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The Second Stage: Our Top Radio Episodes of 2016

Small Business Investing: 2016 Year in Review

As small business investors, we’re extremely passionate about inspiring entrepreneurs on their way to creating strong foundations for long-term success. It’s not only become our professional mission in our dealings with clients, but also served as a personal undertaking for each member of our team, whose backgrounds and skillsets perfectly align with our core values and best practices.

Now with 2016 winding down, we feel it’s a great time for small business owners to reflect on their successes in the past year, and then begin developing new strategies that build on these achievements in the year to come. In keeping with the spirit of our mission and purpose, we’d like to share the 5 most popular episodes of our radio show, The Second Stage, in 2016.

Over the past year, our radio show had the opportunity to speak with a wide range of incredibly talented guests, all of whom offered their time, talents and perspectives to help entrepreneurs create the ideal environment for a thriving business. We hope these takeaways will guide you on your journey as you plan, grow and prepare for an eventual—and prosperous—exit from your business.

1. The Impact of Sustained Growth on Business and the Economy

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Gary Kunkle, the founder of Outlier LLC and a Research Fellow at the Business Dynamics Research Consortium, who lays out the profound impact established small businesses have on local, regional and the national economy. But how does this impact take place? Per Dr. Kunkle, a key measurement that’s often overlooked is sustained growth. Listen in as Dr. Kunkle describes what sustained growth looks like, and how to make it happen in your small business.

2. Value Creation: Employee Management Matters

Speaking with the CEO of Strategic Value Advisors, Sean Hutchinson, we explore the reasons behind the 70-80% of businesses that are never approached by small business investors. In doing so, Mr. Hutchinson offers several ways small business owners can create a company that shows great value to investors, which ultimately generates more wealth for its owners when they’re preparing for an exit. Dialing in on employee engagement specifically, we look at how this area matters particularly in small businesses, and how to get started on the process.

3. Mind the Gap: Entrepreneurs Are Wired to Avoid Exit Planning

Because entrepreneurs often struggle with creating a profitable exit plan while they’re working on their business, we invited Allie Harding, a Partner at Orange Kiwi, to our discussion on the psychology behind exit planning. During our conversation, Ms. Harding detailed why so many entrepreneurs (78%) are typically unhappy with their exit strategies within one year after leaving their companies, and how to improve these odds while creating an entrepreneurial legacy.

4. Invest in Customer Experience: Profits Will Follow

With the advent of social media and the Internet, companies are faced with an increasingly customer-centric environment where one bad transaction can send sales spiraling. To help entrepreneurs turn their attention to a more service-focused experience and attitude, we held a discussion with Tema Frank, the Founder of Frank Reactions podcast, and author of a handful of books, including PeopleShock: The Path to Profits When Customers Rule. Listen in as her decades of experience in marketing strategy and customer experience improvement help inform you on the ins and outs of crafting an incomparable customer service-oriented culture.

5. From Entrepreneur to Investor

Entrepreneurs who make the leap from one business to another isn’t unusual. However, becoming a small business investor, instead of a leader, is sometimes difficult for former business owners to digest. As part of our ongoing effort to provide entrepreneurs with our connections and expertise, we brought in Joan Crain, a Global Family Wealth Strategist at BNY Mellon Wealth Management to discuss how this transition can be made possible.

Everyone at Evolution Capital would like to thank our guests and our listeners for making 2016 our most successful year yet!

Posted by: Brendan Anderson A co-founder and managing partner at Evolution, Brendan has spent the past 20 years as an investor and manager of businesses ranging from manufacturing to financial services. @Brendan_Andersn

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