65 + – $$$$$$$$$$$$
September 28th, 2018

“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”  Some of you may remember those TV ads.  There is no telling how many times that ad has been parodied over the years.  But, it was really something of a starting gun to what has become a mad dash to provide products and services to meet the needs of the rapidly-growing population of people over 65.

Gillette has spent three years designing and testing a razor built for care-givers to shave others.  Best Buy is about to drop $800 million to buy a tech company that created a senior-friendly phone.  And instead of “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”, how about sensor-packed shoes that can detect falls.  These are just a few examples of what’s happening in the marketplace targeted at our rapidly-aging population.

The health-care market, which is about as broad as you want to define it, is booming.  There are specific niches that investors might be more interested in than others.  For the entrepreneur there is a huge and growing huger market out there for the right products, but it comes with a big caveat – a lot of other people know it and are after it.  If you can find a place where you can dance between the toes of the elephant, you may have the opportunity to create a company with significant growth potential that can attract outside investor interest.  But there is also the very real chance of getting stepped on by the elephant.  It’s like the Wild West, but there is gold out there.  But if you plan to mine it and plan to look for investors to help you mine it, you will have to convince them that no one is going to be able to jump your claim until you all cash out.

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Reprise
September 25th, 2018

 

After a brief hiatus of four years it’s time to pick up the pen and return to discussing the entrepreneurial world that I live in.  As a result of active participation in mentoring with SCORE, one high growth and one Main Street incubator and an accelerator, plus regular presentations of a small business financing program that I created, my awareness of so much that is going on in the entrepreneurial ecosystem has been dramatically heightened.  And right now – approximately four months from the end of 2018, I am beginning to see the smallest hints that the party is not going to go on forever, meaning that there are beginning to appear cautionary signs on the horizon.

The majority of what I wrote came in 2010, with the recession still strong and healthy.  There were the upcoming elections and what they could mean for small business.  The housing disaster was underway.  Higher bank capital requirements resulting from over-aggressive bank activities and its effects were having a negative effect on small business lending.  And now, in the words of one of America’s greatest philosophers, Yogi Berra, I’m beginning to feel a little bit of deja view all over again.  Just a little, but nonetheless, it’s there.  And because it’s there, and because thanks to the internet small business financing options have mushroomed due to the unwillingness (and in their defense, inability to do certain things because they are so heavily regulated) of banks to provide things like the short-term financing that so many businesses need, it’s time to start talking about things affecting entrepreneurs in today’s economy, especially as they relate to financing, and to shine a spotlight on various things that should be spotlighted, both the good the bad and the ugly.

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