Founder and CEO
Gabriel Flores 0:00
Hello everyone and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I'm here with Brian Wolf. Did I get your name right?
Byron Wolfe 0:11
Yeah. Byron Yeah. I mean you can call me Brian to I'm not gonna get too offended you know, but it happened.
Gabriel Flores 0:19
So how are we doing? Tell me how's the day going?
Byron Wolfe 0:22
Oh man, it's it's a beautiful day. We're out here in sunny Arizona. The the weather is absolutely perfect went out there a little walk with the dogs this morning. Sometimes you just gotta get away from the from the workload. So got that in love in the weather loving the loving the style out here. It's good stuff, man. So yeah, today's a great day. Great day,
Gabriel Flores 0:44
you are killing me. It is just absolutely pouring outside in Portland, Oregon. Beautiful Portland, Oregon as green as it can possibly be. But man, it is raining. So Byron, tell us about you give us a little background, family history education. Who is iron Wolf?
Byron Wolfe 1:04
Yeah, of course. So, you know, I think I was like almost everybody growing up, I didn't really want to work very hard. But I wanted to have you no money to do what I wanted to do. I learned at a very young age, that I was a extrovert, in the insane sense of the term. And I just I don't, I don't have bad conversation. So very early on, I figured I could have conversations with adult adults. Even as a kid, I started collecting, you know, money for the neighborhood kids mowing lawns, I'd keep $5 of it, they were happy I made money didn't have to work very hard. So that was kind of the start of the entrepreneurship leading up through that, you know, college didn't really know 100% What I wanted to do started another business and in college, that's why that's where I discovered that I absolutely hated partnerships. That changed later on in life. Now I love him. But you know, at the time, bad partnership, Matt, all partnerships are bad, I can tell that story. But that that kind of started that trends, went into accounting learned, learn that stuff became a CPA, decided, Hey, man, I really like working for myself. And so I kept doing small businesses, you know, kind of stumbled into owning a dealership set up a leasing company started helping other people to find success in their business, which led me into coaching and consulting, which eventually landed me in the fractional CFO space. So fractional chief financial officer. So high end advisement for companies help them to, you know, define the KPIs they need for their business, help them to to make more money, not only in the revenue, but in the profitability, clean up their cash flow, set their five year exit plan up so that when they're, if they never want to exit great, you're operating pizza proficiency. But if you do want to sell move out, retire, five year plan, you're good to go. And you're gonna get top seed at the at the end of that. So that's kind of the the advanced, fast version of the 40 year life story.
Gabriel Flores 3:05
Yeah, so let's, let's talk a little bit about the current business, the current company are doing CFO, AF. Yes, first, what is it? And what do you do?
Byron Wolfe 3:18
So we're a, we're a fractional CFO, you know, provider, we do fractional CFO, we do tax plans for high net worth individuals, and then businesses that you know, have the owners who do the business and in the individual owners of that business, we do tax credits, so r&d, the RTC lot, you know, a lot of those credits that are out there, we help you to find those, implement those into your business, scale and move forward. CFO, A F, is exactly what you think I actually sign over my shoulder. If anybody is watching, if you're just listening, you know, you know what that term means? You know?
Gabriel Flores 4:04
So CFOs, you know, you're very focused on revenue. So let's talk about revenue. Why for entrepreneurs, why's revenue so important?
Byron Wolfe 4:12
Oh, revenue is the start. It's everything. And so there's really three pieces that if we don't have these three pieces under control in your business, you're not going to find success. Like, if you do, you're a lottery winner, you just lucked into it. And those are those stories are really hard to believe and really hard to find. So to me, it's revenue, profit, cashflow. So revenue is the star, right? Like, you know, if you're out there and you're trying to find success, like you've got to put yourself out there you got to give yourself opportunities. So revenue is an opportunity revenue is the sales. It's the marketing is everything to get customers in the door, get some dollars in the door, so everything starts with revenue. So you get that revenue piece in and now you're making money right? And so then you go to the next step. It's like, hey, what what do I need to do here to make a profit? Because realistically, profit is the big benchmark, you know, if you're looking at is a company financially healthy? Well, if I can only use one indicator profit, is it like, that's what I want to look at how much money are you actually keeping how much money you actually making that you get to take home at the end of the day, right? That's, that's what's important. So that's profitability. So revenue comes in, you got to you got to watch that profitability, make sure you're making money, you're keeping money. And then if you're going to run this thing, and you're going to have some longevity, you better manage that cash flow. So I mean, it's revenue first, what matters, the bitch benchmark the scoreboard, that's profit. And then if you want to have longevity, you better manage that cash flow, because you can be making a ton of money. But if your cash flow is not right, you'll run out of money. And you can't make payroll. And it doesn't matter how much money you show is making on on paper, you know, if your bank account zero, and you can't pay your employees, you're not going to be open very long. So for me, you know, those three factors that that's everything, you know, you got to make money, you got to keep some of it, and you got to manage the flow of that cash. That's everything.
Gabriel Flores 6:12
So how do you define for an entrepreneur, you know, that might be new to this? How do you define cash flow?
Byron Wolfe 6:18
So cash flow is the money that comes in to the business and the money that goes out in the business. And it's the timing of when that occurs. And so what happens is, is a lot of these new entrepreneurs that I speak with, that I that I meet with, work with, is they're making good, good money. You know, they're like, Hey, man, we did $5 million in sales, you know, $10 million in sales? Like, that's amazing. How much did you do? How much profit did you have? Oh, I mean, I'm not really sure, you know, we had to cover this and, and I think I need to get a loan. And like, you know, it's like, Well, do you really need a loan, because if you really need a loan, it should be for expansion or to increase your operations, you should never need a loan to cover the expenses that are offset to that revenue, you know, those should be growth factors. And I see tons of these guys are like, well, I got payroll coming up, you know, and it's 40 grand, and I got 20 grand in the bank, you know, well, like, let's look at your AR like, how much? How much do people owe you counts receivable? You know, how much do people owe you, because if a bunch of people owe you money, and you're not collecting that money, that's a negative cashflow item. And if somebody owes you 40 grand, and you owe 40, grand out and payroll, I promise you, those employees aren't going to take that IOU that you write, that's backed by the 40 Grand one of your customers owes you, you know, so cash flow is managing that timing, you know, the money that comes in managing work goes managing how it flows out, you know, it's it's looking at, if if it takes my client 30 days to pay, protect my customer, 30 days to pay, do I have 30 days to pay my expenses as well. And if I don't, if I gotta pay those immediately, are my profit margins good enough, that it makes sense for me to have this money out for 30 days. And so managing that, you know, managing those loans, managing those lines of credit, so that you're maximizing the return, that's making all the difference in the world. And maybe, if you're borrowing that money, especially if you're going like an MCA, which is basically credit card, right? If you're borrowing money to cover payroll, let's say 30 40%, hard money rates, but you got a client that would pay you probably within a few days, if you gave them a 2% discount, maybe, you know, you need to go for that 2% discount, like, definitely don't need to be paying that 30 40%, you know, reach out to your customers reach out to your clients, especially if they're good, and say, hey, you know, there's a lot of money that flows back and forth, I feel like we have a great relationship. You know, because of that, I really want to benefit you and your business by offering you a 2% discount if paid within 72 hours, 1% discount if paid within seven days, you know, something like that. And so instead of saying, Hey, if you don't pay me within seven days, I gotta hit you with fees, go the other route, and offer it to them. Fraser braise it as I'm going to do you a favor because of our great relationship we have. I'm going to give you this little bit of a discount. And I'm prompt, you know, not every one of your client customers is going to want that or be happy to have it. They may just be like, Oh, that's great. I still want my 30 days. But some of them might, you know, and that's going to fix a major problem for you.
Gabriel Flores 9:29
Yeah, I agree. I agree. I see it often. In fact, my wife is the true kind of negotiator in the house where anytime we get a bill and folks listen to him. This is true with almost any industry, you get a health care bill, you get an insurance bill, call the hospital, call the clinic, call the insurance and negotiate that price. If you're willing to pay cash or sometimes that day, if you're willing to pay that day. They're willing to take it down. There's a lot of people, even small business owners You go to gas stations even to this day, and you'll see, pay cash, you get this price pay credit, you get this price, you know, so people are willing to negotiate and work with you, you just us kind of got to ask. Right?
Byron Wolfe 10:12
Yeah, yeah. And that's, you know, you can't be scared to take chances. You know, and that's one of the big things that I think we miss, when we talk about entrepreneurship is it is risky, right? You're gonna have to take risks, you're gonna have to bet on yourself. But like, there's nothing wrong with that, like, take smart risks, like you said, go in and ask, I mean, what's the worst that can happen? They say no. Okay, you know, that's fine. You know, like, you're married, you know, which is great. I'm married as well, I've got, you know, I love my wife to death. She's my best friend. We were married for a long time. She's one of the most, you know, she is the most beautiful woman on the planet to me, you know, into a lot of other people too. You know, but like, you know, we didn't get that because we went out and the first girl we saw, we said, hey, you know, could you eat? Maybe we go out and maybe you know, you know, like, you gotta have confidence, and you gotta go in. And, you know, and I don't know about you, I'll put this on myself. Like, it wasn't the first woman that I asked out. It wasn't the first woman I dated. And I got turned down a few times, you know, in that process. In fact, my wife now didn't, didn't say yes, you know, in the beginning, it took a while I had to work towards that. And so like, if you're willing to do that, for your relationships, you're willing to do that for other things in your life. Like take that into the entrepreneur space to like, take risks, ask for things, you know, you never know what people are going to be able to, say be inventive. Like you said, if you go in and you're asking for the discount, maybe find something if the client says, Hey, I don't really want a 2% discount? Well, maybe there's something that they do, you know, maybe they want a faster turnaround, does it take you 72 hours to provide your product? So maybe you say, hey, what if I got it to you in 48 hours or 24 hours? You know, would you be willing to pay in advance if we do that, you know, sometimes people will pay you upfront, you know, for future product, which is even better. And if you can get that that's going to tremendously help your cashflow. So, you know, it's it's that timing, it's everything, it's knowing what's coming in, when it's going out, you know, managing that flow, you know, but ultimately, at the end of the day, it's what you take home, what do you keep it? You know, like, that's what's that's probably the most important thing am I being
Gabriel Flores 12:23
you're talking about profitability, and, you know, talking about, you know, keeping certain things, you know, how, what are some things an entrepreneur can do to proactively break down profitability to focus on what's truly important?
Byron Wolfe 12:37
Yeah. Now, that's great, great question. So there are, you know, the basic formula is revenue, minus expenses gets to your profitability, you know, basic basic formula. Well, everything in between there from revenue down to profit is expenses, these are things that cost your business money. And so for me, the biggest thing that we do when we start talking to a client, you know, a customer is what are your KPIs? What are your key performance indicators? Now, the way to say that is, what are your rocks? Like, you know, that's, you know, EOS uses rocks. So there's a lot of different ways to say, you know, what are the metrics that directly correlate to you making more money. And so those expenses are the ones we really want to focus on. And you need to know the difference between a variable expense and a fixed expense. Variable being the things that directly change by how much revenue comes in. And then fixed expenses, this is going to be like your rent, or your mortgage, you know, things that it doesn't matter how much money you make, you got to pay it at the end of the month, anyplace, you know, like, you know, if you, if you're a homeowner, or you're a renter, and you go on vacation for 30 days, good luck telling the bank or your landlord, like, Hey, I didn't use the house for 30 days, so I'm just gonna skip rent this month, because I didn't use it, right. And that's not gonna fly, you know, that's, that's a big expense, you got to pay regardless, you're, they're not there. You know, if it was too hot, too cold, whatever you're gonna pay it. So that's the fixed expenses. So know what those are, and make sure that they relate to how you're doing within the business. There's other things that you can do that are going to be a little bit more cyclical, that are good to look at. If there's an expense that is a heavy, heavy expense for you, but your business is cyclical, like you make most of your money in the summer, and then the winter months, you don't really do a lot of business. See if you can, like lease that asset out to somebody else that can use it in the winter. See if you can find another use for that asset that will create you know, some revenue flow, turn it into a revenue center, not not a call center, or see if you can work something out if you're leasing it or renting it or whatever, work something out where you get a better rate for having it just in that term, but they have it you know, when you don't need it. So find solutions. They're the variables, you know, you got to you got to stay on top of those because those are gonna give you what they call like your gross profits. That's going to be your Total Revenue, minus those variable expenses, those expenses that are directly related to that revenue. And so you know, those, that's the the easiest, you know, indicator to move, you should, you should look at that thing like little little buttons, you can slide up and down that are going to increase or decrease your revenue. And so if you know exactly what those are, you know, the direct relation to your revenue, and ultimately to your profit, then you can adjust those up or down depending on your demand, and what you've got going on within the business. And so this is gonna be direct labor, your direct costs, you know, things of that nature, you got to pay attention to those, they're crazy important, and then know what your fixed expenses are. Because your fixed expenses, they're going to give you what is your essentially what I call the breakeven point, a lot of people use that term breakeven point. And so you know, I've got to make $100,000 this month to break even if I make $100,000, I make zero profit, but everybody's paid, everything's covered. And I can move forward with his business and wait for those good months that are significantly higher than that, that make under 100,000, then that's money that I now owe to my business that I've either got a, it's coming out of profits from earlier periods, or I've got to put money in directly myself, or I've got to find the funding or the investor to come in and handle those. But you need to know what your breakeven point is. Because that is ultimately what's going to determine those fixed expenses, and then the variable expenses that go to it. So managing the expenses is another big, big piece. And it's I get it, it's not fun, you know, it's not the fun part of the business. I really enjoy it. That's, you know, that's why I went this route. Like, you know, I've had multiple businesses started, Bill found partner, some of them still operate. Some of them we've sold, you know, in exited. But I love to finance I like to me, it's it's a blast, I enjoy it. But I get it most people don't most people aren't weird, like me, you know, and that's not the fun part of the business. Yeah, but if you don't know those things, you don't want to do those, then find somebody that does or find an outlet, they out for somebody to handle that stuff, so that you can focus on the things that you do like, but it doesn't matter. Even if you have a massive team watching that stuff, you still need to be aware, you still need to watch it, I would highly suggest at least once a week you look at your numbers. Are we in range? Are we where we need to be? You know, if you don't like hard numbers go to percentages? Hey, I know that direct labor, you know, for my product is at 30%. So if you start creeping above 30%, why are we creeping above? 30%? What's going on? Why are we above it? If you're starting to go down? That's fantastic. Hey, why is our labor down? Like? Can we do that? Can we do more of that, you know, to get our to get our profitability higher. So if you can find those little things that change the metrics change the outcome of the business, those are the ones you really want to focus on.
Gabriel Flores 18:01
You know, one of the things you talked about, you know, is like, revenue in variations of revenue Kryptos and FTEs. What are they? Why should entrepreneur care?
Byron Wolfe 18:11
Yeah, so they're coming out, I mean, they are, they're part of our life. Now. You know, it was probably four or five years ago that, you know, it was it just wasn't really a thing, you know, people used it, you know, for like, some video game stuff to buy things that they can't really purchase, you know, in the US, so they're, you know, they're on there, they're using the crypto kind of on the back end, you know, people were hiding some stuff and transparent but the crypto is everywhere now. I mean, it's, it's everywhere. And so, you know, it's going to be a form of payment that, that almost all businesses will be taking in the next few years. It's a tremendous source of funding, you know, for businesses already, and I think it's going to continue to be an even bigger play for the funding crowdfunding which is become kind of a big thing in the last decade I think most of our crowdfunding is going to go to crypto because of the ease of being able to do that and the crowdfunding platform so it's going to be huge it's an alternative to the hard money currency. It's much faster for transfer of money it's much safer you know with the way that it's held you know, the the wallets if you know what you're doing on this it's much safer it's a much better transfer it we are becoming a global economy for sure. You know, we just continue to get closer and closer to that and so you know, having everything and say US dollars or whatever, you know, whatever currency you currently use in your homeland, like that's not going to work right you know, because you got conversions, but crypto is always going to be crypto you know, and so if we know like, whatever the equivalent is, we know a Bitcoin or Aetherium, Togo whatever you know, you want to use, you know what that value is and so now we're able to transfer that stuff very quickly. You know, it doesn't take when you go wire are some money which we do it a lot with our charity, wire, you know, money to another country, you know, that can take 48 hours, sometimes, you know, a crypto, it's almost instantaneous, you know, some of them are down to like, pieces of a second for these transfers. And so I think as we go towards that that's gonna be a big piece. Nf T's are, there's a lot of utility tuzo to those, there's holder of wealth. They're, you know, they're being treated as essentially art pieces. So, you know, they hold that, you know, people want those, so they're going up in value, the big piece of NF T's that I like, is the utility piece. Because they're, they're, you know, one of a kind, you know, non fungible token means that there's no one else out there, that's exact same. And so I feel like that's gonna be a big piece of like, the security and like, the inclusion and things and I think when when we really fully adopt the NF T's, it's going to allow us to really segregate some things out so that the access is very secure. And you'll know like, right away, okay, I'm in the right room, or, you know, I'm in the right platform, or whatever that is, because of that, that essentially that that ticket that you know, that golden ticket that Willy Wonka ticket that says, hey, I'm supposed to be here, you know, I've got the golden ticket. And so I feel like those, that utility piece is going to be huge. And the space, the metaverse, you know, that's virtual land, virtual real estate, I feel like that is definitely going to be an area where we're going to have a lot more interactions, especially globally. You know, nobody, nobody wants to be in a completely zoom world prior to the pandemic, the pandemic forces into a zoom world. And like, everybody's really comfortable on that we're comfortable with this. But not everybody wants to get up, get ready, get dressed, just to sit in their home office, you know, and have a Zoom meeting, you know, with a Metaverse, like you can do like a background, you can put bunny ears, whatever you want to do on your zoom. But ultimately, it's still you you know, even with filtered still you with a Metaverse, you can be whoever you want to be in any form whatsoever, in any place that you want to be. And you can have these meetings, you can interact with people, you know, there's true real world like, you know, virtual reality space there. So you can display things you can show stuff, you do virtual tours of houses, if you're a real estate agent, you can do a true with your, you know, with the potential buyer walking through a virtual reality home that that matches up to the real home. I mean, there's just there's so much opportunity there for people to interact without having to go somewhere to interact. And so if COVID taught us anything, it's that we don't necessarily have to all go into an office, we don't necessarily have to go to everything and meet up for those things. I think human interaction is amazing. I love it. I'm I'm an extrovert, so I'm definitely not against it at all. But there are situations where we don't necessarily have to meet in person, you know, we can meet online, or we can meet in the metaverse, you know, and I can wear whatever my avatar is, and you can wear your avatar and you can be whoever you want to be, you know, and we can interact in that way. So I think it's a good thing
Gabriel Flores 23:16
to put on those damn bunny as baby. Yeah. So you know, what's interesting, you know, you're talking so much about the future, what are your professional goals? What is what is, you know, what are you looking like the five, the five year goal.
Byron Wolfe 23:31
I am a huge fan of Shark Tank. And in other things like, you know, it's like Shark Tank. Yeah, absolutely. I love the saying. So like, that is ultimately you know, every time somebody says like, what do you want to be when you grow up, you know, and that's, that's what it always comes back to is like, I don't, I don't want to be like a V, you know, like, the angel guy, just, yeah, I don't want to be a VC, I don't want to just give you money and then like, expect, you know, a certain demand a certain result. I love getting into businesses. So like, the concept of Shark Tank, where, hey, I'm gonna give you money, but I'm gonna work along beside you, I'm gonna mentor you, I'm gonna help you to implement these systems and these processes, I'm gonna be with you along the way to find your success. I'm gonna be there to celebrate your success with you. I love that concept. And I kind of do that now. Like, we currently have 18 businesses that are under our control or our management influence, whatever you want to call it. But I want to expand that even greater, I want to be able to impact more people, you know, and I, that's the like, that's the vision for me. You know, just having having the ability to like somebody says, Hey, this is what I want to do. This is the industry. I can say I believe in it. I'm going to put money and then I'm going to put you together with these people that are going to help us to catapult this thing and I'm going to be right there. Right there beside you to the whole thing. We're going to find success together. Like to me that would be the ultimate win or like the ultimate dream job or career or whatever you want to call it.
Gabriel Flores 25:05
It sounds like you want to create yourself a business business accelerator program. Oh, I do. It's exactly what you want to do. And that's it. You can do it. I think you'll do great at it. Thank you. Information, I think that you've provided right now for the listeners is a handful of nuggets that they can use today. You know, I love it.
Byron Wolfe 25:29
Yeah. Now, yeah, I love helping people. And I, nothing makes me happier than seeing somebody move from something that they do, because they got bills to pay, you know, and they got responsibility, you can move from that into something you love. I mean, that that's the ultimate win, right? Like to me, and I tell guys all time, you know, when they first start getting into this, you know, I say, hey, look, if you're looking to go from a 40 hour week to a 20 hour week, entrepreneurships, just probably not going to be the answer. You know, it may be way down the line, like when you're ready to exit, but like realistically, you're gonna go from 40 hours a week that you tolerate, the probably 60 to 100 hours a week that you absolutely love, because you're doing that thing that you love, you're building something that's like yours, your baby, you know, your dream, your goals, like, it's gonna be more work, but it's, it's night and day difference between doing something I have to do, and doing something I believe in and I love and I like, you know, I'm invested in that's a big difference.
Gabriel Flores 26:30
That's very true. And but you're, you're kind of talking about success, right? What what does success look like for you? What does what does that look like?
Byron Wolfe 26:38
Yeah, you know, I keep moving the bar. Because I'm bad about that, I'll find success, you know, in 2018, you know, I got, I don't want to say lucky, but I, you know, I worked my tail off and built one of our businesses up pretty big and, and got the got the ability to sell out. And so put a million dollars in my bank account. And so growing up that like that, just that word seemed massive, to me, just the concept of $1 million. I mean, just, it really felt like, hey, if I hit a million, I'm done. Like, I'm gonna own all the planes, you know, multiple islands, you know, I mean, obviously, that's not real. But, you know, it just seemed like such a big, you know, stepping stone, you know, or like, you know, point of achievement. And then we hit it, and it was exciting for a couple of hours. And then I'm like, wow, now I gotta put this money to work. And now I'm worried about, you know, it's not fully covered in the bank, you know, so it was cool at screenshotted it million dollars bank account, very cool. But then I immediately had to put it to work. And so I keep moving the bar, like we've, we're on target this year to do well over, you know, a million take home, you know, so that that was going to be a huge stepping stone for me, unless something really goes bad this year, you know, we'll, we'll be fine. I crushed it and q1, and that's not even a good quarter for us. And so, you know, I keep moving the bar, moving the bar, moving the bar, I think it's really going to be when I can do what we just talked about, without really worrying about, like how much money it's going to make or like, you know, if if this is going to be a truly successful venture, if I can find the things that I believe in, I want to be able to mentor build in, you know, invest in those things, and find profit, obviously, you know, business isn't the business unless it makes money, it's a charity. And I already have a charity. So as long as you know, just keep those separated. But like, I want to be able to do charity, when I want to do charity, I want to be able to help entrepreneurs, regardless of what the financial forecast looks like, if I believe in the project, like to me that success is six success of having the money, the connections, the resources, to help anybody that I believe in needs to help, you know, or that I believe, you know, deserves the help, like, not that I would make that judgment. 100% But if it's my resources and my money, then I mean, you know, selfishly Yeah, I want to be able to, I want to be the one that says, Yeah, I believe in you. Let's go, you know, and so investing in people, not necessarily businesses, I think that's the big success point for me, you know, as being able to do that.
Gabriel Flores 29:15
You know, I think they say successful people never find success because they're too busy being successful. And I think what they truly mean by that is true, successful people are, are never satisfied with their own success that they keep to your point, raising the bar further and further up. In your right, I'm not saying I'm a millionaire, folks, so hey, listeners, chill out. I am not a millionaire. But I feel like now it doesn't seem like that much money. You know, before when I was younger, I was like a millionaire. I'm gonna buy the private island. And now it just seems, one it seems obtainable. And, again, folks, I'm not trying to say like, I'm Richard and this is not trying to be all you know. or cocky or conceited or anything like that, just saying, These things are also obtainable for you, as a listener, you can, in fact do this, a million dollars is a very small chunk of money that you can in fact get to, you know, it just takes some time to get there, you know, that takes you have to market yourself, you have to brand yourself CFO AF, how do you brand it? How do you market it? How do you get clients? Who are your clients? Like, how do you what is your typical client,
Byron Wolfe 30:28
our typical client is a small business owner. So, small businesses, you know, that's 45 million in revenue on down most of our clients, our customers there, and that, you know, as low as say, maybe 2 million, 3 million annual revenue, and then go up from there, we have some that are over the, you know, the 45 by SBA standard small business, but they're, they're an industries that have lower profit margins, so they're going to be a little bit higher on the revenue scale. But really just it's businesses that can't necessarily afford the, you know, the six figure CFO that comes in and manages everything, and really shouldn't, because they're, they're not really at a point where that makes financial sense for them to pay that kind of money for that, looking to set their controls or financial forecast. Most of these guys are amazing technicians, they're amazing at what they do. They're amazing at doing the what the business does, but the how it functions needs work, you know, and we get to come in, we get to work alongside them to set those KPIs, set the metrics, clean up their accounting system, create the cash flow management that really works for their business, help them to find the funding, so that that's our ideal client. I mean, we're on, you know, Facebook, you know, Instagram, the underscore, CFO, ATF, you know, we're on all the social medias, you know, we're probably not as exciting as the TIC tock dances, but you know, we give good value, I think, me too, hopefully, yeah, it can compete with those, but, you know, we're out there, and all that stuff, we do a lot of in person networking, you know, we're talking a lot of events, you know, a lot of the Zoom online things were on those. So we're, you know, with apex, or with 10x, or with a lot of the really good networking companies, I'll be there are a couple of weeks from now. So, you know, we go to a lot of these things, we network of people, you know, in person, I'm a huge fan of giving value first. And so if you, if you ever see me somewhere, and you see me talking, I'm probably trying to give some advice, or some insight into somebody that's asked for it, like, I will give everything away, like, that's never bothered me, I'm a big fan of they give 95% away and just charged for the 5%. That's kind of the, you know, the icing on the cake. So I'm that way, like, I'll work with anybody to try to help them, you know, and we do well enough, just charging for the 5% that last little, you know, kick that we that I'm able to do that. Thankfully, I'm very blessed to be able to help out a lot of people. But that's, you know, that's what we do. Like, you know, I get in and I talk to people and we get into your business. I'm very, very blunt. So I've had people be like, Wow, that was a lot with me. And I'm like, hey, you know, I mean, didn't pay for it. So I gave you gave me both barrels. So I'm very blunt, you know, but if you ask me a question, I'm going to give you a straight answer. And I'm going to tell you exactly how it is. And I'm going to tell you like what you need to do from a financial perspective, because that's my space. That's where I'm the expert, I don't need to be an expert in your industry, I don't need to be an expert in your company. I'm an expert in the financial piece. And that's, that's the only advice I'm going to give you, I'm never going to tell you what you need to do for sales, what you need to do for marketing, I'm going to tell you, you know what you need to do on the financial piece. And then I'm going to help you to get all that stuff together so that you can be the best version of yourself.
Gabriel Flores 33:51
That's great. That's great. You know, what, you know, you kind of talked about giving advice for entrepreneurs and listeners and things of that nature. But what are some common mistakes that you've seen entrepreneurs do in the past that they should avoid?
Byron Wolfe 34:05
Partnerships. So full circle, though, when, when I was in college, I started a business took on a partner, very good friend. And I assume that that is how great partnerships are developed. Very great friends make very great partners, naturally, because we started a business it was successful business, and then our direction changed. You know, he wanted to go a certain way I wanted to go another created a lot of controversy and that partnership fell apart that friendship unfortunately fell apart. You know, we still speak but we're not the same. We went through a very tough period of time where we both felt very right and where we wanted to go and the business just fell apart. And so I know from from that and I have amazing, amazing partners now. I know that the amazing partnership starts with a well thought out and well documented partner agreement. And so if you have a good friend that you're thinking about going into partnership with do that stuff. First guy's like 99% of how the partnership works should be documented, you should have a written, you know, explanation of that expectations, all that stuff. And then the final 1%, that's where trust steps in. And you're and you can really step in, and lead with trust to like, solve those, those high level problems, that allows you to update that as you as you grow, that trust is going to come into play. So I'm not saying go into business with somebody you don't trust just because of partnership agreements, good trust needs to be there. But trust doesn't cover everything, you know. And so if you can do that, if you can have a very, very good partnership agreement in place, set the structure, set your expectations, all that stuff, then you're going to have great partnerships. I said, I've got a ton of partners 18 business we're currently in, I have a lot of partners, I love every one of them. They're all fantastic. You know, until they're not right, but, but right now, I love all of them. They're all great. I've had partnerships that have fallen apart, I've had partnerships that have gone bad, but it was outlined, we had a good partnership agreement. So when it starts to go bad, there's an expectation, here it is, we're going to enact this, you know, we're at a crossroads, I do this a lot for, for businesses, I have an amazing client, good friend, now that went through this with a business partner, different directions. But you know, I was I knew both of them. So I was able to step in, say, Hey, guys, like, let's figure it out, let's go to the partnership agreements figure it out. And they separate, and they both do something same industry, but they do it very differently. And they're both finding success in this. Whereas if they had not, that may have crashed and burned. And that joy that they had in their industry may have gone to the wayside, because of that bad taste in the mouth. So that's the number one, like, if you're gonna have partners have a good partnership agreement, you know, Trust is everything, but trust doesn't get you everywhere. So have a good partnership agreement. Manage your cash flow, guys, like, you know, I know that it's very easy to bootstrap a new business by going to friends and family, you know, and using your own money. But like cash flow is everything that's not free money. And I promise you, it's easier to get, but it hurts way more when you lose that, you know, when you lose family members money or friends money, even your own money, it hurts, like it hurts bad. And that's going to create a really bad spot for you with that family member or that friend, if you end up losing it. So manage that cash flow, manage that expectation, you know, that that may be your first investor. But if you do that, well, then they're always going to be beside you. And as you find success, you're going to find success for them. And there's nothing more uplifting than having your friends and family alongside you when you find that success. So I'd say you know, be careful with that, be careful with the money that you that you fund your business with, you know, pay attention to, to your pipeline, like your, your relationships, your circle is everything, you know, like, I don't remember the exact phrase, but essentially, they say your your net worth is your is your network, or something similar to that. And that's true. So who you know, and how they can connect you to people outside of that is everything. I'm not saying, you know, start an MLM, and like badger everybody to buy this or, you know, buy that or whatever, there's good MLMs out there, there's bad ones out there, it's good businesses out there, there's bad businesses out there, but your network is there for a reason, you know, so like, utilize your network, but do it respectfully. You know, like, there's tons of people that have like, I've got a buddy that he's an MLM, but he's very respectful, hey, you know, just want to offer some value here. This is something you feel like would be good for people that you know, I'd love that connection, love the chance to talk to them about it. Very respectful. I love that guy, no issues. I've had people pitch me other MLMs and I'm like, delete block, like, don't want to talk to you, you know, like, it's a bad situation. So you know, make sure you're being respectful to your network, but use it, you know, Hey, guys, I got a product, if you believe in it, you know, I'd love it, if you would just tell the people about it. Because if you could spend money on word of mouth, every dollar in advertising would go to it. Every single dollar, I promise you that you can. And so it's the most important area that you can market and grow your businesses with your network with word of mouth with those connections. So like, utilize those but But be respectful in that process. Because you know, they're, they're your network, they're your friends, they're your family, you know, they're your connections.
Gabriel Flores 39:26
Very, very great point. So folks, I hope you're kind of taking notes, I think two big nuggets to pull out of that. One in the partnership piece. Document, make sure you you know, cross the i's dot the T's or whatever the tail, the damn phrase is a little backwards. Nonetheless, you know, just really make sure that you accurately document the expectations of the partnership, what each individual's roles are in the partnership, the percentage of these partnerships, all that things, those things are so important, a lot of nuances and certainly check with a legal adviser to kind of help you with that. And then one of the things also the networking piece, you know, at I cannot reiterate enough the importance of networking. I tried to do it often I know, probably not often enough. But hey, you know, sometimes things happen, you got family, that's why the virtual world exists, right? This is why I'm able to be here at this moment. Now, what is how? how can listeners find you if they want to contact you if they want to get involved and want to learn more about you? websites, social sites, maybe contact information? How can we get a hold? Yeah,
Byron Wolfe 40:25
yeah, of course, they can always go to the website www.cfoaf.com. So CFO, af.com, they want to hit us on Instagram, it's D, underscore, CFO, ATF, Facebook, the same, the CFO, ATF, you know, any of those are great ways to get in touch with us reach out on the website, it's got a little link. So you can set an appointment with us for different categories, different things that we have on there. So reach out to me there, reach out to me on social happy to talk to anybody. If you've got a group you want me to talk to, I'm happy to do that as well. I'm always there to give value. That's, that's a big piece for me. We did just create a free like PDF. It's not a it's not a funnel. It truly is 100%. Free. It's just a resource that we'd love to be able to offer to your listeners. If you're okay with it. I don't want to be present. Yes, no, by all means. So again, it's not a funnel, you just go there it you'd have to put in your email. So it comes to your email, but it's a big, long PDF, it's called the what if plan. So you go to the What if plan.com. And it's right there, you can download it directly from that goes to your email, it walks you through the idea of a business to the exit plan. And so it talks about partnerships, it's talks about setting up an LLC, it talks about operating agreements, you know, partnership agreements that are very important, walks you through the steps of how you do distributions where the cash goes, so that you're setting yourself up for that five year exit plan. So it's a it's a quick resource for anybody who's interested in business. Or if you're already in business, you're like, I don't know, if I'm structured correctly, check it out the What if plan.com Go there, it's, it's really easy. It's got good information on it, and at least give you a stepping stone towards making good decisions give you a little outline. So yeah,
Gabriel Flores 42:19
I'll say this is a great opportunity to plug the newsletter, because this information will be on the newsletter, that you can subscribe at the shades of e.com. Go ahead and visit the shades of e.com. Subscribe to the weekly newsletter, you'll have this information again, that is the What if plan.com We'll go ahead and have that information on the newsletter. We'll have Byron Wolf's information on the newsletter. I'm really excited about this information. Again, I'm gonna go check it out. And just to kind of see because I also unsure where the hell I am at in this business world as everybody else. Is there anything else you'd like to let the listeners know, before we go?
Byron Wolfe 43:00
I would say if you're if you're not currently looking at tax credits, 100% look into it, Google it reach out to me, we'll help you out with it. We're consistently getting a lot of our clients and our customers, you know, money back that's it's it's, I don't want to say it's free money. It's money that you paid, but it's a refund on a lot of what you spend. So like right now the r&d Research and Development Credit is huge. A lot of people don't think that they qualify because they're like, Well, I'm not making medicine. And I'm not tech, that's just not true. Almost every business qualifies for some form of research and development tax credit. It's up to $1 million back right now. So that would be the last two years and are sorry, this year, and the two years previous, those culminate into a million dollars that a business could be getting back from the IRS. So it's amazing stuff. If you're looking for funding go internal. First, every time there's so many great tax benefits out there for you tax credits, things that you can be doing within your business to find that money. So I would highly encourage your business owners look into that stuff. Because it's out there, it's for you. And if you're a new business owner, you're on the cutting edge of innovation, whether you think you're a tech company or not you 100% Are you're taking risks. So take advantage of the tax credits and tax incentives that are out there that allow you to find that success easier. So that's that's huge. Gabriel you 100% would qualify because I promise you use some software and some other things in your in your business that would qualify you I would I would be shocked. We're talking.
Gabriel Flores 44:37
We're talking about this damn show. We're getting ourselves qualified for some damn research and development, ladies and gentlemen. I mean, I'm thank you again, so much for this opportunity. I was really excited to talk to you and I'm glad we did because this was a great conversation. We'll definitely have the conversation after this show. Byron wolf The founder of chief financial officer as fuck, don't forget to go check it out. I was gonna say I was gonna wait till the end. Ladies and gentlemen, again please go check it out you can go ahead and subscribe at the shades of e.com on the social sites Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tik Tok. You can also check us out at the shades of e.com So just go and visit the shades of e.com subscribe to the newsletter. Thank you and have a great night.