Blue Haus Group

Growth by Design

Founded in 2015 Blue Haus Group builds strong communities. To achieve this goal BHG is composed of two components; Blue Haus Development Services (BHDS) and Blue Haus Group Small Business (BHSB). 

Blue Haus Development Services has an array of resources which it deploys to facilitate responsible real estate development in underserved and underutilized communities. BHDS also works in collaboration with local economic development organizations and community business organizations to amplify and execute local projects.

Blue Haus Small Business provides marketing and business development services for small and medium sized businesses in Hartford and New Haven. These businesses are the life blood of local economies.

We help small businesses with Social Media Marketing, SEO, Content Creation and Network Marketing through our knowledge of Data Analytics and Business Intelligence (B.I)

If your're looking for bespoke small business marketing and development - look no further.

 

Is the Company a Dog? Asking the Tough Questions in Economic Development

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By Tim Moore

A few years ago while pursuing my CEcD through the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute, I had the pleasure of an amazing instructor for my class on credit analysis (sounds lame right?); his name was Rocky Wade (legend). Throughout the class we were instructed on financial analysis and deal structuring for economic development professionals…essentially vetting deals and businesses for economic development assistance, public finance etc. As I look at some of the economic development projects that are being financed – I can only wonder how many people would have benefited from the course. It’s CRAZY how accurate the course explains the mistakes that EDO’s (economic development organizations) make on a regular basis. I’m sure you read about a deal at least weekly and think “Who was in charge of vetting this?”. Being humans (and having a sense of humor) we decided that poor economic development deals had to be a symptom of something larger…so we created a faux disorder:

EDP Syndrome: The tendency to jump into a deal while skipping the deal analysis

This is basically the result of 2 “things” (hate that word); an over eagerness to get a win on the board and laziness. Weird combination, right? Professionals are so excited to land a project and announce their success in the paper, that they fail to do the proper underwriting and analysis to ensure the quality of the deal. The other option is that they’re too lazy to do the research and analysis which subjects the taxpayer to “unforeseen” risk. The risk was always there – you just didn’t look.

It’s the research you didn’t do that costs you money.

This is KEY in economic development because it’s taxpayer money – and no one likes to waste time and money on a bad deal, yet it happens all the time. The point is, to reduce risk we have a 8-step process to vetting the deal with checks and balances, essentially everything possible to minimize risk – all you have to do is follow the steps. You can check them out below:

·         Collect initial information about the business

·         Assess the business history and management

·         Assess the business’ financial condition

·         Identify the project to be financed

·         Review potential for private sector financing

·         Determine gap financing

·         Structure the deal using public sector financing

·         Close the deal

Not rocket science, but again as you look around at certain projects it’s visible that some professionals are not following the checklist.

GO or NO GO

It get’s better. There are points in each step that we call “Go/No Go decisions”. These are opportunities for us to pause discuss red flags and ways to remedy the situation, kill the deal, or move it forward. See a quick sample below:

·         Collect initial information about the business

o   What facts do we know about the deal?

o   Consider quality of information available?

o   What questions do we have after reviewing the material?

o   What can we determine prior to the interview?

o   What sources of information are available?

o   Who are the players and what are their motivations?

o   Should we spend time on this deal?

o   Are there any red flags?

o   What’s our quick assessment?
 

·         Asses the business history and management

o   Who is management? What is their level of experience?

o   Is the business plan strong?

o   What type of business is this?

o   What stage of growth is the business?

o   What is the legal structure?

o   How is management performance – are there character issues?
 

·         Assess the business’ financial condition

o   What is the financial situation? What do they own & owe?

o   Review the balance sheet

o   Have the owners invested? Does the business have a solid cash position?

o   Are the product lines and customer support strong?

o   How do they manage cash in the operation? What are their ratios from their income statement compared to other similar companies? What’s their historical ability to manage cash and control expenses?

If you start with these 3 areas (apply the same to the other 5 steps) and ask the tough questions, imagine how much risk can be mitigated. If you don't receive a sufficient answer, dig further and after every step evaluate if and how you should proceed. Asking questions, researching, researching more (and more) and analyzing data is essential to the modern day economic development professional. It’s through due diligence that we can ensure successful public private partnerships and development.

*What's with the title? In business a "dog" ties up valuable capital and resources that can be more effectively deployed. #IfYouDon'tKnowNowYouKnow

Tim Moore is a 4x startup founder,  real estate investment sales specialist and sales & marketing consultant. He writes about startups, sales and marketing. Follow him on twitter here