Intentional Growth

Intentional Growth™ is a podcast for entrepreneurs and business owners wanting to clarify a path to ... more

Latest Episodes

February 10, 2021 00:57:22
#235: PIVOT! How One Trade Show Company Ended 2020 with More Cash Than They Started

#235: PIVOT! How One Trade Show Company Ended 2020 with More Cash Than They Started

The tradeshow industry was one of the hardest-hit in 2020 and while 30% of companies managed to take full advantage of unstable markets, 30% scraped bottom or worse. Rising from the bottom third, Mark Johnson ended the year with more cash than he started. Listen in to hear how he accomplished remarkable pivots to keep the entrepreneurial dream alive while safeguarding his clients during some of the most volatile times in recent US-history. Our conversations focuses on the fourth principle that we cover in our Intentional Growth Course: strategic planning. When Mark and his company found themselves in a bind because of what COVID did to their niche market, they didn’t just roll over. They decided to pivot. Today Mark talks about how he did it (and the steps to how that led them to become an even bigger business), why and how building an intentional business has led them to even bigger success, and how to identify markets that align with your business’s niche and values so you can do the same thing.   What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview What improv and leadership have in common. Mark’s core business philosophy of being “fast, flexible and fun” and what that drives in his culture and growth. Being arrogant and having a big ego can cause you to miss market trends and opportunities. How Mark and Star Exhibit recovered from the sudden death of his 37-year-old partner Tom. The devastating impact 2020 had on the tradeshow industry. Why Star Exhibit ignored going into the PPE industry when making pivoting choices during the pandemic. How Mark created a culture that enabled one of his front-line employees to take an idea all the way to the NHL. The importance ...

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February 03, 2021 01:28:50
#234: $0 to $10 Million in Four Years: How One SaaS Start-up Scaled & Sold Without Outside Capital

#234: $0 to $10 Million in Four Years: How One SaaS Start-up Scaled & Sold Without Outside Capital

Hitting on all cylinders requires focus and intention. Terri Soutor, CEO of FastBridge, recognized that early on and chose dedicated partners who had a great idea and, through amazing service, could deliver high value to their target clients. This approach scaled their SaaS-based business 10x over four years, without having to raise outside capital, before ultimately selling to the perfect strategic buyer. Terri shares the strategies behind their exponential growth and what they did to maintain their mission, vision and values along the entrepreneurial journey. What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview How the University of Minnesota’s Venture Center helped fund and launch Terri's EdTech startup, FastBridge. The differences between academics and business, why it’s hard to commercialize ideas and research, and how FastBridge solved this problem. What FastBridge did to market and monetize their research. Strategies to increase up-front payments from clients to fund company growth. What FastBridge did to bootstrap their growth from 0 to 10 million dollars within 4 years. How FastBridge maintained 70-80% margins without sacrificing their high-quality service. Why knowing your ‘magic number’ way before an exit is crucial. How to stay true to the original vision of your business while getting ready to exit. Terri’s definition of managed growth and how it applies to any industry. What Terri and her partners did to correct dissonance when things became less ‘fun’ and different priorities started competing for resources.   Are You Growing The Value of Your Business Take The 2-Minute Assessment To Get Your Intentional Growth Score™ And 1-Page Vision Board. Are your company's current initiatives intentionally designed to increase the value of the business? Do you know what you want from your business long term and why? Do you know what your company is worth? Do ...

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January 27, 2021 00:56:15
#233: Dominate Your Industry By Increasing Your Revenue Per Employee with Daniel Marcos

#233: Dominate Your Industry By Increasing Your Revenue Per Employee with Daniel Marcos

Daniel Marcos, Co-Founder of Growth Institute, talks about what drove him to write ImpactX, a book about the four stages of a business, and how the age-old metric of revenue per employee can be the best indicator of the overall health of your company. However, he also found limits on the number of employees you should have for each stage if you want to avoid some seriously adverse effects. Find out why Daniel says 12 is the perfect number of employees for "profit and drama" and why you should jump from 12 to 60 if you want to have an industry-dominating business. What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview The The magic number of employees that brings the perfect balance of cash flow and drama How three phone calls led to one of the fastest-growing coaching businesses in the world. Daniel’s incredibly interesting founder story, including one of his favorite early successes of how his online trading business was acquired within six months by Argentina's then-largest financial player. How Daniel paid off $1 million in debt and started his coaching business. Why Daniel partnered with Verne Hardish (founder of EO and Scaling Up) to create Growth Institute. The four stages of every business, from his book ImpactX. How to assess and use the metric of revenue per employe Why the complexity of a business exponentially grows as employee count grows and what you can do to manage the challenges. The importance of creating space to think as an owner. How to create systems that make ‘everything float’ and why this is a double-edged sword if you’re not ready for it.   Are You Growing The Value of Your Business Take The 2-Minute Assessment To Get Your Intentional ...

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January 20, 2021 01:13:44
#232: My Vanity Metric is Cash Flow: How SureSwift Capital Acquired 38 Businesses in 5 years

#232: My Vanity Metric is Cash Flow: How SureSwift Capital Acquired 38 Businesses in 5 years

By focusing on the right metrics, like cash flow and enterprise value, and combining these with the right strategies and use of capital, Kevin McArdle was able to quit corporate America and buy a couple of small online businesses that he snowballed into a portfolio of 38 highly profitable SaaS companies doing eight figures in revenue. Tune in to hear how he did it and what Kevin and SureSwift Capital are doing to take their growth to the next level. What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview Why Kevin left corporate America to start acquiring businesses. SureSwift Capital’s unique business model that flies in the face of traditional private equity firms. How SureSwift Capital went from buying $50k websites to multi-million-dollar businesses. Why Kevin and his partners decided not to raise money for a fund — at least with the first 38 companies — and why they’re raising funds now. How Kevin finds SaaS companies to buy that are highly profitable, inherently more risky and highly scalable. The best ways to use the profits of a company to fund organic growth and acquisition. Why acquisitions are a team sport. How to buy a business and get your money back in 24 months. Why the smartest entrepreneurs make it their job to replace themselves. How SureSwift Capital creates more valuable companies after they make an acquisition. Questions to ask if you are talking to private equity or another professional business buyer. How information asymmetry impacts the deal negotiation.   Are You Growing The Value of Your Business? Take The 2-Minute Assessment To Get Your Intentional Growth Score™ And 1-Page Vision Board. Are you company's current initiatives intentionally designed to increase the value of the business? Do you know what you want from your ...

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January 13, 2021 01:15:49
#231: Why Buying and Selling Companies is a Barbaric Sport with Elliott Holland

#231: Why Buying and Selling Companies is a Barbaric Sport with Elliott Holland

Today's M&A game isn't played by timid people—it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and you need to know what it takes to thrive. Enter Elliott Holland. On today's show, we talk strategy when competing in the barbaric sport of buying and selling businesses. Learn what makes different investors invest, what they’re looking for in deal terms and how to expertly share the risk during negotiations. This episode is an absolute must for any business owner looking for funding or considering becoming an investor or buyer themselves. What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview How buyers think about the risk of a company. The crucial role trust plays in closing a deal. The difference between a buyer-centric structure and a deal-centric structure. What happens after an LOI (letter of intent). Why being light and humble about predicting future cash flow can be a good thing. How  buyers assess a seller’s determination to closing the deal. The biggest ‘gotchas’ sellers should look out for. How buyers handle risk through price and terms. The difference between deal breakers and surprises. Why Elliott calls the purchase price the ‘country club’ number and how you can overcome it. The three different types of concentrations to be aware of (vendor, employee and customer) that can reduce the value of a company. How working capital plays into closing the deal. The benefits of sharing risk with the person across the table, rather than making them your enemy. Are You Growing The Value of Your Business Take The 2-Minute Assessment To Get Your Intentional Growth Score™ And 1-Page Vision Board. Are your company's current initiatives intentionally designed to increase the value of the business? Do you know what you want from your business long term and why? Do you know ...

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January 06, 2021 01:19:38
#230: How One Woman Raised Millions in a World Where Men Control the Capital with Sarah Dusek

#230: How One Woman Raised Millions in a World Where Men Control the Capital with Sarah Dusek

Having a dream and hustling are not always enough to reach your full potential—capital is required to fuel that growth! Sarah Dusek shares how she raised $17 million for a minority stake in her industry-pioneering 'Glamping' company, Under Canvas. She sold it only a few years later to Private Equity for a hefty ROI. Now Sarah wants to change the investment landscape for women entrepreneurs, who receive only 2% of all available funding each year in the US. To help fix this problem, Sarah became a venture capitalist to provide women and entrepreneurs in South Africa access to these funds. Here’s her story, and how she is using business and capital to make an impact on the world.  What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview The truth behind why it’s so hard to access capital and break into “the club.” How turning down $7 million got Sarah $17 million instead. The value of really knowing the business you’re in and understanding what’s valuable to someone else when deciding to sell. Why, despite being pioneers in the industry and building their own tents, Under Canvas chose not to sell the tents they made as a new revenue stream. How anger drove Sarah to becoming a venture capitalist and the success she’s seen investing in the underserved market she came from. What metrics people need to know when working with business buyers and investors to make your business an appealing investment as well as a sustainable operation. The broken environment of capital allocation, including the fact that only 2% of venture capital is given to women each year in the US — and what Sarah’s doing to change that. How to evaluate the type of capital you’re receiving, ...

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