Joseph LaForte: 10 things I have learned about small business while meeting hundreds of business owners


As the director of sales at Par Funding, Joseph  LaForte brings a number of critical skills to the table.

He has introduced new technology to struggling small business, aiding them in achieving top-level service and financial stability.

Not only that, he remains familiar with community resources, enabling him to advise small businesses about how to integrate those resources to help them become more stable, consumer-focused industry players. Throughout his years with the company, he has helped generate more than $2 billion in additional profits for the companies he works with.

Thanks to Joseph’s efforts and his ability to assess and navigate risk, Par Funding has remained highly competitive in an industry where many small finance firms are struggling. Traditional lenders might have turned away many of the opportunities that Joe LaForte welcomed, but he saw the potential advantage within those risks and used them to help grow both his company and others. Par Funding continues, under his leadership and guidance, to see unprecedented growth.

Joe remains very well-known for his professionalism, expertise, and leadership within the finance industry. His stellar reputation precedes him in many circles, enabling him to open doors for himself, his business, and his clients.

Fact check: You don’t have to be outlandish to win in the social media arena. You do have to sweat the small stuff though because in business, it’s the smallest details that count the most.

The blueprint of success lies primarily on how you respond to customer needs and not on your lavish marketing expenses. You have to stop thinking about what’s in it for you,  but think of what your customer can benefit from your brand. In reality,  business relationships should be organic enough in order to thrive. Offer real value and people will follow you. You see, people are naturally drawn to influencers or entrepreneurs who are genuinely passionate about their brands and who takes time (despite a very busy schedule) to respond and extend help to consumers. It’s a challenge, but this is how you can stand out from competition.

  • Execute! Many entrepreneurs are afraid to test the waters, let alone, take that dive or jump in. That so-called ‘failure to launch’ for many entrepreneurs could be attributed to fear or apprehension of failing and flunking miserably. So how can you even win when you are having the cold feet to actually try it out? Don’t make excuses or say you don’t have the time. No matter how many times you map out, plan and plot, or test an idea, it will remain an idea when you fail to launch. See, it’s a matter of just doing it! You can never be perfectly ready (no such thing anyway), so just execute! You can’t wait it out until everything is perfect because somebody else could just launch today and you will be a copycat the next day. So, go ahead and take the jump today.
  • Find a mentor. You would need an expert or someone who has experienced it all, bounced back and off the highs and lows of the industry and managed to be successful. You would need to find an influencer or mentors whom you see yourself to be like in a few years or so. An external perspective would help give you a sound advice on managing a business. Find a support system like family and friends whom you trust and can talk to about business ideas and who would willingly share insights or contribute to see your business soar.
  • Focus on achieving small goals. You must set realistic goals from day one. While it could be tempting to build a majestic vision of how you want your business to be in 10 years, you need to start small because these small achievements unlock huge potential for your business. Shape yourself into the entrepreneur or person that you aim to be in the future.
  • Focus on your clients. A lot of brands want to get their message across and work on the purpose alone 100% of the time but acing the business is not just about you. Well, you tend to forget to listen and empathize with your clients. You have to be able to listen and understand their wants and needs so you could respond with the right and befitting message. Engagement is crucial to getting customers as well as gaining repeat and loyal clients so listen and learn to cut through the noise. Those small gestures like genuine trying to know your audience or customers really do pay off in the long run, believe me.
  • Consistency is key. Social media has now pivoted as mainstream media and the only way to get in the frontline of your target audience is to be predictable or consistent. Your branding should be straightforward and consistent from the message to the overall promotion and up to the products and services offered. You can’t spread a message now and then act the opposite. Your brand should be humanized and not too technical in a sense. Even though we live in a very modern or technologically savvy era, people still clamor for the human touch. People want to engage with people even for sales and services so act the part. Inject the human element and don’t take yourself too seriously that you become stiff and mechanical.

Create killer content, provide authentic value to your customers, rethink your branding strategies, increase engagement, reward your customers; and so much more that other businesses practice today. The attraction part is easy but retaining customers and building loyal followers is the challenge to every business.

The little gestures could mean a world of difference for you and your customers. Experts and influencers both online and offline would share the same thought that made them stand out among today’s modern entrepreneurs – it’s about creating and deepening relationships with your customers.

About Joseph LaForte:

In 1992, Joseph Laforte left his position playing college ball for Rollins and signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners. As a switch-hitting catcher, he had the opportunity to develop kills on the baseball diamond that enabled him to see the path to professional success.

He couldn’t have imagined where it would take him.

After more than twenty years of experience in the financial industry, Joe couldn’t be further from the baseball field—but he continues to use a highly competitive nature and a healthy dose of determination to make things better for many struggling small business owners. While focusing on creating and signing loans for small businesses, Joe has also had the potential to transform many of the small businesses his company works with on a regular basis.

Joe’s stellar reputation amongst industry professionals isn’t by chance. Not only is he dedicated to charity, making regular contributions to both charities close to his heart, including the Catholic School of Philadelphia, and local churches, he volunteers on a regular basis to mentor young people and business owners who are just starting out. In many cases, he has been able to help young entrepreneurs escape the cycle of poverty and achieve goals beyond their wildest imaginings. Thanks to these efforts combined with his ability to help his clients achieve great things through wise investment and financial resource management, he has obtained a strong position within the industry.

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