Members, managers, and managing members: Who's on first base in your LLC?

by Kathy Tremmel

Tremmel Law

Kathy Tremmel has significant experience both as a business attorney and corporate executive. Her career spans both legal practice and business management and she opened her own solo law practice in January 2010. In additional to running her own practice, she also is of Counsel with Selman, Munser & Lerner, which is a business transaction law firm in Austin, Texas. Ms. Tremmel has more than 10 years’ experience as a business attorney, providing transactional legal services to a diverse client base, from start-up ventures to well established companies. She helps companies with all their contracts, including customer agreements, non-compete agreements, employment agreements, buy-sell agreements, loans, and leases, helps people set up new businesses, and represents buyers and sellers of businesses. In addition, Ms. Tremmel has 10 years of management experience working with start-up companies. As VP of Operations at Tusker Group, an international litigation support company, Ms. Tremmel led international teams, managed production and quality issues, handled price negotiations, worked closely with clients to determine the scope of their projects, provided project management services, and developed, implemented and documented best practices for processing and training. Ms. Tremmel earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Colorado School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College. She is a Texas licensed attorney and a certified Project Management Professional.

The terminology for limited liability companies can be confusing. For instance: who are the members, managers and managing members?

All of the owners of an LLC are its members, similar to stockholders in a corporation.

There are two different possible management structures for LLCs: A manager managed LLC or a member managed LLC.

Topics: Business Operations, Business Best Practices, Legal, Strategic Planning

Liquidity ratios all business owners should know

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is Founder, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Business Bank of Texas. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.

Weve written several articles about the importance of regular financial benchmarking (both internal and external) for the health of a business. Of all the financial benchmark ratios a business owner could use to measure the financial health of their business, liquidity ratios may be the most important.

Topics: Featured, Management, Blog Posts, Strategic Planning, The Corner Office, Accounting & Finance

Turning 50: What I thought I knew

by Dave Sather

Sather Financial Group

Dave Sather is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and President of the Sather Financial Group, Inc. Sather Financial Group is a $400 million “fee-only” wealth management firm based in Victoria. Sather Financial is ranked as one of the top independent wealth management firms in the country according to Financial Advisor Magazine. Dave was raised in El Paso, received his B.A. in Business Management from Texas Lutheran University and received his M.B.A. from Texas A&M University. He has spent the past twenty years in the financial analysis, investment and banking industries. Dave is an adjunct professor in the business program at Texas Lutheran University. Additionally, Dave is a director of Business Bank of Texas as well as the Chairman of the Finance and Investments Committee for the Brownson Children’s Home and is a member of the Executive Advisory Council at Texas Lutheran University. He resides in Victoria, Texas.

This week, I broke the half-century mark. Professionally, the last 25 years have been spent neck-deep in the financial industry. Hopefully, I learned a few things along the way.

Once, I thought 50 was really old. However, some of the people I respect and admire most were very productive well into their 80s, if not their 90s. They opened my eyes as to what can be accomplished north of 50. If you stay active, there is much truth in the adage that “age is a frame of mind.”

Topics: Strategic Planning

Raising Cash: Debt vs. Equity

by DJ Lewis

Business Bank of Texas

D. J. Lewis is First Sr. Vice President, Business Bank of Texas, N.A. D.J. is responsible for business development and relationship management for Business Bank of Texas, N.A. He graduated in 1993 from the University of Houston with a BBA in Accounting. While attending college he started his career in banking working at a small Savings and Loan. In 1991 that same Savings and Loan was acquired by a large national bank. Soon after the acquisition, D.J. took advantage of an opportunity to transfer to Austin where he has called home for the past 15 years. After 19 years with a large national bank D. J. was presented with another opportunity and made the decision in October 2010 to start a career with Business Bank of Texas, N.A. D. J.’s 22 years of banking experience includes 7 years in bank operations, 6 years as a Branch Manager, 6 years as a Commercial Lender, and 3 years as a SBA Lender.

At some point in every growing business, it becomes apparent that moving forward will require raising cash. Whether it’s to buy or replace equipment and other assets, hire new staff, move to a bigger facility, or any of the other elements that come into play when a company is expanding, business owners often find themselves at a crossroads.

Topics: Strategic Planning

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The Value of Procrastination

by Dave Zander

Back Nine Financial

After spending the first 25 years of his career on what he calls the “front nine” (the accumulation phase), Dave has dedicated the last 16 years to the “back nine” (the income phase). He ran both Aetna’s and Lincoln National’s income divisions before starting Back Nine Financial in 2005. Back Nine is strictly an educational, consulting and speaking firm. He primarily works with CPAs, corporations and individuals to help them understand and maximize Social Security benefits. Dave has conducted Social Security Workshop across the country for a variety of audiences, including the Texas CPA Tax Institute and the CPA societies in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin for each of the last 3 years. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 66 every day for the next 17 years, Dave feels it is incumbent upon financial advisors, CPAs, HR departments and other professionals to make sure their clients, employees and the American public best understand not only how to take Social Security, but to also understand and integrate that claiming decision with their other assets.
 Dave is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater with a BBA, majoring in marketing with a minor in accounting. He left EF Hutton and gave up Wisconsin winters in 1983, moving to Houston where he met Diane. They been married 30 years and have been blessed with 2 children, Macy and Miles, who have now graduated from college and are on their own. Dave & Diane live outside of Boerne, TX.
 
When it comes to claiming Social Security benefits, procrastination can be a good thing. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 eliminated two of the main Social Security claiming strategies . The first one, File and Suspend, was eliminated in its entirety on April 29th of last year.
 
The second strategy, the Restricted Claiming Provision, was eliminated for individuals born after January 1, 1954 . Using this strategy, Spouse A would file for benefits anytime after age 62, (assuming they were no longer working) . Spouse B would claim spousal benefits when they turned 66. Spouse B would defer their own benefits and earn delayed credits (8% per year for 4 years) until age 70.

Topics: Strategic Planning

Employees and Individual Heroics

by John F. Dini

John F. Dini is a consultant and coach to hundreds of business owners, CEOs and Presidents of companies with over 11,000 hours of delivering face-to-face, personal advice to entrepreneurs. He is the author of three business books including Beating the Boomer Bust and 11 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Selling Your Business, now in its second edition. He is a serial entrepreneur, but prefers the term “chronically unemployable.” John holds a BS in accounting from Rutgers University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University, and has six additional certifications in exit planning, business brokerage, behavioral analysis, medical practice management, facilitation and coaching. John writes numerous articles on small business topics for newspapers, magazines, and in his own blog at www.awakeat2oclock.com. He speaks frequently to business groups and national associations, and is a 15-year member of Jim Blasingame’s “Braintrust,” appearing regularly on “The Small Business Advocate,” a nationally syndicated radio program, as an expert in the issues of business ownership. His latest book, Hunting in a Farmer’s World: Celebrating the Mind of an Entrepreneur, has won recognition including “Best Business Book” at the New York Book Festival and the National Silver Medal for business books from the Independent Publishers’ Association.

Great employees are a wonderful asset, but their individual heroics may not be healthy for your company.

Sooner or later you will move on from your business. When you begin planning for your transition, what will your company systems sound like when described to a critical buyer?

Topics: Business Operations, Strategic Planning

Using legacy pricing to retain your best customers

by Jan Triplett

Business Success Center

Jan Triplett, Ph.D. is the CEO of the Business Success Center (BSC), a City of Austin certified green business. It provides sales and financial strategies and advice to owners of product and service businesses. It received a Small Business Administration (SBA) five-star national award and the Austin Business Journal named it a top 20 management consulting firms. Triplett is a national and international speaker, author of A Networker’s Guide to Success and Thinking Big, Staying Small. She published The Networker ” and moderated KUT radio’s “The Next 200 Years”. She was co-creator of the award-winning “City Management Academy” and the “Owners MBA. She owned and ran the Entrepreneurs’ Association and a business accelerator and hatchery. She is a small business activist, serving as a White House Conference on Small Business and Congressional Summit delegate. She was on the Mayor’s Task Force on International Infrastructure, initiated the Northcross IBIZ District and recommended portions of Austin’s Big Box Ordinance. She was a founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas and the Greater Austin International Coalition. The SBA honored her as Texas’ Small Business Advocate. Triplett is a member of Central Texas Association of Guaranteed Government Lenders and an NCRC Certified Technical Advisor. She volunteers for the Austin Farmers Market and the Austin Humane Society and serves on the advisory board of Students Involved in Free Enterprise.

Most pricing strategies can be categorized as cost-plus or value-based. Both are good but incomplete. In my experience, those who set the prices don’t know, forget, or leave out costs that they shouldn’t. Sometimes it is the cost of the salary of the principals. Sometimes it’s all the costs involved in being able to provide this product or service.

Value-based pricing incorporates the costs and the value this product or service provides the customer. If all the true total costs are accounted for, then determining what the customer gets out of it should be relatively simple. Market research, competitive analysis, and usability testing gives you a place to start.

However, while value-based pricing can help you get the right customers, it doesn’t focus on helping you keep those customers, or on encouraging them to “recruit” others like them. A Legacy Pricing™ strategy can accomplish both. It not only focuses on the present of your company, but lays out a path to a bright future for your business.

Topics: Strategic Planning

Who Will Buy Your Business?

by John F. Dini

John F. Dini is a consultant and coach to hundreds of business owners, CEOs and Presidents of companies with over 11,000 hours of delivering face-to-face, personal advice to entrepreneurs. He is the author of three business books including Beating the Boomer Bust and 11 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Selling Your Business, now in its second edition. He is a serial entrepreneur, but prefers the term “chronically unemployable.” John holds a BS in accounting from Rutgers University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University, and has six additional certifications in exit planning, business brokerage, behavioral analysis, medical practice management, facilitation and coaching. John writes numerous articles on small business topics for newspapers, magazines, and in his own blog at www.awakeat2oclock.com. He speaks frequently to business groups and national associations, and is a 15-year member of Jim Blasingame’s “Braintrust,” appearing regularly on “The Small Business Advocate,” a nationally syndicated radio program, as an expert in the issues of business ownership. His latest book, Hunting in a Farmer’s World: Celebrating the Mind of an Entrepreneur, has won recognition including “Best Business Book” at the New York Book Festival and the National Silver Medal for business books from the Independent Publishers’ Association.

 

Last month we discussed understanding the realistic value of your business. The current state of the financial markets is a big factor, but beauty is also in the eye of the beholder. Different buyers value acquisitions in different ways. Knowing the type of buyer that your company will attract is an important element in estimating its value.

There are three major classes of buyers: entrepreneurs, professional (or financial) buyers, and strategic acquirers. Each class seeks different opportunities, and pays based on different metrics.

Topics: Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning Best Practices

by Selene Crosby

Six Sigma Expert

Ms. Crosby has 20 years of experience developing, implementing and improving successful business processes and projects in both technical and non-technical environments. Her areas of expertise include process improvement methodologies, process mapping, business process automation, analysis, project management, audit and internal controls processes, technical writing and training design. She is a Certified Analytics Professional (CAP), holds a Six Sigma black belt, Lean Bronze certification and an Innovation Engineering black belt. Ms. Crosby has been the Program Manager for Analytics Transformation at Andeavor Corporation (formerly Tesoro), worked in the Process Engineering Section at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) as part of the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) program, assisting small to mid-sized manufacturers in becoming competitive in an increasingly global economy by becoming aware of and implementing process improvement and business strategies. Ms. Crosby held a variety of roles at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati OH from September 1998 to June 2012 and attained internal P&G certifications including Continuous Improvement, Business Process Transformation and High Impact Training. .

I attended the Innovation Engineering college several years ago. My instructor introduced one topic by saying it was a secret sauce, an amazing accelerator, easy to do, and free!  Then he added, “But I know you’re not going to do it.”

Topics: Strategic Planning

3 Important Secrets to Becoming the Intelligent Investor

by Dave Sather

Sather Financial Group

Dave Sather is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and President of the Sather Financial Group, Inc. Sather Financial Group is a $400 million “fee-only” wealth management firm based in Victoria. Sather Financial is ranked as one of the top independent wealth management firms in the country according to Financial Advisor Magazine. Dave was raised in El Paso, received his B.A. in Business Management from Texas Lutheran University and received his M.B.A. from Texas A&M University. He has spent the past twenty years in the financial analysis, investment and banking industries. Dave is an adjunct professor in the business program at Texas Lutheran University. Additionally, Dave is a director of Business Bank of Texas as well as the Chairman of the Finance and Investments Committee for the Brownson Children’s Home and is a member of the Executive Advisory Council at Texas Lutheran University. He resides in Victoria, Texas.

With the financial markets dropping more than 10% between July and August, it seemed appropriate to have Wally Weitz, who embodies calmness and discipline, lecture my Texas Lutheran University students.

Topics: Strategic Planning, Accounting & Finance, Investing

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