Archive for Lee Hindin’s blog

Lee Hindin’s Thoughts – Government Shutdown Effects on the Real Estate Market

I came across an article from the Associated Press the other day, I thought I’d share ‘Lee Hindin’s Thoughts’:

Lee Hindind's AP Article

AP Reports: Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly this week, staying near three-month lows. Rates could fall next week now that lawmakers reached a deal to avert a possible government debt default and reopen the federal government.  (Click here for full article)

Clearly it’s good news the federal government is back open and that the debt ceiling crisis has been temporarily averted for a few more months. However, often lost in all this inside the beltway politics is the effect on Main Street and small business.

For example, I have been working on a real estate development project, which makes sense on all levels.  However, due to the fiscal uncertainty in Washington the private financial markets that make their return on leveraged capital temporarily appeared to cease while watching what was happening in Washington. Postponing the issues for months may have taken the pressure off legislators and the White House, but it has left the private capital markets and construction development lenders rightly concerned about the two to three year landscape of real estate development financing commitments.

Washington, democrats and republicans collectively, say they are for more jobs and focused on the middle class. Yet their behavior during the government shut down and debt ceiling debate has had a negative impact on jobs in my business world. This particular project once financed would likely provide 150-250 construction related jobs and 20-30 development related jobs, along with dozens of permanent long term positions.

I hope our elected representatives will look at real life examples like this when they focus on the long term solution to our great country’s fiscal issues. If they can create governmental fiscal stability, in my humble opinion, it will unleash a plethora of great middle class jobs that they claim they are laser focused on creating.

Lee Hindin’s Thoughts: Tools to Enhance Your Business Strategy:

Lee Hindin Strategy

I am in the process of launching a few new businesses and helping some friends and colleagues launch and enhance their existing businesses. One of the things we all seem to be focused on is our web and social media presence. We all agree it is critical in today’s business world to have the best possible presentation and interaction within the web marketplace.

We all seem to have this same priority in common, to make it as easy and efficient as possible for our customers and associates to find us on the web and to utilize social media to interact with our customers and associates.

In this process I came across several great web sites that have been extremely helpful.  One of which is  This web site is easy to navigate and has assisted us with accomplishing our web-based goals and strategies.  You may have even seen their ads on TV.

What I found helpful about this site that it is very easy to use.  In addition to being a one stop shop where you can reserve and or purchase URL’s, they also offer a full suite of web based services including building and managing your website.

What I found to be of particular interest is that you can also reserve new potential URL addresses that are not yet approved for use, but should be soon.  These include .app, blog, online, shop, .inc, .eat, and many more that may fit your business needs. This could potentially make it easier for your customers and associates to find and interact with your business.  You can see the entire new potential URL’s on

In order to reserve theses URL’s you will need to supply your name, address, phone, email etc. and then once approved you will have to pay to own and use them. My colleagues and I see the potential these can offer and I wanted to share this information with my friends on my blog in the event it is helpful to your endeavors.  I will be highlighting other tools I believe offer value to my fellow entrepreneurs as we navigate through this business world together.  In that spirit, I hope everything you are working on in your businesses is going your way!

Lee Hindin

Lee Hindin’s New Video Blog

I have created a new video blog to provide a resource for those who may be interested in learning from my experience – the good and the not so good.  Please visit my channel on YouTube.  Here is a link to my first video – Lee Hindin’s ‘The brutal truth of being an entrepreneur.’

Lee Hindin YouTube Channel


Lee Hindin

Lee Hindin’s Thoughts: So you want to open a restaurant?

Lee Hindin Restaurant

Story by Lee Hindin:  A good friend invited me to lunch the other day.  He wanted to talk about opening a restaurant.  Since I have opened and run over 50 restaurants during my career, I guess he figured I would be a good person to talk to.

Among the 50 restaurants, I started and grew 35 of them myself.  The remaining restaurants I either licensed, franchised, or purchased existing concepts.  The funny thing was that I wasn’t sure if he wanted me to talk him into it or out of it!

We had a nice lunch as I shared my thoughts with him.  He had a good conceptual framework for his menu and décor.   He was convinced he had a winning concept.  I was impressed with his general premise.  I wish I could share it with you but that would not be fair since he shared the concept in confidence.

What I can share is what it takes to turn a winning concept into a winning formula – a restaurant that makes money and stands the test of time.  I learned this the hard way during my time studying at the school of hard knocks.  I certainly do not want my friend to have to do the same.  I would not want anyone to have to go through that.  This is why I wanted to share our discussion on my blog in hopes that it could help someone who is thinking about opening a restaurant.

For a restaurant to be successful they would need to have great food, a winning value proposition, the right location, great service, fitting décor and ambiance, targeted marketing, and militaristic systems in place that make it all run smoothly.

History shows that only one out of every ten new restaurants succeed.  The key is to understand why the nine fail and to make sure you identify, address and solve for the reasons that drive their failures.  Some neglect to get the food right.  Some have great food but do not get the profit margins right and are unable to pay the bills. Others get the food and profit margins right but do not have the right location.  Some may have the right location but not enough tables or parking.  They may have paid way too much rent or spent too much on building the restaurant.  Some fail to implement proper training systems so while the premise is right the execution is inconsistent.  Others do not focus enough on wowing and delighting their guests with great service.  Some forget that even with great systems and training, it all comes down to the people.  To have a great restaurant that makes money you must have great people who believe in what you are doing.  They need to love your food and love working with you.  Finding great people and keeping them is often a new restaurants downfall.  Some design great offerings but cannot find the right suppliers or ingredients and have trouble stocking their inventory.  In my experience, these are only some of the ways why even the greatest concepts in restaurants fail.

If you can develop a great concept, avoid the pitfalls that were discussed, stay focused on your goals, you have a good chance of being that one out of ten restaurants that succeed.

I hope this is helpful and I wish you the best of luck if you are starting a new restaurant.  It can be the hardest, most frustrating thing in the world but it can also be the most fun and rewarding endeavor you have ever experienced!

Lee Hindin

Lee Hindin’s Thoughts: The Brutal Truth of Being an Entrepreneur

Lee Hindin EntrepreneurLee Hindin’s Warning: Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart or for a person who desires security and certainty.

I think Robert Kennedy best summed up what it means to be an entrepreneur when he said, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

I have been an entrepreneur for almost 25 years.  Maybe more if I count my car wash business when I was 15. I have enjoyed incredible successes and catastrophic failures. I have won awards, been admired by my colleagues, and also experienced the loneliness of failure.  This is when you truly find out who your friends are. Such is the true plight of an entrepreneur. You will likely find that not everyone wants you to succeed and unfortunately some even love to see you fail. As I said, this isnot for the faint of heart or thin skinned. Yes, even family and friends will disappoint you and may not believe in you or your ideas. As long as you know that going in, try not to take it personally. Believe in yourself and you will make your dreams a reality. Remind yourself of all those great entrepreneurs who failed before they succeeded and stay focused on your passion and beliefs. Design a great plan and be willing to change it as you figure out the nuances.  Most importantly, never forget that only those who believe they can change the world or make it better are the ones who do.

After many ups and downs, I believe it iscritical to accept from the beginning that success requires failure. In fact, the failures, as long as they are not fatal, often unlock the keyto that critical tweak that ultimately drives the project to success.

Being an entrepreneur can often be a lonely business, so do it for you and do it for yourindustry, but don’t do it to make friends. If you do make friends along the way, that isa bonus. Your ability to see a need and actually fill it is rare.  Most people don’t see the world that way; they are self-proclaimed experts on the why not”.

Keep your thick skin and be grateful for each mistake, misstep and failure. In those hardships lie the answers to your future success and becoming a truly successful entrepreneur.

Here’s to those with the courage to change the world and make it a better place.


Lee Hindin