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Dr. Jeremy Weisz  15:39

That was your compelling. One of my favorite talks of the event was that 60 seconds talk you gave about the expansion loan. And I immediately went back and told a bunch of people who were looking at doing that exact thing in buying something similar similar business, there was a scenario where you add someone and they bought out because some people think, well, I own 10%, I think the the person in this scenario, their partner own 90%. What are some of the things that you saw in that scenario that, you know, with the process that people should know about?

Ami Kassar  16:18

A scenario, this is actually a YPO, friend of mine, out of Philadelphia, who’s fresh out of college was at a company. And he worked there for before he bought it, I’m gonna go, say 30 or 35 years, and he became the owner, almost like a son to the owner. And over time, he had collected some equity, I think he had 10% equity in the company. And then it was time that the owner wanted to retire. And the transaction was possible. So there was an appraisal business. In this case, it included some real estate. And let’s just say for round numbers, the appraisal was $5 million. The owner share was worth four and a half million dollars. And the younger partner was able to borrow the four and a half million dollars from the SBA to take out the other 90% of the owner. In that case, because there was also some real estate involved, we were able to get a longer amortization than the 10 years for little helps with the cash flow. The most important thing I encourage people to think about when you are looking at a transaction. And this could be whether it’s for an acquisition, or even just long term debt for your business, for growth purposes is one number. That’s the most important number to stare at and look at, it’s what’s the monthly payment going to be sometimes people get caught up. And they focus exclusively on APR. So sometimes you would say, why would I ever pay 10% If I could pay 8%. And on one level, you would never want to do that. On the other level, if the 10% note amortizes out over 10 years, and the 8% note amortizes out over five years, your monthly payment is going to be dramatically different. And so strategy is about buying flexibility. You want to keep as flexible as you humanly can. And the world we’re living in is a tinderbox and is full of unexpected surprises. If you bought a business the month before COVID here, which is something nobody saw coming and well felt great. What monthly payment would you rather have? Memories are short. She’s been quoted sky forever. And businesses rarely ever go in a straight line.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  19:56

Yeah, I mean, I remember I was watching a webinar that you’re conducting And then you propose this question with these two scenarios. And you ask people to respond. And it’s funny, I don’t remember maybe it was 70% took the lower interest rate, or were like, which one would you take? Right? And people were responding. And, you know, you said the same thing. It’s like, well, you know, from a cash flow perspective, you want lower monthly payments. And also, if there’s no prepayment Pelant penalties you always just pay it down over the same amount of time. But you have a you are saying right now is that flexibility to have lower payments each month.

Ami Kassar  20:37

The people around that Jeremy’s sometimes people will call me and I go, I want to buy this building. But I’m 60 years old. And I want to be out of debt by the time I’m 70. So give me a 10 year note on the building. My answer is, I wouldn’t recommend that. Getting quantify the normal note on the building. Pay it down as fast as you can. But if suddenly, the shit hits the fan, you need the flexibility of that lower monthly payment.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  21:15

Yeah, what do you tell people in in I’m sure. It ebbs and flows, but people are getting frozen by high interest rates.

Ami Kassar  21:29

Jeremy, like Well, here’s a scenario. And I remember this. So clearly. I’d call scheduled planning call with somebody, I can’t remember if they were an EO or not. The day after Russia invaded Ukraine. And they cancelled the call. They said Russia invaded Ukraine, the world’s too risky. We’re not expanding our business anymore. I don’t agree with you. But okay. Interest rates are dramatically higher now than they were two years ago. We live through an unparalleled period of low interest rates. So some people just like the guy that canceled the call after Russia invaded Ukraine and put all their expansion plans on hold, because they can’t fathom more except the high interest rates. And the answer to that is okay, but this might just be part of the furniture for a long time, we don’t know. Anybody who can tell you where interest rates are going to be or predicting with a straight face, where interest rates are going to be by the end of 2024 is lying. We are living in unpress. There is no playbook for the economic dominoes of COVID. And so, yes, interest rates are high. Other expenses are higher. Also, Labor’s higher, raw materials are higher stuff is more expensive. Yeah, it would be great if interest rates were back to what they were two years ago. We want to see that in our lifetime. So either accept it or stop investing. But realize that you might be freezing yourself a guy called me friend of mine several months ago and he’d been eyeing acquisition for 10 years. Exact same type of business as he is. The competitor was ready to retire. Huge dreamed about this acquisition for a decade. And he was frozen with a higher interest rate. We did the month. The difference in payment was about $2,500 month which he could have for there’s a psychological thing. This ecological thing. My advice to him was buy the damn business. Think you actually ever did. My advice is trying to get frozen by the interest rates. It stinks. But lots of other stuff stinks. What are you going to do about it?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  24:53

See your part psychologist with with the business owners when you take them through this process.

Ami Kassar  24:59

What money therapists there’s no doubt about it.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  25:04

We talked about the expansion loans. There’s also one you’ve mentioned the past about one without a lien.

Ami Kassar  25:15

So, another use of SBA loans that many entrepreneurs don’t realize or think about. Jeremy, can I? Can we? Can we roll model? Can I throw a question at you? Shoot? If Uncle Joe gave you a gift $350,000. And he said to you, you have to invest it in your business, and use it for things that you’re doing. You’re not doing today in the next year? Or he’s taking it back? What would you do with the money?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  26:03

Spend it? Specifically, what I do, or I mean, yeah, I’ve taken and I, probably the things I should be doing anyway, as I imagined, which.

Ami Kassar  26:10

I’m not holding you to it, what are some of the things you would invest in that you’re not doing today?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  26:14

Um, I mean, one of the things we are looking into, but is acquisition, purchasing a business. So we use it towards something like that? Probably, you know, more paid acquisition. As far as you know, we’re, you know, doing a little bit of that, but not tons. So we put it into marketing, advertising costs, and then because of that influx, probably more staff, I imagine.

Ami Kassar  26:44

So why are you doing that today?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  26:54

I knew you’re gonna ask me that. Well, we are we’re working towards some of those things. But we haven’t gotten to that point on some of them either.

Ami Kassar  27:02

So the Uncle Joe question is an interesting question. And I like to ask it in my workshops, because it, it takes all the excuses away, oh, my God, I got this pot of money. And the only condition of it is I got to do this stuff that I’m not doing today, whatever, pretty quickly, you can come up with a shopping list. And then next question is, well, why are you doing this? And the answer is why don’t have the money? Well, actually, with a good business plan, you could get the money. Okay? So, but part of the problem with that Jeremy and our community. And we have this problem. Also, it’s not, not me preaching. It’s that entrepreneurs have a very difficult time, really understanding their business models, and the drivers in their business models, and have a very difficult time making forecasts and projections. So one of the workshops I love to teach is the Growth Lane Workshop. We don’t have a lot to help a company build a velocity matrix. And the idea behind the velocity matrix is you track how much money you spent last year, making investments in your business. So this is not money you spent because you had to it’s money you spent because you wanted to money you spent trying to grow and innovate and evolve and grow. Numb one, the number is different. Most people don’t know that number. Say your number is a quarter million dollars, I’m making it up. The next thing I asked in that workshop is okay. Well next year, if you were to triple that number, and invest 750 instead of 250. What would you do with the money and where would it take you? And then I asked you to prioritize and cut it from 750 to 505 100 to 250. Understand what the financing choices are for those things, and then make a plan going forward. Where people get stuck getting assessed is they’re not really clear at their forecasts and projections. And that’s a challenge I continue to wrestle with, about how to help entrepreneurs with that. Many people don’t know really know, the drivers, the economic drivers of their business model, you are going to spend more money in marketing and advertising? What do you have a good handle on what that for at least a thesis about what that could do for you? And what the Domino’s might be. So if you did that, or decided to risk some money, trying that, you can measure it against a hypothesis.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  30:33

I mean, you’ve helped some Shark Tank businesses, it makes me think of Shark Tank, because sometimes they will ask, well, what are you gonna do with the money? Right? And the people have to answer what’s been some things you’ve seen, in your experience, from, you see a little different side of the Shark Tank businesses, some of them come to you.

Ami Kassar  30:55

Well, so I’m paid for Shark Tank as a show. Decrease, I think I call it the Shark Tank myth. And we teach kids that the only way to build a business or the cool way to build a business is to get a famous investor behind you. And I would love to see an SBA lender on Shark Tank, or somebody who knew the loaded markets, they certainly would never let me on, they don’t like me. To to, to say, Wait a second, lend you the half a million dollars, you can keep control of your company than to take a lien on your house. So you can sell 40% of your your company to Mr. Wonderful over there. Or I’ll lend you the money. You can 10 years to pay it back. And I’m gonna take a lien on your house. What do you want to do? Not at all scenarios. Are there lending options for those companies, sometimes equity is the only option for those companies. And I think it would be good education. For the listeners to even hear that or the viewers. As I’m out here, I don’t see a viable lending option. So thanks, that alone might be for Shark Tank. We had hoped clean up a bunch of Shark Tank messes. And our experience, at least from the limited portfolio we’ve helped with is that the investors largely disappear. Not really haven’t really been there to give the support and love that they pretend to be the case with all scenarios, adapts the cases we’ve had, in one particular case, and I think this is important for people to realize one of the investors had higher than 20% stake in the company. And if you take on an investor or an angel or anybody that has a higher than 20% stake in the company, you’re not going to get a loan without them willing to be willing to personally guarantee the debt. And usually they’re not. So in that case, to save that company. The entrepreneur had to go back and convince the shark to take a haircut in their equity. So the company could get debt because he wasn’t willing to do it. Ironically, he was never allowed to talk to that chart. He could only email you but I don’t think you have nuanced long form mentoring conversations over email with one word answers.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  34:36

So yeah, that’s really interesting. So if someone has more of a 20% stake they need they actually have someone signing in personally guarantee which they’re probably not going to want to do I imagine.

Ami Kassar  34:46

They won’t do it. So you’re precluded. Once you take them in investor one investor with more than 20% of the company, you’re precluded from taking get you’re likely going to be precluded from debt unless they willing to personally guarantee or your I’ll be precluded from debt. That involves a personal guarantee.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  35:05

I mean, what some other examples you mentioned in this, this, we’re talking about shark tank here, but I’m sure it applies across the board, when they come to you, and you had to clean up some Shark Tank scenarios, what what some examples of kind of the cleanup, and what that looks like.

Ami Kassar  35:19

That’s the right word. But I think what people have to realize is that debt markets change, and companies change and needs change over time. I just had a call with a EO member who’s expecting his business to triple this year. He wasn’t profitable. He was about breakeven last year. And he expects to really triple this urine is working capital tight. Currently, he has two lines of credit. And he probably needs to move to an asset based lending facility, that will lead to him as a percentage of his inventory and a percentage of his AR, which is not just swallow, because it’s going to be more expensive than his current credit. But he probably has to suck it up and do it for at least 12 or 18 months, and move to this type of facility. Before he can go back to regular lines of credit. We shouldn’t see that two or three years ago, that scenario coming. And it’s okay. But if you’re sweating payroll, I’m about you, Jeremy. I’ve had many months of sweating payroll in my life. And when you’re sweating, payroll, and shrooms, how to concentrate on anything else. So making sure that your company has the right debt instruments so that you can flourish and concentrate on health and growth and strategy and moving forward and partnerships. Is is the right thing to do. If you don’t really want to make payroll on Wednesday. Oh, you know, concentrating.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  37:30

It is obviously, you know, I know you’ve mentioned things as far as someone’s whether it’s acquisition or hiring, and there’s definitely options out there. There was another there’s a business you help. I’m wondering, what are some of the things you did there. It was a trucking business.

Ami Kassar  37:44

David Klein, ever a trucking company out of Northern California. And high school dropout started as fixing trucks. Now he’s actually retired and his sons running the business they have about, I think a fleet of about 300 trucks. And you know what his dog’s name is? Dog says two years, right, very simple, clean, everything’s good. And in that case, he was about to enter into a big job. And cash flow is going to be very, very tight. And so we use a lot of these trucks, some of his real estate, and we amortize them out on a 25 year note. And we were able to improve his cash flow by like a million dollars a year, which really helped him push through that job. So there are sometimes financial tricks that you can do to help the business through scenarios like that.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  39:13

First of all, thanks for sharing your journey. Thanks for staying, sharing your lessons. I want to I have one last question. And before I ask it, I just wanna encourage people to check out to learn more. There’s lots of amazing resources there. You can go to their learning center, they blogs podcast, you know, that he has books. My last question is some lessons you learned from your dad and the immigrant mentality.

Ami Kassar  39:41

So I was born in South Africa. Super cool. I went back to Cape Town last year for the first time and I think 33 years and I took my wife that I went for EO’s Global Leadership Conference. And I actually get to go to synagogue there and sit in this my grandfather’s seat of style. has his name on it. Same synagogue where my parents got married, it was a super, maybe one of the most spiritual experiences I’ve read. But growing up in England, we moved to the States when I was eight and growing up in an immigrant community, with a bunch of people trying to figure out how to get their businesses up and running and off the ground and moved to the States. Clearly, there was some invaluable lessons in that. My dad who sadly passed away about four and a half years ago in colon cancer, was an ophthalmologist for a long time. And I think so many of the lessons I learned from him about how you treat patients and how you take care of them. We tend to think of ourselves as lone doctors. I’m not suggesting when you have someone’s eyesight on your knife. That’s kind of like what we do. It’s not a fair comparison. But we follow the same philosophy, the same level of care, and making sure people understand their options. Our whole philosophy and our company is treat people like we would want to be treated. And my lights turned off a couple of times. Without building my business. Easy to give advice. It’s harder to follow it.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz  41:31

Thank you so much. Thanks for sharing the stories and journey everyone check out and more episodes of the podcast and thanks, Ami And thanks, everyone. We’ll see you next time.

Ami Kassar  41:43

Thank you, Jeremy for having me.

Outro  41:44

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