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 e-Commerce help my business?”

During tough economic times, small companies are looking for new revenue streams but are uncertain about how e-Commerce can work for them. Online strategy is becoming more mainstream and accessible, but owners tend to view it with hesitancy. Any company that does not have current experience with online selling should definitely take advantage of this strategy to grow sales, according to Darin Lynch, a member of Platinum Group and CEO of Platinum’s online strategy firm — Irish Titan. Click here for tools to help jumpstart the process.

Tom AhonenLesson Learned
From Small Town USA to the World Marketplace!
By Bob Jacquart

In my early 20s, I bought a little sewing business in my hometown of 6800 people, starting with one employee and one product.  I soon learned a powerful lesson about surrounding myself with “bigger people” who could teach me how to grow my business and better myself as an owner.  At that time, there was a very successful, senior businessman in town whom I never dreamed would talk to me and ask questions about how I was doing in the business.  He opened himself up to my questions that allowed me to learn things that most 20-year-olds would be afraid to ask in fear of feeling stupid.

I began to seek out others in my community for advice but when my business outgrew my ability to understand all the problems in my factory, I had to go outside of my small town to find mentors in the region, such as Platinum Group.  Most recently, I started to look nationally for help from experienced people in the sewing business and found experts from Venezuela and Mexico who train sewing factories all over the world.  I am now planning a trip to Columbia next year to take my line of winter outerwear clothes to South American countries where winter happens during U.S. summer months.  Never in my wildest dreams as a 20-year-old business owner would I have imagined this future business opportunity!

Mentoring has taught me so much over the past 35 years that now I bring in people to mentor my 160 employees.  I’ve certainly found that anything is possible if you learn to ask questions and open up your mind to new realms.  It may seem like simple advice but it has taken me from Small Town USA to the world marketplace!

Bob Jacquart is the owner of Jacquart Fabric Products, a custom, just-in-time manufacturer of niche fabric products including the legendary outdoor offerings of Stormy Kromer Mercantile (  He may be reached at
Platinum in the News:
Platinum Group Acquires Assets of G.C. Peterson Machinery

Platinum Group announced that its private equity fund has acquired the assets of Minneapolis-based G.C. Peterson Machinery Company. The 80-year-old company distributes and services many brands of woodworking and plastics equipment. The Platinum Group Holdings II Fund acquired the assets in a transaction worked out between the previous owners, who had been hurt by the severe recession within the housing industry and customers that have reduced their capital equipment spending. "G.C. Peterson fits this fund’s portfolio profile as a privately held business that has fallen on hard times,” according to Dean Bachelor, chairman of Platinum Group. “We were able to step in during a critical transition point and provide a favorable outcome for all parties. “ Platinum Partner Bob Stewart has been appointed CEO. Click here to read the entire news release.

Platinum in the Community:
Helping to Fund Third World Small Business

Ever since his Peace Corp work in Fiji (1985 – 1988) as a teacher in math/accounting, Platinum Partner Bob Stewart has been interested in helping the developing world.  Combined with his international business experience at Cargill and work with small businesses at Platinum Group that need capital, he has combined all of these interests into supporting a unique “micro venture capital” nonprofit.

Bob is on the board of directors for Cheetah Development, which is engaged in one of the poorest areas on earth, East Africa, primarily Tanzania.  The organization has an innovative model to finance businesses in an investment range that is essentially unavailable in the developing world, from $5,000 to $500,000. This is the key investment size because it starts or grows the small businesses that hire people and drive the economy. Working jointly with local universities, it provides intensive business training and mentoring.

Bob says the organization is always looking for people who are social investors or want to engage to make change.  For more information, visit

Platinum Group
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Eden Prairie, MN 55344

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