So the great thing about the banking industry is that since most banks are insured by the FDIC, they are by law required to submit and make public their financial statements. Doesn't matter if they are a large, multi-billion dollar megabank. Doesn't matter if they're the local pissant community bank hiring burned out high school football heros from the 1970's. All banks have to make public their financial statements.
Thus, every quarter I get to play "I told you so" as I look up the various banks I've worked for in the past and this quarter was no exception. Pretty much every one of them posted a loss, though I was expecting some to either break into profitability or continue their short, albeit minor, streak of profitability. Oh well, it's just more enjoying the decline.
However, as I was doing my quarterly perusal of banks' income statements, it reminded me of all the galactically stupid and brain-dead business ideas that people not only came up with, but scores of bankers were stupid enough to finance. And I thought as a public service to all of you hopeful and budding entrepreneurs I would dispense my advice about what businesses are "good ideas" and which ones are "bad ideas" so that not only do YOU personally avoid personal bankruptcy, but that the taxpayers don't bail you and the world's dumbest bankers out again.
"The Sports Bar"
First, you can't say, "the sports bar." YOu have to say it like your a fratboydouche with your hat on backwards majoring in business. "I'm gonna start a SPortz BAR!!! Wooo!!!"
Except you're not some 22 year old moron, you're typically a 50 year old balding male desperately trying to give your meaningless life some meaning. So you go through a midlife crisis, you remember Cheers from the 80's when you were young and think, "Hey! I'll start a SPORTS BAR!!!"
Do you have any experience in accounting?
Do you have any experience in managing a bar?
No, all you know is you want to start a SPORTS BAR because you think it will be "cool."
Thank god you don't have any projections, because that would only confuse the equally desperate and sad middle aged male banker who is also going through a similar midlife crisis. So when you're in his office and he asks you what you want $2.5 million for you can say, "SPORTS BAR!!!"
And he will in turn yell "SPORTS BAR!!!!"
Then you'll talk about how you played mediocre high school football back in the Carter years.
You'll make a go at it, name it a name you think is cool like "Dickie's" or "The Dug Out," but it will inevitably be like your life - a failure.
"My Own Truckin' Company"
Before embarking on this venture make sure you have a decent job as a trucker, but no experience managing a trucking company. It also helps to max out your credit as much as possible so that you spend every penny you earn with no cushion for emergencies or start up capital. Buy all your toys, pick up trucks, snowmobiles, motorcycles, RV's, and then make sure to spit out just enough kids so you're above the poverty line. Make sure your wife still has that hot 80's feathered hair and bonus points to you if you still have your mullet.
Declare to the world,
"Hoo dang dinglely dangilee! What fer I need dis here truckin' job fer? Why I kin do it myself! Don't need no boss. Gonna be my own boss! How hard can it be doin' all dat accoutun' un stuff."
Quit your well-paying reliable job as a trucker.
Declare your wife, who has 3 months cosmetology school, your "Controller and CFO."
Don't bother registering an LLC or any form of a corporation at the state. You won't be around that long.
Go on the internet and find the crappiest POS of a semi-truck that you can afford and after doing that don't worry about maintenance or anything as such.
Go to the local community bank and ask for the entire amount of money you need to pay for the truck. When the banker says, "we can only loan 75% of the value of the truck" have the betwixt look on your face and say, "Nuuh uhh.. I need git of it." The banker will then ask if you have a business plan, which you won't. Go back home. Grab a sheet of paper. Have the Mrs. take .75 and multiply it by the price of the semi-truck (she do dat math stuff) and write that number down in the middle of the paper. YOu write above that number:
You then write below that number.
"How much I need for the truck." (I swear to god I'm not making this up, this did happen).
Return to the banker and sign every piece of paper he puts in front of your face.
Well hot giggity, Jessup! You is an official truck driver!
Make sure you don't have any business lined up before you start your venture. When you do get business lined up, make sure you're drunk about half the time delivering only semi-regularly. Remember, those idiot bosses of yours managing the trucking company didn't know nothing! It is that easy.
In 4 months when you can't understand why you don't have any money left, ask your wife (she's the CFO anyway). She wont' know.
Go to the bank and ask for more money. When the banker asks for your financial statements, give him that blank stare with your bucktooth dopey grin that proves humankind can devolve.
If you're lucky the banker will take a 2nd and then a 3rd mortgage on your crappy trailer trash home (true story) and that will buy you and your utterly crappy excuse of a family another 4 months to live.
Blame your failure on George Bush.
First, get your Masters in English so you can spend your time and your daddy's money sipping down $6 a cup coffee. Find a group of equally stupid people to tell yourselves how smart you all are while doing everything you can do avoid math and contributing anything to society. Upon graduation and after 2 months of an unfruitful job hunt, declare yourself too smart to work a menial job and that you're going to start your own coffee shop.
Find equally ungifted friends who have the same abysmal lack of business acumen and experience. Go to the richest, most liberal part of town, you know where all the hipsters hang out and spend their parents money, driving up rent and costs, and use a computer program to find the area of town with the HIGHEST coffee shops per capita.
Sign a lease without knowing what a lease is and go running to daddy to help you pay. Unable to help you because he's working an extra 50 hours per week in the coal mine to pay for your English degree, you'll have to get a loan.
Spend hours on your Apple laptop downloading pastel colored power point presentations and business plan templates filling them out very verbosely and with unnecessary words, remembering at all times to avoid math at all costs. Outsource any of the accounting and math to that nerdy accounting beta orbiter friend you have. Fail to realize the irony you are marxist starting a for-profit company because you've never given ideology much thought.
Go to the bank, but make sure you talk to a female banker. Preferably middle aged and angry looking. When meeting with her blather on about how you're an independent woman as your father is trapped in a collapsing mine unbeknownst to you. Mention 40 times you have your MASTERS degree and 42 times your are a young, budding entrepreneurial woman and 65 times you plan to go "all green and all organic."
The banker will give you an SBA loan, don't worry about what that is or what it means, have your beta orbiter worry about it, besides the tax payer will bail you out anyway, Julia.
Sign every piece of paper put in front of your face, and meet the construction crew at the new coffee shop as you also have your equipment delivered. Have your engineering beta orbiter put it all together for you. Start drinking into your profits. Name the coffee shop something you think is cute, but doesn't differentiate it from any of the other 200 coffee shops on the block. Say, "Cool Beans." oh, you clever intelligent independent woman you!
Invite all your friends over for your grand opening. Most of your friends end up at different, but equally crappily designed, 1990's grunge coffee shops confused about which one is yours. Design an accounting system where the currency isn't dollars but "likes" on Facebook. Make a go at it for 6 months and when you get tired of it, just put a "closed" sign on the door. Dont' tell anybody, including your landlord.
Contemplate going back for your doctorate in English. Buy some cats.
Get fake books.
Don't even bother going to college.
Find a rich husband (or at least you think he's rich, but you can't tell the different between debt or equity anyway, so tee-heee HORSIIIIIIEEEESSSS!!!!)
Beg and plead of him to buy you horses.
Hubby will rearrange his 45 inter-owned shell LLC's to make it look like there's equity to borrow against. Dumb banker will lend against it never asking the simple question "how does ONE person have the time to manage 45 separate companies?" Besides, he had nice hair (true story).
Pledge horses as collateral.
Wait for the IRS, FBI and Post Office Investigative Division to arrest your hubby on fraud, tax evasion, and mail fraud.
Bank's loan committee will constantly renew your husband's line of credit used to buy the horses doing "drive bys" to confirm the horses (or at least the barn) is still there. After 2 years of extend and pretend and vigorous debate on whether or not to repossess, loan committee will finally decide to repossess the horses. Repossessing banker finds out horses are dead skeletons...will hold out for $40,000 per horse (that's an inside joke there).