GMB Ep #148: Using Entrepreneurship For Good With AnnMaria De Mars

Entrepreneurship is one of the best ways to change the world around us, and there’s a lot to learn from entrepreneurs who are building businesses that solve problems that exist in their communities. This week on Grow Money Business we’re joined by AnnMaria De Mars, the founder and president of 7 Generation Games, an educational software company that focuses on creating video games to teach math to kids and students. Throughout the episode, we dive into AnnMaria’s journey and how she’s using entrepreneurship to create a positive impact on the world.

 

 

Show Notes

[02:30] From Academics to Entrepreneurship – AnnMaria shares how her interest in mathematics helped her evolve into a serial entrepreneur.

[11:22] Video Games – AnnMaria explains what led her to start her venture in creating video games to teach mathematics.

[19:31] Solving Problems – AnnMaria shares what motivated her to develop businesses in a way that solves problems and helps people in rural communities.

[24:32] Building the Business – AnnMaria discusses how she gathered the required funding and other resources to build her business.

[28:38] Current Progress –AnnMaria describes her organization’s current performance, growth, and plans for the future.

[34:43] Sports – AnnMaria is a national champion in Judo. We talk about how she got into Judo and the profound impact of sports on her life and the lives of her children.

[46:31] Business and Life –AnnMaria explains how her risk tolerance evolved with her personal priorities.

[51:22] Fundraising for Startups – AnnMaria shares some of the ways startups can raise money with the help of people in a community.

 

Resources

 

A Disability Insurance Primer

Should you have disability insurance?

A sobering statistic from the Social Security Administration (SSA) might be helpful: the SSA reports that a 20-year-old has a more than one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is part of the social security tax you pay each year that you work. But it is difficult to qualify for, and even the SSA describes the payouts as “modest.”

Many employers cover some amount of short-term disability, but longer periods or a permanent disability typically require additional coverage. If you are self-employed or a professional with specialized training or education, such as a doctor or lawyer, getting the right disability insurance in place should be a part of our overall risk management plan.

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Maximizing the Tax Advantages of Business Ownership

Growing your business across every measure is the priority for business owners, no matter their stage.

  • Just starting out and working to be revenue-positive or coping with early income
  • In the mid-stage and building your strategy and tactics for long-term growth
  • Late-stage revenue maximization for exit planning

Every stage brings different things to tackle, but they all have one thing in common – taxes. Business owners have unique tax advantages. The key to maximizing them is not leaving it until your annual meeting with your tax accountant. It means creating a multi-year strategy that works as your business grows and your profits, activities, plant and equipment, strategies, etc., evolve.

An effective tax plan will be flexible and customized to your own business and personal situation, but there are some areas common to all good tax strategies that will help you get started.

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GMB Ep #142: Using Pricing Strategy to Create Business Value

Pricing is a potent tool that businesses can use to increase profitability as well as the value of the company. However, at times, increasing the price of a product or service can be scary for a lot of small businesses. This week on Grow Money Business, we have a fascinating conversation with an expert in pricing, Robert Ribciuc. Robert is the managing partner of EBITDA Catalyst, a firm that helps businesses improve their pricing strategy. Throughout the episode, we dive into why pricing strategy is important to businesses of all sizes and some of the key things business owners should consider when setting prices for their products and services.

 

 

Show Notes

[02:37] Robert’s Story – We start the conversation with a brief look at Robert’s career journey, what led him to start his firm, EBITDA Catalyst, and how it helps businesses improve their pricing strategy.

[04:57] Impact of Pricing – The role pricing plays in the success of a business and how it impacts the valuation of the company in the long term.

[11:59] Acquisitions – Robert shares his thoughts on how the pricing strategy of a business comes into play in an acquisition.

[16:25] Pricing in a Competitive Market – For small businesses in very competitive markets, increasing the price of goods or services can be scary. Robert dives into how to identify good opportunities for higher prices and how to deal with the anxiety that comes with it.

[21:23] Pricing and Cost – What business owners should consider when adjusting pricing to compensate for the costs that have gone up.

[29:47] Value Proposition and Pricing – How business can adjust their pricing in a way that generates maximum returns according to the value provided to the customer.

[34:07] Mission-driven Pricing – Robert shares his take on the unique opportunity that smaller businesses have to optimize their businesses towards goals and causes other than just profit.

[37:00] Evaluating Value – What business owners should consider when evaluating their value proposition in turbulent market conditions.

[41:19] Monetizing Innovation – Robert shares his thoughts on pricing for new products or services.

[46:40] SMB Bootcamp – Robert shares his excitement about his Small and Medium Business Pricing Bootcamp, while discussing some of the most rewarding aspects of working with entrepreneurs.

 

Resources

GMB Ep #141: A Venture Capital Vet’s Building Blocks For Success

This week on Grow Money Business, distinguished guest Rick Dennen joins us. Rick is Chief Corporate Banking Officer at First Financial Bank and the founder of Oak Street Funding. Having evaluated hundreds of business deals over his decades-long career, Rick has a lot of knowledge and experience in venture capital. In today’s episode, we dive into what business owners should keep in mind when funding their business ventures with debt or equity.

 

 

Show Notes

[02:49] Rick’s Story – We start the discussion with a brief look at Rick’s career and how he started Oak Street Funding.

[07:52] Working with Banks – When Rick started his firm in the early 2000’s, banks were reluctant to lend to service-based businesses even though they had positive cashflows. We dive into the reasons behind this behavior and how things have changed after two decades.

[11:35] Recent Market Shifts – Rick shares his thoughts on how the M&A market is responding to the recent changes in the economy.

[15:28] Debt vs. Equity – Rick explains what business owners need to consider when deciding between taking on debt and looking for an equity partner.

[21:29] Lessons for Businesses – Rick shares some key takeaways about funding and the growth of a business.

[24:48] Evaluating Businesses – How Rick approaches evaluating a new business idea and the metrics used for measuring performance.

[27:15] Business & Parenting – Rick is the father of three children in their early 20s. We talk about how they are involved in business and why Rick approaches business-related conversations with his children.

[34:48] What’s Next for Rick – We talk about Rick’s area of focus and future plans for his new role at the bank.

 

Resources

Love Is Looking Together in the Same Direction

Marriage is, for many people, the foundation of a happy life. But modern living puts pressure on us in so many ways, and money is often at the core. Finding a way to build trust and openness can be difficult. We all have complicated relationships with money, which begin in our childhoods and reflect our parents’ attitudes and beliefs. There are often hidden sensitivities and danger spots that neither partner is aware of – until something crops up that creates a problem.

In addition, it can be hard to navigate through all the things that Gen X and Gen Y will potentially face:

  • Multiple careers, multiple 401(k)s
  • Complex equity compensation
  • Blended families
  • Family wealth
  • Moving to a new city or state
  • Leaving the workforce
  • Starting a business

Having a road map that begins with honest, structured conversations and allows each partner to weigh in on decision-making and feel heard can be the best way to build a long-term, respectful relationship.

The resulting document is called a prenuptial or pre-marital agreement. It was originally conceived to protect each partner throughout the marriage and simplify the proceedings in the event of a divorce.

There are still a lot of situations where a prenup is necessary. But even for couples without those factors, the process of being thoughtful about money and respectful of each other is a normal part a relationship. It can be a springboard to allowing each partner to build a professional life that satisfies them while also keeping the family and marital life on track.

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Eggs in How Many Baskets? Prioritizing Building Wealth While You Build Your Business

Employees of publicly traded companies are often granted company stock as part of the compensation package. From a portfolio management perspective, holding outsize amounts of stock in the same company that provides income can increase risk. If the business were to become wobbly, not only would the stock decrease in value, but the employee could also potentially find themselves out of a job. Employees who are granted stocks often mitigate this risk by selling some of the company stock and reinvesting it in other assets, to diversify growing wealth away from the source of income.

But what about when you own your business? The situation becomes more complex. One strategy that’s often followed is to put everything except living expenses back into the business while you are growing it, and then sell part of the business or take on a strategic investor to help you begin to diversify elsewhere. Retirement planning is put on the back burner until the business has grown to a point where the business can be monetized.

We think there is a more thoughtful approach that may work for business owners.

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GMB Ep #139: Using Financial Data to Manage Your Small Business with Anne Gannon

Data-driven decisions are a key factor in the success of any modern business. Although larger businesses tend to be very good at making data-driven decisions, this isn’t always the case for small business owners. This week on Grow Money Business, we speak with a professional who helps small businesses use the financial data that they can have at their fingertips to make better decisions. Anne Gannon, the principal and the founder of The Largo Group, shares her wisdom on how and why business owners should utilize the power of data to grow their businesses.

 

 

Show Notes

[02:06] Anne’s Story – We start the conversation with a brief look at Anne’s career and what her firm, The Largo Group, offers to small businesses.

[06:00] Cashflow – Anne shares some strategies for small business owners to analyze the cash flow and review business transactions.

[09:56] Budgeting – Anne explains why it’s a good exercise for small business owners to create a budget and analyze their business expenses.

[15:19] Paying Yourself – Anne dives deep into how and when small business owners should pay themselves.

[21:06] Surviving the Pandemic – Anne explains how The Largo Group helped its clients survive through the pandemic.

[26:00] SBA Loans – Anne shares her thoughts on the SBA loan program with some pros and cons.

[33:33] Growth – Anne explains what small business owners should consider when planning for growth.

[36:06] Tax Strategies – Anne shares some tax strategies restaurants and other similar businesses can utilize to minimize their tax liabilities.

[43:47] Mindset – Why mindset is a key factor in the success of a business owner and some other business lessons from Anne’s career in professional golf.

 

Resources

GMB #136: Taming the Cost of College With Brad Baldridge

Properly planning for a college education has become one of the crucial decisions that could define the future of a young adult. This week on Grow Money Business, we’re joined by Brad Baldridge, a licensed financial planner, consultant for college funding, and main podcaster for the “Taming the High Cost of Education.” Brad assists families in preparing and saving for college by offering individualized planning services and insights on the most recent tax, cash flow, and academic strategies. Throughout the episode we discuss many important strategies for reducing the cost of college expenses.

 

 

Show Notes

[01:54] Background – Brad describes how he became interested in college planning and shares some thoughts on why it is so expensive.

[05:23] Sticker Price – Brad explains the evolution of sticker pricing and how it impacts college planning.

[21:24] Process –  Brad walks us through his advising process on how he helps individuals apply, enroll, and select the best school for them.

[27:16] Strategies for Business Owners –  Brad explains what company owners should know about planning and paying for their children’s college education.

[45:36] Common Mistakes – Brad outlines several common mistakes people make when planning for a future college education.

[50:22] Best Choice – Brad explains how to differentiate between applying to a college with a reputable financial aid office versus one that may not be as transparent.

[59:42] Taming the High Cost of College – Brad describes how his college funding company serves its clients.

 

Resources

Is a Self-Directed 401(k) Right for You?

Contributing regularly to a 401(k) plan is the foundation of retirement savings for many people. You determine the percentage of each paycheck you want to contribute, and you either select a target-date fund based on your expected year of retirement or pick from a relatively limited selection of mutual funds.

But what if you had more control? Suppose you’re a do-it-yourselfer in other areas of your investment plan. In that case, the limited options in a 401(k) can be very constraining – especially when it is often your most significant investment pool. If you prefer to have someone else manage your investments, you may be able to find an advisor that will make recommendations inside your plan, but again, they will be limited.

If you have multiple plans from different employers or a concentrated stock position, it can be difficult to line your 401(k) investing up with your risk tolerance and overall financial picture.

There is another option for investors whose employers offer the ability to self-direct your 401(k).

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