Platinum Group
The Platinum Group Newsletter
T3 – Tools for Tough Times
To survive in this troubled economy, owners and leaders are looking for tried-and-true resources to help in key aspects of their business. Based on patterns and trends that partners at Platinum Group see daily in many different businesses as they experience critical transitions, this “Tools for Tough Times” column showcases common needs and a variety of tools that can be applied to help address these needs.

“How can I transition my business to the next generation?”

Many Baby Boomer owners who want to make a transition in their business—sell it outright, create an ESOP, move from manager to owner, etc.—are finding that the next generation of owners and managers (Gen Xers) approach work differently. “Business succession planning demands a clear understanding of generational expectations,” according to James V. Gambone, Ph.D., an author and researcher of intergenerational differences. An atmosphere of mutual respect, listening and the ability of Boomer owners to “let go” will aid a successful negotiation process. Click here for observations by Steve Coleman, Platinum Partner.

Platinum in the Community:
June 17 Panel Discussion:
Business Real Estate—Are You on Offense or Defense?

Knowing and acting on your financial risks and opportunities in this economy will determine if you are on offense or defense in business real estate. Please join a breakfast panel of experts who will address this question. Click here for an invitation with more details.

When: Thursday, June 17, 2010
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Where: Olympic Hills Golf Club, Eden Prairie
Cost: Free—Complimentary breakfast to be served

Dennis Doyle — Chairman, Welsh Property Trust
Mark Hoiland — Associate, Platinum Group
Phil Paquette — Partner, Boyum & Barenscheer


Steve Coleman — Partner, Platinum Group

Platinum in the News:
Platinum Group Launches Its Third Fund

Platinum Capital Partners, LP has been formed to accept investors seeking to diversify their current portfolio with an alternative investment. Rather than an equity fund, this new offering will invest in senior secured debt purchased from regional banks in the Upper Midwest. The loans being purchased will be backed by collateral in small- to mid-sized operating companies. Chairman Dean Bachelor described the fund: “There are many companies that experienced a severe downturn in the last year and a half. This fund is being formed to help them, if their current bank is unable to, by purchasing their loan from the bank and becoming their new lender.” To learn more, contact

A presentation on the local banking environment, the fund and the investment opportunity will be held Tuesday, June 22 at 4:00 p.m. in Platinum's offices in Eden Prairie. Please R.S.V.P. to

Leadership Perspectives: How to better understand those we lead

Platinum Member John Hehre recently reviewed the book Geeks and Geezers for the Manufacturers Alliance online publication. Hehre states: “The era in which you grew up, along with personal experiences, will have a profound effect on your world view and your leadership style. More importantly, understanding that people from other generations have different views and styles is essential to your ability to lead them.” Click here for the review.

Note: Generational issues in regards to business succession are discussed on a monthly basis at Platinum's Transition Breakfasts.
Click here for calendar of events.

Lesson Learned
Do the Tough Things First!
By Patrick Frater, Platinum Associate

I was a business owner in the 90s and recall the time I returned to work after a week-long national association meeting where I had heard a seminar speaker—the famous major league pitcher and manager Tommy Lasorda—claim that doing the tough thing first was the secret to his success. I walked into the office that Monday morning faced with a million things to do and wondered which one to do first. I didn't need to wait long!

One of my sales staff quickly advised me that the very first customer of our company's brand new product offering had called to inquire about his pending shipment. In researching the delivery schedule, it was discovered that somehow the order had never been placed—despite being a high profile order. To make matters worse, no one had called the customer back.

My email inbox was packed and my phone message light was flashing red, yet I knew this new customer was not going to be a happy camper. The last thing I wanted to do was handle this hot potato. But I heard Tommy's voice in my head and, without taking off my jacket, drove over to this customer's office. I told him that we had made a mistake and had no excuse, but explained what we would do to make it right. He read me the riot act for several minutes and then explained how he wouldn't tolerate any more mistakes with his “additional orders.” I looked at him in total shock! “Additional orders?” He laughed at me and explained that because I had come immediately to see him personally and took responsibility—which he considered refreshing—he knew that my company was the right vendor.

I learned that doing the tough things first really was the right thing. And I now have a sign above my desk that reminds me of this on a daily basis, because “important” and “tough” are two different matters. When I do the tough things on my to-do list first, everything else is a piece of cake.

Platinum Group
9855 W 78th Street
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

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