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.

The Basics – Situations (and People) Pre-Nups Are Designed to Protect

Blended families: Protecting children from previous relationships is often the first consideration of a prenuptial agreement. It may set aside funds for their future education or other needs, or protect existing financial obligations to children or an ex-spouse.

Protecting Existing and Created Wealth: The traditional view is that the prenup can protect the wealthier spouse – but that only works for existing wealth. Equity is increasingly part of the compensation package, and the potential for this type of compensation to suddenly be worth vast amounts of wealth – years after it was originally granted – has grown. Prenuptial agreements that protect both partners and spell out exactly what is included and what is not are becoming the norm.

One Partner Has More Debt: Debt is one of the most challenging aspects of joining finances. Existing debt can become the other partner’s responsibility, and debt incurred during the marriage may also be fair game for creditors. Prenuptial agreements can help clear the air, spark healthy conversations, and set clear boundaries that will help everyone feel protected.

Business Ownership: If you own your business, whether outright or with a partner, including it in a prenup can preserve the value, protect partners, and keep the business from becoming marital property as it grows in value during the marriage.

When the Choice is for One Partner to Forgo Work: If a couple decides that one partner will be putting a career on hold to undertake family-oriented duties, a prenup can help protect them. This can include annual contributions to an IRA, a life insurance policy, and other financial arrangements that allow the non-working spouse to create wealth on their own terms.

Clarify Non-Marital Assets: Inheritances are non-marital assets. However, they can be unintentionally converted. Putting money in joint accounts and titling real estate in both names can lead to the inheritance becoming a marital asset. A prenup can spell out non-marital property. p

 

The Bottom Line

Careers, families, our dreams and goals, and our desire to create a true partnership with someone else can all be accomplished – with the help of some honest conversation and then creating a prenuptial agreement that speaks to everyone’s best interest. It’s not a contingency plan for divorce – it’s a road map to a long and happy life.

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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August Market Commentary: Will a Month of Fresh Data Change the Fed’s Aggressive Stance?

July Recap and August Outlook

July marked the best month for the markets since November 2020.

What happened, after the rout of the first half? Some ideas:

  • It’s a bear market rally sparked by better-than-expected earnings
  • Inflation has really peaked or is near a peak, and the Fed is newly dovish after September, with lower rate increases in November and December and a decrease (!) mid-2023

The fly in the ointment? That pesky second quarter GDP contraction that could be interpreted as a sign that we are in or near a recession. But there is other, more positive data too.

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GMB Ep #140: Here’s Exactly What To Do With Your Old Life Insurance Policy

In our financial planning firm, we come across many people who are raising the question of whether or not their old insurance policies are worth maintaining. However, it is important to know that there are certain ramifications and complexities are associated with getting rid of an insurance policy. In this episode, Grant dives deep into important considerations related to choosing, maintaining, or terminating insurance policies.

 

 

Show Notes

[02:28] Purpose of Insurance – Grant discusses the purpose of insurance policies and how they create a safety net for you and your loved ones.

[05:50] Do You Really Need Insurance? – Grant explains how to determine whether you really need life insurance, given the nature of your existing insurance policies, your financial status, and income streams.

[09:08] Types of Insurance – Grant describes the two main types of life insurance and how to determine which is the right type of policy for you.

[13:00] Cost Breakdown – Grant explains the cost breakdown of insurance policies.

[17:01] What to do With a Permanent Policy – Grant shares some options for people who no longer need their permanent policy.

[28:33] The Right Option – Grant explains how he helps clients decide which option is best depending on their financial status and goals.

[31:59] Insurance Products That Actually Make Sense – Grant shares his take on some of the legitimate use cases for some common insurance products.

 

Resources

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

Tax Planning at the Mid-Stage of Your Career

Financial planning that focuses on your goals and helps you achieve flexibility in your journey is critical at the mid-point of your career. It’s how you build a plan to help you realize the lifestyle you want now while keeping longer-term achievements on track. Staying on top of your career earnings by regularly benchmarking your salary to the market and effectively managing equity compensation are two areas where you can keep the income element growing and your wealth building. But an overlooked area is how much of your income you get to keep.

As income increases, it becomes even more essential to ensure that you are optimizing your tax planning. And a good tax plan doesn’t just happen in April every year. Proactive planning during the year, and a strategic plan that takes a multi-year view, can make a big difference in keeping your lifetime taxes as low as possible.

Moves you make now can also set you up for more income potential and greater tax efficiency in retirement. If an early retirement, work-optional, or one spouse temporarily or permanently leaving the workforce is a goal, focusing on effective tax planning can get you there sooner. When you put all the plan elements in play, you can create a lot of optionalities.

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Inflation, the Fed, and Recession. It’s Not Linear.

The June CPI number came in at 9.1%. This is not only the second consecutive month that we’ve seen an increase – it was a whopper. Consensus expectations were for an 8.8% annualized increase in inflation. This huge spike came after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a surprise 75 basis points after the June meeting and communicated that more – and higher – rate increases are in store.

As measured by the futures markets, the immediate response was to assume that the high inflation number would increase the likelihood of the Fed enacting at least a 75-basis point rate increase and potentially a 100-basis point increase at the FOMC meeting at the end of July.

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Retiring in a Volatile Market: Control What You Can

Retirement during a volatile market is unsettling. Whether you are on the cusp or have already made the leap, a market downturn’s impact on your savings will be felt now and potentially for years to come. How do you keep your plan on track and your desired lifestyle in place?

If you can’t control income, you’ll need to control expenses. And that means budgeting and taxes. You can deploy tactics and strategies to optimize these factors no matter what stage you are in on your retirement journey.

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