off and I refused to build a business that was based on ‘selling hopes to dreamers!’

And then one night, in the middle of the night, a very powerful idea came to me…

“What would happen if I created a business on the premise that 100% of people who paid me or my company any money, actually achieved their financial goals?”

Wow! What an exciting (and scary) concept that was!

I wasn’t interested in building what I like to call a “happy-clappy club!” Any good speaker can ‘inspire’ someone for a few hours or a few days. But studies show that less than 3% of people who attend these types of training courses, actually go on to apply what they have learnt.

So I got out of bed at 2am and started writing for hours, answering just one question..

“What would you need to do to create a business where everyone you worked with was successful?”

And I came up with the following list of ten founding principles that have stood the test of time for all Platinum franchised businesses…

1. You need to work in partnership with people for the long term (at least five years), so that when the honeymoon period is over and the sh*t hits the fan, you can give your ‘Partners’, the help and support they need.

2. You would need to create a tried, tested and proven system and a profitable and sustainable business model that could be simplified and followed by lots of different people with different skills and experience. In essence, the model would need to be replicable and it would have to work in different locations.

3. It would also be critical to choose the right ‘Partners’ who had the money, time, motivation and intelligence required to succeed.

4. You would need to create a community and culture of like-minded people with shared values, who like and trust each other and who genuinely want each other to succeed.

5. You’d need a team of experienced mentors and subject matter experts who are specialists in all the different aspects of the business and who would work with our Partners on a one-to-one basis in real time in the real world. The business MUST NOT be built using the ‘guru principle’ — IE one person who knows it all, as this creates a single point of failure and this in turn creates more risk.

6. It would be vital to have a network of trusted supply Partners who could provide first-class bespoke services and support at the lowest possible prices, without compromise. In time, unique and exclusive service products could be created due to the economies of scale and leverage possibilities from a large network.

7. The management team and staff would have to be genuinely passionate about mentoring, coaching and helping others succeed because a business of this type, by its very nature, would be one that would have to operate and exists for decades to come.

8. You would need to provide a wide and ever growing range of blended and accelerated learning solutions, which would enable Partners from a diverse range of backgrounds and with different skills, to turn theory into real world results, day in, day out.

9. We would need to become the best company, not the biggest. And our focus would have to be on quality, measurable results and Partner success, not bums on seats and over-hyped marketing bulls**t.

10. And finally, it would be critical to have a financial and commercial model that meant the business would be able to afford to provide all of the above and still make a modest profit.

So that was it! My Jerry Maguire Mission Statement moment was complete. And I was buzzing.

It was one of those rare moments in life where you know that you have created or discovered a powerful truth. A ground-breaking concept that had not been done before (at least not to my knowledge in 2006 or since that time.)

But there was one fatal flaw in the master-plan that brought me crashing down to earth….

How in the hell would I be able to provide this level of service and support at a price point that anyone would be able to afford?

In fact, it was such a big problem, that it resulted in me parting ways with my then business Partner. I think he thought I was mad! And to be fair to him at the time, I had no idea how I would ever be able to afford to provide this level of support to my future Partners. I just knew, at a very instinctive level, that this is what I wanted to do and if I could pull it off, we would change lots of people’s lives for the better.

At the very least I owed it to myself and to the wealth creation industry to give it a try. It’s very easy to be a critic of what other people do. So rather than moan about the cynical nature of the industry, or look for a way to justify selling false hope to dreamers, I decided to put my money where my mouth was and give it my best shot.

Part three of the story will pick up the Platinum journey from this point, so look out for the third story in this series coming soon.

In the meantime, I hope that you can take something of value from the Platinum Way series.

I will leave you with the following thoughts that might be of help to you in your own business, or one that you might create in future…

1. Look for contradictions in your industry and confront the brutal facts.

2. Understand what your potential customers/clients/partners want, but more importantly, learn to find out what they need (they rarely tell you)

3. Focus on outcomes and unique solutions that will deliver real results.

4. Know your competition (deeply and intimately) and look for ways that you can be better and different.

5. Don’t expect to have all the answers when you start on your journey.

6. Work on something that you love so that when you are working hard (most of the time) you are doing it because it is enjoyable and rewarding (to you and others).

7. Stand on the shoulders of giants — there is always someone who has solved the problem you are facing and who is willing to help (you just need to commit to finding them and then act on it)

Until next time, I wish you the very best of success and greater wealth, health and happiness in life.

Over and out (for now).

Steve Bolton
Platinum Founder and Chairman

#1 The Platinum Way

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This blog series is being written for anyone who is looking to start or grow a successful, rewarding and profitable business.

It’s a fly on the wall perspective that will show you how we started and built the fastest growing premium franchise in UK history, and, more importantly, achieved an industry-leading financial success score of 94% from our Franchise Partner network.

This blog is about the stuff we’ve learned since launching that first franchise. About having ideas and challenging the status quo, about getting started and helping hundreds of others to succeed, about business, property and eCommerce, about company life and working with friends (and enemies), about the stuff we’ve got right and the stuff we got wrong. And about doing the right thing.

We started Platinum from scratch, so we’ve learnt a lot of things by getting stuff wrong. Some other lessons have come from finding and listening carefully to people clever than us. And some stuff we just got lucky on. But all of it, the good the bad and the useful, will be in here.

My greatest hope in sharing our story is that it will inspire you to bigger and better things. And to realise that ‘normal’ people, just like you, have the potential to achieve remarkable feats.

I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I had no master-plan when I started the business and no one really believed I would amount to anything in life (apart from my mum!) And yet despite these handicaps, a kid who left school at 16 with no qualifications, with the help of many great people along the way, actually made it. But more importantly, we made a difference.

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, with a property portfolio in excess of £250 million, an exciting new franchise in the ecommerce space and a combined annual group turnover in excess of £40 million, it’s fair to say that we have grown since our humble beginnings.

And finally, I hope that my mum and dad will finally believe me when I tell them that I haven’t spent as much time with them as I might have liked, because I’ve been a bit busy over the last decade!