Brown Abrams Fiberlok

Welcome to episode 5 of PWTA! Today we chat with Brown Abrams of Fiberlok. A 40 year entrepreneur, and holder of dozens of patents. Brown shares several unbelievable stories of how he persevered through some incredibly challenging situations. His company has contracts with some of the largest companies on the planet including the NFL, MLB, UPS and Kelloggs. There are so many golden nuggets in this episode including a story about how he had to create a new product on the fly to save his company. A true innovator with a whatever it takes mentality.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Tyler: Welcome to Products Worth Talking About,  today we’re talking with Brian Abrams and this company fiber lock and he’s been involved for 40 years. 40 years. Incredible.

RT: That’s amazing. So the first thing we want to dive into, Brown is just your, your startup story, like 1979 take us back. Tell us about where the idea, like the first idea, I’m sure you’ve had millions of ideas and where the first idea really came from and how you got gotten into it.

Brown: Well, the first I knew that was my idea. I actually was a spin off from our family’s business. We were used to being half business. So we would do hats for Budweiser, have advertising, promotional logos on. What happened for me was I was more interested in the graphics then in the ads. Yeah. And so this, this grew out of that and I could see that in the world of graphic products, there were embroidery at the high end, the most expensive dimensional but kind of crude images, right? Especially with, uh, computer graphics coming into the market. And then on the lower end where screen printing where you could do much finer resolution everything, but it didn’t have rich texture like embroidery. So that’s, I could see between those two technologies there was nothing. And I went to Japan in 1980 and saw, learned about a process called flock heat transfers in which are samples there and it’s a dimensional product that you can also get a buying resolution oven and run high volume of it. Um, so that’s Kinda how it started. It really started by seeing a need, an unmet need that nobody else was doing and realizing that I could get there. And there was a lot of things. It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. But uh,

Tyler: oh, is this, it always is. Entrepreneurship. It’s never easy. It surprises you. You

Brown: guys mentioned there surprises along the way. You know, I mean I, it’s a long story. I won’t get all the way into, but I bought a machine that in Europe and brought it over here and I w this was going to make this new that I came out with. And uh, we, before we had a chance to even try running it, we showed it in a trade shows a big mistake to do that. We just sort of showed up and a guy from Canada insisted on buying it from us and he, I said, I can’t sell it to you. I haven’t tried it out. And he just wrote a check on the spot. So we shipped it to Canada. I’s took that money and bought a second machine and when it came in and neither one of them worked. And it was because the guy in Australia that made the machine didn’t really understand the technology. Right. And so we hit, took me two years and, and um, a lot of pain to figure out how to make that machine work for the guy who makes the machine.

RT: and try to make the second machine work for you. Or did you just scrap this all we’ve seen on both work.

Brown: I mean it was just, I told this guy if we go down and we’re going down together but we’re not, we’re not going down. It’s not rocket science. And uh, basically it was a screen printing machine converted to do something we’d call multicolored direct electrostatic fiber coated heat transfer graphics for your,

RT: do you have an acronym? Lexapro is the brand. There you go. That makes sense.

Brown: That really needed a brand and we, he couldn’t, he thought I’ll just convert these springs into machine and it’ll do that for you. Look, it didn’t, everything is every, there’s so many variables in, in the environment, the relative humidity in the room that you’re running the machine. If it changes more than 5%, it stops working. I mean there’s a lot of things you really had to get balanced. And then it worked like a charm, but we had to figure each one of those things.

RT: And like you said in the beginning, this is halfway between embroidery and screen printing. Is that it is an easy way to describe it basically. Yes. And it’s kind of, it sits up off the off the fabric of the clothing. Right. But it is also iron on and then you aren’t actually touching the garments in any way. You’re just making the, the basically the logos and.

Brown: what goes on logos to the apparel guys and they heat seal on. Gotcha. And has that always been the business?

RT: Like from the early while we’ve done, we’ve agreed to do some application. We did some for the Olympics in Colorado Springs, you know, and just, just as a convenience cause they just said we don’t have any way to do it.

RT: You got the shirts. It’s not, it wasn’t my business, you know. Gotcha. Cool. And so that story you told us about getting the two machines, that was early eighties right? Was Yes, it was. You know. And once you figured that out, when she solve that problem, then what happened?

Brown: Well, once we really like, you know, we knew where we wanted to go. So getting there took two years in a lot of expense and pain and uh, but once we got there, we had kinda locked up. We applied for a patent and uh, that turned out to be another whole business because we applied worldwide for patents and we ended up with six lice foreign licensees. And we made more money on licensing this technology than we did make it. Yeah. And that was the number one way to do graphics in Europe on soccer, professional soccer. I mean all the British soccer clubs, you know, Arsenal. Yeah. Manchester United, all those famous brands over there. They were all, not only the logo and the league badges, but the big numbers they did, they really went crazy with this technology. So we made more money actually in some other markets than we did here by licensing it for royalty.

Brown: And the patent was on exactly what, like what part of it was a patent.

Brown: Um, well that’s another long story I’ve got, I applied for over a hundred patents and we were issued about 50.

Tyler: awarded 50 patents on this product or [inaudible] versions of it. We came up with an adhesive that works on

RT: I don’t think how to say it works on neoprene. Is this special at ease of that really solved a problem for another customer? Uh, making? Uh, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s Kinda technical, but we, we came up with an adhesive that would allow people to decorate something that they couldn’t do before.

Tyler: And so when you say we, so did you have eventually having a Hard d department? Are you the, are you the guy, are you,

Brown: the team I have is really are people that run the machines and do the production and do the drawing and the shaking and the baking and you know, and I’m just the idea guy.

RT: And did you, when you filed for those first patents, did you make the patent drawings? Did you write up what to say or, I didn’t like that turning point where.

Brown: I started writing my own patents. And just it would go through, I get, we get them done in 24 hours cause speed sometimes is is important. Once you have an idea, we have a couple pending right now that are for a completely new way to do everything. You know, I sold the company but I kept this two, these two patterns for which is what you’re involved with. Silicon does different, he’s the, we never use used, but if I can get this to work then it’s going to be another whole generation of this and we’ll license it all over again and I’ll get another 18 years of business. Awesome. But if I don’t, I just filled it up and go, yeah.

Tyler: So let’s go back. So you’re in the 80s let’s say 83 84 years. So like at what point do you have to market this product or you just start putting out there and people start finding you and it just kinda takes off like wildfire. Like how’s this work for you?

Brown: In those days, Evers trade shows were still the way things are happening and people would pack up a sample box and ghost go, Charlotte. Yeah.it was a lot different than it is trade magazines who are really big deal. I mean physical paper magazines. And so we were doing a lot of advertising, a lot of promotional, a lot of brand building, a lot of handshaking and just really looking for problems that we had the solution to them. And, uh, we did, we ended up in the automotive industry. We made, uh, um, labels for the trunk of the BMW Z threes. We did, uh, airbag labels for GM minivans. We, you know, we really got into automotive, we got into law enforcement, made police badges for homeland security and it just, you know, ended up in 40 different distribution channels. And part of the strength of the business was the distribution. So even if somebody could figure out and knock off the top, the frock technology, you’ve got to go sell it to somebody. When we were in port, we are in 40 different channels, um, well established. So,

RT: and once you had those channels, like those customers, like police forces, right, they, they would just, every time they needed to reorder new garments for, for the police force, they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t have any reason to look elsewhere. Is that what you’re saying?

Brown: Like you locked down contains programs and some of it, like the super bowls, we did one of the Broncos, the one way that’s a one shot deal. [inaudible] so there were different kinds of business. You know, we did school uniforms. Those Clinton just go forever until the school changes a little bit. They just keep your right. but even some of the licensed sports business we did, the clubs were changed their logos. I mean, for, I think four NFL teams. Every year we’ll, we’ll modify their logo and then it’s kind of all over again. So, you know. Yeah.

Tyler: Hmm. Interesting. So then you have multiple products, right? Because we saw some stuff before we got on there.

Brown: So now for families of products, but the common denominator is they’re all dimensional. high quality image reproductions. They’re all, they last forever that way. We have a Jean jacket with a Budweiser on the back that’s at least 30 years old. It’s been washed. I don’t know how many times it looks like it’s brand new. We had never, and this is kind of hard to even believe, who’d never seen our product in four years. We’ve never seen one wear out ever anywhere applied to anything. That’s amazing. Floor maps for NASCAR. I mean we know it’s pure nylon fiber.

Tyler: I love this because we’re going to, industry are like at a time right now where everybody has products, they’re just trying to market, market, market out, marketing each other. But you created a product that’s better. It was just pure better. And 40 years later it’s still around and you’re still making different versions of it. But that’s incredible. Cause now in 2019 you’ve got to have something. You got to market it and you got to like really hustle that side of the business and you just create a great product.

Brown: Well, what’s really interesting is that first patent I applied for, it was rejected twice. And I said, told our lawyer was, you know, they just don’t get it. They don’t get what we’re doing. And a good friend of mine, my best friend that France was a chemical engineer and he said they don’t, I can explain it to them in a way that they will get it. And so the patent examiner was saying, so what, how can you prove that this, there’s uniqueness to this that it’s not obvious. You know? And this guy in France just told this guy, it’s really simple. Before it did not exist, perfect. Just, you know, by definition. So we went to Washington DC and I sat down in front of this guy and I took all these things out and I showed them exactly how we did what we did. And he said, oh my gosh, I get it. And he reversed himself after two rejections and initiated the patent. And that was it. Once I understood how they play their game, then we started actually formatting the applications differently. And it just really rolled.

RT: And that’s why you started writing the patents personally instead of involving as many lawyers because you, no one can describe it better than you, right. Is that it’s real efficient and fast. Yeah. And that’s probably saves you a ton of money. I would think a little,

Brown: not so much. We spent over $3 million on Penn legal assent to apply.

RT: You said you applied for a hundred plus and have issued about 50 pens we’ll use, s.

Brown: Sometimes you abandon them. Sometimes you realize this is not, it’s a dead end. You know, it’s not either not commercially important or there’s a better way to do it or you know, but you, you have to find it right away. Otherwise as soon as you start bringing some of your material suppliers in and telling them what you’re, what you’re working on, they could go out and they would show up, not you. So you got, and we’ve got to be known for being careful about that. So people just assume they’ve already filed. That’s really cool. And right now we’ve got so many pens that we kind of had locked up this entire category. So people wanting to get into this business, just look, they don’t even read them all. It’s too much to read. Our latest patents are over a hundred pages long, so.

RT: it would be a scary proposition to come in and try to find a niche that you don’t already own.

Brown: That’s called a peck up picket fence strategy and it’s just like a picket fence. You just put individual pieces in until you just relate to take it all apart with me. Yeah, I will. Yeah.

Tyler: So you 2019 here we are and you just recently sold the company. We’re forth. Here’s the license. So is that plan the whole time or is that something that.

Brown: we looked for 10 year. I looked, I keep saying, when are you off for 10 years. I looked for somebody that really wanted it to own it and do it. And we had lots of people that wanted to buy them and they just wanted it as an investment and they just wanted to put the money in and see that product come out and get off it and then pump it up and then sell it to somebody else. And I’ll just wasn’t interested. So I was waiting for somebody who would get a passion for making stuff like we do, like you guys do with the watches. So it took 10 years and one day this guy showed up and he lives very close to the factory that he said he didn’t. He worked for a local company and he’d been looking for five years for a company that is near him and making manufacturing and you know, it just fit his criteria and it was just like so fast and so easy. And the process of selling was really easy because of the company. We just did so careful for 40 years. We’ve never been in court with anybody. We’ve never, we just do things safely. And so when you go to close the sale, there are no issues and there’s no, you know, contingencies and all kinds of, it just went through great. And he’s, since he’s, I know Lou, I was going to work four months with him. Is it during the transition and turned out to be two months because he just got us so fast and we both agreed I don’t know anymore. And there you go. Well you go when? When, so now what? Right. Well I don’t know. That’s a big question.

RT: Yeah. Cause you said, you said you had some other stuff that you’re working on, but you also used the term retired or retirement. But I, you know that one of the questions I had for you is what does retirement mean to you and could you act, do you think you can at a time.

Brown: there was no, there was no plan and find somebody to buy it. But the latest generation silicon technology is really, I mean, so many people want this. It’s just not been worked out yet. And so I’ve, I filed for the patents with the guy when he bought the company. Won’t pay you for this if you don’t know if it works yet. And I said, well, I’m not going to give it to you free. So we both agree we’ll use keep it and if it works all licensed. So that’s kind of how that happened.

RT: So you can kind of keep working on these new ideas from r and d standpoint and then if it works out, you basically give them or sell them to him. And if it doesn’t, it’s not a huge loss for either.

Brown: We’re in about the eighth ending or ninth ending and it’s gonna work. It’s not, it’s really a problem of finding, you know, there are thousands of formulations for silicon and I need to find the one that’ll work for this. And it’s really a matter of refining that one that nobody’s going to make it a new formula just for us. It’s not big enough. But if I find one that works for what they need, it’s going to open up huge doors. Like industrial working on farms. I mean there we do a lot of work in there already. But industrial where they really like they take a beating like a gas station or aerospace and mechanic uniforms. Look if resign they take a beating when they get washed. Yeah. Nobody knew people that have something a little the sand that silicon oil and so until replace or latex that he’s the Bush we use for years, which is like a late hero thing. I don’t have the canvas three with silicon. Okay. So.

RT: and can you tell us about the like the product development and like the R and d process? Cause it sounds like what you’re saying is that’s basically just you, you are the r and d team especially now. How do you do that? That research, you know when you have an idea of.

Brown: the research you do is not into the technology it sends to the people that have no other technologies. So this, this product, these products, we have our combination of physics and electronics and chemistry. And all this other stuff. Well, I know a guy in each one of those fields that does this fall and worldwide actually it’s a small market that is involved with this electrostatic clocking and uh, it’s enough for me to be able to kind of stitch this all together and make it work, you know, uh, for the outcome we’re looking for. If I tried to get down into the electronics and really understand the charts, I couldn’t manage the other part of it. So it was part of it is not getting down into it and just being the lead guy and pulling the team together.

Tyler: Excellent. So our audience is a bunch of entrepreneurs, so let’s talk about how it can help them. So looking back, 40 years of entrepreneur, what would you give, what’s one piece of advice you’d give them?

Brown: Well, like we were talking about before we started taping here as the perception people have that’s most useful is one that where when they see problems and when they see they, that they see those as opportunities not as as fallback, but as chance to really go forward. If you don’t have problems, you don’t have learning opportunities. And so it’s really a change of perception. And um, if someone said to me, well, we can’t do that because we’ve always done it this way or we’ve never done it that way before. That’s the reason we can’t do it. That to me it was just a big green light. Yeah. You know, because that’s, there’s, if I can figure it out that I may be the first guy to do it. I mean it’s a whole different way of looking at things as opportunities and not, you know, two blocks ray way to look at it.

Tyler: I mean it’s a chance for you to learn but also a chance for you to create a new business and make more money. I mean, how many people do we deal with it just run away from problems, you know, especially certain employees or something like that and they run away from problems where if you could address them, it’s a great opportunity to run straight at the problem. I mean, you could probably say that’s one of the biggest reasons for your success, right? Is that mindset. I mean that would.

Brown: be exactly, I mean, somebody’s customers who were having problem, your product is not sticking to this new fabric. It’s a really what or that fabric send me, I want to learn. You know, what’s the, what’s the thread count, what’s the finish on that and what, so you aren’t typing and all this and that and put it in my encyclopedia and it’s just maybe we come up with and he is at work. Some were the first ones to do that, you know, to have another patent or another product maybe, you know? Yeah.

Tyler: So what’s one part of your entrepreneur journey that just stood out for you? For like almost the pinnacle or like just that time that you’re just like, wow, this is awesome. One way, one, one point in your entrepreneurial career that was just amazing.

Brown: Well, I think maybe getting that machine to work was a huge first machine. Two years. Yeah. It was really, uh, you know, figuring out what all the variables there are about 175 individual variables that you have to control to make this thing work from the beginning of the end to end up with the product he wanted coming off the line. If one of those just one out of 175 is off, the product is garbage coming out. And so it’s really a balancing act, but it’s kind of, once you kind of know what those arts, you can lock a lot of them down and it’s very predictable.

RT: And what was the reasoning behind moving initially? Was it a lifestyle that you’re after? Quality of living might?

Brown: My family is from Colorado, so. Okay. And then coming out here, since I was a little kid and I, if you’ve ever been to the Mississippi River valley in the winter or summer, this is the place to be.

RT: I just like dry climate [inaudible] and all that. Would you say that that experience of moving the business was one of the hardest things you had to do or was there ever a lot of hard things?

Brown: I mean, there were things that, uh, we got to a point, this is a great story. I, you know, we got to a point where we are, when we were struggling financially just to get started, actually in the very beginning, we didn’t manufacture our own product. We found a company, uh, in St Louis that was already screen printing. And they said, well, we’ll make it for you, just show us. And we went to Japan and were trained how to make this early product. And it wasn’t even six months into this relationship where they, they were union shop in the union, went on strike against them and they were a big supplier to Budweiser and Monsanto chemical. And, um, during the strike, the only people that could cross the picket lines and operate the machines were the owners. So I was, I went in there and they said, you can run the machine if you had to deliver jobs. So once I started running these machines, we can do this. I mean, I don’t need, you know, and they were glad to get us out of there. So that was a turning point where we took over the manufacturing and the guy, let me of course $1 million on these, you know, and then another time we were, we were running out of money and we couldn’t make payroll. And it was the last time, probably 25 years ago, but I remember a meeting with the bank and they just said, you know, you’re going to need to go to your family for this money because you’re not going to go here. You know, and this is just like the, and so we went back to the shop and we think, oh my gosh, what are we going to do? And this guy walks in the door out of the blue, this, this guy from Mexico and he said, we are part of a big conglomerate and we want to start making this product in Mexico. If you can sell me your oldest machines and train us on how to make this, um, we’ll, we would like to have a license screen with you. And I said, done. And he wrote a check for $160,000. I made the parallel and it was the last time we had a, we’re really in a bind and this guy, I mean, where did he come from? He just came out of the sky, you know?

RT: Are you, uh, I mean, are you a religious man or believe in Karma? Maybe. I mean, I, I try to look at that stuff as like Karma, right? If you are putting in that effort. Exactly.

Brown: If you don’t treat people right, you get what’s coming. You know what I mean? Hopefully.

RT: So you must leading up to that and you must have done some things that were good or, or put in enough effort that someone saw it and that guy walked in the door. That’s, that’s an amazing story.

Brown: Well, another time, Kellogg’s, we had an order from Kellogg’s to put our product in rice krispies, you know, and the order was 30 million thesis. We’ve never made 1 million, but we didn’t [inaudible] sure we can do 30 million. We’ve done a thousand. You know, we hired a hundred people right off the street and we don’t even know who worked for us. We had to take Polaroid pictures of these guys so we could know who were giving paychecks. And uh, over four months we delivered. It was the masters in Universe, cartoon character characters for kids, you know, home iron on kind of thing. Yeah. And we got it done. But um, we didn’t think we were going to, we had to buy a new kind of machine that we’ve never even, we had to prove the machine and it turns out the machine really didn’t work. Uh, it was very bloody. But we, you know what we deliver, we said we would have it. We did. Yeah.

RT: And that probably snowballed into other things like that. Right. I mean that really was a standalone.

Brown: We never did another ones. Those are called the impact programs. And usually it takes years to get tighter than the queue. This one, they had a big opening suddenly too. They needed to put something in the end because they had to cancel a pro, something else on another product. You know, they have a test where they put it in this little plastic thing and they put it in a cereal and they, and they store it in a certain humidity for so many hours while they, they did that with this product they were intended to use and they took it out on the cereal, tasted like a beach. Aw, no. It leached out the kit. You know, and they, so they suddenly had to, and our, our chemistry is always been water-based. We don’t do so solvent. Right. So that was a safe thing. Things you don’t think about, like.

Tyler: Kellogg’s the mass produce 30 million units. That’s incredible. Or you definitely have to think about every logistical thing that goes into it. That’s a nice story.

RT: Like what we’re, you know, summing up the company and what it really is and, and has been, cause it’s, you know, it’s 40 years worth of company, right.

Brown: But it’s, everything has a really common simple thread. And we never would do anything that, I mean, we were always asked to do something that was outside of art. Like do make reflective, cause we just did. But, um, um, yeah, we stayed with dimensional graphics and so were the, the company was always the world’s leading manufacturer of original dimensional highest value added graphics. Heat applied [inaudible] I think I do have this other one you haven’t seen which is oh, here’s the [inaudible] oh that’s a product we made that uh, I have no, Lindsey has for the coast there. Those are coasters. We made bigger ones for mouse mouse pads. Lindsay has one, the basics right? That’s a whole story. I’ll tell you. That’s a [inaudible] that’s a downstream product. It’s, in other words, it’s made with this technology, but it is a consumer product that we normally didn’t sell to consumers. In this case we did, we did a lot of business on our website. We still do. They still do. Are you sell these directly on the website? Oh yeah. Yeah. Mouse around.com. You got the whole collection licenses from most of major museums. We should absolutely touch on that. I mean this is, that’s really in our realm. I conserve based products. It goes.

RT: So, um, so you call this the, the mouse rug or this, this is coaster, but you have.

Brown: actually there’s a story that goes with this too. Really good story. Again, one year, um, Nike was our biggest customer and they, we were actually applying a, you, you asked me who was before we were doing the application on the Nike shirts. We were doing the poly bagging, the folding, the tagging, the bulk pack, and we are shipping to the stores. So the store we were not getting, because Nike doesn’t handle the product, they’re just marketing company. So we were Nike, you know, and then one year they said to us, you need to, we’re going to give you much, much more business. You need to really expand this plant. They sent two, two auditors out to look a walk through our plant. So I spent $2 million and I doubled the size of our plan from 25,000 to 50,000 square feet out here. And I’m telling you the next year the concrete wasn’t even dry yet almost. And they said, oh, we’re taking all the business to China. And they dropped us. I mean just after we spent $2 million, so that year at that time in order to make up the volume, I said, what the hell are we going to do? And I really had to get my creative juices going and I thought, well I used to be in the rug business and this stuff feels like a little bit like carpet and then why don’t we make miniature ones and people could use coasters and uh, people were at the time, mouse pads were still really selling.

Speaker 2: We got into, you know, borders and staples and all these big and Metropolitan Museum of art and we got museum licenses. [inaudible] story in there. How it was, that was [inaudible] that wasn’t to just be cool and creative. We were in trouble. That is magic rabbit out of the hat. That was,

Tyler: and this was you, you just basically came up with this. You’re like, I’m,

Brown: so I did, this was, we got, we bought some neoprene, which is another whole story because I ended up inventing something else for Neoprene, but we bought some neoprene, which is how they make mouse pads. And then I put this stuff on. I said, that’s great, but we need something to make it look unique. So there’s fringe. I went over to pier one imports and I bought some placemats and I cut the fringe off and I found a way to laminate it in there. And then I found somebody in that makes fringe and they shipped us rolls of fringe and we built a machine and now automatically puts the everything all together, the rubber or the fringe, it all goes in one pass into this heat laminator and it’s still running out there. And so here we have the, the coaster rug close to rug, just a secondary product, just the two to be. Wow.

RT: Because you, one of your largest customers pulled the plug on you, you invented a new product and use this product to save the company. Yeah.

Brown: And then this guy, and it makes this neoprene rubber, right, makes yoga mats. And so he said, you know, we need a good label for on Yoga Mat because the ones we have are, there are these woven labels and they’re kind of pointy and they people don’t like rubbing on them. And you know, and we, our product didn’t stick to neoprene and that was the, what I told you, I invented this product, uh, that way to make it stick on neoprene. We’ve got a patent on it and we’ve been making a, his brand is called, uh, jade or jade industries, the name of the company and the name of the Yoga Mat. I can’t remember the name of it. We’ve been doing his logo on those things like hundred thousand a year for the last 15 years. He turned into a great customer. We got a patent. Nobody else can do it. And it’s a way to make this kind of soft thing on to neoprene directly. Yup. It’s really, I mean, it just keeps going if you think about it, but I’m looking for problems. It’s kind of the common. Yeah. Yeah.

RT: And you didn’t just find the problem, you solved the problem in a huge way. I mean, is this still like the, the coaster rug and uh, it’s still going though the business. I.

Tyler: t’s still, so you’re licensing it to the, uh, the met. Then how about this? Another great story.

Brown: We went around and we went to these big museums, the Metropolitan Museum of art, the, the young in San Francisco, the colonial Williamsburg. And we said, could we get a license to reproduce the rugs that are in your collection? Cause those are probably really popular. And they’ve got a story that goes with it, you know? Yeah. And they said, yeah, you gotta pay us 5% royalty or whatever. So we make this license agreement and they’re on the way out the door, say, oh wait a minute, you’re going to buy something from us, aren’t sure if for your gift shops, you know, and they turn around and give us a big purchase order. So it was a perfect win-win deal where they would get a license, we pay them, they’d end up giving us orders and they would put it in their gift shop. And this product is still one of the best selling products in the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York gift shop and has been for 20 years.

RT: Because you can get a coaster, Rog Mitch, just like those rugs they have on display.

Brown: because it reproduces something that’s actually in their collection and it has a souvenir value. Yeah. Tourists combine them and throw it in their purse. It’s easy break and you take it home. It just, it’s a perfect souvenir item and you can use it every day. And even today these on your desk, these things look like $1 million. I’ll tell you. It’s, yeah. And so you know what’s interesting is the difference between these two. I don’t think it would mean anything to you unless you really, this is made with this new silicon adhesive and this is the old one. If you just feel it, it’s the same well of the fibers is completely different. Oh yeah. That’s the, the look of it. The intense, the intensity of that color you can wear to a net. That’s the new,

RT: so that’s your new idea. Yeah.

Brown: There’s only like three pieces in the world that had been made and that’s one of the three pieces. But that’s going to be upgrade the whole thing. Yeah. Yeah.

RT: And then you can apply that to yoga mats and other Ev.

Brown: Actually everything we do though, this will totally replace any of everything else because it’s better, softer, more durable, vibrant, he resistant. I mean you just go down and list. This is industrially cleanable. As great as this has been from 40 years. This is better. So I’m hoping we, I mock this up.

RT: What was so interesting because in our, in our finance episode, like we, we made a whole episode about how to finance your business and all that stuff and one of the sections was getting creative and you had to get creative [inaudible] hitting me of getting creative, you know,

Brown: it takes an hour and a half to dry the adhesive in this processing we do on this one, it takes four to six 40 seconds. It’s like, I mean you can imagine all of a sudden your manufacturing goes down to this instead of this big long with rack drying racks. And all that. You don’t need any of that with this nudity. That’s so cool. It’s awesome. So there is really no end to it. You guys. That’s another probably messaged from this whole thing is that once you start something, if you get into the rhythm of being entrepreneurial, being crude or looking for problems, look which are solutions and opportunities, there just is no end until for me, the end is, I’m just wearing out habits. It’ll just keep going. Somebody else will pick it up and hopefully this guy sold the company tool start. Huh? I wanted to show you this new product called Lumitex and w you know ups wanted after being their only supplier for, I don’t know, two decades of no, 20 year, 25 years. We were their only supplier worldwide for their drivers uniform of ups, logos. They said, we’ve got to have some, your stuff is nice, the fuzzy stuff, but we want to have something reflective so that they can be seen at night and we ended up in Benning, something that’s never been made before and it’s called Lumitex. We have a patent pending on it. Why don’t we have a pattern should I think? And the day we closed the sale of the company, February 4th, this year was the day ups came in and he, this guy ends up with a three year contract, uh, more than a million dollars a year for three years for all our, for the product we never even had before because they had a problem. They brought us, they said, nobody else can do this. Can you do this? And I thought, well, nobody’s done this. Why haven’t they done it? What’s the problem? What needs to be overcome? Like, I wish I could show it to you. It’s really cool product.

RT: And it’s the same concept, right? An iron on. But now instead of being just soft and colorful, it’s also reflective. Yeah. It’s made of a combination of glass bead, reflective material, you know, glass beads and, and real dark brown textile, which is together in one product that just irons on in 10 seconds and, and lasts forever. Um, you know, it passes all of the reflectivity tests and you know, um, the way it goes together and the way it looks, but to, to be, here’s one of the real special things about this product is during the day it looks great. It’s Golden Brown. You know what the ups logo looks like at night when it’s reflecting and all you see as the reflective glass page. It also has to look like the ups logo. You don’t even see the brown fabric. It disappears it. And so the reflective part is this pantone match gold color. Right. So anyway, that’s cool. I know the thing that’s so neat. It was just out there two days ago when I started getting conversation like this, and I almost thought, you don’t know how to keep doing this. I mean, it really gives you an our energy. I’ll get into it. Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome. But I’m not kicked off. I mean, there’s, there’s so many things. This is my, no, it’s endless. It’s amazing. Okay. Thanks for [inaudible]. Thanks to so much.

RT: And don’t forget to take these. This is your stuff.

Speaker 3: [inaudible].

RT: Yeah, we did a whole bunch of research, found a massive list of resources of all kinds of different ways to finance your business, finance, your prototypes, finance, you know, your first level of product. And, you know, first thing I think we need to say is that we are not financial professionals. We’re entrepreneurs just like you and not everything we’ve done has worked. And so we’ll share some of that and hopefully you can avoid those. But, um, before you do any of this, consult the most financially educated person that you know, uh, hopefully that is like a CPA or someone and uh, just get a second opinion before you just roll into this.

Tyler: And this’ll be a unique perspective. Cause I think a lot of times when you’re hearing this stuff, it’s coming from a financial expert, maybe an entrepreneur who’s super successful. It doesn’t have to worry about a lot of these things anymore. They’re there, you know, they’re focused on bigger problems, but like, you’re going to see it from our perspective. I think it’s going to be really unique. So let’s dig into it. Let’s do it.

RT: So number one is crowd funding. And I can give you a very relevant example. So we started Vortic Watch company on Kickstarter in November of 2014. We didn’t have any money. We didn’t have a way to show our friends and family that this crazy watch idea. We had my work and at the time Kickstarter was really popular, still is today. And so we said alright let’s put some prototypes together, make a video and try to sell some watches online. And we set a goal of $10,000 because we thought that was a lot of money and we raised $40,000 in a 30 days. And we basically used Kickstarter as the example to potential investors to say people actually want this product and they will pay for it before it even exists. And that’s our proof of of market. Really cool. Cause I’ve never done crown flooding. So this is something that on this list is probably one of the few that I’ve not done.

Tyler: So you know, what was the one thing that you really surprised about or like maybe some advice you can give somebody who’s thinking about crowd funding?

RT: I think the biggest thing with crowd funding, whether it’s, you know, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, go fund me, there’s many things. There’s now these crowdfunded equity, which is really cool. I didn’t know anything about, but interesting. All of those are just websites. So you’re building a website where you put a video and you put your products and you put your prototypes and you know, they say if you build it, they will come. That is not how it works. Just like a website. You have to build something and then you have to be the one that brings the people there to invest in you and fund your product. So don’t forget to market it. Don’t forget to tell everyone you’ve ever met in your entire life that you have a Kickstarter live and they should go fund it.

Tyler: So who’s this perfect for? Like what’s the, what’s the type of business or person this is going to be good for?

RT: I would say especially in a product based business, you know, just like where I was, I was right out of college, um, my business partner, Tyler and I neither had any money. You know, we, we asked our friends and family for money and they basically said like, okay, prove it. Um, if you have a really good idea and you just need to prove yourself, um, put it on Kickstarter and set the goal low enough that you know, if, if you’re successful you can make a few of them and then we use it as a stepping stone.

Tyler: Cool. Okay. So number two, so credit cards, I mean, this is uh, this is an easy one, right? So most people have credit cards and most people can just start charging stuff on that credit card and they’re justifying it one way or the other. But I will tell you this is kind of a slippery slope because the way you approach a personal business, our personal credit card versus a business credit card is distinctly different. You know, so just to talk through some methodology here at a personal credit card, you’re like, okay, I can, I should, I should not buy that. Right? I mean, it’s pretty straight forward. You know, some people still buy stuff they shouldn’t, but then you’ve got the business credit card where you’re trying to justify a purchase based on return on investment. So it’s very easy to say, I’ll ask you to cost me $1,000. I’ll throw it on this credit card. It’s a tax write off. Plus I know I’m gonna earn three, four, five times. My business has to have it. And it’s easy to get that slippery soap. So be very cautious of this when you start a business with a credit card, what that looks like longterm.

RT: And you gotta be really careful with credit cards as well because applying for credit cards hurts your credit having too much. They call it utilization. So if you have $10,000 in credit and you use 9,500 of it all the time, and you leave that balance on your account for months and months, that also hurts your credit. Um, there are ways you can use credit cards to help your credit and we’ll put some of that information in the resources, but just be really careful how often you apply, how many credit cards you have, how much of them you use. Um, because if you hurt your personal credit, which happens if you have a business credit card, it’s attached to your personal credit score. If you harm your personal credit using credit cards, then all this other stuff we’re about to tell you about bank loans and all these other fun things for when you’re really big and you need, you know, $1 million, no one’s going to take you seriously if you have a 400 credit score.

Tyler: Yeah. As a slippery slope, right? Because once you’ve reached that, that you deserve nation, you can’t get a credit card, they increase, you can’t do anything. It’s, you’re just kind of stuck. You’ve got to pay it down. But you know, that’s definitely a problem down the road when, let’s say you start with a credit card to fund the first five, 10, 15 $20,000 of your business and then you go to get that $250,000 like legitimate loans, maybe, you know, really buy inventory and you don’t, can’t get it. You’re done.

RT: One couple of benefits of credit cards though. First points. So we use, or we’re chase customers, so we use the Marriott and the United credit cards through chase. Um, you get a ton of great benefits from those cards. I get upgraded on a lot of United flights now, which is great. You get upgraded at Marriott, they treat you like a king. A lot of cool stuff that can come from that if you use it for the right stuff, if you use it wisely, if you’re paying it off every month, those are all good things. Again, just be careful and tried to do it the right way.

Tyler: Absolutely. Okay, so number three, friends, family, and you have a unique, uh, title for this as well. Yeah. Everybody. Yeah.

RT: The, in, like the startup community calls the first round of equity, financing, friends, family and fools. And that’s because you are brand new. No one’s invested in you. And when we’re talking equity financing, you’re selling a piece of your company for a chunk of money. Now, one thing with the friends and family and partners, it doesn’t have to be equity. So you can go to your parents or your best friend or someone and say, Hey, I’ve got this great product idea. I need help and I need like $10,000. Can I get a loan? And maybe they’ll give you a loan with like 10% interest and give you two years to pay it back. Um, and, and just Kinda hook you up with that. Um, they don’t have to get part of your company. You can also do alone.

Tyler: And this is one of the most flexible ways to finance a business because you can structure this in so many different ways, right? So, um, me personally, if I’m looking at this, I’m looking at strategic partnership, you know, so I’m looking at somebody who maybe doesn’t have the skillset I have. Maybe they have a better skillset in a different area, then I can bring on board, maybe they, they’re a finance guy, maybe they’re a marketing genius, maybe they’re an influencer. This is a really, is I’m passionate about this because this is a great way to find some business. Go Out, find an influencer in your niche and then partner with them. Say, Hey, put up 50,000 or 20,000, I’ll give you 10, 20% of the company and you’ve got an automatically, you’ve gotta build a marketing channel, plus they probably know a ton of other influencers. So that’s huge on that angle. You know, you can structure this any way you want to.

RT: Also manufacturers. So if you’re making a physical product, can, somebody has to like make part of it? Uh, one example when we were making watches, you know, the, the only person I found in the United States that could make the screws, um, was here in Colorado. But you know, had a minimum order of tens of thousands of dollars. And I went to him and I asked, you know, is there a way we can work together? And it just so happens his great grandfather was a watchmaker and we had this personal connection is really cool. And basically, um, he financed my first round of inventory cause I said, you know, I want to buy a thousand screws but I can only afford a hundred at first. And so he made a thousand and then sold them to me a hundred at a time, which is basically financing my inventory. So, you know, getting creative there. But bottom line is at this level, they’re investing in you. Whether it’s friends, family, partners, manufacturers, you ha, they, they think you have a good idea. They think this product might, might take off, but it’s your credibility that they’re basing the decision on. Um, so make sure you come with the viable credibility that you need to have that conversation.

Tyler: All right, number four is bank loans. Now this one’s everybody’s familiar with bank loans. Everybody’s probably had a bank loan in their life. Um, there are a lot of different ways this can be structured as well, but they’re going to be more structured in how they approach it. So in my opinion, you know, if you have a relationship with a bank, that’s the best route to go. Go talk to the person you have a connection with, you know, see if they’ll keep that bank meet or that loan may be inside that bank. Maybe they’ll finance it themselves. If not, what they’ll do, they’ll go out to the SBA. Okay. So the SBA, they’ve got four different types of loans. It’s going to be a really structured, a little more time consuming. It can take up to eight, 10, maybe even 12 months to get financing done through SBA. But it’s a very viable option. Yep.

RT: Yeah. The small business association, basically it’s a government backed agency that helps the banks take more risk. Um, and so, you know, you mentioned relationships, but that’s everything in banking, you know, walk into the place where you have your checking account and start there and then ask for references, ask for, you know, other people that, that have a good relationship with their bank. And then start with those. I like smaller banks personally. Um, they can just, they can do a lot of things that the big banks can’t. Um, and then a lot of the local banks, you know, around where you are, they’re willing to spend more time with you. They’re gonna come and you know, want to tour your facility and see how it’s made. And you know, they’re going to go to bat for you when they have to explain this alone that they want to do for you, to the SBA, to their management team, to the, you know, the underwriters that are looking at the numbers. Um, start with a good relationship with the bank and then send them all of your numbers and go from there.

Tyler: If you don’t have a relationship with a bank, the SBA actually list or top banks every quarter. So you can go on the SBA website, why she linked this? I’m down below, but you can go on and take a look at the top hundred banks so far this quarter, next quarter, so on and so forth. They have done the most SBA loans. So maybe it’s just simply, hey re find somebody that’s maybe in your state, in your region, calling them, making that connection and working through it.

RT: Yup. And you know, shameless plug, we have a business plan course. Check it out because every bank that you walk into, first thing they’re gonna ask is for your business plan. They’re going to ask for your financials, they’re going to ask for your tax returns. They’re gonna ask for this huge list of things that can overwhelming. It’s not really that difficult, it’s just putting your business and everything that’s in your head on paper so that you can give it to the bank in a way that they can really understand financially and take you really seriously.

Tyler: If you already have relationship with a bank and maybe you already have, you know, a business that’s up and going, pull out a line of credit. So you know, a lot of banks will do a line of credit, maybe ten thousand twenty thousand twenty five whatever they go up to a hundred thousand or 200,000 but you know, maybe they can just do a line of credit for you. And that’s a great way for expansion by inventory, so on and so forth.

RT: Yeah, you’re right. It doesn’t have to be a longterm loan. It could just be a line of credit. All right, check number five. Equity Financing. Yeah. So once you’ve kind of tapped out friends and family or you know, you don’t happen to know anyone that has a lot of money sitting around that might want to invest in you. The next level of equity financing would be angel investors. And this is like, it’s kind of like shark tank. You’re pitching your idea and product to one person or a group of people that have money, have experience usually and can help you with all of it. There are individual angels which can invest, you know, 10,000, $100,000 in your business and you’re just working with one individual person who invest and buys a portion of your company for a certain valuation. Again, you need the business plan, you need your pitch deck, you need all of that ready to go to pitch to them. Um, but they are investing in you and your business and buying part of it. Next step is the groups of angels or Angel Groups. Um, this is literally the same thing, but those angel investors get together in the same room once a month, once a quarter, et cetera. And they let entrepreneurs come in and pitch to them. And then instead of just investing one at a time, one person into one company, they’ll create this consortium of people that will invest in you as a group.

Tyler: Now remember in this scenario, like you want to treat this like any other part of these other financing options, you want to make sure you’re taking smart money. Okay? So there’s difference here. Like you just don’t want to take somebody’s money that maybe can’t provide any value to you, so make sure the angel group, the angel, whoever you’re getting involved with is going to provide value to you and that may be like an expertise in manufacturing or marketing or maybe they’ve done, maybe they’re in a specific niche or industry that you’re in, like those are the people you want to partner with because you need to use these people as resources. These are true partners,

RT: especially when you get to the next level, which is vcs or venture firms. When somebody is investing, that’s usually like $1 million or more into your company. Hopefully they bring more to the table than just money. Now on the flip side of that, there are helpful investors. There are things called silent partners where they give you money and then you never hear from them again. That could be just as helpful. It depends on what you’re looking for, but then there’s the not so silent partners that might end up being a bad person to work with. So don’t just take someone’s money, they’re willing to give it to you and buy a part of your company, do your research on them and set expectations on like how often they’re going to get information from you about how well you’re doing. You know, if, if they invest a lot of money in you and own a sizable portion of your business and then they call you once a week and say, hey, you know, how’s it go? What’s your financial projections like? You know, that could end up being a really bad thing and they might detract from your business more than the money they put in. So just be careful and, um, again, ask for advice and uh, and try to get a good relationship.

Tyler: Yeah. Do your due diligence with those people to like understand how the businesses they’ve invested in, how they’ve done, you know, like how many businesses have got an exit or like, or maybe what’s the percentage of the success rate or like how they, how do they view success? You know, like a lot of angel funds, a lot of people view success as like they’ve got three that maybe fail and that’s not good, but they have their percentages of things that they want to see out of people. So you know, ask them about those numbers and make sure they’ve had some successful wins for sure.

Tyler: So next up is grant. Yeah, grants. So grants are, you know, they sound great, right? Pretty much you’re going to get free money. So it’s kind of, this is one of those things where you jump into it and you start doing research and you spend a lot of time and energy on grants and likely you’re probably never going to get one because they’re pretty tough to get. So be cautious of, you know, where you’re spending your time in this process because some of these financing options, they take a lot of time in grants. It’d be at the top of that list of things that could take some time. So find a good resource. A Fundera, they’ve got a great are blog posts for the top hundred grants right now. And they keep it up to date cause that’s important cause a lot of grants will expire. They’ll go away, you know, whatever. And they will, yeah, you’ll, you’ll sort of digging around and you’ll start reading about it and you’ve wasted, you know, maybe an hour or two and it’s expired. So Fundera they do a great job. They’ve got a ton of a other resources on there as well. But I would check out that blog post

RT: and in my experience, a lot of the grants are niche. So, um, you know, an advanced industry, medical devices, um, you know, things that are improving the state or the country or the world with this product. You know, if, if your product is in a niche like that where it might change someone’s life, um, you know, that is something that there might be a grant out there for, for you to apply for. Um, an example for me, we would take, we actually got an advanced industries tax credit grant, which meant that anyone that invested in my company got to write it off on their taxes through the state of Colorado. Um, because we were making things that were, uh, very advanced technology, three d printing titanium, all that stuff. It didn’t matter that it was watches, it was that we were a manufacturing company and Colorado wanted more manufacturing companies. So that’s obviously a very specific niche. Um, but check that out and um, it’s worth a look, especially of that top 100.

Tyler: That’s free money, right? It is. Give it a look. Absolutely. Okay, so number seven, a short term loans.

RT: Yeah. So this, you know, again, we feel like we need to do a disclaimer on every single one. Take it slow with short term loans. There’s a couple of big ones. One is on deck, which we really like. We love on deck. I’ve, my face is on, on deck. [inaudible] board was one of their like, you know, partners of, of the month a few months ago. And, uh, they came in and featured our company, which is pretty cool. Um, we’ve also looked at at paypal loan builder, which is formerly swift financial. Um, there are pros and cons to all of this, but especially short term loans, you gotta be careful. Now these people basically like for on-deck or, or paypal, they’re going to come in and they’re going to give you, let’s say $50,000 and you have six months to pay it back and they’re just going to tack on a simple interest rates. So they’re going to say, all right, you, you get 50 grand and we’re going to charge you $5,000 fee to give you that 50,000. Um, and, and you have to pay back all 55,000 in six months. And that’s just one example. One number they can loan hundreds and hundreds of thousands. They can give you just 10,000, I’m sure. But, um, you have to pay it back quickly. That is the bottom line. And that’s where you need to be careful. So if you don’t have a big sales influx coming in really soon, if you’re not 100% sure that you’re going to get that 50 grand back in sales or investment or you know, the big bank loan is coming really soon. If you’re not positive that you can pay that back within that short term, then you shouldn’t take it because this is really risky.

Tyler: Absolutely. So, um, I, yeah, I guess I kind of cover a certain loans. It’s a really straight forward concept. I’m just, you know, do, do, do those and it’s run through and like I said, we like on deck. Um, but that’s Kinda it for short term loans, right? Yeah, absolutely.

Tyler: Okay, so, uh, the next one is going to be side hustle. You know, this is something that’s pretty basic, more subjective, but like sometimes you just gotta do a side hustle. Yeah.

RT: And don’t forget about the side hustle. I mean, it could be the thing that, that makes it happen for you. I mean, for, for me or tick watch company was my side hustle for two years. And the only reason it worked was because I had a business partner and he was full time at Vortic. Well I was full time at my other job. Um, but because I had that income, I could, you know, build all of this financially for us. And then when I left my job, um, I was able to, you know, progress the business enough right away that I could start paying myself again. But, um, it’s, it’s getting creative.

Tyler: Yeah. So side hustle, I mean, that’s going to be good for like the smaller businesses that maybe only need five, 10,000 to get started. You know, if you’re above that number, it’s gonna be really difficult to work. Maybe a full time job, a side hustle or whatever, however that’s gonna work for you and have time to build a business that’s viable. So it’s gonna take too long. So if you get above those, you know, five, seven, $10,000 where you can’t save it up in six months, maybe from a side hustle, you got to look outside and find some outside money. Cause it’s just the opportunity cost is way too great.

RT: Yeah. And when you look at opportunity, you always do better when you focus on one thing. So if you don’t have to have this side hustle, then don’t do it. If you can put all of your energy into one thing, um, you’re going to do a lot better. So try that first and if you need it, then get after the side hustle.

Tyler:

RT: All right, number nine, pitch competitions. Yeah. So, um, personal experience here, I’ve won two pitch competitions in my life, uh, both for $10,000. And it’s free money. It’s just like a grant. So you’re already pitching investors, you already have your business plan, you already have your pitch deck. Um, and at this point you just get in front of a room and you’re basically practicing for all of that stuff and you’re going through your slides and you’re saying, this is why my business is better than anybody else’s business. Doesn’t have to be bigger or a better investment or anything like that. It’s just they’re judging your pitch, you know, how articulately you, you know, showcase what your business does. And, um, if you win, you get the cash price. So, um, it’s literally free money. The other thing I would say is that not only is it great practice, but you never know who’s in the room. So for me, the second pitch competition that I won last year, um, there were investors of mine, like current investors and potential investors in the room watching me pitch. And after the pitch I received I think $10,000 in prize money but $50,000 in investment. Cause they, they were like, wow, you know, this kid looks like he knows what he’s talking about.

Tyler: Yeah. It is great because it’s, it’s validation. Like you said, it’s can be validation. It’s also gonna be, it’s practice, you know, it makes you really think about your business and so down the road when your business maybe needs money from VC, your angel, like you can get up there and do a pitch, you know? Um, I love it. I love it. It’s great. It’s something a lot of people don’t talk about, but at least two, a couple in the early stages of your business. So you get that practice.

RT: Yup. And get those questions. You know, if you’re at the end of your pitch and people ask you some really hard questions that you don’t know how to answer, that’s just a, uh, you know, call to action for you to go and put those, uh, answers inside your business plan or your pitch somewhere. Cause now you know that, uh, the room was left with those questions.

Tyler: Number 10, getting creative. So, you know, we had the disclaimer early on that we’re not professionals, but here are the couple of different ways that you can finance a business that we don’t really recommend but maybe viable and certain situations very low on the list. So a couple of there are that we have down or cash out 401ks which we absolutely do not recommend, but in certain scenarios may work well for you. Um, look at the equity in your house or your assets in general. Look your equity. Can you pull out a refi mortgage? Can you our cash out mortgage? Can you look at a home equity line of credit selling your car? Maybe you’ve got equity in your car, you sell your car and you know, you, you lease a car or find a clunker or something like that. Um, life insurance, cashing out, life insurance. Um, these are all different ways. So look your assets around you and figure out the least expensive and maybe look and see if that’s a viable option, if it’s going to be enough money or if it’s even worth the effort.

RT: Yup. And just again, be really careful and only do this stuff if you know it’s going to work and you know that it’s like the last resort and, and the only way that you can solve the problem. I would give one relevant example. I used to have a two door car and I became a dad about two years ago and needed an SUV. I had, um, the car was an asset. I owned it. Um, and I was told that leasing a car might be a better, you know, business expense for me. And so I traded in my car, got cash out of that asset and then started paying a monthly lease for my new SUV. And, um, basically took that, you know, there’s probably only $3,000, but that $3,000 I could use to put in my bank so I didn’t have to pay myself from my startup for a couple of months. And that’s one of the reasons that, you know, we could make payroll and we could keep growing, um, was, was not having to worry about some of those things. So, you know, the ends justify the means, but just make sure it’s actually justified before you do it. I didn’t just have that, uh, idea and did it. I talked to my CPA and tried to figure out like, is there going to be a tax problem with this and how does that work? You know, just be really careful with that and make sure that you don’t hurt yourself in the long term by cashing out one of those [inaudible].

Tyler: Alright, that’s 10 creative ways or 10 ways in general to finance your business. So as we talked about the beginning, we’re not professionals and we gave some real world examples here, but look through this list. Figure out what’s gonna be best for you and your family and your business, and then go ahead and execute on that one. I recommend doing one at a time. Yeah. You know, a lot of people will try all these different financing options. I think it’s probably distracting. So, you know, pick one and go all in on it.

RT: Absolutely. And so after that, let us know how it goes. Let us know how else we can help. You can find us@productsworthtalkingabout.com as well as Instagram, Facebook, et cetera. Check us out, let us know what you think and uh, we’ll talk to you soon.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Tyler: Welcome to Products Worth Talking About,  today we’re talking with Brian Abrams and this company fiber lock and he’s been involved for 40 years. 40 years. Incredible.

RT: That’s amazing. So the first thing we want to dive into, Brown is just your, your startup story, like 1979 take us back. Tell us about where the idea, like the first idea, I’m sure you’ve had millions of ideas and where the first idea really came from and how you got gotten into it.

Brown: Well, the first I knew that was my idea. I actually was a spin off from our family’s business. We were used to being half business. So we would do hats for Budweiser, have advertising, promotional logos on. What happened for me was I was more interested in the graphics then in the ads. Yeah. And so this, this grew out of that and I could see that in the world of graphic products, there were embroidery at the high end, the most expensive dimensional but kind of crude images, right? Especially with, uh, computer graphics coming into the market. And then on the lower end where screen printing where you could do much finer resolution everything, but it didn’t have rich texture like embroidery. So that’s, I could see between those two technologies there was nothing. And I went to Japan in 1980 and saw, learned about a process called flock heat transfers in which are samples there and it’s a dimensional product that you can also get a buying resolution oven and run high volume of it. Um, so that’s Kinda how it started. It really started by seeing a need, an unmet need that nobody else was doing and realizing that I could get there. And there was a lot of things. It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. But uh,

Tyler: oh, is this, it always is. Entrepreneurship. It’s never easy. It surprises you. You

Brown: guys mentioned there surprises along the way. You know, I mean I, it’s a long story. I won’t get all the way into, but I bought a machine that in Europe and brought it over here and I w this was going to make this new that I came out with. And uh, we, before we had a chance to even try running it, we showed it in a trade shows a big mistake to do that. We just sort of showed up and a guy from Canada insisted on buying it from us and he, I said, I can’t sell it to you. I haven’t tried it out. And he just wrote a check on the spot. So we shipped it to Canada. I’s took that money and bought a second machine and when it came in and neither one of them worked. And it was because the guy in Australia that made the machine didn’t really understand the technology. Right. And so we hit, took me two years and, and um, a lot of pain to figure out how to make that machine work for the guy who makes the machine.

RT: and try to make the second machine work for you. Or did you just scrap this all we’ve seen on both work.

Brown: I mean it was just, I told this guy if we go down and we’re going down together but we’re not, we’re not going down. It’s not rocket science. And uh, basically it was a screen printing machine converted to do something we’d call multicolored direct electrostatic fiber coated heat transfer graphics for your,

RT: do you have an acronym? Lexapro is the brand. There you go. That makes sense.

Brown: That really needed a brand and we, he couldn’t, he thought I’ll just convert these springs into machine and it’ll do that for you. Look, it didn’t, everything is every, there’s so many variables in, in the environment, the relative humidity in the room that you’re running the machine. If it changes more than 5%, it stops working. I mean there’s a lot of things you really had to get balanced. And then it worked like a charm, but we had to figure each one of those things.

RT: And like you said in the beginning, this is halfway between embroidery and screen printing. Is that it is an easy way to describe it basically. Yes. And it’s kind of, it sits up off the off the fabric of the clothing. Right. But it is also iron on and then you aren’t actually touching the garments in any way. You’re just making the, the basically the logos and.

Brown: what goes on logos to the apparel guys and they heat seal on. Gotcha. And has that always been the business?

RT: Like from the early while we’ve done, we’ve agreed to do some application. We did some for the Olympics in Colorado Springs, you know, and just, just as a convenience cause they just said we don’t have any way to do it.

RT: You got the shirts. It’s not, it wasn’t my business, you know. Gotcha. Cool. And so that story you told us about getting the two machines, that was early eighties right? Was Yes, it was. You know. And once you figured that out, when she solve that problem, then what happened?

Brown: Well, once we really like, you know, we knew where we wanted to go. So getting there took two years in a lot of expense and pain and uh, but once we got there, we had kinda locked up. We applied for a patent and uh, that turned out to be another whole business because we applied worldwide for patents and we ended up with six lice foreign licensees. And we made more money on licensing this technology than we did make it. Yeah. And that was the number one way to do graphics in Europe on soccer, professional soccer. I mean all the British soccer clubs, you know, Arsenal. Yeah. Manchester United, all those famous brands over there. They were all, not only the logo and the league badges, but the big numbers they did, they really went crazy with this technology. So we made more money actually in some other markets than we did here by licensing it for royalty.

Brown: And the patent was on exactly what, like what part of it was a patent.

Brown: Um, well that’s another long story I’ve got, I applied for over a hundred patents and we were issued about 50.

Tyler: awarded 50 patents on this product or [inaudible] versions of it. We came up with an adhesive that works on

RT: I don’t think how to say it works on neoprene. Is this special at ease of that really solved a problem for another customer? Uh, making? Uh, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s Kinda technical, but we, we came up with an adhesive that would allow people to decorate something that they couldn’t do before.

Tyler: And so when you say we, so did you have eventually having a Hard d department? Are you the, are you the guy, are you,

Brown: the team I have is really are people that run the machines and do the production and do the drawing and the shaking and the baking and you know, and I’m just the idea guy.

RT: And did you, when you filed for those first patents, did you make the patent drawings? Did you write up what to say or, I didn’t like that turning point where.

Brown: I started writing my own patents. And just it would go through, I get, we get them done in 24 hours cause speed sometimes is is important. Once you have an idea, we have a couple pending right now that are for a completely new way to do everything. You know, I sold the company but I kept this two, these two patterns for which is what you’re involved with. Silicon does different, he’s the, we never use used, but if I can get this to work then it’s going to be another whole generation of this and we’ll license it all over again and I’ll get another 18 years of business. Awesome. But if I don’t, I just filled it up and go, yeah.

Tyler: So let’s go back. So you’re in the 80s let’s say 83 84 years. So like at what point do you have to market this product or you just start putting out there and people start finding you and it just kinda takes off like wildfire. Like how’s this work for you?

Brown: In those days, Evers trade shows were still the way things are happening and people would pack up a sample box and ghost go, Charlotte. Yeah.it was a lot different than it is trade magazines who are really big deal. I mean physical paper magazines. And so we were doing a lot of advertising, a lot of promotional, a lot of brand building, a lot of handshaking and just really looking for problems that we had the solution to them. And, uh, we did, we ended up in the automotive industry. We made, uh, um, labels for the trunk of the BMW Z threes. We did, uh, airbag labels for GM minivans. We, you know, we really got into automotive, we got into law enforcement, made police badges for homeland security and it just, you know, ended up in 40 different distribution channels. And part of the strength of the business was the distribution. So even if somebody could figure out and knock off the top, the frock technology, you’ve got to go sell it to somebody. When we were in port, we are in 40 different channels, um, well established. So,

RT: and once you had those channels, like those customers, like police forces, right, they, they would just, every time they needed to reorder new garments for, for the police force, they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t have any reason to look elsewhere. Is that what you’re saying?

Brown: Like you locked down contains programs and some of it, like the super bowls, we did one of the Broncos, the one way that’s a one shot deal. [inaudible] so there were different kinds of business. You know, we did school uniforms. Those Clinton just go forever until the school changes a little bit. They just keep your right. but even some of the licensed sports business we did, the clubs were changed their logos. I mean, for, I think four NFL teams. Every year we’ll, we’ll modify their logo and then it’s kind of all over again. So, you know. Yeah.

Tyler: Hmm. Interesting. So then you have multiple products, right? Because we saw some stuff before we got on there.

Brown: So now for families of products, but the common denominator is they’re all dimensional. high quality image reproductions. They’re all, they last forever that way. We have a Jean jacket with a Budweiser on the back that’s at least 30 years old. It’s been washed. I don’t know how many times it looks like it’s brand new. We had never, and this is kind of hard to even believe, who’d never seen our product in four years. We’ve never seen one wear out ever anywhere applied to anything. That’s amazing. Floor maps for NASCAR. I mean we know it’s pure nylon fiber.

Tyler: I love this because we’re going to, industry are like at a time right now where everybody has products, they’re just trying to market, market, market out, marketing each other. But you created a product that’s better. It was just pure better. And 40 years later it’s still around and you’re still making different versions of it. But that’s incredible. Cause now in 2019 you’ve got to have something. You got to market it and you got to like really hustle that side of the business and you just create a great product.

Brown: Well, what’s really interesting is that first patent I applied for, it was rejected twice. And I said, told our lawyer was, you know, they just don’t get it. They don’t get what we’re doing. And a good friend of mine, my best friend that France was a chemical engineer and he said they don’t, I can explain it to them in a way that they will get it. And so the patent examiner was saying, so what, how can you prove that this, there’s uniqueness to this that it’s not obvious. You know? And this guy in France just told this guy, it’s really simple. Before it did not exist, perfect. Just, you know, by definition. So we went to Washington DC and I sat down in front of this guy and I took all these things out and I showed them exactly how we did what we did. And he said, oh my gosh, I get it. And he reversed himself after two rejections and initiated the patent. And that was it. Once I understood how they play their game, then we started actually formatting the applications differently. And it just really rolled.

RT: And that’s why you started writing the patents personally instead of involving as many lawyers because you, no one can describe it better than you, right. Is that it’s real efficient and fast. Yeah. And that’s probably saves you a ton of money. I would think a little,

Brown: not so much. We spent over $3 million on Penn legal assent to apply.

RT: You said you applied for a hundred plus and have issued about 50 pens we’ll use, s.

Brown: Sometimes you abandon them. Sometimes you realize this is not, it’s a dead end. You know, it’s not either not commercially important or there’s a better way to do it or you know, but you, you have to find it right away. Otherwise as soon as you start bringing some of your material suppliers in and telling them what you’re, what you’re working on, they could go out and they would show up, not you. So you got, and we’ve got to be known for being careful about that. So people just assume they’ve already filed. That’s really cool. And right now we’ve got so many pens that we kind of had locked up this entire category. So people wanting to get into this business, just look, they don’t even read them all. It’s too much to read. Our latest patents are over a hundred pages long, so.

RT: it would be a scary proposition to come in and try to find a niche that you don’t already own.

Brown: That’s called a peck up picket fence strategy and it’s just like a picket fence. You just put individual pieces in until you just relate to take it all apart with me. Yeah, I will. Yeah.

Tyler: So you 2019 here we are and you just recently sold the company. We’re forth. Here’s the license. So is that plan the whole time or is that something that.

Brown: we looked for 10 year. I looked, I keep saying, when are you off for 10 years. I looked for somebody that really wanted it to own it and do it. And we had lots of people that wanted to buy them and they just wanted it as an investment and they just wanted to put the money in and see that product come out and get off it and then pump it up and then sell it to somebody else. And I’ll just wasn’t interested. So I was waiting for somebody who would get a passion for making stuff like we do, like you guys do with the watches. So it took 10 years and one day this guy showed up and he lives very close to the factory that he said he didn’t. He worked for a local company and he’d been looking for five years for a company that is near him and making manufacturing and you know, it just fit his criteria and it was just like so fast and so easy. And the process of selling was really easy because of the company. We just did so careful for 40 years. We’ve never been in court with anybody. We’ve never, we just do things safely. And so when you go to close the sale, there are no issues and there’s no, you know, contingencies and all kinds of, it just went through great. And he’s, since he’s, I know Lou, I was going to work four months with him. Is it during the transition and turned out to be two months because he just got us so fast and we both agreed I don’t know anymore. And there you go. Well you go when? When, so now what? Right. Well I don’t know. That’s a big question.

RT: Yeah. Cause you said, you said you had some other stuff that you’re working on, but you also used the term retired or retirement. But I, you know that one of the questions I had for you is what does retirement mean to you and could you act, do you think you can at a time.

Brown: there was no, there was no plan and find somebody to buy it. But the latest generation silicon technology is really, I mean, so many people want this. It’s just not been worked out yet. And so I’ve, I filed for the patents with the guy when he bought the company. Won’t pay you for this if you don’t know if it works yet. And I said, well, I’m not going to give it to you free. So we both agree we’ll use keep it and if it works all licensed. So that’s kind of how that happened.

RT: So you can kind of keep working on these new ideas from r and d standpoint and then if it works out, you basically give them or sell them to him. And if it doesn’t, it’s not a huge loss for either.

Brown: We’re in about the eighth ending or ninth ending and it’s gonna work. It’s not, it’s really a problem of finding, you know, there are thousands of formulations for silicon and I need to find the one that’ll work for this. And it’s really a matter of refining that one that nobody’s going to make it a new formula just for us. It’s not big enough. But if I find one that works for what they need, it’s going to open up huge doors. Like industrial working on farms. I mean there we do a lot of work in there already. But industrial where they really like they take a beating like a gas station or aerospace and mechanic uniforms. Look if resign they take a beating when they get washed. Yeah. Nobody knew people that have something a little the sand that silicon oil and so until replace or latex that he’s the Bush we use for years, which is like a late hero thing. I don’t have the canvas three with silicon. Okay. So.

RT: and can you tell us about the like the product development and like the R and d process? Cause it sounds like what you’re saying is that’s basically just you, you are the r and d team especially now. How do you do that? That research, you know when you have an idea of.

Brown: the research you do is not into the technology it sends to the people that have no other technologies. So this, this product, these products, we have our combination of physics and electronics and chemistry. And all this other stuff. Well, I know a guy in each one of those fields that does this fall and worldwide actually it’s a small market that is involved with this electrostatic clocking and uh, it’s enough for me to be able to kind of stitch this all together and make it work, you know, uh, for the outcome we’re looking for. If I tried to get down into the electronics and really understand the charts, I couldn’t manage the other part of it. So it was part of it is not getting down into it and just being the lead guy and pulling the team together.

Tyler: Excellent. So our audience is a bunch of entrepreneurs, so let’s talk about how it can help them. So looking back, 40 years of entrepreneur, what would you give, what’s one piece of advice you’d give them?

Brown: Well, like we were talking about before we started taping here as the perception people have that’s most useful is one that where when they see problems and when they see they, that they see those as opportunities not as as fallback, but as chance to really go forward. If you don’t have problems, you don’t have learning opportunities. And so it’s really a change of perception. And um, if someone said to me, well, we can’t do that because we’ve always done it this way or we’ve never done it that way before. That’s the reason we can’t do it. That to me it was just a big green light. Yeah. You know, because that’s, there’s, if I can figure it out that I may be the first guy to do it. I mean it’s a whole different way of looking at things as opportunities and not, you know, two blocks ray way to look at it.

Tyler: I mean it’s a chance for you to learn but also a chance for you to create a new business and make more money. I mean, how many people do we deal with it just run away from problems, you know, especially certain employees or something like that and they run away from problems where if you could address them, it’s a great opportunity to run straight at the problem. I mean, you could probably say that’s one of the biggest reasons for your success, right? Is that mindset. I mean that would.

Brown: be exactly, I mean, somebody’s customers who were having problem, your product is not sticking to this new fabric. It’s a really what or that fabric send me, I want to learn. You know, what’s the, what’s the thread count, what’s the finish on that and what, so you aren’t typing and all this and that and put it in my encyclopedia and it’s just maybe we come up with and he is at work. Some were the first ones to do that, you know, to have another patent or another product maybe, you know? Yeah.

Tyler: So what’s one part of your entrepreneur journey that just stood out for you? For like almost the pinnacle or like just that time that you’re just like, wow, this is awesome. One way, one, one point in your entrepreneurial career that was just amazing.

Brown: Well, I think maybe getting that machine to work was a huge first machine. Two years. Yeah. It was really, uh, you know, figuring out what all the variables there are about 175 individual variables that you have to control to make this thing work from the beginning of the end to end up with the product he wanted coming off the line. If one of those just one out of 175 is off, the product is garbage coming out. And so it’s really a balancing act, but it’s kind of, once you kind of know what those arts, you can lock a lot of them down and it’s very predictable.

RT: And what was the reasoning behind moving initially? Was it a lifestyle that you’re after? Quality of living might?

Brown: My family is from Colorado, so. Okay. And then coming out here, since I was a little kid and I, if you’ve ever been to the Mississippi River valley in the winter or summer, this is the place to be.

RT: I just like dry climate [inaudible] and all that. Would you say that that experience of moving the business was one of the hardest things you had to do or was there ever a lot of hard things?

Brown: I mean, there were things that, uh, we got to a point, this is a great story. I, you know, we got to a point where we are, when we were struggling financially just to get started, actually in the very beginning, we didn’t manufacture our own product. We found a company, uh, in St Louis that was already screen printing. And they said, well, we’ll make it for you, just show us. And we went to Japan and were trained how to make this early product. And it wasn’t even six months into this relationship where they, they were union shop in the union, went on strike against them and they were a big supplier to Budweiser and Monsanto chemical. And, um, during the strike, the only people that could cross the picket lines and operate the machines were the owners. So I was, I went in there and they said, you can run the machine if you had to deliver jobs. So once I started running these machines, we can do this. I mean, I don’t need, you know, and they were glad to get us out of there. So that was a turning point where we took over the manufacturing and the guy, let me of course $1 million on these, you know, and then another time we were, we were running out of money and we couldn’t make payroll. And it was the last time, probably 25 years ago, but I remember a meeting with the bank and they just said, you know, you’re going to need to go to your family for this money because you’re not going to go here. You know, and this is just like the, and so we went back to the shop and we think, oh my gosh, what are we going to do? And this guy walks in the door out of the blue, this, this guy from Mexico and he said, we are part of a big conglomerate and we want to start making this product in Mexico. If you can sell me your oldest machines and train us on how to make this, um, we’ll, we would like to have a license screen with you. And I said, done. And he wrote a check for $160,000. I made the parallel and it was the last time we had a, we’re really in a bind and this guy, I mean, where did he come from? He just came out of the sky, you know?

RT: Are you, uh, I mean, are you a religious man or believe in Karma? Maybe. I mean, I, I try to look at that stuff as like Karma, right? If you are putting in that effort. Exactly.

Brown: If you don’t treat people right, you get what’s coming. You know what I mean? Hopefully.

RT: So you must leading up to that and you must have done some things that were good or, or put in enough effort that someone saw it and that guy walked in the door. That’s, that’s an amazing story.

Brown: Well, another time, Kellogg’s, we had an order from Kellogg’s to put our product in rice krispies, you know, and the order was 30 million thesis. We’ve never made 1 million, but we didn’t [inaudible] sure we can do 30 million. We’ve done a thousand. You know, we hired a hundred people right off the street and we don’t even know who worked for us. We had to take Polaroid pictures of these guys so we could know who were giving paychecks. And uh, over four months we delivered. It was the masters in Universe, cartoon character characters for kids, you know, home iron on kind of thing. Yeah. And we got it done. But um, we didn’t think we were going to, we had to buy a new kind of machine that we’ve never even, we had to prove the machine and it turns out the machine really didn’t work. Uh, it was very bloody. But we, you know what we deliver, we said we would have it. We did. Yeah.

RT: And that probably snowballed into other things like that. Right. I mean that really was a standalone.

Brown: We never did another ones. Those are called the impact programs. And usually it takes years to get tighter than the queue. This one, they had a big opening suddenly too. They needed to put something in the end because they had to cancel a pro, something else on another product. You know, they have a test where they put it in this little plastic thing and they put it in a cereal and they, and they store it in a certain humidity for so many hours while they, they did that with this product they were intended to use and they took it out on the cereal, tasted like a beach. Aw, no. It leached out the kit. You know, and they, so they suddenly had to, and our, our chemistry is always been water-based. We don’t do so solvent. Right. So that was a safe thing. Things you don’t think about, like.

Tyler: Kellogg’s the mass produce 30 million units. That’s incredible. Or you definitely have to think about every logistical thing that goes into it. That’s a nice story.

RT: Like what we’re, you know, summing up the company and what it really is and, and has been, cause it’s, you know, it’s 40 years worth of company, right.

Brown: But it’s, everything has a really common simple thread. And we never would do anything that, I mean, we were always asked to do something that was outside of art. Like do make reflective, cause we just did. But, um, um, yeah, we stayed with dimensional graphics and so were the, the company was always the world’s leading manufacturer of original dimensional highest value added graphics. Heat applied [inaudible] I think I do have this other one you haven’t seen which is oh, here’s the [inaudible] oh that’s a product we made that uh, I have no, Lindsey has for the coast there. Those are coasters. We made bigger ones for mouse mouse pads. Lindsay has one, the basics right? That’s a whole story. I’ll tell you. That’s a [inaudible] that’s a downstream product. It’s, in other words, it’s made with this technology, but it is a consumer product that we normally didn’t sell to consumers. In this case we did, we did a lot of business on our website. We still do. They still do. Are you sell these directly on the website? Oh yeah. Yeah. Mouse around.com. You got the whole collection licenses from most of major museums. We should absolutely touch on that. I mean this is, that’s really in our realm. I conserve based products. It goes.

RT: So, um, so you call this the, the mouse rug or this, this is coaster, but you have.

Brown: actually there’s a story that goes with this too. Really good story. Again, one year, um, Nike was our biggest customer and they, we were actually applying a, you, you asked me who was before we were doing the application on the Nike shirts. We were doing the poly bagging, the folding, the tagging, the bulk pack, and we are shipping to the stores. So the store we were not getting, because Nike doesn’t handle the product, they’re just marketing company. So we were Nike, you know, and then one year they said to us, you need to, we’re going to give you much, much more business. You need to really expand this plant. They sent two, two auditors out to look a walk through our plant. So I spent $2 million and I doubled the size of our plan from 25,000 to 50,000 square feet out here. And I’m telling you the next year the concrete wasn’t even dry yet almost. And they said, oh, we’re taking all the business to China. And they dropped us. I mean just after we spent $2 million, so that year at that time in order to make up the volume, I said, what the hell are we going to do? And I really had to get my creative juices going and I thought, well I used to be in the rug business and this stuff feels like a little bit like carpet and then why don’t we make miniature ones and people could use coasters and uh, people were at the time, mouse pads were still really selling.

Speaker 2: We got into, you know, borders and staples and all these big and Metropolitan Museum of art and we got museum licenses. [inaudible] story in there. How it was, that was [inaudible] that wasn’t to just be cool and creative. We were in trouble. That is magic rabbit out of the hat. That was,

Tyler: and this was you, you just basically came up with this. You’re like, I’m,

Brown: so I did, this was, we got, we bought some neoprene, which is another whole story because I ended up inventing something else for Neoprene, but we bought some neoprene, which is how they make mouse pads. And then I put this stuff on. I said, that’s great, but we need something to make it look unique. So there’s fringe. I went over to pier one imports and I bought some placemats and I cut the fringe off and I found a way to laminate it in there. And then I found somebody in that makes fringe and they shipped us rolls of fringe and we built a machine and now automatically puts the everything all together, the rubber or the fringe, it all goes in one pass into this heat laminator and it’s still running out there. And so here we have the, the coaster rug close to rug, just a secondary product, just the two to be. Wow.

RT: Because you, one of your largest customers pulled the plug on you, you invented a new product and use this product to save the company. Yeah.

Brown: And then this guy, and it makes this neoprene rubber, right, makes yoga mats. And so he said, you know, we need a good label for on Yoga Mat because the ones we have are, there are these woven labels and they’re kind of pointy and they people don’t like rubbing on them. And you know, and we, our product didn’t stick to neoprene and that was the, what I told you, I invented this product, uh, that way to make it stick on neoprene. We’ve got a patent on it and we’ve been making a, his brand is called, uh, jade or jade industries, the name of the company and the name of the Yoga Mat. I can’t remember the name of it. We’ve been doing his logo on those things like hundred thousand a year for the last 15 years. He turned into a great customer. We got a patent. Nobody else can do it. And it’s a way to make this kind of soft thing on to neoprene directly. Yup. It’s really, I mean, it just keeps going if you think about it, but I’m looking for problems. It’s kind of the common. Yeah. Yeah.

RT: And you didn’t just find the problem, you solved the problem in a huge way. I mean, is this still like the, the coaster rug and uh, it’s still going though the business. I.

Tyler: t’s still, so you’re licensing it to the, uh, the met. Then how about this? Another great story.

Brown: We went around and we went to these big museums, the Metropolitan Museum of art, the, the young in San Francisco, the colonial Williamsburg. And we said, could we get a license to reproduce the rugs that are in your collection? Cause those are probably really popular. And they’ve got a story that goes with it, you know? Yeah. And they said, yeah, you gotta pay us 5% royalty or whatever. So we make this license agreement and they’re on the way out the door, say, oh wait a minute, you’re going to buy something from us, aren’t sure if for your gift shops, you know, and they turn around and give us a big purchase order. So it was a perfect win-win deal where they would get a license, we pay them, they’d end up giving us orders and they would put it in their gift shop. And this product is still one of the best selling products in the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York gift shop and has been for 20 years.

RT: Because you can get a coaster, Rog Mitch, just like those rugs they have on display.

Brown: because it reproduces something that’s actually in their collection and it has a souvenir value. Yeah. Tourists combine them and throw it in their purse. It’s easy break and you take it home. It just, it’s a perfect souvenir item and you can use it every day. And even today these on your desk, these things look like $1 million. I’ll tell you. It’s, yeah. And so you know what’s interesting is the difference between these two. I don’t think it would mean anything to you unless you really, this is made with this new silicon adhesive and this is the old one. If you just feel it, it’s the same well of the fibers is completely different. Oh yeah. That’s the, the look of it. The intense, the intensity of that color you can wear to a net. That’s the new,

RT: so that’s your new idea. Yeah.

Brown: There’s only like three pieces in the world that had been made and that’s one of the three pieces. But that’s going to be upgrade the whole thing. Yeah. Yeah.

RT: And then you can apply that to yoga mats and other Ev.

Brown: Actually everything we do though, this will totally replace any of everything else because it’s better, softer, more durable, vibrant, he resistant. I mean you just go down and list. This is industrially cleanable. As great as this has been from 40 years. This is better. So I’m hoping we, I mock this up.

RT: What was so interesting because in our, in our finance episode, like we, we made a whole episode about how to finance your business and all that stuff and one of the sections was getting creative and you had to get creative [inaudible] hitting me of getting creative, you know,

Brown: it takes an hour and a half to dry the adhesive in this processing we do on this one, it takes four to six 40 seconds. It’s like, I mean you can imagine all of a sudden your manufacturing goes down to this instead of this big long with rack drying racks. And all that. You don’t need any of that with this nudity. That’s so cool. It’s awesome. So there is really no end to it. You guys. That’s another probably messaged from this whole thing is that once you start something, if you get into the rhythm of being entrepreneurial, being crude or looking for problems, look which are solutions and opportunities, there just is no end until for me, the end is, I’m just wearing out habits. It’ll just keep going. Somebody else will pick it up and hopefully this guy sold the company tool start. Huh? I wanted to show you this new product called Lumitex and w you know ups wanted after being their only supplier for, I don’t know, two decades of no, 20 year, 25 years. We were their only supplier worldwide for their drivers uniform of ups, logos. They said, we’ve got to have some, your stuff is nice, the fuzzy stuff, but we want to have something reflective so that they can be seen at night and we ended up in Benning, something that’s never been made before and it’s called Lumitex. We have a patent pending on it. Why don’t we have a pattern should I think? And the day we closed the sale of the company, February 4th, this year was the day ups came in and he, this guy ends up with a three year contract, uh, more than a million dollars a year for three years for all our, for the product we never even had before because they had a problem. They brought us, they said, nobody else can do this. Can you do this? And I thought, well, nobody’s done this. Why haven’t they done it? What’s the problem? What needs to be overcome? Like, I wish I could show it to you. It’s really cool product.

RT: And it’s the same concept, right? An iron on. But now instead of being just soft and colorful, it’s also reflective. Yeah. It’s made of a combination of glass bead, reflective material, you know, glass beads and, and real dark brown textile, which is together in one product that just irons on in 10 seconds and, and lasts forever. Um, you know, it passes all of the reflectivity tests and you know, um, the way it goes together and the way it looks, but to, to be, here’s one of the real special things about this product is during the day it looks great. It’s Golden Brown. You know what the ups logo looks like at night when it’s reflecting and all you see as the reflective glass page. It also has to look like the ups logo. You don’t even see the brown fabric. It disappears it. And so the reflective part is this pantone match gold color. Right. So anyway, that’s cool. I know the thing that’s so neat. It was just out there two days ago when I started getting conversation like this, and I almost thought, you don’t know how to keep doing this. I mean, it really gives you an our energy. I’ll get into it. Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome. But I’m not kicked off. I mean, there’s, there’s so many things. This is my, no, it’s endless. It’s amazing. Okay. Thanks for [inaudible]. Thanks to so much.

RT: And don’t forget to take these. This is your stuff.

Speaker 3: [inaudible].

RT: Yeah, we did a whole bunch of research, found a massive list of resources of all kinds of different ways to finance your business, finance, your prototypes, finance, you know, your first level of product. And, you know, first thing I think we need to say is that we are not financial professionals. We’re entrepreneurs just like you and not everything we’ve done has worked. And so we’ll share some of that and hopefully you can avoid those. But, um, before you do any of this, consult the most financially educated person that you know, uh, hopefully that is like a CPA or someone and uh, just get a second opinion before you just roll into this.

Tyler: And this’ll be a unique perspective. Cause I think a lot of times when you’re hearing this stuff, it’s coming from a financial expert, maybe an entrepreneur who’s super successful. It doesn’t have to worry about a lot of these things anymore. They’re there, you know, they’re focused on bigger problems, but like, you’re going to see it from our perspective. I think it’s going to be really unique. So let’s dig into it. Let’s do it.

RT: So number one is crowd funding. And I can give you a very relevant example. So we started Vortic Watch company on Kickstarter in November of 2014. We didn’t have any money. We didn’t have a way to show our friends and family that this crazy watch idea. We had my work and at the time Kickstarter was really popular, still is today. And so we said alright let’s put some prototypes together, make a video and try to sell some watches online. And we set a goal of $10,000 because we thought that was a lot of money and we raised $40,000 in a 30 days. And we basically used Kickstarter as the example to potential investors to say people actually want this product and they will pay for it before it even exists. And that’s our proof of of market. Really cool. Cause I’ve never done crown flooding. So this is something that on this list is probably one of the few that I’ve not done.

Tyler: So you know, what was the one thing that you really surprised about or like maybe some advice you can give somebody who’s thinking about crowd funding?

RT: I think the biggest thing with crowd funding, whether it’s, you know, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, go fund me, there’s many things. There’s now these crowdfunded equity, which is really cool. I didn’t know anything about, but interesting. All of those are just websites. So you’re building a website where you put a video and you put your products and you put your prototypes and you know, they say if you build it, they will come. That is not how it works. Just like a website. You have to build something and then you have to be the one that brings the people there to invest in you and fund your product. So don’t forget to market it. Don’t forget to tell everyone you’ve ever met in your entire life that you have a Kickstarter live and they should go fund it.

Tyler: So who’s this perfect for? Like what’s the, what’s the type of business or person this is going to be good for?

RT: I would say especially in a product based business, you know, just like where I was, I was right out of college, um, my business partner, Tyler and I neither had any money. You know, we, we asked our friends and family for money and they basically said like, okay, prove it. Um, if you have a really good idea and you just need to prove yourself, um, put it on Kickstarter and set the goal low enough that you know, if, if you’re successful you can make a few of them and then we use it as a stepping stone.

Tyler: Cool. Okay. So number two, so credit cards, I mean, this is uh, this is an easy one, right? So most people have credit cards and most people can just start charging stuff on that credit card and they’re justifying it one way or the other. But I will tell you this is kind of a slippery slope because the way you approach a personal business, our personal credit card versus a business credit card is distinctly different. You know, so just to talk through some methodology here at a personal credit card, you’re like, okay, I can, I should, I should not buy that. Right? I mean, it’s pretty straight forward. You know, some people still buy stuff they shouldn’t, but then you’ve got the business credit card where you’re trying to justify a purchase based on return on investment. So it’s very easy to say, I’ll ask you to cost me $1,000. I’ll throw it on this credit card. It’s a tax write off. Plus I know I’m gonna earn three, four, five times. My business has to have it. And it’s easy to get that slippery soap. So be very cautious of this when you start a business with a credit card, what that looks like longterm.

RT: And you gotta be really careful with credit cards as well because applying for credit cards hurts your credit having too much. They call it utilization. So if you have $10,000 in credit and you use 9,500 of it all the time, and you leave that balance on your account for months and months, that also hurts your credit. Um, there are ways you can use credit cards to help your credit and we’ll put some of that information in the resources, but just be really careful how often you apply, how many credit cards you have, how much of them you use. Um, because if you hurt your personal credit, which happens if you have a business credit card, it’s attached to your personal credit score. If you harm your personal credit using credit cards, then all this other stuff we’re about to tell you about bank loans and all these other fun things for when you’re really big and you need, you know, $1 million, no one’s going to take you seriously if you have a 400 credit score.

Tyler: Yeah. As a slippery slope, right? Because once you’ve reached that, that you deserve nation, you can’t get a credit card, they increase, you can’t do anything. It’s, you’re just kind of stuck. You’ve got to pay it down. But you know, that’s definitely a problem down the road when, let’s say you start with a credit card to fund the first five, 10, 15 $20,000 of your business and then you go to get that $250,000 like legitimate loans, maybe, you know, really buy inventory and you don’t, can’t get it. You’re done.

RT: One couple of benefits of credit cards though. First points. So we use, or we’re chase customers, so we use the Marriott and the United credit cards through chase. Um, you get a ton of great benefits from those cards. I get upgraded on a lot of United flights now, which is great. You get upgraded at Marriott, they treat you like a king. A lot of cool stuff that can come from that if you use it for the right stuff, if you use it wisely, if you’re paying it off every month, those are all good things. Again, just be careful and tried to do it the right way.

Tyler: Absolutely. Okay, so number three, friends, family, and you have a unique, uh, title for this as well. Yeah. Everybody. Yeah.

RT: The, in, like the startup community calls the first round of equity, financing, friends, family and fools. And that’s because you are brand new. No one’s invested in you. And when we’re talking equity financing, you’re selling a piece of your company for a chunk of money. Now, one thing with the friends and family and partners, it doesn’t have to be equity. So you can go to your parents or your best friend or someone and say, Hey, I’ve got this great product idea. I need help and I need like $10,000. Can I get a loan? And maybe they’ll give you a loan with like 10% interest and give you two years to pay it back. Um, and, and just Kinda hook you up with that. Um, they don’t have to get part of your company. You can also do alone.

Tyler: And this is one of the most flexible ways to finance a business because you can structure this in so many different ways, right? So, um, me personally, if I’m looking at this, I’m looking at strategic partnership, you know, so I’m looking at somebody who maybe doesn’t have the skillset I have. Maybe they have a better skillset in a different area, then I can bring on board, maybe they, they’re a finance guy, maybe they’re a marketing genius, maybe they’re an influencer. This is a really, is I’m passionate about this because this is a great way to find some business. Go Out, find an influencer in your niche and then partner with them. Say, Hey, put up 50,000 or 20,000, I’ll give you 10, 20% of the company and you’ve got an automatically, you’ve gotta build a marketing channel, plus they probably know a ton of other influencers. So that’s huge on that angle. You know, you can structure this any way you want to.

RT: Also manufacturers. So if you’re making a physical product, can, somebody has to like make part of it? Uh, one example when we were making watches, you know, the, the only person I found in the United States that could make the screws, um, was here in Colorado. But you know, had a minimum order of tens of thousands of dollars. And I went to him and I asked, you know, is there a way we can work together? And it just so happens his great grandfather was a watchmaker and we had this personal connection is really cool. And basically, um, he financed my first round of inventory cause I said, you know, I want to buy a thousand screws but I can only afford a hundred at first. And so he made a thousand and then sold them to me a hundred at a time, which is basically financing my inventory. So, you know, getting creative there. But bottom line is at this level, they’re investing in you. Whether it’s friends, family, partners, manufacturers, you ha, they, they think you have a good idea. They think this product might, might take off, but it’s your credibility that they’re basing the decision on. Um, so make sure you come with the viable credibility that you need to have that conversation.

Tyler: All right, number four is bank loans. Now this one’s everybody’s familiar with bank loans. Everybody’s probably had a bank loan in their life. Um, there are a lot of different ways this can be structured as well, but they’re going to be more structured in how they approach it. So in my opinion, you know, if you have a relationship with a bank, that’s the best route to go. Go talk to the person you have a connection with, you know, see if they’ll keep that bank meet or that loan may be inside that bank. Maybe they’ll finance it themselves. If not, what they’ll do, they’ll go out to the SBA. Okay. So the SBA, they’ve got four different types of loans. It’s going to be a really structured, a little more time consuming. It can take up to eight, 10, maybe even 12 months to get financing done through SBA. But it’s a very viable option. Yep.

RT: Yeah. The small business association, basically it’s a government backed agency that helps the banks take more risk. Um, and so, you know, you mentioned relationships, but that’s everything in banking, you know, walk into the place where you have your checking account and start there and then ask for references, ask for, you know, other people that, that have a good relationship with their bank. And then start with those. I like smaller banks personally. Um, they can just, they can do a lot of things that the big banks can’t. Um, and then a lot of the local banks, you know, around where you are, they’re willing to spend more time with you. They’re gonna come and you know, want to tour your facility and see how it’s made. And you know, they’re going to go to bat for you when they have to explain this alone that they want to do for you, to the SBA, to their management team, to the, you know, the underwriters that are looking at the numbers. Um, start with a good relationship with the bank and then send them all of your numbers and go from there.

Tyler: If you don’t have a relationship with a bank, the SBA actually list or top banks every quarter. So you can go on the SBA website, why she linked this? I’m down below, but you can go on and take a look at the top hundred banks so far this quarter, next quarter, so on and so forth. They have done the most SBA loans. So maybe it’s just simply, hey re find somebody that’s maybe in your state, in your region, calling them, making that connection and working through it.

RT: Yup. And you know, shameless plug, we have a business plan course. Check it out because every bank that you walk into, first thing they’re gonna ask is for your business plan. They’re going to ask for your financials, they’re going to ask for your tax returns. They’re gonna ask for this huge list of things that can overwhelming. It’s not really that difficult, it’s just putting your business and everything that’s in your head on paper so that you can give it to the bank in a way that they can really understand financially and take you really seriously.

Tyler: If you already have relationship with a bank and maybe you already have, you know, a business that’s up and going, pull out a line of credit. So you know, a lot of banks will do a line of credit, maybe ten thousand twenty thousand twenty five whatever they go up to a hundred thousand or 200,000 but you know, maybe they can just do a line of credit for you. And that’s a great way for expansion by inventory, so on and so forth.

RT: Yeah, you’re right. It doesn’t have to be a longterm loan. It could just be a line of credit. All right, check number five. Equity Financing. Yeah. So once you’ve kind of tapped out friends and family or you know, you don’t happen to know anyone that has a lot of money sitting around that might want to invest in you. The next level of equity financing would be angel investors. And this is like, it’s kind of like shark tank. You’re pitching your idea and product to one person or a group of people that have money, have experience usually and can help you with all of it. There are individual angels which can invest, you know, 10,000, $100,000 in your business and you’re just working with one individual person who invest and buys a portion of your company for a certain valuation. Again, you need the business plan, you need your pitch deck, you need all of that ready to go to pitch to them. Um, but they are investing in you and your business and buying part of it. Next step is the groups of angels or Angel Groups. Um, this is literally the same thing, but those angel investors get together in the same room once a month, once a quarter, et cetera. And they let entrepreneurs come in and pitch to them. And then instead of just investing one at a time, one person into one company, they’ll create this consortium of people that will invest in you as a group.

Tyler: Now remember in this scenario, like you want to treat this like any other part of these other financing options, you want to make sure you’re taking smart money. Okay? So there’s difference here. Like you just don’t want to take somebody’s money that maybe can’t provide any value to you, so make sure the angel group, the angel, whoever you’re getting involved with is going to provide value to you and that may be like an expertise in manufacturing or marketing or maybe they’ve done, maybe they’re in a specific niche or industry that you’re in, like those are the people you want to partner with because you need to use these people as resources. These are true partners,

RT: especially when you get to the next level, which is vcs or venture firms. When somebody is investing, that’s usually like $1 million or more into your company. Hopefully they bring more to the table than just money. Now on the flip side of that, there are helpful investors. There are things called silent partners where they give you money and then you never hear from them again. That could be just as helpful. It depends on what you’re looking for, but then there’s the not so silent partners that might end up being a bad person to work with. So don’t just take someone’s money, they’re willing to give it to you and buy a part of your company, do your research on them and set expectations on like how often they’re going to get information from you about how well you’re doing. You know, if, if they invest a lot of money in you and own a sizable portion of your business and then they call you once a week and say, hey, you know, how’s it go? What’s your financial projections like? You know, that could end up being a really bad thing and they might detract from your business more than the money they put in. So just be careful and, um, again, ask for advice and uh, and try to get a good relationship.

Tyler: Yeah. Do your due diligence with those people to like understand how the businesses they’ve invested in, how they’ve done, you know, like how many businesses have got an exit or like, or maybe what’s the percentage of the success rate or like how they, how do they view success? You know, like a lot of angel funds, a lot of people view success as like they’ve got three that maybe fail and that’s not good, but they have their percentages of things that they want to see out of people. So you know, ask them about those numbers and make sure they’ve had some successful wins for sure.

Tyler: So next up is grant. Yeah, grants. So grants are, you know, they sound great, right? Pretty much you’re going to get free money. So it’s kind of, this is one of those things where you jump into it and you start doing research and you spend a lot of time and energy on grants and likely you’re probably never going to get one because they’re pretty tough to get. So be cautious of, you know, where you’re spending your time in this process because some of these financing options, they take a lot of time in grants. It’d be at the top of that list of things that could take some time. So find a good resource. A Fundera, they’ve got a great are blog posts for the top hundred grants right now. And they keep it up to date cause that’s important cause a lot of grants will expire. They’ll go away, you know, whatever. And they will, yeah, you’ll, you’ll sort of digging around and you’ll start reading about it and you’ve wasted, you know, maybe an hour or two and it’s expired. So Fundera they do a great job. They’ve got a ton of a other resources on there as well. But I would check out that blog post

RT: and in my experience, a lot of the grants are niche. So, um, you know, an advanced industry, medical devices, um, you know, things that are improving the state or the country or the world with this product. You know, if, if your product is in a niche like that where it might change someone’s life, um, you know, that is something that there might be a grant out there for, for you to apply for. Um, an example for me, we would take, we actually got an advanced industries tax credit grant, which meant that anyone that invested in my company got to write it off on their taxes through the state of Colorado. Um, because we were making things that were, uh, very advanced technology, three d printing titanium, all that stuff. It didn’t matter that it was watches, it was that we were a manufacturing company and Colorado wanted more manufacturing companies. So that’s obviously a very specific niche. Um, but check that out and um, it’s worth a look, especially of that top 100.

Tyler: That’s free money, right? It is. Give it a look. Absolutely. Okay, so number seven, a short term loans.

RT: Yeah. So this, you know, again, we feel like we need to do a disclaimer on every single one. Take it slow with short term loans. There’s a couple of big ones. One is on deck, which we really like. We love on deck. I’ve, my face is on, on deck. [inaudible] board was one of their like, you know, partners of, of the month a few months ago. And, uh, they came in and featured our company, which is pretty cool. Um, we’ve also looked at at paypal loan builder, which is formerly swift financial. Um, there are pros and cons to all of this, but especially short term loans, you gotta be careful. Now these people basically like for on-deck or, or paypal, they’re going to come in and they’re going to give you, let’s say $50,000 and you have six months to pay it back and they’re just going to tack on a simple interest rates. So they’re going to say, all right, you, you get 50 grand and we’re going to charge you $5,000 fee to give you that 50,000. Um, and, and you have to pay back all 55,000 in six months. And that’s just one example. One number they can loan hundreds and hundreds of thousands. They can give you just 10,000, I’m sure. But, um, you have to pay it back quickly. That is the bottom line. And that’s where you need to be careful. So if you don’t have a big sales influx coming in really soon, if you’re not 100% sure that you’re going to get that 50 grand back in sales or investment or you know, the big bank loan is coming really soon. If you’re not positive that you can pay that back within that short term, then you shouldn’t take it because this is really risky.

Tyler: Absolutely. So, um, I, yeah, I guess I kind of cover a certain loans. It’s a really straight forward concept. I’m just, you know, do, do, do those and it’s run through and like I said, we like on deck. Um, but that’s Kinda it for short term loans, right? Yeah, absolutely.

Tyler: Okay, so, uh, the next one is going to be side hustle. You know, this is something that’s pretty basic, more subjective, but like sometimes you just gotta do a side hustle. Yeah.

RT: And don’t forget about the side hustle. I mean, it could be the thing that, that makes it happen for you. I mean, for, for me or tick watch company was my side hustle for two years. And the only reason it worked was because I had a business partner and he was full time at Vortic. Well I was full time at my other job. Um, but because I had that income, I could, you know, build all of this financially for us. And then when I left my job, um, I was able to, you know, progress the business enough right away that I could start paying myself again. But, um, it’s, it’s getting creative.

Tyler: Yeah. So side hustle, I mean, that’s going to be good for like the smaller businesses that maybe only need five, 10,000 to get started. You know, if you’re above that number, it’s gonna be really difficult to work. Maybe a full time job, a side hustle or whatever, however that’s gonna work for you and have time to build a business that’s viable. So it’s gonna take too long. So if you get above those, you know, five, seven, $10,000 where you can’t save it up in six months, maybe from a side hustle, you got to look outside and find some outside money. Cause it’s just the opportunity cost is way too great.

RT: Yeah. And when you look at opportunity, you always do better when you focus on one thing. So if you don’t have to have this side hustle, then don’t do it. If you can put all of your energy into one thing, um, you’re going to do a lot better. So try that first and if you need it, then get after the side hustle.

Tyler:

RT: All right, number nine, pitch competitions. Yeah. So, um, personal experience here, I’ve won two pitch competitions in my life, uh, both for $10,000. And it’s free money. It’s just like a grant. So you’re already pitching investors, you already have your business plan, you already have your pitch deck. Um, and at this point you just get in front of a room and you’re basically practicing for all of that stuff and you’re going through your slides and you’re saying, this is why my business is better than anybody else’s business. Doesn’t have to be bigger or a better investment or anything like that. It’s just they’re judging your pitch, you know, how articulately you, you know, showcase what your business does. And, um, if you win, you get the cash price. So, um, it’s literally free money. The other thing I would say is that not only is it great practice, but you never know who’s in the room. So for me, the second pitch competition that I won last year, um, there were investors of mine, like current investors and potential investors in the room watching me pitch. And after the pitch I received I think $10,000 in prize money but $50,000 in investment. Cause they, they were like, wow, you know, this kid looks like he knows what he’s talking about.

Tyler: Yeah. It is great because it’s, it’s validation. Like you said, it’s can be validation. It’s also gonna be, it’s practice, you know, it makes you really think about your business and so down the road when your business maybe needs money from VC, your angel, like you can get up there and do a pitch, you know? Um, I love it. I love it. It’s great. It’s something a lot of people don’t talk about, but at least two, a couple in the early stages of your business. So you get that practice.

RT: Yup. And get those questions. You know, if you’re at the end of your pitch and people ask you some really hard questions that you don’t know how to answer, that’s just a, uh, you know, call to action for you to go and put those, uh, answers inside your business plan or your pitch somewhere. Cause now you know that, uh, the room was left with those questions.

Tyler: Number 10, getting creative. So, you know, we had the disclaimer early on that we’re not professionals, but here are the couple of different ways that you can finance a business that we don’t really recommend but maybe viable and certain situations very low on the list. So a couple of there are that we have down or cash out 401ks which we absolutely do not recommend, but in certain scenarios may work well for you. Um, look at the equity in your house or your assets in general. Look your equity. Can you pull out a refi mortgage? Can you our cash out mortgage? Can you look at a home equity line of credit selling your car? Maybe you’ve got equity in your car, you sell your car and you know, you, you lease a car or find a clunker or something like that. Um, life insurance, cashing out, life insurance. Um, these are all different ways. So look your assets around you and figure out the least expensive and maybe look and see if that’s a viable option, if it’s going to be enough money or if it’s even worth the effort.

RT: Yup. And just again, be really careful and only do this stuff if you know it’s going to work and you know that it’s like the last resort and, and the only way that you can solve the problem. I would give one relevant example. I used to have a two door car and I became a dad about two years ago and needed an SUV. I had, um, the car was an asset. I owned it. Um, and I was told that leasing a car might be a better, you know, business expense for me. And so I traded in my car, got cash out of that asset and then started paying a monthly lease for my new SUV. And, um, basically took that, you know, there’s probably only $3,000, but that $3,000 I could use to put in my bank so I didn’t have to pay myself from my startup for a couple of months. And that’s one of the reasons that, you know, we could make payroll and we could keep growing, um, was, was not having to worry about some of those things. So, you know, the ends justify the means, but just make sure it’s actually justified before you do it. I didn’t just have that, uh, idea and did it. I talked to my CPA and tried to figure out like, is there going to be a tax problem with this and how does that work? You know, just be really careful with that and make sure that you don’t hurt yourself in the long term by cashing out one of those [inaudible].

Tyler: Alright, that’s 10 creative ways or 10 ways in general to finance your business. So as we talked about the beginning, we’re not professionals and we gave some real world examples here, but look through this list. Figure out what’s gonna be best for you and your family and your business, and then go ahead and execute on that one. I recommend doing one at a time. Yeah. You know, a lot of people will try all these different financing options. I think it’s probably distracting. So, you know, pick one and go all in on it.

RT: Absolutely. And so after that, let us know how it goes. Let us know how else we can help. You can find us@productsworthtalkingabout.com as well as Instagram, Facebook, et cetera. Check us out, let us know what you think and uh, we’ll talk to you soon.

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