Intentional Growth

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

Latest Episodes

November 30, 2016 00:50:40
You Can’t Increase Business Value by Making Cuts

You Can’t Increase Business Value by Making Cuts

Our guest this week had to face up to tragedy and the realization that she owned a worthless company before turning things around to make the perfect exit. When her husband unexpectedly died, Kathleen Ferry had no option but to take over his business – a business that was struggling to adapt to a changing marketplace and one that was significantly over-staffed. Kathleen shared some excellent tips on how to streamline a business, and how planning a certain way can put you in the driving seat when it comes to transferring your business to the successor of your choice! Where was the company when she took it over? When Kathleen took over, after her husband and the General Manager of the plant were gone, she got the news that the company had been valued at next to nothing.  She had no choice but to keep the business going and try and turn things around to keep food on the table for the livelyhood of her and her kids. Her company was $1-2m in debt and needed some serious streamlining. What were the first key decisions she made? She brought in good-caliber senior staff: a head of sales and an operations manager. What was the streamlining process? After a year in charge it became clear that not only was the firm over-staffed; there were the wrong staff in certain senior positions. The rewarding of loyalty had been too influential in the process of recruitment. Kathleen cut 20% of the staff but only after she’d brought in an external consultant to prove that this needed to be done. Internally she had discussed trimming the workforce, but nobody would agree with her. How did she drive the business forwards ...

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November 23, 2016 00:53:52
How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top

How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top

Bo Burlingham is an absolute hero.  He was Editor at Large at INC. Magazine for years, Author of some of the business book classics like The Great Game of Business, Small Giants, Street Smarts and the Finish Big. His insights in Finish Big on how the greatest entrepreneurs exit on top lead me to create this podcast and build our firm. If it wasn’t for Bo, Solidity Financial wouldn’t be what it is today. He is undoubtedly the leading author on what it means to be a true Entrepreneur… one where there is a beginning, middle and end to a journey.  We felt it was high time we spoke to Bo about his experiences in putting together his trailblazing books… In this episode you’ll learn: How the greatest entrepreneurs exit their companies on top What the REAL journey of being an entrepreneur looks like How to finish big AND be a small giant Why 75% of entrepreneurs are unhappy after they sell their companies Why did Bo Burlingham write the book Finish Big? He’d been working for the magazine Inc for 25 years and never once had he heard anybody talk about the end game for the organization. This suddenly changed when his co-columnist Norm Brodsky received an offer for his company.This eventually formed a monthly column called “the offer”, which was basically an ongoing narrative on the trials and tribulations of the sale negotiations. The response they had was amazing – it turned out to be a topic that people simply couldn’t read about elsewhere – and it took off so much that at one point, the cover headline was “Norm Decides To Sell”. Alas, because certain things came to light towards the end of the ...

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November 16, 2016 00:45:14
Is Your Company Worth Anything?

Is Your Company Worth Anything?

Eric Gustafson’s story is a great example of how the very best exit planning isn’t really a plan at all – it’s just a continuation of good business practice. Eric ran a tight ship, so when all of the stars aligned to make it the right time for a sale, the business was ready for it and the process of sale was a synch. Listen to his story or read the highlights to find out how he did it… How Eric rode out the storm to become the exit master There was a huge blizzard that brought Minneapolis to a standstill for a month and almost bankrupted his printing business early on in its life. Thankfully things picked up in the following month and they survived, and then it wasn’t long before monthly profits of $40,000 per month became $200,000 per month. How did this happen? By getting a hold of the data within the company and using it to empower the sales team. They implemented what was referred to as a “Telemagic system” back then, which was essentially the CRM system of its day. What made Eric’s company think about selling? The marketplace was changing. Margins were going down and more customers were doing their printing in-house. How was the company valued and sold? Eric used a personal contact who had raised private equity to buy two of his friends’ businesses, so he knew that throughout negotiations he was dealing with someone he could trust. Eric and the rest of his ownership team didn’t have a dollar amount in mind – the valuation was quite simply a fair multiple of easily agreeable figures. “A fair multiple is ...

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November 09, 2016 00:42:17
Selling Your Business to a Private Equity Group

Selling Your Business to a Private Equity Group

We have an interesting character on this week’s interview on Life After Business… there are not many pro baseball players who also happen to be experts in private equity! Bobby Kingsbury is now part of the a different type of team when he joined MCM Capital.  He managed to land the gig when giving hitting lessons to the son of Mark E. Mansour, co-founder of the original fund. In today’s episode, you will learn: How private equity groups (PEGs) are structured Where private equity groups get their money What it could be like to partner / sell to a PEG How PEGs value companies Understand how PEGS look at potential deals Why a private equity group WOULDN’T buy you Having been a pro for the Pittsburgh Pirates for six years and having competed in the 2004 Olympics, it must have have been a bit of a shock to the system. Thankfully for us he went on to develop a brilliant insight into one of the most important aspects of the exit planning process, private equity. What is private equity? It is basically a liquidation option for a private business owner. A Private Equity Group is a pool of money, managed by a team of professionals.  Their goal is to grow that pool of money for the owners of the fund and the way they do it is by buying companies, making them healthier, stronger, and better and then eventually selling them again anywhere between 3-8 years out. It’s a way to diversify a portfolio by selling all or a portion of the business to a private equity fund. How does a private equity firm work? Bobby’s firm (MCM Capital) has eight professionals ...

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November 02, 2016 00:33:04
Why I Love My Business

Why I Love My Business

The psychology of exits… we have a real intellectual take on exit planning and your state of mind this week. In a colorful episode, Allie Harding gives us an academic take on the importance of identity in business, and how this can affect life after it. Understanding the psychology behind the exit is a crucial part of a successful transition. Allie has built up two consultancy companies off the back of extensive academic study, including a PHD in Business Psychology. You know how we always say that a successful exit from a business is as much about life after business as it is about the transaction? (the clue is in the title of the podcast!) Well Allie has the science to back this up. Listen and learn! How does business change the identity of different people? Allie has advised hundreds of business owners down the years. She can define them in 3 separate categories: 1.) Ready Rogers: These are the easiest to deal with when it comes to exit because their self-awareness is at such a level they can walk away and know exactly how they will cope with life after business. They probably have many interests outside of their business, and are already in the habit of disconnecting from work in order to stimulate their mind elsewhere. 2.) Moderate Michaels: They might need some help with their guiding principles but can still be persuaded to change their mindset to help them manage their time after they sell. Their business is basically their life, but the original creative energy they had that helped them build up their business in the first place can still be harnessed with the ...

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October 26, 2016 00:36:02
The Exit Planning Institute

The Exit Planning Institute

What a show we have in store for you today! Crammed full of useful stats and insight from a man who could legitimately call himself an exit planning godfather. Chris shared with us his starter guide to exit planning along with some of the more interesting top-level philosophies that go with it. Also discussed were weighty economic matters… is the US able to cope with the aging baby boomers predicted to transition 4.5 million companies and a predicted $10 trillion worth of assets in the next decade? As the owner of the Exit Planning Institute, Chris Snider sure knows exit planning! We strongly advise you listen to his conversation with us this week, but if you just want the quick & dirty summary, read on…. What is the Exit Planning Institute? In Chris’ words: “We don’t view ourselves as an association… we view our members more as customers. Our job is provide a compelling platform for them to launch their practices. It’s up to us to provide resources to enable them to produce revenue and do well by their clients.” Vital statistics from the industry: There are 6 million privately held business in the US market today, 2 out of 3 of which are owned by baby boomers. Within 8 years, all baby boomers will be over 60 years old. Since 2013 in surveys of owners, 3 out of 4 businesses say they want to exit their businesses in the next ten years, which is approximately 4.5 million privately held businesses and $10 trillion of wealth. That represents the biggest transfer of wealth in history. The success rates of exit transactions are 20-30%. 50% of exits are not on the business owners’ terms. 75% ...

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