Resources

You Don’t Need Permission

By | Entrepreneurship, Rant and Rave | No Comments

What ? What the hell do you mean I shouldn’t do it ? It was good for you, but not for me ?  I wanted to punch the guy square in the chops.

I had sat down with a friend of mine that has had some success, and was talking through some things I wanted to pursue. Its not like he was on the cover or Forbes, but he has made a few million dollars, people know who he is, you know. And, since he is a “been there, done that” kinda guy I wanted to see what he did right, wrong and what to avoid. We are friends right ? I was surprised by his response, thus explaining my feelings of a shot to the jaw.

This got me to thinking, what the hell did I need his approval for ? Why was I putting so much value in what he thought ?

You see I think often times we give other people more credit than they deserve, and we don’t give ourselves credit enough.  This has happened to me on more than one occasion, but it has happened to me for the last time.  I, like you am an entrepreneur, a rainmaker, a dreamer, a believer in what can be.  If there are passions you have, a business you want to start, a product you want to bring to market…DO IT !  Don’t wait. You don’t need anyones permission to be successful.

Is it raining ?

By | Banking, Entrepreneurship, Rant and Rave | No Comments

 “A banker is someone who gives you an umbrella when it’s sunny, and takes it backs when it’s raining”. 

Day after day, week after week we hear stories from entrepreneurs about how things have “changed” with their banks. Entrepreneurs and small business owners, once a cherished relationship of many banks have now found themselves akin to a red headed stepchild. New management, random re-appraisals, compliance guidelines, not in line with our ratio requirements ….any of this sound familiar?

As entrepreneurs we bet on our bank, we rely on them. We ask them to believe in us when we have an opportunity to grow, and we lean on them for support when times get tough. Old movies shows loans that were done on a handshake, loans that took a persons character into consideration. Today, systems, processes, increased demands of shareholders and more visibility by the Fed are forcing the banks to have less rounded corners, and more defined edges.  The art of underwriting has been replaced by science and arithmetic. The black box God of Underwriting, similar to magic eight ball we had as kids returns an answer, emotionless.

As we continue to see consolidation efforts in banks, the big will get bigger, the small will disappear and those in the middle will struggle to compete. We will see banks offer larger credits to fewer borrowers, smaller banks losing on pricing but competing on service, and somewhere in the middle the small business guy will trying to decide who he can count on.

 

 

 

Gentlemen Start Your Engines

By | Banking, Entrepreneurship, Raising Capital, Rant and Rave | No Comments

Well today marks the day of the JOBS Act lifting the general solicitation laws. Gone today are the feelings of privilege, opportunity and prestige for those who believed that access was one of their greatest advantages. Today, the solicitation rules allow anyone to publicly schlep their “deal” to anyone who will listen, or for that matter who happens to accidentally get in the way of their mailbox, television, email, tweet, blog, radio or even a good old fashion flyer stuck on their windshield.

Raising capital for most companies typically rivals the amount of fun found on Fridays before on a long weekend on the Long Island Expressway, or a fun filled time at the proctologist.  And, whereas I want to be excited and look at this as an opportunity where entrepreneurs can potentially have greater access to a broader means of marketing their offering, my concern is the amount of “not so good guys” that are going to be out there as well.  I pray that this will create a more efficient fund raising environment, however I expect that it will be the making of another good episode of  “American Greed”

 

Bank On The Banker

By | Banking, Rant and Rave | No Comments

Day in and day out, we advise entrepreneurs from around the country on the intricacies of raising capital. Countless numbers of calls and meetings on their behalf have led me to believe one thing: ” that it is less the bank and more the banker.”

 Over the years we have become less impressed with the individual bank, lender, investor with a great reputation and marquis clients and tend to look more so to the individuals day to day that make things tic.  For example; there is a particular banker on the West Coast that we have worked with for many years who just seems to ” get it “.  Regardless of the logo on his business card, he seems to understand how to consistently navigate the nuances of getting things done in his organization.  As a result, he has repeatedly received our best referrals and recommendations and today has become the President of his organization.

As we continue to see consolidation in banks and lending criteria with more “defined edges” and less “rounded corners” , bank on the banker, not the bank.

The Need For Private Equity

By | Private Equity, Raising Capital | No Comments

It is no secret that the markets have been slow to rebound since the financial collapse of 2008. There has been less lending from banks, especially to consumers and to businesses that would have gotten fast loans in the past, but are now seen as too risky. Yet there are still millions of people with ideas and plans for businesses in growing sectors that need money to get their ideas off of the ground. These businesses can help to dig the country and the world out of the financial holes they are in, but there needs to be funds available to get these businesses going.

How can entrepreneurs get their businesses started without a loan from the big banks? Private equity is the key to these entrepreneurs’ ideas and can help them to begin companies, leading the markets to rebound and the health of the economy to improve.

Private equity is absolutely an essential element that this country needs to get back on its feet. Private equity firms, venture capitalists and angel investors are vital to the economy and will help to nurture the expansion and growth of new businesses.

Businesses in the fields of technology, clean energy, telecommunications, healthcare and retail are expected to be at the forefront of the growing economy in 2012. These markets need private equity funds in order to achieve their goals. As these companies expand and become successful, more jobs will be created and more money will flood into the economy. Private equity is a necessity that will help to resuscitate our economy and will lead to more stability in the markets.

Attitude and Expectations

By | Entrepreneurship, Rant and Rave, Uncategorized | No Comments

What do you think people say about you when you are not around to hear it? Do you believe that others have a similar impression of you that you have of yourself?

Whether you recognize it or not, little things do make a difference; the way you dress, how you present yourself, how you react to conflict, how you greet the barista making your coffee and yes, even your table manners and the way you hold your fork. All of these things communicate to others how you feel about you.

I was talking with a great friend of mine, Bill the other day about a meeting of his that was going to take place over a few days of skiing at a private resort in Montana.  He said that he had been hitting the slopes a lot lately, preparing for the meeting. Imagine that I thought, skiing as preparation for business. He went on to share to me that for him being world class did not end in the board room.  He wanted to give his best at everything he did, and his attitude towards skiing directly correlated to his attitude in business.  That attitude has made him tremendously successful.

Growing up, my grandfather wore a coat and tie seven days a week.  Yes, partially for work and church on Sundays, but more so as an outer reflection of an inner feeling. He was a professional, kind, courteous and well mannered gentleman. In fact, those who didn’t know him could easily tell the type of man he was by how he lived his life. His shoes were always polished, clothes always pressed, car always clean and never spoke ill of anyone.  Excellence for him was innate, it had no barriers. He was the same in business as he was with his family, a gentleman.

I believe that your attitude and expectations about yourself and others says a lot for the heights you will reach, the impressions you will make and how people will respond to you.  Everyday you make an impression on those around you, it is up to you to determine if it is good or bad.

Trends in Venture Capital

By | Raising Capital, Venture Capital | No Comments

2012 will be an exciting year for venture capital, as we saw so many different emerging markets throughout 2011. Economic growth may have been slow in some sectors, but certain areas are booming and will draw interest from venture capital funds. These sectors have proven to be necessary now and in the future, or are areas that we will constantly be reliant on for many years to come. Right now, these industries are getting the most attention from venture capitalists and are poised to continue to thrive throughout 2012:

Clean and Renewable Energy Companies and Technologies

The current push towards cleaner energy and sustainable technology has led to some exciting innovations. Venture capitalists have many opportunities for investing in oil and gas companies that are trying out new renewable energy projects, as well as start-up firms that are using proven solar and wind energy methods. There are also global opportunities for investment in this field as well, as large wind and solar energy projects are being designed and built in countries all over the world. Clean energy technologies are also being used in cars and there are start-up companies working to build even more advanced and smart electronic cars that are affordable work better than before.

Telecommunications Technologies

New advancements in telecommunications will lead to a wealth of investment opportunities for venture capitalists in new service providers and new technology based around 4G. Look for new network operators and new applications throughout the United States and the entire world. Anything involving social networking, gaming and technologies in the cloud will be huge in 2012, offering venture capitalists opportunities for quality investments.

Healthcare

With new government regulations and the need for electronic health records, there will be opportunities for streamlining health records electronically. New technologies are being designed and need funding to support the switch from physical records and health documents to electronic files. This is also an area where tremendous growth is expected, as the baby boomer population ages and seeks more medical care.

All of the above industries look to be very promising in the next year for venture capitalists and will continue to be high-growth areas quite some time.

 

With Transparency Comes Simplicity

By | Entrepreneurship, Rant and Rave | No Comments

Every morning as I am preparing for my day, it seems as though I am met with new commentary about what is going to happen with the real estate market, or a new investment manager caught with his hand in the cookie jar or viewpoints on how the economic bailout has or hasn’t worked. As I grab my coffee, make sure the knot in my tie is just right and head out the door, I wonder how most people are digesting all of the media.

For the last few years hedge fund and investment managers have been selling structured investment products so ethereal and complex, they didn’t even understand them. As a result, the loss in equity markets continue to mount and we have seen a financial Chernobyl that our children will study for years to come. With such a vacuum of common sense, there has been a complete erosion of confidence. Over the last year, we have seen many investors completely getting out of the market as a form of self-preservation or liquidating their portfolios in search of transparency. I can’t say that I can find fault with either group.

JB Capital is an independent investment bank in Bellevue, Washington. Here in the office and with our clients we have come to find our own investment mantra of sorts – “Transparency Comes With Simplicity.” We partner with a very discerning clientele to assist in managing the complexities that come with extending wealth through private investments. We feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility with those clients and friends who place their trust in us.

Today, there is abundance of opportunity for savvy investors. At JB Capital, you won’t find complex investments that require a compass, a map or a magic decoder ring. You will find simple, straightforward investments with a splash of common sense.

A Year of Promise and Hope

By | Entrepreneurship, Raising Capital | No Comments

As you receive and read this latest issue, a new year is thoroughly upon us. I believe that most have happily put 2009 on the shelf.  In our offices, there is a renewed energy and vitality for the new year.  A new year provides promise, hope, opportunity. The fear and unrest of the last year has settled some, although the experiences and lessons will stay with us for some time. It has been an awakening from our credit intoxication to a new consciousness, forcing most of us to find  honesty in how we spend, manage and invest our money.

Expectations for this year will change. To say that real estate investors lost sight of fundamentals during the heights of the market is a gross understatement.  This year we expect to see how that lack of vision and focus will affect the Commercial Real Estate Market, as well as the potential of another bubble in the residential market before year end.  As investors look at real estate in 2010, we will see a return to fundamentals. A disciplined back to basics approach should prove a strong compass in successfully navigating this year.
I read once that any fool can make something difficult, but it takes true wisdom to make things simple.  I would encourage you that as you look at where to invest your time and money this year, find the root of your true motivation, it may surprise you.