Segment 12 - Gain Financial Empowerment
Here's the real deal and I wanted to put this in at an early segment because usually everyone wants to know what slice of my company are investors going to take right here's the expectations and here's a really easy way to think about race a return if you take ten thousand dollars and it grows to be thirty thousand dollars in three years what's the return forty four percent of the time value of money changes that calculation if you take the same ten thousand dollars investment in your company and again it grows to be worth thirty thousand dollars that's awesome three times your money the return drops to thirty eight percent the longer your cash is put away for achieving the same evaluation jump the rate of return falls so remember our sweet spots then investors air looking for no less than certainly thirty percent they'll always say they want forty fifty you know bigger, bigger multiples but the average investor especially at the angel level is not looking for fifteen percent secret nu...
mber two. Quite often somebody will say, oh, invest in my business and I'll make sure you have a return of like fifteen percent that's better than you what you can get from a c day doesn't really it's not enough for them to risk losing all of their money, but this is a good guide for early stage privately held businesses in america but look at your own money if you've invested ten a thousand dollars or five that you know the numbers don't change too much all right? This is a good guide of what you need to accomplish in building the value of your business over time this works for a small store, main street store, a restaurant, a website whatever you want to build, the value of is possible and these air you're driving numbers for return another easy way I usually point to this because I don't like to flood people with lots of numbers here's another way you make four times your money in four years or ten times their money in seven years is that something you can remember right down and turn to it's? Not a bad guide so if your company is growing in value that all progressive rate remember we're going to give you a long time to do it. You should not feel under the gun to do it in six months now it's possible, but overall, if your business is growing in value it's good to continue to communicate that growing value to your investors why you get grumpy they're happy when they see that eventually they can get their money back and the value of your business you may not have to say you have no idea who's going to buy your business, but if you're building the value of the business that's a good it makes us feel comfortable that an opportunity might come along in your business value will come back to us and to you because you're going to own a big stake in that business you are rewarded by this is well but this is an easy if you deliver four times whatever they invest in four years sometimes things happen a lot faster they are happy ten times in seven years does that make it easy? Well we've got some questions coming from people who may not be at this particular stage I mean some of the questions are interesting there from people who really off just about starting out and so the questions are for instance eric is asking so he's in a start up that situation has no clients so he's confused how he puts that valuation how he works out what part of the equity is going to work for him since he has no real sense yet of where where the money is going to be and how he's going to apply exactly ok can I wait a little bit to answer him because in some upcoming segments we're going to be covering some characteristics of businesses characteristics that apply to every business in america if you shoot for touching on these four points the value of your business is most likely to grow these kinds of rates so that's good strategies I promised to get to that now j m rush has already in this situation that he's already talking to or she apologizes already into talking to vc firms in silicon valley and their responses all they've said they want to hear about and learn about from their expansion into a new market they say it's all about execution for jay and russia saying what do they really mean execution asking it sounds to me a is so she has already crossed a great milestone I bet she has already convinced those investors that there is a big market a customer demand for whatever she is a thinking of building or deploying or delivering to customers I bet she's crossed a big check mark and I'm hoping she has a specific amount of cash in mind that she's asking from these probably cedar early stage investors so it sounds to me that's what I call vc speak if she's hearing execution that's the buzzword that says they're not certain that the founder has the right team around her to execute the business plan that she has presented so that's code to may she's already checked off they're already nodding their head she's on to something it is a male sorry sorry okay he's just confirmed on a guy called john thank you sorry tine I'd be encouraged five hundred thousand dollars as well he's great I'm encouraged here they're buying in there getting comfortable here's another phrase they're getting their arms around your investment vision they sense that there are a lot of customers out there but here's what you have to work harder on convincing them that you have the right strategies and the right people working for you to execute so if they give you five hundred thousand dollars how and where you spend it they're not one hundred percent sure yet that your team can get the job done in a couple slides coming up very very soon I will show you why this matter so much because I not only want you to get that first five hundred thousand dollars I want you to then get the next million five million dollars to keep building the value execution that's the code it's all about this strategy and your company's use of proceeds and what you're going to do with the money but I'm saying I'm sensing some success here you've crossed some milestones and whenever investors ask questions don't take it personally learn from it and maybe even say what would you do to improve what would you d'oh how can I improve the execution now I want you to stay with us on the control conversations and ah an upcoming segment on how to deploy that first round of cash it's going to be very important to thank you appreciate that okay? Can everybody remember this? Do we now know a general idea of what they expect is it unfair is a greedy for them to expect a little bit more bump for the giant question mark of they don't know when they're getting their money back they don't know if they will ever get their money back the timing of that really is in your control but this if you deliver this for them you've delivered it for you to that's not a bad way to think say when you win most people in america start businesses to make money how low this is how to do it here's another way to look at it usually people say what's the chunk what's the percentage so let's address it in a very different way let's say there's a two million dollar investment going into your company venturing hq we know they roughly one a minimum of thirty to forty percent return on their investing capital if the value of the business grows over six years it's a lot of time to build up a company for a thirty percent return if your company now is worth twenty million in order for them to have achieved that thirty to forty percent return they will have to go on forty eight percent of your business the bigger the value that your company grows to be worth the smaller the equity stake they need to be happy campers everybody looks very serious here this is the math do we especially in larger funds do we play around with your projections yes do we play around them with them in this way are we kind of thinking what it might have to become and maybe even factor in some avid capital coming in as well yeah do we hope do we pay attention? We're going to get into this a little later to your competitors yes we're going to ask a lot of questions and in fact in the bonus materials I put together fifty questions investors ask that everybody has access to you see a lot of questions about competitors and usually that annoys everybody because it sounds like they don't believe in me they you know and people lose it when investors ask too many questions better competitors but let's change it up love him your competitors could be the ones who buy you for these big numbers investors know this so sometimes our questions are more geared to the exit or other things than you might be thinking of don't assume they don't trust you and respect you actually the more questions they're asking about your business means they're engaged they're believing the kiss of death in a meeting with investor is lovely smiles oh wow you're really onto something we will flatter you and compliment you and smile at you but if we're looking at you know our phones which to many people do unfortunately is very rude and we're not asking good questions we're not into it questions mean we're building confidence in what you're doing the more we ask, the more excited we really are any questions on this the's couple slides should give you a sense of what you have to accomplish to achieve these kinds of returns and if you're building the value of your business it's easier to keep raising money for your business all of this is very doable the's air the numbers to just be aware of to complex no now it explains the slice of the pie and when we get to tactics of negotiating, we're going to include in some way suppose you over deliver maybe there's some ways that you can get back your equity stake if you overdeliver hey, I want more equity coming back to you make sure everybody's happy so if you don't ask you don't get okay five good reasons to pursue investors I started out or all you're saying I am the cheerleader for raising equity don't rule it out. Why obviously if the deal doesn't work if your company doesn't work or if it doesn't grow to be worth necessarily that uber big value you personally do not have to pay back the investors and lessors fraud involved but that's not us right? You don't have to pledge collateral so you don't have to put up savings accounts, pledge your home do other things to back the investors investment in you so in terms of your own personal risk and reward that's lower risk in some circumstances think getting the same amount through debt, you know, there's some time and a place for both, but if you don't have if you don't have any money and you have a big idea let's face it, you're dealing with investors it's better, though, than not pursuing your dream at all and let's suppose your company is not what I call deb worthy, yet it's a very early stage, you may involved lenders aa lot in the future, but where you are right now, if that's close to you even after you go through all the different types of lenny resource is that we went through prior sections, right? These are good reasons to pursue investors. Other advantages of equity investors um, is they love working with entrepreneurs. They get their joy out of your success in terms of their temperament, they're very different than lenders. Lenders like steady growth, they don't like too much risk but investors in terms of their mentality and temperament temperament they are a very good fit for entrepreneurs because you are already thinking big you're already willing to explore new possibilities and shake things up investors love that they embrace it, so can you get along with investors I hear over and over again from veces as well as investors there's some of their best friends turn out to be a people they invest in and they admire and respect what entrepreneurs d'oh it's one thing that vcs can't dio they're not his creative issue the other thing that equity investors especially at the seed in early stage level they do believe part of their work day is not just writing a check to you but helping you achieve connecting you to more customers connecting you to professionals who specialize in something that you may need at that moment they cast a very wide net a professional and customer resource is and let's face it once they're cashes in they are there to help you connect more dodds and quite frankly when things were not going well I think the worst mistake entrepreneurs make is they don't raise their hand and say something's going wrong let's all work together what ideas do you have because sometimes you know five heads better than one especially if you're going through the strain in the stress of it you're not going to be doing your best thinking let's bring in the team and work through solutions and that's the mindset of entrepreneurs and feces so sometimes there is that fine line and I appreciate what control means and we're going to talk about how they maintain control of your business coming up but involvement collaboration is different than losing control and sometimes investors respect you more when you're willing to collaborate and when you're willing to say I don't know the answer to this, help me one to one relationship between who the investors and the board of directors is our we're going to be talking about boards coming up I'm in n a cd fellow I sit on boards and there's a right way to structure your board uhm and who to bring to your board if you control your board you control your company if you control board and only own one percent of the business you control your company for the most part companies that got private equity how about creative life? They got capital from venture capital funds something to be proud of ebates google pretty much most technology companies get angel or vc capital things airbnb hot hot company venture capital backing amazon fit but zipcar google there are lots of ways to finance your company good chance that most the logo's that you see around the bay area and across the country are funded in one way or another from either angel clubs, angel investors or venture capital funds. So just because you don't hear about it doesn't mean it's not happening all right, I have to make a very big qualification here when start up entrepreneurs come to me and say, well, I only want this type of investor who will buy five percent of my company and give me a five million dollars check is it impossible for me to get that done and I'm going to say no it's not impossible but the more expectations that are kind of out of this world expectations that you have it's probably gonna let take you longer to find that needle in a haystack I will never say it's impossible and you may come across an investor who is just not that smart about how they deploy their cash I call those investors unsophisticated the types of investors I'm talking about today are the ones that are most prevalent and most likely to write checks faster anywhere in the united states I call these sophisticated investors and you don't want to take money in from the you know other than friends and family from people who've never invested in other companies before you'll end up with a better result with people who just do this all day long and love doing it all day long and all of my comments are geared to finding sophisticated investors active check writers not the needle in the haystack investor who just doesn't no the real deal okay that's my big qualification because I know I'm going to get letter email susan I was able to find somebody to do this and I'd probably say they weren't in this world or you are an amazing sales person okay accredited investor status that's a phrase as we were talking about earlier is a term to know that's coming up but that is the classification for what a sophisticated investors they've done this before and they won't lose their house if they lose money in your business they can afford to make take a big loss ok, we're matching were shopping you need to know if you want to find your investors and get them to say yes part of your own education is appreciating what they value today, but because investors want their money back and are entitled to get their money back, they're also thinking about what will boost the value of your business that will enable them to get their money back tomorrow. So it's really a two part problem that we're addressing here they're closely related but not the same so when you say what are investors looking for to write the check today got a list, but at the same time this is in the back of their minds they may not spend time talking to you about it that much the execution is on their minds as one audience member brought to attention they're not going to ask these questions, but if you in your business plan or you're talking points don't address this at all, there is a good chance those investors may lose interest you need both you need to answer both in your meetings in your presentations and how you drive your business so priorities as I said they want their money back notice how that's number one on my list of what investors want they want it back and they want a big chunk of your company especially at the earliest stages so if you're going to investors and you talk about borrowing from them and you would think people wouldn't do that they dio I've heard it too often well no, I just want you know your money and I'll pay you back and I'll pay you ten percent interest fifteen percent enters that's more than you would get you know, in a cd that's bad matching you've already turned them off they may invest in something that we're going to get into later in a later segment in convertible that that turns into a big chunk of your company but overall they're not out for interest measly interest it's a bad fit if you bring up that language they will walk away the smile and walk away and they want a deal we talk in deal if you want to buy a pair of shoes and you get a deal on it what does that mean? Ubaida discount some little discount and it's all negotiable they don't want to over pay day one so if you are already in your mind thinking um that you've got an asset and you want investors to come in at a higher value than that asset is worth you're putting yourself out of the game in some way investors must believe and these are very qualitative terms that they're getting a good deal because there is a lot of risk and what they dio a good chance they will lose all of their money so one way usually one company has to produce more return to pay for all their other investment losses and at the v c level those are big losses when they're deploying big capital questions on this doesn't make sense to you just one thing it is I don't know if this makes any sense but if you could come in say fifteen percent as a negotiating point right that you would start that would they walk immediately or would they come back and say I want more here's what we think she doesn't get it okay and when you are too far away yes and you remember I'm the deal shopper I love negotiations but if you are asking for unreasonable things that's not even remotely on the radar screen here's what we say she doesn't get it he doesn't get what we dio she doesn't get what she's supposed to go and it's not you know there's no shortage of business plans that hit venture capital funds angel investment clubs so what's the easiest thing to do our job is not to educate you about how you should be thinking when you're ready to get a deal done unreasonable terms then we're here for you but it's not our job to convince you and do what we're doing in these sessions with creative life today they probably say go subscribe, get there first, then come back to us they don't have the time for it because when they really start delving into what's called due diligence kind of kicking the tire on your opportunity they're investing their time and they may be investing their own money to flying to see you hiring a patent counsel to really review the value of your patent claims so when they start spending money that's actually a really good sign, but they don't want to waste their time in their cash by did not getting the goal line and the goal line is getting to the point where we write a check to you. What you're saying is that you've identified yourself as a rank amateur by doing that absolutely you're clueless being, you know, that's the word or you don't get it, you're not ready to play ball in this space yet it's kind of like you're going to play tennis with a baseball bat, you know you're not ready for, so we expect you pretty much understand how we make money and what our expectations are and once we're over that will come up with a deal we're going to go through negotiating tactics to protect yourself in your investment, but our starting point is finding that great funding fit the good match where you are really closely aligned with your investors and then that is a wonderful environment for you to build a business that's the upside what do we look for in the characteristics of the founder? We want you working really hard. Um we want you engaged we want to inspire you without putting too many restrictions on you. The last thing we will do despite what everybody thinks is put such onerous deal terms on you, especially at the start that you don't think you can make big money when you lose the motivation toe work hard for that big reward that is trouble for the investors really trouble we want you engaged and loving life. There will be hard days but that's the attitude we also want and this is my phrase we want a boss, not a baker. If you are the founder and all your about is just let me sit in front of my computer and write code. Maybe we'll invest in you but you may not be the right person to run the business so we want you is the boss of the business. We want you ready and able to make hard decisions you have to hire and fire the slug even if it's your best friend were higher we're investing in you what you want you do want to be the boss of your own business but that means you must embrace responsibility for everything that goes on in the company without finger pointing you're accountable and you care about cash we are looking for people who know how to read a financial statement you don't have to be a c p a but if we're giving you a million dollars five hundred thousand we have to we are putting a lot of trust in you not to go on a trip to vegas and money we want you to be great investors of their cash so going into meetings and say, well, I'm not really good at numbers but I'm a great coder and I expect to run the business and I have heard that before um you're not ready for prime time so a lot of times entrepreneurs take themselves out of the running by what they say I dio I don't do windows I don't do this I do this but think about the role you are the captain of the plane you not the investors we are in the back of the plane on the ride with you who is at the yolk controls you you you you you you were the top dog we have to trust your better judgment so exuding those characteristics and taking a responsible approach and when you make a mistake own up to it we already appreciate that especially at the seed level there's trial and error going on and a lot of times the product or the website may change dramatically from the first year to the fifth year because you're going to learn more about customers and what they want and markets change so going in with a flexible attitude a willingness to solve problems not bury problems is what we love that is a capable boss not the baker who is in love with the cupcakes you have to be willing to change your product to match customers and these are issues of control we're not giving money to you to do what you want to d'oh we're giving you money to do things that customers want and are willing to pay for that is the divide on what the definition of control list ok changing investment analysis as your business grows remember creative live we're all about empowerment not just for today but for the future at the start up stage we have to guess we have to place bets so much everybody wants to get an exact number from me that I can't give them what percentage of the business will they own for this it's not that way it's a qualitative decisionmaking process why if you don't have customers yet and revenues and a lot of expenses there's no p n l for me to look at so I'm looking at vague issues I'm looking at as we're going to be diving into market demand other indicators that customers will be around when you get your product together, you have to convince them and be willing to play ball in prison. A qualitative case of why invest in may as your business progresses, decisions from investors become much easier. Ten years from now, when you have thirty different locations up and down the west coast for your educational services, all I'm going to do is show me your balance and give me your balance sheet, your piano and your projections. I don't even necessarily need to meet you, and I can get a good sense of whether or not I want invest in you, because the numbers drive investment decisions more than then at the start up stage. And similarly, the questions investors at the advancing business levels change to sew my fifty questions that everybody can download, some of them will still be applicable, but a lot of them won't. So those questions air really, for our start up an early stage audience. How we doing? Yeah, when talking about pitching to venture capital and presenting a business historically, have you seen more success from people that have teams with them when they're looking for funding or because all of us are single? You know, oprah fires, I hear, but does it help to have someone? That's, a master of one trade? Well on a master of another we're going to spend a lot of time talking about your team, but every business starts usually with one driving finder, sometimes companies air started in partnership with the best friend or buddy from another business, but usually there's one core driver. Quite frankly, I want them no more than fifty percent um, but it is your responsibility is the boss, not the baker. If you don't have that team in place, I want you thinking about the type of characteristics, experience and expertise of who you want to hire. You don't necessarily have to have it in place, but if you don't and I bet thie individual who had concerns about execution, that person out there would benefit from thinking about an orange chart if five hundred thousand dollars comes into the business, who what type of person must I hire first and or chart of growth so it's okay that you don't have that team with you, but you have to know with that money, what am I doing? First, second and third, who in my hiring first, second and third and I want that to be precision based and really purposeful, very detailed, and you don't settle for anything less and you say to investors, this is the kind of person I'm looking for guess what investors may be able to d'oh play their networks there may be a company that they recently help sell where a lot of people have lost their jobs or now want the new tot you know the new opportunity because they're motivated to get in on the ground floor and build you know it's a kind of mentality like it's too boring now over there I want they were the action is so that's the precision you don't have to have them around now but even a good sense of who they are or what they might bring to the table and we get that sometimes people have to leave other jobs what you have to be aware of especially is making sure especially if you're planning on poaching people from other companies especially in the bay area that they're allowed to leave especially you know you can't necessarily pull somebody from a competing company they may be locked up so the more precision you have the better off you'll be the better off you will be able to check off you know, execution concerns just have a plan don't feel oh I won't get funding because I don't have the big team in place I would present it you know turn it around saying yes, I know one of our first initiatives is to get these kinds of people on board ok check he gets it all right attributes to integrate into your growth strategy remember I was talking about things that are guaranteed to boost the value of your business here's my list, I'm giving you actually seven we're going to really focus on four. Why did these attributes matter from the investor perspective, which is also you? Because I know you've all put or will put money in your own business, these attributes matter because every single one of them reduces the risk of investment check check, check those seven if you have those things as elements of your business and you can say with confidence that they are part of where you're going less chance of going out of business plus at the same time they maximize the upside, how call us up you're tackling investors to worst fears as well is where they will finally get that reward maximize upside limit downside so let's dive into them growing market demand, you were asked, I'm going to put you on the spot you were asked about what the growing market demand for your business, but I was listening carefully. You answered it in terms of marketing expenditures so subtle distinction in terminology, you start to say we spend our money on marketing and advertising blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but investors care about something different, especially at the start of stage, so hard to explain market, so you're going to look at my blob I found over time with my students this is the best way to explain what investors are thinking about when they ask questions about market demand. Why do they insist insane and wanting to see in your executive summary some evidence that there are people out there customers who want to buy what you make or deliver and keep buying more more of it if the market the appetite for your product or service is expanding, it means there's room for everybody like a rising tide lifts all boats that everybody can play ball and get some customers and not go out of business it sort of looks like this here's your venture the market is growing we love markets that are growing by ten percent or more especially at the seed level when we really don't know if you'll be able to get a customer. One thing that reduces our risk if there is a growing appetite where all of a sudden people are now eating pizza every single day where god allowed in pizza it means more pizza makers and pizzazz you know outlets can make a living less risk more upside. We also know in growing markets eventually there will be consolidation, as we say where different competitors will gobble up and it could be you that's the big gobbler where you decide hey, we're going to grow by making acquisitions which doesn't scare investors at all a lot of ways to grab customers and sometimes acquiring another business with you at the lead down the road is one way to continue to build that market share what's a shrinking market what's it look like what makes us run a shrinking market is when we're bumping up against everybody, they're too many competitors all selling the same thing. In my neighborhood, there are six frozen yogurt stand sort of a little out less I branding is so terrible I can't tell the difference between one or the other. The marketplace is too small for six in a little town in the seattle area bad, bad, bad, bad, bad what happens when they're too many competitors fighting over the same customers? Prices go down coupons I hate coupons I hate investing in companies when I hear coupons, I think they are discounting the value of what they're selling day one oh my gosh, which means your profit margins shrink? Who wants to invest in that it's too risky? So if we see you were going into a marketplace with shrinking customer demand, you had better come up with a different presentation to prove how actually you're changing the market in a very different way. This is number one, if your seat early stage business we will ask about this, you're going to need to come up with some staffs regionally, locally nationally internationally on why the customers are growing if he can't get stats, you're going to need to convince us the customers want what you are going to sell customers want it when you hear tell us about your market demand we're asking about customer demand don't answer it as marketing expenses just see the too subtle distinction here this is so important if you don't have a lot going for your business but you can now this we're keeping were paying attention everybody looks so serious today, okay? This is my favorite I get sentimental about my gross profit margins companies with high gross profit margins higher than their competitors are going to be bought for a premium most people most entrepreneurs will say to me when they're doing their projections especially if they've got products company what net income number should I show susan? I don't care I'm happy if you could tell me a story where you're gross profit margins or services profit margins at the top line beats or exceeds your competitors hi gross profit margins survive re sessions they don't go out of business as easily as low worst profit margin cos if he were starting a software business and you say you're gross profit margins are twenty or thirty percent your business plan is dead on arrival at any venture capital fund in america why why should we invest at the bottom of them the industry we know you know look at microsoft look a google look at publicly traded software companies where are their gross profit margins? Sixty seventy eighty percent you better show us a company if you're in software up there if you are an advertising agency find out what the gross profit margin are for your industry competitors you don't have to have the highest gross profit margin day one but your success over time over those seven years is too carefully steadily improve your gross profit margin so you have the industry leading gross profit margins if you deliver that to me I will buy your business at a premium all day long you can do this it doesn't have to be day one I also want you sophisticated I'm scared if I ask you a few questions about industry gross profit margins notice again I'm not talking about net income margins and you are clueless you don't know if you don't know what the industry standard what is great performance in your industry versus bad performance? Do you think I want to invest in you that's item number two everybody can deliver this you don't have to be very sophisticated it's just here's the metric we've got gross profit divided by your revenues in this case it's a sixty percent gross profit margin that's all the math fifth grader could do it your competitors okay great question ask him they'll tell you, sir, you can also look at publicly traded information. For example at yahoo, go to yahoo finance pic company that's relevant could be publicly traded in your industry and just look if you're starting a website with different services. J look a google look at yahoo view one tio start a pizza restaurant, domino's pizza, whatever they're doing that's a great benchmark if you're starting a donut company duncan known as if you are starting a warehouse company sure guard that's a great starting point those companies may end up I knew to start learning about what they dio to help guide how you build your company and make decisions about what products and services you sell when I sit down with entrepreneurs and they say I have so many different ideas for products, I don't know what to do for a second and third I ask about gross profit margins I'd rather have you start out building the higher gross profit margin company now in a prior segment, I also said which one can you sell that will generate a customer very soon? The high price of life is marrying the two if you're selling too many products with low gross profit margin companies, eventually you might come across somebody like me and say, really, can we do better? Let's, get rid of these because it's bringing down your whole company now we definitely want to cover everything that you've got to cover his susan so we are going to continue with segment we get to the end we've got probably about two or three more minutes to go to this segment a couple of lost let's keep going I know how important this stuff this is we will take the break so you'll tell me when to stop but I guaranteed everybody we will not cut off this important information how is this helping you? Does it seem easy and actionable so you want to look at all the other online service education companies for a range and here's a great tip at yahoo finance and msn money may have it but it's really easy and it's free ja ho they have industry information right there for you gross profit margins operating income margins, net income margins it's all there for you and again you can always ask your competitors or talk to people in your industry join industry associations but over time become more sophisticated about this it will reward you especially if you're selling a product intellectually until a intellectual property value maybe I need that thing all right some patents have tremendous value some patents are a complete waste of time and money not all patents have value what's the difference I like patents when they really do something and the nature patents are the claims in the patent if those claims block out your competitors I'm going to live he give you a lot of check marks of value? I don't think you necessarily must file a patent to get funding we will look at the quality of the patent application so right then and there if you're thinking of filing a patent do not do it yourself and I would say drill down a shameless plug chapter seven of stardom purposes all about patents, trademarks and copyrights and what builds the value and what investors are attracted to but in summary there is a very new law it's only about a year old were in the united states patent law changed if you go toe online articles or re books that were published over two years ago all the advice you will read will be wrong in the united states to get a patent it can it goes out to he or she who files first not who invented first so now it is a fast dash to the uspto file first winds that's big so the pressure is on you have a choice of filing a provisional or non provisional application one is a place holder and you better get your act together to finish it up in a period of time but we will look at both don't mislead us and say I filed a patent application and mislead us into thinking you have done the whole thing when you've only filed a provisional starter patton, I get that often and an annoys may because it's already a signal is this person is not black and white about telling the truth. It happens way too much. And by the time I actually look at the documents it's only a professional pan, what's what's. All the hoopla about this guy's. A lot more work to do. Honesty and integrity. We love patents that can generate licensing revenues. Cash coming out of that patton, we're going to look a trademarks so often, investors or entrepreneurs will present companies have the domain name the product name may have even start to package the product and never checked to see if they have federal trademark clearance. It's the kiss of death. Suppose somebody else is already there in your product or service classification for your brand name. Guess what you have to dio probably start all over, but we have the impression that jay, this is a very simple action. Step. We want you to be the boss of your own destiny. Do your homework. Make sure you have federal trademark clearance in the product and service categories that you want. If you go to start on purpose, you can see those trademark classifications if you go to uspto dot, gov for free, you can put your product or service, or your brand name company named into their tools. And check and see if somebody already else is operating in your product or service classifications. Don't send us an executive summary until you've gotten your act together on these issues. It is a very common reason for us to reject you out front out outright. And what do you think your negotiating power is going to bay when some of the basics or not done?