Many people assume that starting up a business is all about making lots of money and indulging in luxurious profits. However, seasoned businessmen will say otherwise.
For a business to thrive, it is important to add a touch of creative input to really make an impact in the industry and allow customers to be captivated by your work. Creativity in business is an approach that inspires and challenges you to find innovative solutions and create unique opportunities to deal with problems.
That is also one of the major reasons why many prospering companies never fail to amaze us with their new and amazing business services or products – while on the other hand other companies just stick to their old and boring ideas.
In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, it was stated that creative thinking is one of the top three skills that are required to run a successful business. And to further prove our point, we will talk about one of the most highly accomplished innovative thinkers of our time, Kyle Noonan.
Kyle Noonan is a revered American restaurateur, entrepreneur, speaker and a T.V personality. He is also the owner of the prestigious FreeRange Concepts – a restaurant development firm based in Dallas specializing in creating innovative restaurant concepts.
His company initially started with just two employees but eventually made it to over a thousand employees in just four years. Plus, FreeRange Concepts is expected to grow even more than $100mm in annual revenue in 2021.
So what exactly made his company so famous? Here are a couple of his many establishments that have earned him his esteemed reputation.
Bowl & Barrel
In 2012, Noonan started his very first business venture through FreeRange Concepts called Bowl & Barrel. The restaurant had a bowling alley with a complete service modern American tavern including house-made specialties made by Chef Sharon Hage. Dallas was the first place the restaurant launched and eventually made it to San Antonio and Houston by 2016.
Mutts Canine Cantina
After getting a great response from his first venture, he decided to start another restaurant the following year called Mutts Canine Cantina.
Dog lovers especially loved this one as this place was a restaurant AND an off-leash dog park. This way, people were able to either have a relaxing time in the beer garden or play in the off-leash park.
The first location of the restaurant was in Dallas and eventually in Fort Worth in 2018. It also has eleven more units that are under process in various cities such as Arizona, Texas, etc.
This restaurant was launched in 2013 and was one of Noonan’s most famous business ventures. The restaurant was made in partnership with Grammy-nominated country music artist Pat Green.
The Rustic is a full-service restaurant with live music that started in Dallas, and eventually, its growing popularity led to its further establishments in Houston Downtown, Houston Galleria and San Antonio.
These restaurants are prime examples that show how unique ideas can make a significant difference in the business world and lead businessmen like Noonan to their success.
The Perfect Investment: RAD Diversified and Income-Producing Farms
Amidst the global lockdown of 2020, Dutch Mendenhall, founder of RADD America, began looking for an alternative to standard residential real-estate investments. So, he turned his analysis to farms and was blown away by the immense potential he saw. After going public in late 2019, RADD America purchased US farmland and made slices of the real estate available at minimum investments of $10,000.
Income-producing farms vs. other real estate asset classes
According to Mendenhall, an apartment complex in today’s US real estate market commands approximately a 4% or 5% cap rate. Farms offer somewhere around a 15% to 20% cap rate.
“When I first began looking at investing in farms, I compared each acre to an apartment or housing unit,” Mendenhall recalls. “The variety that income-producing farms provide is what I really love about them as an opportunity. With one season producing wheat and corn the next, you can double tap — you can raise livestock on top of agriculture. Putting money into the farm only pays off in time. Everything from improving soil to increasing irrigation makes a major impact on potential income, and so much of America’s farmland has fallen into disrepair during the last 20 years.”
When Mendenhall began investing during the early days of the pandemic, sustainable acres of producing farmland sold anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000. Today, he finds that income-producing acres of farmland easily sell for $9,500 to $10,000.
“I’ve seen farmland values almost double during the last couple of years,” Mendenhall says. “Currently, we’re in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Idaho, but we are analyzing land all over America. What reports don’t show is the difference between a properly maintained acre of farmland and an acre that is in disarray. There’s only so much workable farmland on the market today. We’ve hit the tipping point, and now, there’s a scarcity of land for people to buy. If you have the opportunity to purchase amazing agricultural land, you have to pull the trigger quickly.”
Income-producing farms as an asset class
Mendenhall is no stranger to investors. Since 2006, he’s connected them to deals in short sales, wholesaling, residential properties, and storage units, though he admits that every asset class has caused the same excitement as farmland. “At this point, we can’t find enough bargains for our investors,” he says. “They take real pride in their investments and keep asking us for more.”
RADD America takes a true grassroots approach when connecting its investors to farmland. “The farming world is different from any other in real estate,” explains Mendenhall. “We start by having our acquisitions and agricultural teams meet with farmers. When we get ready to brand cattle or plant, all the local farmers come and help. In the same spirit, our teams go out and help the local farmers when it’s their turn to brand and plant. To do it right, you have to build a relationship and a connection that’s quite different than other types of investing.”
RADD America is composed of expert investors and expert farmers. The company offers its investments through fractionalized ownership. In other words, the company purchases one farm and then allows a joint pool of investors to own it together.
“If you don’t have a team that knows how to farm and maximize income, you’re not going to get the best possible return for investors,” warns Mendenhall. “Thankfully, our team isn’t so big for this type of investing that we forget who we are, and we have the economy to scale at a great pace.”
The impact of global competition on income-producing farm investments
RADD America closely monitors global trends. In Mendenhall’s experience, investors win when they move before the market. However, when they move after the market, they lose.
“When Russian first invaded and sparked its war with Ukraine, for example, we kept a close eye on its global impact,” he says. “As one of the largest producers of wheat in the world, we knew that Ukraine — now in the midst of a war — wasn’t going to be able to produce wheat at the same scale, so someone else needs to step in and fill the gap. We’re constantly monitoring what’s happening in the world to stay on top of evolving trends.”
In terms of global competition, Mendenhall is frustrated by foreign entities staking ownership of American farmland and agriculture. In this area, China has positioned itself as the number one threat to the sovereignty of the United States.
“When foreign powers have ownership of agricultural land in the US, it puts us all at risk as Americans,” remarks Mendenhall. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen soil quality erode, closures of meatpacking plants, and numerous fires. The likelihood of nuclear war in this age is very small. The quiet war of buying American agriculture and unsettling the American dollar is the threat we face today.”
Clearly, RADD America has a lot to pay attention to at home and abroad. “We’re monitoring weather patterns and making one-year, three-year, and five-year predictions,” Mendenhall explains. “We’re also paying close attention to interest rates to see where this shifting economy is headed. The up-and-down cycles are faster than they’ve ever been. Monitoring the industry is critical. With expert investors and agricultural specialists from RADD America on your team, farmland can be one of your most promising and rewarding investment opportunities.”
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