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Tag Archives: business

Your business plan on steroids

As you can imagine, our organization sees a lot of business plans – good and bad ones.  The ones that stand out to me are the ones that concisely state their business model and do so in a simple format.  I am not talking about the formats that look like they paid a huge sum on graphics designers, I’m talking about the ones where they know the key performance indicators of their business, they’ve planned their progression and they show the goals associated with that progression.

The article “18 Ways to Make Your Financial Model Stand Out to Investors” by David Teten seems like he is of the same thought process that I am.

Also, while you’re reading articles, I found this article “How to do guarantees right. And how we grew a business by 49% by adding a guarantee.” by the Conversion Rate Experts website.  This is something that one of Rhodes Holdings LLC’s sister companies, Online Sales Juggernaut, is dealing with right now.

Funding

Lately, Rhodes Holdings LLC is doing a great deal of funding, but not public companies – private companies.  We have a sister website, Key To Funding, that is making great progress in bringing in new clients.  We have done a number of fundings in the past three months – equipment leasing, factoring (including spot factoring), acquisition financing, and other formats.  We’re very excited about our progress.

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Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Business, Entrepenuers

 

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Benchmark Energy Explores Development of Coolant and Antifreeze Product Line

Coldspring, Texas (November 21, 2013 via MarketWire.com) – BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) an International supplier of Glycerin for commercial processes, announced plans to develop its own coolant/antifreeze product line in the US.

Benchmark Energy is a leading provider of Glycerin, which is used in many commercial processes, such as in production of cosmetics and soaps, animal feed, and in anti-freeze products. Retained as a by-product from biodiesel production, the Company maintains a strong distribution relationship with end-use production companies who require Glycerin in the manufacturing process.

For the fourth quarter of 2013, the Company projects shipping 1.6M pounds of Glycerin to its manufacturing partners in the US, and North America.

ANTIFREEZE PRODUCT LINE

In order to leverage its access to the raw Glycerin market, and its growing distribution network, the Company is exploring the development of its own line of coolant and antifreeze products for sale in the US, and North America. The product line will likely include all three types of antifreeze products- conventional, organic acid technology (OAT) and hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT) – although there could be other products considered as well.
Mark Bateman, Chairman and CEO of BenchMark Energy commented, “Benchmark Energy is pleased to announce the development of its own line of coolant and anti-freeze products to potentially expand our revenue growth within the company. Although in the initial stages, we feel our ability to leverage our every growing access to Glycerin, and distribution contacts across the US, we could provide Benchmark the ability to grow the company internally through the launch of its own consumer brand line, while increasing value for our shareholders.”

SHARE STRUCTURE

As of Nov. 18, 2013, the Company had approximately 23.5 million common shares issued and outstanding, with a public float of around 1.1 million shares.

ABOUT BENCHMARK ENERGY CORPORATION

“BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) is the source for glycerin and related refined components, providing value through our industry knowledge.” – Our mission statement starts the story, but the rest is available at http://benchmarkenergy.com.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENTS

The statements in this release that relate to the Company’s expectations with regard to the future impact on the Company’s results from new products in development are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The results anticipated by any or all of these forward-looking statements may not occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in the Company’s plans or expectations.

INVESTOR RELATIONS

Ashlee Guzman
Phone: (832) 691-0011
Email: investorrelations@benchmarkenergy.com


© 2013 by BenchMark Energy Corporation, all rights reserved. Re-posted here by permission from BenchMark Energy Corporation. Original issuance at http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/benchmark-energy-explores-development-of-coolant-and-antifreeze-product-line-otc-pink-bmrk-1855339.htm.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2013 in News

 

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BenchMark Energy releases fact sheet

Coldspring, Texas (September 26, 2013 via OTC Disclosure & News Service) BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) announces today that they have released their fact sheet. The fact sheet is now posted on their website and includes recent Important Events and Projected Shipments.The Company will continue releasing pertinent information from Phase 1 as it becomes available.

 

ABOUT BENCHMARK ENERGY CORPORATION

“BenchMark Energy Corporation (OTC Pink:BMRK) is the source for glycerin and related refined components, providing value through our industry knowledge.” Our mission statement starts the story, but the rest is available at http://benchmarkenergy.com.

 

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT

The statements in this release that relate to the Company’s expectations with regard to the future impact on the Company’s results from new products in development are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  The results anticipated by any or all of these forward-looking statements may not occur.  The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes in the Company’s plans or expectations.

INVESTOR RELATIONS

Ashlee Guzman
(832) 691-0011
investorrelations@benchmarkenergy.com
http://benchmarkenergy.com

The above news release has been provided by the above company via the OTC Disclosure and News Service. Issuers of news releases and not OTC Markets Group Inc. are solely responsible for the accuracy of such news releases.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in BLOG, News

 

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Institutions reacting to poor hedge fund/private equity returns

As a partner in a hedge fund, we understand exactly what a “hedge” fund is – it hedges other investments so that when one investment tanks, there is a counter weight for it. When all boats rise, sometimes the “hedge” drags your return down, but it mitigates your risk.

Our hedge fund, [name left out since this is not a ad for that investment], was the number two fixed income return’er in 2008, 2009, and 2010 – 52%, 38%, and 27% [I believe, this might be incorrect but close, doesn’t matter since this isn’t an ad and doesn’t make reference to the fund]. In the years since, it has underperformed the market significantly because it is a “hedge”. The term and the “hedge” fund’s purpose in the world has been corrupted to the point of insignificance.

PRACTICAL STOCK INVESTING

A couple of days ago, the Dealbook section of the New York Timesreported on a recent meeting of the Institutional Investors Roundtable in western Canada.

The purpose of the organization, founded in 2011, is to help large government-linked investment bodies, like sovereign wealth funds and managers of government employee pension plans, cooperate to solve common problems.

According to the NYT, the agenda of the latest meeting was hedge fund and private equity investments.  Although the proceedings are secret, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what went on.

The institutions’ dilemma:  on the one hand, they want and need the diversification and the high-return investment opportunities that hedge funds and private equity promise.   On the other, despite their colorful brochures and persuasive presentations, many hedge fund/private equity ventures produce pretty awful returns.

There are two main reasons for this:

–some hedge fund/private equity operators are brilliant marketers…

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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in BLOG, Business

 

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New Regulation FD

In recent days (April 2 to be exact), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“S.E.C.“) issued a report that said that Regulation FD could be satisfied by issuers by posting disclosure to social media sites.  To us, this is a logical extension of the J.O.B.S. Act since its intention was to allow small companies to capitalize themselves through the larger reach of the Internet. The S.E.C. release, available at http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2013/2013-51.htm, provides more insight.

Regulation FD is very important for publicly traded companies – it basically states that all investors should receive good and proper information disclosure from publicly traded companies at the same time.  Only certain venues were considered proper outlets to post “Press Releases” and even information on the company’s website was limited and specified.  Nothing worse than getting a comment from the S.E.C. on a registration statement relating to improper disclosure on the company’s own website – news sections posting information news before the official press release or 8K, company newsletters that disclose something improperly, etc.  Here is the S.E.C.’s definition of Regulation FD (http://www.sec.gov/answers/regfd.htm).

Here are some simple rules that we train our client organizations to follow:

  1. Create an “Investors” section of their website.  Link to other public venues for quotes, etc. such as Yahoo! Finance, Google Finance, Market Watch, OTC Markets.
    1. List board members, including committees.
    2. List transfer agent.
    3. List company’s SEC counsel.
    4. List company’s Ethics Statement.
  2. Create a “News” section of website wherein only items that have been released officially through a Regulation FD authorized distributor, such as Market Wire, Mac Report, Business Wire, etc..
  3. Create a “BLOG” section of website for opinions.
  4. Always release information as follows:
    1. Issue 8K, if required.
    2. Issue press release through FD authorized distributor.
    3. Put exact copy of press release on company’s website.
    4. Put exact copy or link to press release on LinkedIn and Facebook company pages.

      Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

      Image via CrunchBase

Disclosure is a “by the numbers” issue, meaning every company should come

Image representing Yahoo! Finance as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

up with a standard operating procedure (“SOP”) and follow it religiously – more to ensure that news gets the largest reach but also to ensure that a company doesn’t go afoul of the authorities.

 
 

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What were they thinking…

First, I must apologize for the dearth of information on the public markets and financing techniques therein over the last four months coming from our BLOG.  Our associated group of organizations (Rhodes Holdings LLC, ReCap Marketing & Consulting LP, and American Equity Fund LLC) have been involved in a number of actions to protect shareholder value as well as having been asked to put together a number of “go public” projects for clients.  With that said, expect a new focus on providing a look into what is going in the public markets…

OTC Markets

Since the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“J.O.B.S.“) Act was signed into law on April 5, 2012, there has been a “promise” in the air that it would help get capital formation for the micro-cap market started again.  This really hasn’t happened since the Congress and President can’t seem to get their acts together (pun intended), and the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC“) hasn’t released the details on how it will enforce the J.O.B.S. Act provisions, like changes to internet marketing of stocks (general solicitation).

OTC Markets Group Inc. had hoped that this Act would help drive their business, but alas FINRA is all about limiting the markets that OTC Markets Group Inc. serves by making it impossible to deposit shares in Pink Sheet companies as well as OTC:BB companies.  The crux of the problem that those of us working in the

Seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commi...

Seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

micro-cap arena are facing is that even if you follow all the rules (register your shares, pay cash for stock, etc.), the broker dealers and their compliance departments are running scared of the SEC and FINRA’s rules, so stock just doesn’t get sold.  If no stock gets sold, that capital doesn’t get re-invested into other micro-cap stocks – thus, the velocity of money associated with micro-caps has ground to a halt.  Read what OTC Markets Group Inc. has to say:

In a few cases, it has eased regulation and shown that at least some of those in Congress listened.  The J.O.B.S. Act did make it so that issuers did not have start filing SEC mandated disclosure statements (10Q, 10K, 8K, etc.) until they reach 2,000 shareholders – previously it was 500 shareholders triggered filing requirements.  Read CFO magazine‘s article on banks de-registering:

All in all, the J.O.B.S. Act has not helped us reach its stated goal – helping jump start capital formation.  It may still help, but those of you who thought that crowd funding was going to take over capital formation, it hasn’t delivered the goods.

Accredited Investors

The J.O.B.S. Act did make some changes to the accredited investor definition, which would be very helpful.  The original 1933 Act definition is as follows for Rule 501 definitions.  Here is what the General Counsel of Second Markets had to say about the proposed implementation in his letter to the SEC.  In general, we at Rhodes Holdings LLC are keeping track of what is happening in the marketplace that will make it easier for our clients to access the capital they need.  Here are some websites associated:

 

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Raising money – entrepenuers log book…

For the entrepreneur, everything starts with a business plan that lays out what they will be doing.  Once the plan is in place, now you have to finance your new start-up, or ongoing business that has a new “use of proceeds” for a new line of business.  This is where most entrepreneurs fail – finding money and putting it to work is an art form.  Find the wrong money, and it kills you (like factoring when your clients take too long to pay).  Find the right money at the wrong time, and you never get to use it again (commercial lines of credit when your bank uses cash flow and you are building assets).

Therefore, entrepreneurs need to be adept at securing equity, but there are so many laws surrounding this area that most entrepreneurs as well as seasoned professionals run afoul of the laws, both federal and state securities laws.  For instance, as a merchant banking organization, Rhodes Holdings LLC does not raise money – we restructure organizations, working with them to re-write their business plans with strategies that allow them to secure financing.  I, Robert Rhodes, accepted the position of Managing Member of American Equity Fund LLC (“AEF”), so that public companies that were reorganized could be offered a financing facility that was legal, and did not run afoul of these laws – specifically because AEF works with clients to file registration statements with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) for the equity investment.  We would like to help entrepreneurs understand the process though; here are few articles that you should read:


© 2012 by Rhodes Holdings LLC, all rights reserved.

Finance

Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

 

 

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