Joined Lanier Securities LLC as President/CEO

Jeff Villwock announced that he has joined Lanier Securities LLC as its President & CEO.  Lanier will privately place debt and equity securities through the direct solicitation of investors and provide investment banking services including M&A and corporate advisory services.   We intend to provide alternative investment products to individual investors through direct investment into companies and by marketing funds which will provide investors diversity and high yield current rates of return.

Lanier Securities is in the process filing a New Membership Application for FINRA’s approval to operate as a licensed broker/dealer.

This is a new era of capital formation in the US.  The JOBS act gives smaller companies a new opportunity to be properly capitalized.  We will use our experience to find good companies that deserve to be well capitalized, and then work with these companies through their life cycle.  It is our goal to become a firm known for raising capital for deserving private companies and assisting those companies to create value for shareholders.

This is an exciting time for capital formation in the USA and I believe we have an opportunity to make a meaningful difference for companies seeking capital and for the investors that wish to invest.

entrepreneurial ceo

Searching For 3 Entrepreneurial CEOs in 2015

Business Owner / CEOs who want to sell some or all of their business often have a problem.  Some CEOs are savvy enough to know they have the problem — most may never know, and that lack of knowledge will result either in failure to find a buyer, or in a purchase price well below what is possible.

One CEO (we will call him George) didn’t realize that he had a problem until after a failed attempt to sell his business.  We represented George as a sell side investment banking adviser.  He came to us with a buyer and our job was to advise him in the transaction.  Result?  We advised him NOT to do the deal – and he agreed.

Why would we advise NOT to do a deal?  After all, our fee is based on a transaction getting done!

Easy answer – the price & terms he was offered were much too low.  His business was not “ready” to be sold.  While he had a successful business, it had not grown in 5 years, fluctuating between $10-12 million in annual sales.

I asked him a simple question.



“Wellness” in a Physician’s Practice — What does it look like?

I’ve become convinced that an ever growing % of the population is ready to pay for “wellness” as part of their medical care. Why? Over the past few years, deductibles & co-pays have skyrocketed. People are paying more out of pocket and getting the same or less healthcare. What if people could pay what they are now paying and get better healthcare? The baby boomers are healthier & more interested in integrative medicine than ever before. If a quality alternative existed, I believe they would be attracted.

So this is the question …

What do you think would need to be part of a Wellness Practice. Some docs are promoting Wellness, but don’t act as the patients PC physician. I’m inclined to combine the two so a single physician directs my care.

What’s included? Testing? Infusion? Vitamins? Hormone treatments? Nutrition?

I’d like to hear from you — if you were starting with a blank sheet of paper to design an integrative wellness program, what specifically would be included? How would you charge for services in such a way that insurance would pay as much as possible? What would the real world model look like?

Raising Equity

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Raising Equity

Raising capital for a business, whether it is a start-up or a mature company, can be an extraordinarily frustrating and time consuming experience. Entrepreneurs want to operate and grow their business, not raise capital. But the fact is that for most businesses, the entrepreneur or CEO is responsible for raising capital.

When attempting to raise capital, CEO’s very often make some crucial mistakes. These mistakes not only can dictate whether or not the business will be able to raise capital, but also how long it will take and the ultimate cost of the capital. Using the wrong assumptions, raising capital can be impossible.

We believe there are 5 common mistakes that CEO’s make when raising capital:

1. Unrealistic Expectations of Value

Most of us has watched Shark Tank at least once. Just watch one episode and you will likely see this mistake. The entrepreneur goes to professional investors with a company that did $100,000 in sales last year and confidently tells the Sharks he will sell 10% of his business for $1 million. What’s the chance of this CEO getting funding? Zero.

With few exceptions, investors will pay for what you have already done – not what you believe you will do in the future.

Q4 – 2014 : CEO … Time for Re-Evaluating & Preparation

The last quarter of 2014 has begun.

This is the time of year for CEO’s to re-evaluate their businesses, goals & plans — not just for the balance of 2014, but also to get the business ready for 2015.

I’ve been talking to quite a few private equity investors recently, and they continue to be amazed at the lack of preparation by so many companies that want to sell some or all of their business.  Most company CEOs do a great job knowing their business, and knowing what their business needs to succeed.  But far too often, the same high quality company CEO fails to understand or to prepare for an investor or strategic partner.

As a CEO, if we were to walk into a customer’s office to try to sell our products or services, we would be well prepared to know what the customer is likely thinking … what the customer’s needs and desires are … how much they probably think our products or services are worth.  The CEO will know going into the meeting how to position his company, what to emphasize to the potential client and how to effectively sell the prospect.

Taking a Good Company to New Records

Corporate growth, in some ways, is an art form.   How does the CEO balance growth with capital, human resources, and capital resources while constantly reacting to changes in the company’s industry and the day to day struggles of business?

In smaller companies (under $10-20 million), most often the CEO plays all roles in trying to maintain the proper balance.  But also most smaller company CEOs are critical to the marketing of the company’s products and services.

Larger companies tend to delegate more.  Experienced CFOs supplement a controller and treasury function and can be of extraordinary benefit to assisting the CEO in determining the right balance of corporate strengths and assets.

Yet in the life of virtually every company comes a time when stagnation occurs.  Revenues or profitability plateau.  It’s like the body builder who plateaus at 200 pounds, and it appears that nothing can get him to 220.  I’ve seen this happen with $2 million companies and with $500 million companies.  But most of the time it is most seriously encountered with companies in the $5-50 million range.

So what breaks the plateau?  Most of time time it is an outside influence.