Friday, June 19, 2009

How To Raise Money For Your Startup With Out Really Trying!

O.K. Just Kidding, You'll have to put some work into it!

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

When you come up a new business idea and start assembling a team to bring your idea to market, inevitably you're going to have to consider ways to finance it. Depending on how large of a business you want to start and the type of business you want to start will determine the type of financing that you seek.

Many entrepreneurs will start out by bootstrapping the operation using their own money or seeking a Small Business Administration Loan. Others will seek investments from Venture Capital and Angel Investor groups. What do you need to get the loan and what do these Investors look for before they invest with you?

The Small Business Loan Administration will look for :
  • A good credit history
  • Collateral
  • a good team or a potential owner with a good tract record for managing or working in the given field

Venture Capital Groups and Investment Angels will look for rapid growth and a high return on their investment. Venture Capital groups will look for early stage companies and base their investments not on past performance so much as what the future potential is for the company. The Venture Capital Group will invest in the company for shares of the company and expect their return when the Company goes public. Venture Groups will often provide business expertise for the entrepreneur as well if it's needed. The Venture Group is adept at spotting trends and evaluating novel technologies with the potential for rapid and high return. They generally will look for investments in the Biotechnology and the IT fields

Angel Investors are Private Investors who will generally invest any where between $10,000 to $40,000 for a share of the business. They will provide expertise in given areas and like to invest in businesses that are not always but usually with in proximity to where they live.

How do you pitch to the Venture Groups?
Short and sweet!
Your pitch to Venture groups and Investors should be a quick overview of your business plan. Try to get the pitch down to two minutes! I know that sounds difficult but, Venture Capitalists are busy people and have a knack for knowing if something is going to work or not. Be passionate about what you say and make it worth their while. Find a hook to get their attention and then keep it. If your Idea has the potential of making a butt load of money you'll have their attention!

Out the door you want to tell them:
  1. What your company does
  2. Who your management team is
  3. Who your competition is
  4. How are you going to penetrate the market?
As always good luck with everything that you choose to do in life. Give it your all and make it happen!

The picture is one of my favorites! It's of Kee'e Beach and The Pali Coast in Hawaii

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Birth Of A Firm,The Growth Of A Country

Why is it that some countries seem to have more innovation and growth in their business sectors then others? It might be that these countries are willing to foster an entrepreneurial spirit that spurs new technology and subsequent growth.

According to report from the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics from The University Of Michigan, "There is now substantial recognition of the contributions
of entrepreneurship to innovation, job growth, and improved
productivity. This also appears to be true for countries,
as those with higher levels of new firm creation seem to have higher
levels of subsequent economic growth (Council on Competitiveness, 2007; Reynolds, 2007a)."

This is also true in countries where the spirit of entrepreneurship is strong. A number of Asian countries, particularly China and India, exhibit high levels of economic growth due in part to the level of new firm creation.

While the United States is a haven for new firm creation it pales in comparison to China and India where the level of high growth start-ups is roughly six times as many in the the United States
  • China and India 15 million compared to 3 million high growth potential start-ups.
  • China and India also have a larger labor pool to draw from with eight times as many workers in the eighteen to sixty four year old age range.
  • China and India also have ten times as many entrepreneurs, 200 million compared to 20 million for the United States.
  • The World Bank estimates the GNP of China to be at 6.5% this year, India currently stands at 5.8% and the US is still contracting at 5.5 % which is slightly better than previously expected in the global economic slump.

US Department Of Commerce.

Picture: Cattle Drive in Mackay,Idaho

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Lingerie Football League!

I love Football! I started playing a few years ago with some kids in the local park and they taught me how to quarterback and tackle. Over the years I took my kids to see the San Diego Chargers play and they went to summer camps hosted by the Chargers team and they were taught to play by several of the players.

I recently came across a new football league starting up and will be playing in venues across the country this Fall--The Lingerie Football league! The teams are made of up of absolutely the most beautiful women you have ever laid eyes on wearing bikini like outfits, playing full contact tackle football. These women are tough and centerfold beauties at the same time! I wish I was good enough to play! I would be the ugly duckling of the group. Pushing my feelings of inadequacy aside, I'll definately watch them and might go down to San Diego to see a game. The ten teams are spread across the country and have name such as the San Diego Seduction, The Seattle Mist, Los Angeles Temptation ( It's good to see L.A. get a football team back in town--it's about time) Dallas Desire, and the Denver Dream. On the East coast you have The Atlanta Steam, New England Euphoria, Tampa Breeze, Chicago Bliss, and Miami Caliente!

The salaries for the players will be based on a percentage of gate attendance in the host venues. They need to see attendance rise to at least 60% of capacity for the league to remain viable. The games start in September 04, 2009.
The picture is of a herd of wild horses out in Challis, Idaho.
If you would like to learn more about the Lingerie Football League you can check it out at
NFL Owners Interested In Lingerie Football?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Small Business Startups, Building A Skateboard Shop

Krusty's Board and Skate:

The first thing that you notice when walking into Krusty's Board and Skate Shop out in Challis, Idaho is the wall of colorful skateboard decks from Baker, Element, Speed Demon, Birdhouse and Pig, and Bottega Montana. The second thing that you notice is that the pricing of everything in Cory Rice's shop is about 30% cheaper than any skate shop that you have ever been in. This small fact has never been lost on the multitudes of kids that come into the shop to hang out and buy from the excellent selection ( I mean to say that Cory has exceptional taste in selecting his stuff to sell.) We have found really great shirts like a Rob Dyrdek signature shirt (not even kidding you--$15) or an obscure Baker team shirt. It's obvious that Cory loves skateboarding and more importantly he loves the kids in his community and will often save bearings and parts that are still decent to give to the kids when they can't afford to buy new ones. The kids in Challis have told me that Cory will open his shop any time that he can be available even if it's two in the morning--they might have been stretching it on that one but, I like to try to take their word for it!
I talked with Cory and asked him how he got started with Krusty's Board and Skate Shop and he told me that it all came about when they worked on bringing in the new skateboard park (Cory was a key figure in Challis to bring in a skateboard park for the kids in his community.) The builder that they decided to use is Mark Garroad from Driggs, Idaho. Mark got Cory interested in starting his own skateboard shop and connected him with Habitat Skateboard to obtain a license. He then bootstrapped his operation and used three thousand dollars of his own money to buy a bunch of Speed Demon complete skateboards with the deck,wheels and trucks in place. Those Speed Demon completes sold out as soon as he hung them on the rack. He then invested that money and a little more of his own to convert his garage into a shop to keep his overhead to a minimum and built up a substantial inventory. Cory still keeps his day job and operates his shop in his free time. He hopes to build up the business by reinvesting any profits coming into it.
Krusty's Board and Skate Shop is located in Challis, Idaho operated by Cory Rice and family @
(208) 879-5742

Five-O Skate Shop of Idaho Falls:
I went to Five-O skate shop in Idaho Falls recently and talked to Peter to see how they were doing. He said that sales were off but, that it was starting to pick back up. He also told me that they have a lot of fun and exciting things planned for the summer! They are working on bringing in the Vox Pro skate team in to do a demo at the Skate park in Idaho Falls, they are planning numerous skate competitions at the park, he said that they might be as often as once a week--some with cash payouts! They are planning their annual giant game of skate in the parking lot and also they are planning a huge skate shoe sale! Peter said they were thinking putting every shoe in the shop in the sale and they will be going for between $15 and $50! They have some great new Enjoi and Volcom shirts hanging on the racks.

Uberskater and Artist Jared Garcia is now hand painting decks for Five-O! The designs are sic! For $35 gripped, the decks are flying out of the store! Go to Five-O and ask for one of Garcia's custom decks!

One marketing idea that Mark, the Owner of Five-O came up with was to implement text message advertising into the mix. You enter a number into your cell phone from business cards that they hand out and whenever they have a sale or competition it sends a text message to the network of cell phone users! Pretty hot idea!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Investment Dark Pools

A dark pool is a trading platform that allows investors to trade in large blocks beyond the public quoting system. Dark pools of liquidity have been around for years but, have been increasing in presence in the U.S. equities markets and they are creating concerns that investors will retreat from the public quoting system that most people are familiar with and plunge into the dark pools causing a problem with efficiency and price transparency in the equity market, characteristics that drive a healthy market.
A keynote speech by Eric R Sirri Director for the Division of Trading and Markets of the Securities and Exchange Commission at the Dark Pool Symposium on February 1, 2008 details one of the most fascinating areas of investing--dark pools.
A dark pool makes it possible for an investor to trade with out displaying their full scale of trading interest.
The dark services offered--range from floor brokers to the undisplayed size and order of a trade in an automated electronic communication network(ECN) or an alternative trading system(ATS)
The key that makes it a dark trade is that it is undisplayed.
The main concern about dark pools is that they will become a threat to the public quoting system and cause the markets to be less transparent. Au contraire mon frere! Studies show that the volume of trades have not shifted out of the public quoting system and into the dark side.
Another concern is that dark pool investing platforms will create a problem with efficiency in the equities markets but over the past few years Director Sirri says that efficiency has improved.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Is It Time For A Bull Run?

There is a boy in town that runs around yelling,"hamburgers tell the future, hamburgers tell the future!" I wish that were true I would run over to the local hamburger stand and demand to know what we can expect from the economy and the stock market. Instead I have to read analyst reports to try to get a feel for what will happen.

In a recent report by Ned Davis research they see the end of the Bear and predict the start of a Bull run based on past cycles of the stock market and various stimulus packages. They also see the recession ending somewhere between March and June. The Federal Reserve is saying that a pickup will happen by June. Ned Davis Research believes that we could see a recovery in stocks of about 72% for the year--I hope so! I'm still suffering when I look at my investments but I'm starting to reposition to buy.

On the down side at a gathering of academic economists in San Francisco, the economist there remain pessimistic about the way that the Federal Reserve has handled the financial crises and the economy.

Yup! I think I'll go buy a hamburger.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of Year Retail Sales--Shop, Baby Shop!

Have you been to the end of season sales? Oh my Hell there are some bargains to be found for sure! My favorite store, Victoria's Secret has a huge sale going on and I was able to pick up the most beautiful luxuries in there--made of dark pearl grey lace and silk with scallops of roses on the boarder. Everything in there was heavily discounted and the crowds were thick. The department stores had some good sales but, I couldn't really find anything that I wanted to part money for except for a Calvin Klien shirt. My favorite brand Lucky Jeans had no discounts what so ever! I love their shirts but, they are $75 a pop and I hate spending that much for a tee shirt!

Reuter's News is reporting that retail sales for the holiday season were the worse since 1970!
It's not just in the United States, European retailers are struggling as well. Britain retailers are reporting discounts as deep as 90% to attract shoppers.
The deepest discounts right now can be found in apparel and electronics.

Elle: "It's impossible to use a half-loop stitching on low-viscosity rayon. It would snag the fabric. And you didn't just get it in - I saw it in the June Vogue a year ago. So if you're trying to sell it to me for full price, you've picked the wrong girl."
Legally Blond