Creating a formal succession plan is one of the smartest moves a small business owner can make to ensure their future. It not only enables them to protect their interests should they become incapacitated, but it also ensures that they can live comfortably once the time comes to retire. So how do you decide what ultimately becomes of your business? In this episode, Gene Marks and Pete Pabich, a partner at Entrust Wealth Partners, advise small business owners on how to develop a succession plan that best serves their needs.
Podcast Key Highlights
- What Do Small Business Owners Need to Consider During Succession Planning?
- Cash flow
- Estate planning
- Insurance and protection planning
- Investment retirement planning
- Tax planning
- Why Should I Get an Early Start on Succession Planning?
- Creating a succession plan early on allows you to expand your options once you retire.
- Early succession planning also ensures the protection of you and your loved ones in the event that you suddenly perish or you are unexpectedly incapacitated.
- What Do Small Business Owners Need to Know About Buy-Sell
- A buy-sell agreement is a legal document that outlines what will happen within your business in the event that you or one of your partners is no longer able to serve as a co-owner.
- A buy-sell agreement serves as the first line of defense in what happens to your ownership in the business. It also ensures that your wishes are carried out as planned.
- Because our lives are constantly changing, it’s important for business owners to reevaluate these agreements every couple of years to see whether any conditions need to be changed or updated.
- Be sure to seek the professional advice of either a financial planner or an attorney when you’re drafting up your agreement.
- Why Should I Consider Selling My Business as a Succession
- The majority of small business owners are choosing to sell their businesses once they retire due to lower capital gains tax rates.
- The increasing demand for additional income streams means that business owners are more likely to get better offers in our current market.
- Despite the explosion of start-ups, many aspiring entrepreneurs feel safer investing in a business that already exists.
- How Should Business Owners Plan for Their Future?
- First, consider how you envision your retirement and whether you still want some partial involvement in your business or whether you completely want to hand over the reins to someone else.
- Once you’ve figured out how you’re spending your retirement, you need to figure out which exit strategy will best support your lifestyle financially.
- Lastly, take the time to consider what will give you emotional fulfillment once you retired; don’t neglect this important point, otherwise all your hard work will be for nothing.
- What are the Five Most Common Succession Plan Options for Small
- Giving your business away
- Selling your business to a third party
- Recapitalizing and restructuring the stock before doing a partial sale
- ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan)
- (MBO) Management Buy Out
- What Type of Professionals Should I Consult When Developing
a Succession Plan?
- Financial Advisor
The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are for informational purposes only, and solely those of the podcast participants, contributors, and guests, and do not constitute an endorsement by or necessarily represent the views of The Hartford or its affiliates.
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Gene: Welcome to the Small Biz Ahead podcast. We interview great experts that offer advice and tips to help you run your business better. Hey everybody, it’s Gene Marks, and welcome back to another episode of the Hartford Small Biz Ahead Podcast, very happy that you are joining us today. I am honored and happy to have Peter or Pete Pabich. Pete is a partner at Entrust Wealth Partners. Pete, first of all, thank you so much for joining. Where are you guys located, by the way?
Pete: We’re out of West Hartford, thank you for having me.
Gene: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you can thank Alyssa, our producer. She’s the one that had you on, Alyssa and Caitlin is also here. Pete is pretty much of a better looking version of me. Would you agree? We got the bald head, I got the blue shirt.
Pete: For what it’s worth, I’ll agree.
Gene: Yeah. I had a feeling that… Well, listen, we’re all in agreement here. We’ve stepped it up a little bit, but we’ll get off that topic. Let’s talk a little bit about you guys and what you do. You are a wealth management, a wealth advisor, financial advisor to clients. Tell us a little bit about Entrust.
Pete: Yeah. Entrust Wealth Partners, our partnership goes back about 20 years. Keith Wetjen, who’s my friend and business partner, who has a law background, I’m a finance guy, about 20 years ago, put our heads together and saw in the financial services, certainly in business succession planning, a lot of overselling and under servicing of clients. And so at that point, we wanted to take advantage of that. And so our partnership goes back that long. And since then, we’ve been providing comprehensive and holistic advice to the closely held business owner, family business owner, executive retiree, and thank goodness we’ve built a thriving firm.
Gene: That’s great. And is it just succession planning or is it overall financial or business consulting?
Pete: Yeah, good question. When I say comprehensive, it’s soup to nuts. In some instances, it’s a lot of cash flow planning. In fact, almost every plan has to have cash flow planning because you’ve got to understand how this thing’s going to work when you walk away from your business. It’s cash flow, it’s comprehensive estate planning, insurance and protection planning, certainly investment retirement planning. And of course, as income tax laws become more and more complex, a lot of our work is tax planning as well.
Gene: Yeah. Don’t you feel like you’ve been doing this for a while now? People, when they hear succession planning or exit planning, you immediately think like, “Oh, okay, that’s just going to be of interest to older people that are running businesses that want to sell out.”
Gene: I’m a CPA as well, and my clients have… We have a lot of different clients of different demographics and ages and I’m like, “Man, if you’re running a business and you’re 30 years old, you should be thinking of succession planning”
Gene: Do you see the same thing?
Pete: Yeah, without question. You can’t start too early thinking about it. If you’re 30 years old and you’re starting to grow a business, you can’t start too early. It’s a function of, “How do you want things to look when you walk away?”
Pete: And for some people, Gene, that’s, “I want to walk away with a big paycheck and I don’t care.”
Pete: And that’s okay, that’s okay. But for many other people it’s, “Well, I might have a child in the business in the future.”
Pete: If you’re 30, you’re not necessarily, unless it’s a very bright child, but you might have a child in my business. Or, “I want to build a management team, I want a legacy.”
Pete: And so you really can’t start having the conversations too early because the worst thing you can do is wait, because you wait and you limit your options.
Gene: I just want to get your thoughts on a few different things when it comes to succession planning. The first is buy-sell agreements. I see more than I care to admit, clients that do not have buy-sell agreements. And I’m sure you probably stumble on that as well when you meet people. Give me your thoughts on buy-sell agreements. First of all, tell us what they are and tell us a little bit about why you think they’re important just on the overall for planning, succession planning for your business.
Pete: They’re critical, and you’re right, we come across people without buy-sell agreements all the time, or buy-sell agreements that are so outdated they might as well not have been drafted to begin with. In its simplest form, a buy-sell agreement is if something happens that you don’t want to happen, in most cases, not in every case, but in most cases something happens that you don’t want to happen, a death, a disability, it’s the first line of defense in what happens to your ownership in the business. And even from the most complex business structures to the simplest, it’s got to be one of the first building blocks with an operating agreement that a business owner has to address.
Pete: And so for the consumers of this podcast, if you’re a business owner and you don’t have something in place that at least fleshes out how you want things to flow if you die or disabled, etc., you ought to have a simple buy-sell agreement. You shouldn’t be intimidated by it either. It doesn’t have to be war and peace with a document this big. It can be very simple, but you want that to be there. And you mentioned the 30 year business owner, the younger business owner, do you want to have funding from an insurance standpoint to make sure that your family’s protected from a value standpoint? Of course, but even before you worry about that, putting something in place is critical just to make sure that your wishes are fulfilled when you’re not here to make those decisions or you can’t physically make those decisions because something bad has happened.
Gene: And it’s super important if you have partners. It’s one thing if it’s just yourself, it does lay out instructions for people if something were to happen to you. But man, you must see the same thing. Family owned businesses, I have clients that have multiple partners, brothers and sisters, somebody gets divorced, somebody gets arrested, people die. There’s all sorts of things. And then they have an impact on the business. And I don’t know if you see the same thing.
Pete: Yeah, without question. Listen, people work so hard to grow value in these businesses. And they all look a little different and they all smell a little different. Some people have family members in the business, there’s people out of the business, but money does some funny things. And you can be the most successful business owner and run a thriving business… And again, in the scenario that you talked about, if you’ve got multiple family members, death, divorce, etc., if you don’t have things tidied up, things can get pretty ugly pretty quick. That’s where we started talking… When we talked about earlier, you can’t start too early. These conversations ought to be happening now if you’re a business owner, regardless of whether you’re starting a business and you’re just getting your feet on the ground, or whether you have a thriving business and testing the documents to make sure they work the way you want them.
Gene: I’ll give you a specific example and then we’ll get off buy-sell, but I had to bring it up because just within the past year, I had a client, it was four brothers, they each owned an equal part of the business. And one of the lessons I learned from them is that socialism doesn’t work because with all the equal value… Because of course, you had three that were pulling their weight and one guy that wasn’t doing anything at all. And the other three brothers were… It was a problem. Thanksgiving dinners were not pleasant. And they had a buy-sell agreement. And they said, “We need to do something about this.”
Gene: They pull out the buy-sell agreement, and it laid out stipulations if the existing partners wanted to buy out one of their other partners, what were the grounds for doing that? How did it work? The buy-sell agreement said you need an appraisal, insurance had to be in place. These are the tax consequences. It just laid out a playbook. They luckily had one… Well, not luckily, but they had one that they put together about 10 years ago, and it really helped them navigate the buy out of this one partner. That’s a perfect example.
Pete: Yeah. it’s always important for a business owner to test what’s in place too every couple of years. And if not on your own with your advisor to say, “Does this thing still work the way I want it to?”
Because in your 25% scenario, boy, that’s awfully tricky. Listen, I mentioned Keith Wetjen is my business partner, and over 20 years we find always a way to work through for a better end, any business issue that we have to solve. But if we were at loggerheads and we were exactly 50/50, does that become an issue? Yeah, it might become an issue. That family planning in the family business is critical, and it’s critical not only that you do the agreements and execute the agreements, but it’s also critical that you pay attention to them once they’re there every couple of years, to make sure they still work.
Gene: Yeah. Well, people have kids or their personal situations change or their health changes. All right. The takeaway guys, if you’re listening to this or you’re watching this, because we are talking about succession planning and if you’re running a business, particularly if you have partners, particularly if you’re in a family business, you have to have a buy-sell agreement. And Pete and I have been talking generally about it but my advice is you want to talk to a financial advisor, somebody like Pete or an attorney or your accountant, and go down the road of putting together an agreement. It is a playbook for if anything happens to hit the fan in the future, you at least have got like I said, a playbook to follow. That’s really, really helpful.
Gene: Let me shift a little bit, Pete. People have heard me say on this podcast before that the small business administration has data that shows that more than half small business owners in this country are over the age of 50, the average age is 55. There’s this transition of wealth that is… It’s a growing wave that’s beginning to happen and will happen even more. Are you seeing that among your clients? Are you seeing more activity of business owners selling their businesses or having an interest in selling their businesses, particularly after Covid, where a lot of my clients basically want to like, “I’m out of here.”
Gene: What are you seeing?
Pete: Yeah, for sure. The last 10 years has been absolutely ridiculous as it relates to businesses changing hands. And there’s a couple different reasons. Covid did a lot of things to a lot of people, and it did to some extent, and that’s a few years back, yes, but to some extent, if you were tired, dog tired of running your business and then Covid came on and you had to do everything you needed to do to keep that business alive, man, are you tired now? That’s one thing that we’ve seen in the last couple years. But in the last 10 plus years, the business acquisition cycle has been borderline historic. You’ve had extremely cheap interest rates up until the last year, and it’s funny how that changed pretty quick, very cheap interest rates. And you have money chasing cash flows in historic fashion. We even have family business owners who have said, “This is a legacy play for us, and we want it to be with us for a long period of time.”
Pete: And that’s very important. It’s not always about money. Money’s important, why? Because you have to live your life and you want to support your family. But we have those business owners who have been legacy business owners, who have gotten offers, multiples at numbers they never dreamed of, and it changes their philosophy a little bit. The activity has been remarkable. A few headwinds now with interest rates, let’s face it. And when money’s cheap, things are a little bit freer and easier. Money’s not cheap anymore. And with prime rate where it is, it’s real money when you have to service some debt to do this type of stuff. But without question, the last 10 years in our client basis, no exception, we’ve seen a whole lot of activity on the business sale side of things.
Gene: Yeah, I still expect… I’m optimistic that interest rates will plateau this year. I know the Federal Reserve is getting a lot of pressure to reign them back a bit once they finally get inflation under control. And I do think that will happen. I do think we’ll see a resumption of that activity. Cap gains rates, if you sell your business, you’re going to have a capital gains tax. And those rates right now, are still historically low. That’s a good incentive for people to sell. And then the stock market always spooks people because it’s so volatile that they’re like, “Hey man, I’d rather buy a business rather than putting money in just the markets where I have no control.”
Pete: Yeah, I agree. No, you’re absolutely right.
Gene: And then what about startups? I don’t know if you talked to any younger business owners or entrepreneurs or people that want to get into their own business. You know there’s been this explosion in startups over Covid. A lot of them were people working from home, they set up a side gig on Etsy or eBay or whatever. But there’s a fair number of people that are either starting businesses or are interested in starting businesses. I feel like, “Dude, unless you’re coming up with a new Uber… “
To me, it makes almost more sense to buy an existing company than start something from scratch. And I’m wondering if you’ve got thoughts on that.
Pete: Yeah, I think that’s an interesting take. I happen to think both ways can be very effective. I think it depends on the type of person you are. There are some people who are so… Maybe driven is not the right word but I’ll use it anyway, that they want to start their own shop, do it exactly the way they’ve done, etc., and start it from ground zero, which makes sense. And that’s where we talk to startups about… Again, things like buy-sells and that type of thing, basic documents, basic things. If you’re in that space, you still want to be thinking a little bit about exit planning, as crazy as that sounds, because you’re just starting it. What are you exiting? But just the basics of protection documents. But to the other business owner who wants to buy into a process and/or a client base or that type of thing, that’s a wonderful opportunity too. We see quite a bit of that too. In our business alone, there’s a few different ways to do it. Keith and I started from zero almost 20 years ago, and it was, “All right, go get it. Go find a client.”
Pete: And that’s what we chose to do. But along the way, we acquired a senior partner’s business. And by the way, senior partner and a wonderful mentor’s business. And so we did some hybrid of that. We started our own operation while we acquired as well. And of course, our industry isn’t unique there too. That’s what we’re seeing all the time. I think both can work, I think it depends on what really motivates you to start the business to begin with.
Gene: I’m curious, if you had to do it again, would you have purchased an existing wealth management or financial firm, or would you have started it from scratch like you did?
Pete: Yeah, great question. I think we’d do it exactly the way we did it. And I’m not saying that we’ve always made the right decisions because Lord knows we haven’t. And certainly in our industry, again, I’m not sharing specifics about our industry because it’s similar to other industries. Everybody gobbles everybody up in everybody’s business world, if you have something of some value, somebody wants to buy your cash flow. It doesn’t make it, you make widgets, you’re in financial services, it doesn’t make a difference. But if I look back on our journey, yeah, a little bit unique. My experience is I didn’t have… I was married without kids when this whole thing started, or not even married actually. Your personal situations matter. If I had a mortgage… Well, I did have a mortgage, excuse me. But if I had kids, which are we all know, far more expensive than a mortgage, we won’t get into that. But I might have made a different decision then if I was in a different situation.
Pete: You got to look at your own… As a business owner, look at your own situation. What makes most sense? If I had to do it today, I’d have no choice but to buy a book of business because I can’t start from zero, my kids would kick me out of the house. It matters what situation you’re in in your life, whether it’s by an existing operation or start it from scratch, so to speak.
Gene: Okay, let’s turn to people that own businesses right now, let’s speak to those that are at… You talked earlier about even when you’re starting up a business, you should be thinking about your exit. And by the way, that’s such great advice because any venture capitalist will tell you… If a venture capitalist is investing in a tech startup, they’re already talking about the exit. They’re like, “Well, we’re going to put this money in because we want five years, we want private equity come in or an IPO or whatever. It is completely normal when you’re starting up a business to have your exit in mind. That’s what people do. But let’s assume we’re older now, we’re running an existing business, and I’m saying to you, you’re like, “Okay Peter, I’m running this company. I do want to start thinking about exiting out of here.”
Gene: And hopefully, a client comes to you and says, I don’t need this to happen tomorrow. This would be something that I’d like to plan for over the next few years. What would you tell them? What advice would you give them?
Pete: And part of that is business, how to plan out, I’ll explain. And part of it is a little more touchy feely in the world of, “What are you going to do when you exit the business? How are you going to find value in your life when you’re gone?”
Pete: When you start with that end in mind, so to speak, whether it’s sell out to the highest bidder and play golf six days a week, or whether it’s what we’re building at Entrust, which is trying to build… We’ve built a brand and trying to keep that brand around for a long period of time for future advisors, etc. When you start with how it might look like when you’re out, it helps flesh out your options because you’ve got a whole… We talk about five options to exit business. There’s more than that but for most business owners, there’s five ways out. And all business owners ought to know what their options are. But when you start the conversation, start it at the end, “What do you think it might look like?”
Pete: It’s amazing, Gene, how different those answers can be. Some people want to cash out and sit on a beach, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But other people are going to say, “Well, wait a minute. If I build something, and that’s a value of the people that I’ve worked with for 20, 30, 40 years, I can’t walk away from that without having a really strong management team in place.”
Pete:… that internal succession approach. The first conversation is, what do you think it might look like when you leave? And sometimes people have a clear idea and sometimes they need some help. And that’s where we talk through it with clients to say, “Here are the important things. What do you think?”
Gene: That’s such great advice because so many of us, we put our whole life into our business, it’s a real important thing. A lot of people have to be busy. They can’t even picture the fact, or they don’t even get their arms around the fact that once they sell their business, it’s done. What are you going to do with yourself? Some people, they just, “Hey man, I want to cash out for the biggest price. I don’t really care what happens to it afterwards.”
Gene: Fine. And other people are like, “No, no, no. I want my employees to still have jobs. I want my brand to be there. I want to be able to drive by my business in my hometown and still see it there with my name on it still, even 10 years after.”
Gene: All that drives the decision, your route that you take to sell.
Pete: It sure does. And I use myself as an example. If I have a 10 year plan to start exiting, which I don’t today but in theory, if I have a 10 year plan, what do I want it to look like? Well, part of it is we’re in a business. Not every business is like this, but we’re in a business that lends itself… And different people in different businesses, to transition out can mean a few days a week, and that would be fun in my later years, etc., but everybody’s got to ask themselves the same question, “Do you care if you’re kicked to the curb when you sell the business or not?”
Pete: And we’re working with a business owner right now about the same conversation is, “Okay, you’ve listed your business for sale. This is a sale to a third party.”
Pete:… I said, of the five ways out, a sale to a third party, “You’ve listed it for sale.”
Pete: We’ve developed a plan that says, “Here’s how much money you need to walk away net of tax.”
Pete: And taxes are a big deal. But, “Oh, by the way, so what are you going to do the day they don’t need you?”
Pete: And I know this for a fact, people struggle with that conversation. And some people don’t. But what you don’t want to do is go home and hang around the house and drive your spouse crazy so they kick you out.
Gene: And I see it all the time.
Pete: Of course you do, because you deal with business owners. That’s the deal. And it’s the hardest thing. I use myself as an example of I have younger kids, and so I don’t have time for a lot of personal hobbies now, but the reality is I need to figure out the hobby thing because I know I’ll drive my wife crazy when I step away from the business. Yes, there’s a financial side to what we do, and we enjoy working through that and showing the numbers of it, but there’s also… Our tagline at Entrust is life well balanced. You’ve got to have some balance on the other side or everything you’ve worked for as a business owner… If you get a ton of money, everything you worked for is for nothing if you don’t have somewhere to land at that point. It really is a balance.
Gene: I’ve got Alyssa here who knows you personally, and she says that… I can tell she’s chuckling away because she does confirm that you would drive your wife completely crazy if you were just hanging around out the house all day.
Pete: Yeah, she’s right. She’s right. I’ll have a side conversation with Alyssa about that. She didn’t have to share that necessarily, but she’s correct.
Gene: You could tell she’s just nodding in agreement. You mentioned the five ways to sell your business. Can you walk through it with… We don’t have that much time but just 30,000 foot overview. Go on, give us those five ways.
Pete: Yeah, real quick. That conversation with clients usually starts with, “You’re going to exit your business, do you want to be in charge of how you exit or not?”
Pete: And for the most part, there’s more, but for the most part, there’s five ways out. You can give the business away. You can have accumulated enough money during your lifetime that you’re financially independent of the business. By the way, that’s a great plan. It gives you a lot of flexibility, accumulation aside from the business. Sometimes that’s hard to get through to the business owner. But you can give it away. You have kids in the business, etc. You can use the availability of gifting during your lifetime. You can sell it to a third party, send it out, list it out for sale and sell it to the highest bidder. Third way is you can recapitalize the stock, restructure the stock, and do a partial sale. It’s not uncommon. In fact, when you talk about transactions over the last couple years, 10 years, a lot of them are, “I’ll sell most of my business but I’m going to keep a piece and I’m going to stay on.”
Pete: And the idea here is the second bite of the apple when they sell whatever your minority piece is, in some cases is big as the first. There could be some advantages there. Fourth is an ESOP, an employee stock ownership plan. ESOPs have been a huge part of the business exit world for the last 10, 15 years especially. And there are huge tax advantages of doing that. It’s not for everybody but they can be very flexible and very tax friendly. And lastly, as a management buy out, what we call an MBO. An MBO is just, “Hey, listen, I’ve got a management team, so maybe it’s one of my kids or two of my kids, maybe not, but when I want out, they’ll buy in and we’ll find some way to structure that deal.”
Pete: There’s actually a few more technically ways that you can get out of your business. One is die without a plan. That’s not really the one we like to talk about, but people do that. But the reality is… That’s the summary of the five ways out. And for business owners, you ought to know your options, you ought to understand the options. And at least if one doesn’t feel like today it’s a great fit for you, you got to at least understand how it works.
Gene: All right Pete, we’re almost out of time here. And we have to have you back because what I’d really like to do is of those five options, each one of them are their own conversation, and there are some technical things I’d love to talk with you about. Do we sell assets? Do we sell it based on income? How do we value a business? What type of documentation and contracts and things should we be expecting to provide? And how does the whole process work? We don’t have time to deal with that today but I do want to ask you, for our audience that’s listening to this or watching this and they’re like, “Okay, this might be something I want to do. I do want to at the very least, make sure I have a good buy-sell agreement but I am looking potentially to exit my business.”
Gene: I know some of my best clients have… One of their very first steps to put together a team of people. And I know that somebody like yourself would be part of that team. Can you talk to me a little bit? If you were a business owner and you were going to put together your dream team of advisors to help you map out that plan, advise you not only for afterwards but also throughout the process, who would you include on that team? What types of professionals?
Pete: Yeah, good question because being part of a client’s team is critical for us. We’re not a one stop shop, you can’t be. You just can’t be effective and think you’re a one stop shop. Obviously we believe a financial advisor is important, no kidding. And why? Some of this has to be about the numbers and providing sound advice. A solid attorney, especially in the business and estate planning world. There are general attorneys who hang out their shingle and do everything. And while that’s fine, and they’re very competent attorneys, we prefer to work with the specialty of business and estate planners. Why? Because it’s a specific discipline, it’s very specialized world. You can work with a firm there that… You can fill that gap by working with a firm that has multiple attorneys. But attorney’s got to be a big part of it because the attorney’s going to draft the documents. While we tend to design them, the attorney drafts the documents, buy-sell, business succession, exit planning, estate documents, etc. That’s number two, you’ll be glad to know Gene, as an accountant.
Pete: Number three, as an accountant you got to have somebody who’s going to give you some sound tax advice, because guys like us in the advisory world can work very hard to do as much tax planning as possible but we need the accountant backbone. And we need to have some level of communication there. That’s the summary of the team. I will say one important thing, and in most relationships we serve as this, the team needs a quarterback. We’re all sports freaks in our firm so it’s all about sports to some extent. When I say the team needs a quarterback, what I mean is somebody has to know all about the pieces that are moving around them and probably more importantly and why clients hire us, is to be the catalyst to make sure that all gets done. Because you can get great financial advice from a financial advisor, you can get fantastic legal advice, and you can have the best accountant in the world give you tax advice, but if there’s nobody coordinating the plan, the priority and how to move it forward, a quarterback so to speak, then it’s going to be hard to get things done. That’s what the plan consists of in most cases. There’s always exceptions if you bring in the ESOP world I’ll say, that’s a very specialized discipline. But that’s really the plan, the triangle of advisors that we tend to work in most frequently.
Gene: Pete Pabich is a partner at Entrust Wealth Partners in West Hartford, Connecticut. Pete, first of all, what is your website?
Pete: It’s entrustwp.com. We’ve got a lot of content there that speaks to at least some of the things we talked about today. And I should also say we’re pretty active on LinkedIn as well. If any of these ideas resonate, follow us. And we’re always adding content, hopefully aimed at not patting ourselves on the back and all the wonderful things we do, but value to business owners. And obviously, we can be contacted through our website and LinkedIn if anybody wants to have a side conversation. You can imagine from this conversation, hopefully you can see we have a passion for what we do. We’d certainly enjoy that.
Gene: Pete, thank you very much. I want to say also, you’re a very handsome guy. I like your style of dress as well and hairstyle.
Pete: I fixed it up, I fixed it up nice. I fixed it up nice for you. A little powder, and I thought it was looking good.
Gene: Yeah, I like it very much. And we’ll just let the audience decide who’s better looking, okay.
Pete: Gene, to be fair, I think we established that before we started. You established it, I said nothing. I just agreed.
Gene: I do admit, I do a admit. Well, for any of those latecomers, okay. They can make their own decisions independently. Hey, thank you very much. It was great speaking with you guys. You’ve been watching and listening to the Hartford Small Biz Ahead podcast. If you need any advice or tips or help in running your business, please join us at smallbizahead.com or SBA.thehartford.com. My name is Gene Marks, appreciate you watching or listening. We will see you again next time, take care. Thanks so much for joining us on this week’s episode of the Hartford Small Biz Ahead podcast. If you like what you hear, please give us a shout out on your favorite podcast platform. Your raves, reviews and your comments really help us formulate our topics and help us grow this podcast. Thank you so much. It’s been great spending time with you, we’ll see again soon.
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