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Archive for the ‘Financing’ Category

eddie mush

Hi, my name is John…and, a long time ago, I was a degenerate gambler.

Why do I tell this to the world…or, more accurately, the four people who read my blog?

Simple. Every time a “progressive” talks about “investing” my tax dollars, I get flashbacks to a time I’d rather forget. Hard core gamblers live in a fantasy land. “Make no mistake”, they often have fun, and, unless they’re “Eddie Mush” from “A Bronx Tale”, they even win occasionally; but they brainwash themselves into thinking that winning could be the norm. They have “hope” that their next “run” will be a big one and they “believe” that, eventually, their bad luck will “change”. Consequently, they “chase” additional “revenue” by spending (and losing) more and more. They borrow from their checking accounts. They borrow from their friends. They borrow from their credit cards and credit lines. They take out “markers” (casino loans) at the cage. And they lie…a lot…to themselves and others…all in a desperate attempt to prolong their fantasy. Believe me, this never ends well.

Over the past several years, the President and his Party have been “doubling down on dumb” by “chasing” a utopian dream that, like gambling, has no chance of “winning the future” in the real world. Even as we approach $17 trillion in debt, their “solution” is always to “invest” more of our tax dollars in failed policies.

Why do they continue to do this?

Simply put, we let them. They never get “shut off” by the voters or the banks. They raise taxes and fees, pile on costly new regulations and tell their friends at the Fed to print more money. Fearing no electoral consequences, they refuse to pass a budget so they can raise their debt ceiling to infinity. They say things that “sound nice” to various constituencies and, consequently, they keep getting elected by their “enablers”. When degenerate gamblers hit rock bottom, (often when they completely run out of money and credit), they have to stop gambling. There is simply no other option…other than suicide. If they don’t pay their debts, there are serious outcomes. Even their “enablers”–friends, family, banks, loan sharks and casinos–stop lending eventually. Folks, we are the “enablers” of our politicians.

It’s time for an intervention.

We need to shut them off before they destroy all of us. “We The People” are the bank. The “borrowers” have shown no willingness or ability to pay us back. Let’s close down their markers permanently because they are gambling not only with our money but with our children’s and grandchildren’s money. That’s wrong, but it’s our fault for letting it happen. I was fortunate enough to wake up from my dream and turn my life around. It’s never too late to start over. Let’s admit we have a problem, then stop the bleeding and embrace some “change” that actually makes sense for once. Vote the political equivalents of “Eddie Mush” out of office in 2014 and beyond.

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Research indicates that our attention spans are getting more and more limited. It’s absolutely pervasive. Are you still there? Probably not, but for the three people who are still reading, please bear with me.

Without getting into all the causes, let’s deal with the reality. Nobody has the time or inclination to read a mountain of papers explaining the intricacies of your business. Not prospects, investors, bankers, employees or clients. According to a recent study, if you are pitching a new business concept to venture capitalists, you better have them hooked in the first 42 seconds (source: Growthink) or you will probably never see a dime, even if you have the greatest idea in the history of the planet!

If you do nothing else today, create a great elevator speech–a concise, interesting “sell” that will convince a contact that there is good reason to spend valuable time investigating the merits of your company or cause. What do you stand for? What makes you special? Why are you better than or different from the competition? Why should I spend another second with you?

Want an example from current events?

Like him or hate him, Barack Obama had a highly effective, well delivered elevator speech. He repeated it constantly for two years. I’m NOT George Bush. CHANGE. YES, WE CAN! John McCain had no elevator speech and even tried to borrow the word “change” from Obama. He did little to differentiate himself from Bush OR Obama.

The country bought Barack’s elevator speech and, for better or worse, he is now called President Barack Obama.

Remember, customers buy your marketing first. Good products and service will help you retain them, but you have to get their attention. Ask yourself why anyone should do business with you. Research the competition. Set yourself apart. Be ready to tell a short but compelling story next time you bump into someone in an elevator. If you do this properly, you will have laid the foundation for all future advertising, marketing, sales, HR and community initiatives.

This process may not be easy at first…but it’s truly worth the effort. If you think you can’t do it, don’t give up…I say: “YES, YOU CAN!!!”


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Many business clients want to “try things out” in an attempt to grow their companies. I hear things like:

“Let’s run an ad for a month and see what happens.”
“What if I did a video–would that be a good idea?”
“What do you think of  ‘Constant Contact’?”
“Should I join BNI?”
“I need better web site content–can you write something up for me?”
“Should I pay for search engine optimization?”
“How about Facebook–could I get some business there?”

While I certainly can help with specific tactics, and will charge for my time, I prefer to give my clients a chance to succeed so they will recommend me to their friends! That’s why I provide a complimentary initial consultation and a strategic analysis of current communications. I then formalize this “back to basics” approach with a framework called “B.R.AC.E.”, which stands for Budgeting, Research, Action Plan, Communication and Evaluation. Absent this type of exercise, clients tend to waste money on poorly targeted initiatives that are difficult to quantify.

How much money have you budgeted for external communications?

What about staff?

Are you reaching and engaging the right people (and how do you know)?

Do you make a compelling argument for using your business?

What are your short and long term goals and objectives?

What’s your plan and how will you decide if it is working?

A cost effective communications plan is well researched, repeatable, flexible and measurable. And, particularly in difficult times, it is absolutely essential.

Using “B.R.A.C.E.” as a foundation will simultaneously reduce your costs and increase your market share.

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If you’re looking for angel investors or an infusion of venture capital, here are a few tips:

1. Regardless of your product, service or invention, experience is critical. You need to prove that your MANAGEMENT TEAM has a track record of success. If you’ve never run a business, your chances of securing funding from any source (including banks, friends and family) are extremely limited. Assemble a team that has taken companies from start-up through exit stages.

2. Understand the marketplace. You need to convince investors that your idea will work in all market conditions and you must demonstrate the SIZE, BREADTH AND GROWTH POTENTIAL of your target audience. This takes research and resources. Do you have enough seed money to start the process?

3. You must DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF AND YOUR IDEA. For example, if you have a technological innovation, is it patented? Investors need to know how and why they will make money, and they are searching for niche offerings that are not easily duplicated.

4. You must have well researched, professionally prepared and detailed BUSINESS AND MARKETING PLANS geared toward the financial/venture capital audience.

5. You must have an ELEVATOR SPEECH and a CONCISE (no more than ten slide PPT) PRESENTATION to capture the attention of investors. Why should they give you money? How will they make money in the short and long term? What makes you special? No investors will look at your detailed plans if you don’t first peak their interest and imagination.

6. Show PASSION for your idea. In some instances, potential investors or strategic partners will be bored with your specific proposal but excited by YOU and your enthusiasm!

These are just a few basics, but they will start you on the right track.

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