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Many successful entrepreneurs have the ability to overcome obstacles. J.W. Hulme®, a luxury luggage maker, is one of those companies that focused on growth and expansion during the economic boom times for the company. Then, the company faced financial ruin when the economy crashed in 2008 and the recession followed. As a result, the company had to take a deep look at themselves and make some tough decisions in order to get themselves back to financial solvency and avoid closing their doors for good. For this week’s Discussion, you are first going to read a real-world case study on J.W. Hulme, on pages 166–167 of your eBook, and then you will respond to the following questions: (Please note that you should only respond to the questions below and not the ones that follow the case study in your eBook)
Financial management of fast growth is one of the greatest challenges for entrepreneurial companies. What approaches can an entrepreneur take to reduce risks associated with financing growth?
Assignment 400 words or more; By answering the following questions below follow by the real world case. Please if you can incorporate some of the terms that is attached.
With a better economy, J.W. Hulme may again face rapid growth. What steps should the company take to prepare?
For an existing company that you would be in charge of, would you rather give up a majority of ownership to save your company (including the jobs of employees) or close the business and walk away?
If you started your own company today and had to give up controlling interest to an investor to do so, would you accept this or walk away? Why?
Heavy Baggage: Debt at Luxury Luggage Maker J. W. Hulme J. W. hulme Co. is a St. paul, Minnesota–based maker of high-end leather luggage and handbags that has been in business for more than a century. In 2003, Chuck Bidwell and Jennifer guarino bought the vintage american brand, with big plans for expansion. they wanted to keep manufacturing in america and step up marketing. to fund their growth, the two owners starting taking on debt—a lot of it.1 after all, while the economy and the company was growing, debt capital was easily available. “We took the fast track to growth. We were growing 40 percent a year,” guarino said in an interview with Upsize Online magazine. they invested money in designing and manufacturing new lines of products, opening up a retail channel, and reengineering manufacturing operations. guarino admitted to feeling “uneasy” when Bidwell took on $1.2 million in debt in 2007. $800,000 came from a Small Business administration (SBa) loan, and $400,000 was in other loans.2 But she understood Bidwell’s desire to expand the company as quickly as possible. then came the 2008 crash and the recession that followed. Sales declined. Still, Bidwell and guarino remained optimistic. expecting the down- turn to pass quickly, they escalated production of new designs. But they made a fatal error: already overextended on debt, they extended themselves further by ramping up manufacturing without having sufficient funds to pay for it.3 In the past, their bank had always given them a short-term loan to cover printing of their all-important annual catalogs and sales collateral, and they assumed that this would continue to be the case. they were dead wrong. Disaster hit all at once, and snowballed. When credit dried up in the mar- ketplace, the bank that had always given them a short-term loan refused to do so. Without sufficient cash in the bank, and with a too-high debt-to- income ratio, they were unable to print their catalog—their most critical method for generating sales. Because of that, sales declined even further. they were unable to pay their suppliers and investors—many of whom were friends or relatives who had provided Bidwell and guarino with the capital to buy the company in 2003.4 When their overly optimistic sales projections didn’t pan out, they were forced to sell off personal assets and scramble for cash to avoid going into bankruptcy. J. W. hulme was then forced to lay off staff—a bitter pill to swal- low for the two owners, who were proud of owning one of the few american manufacturers of leather goods that had survived the offshoring of the industry. to raise money to pay the bills, Bidwell sold his house, then got an additional $800,000 by selling six vin- tage Buicks from his beloved car collection. guarino held onto her house, but struggled to make the mortgage payments. She was also troubled by constant phone calls from relatives worried about the viability of their investments in the firm.5 then the Wall Street Journal profiled the cash-flow troubles the firm was having in a front-page article, and, surprisingly, the outlook grew cheerier. Dean Vanech, chief executive of Olympus Capital Investments LLC, bought a 49 percent share in the company for $550,000. together with the funds from Bidwell’s Buicks, J. W. hulme was able to reduce its debt in half, to about $1 million, and could refinance other bank loans. Bidwell and guarino then gave other investors additional shares in the company, keeping only a 35 percent stake in the firm for themselves.6 Deals starting popping. the blogger Michael Williams, always looking for american-made products to feature on the “american List” on his blog, put J. W. hulme on the list. Boutique owner Steven alan read the blog, and began carrying J. W. hulme bags in his stores located in fashion centers around the world. Upscale department store Barneys featured the bags at an event in its Madison avenue store, and added a full page of J. W. hulme products in its 2011 fall catalog. With 2012 sales projected to reach $2.6 million—a number that is three times J. W. hulme’s 2009 revenues—Bidwell believes the company will finally be profitable. But the owners have learned some hard lessons. the first, according to guarino, is to be completely transparent with the people financing your business. “We were very frank with our banks,” she told Upsize Online. guarino also says she learned that you have more flexibility than you think when up against the wall from a cash-flow perspective. “you have more at your disposal than you think you have. you can negotiate with your ven- dors—that’s cash. you can look at your inventory, and usually find cash.” the biggest lesson, though, remains that the two co-owners of this amer- ican manufacturing institution had simply overextended themselves. they let their desire for growth exceed their ability to manage their debt service. too much debt made them overly vulnerable to economic fluctuations. In the end, they lost controlling interest of their company. they were forced to rely upon extreme—and very personal—measures to pull their company away from the brink. they swear they’ve learned their lesson.
USE ONLY TO ENCHANCE THE OUTCOME BUT USING OWN THOUGHTS:
Challenge; after borrowing heavily during boom times, luggage maker J. W. hulme was in great danger when the economy crashed
SOLUTION IS PRODVIDE TO HELP UNDERSTAND WHAT MEASURE YOU CAN TAKE FEED OFF OF THIS ;
Solution Sell a percentage of the company’s ownership for a cash infusion to reduce debt, and refinance loans to lower interest rates
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