Gina Schaefer is a passionate entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of 14 Co-op Ace Hardware stores located in Washington DC and the Baltimore area. Gina founded her business after noticing that there was a shortage of hardware stores in the lower income, urban neighborhoods of DC.
After 18 years of growing her business to 13 stores and employing over 250 people she decided to sell her ownership to her employees via an ESOP. Gina was a brand new entrepreneur when she opened her first store- formerly in SaaS - when she started in her early 30s. This is a great story of someone who saw opportunity in a low income place and created a mission to change the lives of people through “a few cool hardware stores.”
Gina is a retailer, entrepreneur, public speaker and employee advocate based out of Washington D.C. In just 18 years she has started, grew and partially sold her 14 Ace Hardware stores to an ESOP where her employees can create wealth and enjoy work. Gina is three months away from completing her book, “Recovery Hardware” When Gina has time to relax she writes greeting cards because she believes in the power of a hand written note.
07:33 - “We hear this in various parts of our lives, right? ‘I wish somebody would do this,’ and ‘I wish somebody would do that.’ And one day I just said, ‘Why can’t that somebody be me?’” - Gina Schaefer
10:11 - “At its foundation, a purchasing co-op is a collective purchasing tool for independent retailers. It gives Ace the opportunity to go to… Milwaukee, for example, or Black and Decker or DAP and negotiates on behalf of all the Ace retailers.” - Gina Schaefer
35:21 - “We had the ability to take that money, use it to open a new store, and pay ourselves back in future stock money.” - Gina Schaefer
39:11 - “People are afraid to talk about [how much their businesses are worth].” - Gina Schaefer
41:31 - “She was bouncing off the walls! She was so excited to give us a tour. Partially because she was so excited to tell us that she was an owner of that damn brewery and they were an ESOP.” - Gina Schaefer
43:48 - “No one opens an independent business with enough phone lines to handle a pandemic.” - Gina Schaefer
47:04 - “That made us even more aligned with the idea of an ESOP because we felt like, if anything was going to help make a difference in incoming equality, social inequality, all of this crap that–as a country–we can’t seem to figure out, the ESOP was an answer” - Gina Schaefer
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With 2018 coming to a close and the Life After Business podcast in the middle of it’s second year, I figured it was time for an update on how the podcast has been doing and what my favorite episodes were in light of our 5 Growth and Exit Planning Principles. Podcast stats and updates as of Dec 2018: 125 episodes have been recorded A new episode has been launched each week since mid 2016 200,000 total downloads since I started the podcast Life After Business averages 4,000 downloads per episode ZERO marketing dollars have gone into the podcast… it’s been all organic sharing and subscribing! It’s on on the major channels iTunes Google Play Spotify Sticher If you are interested in interviewing for one of the 5 individual consulting engagements I am opening up for 2019, you can schedule your interview here using my calendar link – SCHEDULE NOW The 5 Growth & Exit Planning (GEXP) Principles: Episodes to listen to in each of the 5 GEXP Principles: 1.) Your Vision Employees Are What Make a Company Valuable Build a Platform and Run the Business like You Are Selling Tomorrow 2.) Financial Targets How Much Do You Need to Sell Your Company for? The Goal: Lifetime Cash Flow Business Valuations: Deep Dive with a Certified Business Valuator Taxes and Selling a Business: How to Calculate Net Proceeds 3.) Exit Options Private Equity Recapitalization: How it Works Building a 134-Year-Old Company Using The Purest Form of Capitalism Why You Should Sell The Family ...
Today’s episode is a change of pace. I recently did an interview with the Quiet Light Podcast and I wanted to share it here. The founder of the Quiet Light Brokerage, Mark Daoust speaks to me about my experience with selling our family business and what I learned from the process. Specifically, we talk about strategic sales. I have learned a lot about building a good pitch for a buyer and I share that with Mark. If you aren’t familiar with my story and the path that led to Life After Business and GEXP Collaborative, this episode will answer a lot of your questions. What you will learn: My entrepreneur journey and joining my dad in the family business. The reasons people leave money on the table during a deal and how to avoid it. Why due diligence is so important and will kill any deal if done wrong. Strategic sales vs. marketplace sales How to think like a buyer and present your best pitch to a potential buyer. How to get your financials and value adds in perspective for the buyer. Know your market and be proactive in finding potential partners and buyers. The pros and cons of strategic sales. The circumstances when a strictly financial sale makes more sense. Good growth strategy is good exit strategy. The importance of having a great team of advisors. Takeaway: I really enjoyed my time on the Quiet Light Podcast. Mark and his team are really good at what they do. You can contact them through the Quiet Light Brokerage site which is down in the resources section. You can also reach me through LinkedIn and the resources I gave Mark during our interview. Just check out the resources section below. Links and Resources: GEXP Collaborative ...
Today’s episode is all about designing the most effective executive compensation structures while avoiding the most common mistakes. Craig shares how to come up with the perfect formula (designed off the financials and not some insurance product) that rewards employees in the short- and long-term, increases the value of your company, and pays for itself. What You Will Learn In Today's Podcast Interview What phantom stock or stock appreciation rights (SAR) plans are and how to make them work for you. How to transform employees into growth partners. Why it’s important to discover your employees’ ideal compensation structure. The benefits of using long-term planning when looking at appreciation awards and why normalized EBITDA is often the best evaluation metric. How to transaction-proof (plan for both a transaction OR keeping the business) your compensation plans. The strength of an abundance mindset over a scarcity mindset. How to account for phantom stock liability and protect all parties, as well as learn the difference between funded and naked liability. The value of communication and transparency during planning to draw in the most qualified people who will help you smash through your ceiling. How to build and sustain a high-performing culture while getting your executives to pay for themselves. The most common valuation metric for compensation plans is EBITDA x multiple - debt + cash. Are You Growing The Value of Your Business Take The 2-Minute Assessment To Get Your Intentional Growth Score™ And 1-Page Vision Board. Podcast Summary Today’s episode is all about designing the most effective executive compensation structures and how you, as a business owner, can come up with the perfect formula that rewards employees in both the short- and long-term, increases the value of your company, and pays ...