August 1, 2016

By Bob Coleman
Editor, Main Street Monday

Main Street Monday — Kleiner’s Laws — Make Sure the Dog Wants to Eat the Dog Food

Famed venture capitalist Eugene Kleiner is best known for his Kleiner’s Laws for investing.

I ran across them the other day, and thought it would be fun to modify them for small business lending.

Our dog day of summer edition starts with his famous line of making sure customers will vote with their feet and visit that start-up Main Street business that you just financed.

Kleiner’s Laws (for small business lending)

  • Make sure the dog wants to eat the dog food. No matter how ground-breaking a new technology, how large a potential market, make certain customers actually want it.

  • Build one small business at a time. Most small business plans are overly ambitious. Concentrate on being successful in one endeavor first.

  • The problem with most small businesses is they don’t know what business they’re in.

  • Even turkeys can fly in a high wind. In times of strong economies, even bad small businesses can look good.

  • It’s easier to get a piece of an existing market than to create a new one.

  • Lend to people, not the small business.