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

 

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

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 #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

Financial Fitness – Mid-Year 2022 Check-In

Summer will officially be here soon, but before kids get out of school and all the vacation planning you did begins to come to fruition, it can be a good idea to take stock of your financial picture and make updates where necessary. Below are a few things you should consider to keep your plan in shape. We’ve organized them by life stage, from having small kids to being closer to retirement. We’ve also included charitable giving, as that happens at every stage.

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GMB #132: From Tech Founder to Venture Capital & Real Estate Investor with Zain Jaffer

The world of real estate is full of opportunities for investors who strive to build wealth using innovative strategies. This week on Grow Money Business, we have a fascinating conversation with Zain Jaffer. Zain is a tech entrepreneur, a real estate investor, and the founder of Vungle, which was sold to Blackstone for $780 million in an all-cash transaction in 2019. Today, he invests in real estate and real estate technology businesses through both venture capital and private equity funds.

 

 

Show Notes

[02:15] Zain’s experience – Zain describes what he finds so appealing about real estate investing.

[09:58] Investment Opportunities – Zain shares what he looks for in new investment opportunities and how he assesses whether or not they are a suitable fit.

[16:54] Institutional Impacts on Real Estate – Zain and Grant discuss the argument that institutional interest in residential real estate is making it more challenging for individuals to purchase their own homes.

[22:15] PropTech Startups – Zain describes his future career goals and plans to continue investing in PropTech startups.

[26:33] More on Real Estate Investing – Zain shares some common themes he hears presented from startups seeking investments.

[34:09] Zain’s Journey – Zain outlines his professional journey, starting with the founding of Vungle, to his eventual $780 million exit.

[41:05] Cryptocurrency – Zain shares his thoughts on cryptocurrency.

 

Resources

GMB #131: Everything You Need to Know About Digital Estate Planning With Hannah

Have you ever thought about what happens to your social media accounts when you pass away? Do you consider yourself familiar with the legal frameworks that need to be put in place to ensure your spouse has access to all of your online accounts? Our guest this week is Hannah Shakin, an attorney in Downey Brand’s estate planning department. Hannah is a qualified estate planning, probate, and trust administration specialist. Throughout the episode, Hannah shares her insight on the ins and outs of digital estate planning, as well as how you can protect yourself from making the common mistakes she sees regularly in her practice.   

 

 

Show Notes

[02:15] Hannah’s Background – Hannah shares her background and describes what she does on a day-to-day basis at her practice. 

[04:42] Digital Estate Planning – Hannah describes both the evolution and the current state of digital estate planning.  

[15:33] RUFADAA – Hannah details the elements of The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.  

[19:45] Facebook – Hannah discusses social media accounts, and what happens to them when you pass.  

[23:47] Digital Assets – Hannah defines what is considered a digital asset and explains why it is vital to establish a living trust to avoid probate.  

[35:49] More on Estate Planning – Hannah explains why individuals must modify their estate plans, and shares which assets will or will not be passed into a trust.  

[44:41] Contingency Planning – Hannah discusses the importance of your exit strategy aligning with your estate plan.  

[47:28] Common Mistakes – Hannah identifies the most common mistakes that she sees business owner’s make in her practice.  

[52:24] IRA and Trust – Hannah elaborates on various facets of individual retirement accounts and trusts. 

 

Resources

The Structure Matters: Choosing the Right One for Your Business

The choice of a corporate structure for a business has many consequences: a crucial impact on the business’s taxes, your ability to raise funds, the paperwork you must file, and perhaps most important, your personal liability.

Fortunately, you can change your mind and convert to another business structure later on, but as with all legal matters, it is not that simple; switching could have a few negative impacts. For example, your state may have restrictions about these changes, and there could be tax consequences, among other issues.

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