Entrepreneur's Journey

HFM Investment Advisors, LLC

Welcome to the Entrepreneur's Journey where Michael Pallozzi leads discussions with successful entrepreneurs to learn about their journey of starting, building, and eventually selling their business or transitioning it to the next generation. The goal is to allow you to learn from their knowledge, experience, and wisdom, as you pursue that in your own business.  Michael Pallozzi is the President of HFM Investment Advisors, LLC and brings over 30 years of experience working with business owners to organize and manage their business and personal financial plans to help them define and realize their personal version of success in their lives and businesses. read less

Selling A Family Business Twice With Ed Hutchinson
Aug 1 2022
Selling A Family Business Twice With Ed Hutchinson
The Hutchinsons didn’t sell their family business once but twice, this is the story of their growth. Ed Hutchinson speaks with Michael about how he and his family grew and differentiated their business in a crowded contracting market. How did they do things differently after they bought their family company back? Why did they sell it again? Tune in for the full scoop.Ed Hutchinson is the President and rainmaker of his family business Hutchinson Energy Services. Hutchinson Energy Services is a plumbing company turned HVAC full-service provider. Tune in until the end to learn: Navigating family dynamics when many people are involvedHow to position your family business for recurring growthWhy you should prepare your family business for sale even if you don’t plan on selling it    Timestamps[00:40] Who is Ed Hutchinson? [04:07] How did Hutchinson’s HVAC business start?[06:14] How working with the Federal government made them change their business model[08:59] Dividing the roles between family members[10:30] Aha moment that made them take the business across state lines [14:25] Challenges and success when the family business was passed down[18:10] Advice for transitioning a business to a second-generation family business  [20:27] Should you have a vision and mission statement for your family business? [22:34] How did the Hutchinsons differentiate their family business? [25:12] Selling the family business for the second time (building up to the final sale)[28:55] What if you were starting a family business from scratch? (and the 24 hour rule)[30:40] Retiring after running the family business [32:23] Understanding the value your partners bring (and other parting words of wisdom)4 Key HighlightsWorking with the Federal government compels you to be versatile. You have to have a process for how things get done in your family business no matter how stubborn your family members are. Running your company with discipline is a necessity for the survival of the business. Each family member in a family business has a unique ability. Empower each family member to play to their strengths and avoid pressuring them to rely on their weaknesses. Allow your family members to leverage their unique abilities. If you’re angry or in a negative mental state, don’t make any decisions for 24 hours. Useful LinksConnect with Ed Hutchinson: Connect with Michael Pallozzi: LinkedIn | Get a 401k tip in under 2 minutes (video)Like what you’ve heard…Learn more about HFM HERESchedule time to speak with us HERECheck out our Financial Wellness Program – HFM Ignite
Building a First Generation Family Business: Dental Practice
Jul 15 2022
Building a First Generation Family Business: Dental Practice
A charming conversation between Dr. Harry and Cindy Monokian and Michael Pallozi as they share how they built a dentistry practice from the ground up together, as a couple and as partners. They also talk about how it felt to gradually transition out of the business and officially hand everything over to their sons. They recount their long journey of intentional learning and inevitable trial and error as well as all the values they passed down to their sons. Dr. Harry Monokian and Cindy Monokian have been running Monokian Dentistry since the late 70s.Tune in until the end to learn: How to get your children to become genuinely interested in growing your family business.Mistakes to avoid when transitioning your family business. What to consider in your buy-sell agreement.How even 3-day courses can completely change your business. Timestamps[00:58] Who are Dr. Harry and Cindy Monokian?[03:30] How did they start their dentistry practice? (and why starting slow worked out well)[05:27] How they got clients in an age when advertising was taboo. [06:23] Why education is huge for business owners. [07:23] Taking your child to work with you. OR How childcare happens when both parents are business owners.[09:25] From being a teacher to running a dental practice. [10:03] Expanding the business and running out of money.[13:04] How to use systems to create consistency in your business.  [16:57] How both their sons became interested in dentistry.[20:06] Bringing in their sons to work at the family business.[24:12] Transitioning the family business: setting up a buy-sell for your practice, mistakes to avoid, clients[29:59] The hardest part of letting go of the practice[32:07] Advice for building a first-generation family business[33:20] What’s retirement like for the Monokian?5 Key HighlightsIn the late 70s, it was frowned upon to advertise. Very few businesses advertised their services. Work of mouth was key in acquiring new clients. Another way to get clients at that time is to depend on the overflow of clients that other businesses couldn’t handle due to high volume. You must have a whole system in place for how you create a first impression on your clients. How you answer the phone, how you collect information, how to be pleasant - should all be part of the same system. All your staff should execute the system in the same way. This way, you create a consistent feel. Getting your children to work at your family business during the summer can be a way to get them interested in your field of work. Taking courses can be a game-changer for your family business. And taking the courses together as a family can help you learn and retain even more information than you would alone. Education becomes a family affair. It’s important to set up a buy-sell agreement for your business when transitioning your family business down to the next generation. Useful LinksConnect with Dr. Harry Monokian: Monokian Dentistry WebsiteConnect with Cindy Monokian: LinkedIn | Continuing Dental Education:
Growing Your Business By Helping Your Competitors
Jun 15 2022
Growing Your Business By Helping Your Competitors
Bill Hoffman joins Michael Pallozzi to chat about how he grew a community-first business by first helping his competitors. They discuss what he’s doing to prepare his business for an eventual transition. At this point, his family members aren’t interested in running his extermination business so he shares other available avenues for business transition. In their conversation, they talk about the 3 main stakeholders you need keep in mind when selling your company, why being transparent with your employees makes for a smoother transition, and why Bill always picks up the phone.Bill Hoffman is the CEO of Hoffman’s Exterminating which has been going on for over 31 years. Tune in to find out how his exterminating company ended up partnering with the Philadelphia Eagles in an unlikely turn of events. Tune in until the end to learn: The #1 thing you must do before selling your businessWhy it pays to help your competitors How to make a business sale as smooth as possible OR Why telling your employees your plans to sell is better for you Timestamps[00:56] Who is Bill Hoffman?[04:08] How Bill got started in extermination [06:08] How he grew by helping the competitor[09:12] Selling your business as part of your retirement plan.  OR Keeping your customers, employees, and yourself in your business transition plan.[11:39] Why do business owners hide business sales from their employees?[15:09] What’s the best way to value a business? OR Why you shouldn’t prioritize the money when valuing a business. [19:42] Making yourself operationally irrelevant. OR The most important thing to do before selling your business[24:44] Always run your business as if you’re selling it[27:16] Being consistently available to your employees and clients [30:57] How an extermination company bought a sports complex[35:51] How to outwork your problems by releasing authority[38:52] What to do after selling your business OR Should you stop working after selling your business?[40:46] Success is transitioning your business3 Key HighlightsEvery business transitions at one point or another. You have to have a plan for what you will do when you transition your business. You have to have a plan for your customers, your employees, and yourself. Nobody likes change. There is a lot of uncertainty and uneasiness that can come with selling a business. It can make you reluctant to keep your employees in the loop. If you get buy-in from your employees early, you will have a much smoother transition. When selling your business, you have to gradually first become operationally irrelevant. If you don’t do that, your business will fall apart without you and investors will no longer be interested in buying your company. Build a self-managing company. You don’t want your buyer to think you need them to survive, you want to have power. Useful LinksConnect with Michael Pallozzi: LinkedIn | Get a 401k tip in under 2 minutes (video)Like what you’ve heard…Learn more about HFM HERESchedule time to speak with us
What It’s Like To Be A Third Generation Family Business Owner with Anthony Bellia
Mar 18 2022
What It’s Like To Be A Third Generation Family Business Owner with Anthony Bellia
Anthony Bellia joins  Michael Pallozzi to discuss what it’s like to be a third generation family business owner. He discusses what it was like to grow up in a family business environment and shares what was naturally expected of him as a child as well as details of the transition process of the family business from the second to the third generation. Only 8% of family businesses make it to the third generation. In their conversation, Anthony shares several success factors that makes a family business beat the odds and last three generations.  Anthony Bellie is the president of Bellia Furniture. Bellia enterprises has now been in operation for 49 years. When Anthony was still a child, Bellia enterprises had already been in business for 30 years. Tune in until the end to learn: The significance of having a thorough exit and transition strategy when running a family business What makes a family business last three generations. Why all family members in a family business should understand business financials. Timestamps[00:58] Who is Anthony Bellia? (Bellia enterprises)[03:49] What’s it like being a child in a family business?[04:48] What’s the training like for children in a family business?[07:31] What’s it like to be interviewed for a job by your father? [08:55] What was Anthony’s work like in Bellia enterprises and how does diversification help them thrive?[11:16] Roles of other family members in Bellia enterprises. [15:00] When the first generation family members wanted to transition the business to the next generation (exiting a family business). [16:39] What makes a family business last 49+ years? [18:34] Having sensitive and strategic family business discussions with trusted advisors - why it helps. OR The two-year transition process that helped solidify the Bellia family business. [22:26] The biggest dangers of a transition process in a family business. [23:46] Why adaptability is key for success in a sales role. [24:57] What makes a family business defy the odds (3 things to always remember)?[26:32] How has the business development process changed in Bellia enterprises?[27:29] What every family member in a family member should understand. 3 Key HighlightsGrowing up and seeing your family own a family business is a unique experience. You get to meet many different types of people even just as a child. You feel you are part of something special that other people don’t get to experience. In a family business, it’s important to create a space where different family business can discover their strengths and passions - even if those strengths and passions ultimately lead them out of the family business. You only want to keep family members who absolutely want to be there in your family business. There is a blanket of trust in a family business. This can create some legal or financial risks that you don’t carefully study. Useful LinksConnect with Anthony Bellia: LinkedIn Connect with Michael Pallozzi: LinkedIn | Get a 401k tip in under 2 minutes (video)Like what you’ve...
Navigating an Informal Succession Process in Your Family Business
Feb 15 2022
Navigating an Informal Succession Process in Your Family Business
Bill Emerson joins Michael to discuss his informal transition into his family recruitment and staffing company Emerson Group. In their conversation, they explore what you should consider when creating ownership and succession policies in a family business, why you should formalize succession and ownership rules, why getting outside support for your family business is both healthy and helpful,, and how to navigate a family-first ethic while still taking care of the business's best interests. Bill Emerson is the president and CEO of Emerson Group. He interrupted his career in the family business to pursue his real estate license eventually making a return to the family business. Today, 75% of his staff have worked at Emerson Group for 10 years or more. Tune in until the end to learn: ●     How to gift shares methodically in your family business.●     Balancing a family-first mindset with accountability in business.●     How running a value guided business differentiates you in your industry. Timestamps [00:57] Who is Bill Emerson (Emerson Group)? [03:26] How the family business Emerson Group started.[04:50] Pioneering work-life balance.[05:50] Bill’s life before joining the family business.[09:03] The realization that made Bill return to the family business after leaving it for a real estate career.[11:44] Gifting shares in a family business: is it the right thing to do? [14:04] What to consider when creating policies for ownership in a family business.[16:36] Balancing between family-first vs. business-first mindsets[18:34] Why you should get outside support when running a family-owned business (and what it’s like).[21:17] Going from the face of the business to behind-the-scenes involvement in the family business.[22:48] Running a value-based family business.[27:07] Bill’s unique professional abilities.[29:31] Balancing between using artificial intelligence and offering personalized services.[33:08] Bill’s retirement and succession plan.[35:06] Advice for running a family business. 5 Key Highlights Learning business skills at another company before joining the family business is an extremely valuable experience to go through and leverage - this can be done in the same industry or in a different industry. Being a supportive parent, allowing your children to make their own mistakes, and letting them freely choose their own path can be one of the best things you can do for your family business. Things to consider when putting a policy for ownership in a family business in place: length of time served in the company, the skillset the family member is bringing to the table, and the exit strategy. When running a family-first family business it is important to still maintain a spirit of healthy competition and challenge within the business. This will help the business grow and create a culture of accountability. Having underlying values that guide the direction of your brand helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors in the wider market.  Useful Links Connect with Bill Emerson: LinkedIn | Emerson Group Website Connect with Michael Pallozzi:
How You Can Make a Profit While Making a Difference with Angelo Alberto
Jan 15 2022
How You Can Make a Profit While Making a Difference with Angelo Alberto
Architect Angelo Alberto joins Michael Pallozzi to discuss how he built he established his architecture firm. Throughout the conversation, you will hear about how Angelo built his business beyond the bottom line by making the business a true part of the Camden City community. Tune in to hear the story about why he broke off a business partnership, went solo, then sold his business. Angelo Alberto is the president and CEO of City Invincible, an architecture firm. City Invincible is a merger of Alberto & Associates, Berzinsky Architects, and LaVardera Architects. Alberto studied architecture at both Harvard and Cornell. Tune in until the end to learn: ●     Why breaking off a great partnership can still be a great thing.●     What to look for when selling your company.●     Why selling your company is both a compliment and critique. Timestamps [01:00] Who is Angelo Alberto?[05:14] You can’t succeed with creativity alone, you need to master THIS too.[07:14] What do urban design businesses do?[09:47] Finding a great mentor and partner at a premier architecture firm.[12:07] The serendipitous way he ended up starting his own business[14:00] Why he left his prestigious partnership to go solo.[15:21] Finding family and synergy in his team.[17:31] Becoming the rainmaker of his business.[18:15] Creating the renaissance of a city even after an economic downturn.[20:27] Balancing business profitability with supporting important charitable causes.[21:43] Why your business getting bought out is both a compliment and a criticism.[23:54] A great reason to sell your business (even if things are going well).[28:01] Advice for entrepreneurs who work in creative spaces (like architecture).[31:25] Angelo Alberto’s plans for the future (and a local legend).[36:30] Why you must read the book Never Eat Alone.  5 Key Highlights To be a successful entrepreneur, creativity is not enough to help you succeed. You also need to be well-versed in how businesses run and flourish.Exiting a great partnership can still be a good idea if the partners don’t share the same vision.Being an entrepreneur does not confine your impact to your company. Rather, being an entrepreneur means having a positive impact on the community in which you are.When other businesses are interested in acquiring your business, consider it both a compliment and a criticism. On the one hand, you’re probably doing something right and on the other hand, there are probably things they can do better.Getting a team of professional advisors (like an attorney, accountant, and financial advisor) can do wonders for your business. Useful Links Book recommendation: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi Connect with Angelo Alberto: LinkedIn Connect with Michael Pallozzi: LinkedIn | Get a 401k tip in under 2 minutes (video) Like what you’ve heard… Learn more about HFM
From Working In A Casino To Selling His Business with Dominic Morrone
Dec 15 2021
From Working In A Casino To Selling His Business with Dominic Morrone
Employee benefits specialist Dominic Morrone joins Michael Pallozzi to discuss how he went from working in a casino to selling his insurance business. He recounts his entrepreneurial story and shares lessons he’s learned about hiring great employees, reasons you might want to sell your company, and the mental challenge of selling your company. Tune in until the end to learn: ●     What you have to do to establish a name for yourself in your industry.●     How to retain the best talent in your company.●     What to look out for when you sell your business. Timestamps [00:40] Who is Angelo Alberto?[04:25] Why he left the casino business to start working in the insurance industry (employee benefits).[07:48] Why leaving his business partnership was perfect for both partners.[10:02] Changing the focus of his business from sales to service.[11:46] Why he doesn’t have voicemail in his company.[13:09] How you can keep your best staff members.[14:04] How the company grew (a story about how Dominic had to hustle).[16:01] He never thought he would sell his business but…[20:00] The challenge he had adapting technology with his aging employees. OR Why he felt he was going to be left behind if he didn’t sell his business.[21:14] How he had to change the direction of his business to adapt to technological developments.[21:57] Advice for anyone looking to sell their business (what to look out for).[23:27] Dominic’s plans for retirement (and his fear of retirement).[25:28] The mental challenge of selling your company. 3 Key Highlights  Building a business where stellar service comes before an aggressive strategy can give you a competitive edge. You build a great reputation. People know that when they come to you, they will get the help they need.Not every staff member you hire will be a good fit in your company. However, excellent employees do show up, and when they do you have to work hard to retain them. One way to do that is to share company profits with them. There are different ways you can arrange that.Technology can be a huge force in determining how you hire your staff. Nowadays it is crucial to hire staff who are comfortable with technology because a large part of doing business depends on it. Useful Links Connect with Dominic Morrone: LinkedIn Connect with Michael Pallozzi: LinkedIn | Get a 401k tip in under 2 minutes (video) Like what you’ve heard… Learn more about HFM HERESchedule time to speak with us HEREOpen an HFM Ignite account HERE
How the Top 8% of Family Business Succeed for Generations with Tom Bellia
Nov 15 2021
How the Top 8% of Family Business Succeed for Generations with Tom Bellia
Tom Bellia joins Michael Pallozzi to share how his family-owned business beat all the odds to now become a third-generation family-owned business. Tom retired from his family business Bellia Enterprises at 64. The company was founded in 1973 by Tom’s parents. Today, it is run by Tom’s children and their cousins. Did you know: Only 8% of family businesses survive long enough to be handed down to the third generation. Tune in until the end to learn: ●     Key skills and traditions to pass on to your children.●     How to create a balance between family and business in a family business.●     Best practices for transition and succession planning in your family business. Timestamps [00:56] Who is Tom Bellia (Bellia enterprises and more...)?[04:32] The story of Bellia Enterprises (moving from first-generation to second-generation family-owned business).[08:32] How the family business worked and kept the family together.[10:14] How to prepare your family members for success in the family business.[12:49] Principles to help you separate business issues from family issues.[15:37] The process of creating a transition plan for the family business.[21:41] Don’t forget to do this when creating your business succession plan.[23:56] Bellia Enterprises after the transition.[26:23] The most important element of ANY family business (and its biggest challenge).[29:30] Tom’s retirement bucket list advice. 5 Key Highlights Family business planners can help you prepare transition plans for your family business. For example, they can help you set up requirements for your children (or other family members) to fulfill before they can be part of the family business. This way, you can future-proof your family business. Not only is it important to learn how to strike a balance between business issues and family issues, but it is also just as important to pass down these skills and traditions to your children and other family members who will be in charge of the business in the future. Successful family businesses require that family members be serious about their roles and respect the boundaries of their roles. There are many considerations to keep in mind when you are designing a transition plan for your family business. These include: what are your children’s (or other successor’s) strengths, what are their plans for the future, what work you would need to hand over, and what you will do once you hand over your work. Transparency and honesty are the most vital elements of successful family businesses. This is important even after succession has taken place. For example, you can hold annual meetings to discuss the state of the business with the family. Useful Links Connect with Tom Bellia: Bellia Printing Website | Bellia Enterprises Website Delaware Valley Family Business Center: Website Connect with Michael Pallozzi: LinkedIn |
Going From Salesman to Business Owner with Marty Rosica
Sep 29 2021
Going From Salesman to Business Owner with Marty Rosica
HVAC entrepreneur Marty Rosica joins Michael Pallozzi to discuss his entrepreneurial journey buying and selling his company. Marty’s unlikely story begins in a church volunteering engagement but turns into something bigger than himself. He shares his story of how he suddenly went from being a salesperson to a business owner. Tune in until the end to learn: ●     How taking the advice of your advisors can save you a lot of grief in the future.●     What EVERY business has trouble getting right.●     How to manage new employees when acquiring a company. Timestamps [00:58] Who is Marty Rosica?[04:40] How an opportunity he got while volunteering changed his life. OR How volunteering turned into an opportunity to buy a company.[06:05] How did the employees respond to having a new owner?[07:03] Transitioning from salesperson to business owner (and how he tripled the company’s growth.[09:20] How much money do you need to have before making your business your main source of income?[10:52] The ultimatum his accountant gave him before he bought the business.[12:54] Why he decided to sell his business (after a lot of back and forth).[18:49] The hardest part of running ANY business.[21:30] Breaking the news to his employees that he has decided to sell the company.[22:50] His new role in the company.[24:44] Do you own an HVAC company?[25:02] Working with a coach to build a business plan.[27:56] Why you need a team of advisors when selling your business.[30:55] How does he feel about his decision to sell?[32:46] What does the future hold for Marty Rosica? 5 Key Highlights When buying a business, it is crucial to align your vision with your new employees to make sure that everyone is on the same page. This way, you can work like a well-oiled machine.You behave differently (perhaps even more confidently) when you know that the financial part of running your business is taken care of. This is why you need to have enough money before making your business your main source of income. Financial stress can be a big distraction that stops you from running your company with the clarity and confidence it needs from you.Strongly considering the advice of financial professionals when buying a new company can be a big part of your success. Not only are they more aware of the financial aspect of acquiring a company, but they probably have extensive experience helping others acquire companies and have the intuition that comes with that kind of experience.When you are in the process of selling your business, you need a team of capable advisors on your side. This way you can still focus on doing your job and have experts on your side to tell you the best course of action to take in matters that you don’t know very well.As a business owner, you are not merely giving your employees jobs - rather, you are building careers. This is why it is extremely important to carefully consider who you hire. Useful Links Connect with Marty Rosica: LinkedIn | Hawks and Co. Connect with Michael Pallozzi: LinkedIn | Get a 401k tip in...