Platinum Group
August 2010
The Platinum Group Newsletter

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, this “Tools for Tough Times” column showcases common needs and a variety of tools that can be applied to help address these needs.

“What strategies are best for renegotiating my commercial real estate loan?”

Business owners who have overextended themselves with real estate now owe their banks more than the real estate’s market value. Many bought buildings with 10 percent to 20 percent down based on overly optimistic assumptions that their businesses and real estate would continue to remain strong. The commercial real estate market is experiencing the same decline in value that has befallen the residential market. Banks lending against these types of loans have been forced to place reserves against underperforming credits. Lack of capital and poor market conditions have placed commercial real estate owners in the eye of the “perfect storm.” Click here to read observations by Mark Hoiland, Platinum Associate.

Annual Platinum Open House

When: Thursday, September 16, 2010
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Where: 9855 West 78th Street, Suite 50
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Why: Fellowship, fun and entertainment as we celebrate another year of business relationships.
Platinum in the Community
Annual Volunteer Day Helps Local Family

Platinum’s annual volunteer day with Habitat for Humanity in July found John Hehre, Tom Ahonen, Bob Cass, and Kevin Carlson (not pictured) putting shingles on the porch and siding on this north Minneapolis home. This was Platinum’s fourth year to volunteer and help bring housing to a local family.

Platinum in the News
Simplifying Financial Information

“Simple often beats complex in accounting” is an article by John Hehre, Platinum Member, which ran in the April-May issue of Upsize Minnesota. In three examples, Hehre presents the case for simplifying financial information. Over time some traditional accounting systems have become more complicated in well-intentioned attempts to improve the accuracy and clarity of information. At best, these efforts result in complexity; at worst, the results lead managers to make the wrong decisions. Changes to these systems will ultimately improve performance. Click here to read the full article.

John Hehre

Finding a Clear Path to Reach Goals
By Ed Kammeyer, Platinum Associate

While growing up in Central Illinois and camping with my Scout troop, I vividly remember a day where perception of a situation prevailed and I learned an important lesson about reaching goals. As we ventured out that day on what was supposed to be a 10-mile hike, some things started working against us. The trail map was not quite accurate and some of the hikers did not get along with each other. However, we had our compasses, wilderness survival knowledge and strong youth leadership. Off we went!

But the trail markers were not clearly labeled and, before we knew it, we were off the trail in the middle of what seemed to be a vast, untamed wilderness. We were lost. Or at least that’s what we told ourselves until one of the older kids gave us a pep talk of sorts: “We’re not lost. We know exactly where we are; we just don’t have a clear path to where we’re going… yet!” He was right. We were still in the middle of the state park and knew roads surrounded it. Worst- case scenario, we would walk in one direction using the compass until we hit a road, follow that back to the state park entrance, and be back in camp in time for dinner.

Tired, weary and about 20 miles later, we made it back. We had worked as a team and even smoothed out many of the pre-existing thorny relationships. I still think back to that time whenever I get into a situation where the path to the end goal is not crystal clear. The lesson: As long as you know approximately where you are, and the nature of where you want to end up, the path will present itself if you are working toward that goal.

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

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