Far West Capital April 2011 Newsletter

The excitement of the big royal celebration across the pond on Friday, April 29th has spread further than the country throwing the event. A spokesman for Visit Britain suspects at least an additional 600,000 visitors will be in town for the Royal Wedding, but it could easily reach a million. Airlines, hotels and tour companies in London are cashing in on the event by offering special “royal wedding packages.” There will even be festivities in the U.S. Not sure if there will be celebrating and live-viewing in Texas, but various restaurants, hotels, and event spaces in NY will open as early as 5 a.m. EST for the 11 a.m. London-time ceremony.

In honor of the Royal Wedding, T-mobile created this entertaining video, complete with royal look-alikes.

You might have heard about the missing cobra at the Bronx Zoo in late March, but did you hear about the parody Twitter account? Tweeting as @BronxZoosCobra, the missing snake shared her adventures out on the town in NY, including a visit to Wall Street: “Leaving Wall Street. These guys make my skin crawl.” Although the real snake has been found, tweets continue about life inside the zoo to over 240,000 followers. It’ll be interesting to see if the zoo sees increased visitors from the indirect publicity.

Comparing the latest statistics (from 2009) of U.S. food spending overall, with breakdowns of money spent on groceries and in restaurants, and the breakdown in each U.S. city, the results show that Austinites spend almost double the country’s average on food every year. That’s $6,301 spent on dining out and $6,146 spent on groceries per household. To see the full results and interesting infographic, click here.

Are We There Yet?

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about summer vacation.  It’s doubtful you’ll be able to score a cheap trip to the beach or book an inexpensive flight to Europe this year. With gas prices on the rise, airline tickets are increasing too. It’s predicted that we are going to see much higher fares this year.

The solution? Stay-cations. Stay-cations (vacations in your hometown) are becoming more popular. To save money and to take time off from work and enjoy life at home, people are opting to vacation at home to get the most bang for their buck. Is there a restaurant you want to try? A swimming hole or museum you haven’t experienced? Make a list of places and things you’d like to do in your city and plan a fun vacation at home. It will remind you why you love where you live and it will help you save money, too.

Did you know last week was National Volunteer Week? With the spirit of the holiday, we wanted to pass along five ways to help military families.  Operation Appreciation conducted a survey in 2010 and found almost 90 percent of military family members felt the general public did not understand the sacrifices they make.

To learn more, go to http://www.bluestarfam.org/Programs/Operation_Appreciation

  1. Put it in writing: Write letters of thanks to the military and their family.
  2. Give injured vets a home: Volunteer with an organization that helps build homes for military vets. You can organize a fundraiser and donate money, too.
  3. Volunteer to help: Is there a military base in or close to your city? Do you know a family whose family member has been deployed? Offer to babysit, bring a meal and/or clean the house. A little goes a long way.
  4. Be a foster parent for a pet: When military people are deployed, their pets are often left behind. Foster a pet while he/she is deployed.

Be a virtual volunteer: Send e-cards and emails, monitor and write military family-related blogs and post on forums, put together military-family based newsletters and educate your peers on how they can help.

According to Entertainment Weekly, it will cost advertisers $1 million for a 30-second commercial during Oprah’s May 25 season finale. To put it in perspective, the cost for an ad during ABC’s Lost season finale was $900,000 and $650,000 for Fox’s 24 – Oprah has a smaller audience than both. The average price for the 2010 Super Bowl was $2.6million.

We just returned from the International Factoring Association’s annual conference that was held in Washington D.C. this year. The attendance level was a record high with over 600 attendees from around the country. The biggest takeaways were that everyone seems to be very busy with new deals, optimism is very high for a solid year of financing opportunities, and the combination of continued conservative bank lending and a growing economy has the asset-based world very busy. It is our thought that asset-based lenders and factors lead the way in and out of recession, and this means traditional lending is on the way back in our view, as well.

Ok, so we all know the value smart phones, tablets and the Internet have brought into our lives. We learn, connect, market, respond, report, etc. immediately and almost anywhere. It is now very commonplace for people to pull out their phones in mid-conversation, during lunch, during a presentation, or during a meeting to check in on Twitter and it is not considered “rude.” We sort of find this a sign of the times and wonder how will the next generation of technology help us connect with instead of avoid the people around us?

While we are not quite sure about the next generation of technology, attached is an article that was published in The Secured Lender regarding our thoughts of how Gen Y fits into the banking and finance business.

We glanced at the new census data for major cities above 1 million population (51 cities) and notice that during the period 2000 -2010, Austin, San Antonio and Houston were all in the top 10.

Goals are important in sales but whose goals? Do you understand what motivates your salespeople? It is important to understand not only their monetary goals but what they are doing with what they earn and what they want to accomplish in life. We all do things for our own reasons and when you have built that relationship to a point where you understand their real motivation, you can help them perform for their reasons, not yours.

You might want to pick up a copy of Decision Points by former President George W. Bush. Forget about political differences (if you have any – haha, this is Austin) and focus on the read. As it applies to business, we picked up a few pointers. Throughout the book (and we assume in real life), we noticed he had the knack of boiling issues down to the significant and then focusing on developing specific goals or objectives to move forward.

Every business or organization should be able to “boil down” its core mission to a few words. At Far West Capital, “we provide creative solutions to working capital needs.”

Can you verbalize yours? Do you need to go to the break room and look at the posters?

Funny story in the book.

President Bush was touring Washington Hospital Center and visiting soldiers. He asked a wounded soldier if he was an Army Ranger. Without missing a beat, he answered, “No, sir, I’m Special Forces. My IQ is too high to be a Ranger.”

If you don’t think the name of your company matters, check out what people are saying about Fat Ho Burgers, which is ironically around the corner from the Gospel Café in Waco. Hey, why don’t we meet over at the Fat Ho…? Some menu items include the Supa Fly Ho, the Supa Dupa Fly Ho and of course the Bad Mamajama. Check out this entertaining news clip about the restaurant.

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