A Joint Message For The Protection Of Creation

For the first time, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion have jointly warned of the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on poverty, and the importance of global cooperation.

For more than a year, we have all experienced the devastating effects of a global pandemic—all of us, whether poor or wealthy, weak or strong. Some were more protected or vulnerable than others, but the rapidly-spreading infection meant that we have depended on each other in our efforts to stay safe. We realised that, in facing this worldwide calamity, no one is safe until everyone is safe, that our actions really do affect one another, and that what we do today affects what happens tomorrow.

These are not new lessons, but we have had to face them anew. May we not waste this moment. We must decide what kind of world we want to leave to future generations. God mandates: ‘Choose life, so that you and your children might live’ (Dt 30:19). We must choose to live differently; we must choose life.

September is celebrated by many Christians as the Season of Creation, an opportunity to pray and care for God’s creation. As world leaders prepare to meet in November at Glasgow to deliberate on the future of our planet, we pray for them and consider what the choices we must all make. Accordingly, as leaders of our Churches, we call on everyone, whatever their belief or worldview, to endeavour to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor, examining their behaviour and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us.

The Importance of Sustainability

In our common Christian tradition, the Scriptures and the Saints provide illuminating perspectives for comprehending both the realities of the present and the promise of something larger than what we see in the moment. The concept of stewardship—of individual and collective responsibility for our God-given endowment—presents a vital starting-point for social, economic and environmental sustainability. In the New Testament, we read of the rich and foolish man who stores great wealth of grain while forgetting about his finite end (Lk 12.13–21). We learn of the prodigal son who takes his inheritance early, only to squander it and end up hungry (Lk 15.11–32). We are cautioned against adopting short term and seemingly inexpensive options of building on sand, instead of building on rock for our common home to withstand storms (Mt 7.24–27). These stories invite us to adopt a broader outlook and recognise our place in the extended story of humanity.

But we have taken the opposite direction. We have maximised our own interest at the expense of future generations. By concentrating on our wealth, we find that long-term assets, including the bounty of nature, are depleted for short-term advantage. Technology has unfolded new possibilities for progress but also for accumulating unrestrained wealth, and many of us behave in ways which demonstrate little concern for other people or the limits of the planet. Nature is resilient, yet delicate. We are already witnessing the consequences of our refusal to protect and preserve it (Gn 2.15). Now, in this moment, we have an opportunity to repent, to turn around in resolve, to head in the opposite direction. We must pursue generosity and fairness in the ways that we live, work and use money, instead of selfish gain.

The Impact on People Living with Poverty

The current climate crisis speaks volumes about who we are and how we view and treat God’s creation. We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, since we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure. But we also face a profound injustice: the people bearing the most catastrophic consequences of these abuses are the poorest on the planet and have been the least responsible for causing them. We serve a God of justice, who delights in creation and creates every person in God’s image, but also hears the cry of people who are poor. Accordingly, there is an innate call within us to respond with anguish when we see such devastating injustice.

Today, we are paying the price. The extreme weather and natural disasters of recent months reveal afresh to us with great force and at great human cost that climate change is not only a future challenge, but an immediate and urgent matter of survival. Widespread floods, fires and droughts threaten entire continents. Sea levels rise, forcing whole communities to relocate; cyclones devastate entire regions, ruining lives and livelihoods. Water has become scarce and food supplies insecure, causing conflict and displacement for millions of people. We have already seen this in places where people rely on small scale agricultural holdings. Today we see it in more industrialised countries where even sophisticated infrastructure cannot completely prevent extraordinary destruction.

Tomorrow could be worse. Today’s children and teenagers will face catastrophic consequences unless we take responsibility now, as ‘fellow workers with God’ (Gn 2.4–7), to sustain our world. We frequently hear from young people who understand that their futures are under threat. For their sake, we must choose to eat, travel, spend, invest and live differently, thinking not only of immediate interest and gains but also of future benefits. We repent of our generation’s sins. We stand alongside our younger sisters and brothers throughout the world in committed prayer and dedicated action for a future which corresponds ever more to the promises of God.

The Imperative of Cooperation

Over the course of the pandemic, we have learned how vulnerable we are. Our social systems frayed, and we found that we cannot control everything. We must acknowledge that the ways we use money and organize our societies have not benefited everyone. We find ourselves weak and anxious, submersed in a series of crises; health, environmental, food, economic and social, which are all deeply interconnected.

These crises present us with a choice. We are in a unique position either to address them with shortsightedness and profiteering or seize this as an opportunity for conversion and transformation. If we think of humanity as a family and work together towards a future based on the common good, we could find ourselves living in a very different world. Together we can share a vision for life where everyone flourishes. Together we can choose to act with love, justice and mercy. Together we can walk towards a fairer and fulfilling society with those who are most vulnerable at the centre.

But this involves making changes. Each of us, individually, must take responsibility for the ways we use our resources. This path requires an ever-closer collaboration among all churches in their commitment to care for creation. Together, as communities, churches, cities and nations, we must change route and discover new ways of working together to break down the traditional barriers between peoples, to stop competing for resources and start collaborating.

To those with more far-reaching responsibilities—heading administrations, running companies, employing people or investing funds—we say: choose people-centred profits; make short-term sacrifices to safeguard all our futures; become leaders in the transition to just and sustainable economies. ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ (Lk 12:48)

This is the first time that the three of us feel compelled to address together the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on persistent poverty, and the importance of global cooperation. Together, on behalf of our communities, we appeal to the heart and mind of every Christian, every believer and every person of good will. We pray for our leaders who will gather in Glasgow to decide the future of our planet and its people. Again, we recall Scripture: ‘choose life, so that you and your children may live’ (Dt 30:19). Choosing life means making sacrifices and exercising self-restraint.

All of us—whoever and wherever we are—can play a part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and environmental degradation.

Caring for God’s creation is a spiritual commission requiring a response of commitment. This is a critical moment. Our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.

How To Define Your Core Values And Beliefs?

Living a purposeful and fulfilling life only happens when we live according to our core values and following our personal beliefs. But then, how can you align your actions to your core values and beliefs? It all begins with knowing how to define your personal values and core beliefs to live true to yourself.

A lot of times, we struggle in decision-making and finding direction in our day-to-day life situations. This murky dilemma clears out when we have our list of values and beliefs clearly defined.  They are like the needle in a compass, pointing in the direction of a meaningful and fulfilling life, full of passion and purpose.

Rather than being extrinsically influenced by media, pop culture, and trending habits/activities, you can choose to live true to yourself.

How To Define Your Core Values And Beliefs (With 120+ Examples)

While this world is ever changing oh so rapidly, (and we have to adapt to the changes) your values should never change. They are the one thing that keeps you grounded while everything else is like shifting, sinking sand.

In this article, we will be discovering how to define personal values and beliefs and some examples of these values and beliefs to get you well on the way to finding yours.

What Are Personal Values?

Personal values are the things we hold important to us, the behaviors and attributes that guide our decisions and motivate us to action. Personal values serve as personal guiding principles to our actions and decisions.

Personal values differ from person to person and can be shaped by such factors as culture, life experiences, and other experiences, including those while growing up.

Let’s take an example: you may value honesty. You believe you should be honest in any and every situation, and you believe it is critical always to express who you are and what you think without fear or compromise, and when you do compromise and fail to speak your mind, you may feel disappointed in yourself.

Perhaps your value is kindness. You’re keen to help others at every opportunity you get, and you consider generosity as a way of life as you give your time and resources to worthy causes, family, and friends.

Now, these are just two examples of personal values, and there can be limitless possibilities.

By the way if you’re a business owner, you want your business values to flow from your personal values. When we are working with clients we begin with personal, because your business should be the vehicle by which to achieve your personal goals in life.

Now, you may be wondering, do I really need a personal value statement? Well, let’s talk about that for a bit.

Why It Matters To Have A Value Statement

When you live according to your values, you’re more likely to feel better and fulfilled. It also means you’ll likely feel bad about yourself when you fail to live according to your values. Thus, personal values help us live a life of fulfillment and purpose, being able to enjoy our lives when we live according to our values. It applies to both the micro day-to-day decisions as well as the significant life-altering steps we take.

For example, if you value adventure, then you’ll always feel unsatisfied, compressed, and caged up when others pressure you into taking paths that lead away from adventure into the “safe” route. It can apply to being pressured away from a life of travels to a desk job or settled home life, etc.; with such a value statement, paths that involve risks, new ventures, and challenges will accrue fulfillment and satisfaction.

But if your value statement takes the polar opposite of security, as opposed to adventure, then the reverse is true. Taking on the life of travel and risk in starting your own business and being your own boss may leave you feeling insecure, disappointed, and craving a more settled existence.

Each individual is different, and what excites one may leave another feeling wanting and anxious. It is, thus, essential to define your values and live by them to have a meaningful existence, one full of happiness, fulfillment, and peace, even when those values don’t seem to ride well with others.

Types Of Personal Values

There are universally ten distinct types of values, motivationally distinct and applicable in cross-cultural spheres, as presented by Schwartz (1992):

  • Achievement, e.g., determined, successful
  • Benevolence, e.g., forgiving, loyal, responsible, supportive
  • Conformity, e.g., politeness, restraint, respect
  • Hedonism, e.g., indulgent, pleasure
  • Power, e.g., wealth, authority
  • Security, e.g., social order, cleanliness
  • Self-direction, e.g., freedom, originality
  • Stimulation, e.g., exciting life, daring
  • Tradition, e.g., devout, respect for traditions, modest
  • Universalism, e.g., equality, wisdom, the world of peace, social justice, protecting the environment

The list of personal values can be numerically indefinite but would each fit into one of these ten categories. There is no universal list of values from which to reference, as each individual will develop his/her list of values, assigning a unique degree of priority to each.

What Are Core Beliefs?

Core beliefs are generalized and fundamental beliefs held about self, the world, and the future, on an individual level. Core beliefs are absolute and instrumental in understanding the world around us. Core beliefs guide an individual in making decisions and responding to events as they happen. Beliefs are usually constituted from childhood or at any other formative experience in life.

Sources Of Beliefs

  • Association: beliefs can be synthesized as we interact and associate with other people.
  • Authority: Beliefs could be developed from an authority figure in the life of an individual, usually a parent, religious leader, school teacher, etc.
  • Evidence: Beliefs could be logically and rationally synthesized from evidence or proven axioms.
  • Revelation: Beliefs could also be based upon revelation – divine or a hunch.
  • Tradition: Beliefs could be developed from traditions, family, and society.

Categories Of Beliefs

As seen from the definition of beliefs, they can be categorized based on self, others, the world, and the future. They can either be positive or negative.


“I am strong and able to do it.”

“I am weak and incapable of succeeding.”


“People like me for who I am.”

“People are disloyal and not to be trusted.”

The World

“The world is full of opportunities and adventure!”

“The world is a dangerous place.”

The Future

“The future is bright, and success awaits me.”

“There is no hope – things will keep getting worse.”

Types Of Beliefs – Enabling vs. Limiting Beliefs

Enabling (Positive) Beliefs

Enabling beliefs generally portray optimism and good self-efficacy – the self-belief that you can achieve something.  Enabling beliefs portray positivity.

Some examples of enabling (positive) beliefs include:

  • I am able
  • I am intelligent
  • I always try my best
  • I am hardworking

Limiting (Negative) Beliefs

Negative beliefs are limiting beliefs that can hold an individual back from attaining personal potentials. People with limiting beliefs usually regard these beliefs as absolute, even though they are largely inaccurate and unhelpful to the individual. Individuals with such negative beliefs can be judgmental of themselves and others.

Some examples of limiting (negative) beliefs include:

  • I am not smart
  • I am weak
  • I am a disappointment
  • I am unlovable
  • I always fail
  • I am worthless

It is important to note that beliefs, whether enabling or limiting, aren’t always accurate and can sometimes mislead into making poor decisions due to their inaccuracy. At the same time, people with inaccurate enabling beliefs can sometimes make decisions based on inaccurate beliefs that score them a better life. People with inaccurate limiting beliefs can sometimes easily suffer from depression and anxiety.

Defining Your Personal Core Values

The key to a lasting house is the strength of its foundation. No matter how beautiful a house is, it will sink to the ground without a study found. The same holds for your values. As a foundation is to a lasting house, core values are instrumental in our decisions, actions, and behaviors.

Without a base, you lose a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and direction. You may appear to be a success but still feel empty and lost. Until you clearly define what success means to you, you may end up chasing empty accomplishments and never be truly fulfilled.

What you don’t define, you may violate inadvertently and end up feeling guilty, ashamed, and not knowing why.

When people have a clearly defined list of personal values, the following holds true for them:

  • It’s a lot easier for them to make the big decisions and steps that have macro-consequences on their lives regarding passions, careers, and relationships.
  • They are less likely to indulge in destructive thought patterns, especially when the going gets rough.
  • They have a greater tolerance for physical pain.
  • They are more self-disciplined and focused.
  • They quickly establish stronger social connections.

To define your personal core values list, start to look inside to uncover what matters to you. It may take some time and a lot of digging deep to find what works for you.

One size does not fit all when it comes to core values, as each individual may have a different set of core values. So, it may not just be as simple as looking through a list and picking some values to go by; spend some time in personal reflection to discover yourself.

Here are some questions to start you out on this self-discovery journey. As you think about them, be sure to write down answers as they’d serve as clues to identifying your unique personal core values.

Who do you admire?

It is helpful to identify real-life examples of people you admire and look up to. Carefully consider and write down some role models you admire whose meaningful lives inspire you. This could be people you know, characters out of a book/movie, etc.

Specifically, you’ll want to note down

  • What, particularly, about them inspires you
  • The admirable qualities they possess
  • Specific behaviors you would like to emulate

What inspires you to act?

Most often than not, personal core values often manifest through actions and behaviors. Was there ever a situation where you took a stand for someone or something? Why did you feel so strongly to act?

Try writing down:

  • the feelings that pushed you to act or speak up
  • the risk you were willing to take at that moment
  • the consequences of acting — what you gained or lost

When do you feel most like yourself?

When the situation presents itself that permits you to react with external influence/pressures, it clarifies your values. And when you do betray your core values, the feeling of shame and guilt sets in, and you feel defiled.

In situations you feel wrong, guilty, or ashamed, you should write down:

  • who you’re with
  • the exact feelings being triggered
  • emotionally and physically cost of the experience

In situations you feel authentic and genuine, write down:

  • who you’re with
  • the exact activities involved
  • positive emotions as a result of these experiences

If you find it hard articulating the words that describe the qualities or emotions you feel from the exercises above, it may be helpful going through a list of values. Here are some examples.

List Of Core Values

  1. Abundance
  2. Achievement
  3. Advancement
  4. Adventure
  5. Affection
  6. Appreciation
  7. Balance
  8. Be True
  9. Beauty
  10. Career
  11. Caring
  12. Change
  13. Charisma
  14. Clarity
  15. Commitment
  16. Commonality
  17. Communication
  18. Compassion
  19. Connection
  20. Consistency
  21. Contentment
  22. Contributing
  23. Cooperation
  24. Courage
  25. Creativity
  26. Dependability
  27. Determination
  28. Diversity
  29. Education
  30. Effectiveness
  31. Efficiency
  32. Encouragement
  33. Endurance
  34. Enjoyment
  35. Entertain
  36. Entrepreneurial
  37. Environmentalism
  38. Excellence
  39. Excitement
  40. Facilitation
  41. Faith
  42. Fame
  43. Family
  44. Finances
  45. Finesse
  46. Forgiveness
  47. Freedom
  48. Friendship
  49. Relationship
  50. Fun-Loving
  51. Generosity
  52. Giving People a Chance
  53. Good humor
  54. Goodness
  55. Grace
  56. Gratitude
  57. Happiness
  58. Harmony
  59. Health
  60. Home
  61. Honesty
  62. Humanity
  63. Humor
  64. Independence
  65. Innovation
  66. Integrity
  67. Intelligence
  68. Invention
  69. Involvement
  70. Influence
  71. Joy/Play
  72. Justice
  73. Kindness
  74. Knowledge
  75. Leadership
  76. Learning
  77. Love
  78. Love of Career
  79. Loyalty
  80. Motivation
  81. Open-mindedness
  82. Openness
  83. Optimism
  84. Order
  85. Passion
  86. Patience
  87. Patriotism
  88. Peace
  89. Perfection
  90. Perseverance
  91. Personal Development
  92. Positivity
  93. Power
  94. Pride in Your Work
  95. Professionalism
  96. Prosperity
  97. Quality
  98. Reciprocity
  99. Relationship
  100. Reliability
  101. Religion
  102. Renewal
  103. Respect
  104. Security
  105. Self-Respect
  106. Service to others
  107. Simplicity
  108. Sincerity
  109. Speed
  110. Spiritualism
  111. Spontaneity
  112. Strength
  113. Success
  114. Teamwork
  115. This-too-shall-pass Attitude
  116. Trusting Your Gut
  117. Understanding
  118. Wealth
  119. Wellness
  120. Willingness
  121. Wisdom
  122. Work Smarter and Harder

By Alan Melton

5 Simple Ways to Invest in Real Estate

Here’s how—from buying rental property to REITs and more.

Buying and owning real estate is an investment strategy that can be both satisfying and lucrative. Unlike stock and bond investors, prospective real estate owners can use leverage to buy a property by paying a portion of the total cost upfront, then paying off the balance, plus interest, over time.

While a traditional mortgage generally requires a 20% to 25% down payment, in some cases a 5% down payment is all it takes to purchase an entire property. This ability to control the asset the moment papers are signed emboldens both real estate flippers and landlords, who can, in turn, take out second mortgages on their homes in order to make down payments on additional properties. Here are five key ways investors can make money on real estate.

While a traditional mortgage generally requires a 20% to 25% down payment, in some cases a 5% down payment is all it takes to purchase an entire property. This ability to control the asset the moment papers are signed emboldens both real estate flippers and landlords, who can, in turn, take out second mortgages on their homes in order to make down payments on additional properties. Here are five key ways investors can make money on real estate.

Key Takeaways

  • Aspiring real estate owners can buy a property using leverage, paying a portion of its total cost upfront, then paying off the balance over time.
  • One of the primary ways in which investors can make money in real estate is to become a landlord of a rental property.
  • People who are flippers, buying up undervalued real estate, fixing it up, and selling it, can also earn income.
  • Real estate investment groups are a more hands-off way to make money in real estate.
  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are basically dividend-paying stocks.

5 Simple Ways To Invest In Real Estate

1. Rental Properties

Owning rental properties can be a great opportunity for individuals with do-it-yourself (DIY) and renovation skills, and have the patience to manage tenants. However, this strategy does require substantial capital to finance up-front maintenance costs and to cover vacant months.


  • Provides regular income and properties can appreciate
  • Maximizes capital through leverage
  • Many tax-deductible associated expenses


  • Can be tedious managing tenants
  • Potentially damage property from tenants
  • Reduced income from potential vacancies

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, sales prices of new homes (a rough indicator for real estate values) consistently increased in value from 1940 to 2006, before dipping during the financial crisis. Subsequently, sales prices resumed their ascent, even surpassing pre-crisis levels. It remains to be seen what the longterm effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be on real estate values.

2. Real Estate Investment Groups (REIGs)

Real estate investment groups (REIGs) are ideal for people who want to own rental real estate without the hassles of running it. Investing in REIGs requires a capital cushion and access to financing.

REIGs are like small mutual funds that invest in rental properties. In a typical real estate investment group, a company buys or builds a set of apartment blocks or condos, then allows investors to purchase them through the company, thereby joining the group.

A single investor can own one or multiple units of self-contained living space, but the company operating the investment group collectively manages all of the units, handling maintenance, advertising vacancies, and interviewing tenants. In exchange for conducting these management tasks, the company takes a percentage of the monthly rent.

A standard real estate investment group lease is in the investor’s name, and all of the units pool a portion of the rent to guard against occasional vacancies. To this end, you’ll receive some income even if your unit is empty. As long as the vacancy rate for the pooled units doesn’t spike too high, there should be enough to cover costs.


  • More hands-off than owning rentals
  • Provides income and appreciation


  • Vacancy risks
  • Similar fees as mutual funds
  • Susceptible to unscrupulous managers

3. House Flipping

House flipping is for people with significant experience in real estate valuation, marketing, and renovation. House flipping requires capital and the ability to do, or oversee, repairs as needed.

This is the proverbial “wild side” of real estate investing. Just as day trading is different from buy-and-hold investors, real estate flippers are distinct from buy-and-rent landlords. Case in point—real estate flippers often look to profitably sell the undervalued properties they buy in less than six months.

Pure property flippers often don’t invest in improving properties. Therefore, the investment must already have the intrinsic value needed to turn a profit without any alterations, or they’ll eliminate the property from contention.

Flippers who are unable to swiftly unload a property may find themselves in trouble because they typically don’t keep enough uncommitted cash on hand to pay the mortgage on a property over the long term. This can lead to continued, snowballing losses.

There is another kind of flipper who makes money by buying reasonably priced properties and adding value by renovating them. This can be a longer-term investment, where investors can only afford to take on one or two properties at a time.Pros

  • Ties up capital for a shorter time period
  • Can offer quick returns


  • Requires a deeper market knowledge
  • Hot markets cooling unexpectedly

4. Real Estate Investment Trusts

real estate investment trust (REIT) is best for investors who want portfolio exposure to real estate without a traditional real estate transaction.

A REIT is created when a corporation (or trust) uses investors’ money to purchase and operate income properties. REITs are bought and sold on the major exchanges, like any other stock.

A corporation must payout 90% of its taxable profits in the form of dividends in order to maintain its REIT status. By doing this, REITs avoid paying corporate income tax, whereas a regular company would be taxed on its profits and then have to decide whether or not to distribute its after-tax profits as dividends.

Like regular dividend-paying stocks, REITs are a solid investment for stock market investors who desire regular income. In comparison to the aforementioned types of real estate investment, REITs afford investors entry into nonresidential investments, such as malls or office buildings, that are generally not feasible for individual investors to purchase directly.

More important, REITs are highly liquid because they are exchange-traded. In other words, you won’t need a realtor and a title transfer to help you cash out your investment. In practice, REITs are a more formalized version of a real estate investment group.

Finally, when looking at REITs, investors should distinguish between equity REITs that own buildings, and mortgage REITs that provide financing for real estate and dabble in mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Both offer exposure to real estate, but the nature of the exposure is different. An equity REIT is more traditional, in that it represents ownership in real estate, whereas the mortgage REITs focus on the income from mortgage financing of real estate.


  • Essentially dividend-paying stocks
  • Core holdings tend to be long-term, cash-producing leases


  • Leverage associated with traditional rental real estate does not apply

5. Online Real Estate Platforms

Real estate investing platforms are for those that want to join others in investing in a bigger commercial or residential deal. The investment is done via online real estate platforms, also known as real estate crowdfunding. It still requires investing capital, although less than what’s required to purchase properties outright.

Online platforms connect investors who are looking to finance projects with real estate developers. In some cases, you can diversify your investments with not much money.


  • Can invest in single projects or portfolio of projects
  • Geographic diversification


  • Tends to be illliquid with lockup periods
  • Management fees

The Bottom Line

Whether real estate investors use their properties to generate rental income, or to bide their time until the perfect selling opportunity arises, it’s possible to build out a robust investment program by paying a relatively small part of a property’s total value upfront. And as with any investment, there is profit and potential within real estate, whether the overall market is up or down.

By Andrew Beattie in Investopedia

Please contact Albert A. van Daalen for advice and support in Investment Services.

Hoe vind je een gat in de markt?

Een gat in de markt is de heilige graal voor startende ondernemers. Of je nu iets totaal nieuws hebt bedacht of juist iets gaat doen wat al bestaat. Je moet je altijd afvragen of er behoefte is aan jouw product of dienst. Waarom kiezen klanten voor jou? Wat is jouw unique selling point?

1. Gat in de markt is meer dan innovatie

‘Een gat in de markt vinden’ kun je op meerdere manieren interpreteren. Het eerste waar mensen aan denken, is een volledig nieuw product dat niemand kent dat vervolgens door iedereen wordt gekocht.

Oftewel: een innovatie of niche die leidt tot een enorm commercieel succes. Neem de paperclip of de introductie van Wi-Fi. Je kunt het ook anders bekijken, namelijk als iets wat nog mist in de markt.

Wees creatief

Dit kan ook zijn: unieke service, lage kosten. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan het succes van peer-to-peer-diensten als Airbnb. Het is dan de manier waarop een dienst (een overnachting in een appartement) werkt, die een behoefte vervult.

To do: je verdienmodel kan ook een gat in de markt zijn, zoals een abonnementsvorm. Doe de Verdienmodel Challenge.

2. Welk probleem los je op?

Het uitgangspunt moet zijn dat de klant een probleem heeft. Jij lost dit op met jouw product (of dienst). Een valkuil is: beginnen met het antwoord (je product) en dan bedenken of dit een probleem oplost of een behoefte vervult (de vraag).

Vervullen van behoeften klanten

Je creëert dus geen behoefte met jouw product, maar je vervult de behoefte van de klant.

Een van de manieren om goede klantinzichten te krijgen, is een klantgesprek waarin je echt doorvraagt en niet alleen op zoek gaat naar de antwoorden die jij wilt horen. Zo ontdek je hoe je echt waarde toevoegt met je product of dienst.

Tip: Stel jij je klant wel genoeg domme vragen? Lees: klantinzicht in 6 échte gesprekken 

3. De kracht van een goed bedrijfspand

Je ondernemingsplan is de basis van iedere onderneming en onmisbaar om het gat in de markt te vinden en jouw bedrijf tot een succes te maken.

Het bedrijfsplan brengt niet alleen jouw beperkingen en mogelijkheden in kaart, een goed ondernemingsplan is in veel gevallen ook noodzakelijk om externe financiers binnen te halen.

Onderbouwing ontwikkelingen uit branche en regio

Onderbouw je verhaal met gegevens over de actuele ontwikkelingen in jouw branche en regio. Beschrijf gedetailleerd welke producten en of diensten je gaat aanbieden.

Tip: zoek je een voorbeeld ondernemingsplan? Download gratis voor jouw branche.

4. Onderzoek de markt

Geen ondernemingsplan is compleet zonder de resultaten van een branche- en marktonderzoek. Je moet als toekomstig ondernemer achterhalen hoe jouw markt in elkaar zit en op de hoogte blijven van de laatste ontwikkelingen.


Met een marktonderzoek kun je alle zaken die jouw onderneming kunnen beïnvloeden in kaart brengen. Op de site van Rabobank vind je actuele cijfers en trends voor jouw branche

To do: plan een vast moment in de week om aan de slag te gaan met je bedrijf. Bekijk deze must-do’s voor elke startende ondernemer

De klant moet uiteindelijk worden overtuigd dat jij degene bent die met een product of dienst zijn behoefte gaat vervullen. Jouw business moet een toegevoegde waarde bieden en aansluiten bij de doelgroep die je voor ogen hebt.


Een marketingplan helpt je hierbij. Een belangrijk onderdeel hiervan is de marketingmix, in de volksmond bekend als ‘de vier P’s’:

  • Prijs
  • Product
  • Plaats
  • Promotie

5. Analyseer feiten en cijfers over je doelgroep

Het succes van jouw onderneming valt of staat met het bereiken van de juiste doelgroep. Deze mensen gaan uiteindelijk jouw producten kopen of er gebruik van maken. Als er geen vraag naar jouw producten is, hoe fantastisch ze in jouw ogen ook zijn, verkoop je niets.

Behoefte potentiële klanten

Weet op wie je je moet richten, onderzoek of deze groep mensen wel in voldoende mate in jouw regio aanwezig is. Zodra je weet waar potentiële klanten behoefte aan hebben, kun je jouw product of dienst hierop aanpassen.

Op deze manier kun je ook sneller een betere afweging maken wat betreft de kostprijs van het product of jouw uurtarief.

To do: kom je er niet uit? Maak een afspraak bij de bank [of een loket van investeerders] als je wilt sparren over je plan. 

6. Ontdek jouw ‘unique selling point’

Hoe onderscheid jij je als startende ondernemer van concurrenten? Wat is jouw unique selling point (USP)? Wat maakt jou beter, groter en anders? En heel belangrijk: matcht jouw USP met de behoeftes van jouw klant?

Ofwel: is het ook een ‘unique buying point’? Denk aan: 

  • Service en gemak
  • Prijs
  • Kwaliteit, uitstraling, design
  • Persoonlijke kwaliteiten van jou en je team
  • Unieke combinatie van diensten en producten 
  • Uniek netwerk
  • Bijzonder verdienmodel, met aantoonbaar voordeel voor je klant 
  • Uniek verhaal. Denk aan ‘social enterprise’-kenmerken: dingen die je doet in de keten waarmee je de concurrentie een stap voor bent. Bijvoorbeeld op het gebied van klimaat, dierenwelzijn, cultuur of arbeidsomstandigheden 

Zijn jouw USP’s echt zichtbaar? 

Formuleer drie conrete, zichtbare USP’s voor jouw product of bedrijf. ‘Betere service’ is dus niet voldoende. Hoe ziet, ruikt, voelt of hoort je klant het? Vraag anderen om feedback: is dit echt wat je product of dienst uniek en aantrekkelijk maakt? 

7. Houd het simpel

Wie wil opvallen met een product of dienst, moet zich leren onderscheiden. Maar dat hoeft lang niet altijd met een complexe oplossing. Het gezegde ‘less is more’ gaat ook hier op.

Een van de businesslessen van de succesvolle Britse entrepreneur Richard Branson is dat je simpele zakelijke oplossingen moet bedenken waar jouw organisatie bestaande problemen mee kan oplossen.

Kleine effectieve verbeteringen

Natuurlijk: innovatie is belangrijk, maar het wiel hoeft niet altijd volledig opnieuw uitgevonden te worden. Het aanbrengen van een kleine verbetering in een bestaande strategie is mogelijk even effectief als de strategie rigoureus omgooien.

Een goede richtlijn is dat je jouw doel op een bierviltje kunt uitleggen. En kun je potentiële klanten of zakenpartners niet in een paar minuten uitleggen wat jouw bedrijf doet en waarom het een succes gaat worden? Schaaf dan nog eens aan je elevator pitch.

To do: werk aan je elevator pitch en focus daarbij op wat jouw product uniek maakt. 

Durf ervoor te gaan

Ondernemen is durven, lef tonen, risico nemen. Twijfel je of jouw product of dienst wel zo uniek is? Hoe meer liefde, focus en energie naar je bedrijf gaat, hoe groter je toegevoegde waarde.

”Natuurlijk is het al eerder gedaan, maar nog niet door jou”, aldus Elizabeth Gilbert in ‘Big Magic, de kunst van creatief leven’.

Gewoon doen! 

Een gat in de markt zoeken, is vooral ook: gewoon beginnen en alles doen wat er in je macht ligt om sterk van start te gaan. Als je denkt een goed product of unieke dienst in handen te hebben, kom in actie! Met de 8 to do’s hierboven zet je de eerste stappen. 

Gepubliceerd door IkGaStarten.nl

How To Build An Advisory Board?

An advisory board is a critical tool for getting your business to the next level. These 5 tips will get the right people around your table.

One of the smartest growth initiatives a business owner can implement is an advisory board: a hand-selected group of advisors that believe in your leadership, are aligned with your culture and mission, and are committed to your success.

The vast majority of business owners who implement an advisory board fail to see a strong return on investment because they haven’t followed guidelines to pick the right advisors, and haven’t set them up for success.

If you are considering implementing an advisory board, follow these first steps to attract and recruit your best advisors:

1: Complete your Values, Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan first.

To create a comprehensive board search document, you must have your foundational elements constructed. What do you stand for, why do you exist, and where are you going? You must be able to articulate this to any prospective board member. In addition, you must be able to share your target customer profiles and your competitive landscape.

It is not the advisory board’s job to complete this work.

2: Select Advisors That Are Ahead of You.

Choose advisors that have already achieved what you are trying to achieve so that you can learn from both their successes and their mistakes. You don’t want to sit around a table with others that are exactly where you are.

For example, a company is currently at $60 million in revenue. The company expects to double in 18 months. It’s CFO has never managed the finances of a $120 million company. Therefore, they defined a board seat to attract a financial advisor who has run a company with revenues of more than $100 million.

Another example is a professional services firm that has developed a suite of products they want to bring to the market. This requires a re-engineering of their business model. They created a board seat definition to attract experts that have successfully pivoted their business models, so that they could advise their business of the many potential pitfalls.

3: Make Sure Your Advisors Fit Your Needs.

Are you expecting your advisors to only work with your C-level execs? Or do you want them mentoring your other employees? Are you expecting them to be available during meetings? Or only show up quarterly? Are you expecting your advisors to make key introductions to customers or investors? These are just 3 of the many considerations you must think about when selecting advisors.

4: Start Small.

An advisory board takes on a life of its own. In addition to running your company, you will have to manage the individual and collective contributions. Start with no more than 4 advisors. If you successfully identify your needs, you will be able to prioritize your top 4 seats.

5: Institute a One-Year Agreement with Each Advisor.

An advisory board is an evolving, dynamic entity that will likely change as your business grows. You want the option of re-evaluating each advisor at the end of each year to determine if they are aligned with your goals for the coming year, and if they have met your expectations.

We advise businesses to institute a restricted stock agreement if they are giving equity to their advisors so that they can buy back the stock at the termination of their service.

Aligning Advisors to Your Holes and Goals

Selecting the right advisors is just as important as selecting the right employees. The wrong advisors will be a waste of time and money, and can potentially lead you down the wrong path.

Especially in today’s rapidly changing environment, companies must constantly evaluate what types of expertise they need. For example, an expert in cybersecurity is now a critical addition to any board.

The more intentional you can be when selecting your advisors in aligning them to the “holes and goals” of your organization, the more successful they will be in helping you achieve your growth objectives.

Edited excerpt from Inc.