Category: Business Financing & Funding

BCG Study: Superior Investment Returns From Family Business

Deep wisdom exists in how family businesses are managed for the long-term.  In fact, the financial returns for closely held businesses outperform their peer groups across business cycles according to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group and Sophie Mignon of Ecole Polytechnique.  While… Continue reading

Financial Audit Helpful for Financing, Funding, and Selling Your Business

My first financial audit was intimidating.  My company, Student Advantage, was preparing for its IPO in 1999 and the audit firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, needed to audit all of the material entities that had merged with Student Advantage during the prior few years.  My little start-up company,… Continue reading

Founder & VC Misalignment More Often Than Thought

The misalignment between vc’s and founders is painfully obvious from the quotes below from the IPO S-1 filing of Applied Medical Corp. (Dan Primack of Fortune did the reporting and should get the credit).  First is the company stating why they are going public (bold emphasis mine). … Continue reading

Kissing a Lot of Frogs: Smaller Companies Must Work to Find Investment Financing

Competitive advantages can both increase and decrease as a business gets larger.  One thing that gets easier for larger companies is attracting business investment and financing.  The chart below from John Paglia at the Pepperdine Business School demonstrates the shortage in capital and investment sources… Continue reading

You Are What You Eat (or Where You Get Your Investment)

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are,” said French lawyer and epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.  Similarly, tell me where you got the investment for your business and I will tell you what is in store for your business. Each… Continue reading

Long-term Investment Value the Clif Bar Way

On a plane last week, I read the book Raising the Bar by the founder of Clif Bar, Gary Erickson.  Great book — particularly good at ideas around long-term investment. Erickson wanted to manage his company in a way that was not aligned with traditional… Continue reading

Optimal Owner for a School — Not Private Equity or Wall Street

The School Business Finding a perfect match between a business and an owner is not easy.  This hit home to me last week at a gathering for private post-secondary schools in California where I heard an owner of a private, post-secondary school describe an epiphany… Continue reading

Honey, I Shrunk the Definition of “Long-Term Investing”

Defining Long Term Investing Three years is “long-term investing” according to a discussion I attended last week.  The discussion was among a handful of family office investors who help manage money for Haim Saban (participated in sale of Fox Family to Walt Disney), Eric Schmidt… Continue reading

Buying a Business: Raise Money for the Search or Not?

Search Funds Last week I had a nice conversation with a mid-career person looking to buy a business.  He was contemplating using the “search fund” model to find and buy a business.  As a brief background, a search fund is a model where an entrepreneur… Continue reading

Bad Accounting is Bad Business and Bad for Your Personal Credibility

Don’t Like Accounting? You will never be an integral participant of a community when you do not know the language of the community.  Accounting is the language of business.  If you are in business, you have a responsibility to become competent and conversational in accounting.… Continue reading