Vol. 5 Iss. 5 May 2015
inspiring the creative spirit in every business leader
PLUS MATT PAULSON:
Juggling 3 Businesses
ALL IN THE FAMILY:
Brother & Sister Entreps LEGAL ADVICE TO IGNORE 5 TRAITS OF A GREAT BOSS!
SERIAL ENTERPRENEURS BRIAN RAND: MAN WITH A GOLDEN TOUCH!
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Vol. 5 Iss. 5 May 2015
leader every business eative spirit in inspiring the cr
PLUS MATT PAULSON:
Juggling 3 Businesses
ALL IN THE FAMILY: s Brother & Sister Entrep 4 PIECES OF LEGAL ADVICE TO IGNORE 5 TRAITS OF A GREAT BOSS!
RS ENEU SERIAL ENTERPRBRIA N RAND:
MAN WITH A GOLDEN TOUCH!
ABOUT THIS ISSUE: Biz celebrates serial entrepreneurs this month. These are the movers and shakers, the leaders who are changing our landscape! It’s their vision and action that drives the economy and creates the demand for excellence. Brains, talent and charisma -- our cover model’s got it. It’s Brian Rand, owner of multiple businesses in Sioux Falls. Photo credit goes to Julie Prairie, who just happens to be a busy serial entrepreneur herself! This month you’ll find additional insights from serial entrepreneurs Matthew Paulson and Renae Eidenshink. Brotherand-sister entrepreneurs Ben Duenwald and Stacy White talk about what motivated them to leave their day jobs and start their own businesses. Think you might be a Serial Entrepreneur? Find out the 5 top traits in our centerspread and see how you measure up. Want to get your new business off on the right foot? Attorney Scott Swier reveals 4 pieces of bad advice people often get in the start-up phase. A must read! If courage, honor and resilience are part of your mantra, don’t miss serial entrepreneur Jeremy Brown’s motivational tips on Warrior Leadership. So if you’re a serial entrepreneur – or an aspiring one – this is the issue to get you to the next level! It’s all here – in BizNOW.
10 articles 5 5 Qualities of an Exceptional Boss
22 Consolidation Advantages
7 M oney, Money, Money: Not all bonds are created equal
25 All in the Family: Brother and Sister Entrepreneurs Ben Duenwald and Stacy White
8 R ight Time to Buy: Knowing the Market Cycles 11 Brian Rand: Serial Entrepreneur with a Golden Touch 14 M atthew Paulson: Juggling 3 Businesses 20 W hy One Serial Entrepreneur Combined Two Businesses
29 Wetland Mitigation Bank: Farmers are Moving to the Wetlands 30 4 Pieces of Legal Advice that South Dakota Business Owners Should IGNORE 32 Three Ways to Think Like a Warrior
25 REGULAR FEATURES Biz Editor Note 4 Biz Ag 29 Biz Experts 18 Biz Finance 7 Biz Legal 30 Biz Real Estate 8 Biz Spiritual 32 What's NOW 34
May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 3
from the EDITOR
© Julie Prairie Photography
Pink Trees with Silver Leaves
I was 7 years old when I realized I see the world a little differently. I came home from school with a “C” on an art project. I was crushed. When my mother asked the teacher why I had gotten a “C” the teacher said, “She was supposed to draw a tree. A tree is brown and green. She drew a tree with a pink trunk and silver leaves. That’s not a tree.” My mother brought the picture back to me and asked, “Why didn’t you draw a tree?” I said, “But I did. That is a tree. It’s a tree at sunset.” Entrepreneurs see things in a different way. Our educational system teaches people how to have a job, not how to be an entrepreneur. We’re taught to conform, follow rules, to listen to authority and not to question ways of doing things. We’re taught that a tree has a brown trunk and green leaves. We’re taught one way of seeing something. But the ability to color outside the lines is the exact quality that an entrepreneur needs.
Entrepreneurial Spirit isn’t just doing. It’s a way of thinking. You can have an entrepreneurial spirit even when working as an employee for someone else. It’s the spirit that does more, does it better, and comes up with innovative solutions to company challenges – even when no one else thought there was a challenge. Entrepreneurial thinkers never go to the boss with a problem without already having a solution in mind. Usually 2 or 3. That’s a part of the entrepreneurial nature – they are solving problems before others even know there is a problem. Ninety percent of Americans work for someone else. Most of them will never own their own business, for their dream is to have a good job and support their family, according to Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia. The other 10% are the ones who are excited by the possibilities of the unknown, who are willing to risk it all and take the leap of faith even when they know they might fall. If you are the boss of someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, the best gift you can give them is the freedom to be creative. Encourage their adventurous thinking, listen to their half-crazy ideas. Companies that reward entrepreneurial thinking are the innovators and are leading the market today. Think Google, Apple, IDEO. If you are an employee who isn’t fulfilled in the corporate culture, it may be time to follow another path. You’ll know if it’s the right decision for you: there’s this persistent voice inside that keeps pushing you forward, telling you to follow your dream. Sometimes you can do that in a corporate setting. Sometimes you can’t. Some companies will label you a “rebel.” That’s ok. It just means you think on a different level – the Entrepreneurial level.
Editor Charlotte Hofer 605-376-3758 email@example.com Design Director/ Senior Creative Ally Vogel 605-759-5615 firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Marketing Tim Cummiskey 605-366-1489 email@example.com Director of Business Development Alan Dooley 845-235-5381 Social Media Coordinator Jessica Newell Contributing Photographer Julie Prairie Photography Reproduction or use of the contents of this magazine is prohibited. BizNOW Magazine is published monthly by BizNOW Magazine, LLC and strives to publish only accurate information, however BizNOW Magazine, LLC cannot be held responsible for consequences resulting from errors or omissions. All material in this magazine is the property of BizNOW Magazine, LLC and cannot be reproduced without permission of the publisher. Send magazine feedback and advertising and sales inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org ©2015 BizNOW Magazine, LLC All Rights Reserved.
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You see the pink tree with silver leaves.
4 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
Publisher BizNOW Magazine, LLC.
for news that affects the Sioux Empire business community
by Steph Laska
5 QUALITIES OF AN
EXCEPTIONAL BOSS! Are you an exceptional boss? Here are some top qualities exhibited by many Fortune 500 bosses that inspire loyalty, excellence, and improve employee morale: Make company goals employee goals: Employees need to feel that their part matters, and need to understand how their role fits into the overall goals of the company. The more “ownership” they have in a project, the more they will work to make that outcome successful. Make sure each goal or duty lines up with and challenges the employee’s skill set. Take the fall for your team: Employees trust leaders
who take responsibility for their team. You are in charge of those who report to you, so don’t throw others under the bus. Evaluate what went wrong, fix it, and move on. Employees will work harder if they feel you are on their side.
Forgive and forget: When you do take the fall or someone does miss a deadline, forgive and forget. Say what needs to be said so the problem does not occur again.
This is a business environment, stay professional; don’t let it become personal.
Give credit where it’s due: Find out what motivates your employees and their personal career goals. Give employees the opportunity to achieve those goals and then give credit for their good work. Encourage innovation: Let employees come up with ideas to streamline processes or make work better. They will not only be happier at work, but they will remember how you listened to their ideas and allowed them to contribute and they will want to come to work. Happy employees make a happy boss and a happy boss makes happy employees. It’s up to you to create a work environment that everyone wants to be part of —including YOU! u Stephanie Laska is a Graduate Student Teaching Assistant at the University of South Dakota. She is working on a Master's Degree in English Literature.
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Biz Staff Reports
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: NOT ALL BONDS ARE CREATED EQUAL Every time a toilet flushes, someone makes money. Water is consumed and disposed, and yes, eventually recycled. Water and other utility bills are paid directly by consumers or via community property taxation. Water, sewer and runoff systems are often built and maintained by local municipalities. When major infrastructure work needs to be done, municipalities will typically issue a bond to raise the money to pay for it and collect revenue for years to come to pay back the bond holders, with interest. These loans to local governments are called Municipal Bonds or “Munis”.
to only 1.7 cents of every $100 invested into cities or states that might default.
When an investor buys a muni bond, the cash loan could be used to build water and sewer systems, roads, schools, or other public buildings. In exchange, the local government promises to make regular interest payments and after a fixed time will actually pay back the original loan principal.
On the upside, municipal bonds might pay from 3% to 7%, depending on the city or state of issue and their ability to collect tax revenues. Another advantage is that the income from munis is exempt from federal income tax. If you live in a state that collects income tax and purchase bonds from your state, your bond income will most likely be state tax free as well. Check your local laws.
There are different types of munis for different services. A "revenue bond" will be tied to a specific project such as a stadium where the rent is used to pay the investors. A "general obligation" bond is perhaps the safest. They are backed by both the state and municipality, meaning that if the municipality fails, the state will find the funds to continue paying bondholders. Investment-grade municipal bonds (rated A to triple-A) have had a default rate of only 0.017% over the past 40 years, according to Forbes.com. Bonds with a Baa or lower rating may carry a higher return, but they also carry more risk. With less than two of every 10,000 investment-grade municipal bonds failing, these government backed promises are a rather safe investment when compared to corporate bonds that carry no government backing but might be insured. These statistics indicate that with a wide range of investment-grade munis, you can reduce your risk of loss
For example, if you are in the 25% tax bracket and earn 6% on a municipal bond, it would be the same as earning 8% on a taxable investment. With over 1.5 million bonds available, sorting them out can be difficult. Transactions can be complex and carry high brokerage fees, often with high minimum investments. To simplify the process, look for an investment fund specializing in municipal bonds that will give you a diversified portfolio carrying returns that are commensurate with your risk level. Your financial advisor can help you determine what is best for you. So don’t flush away your savings, wipe away your fear and consider taking the plunge: maybe a “muni” is right for you. u
Sources: DailyWealth, Wikipedia
May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 7
BIZ Real Estate
by Alan Dooley
RIGHT TIME TO BUY? KNOWING THE MARKET CYCLES
The definition of ‘market cycle’ depends on the context. Today the term is broadly used in reference to national economic trends with respect to the supply and demand of single family housing. However, specific market cycles occur within every niche - retail, apartments, condos, commercial office space, rentals, hotels, recreational housing and by specific geographical area. Each segment has its own set of behaviors and repercussions and every type of market has its leading cycle indicators and goes through four stages with some regularity - discounting of course government intervention or natural tragedy. Armed with data from the National Association of Realtors and Case-Shiller analysis of past real estate cycles and trends, one can make reasonably educated assumptions as to what the future may hold in any given market niche or area. When an economist refers to ‘the strength of the market’ be sure you understand the context or geographical area referenced, otherwise it’s akin to a single weather report for the entire nation, wrong somewhere. While every real estate niche has a pattern to its cycles, it is not always easy to predict when it will evolve from stage to stage. The four stages are:
Recovery - While there is no formal start
8 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
to a cycle, the market is in ‘recovery’ after the last downturn or retraction phase. This means the plunge in demand has slowed to a trickle and speculators are starting to consider opportunity in the segment. This is the time to buy if you have the resources and fortitude to hang in there in case the market trolls along the bottom for a while, like we did for several years from 2008 through 2011. In this instance,
it’s OK to have a national perspective because we know the housing bubble was created and decimated over a 30 year period by government intervention in the form of forced lending to underqualified buyers and the overspending by almost everyone, everywhere. Leading indicators for the recovery stage include low rental vacancies, high but stable unemployment, a high number of homes in foreclosure, and a general fear of the market. Recovery goes into full swing when contractors begin to build and investors are snapping up what the speculators left behind.
Expansion – When businesses start to hire, unemployment dips and consumer confidence starts to rise as people become optimistic about job stability. Consequently there is upward pressure on real estate demand and prices. Contractors will be in full swing and banks are again anxious to lend. Look too for new commercial building or renovations. Follow the number of building permits being issued and the expansion of related service industries that cater to the demand.
! The 18 Year Theory
It can still be a good time to invest in the market as prices and rents are going up and foreclosures are still available for those willing to work to find them. As excitement and prosperity grows, the latter part of the expansion phase is characterized by the entrance of the unseasoned speculator. These are the people who jump in, wanting to take advantage of the growing market and need it to grow in order to make the numbers work for them. Some will pay too much and lead us into the next stage.
Over Supply – Look back to the early and mid-2000s, for a classic over supply model. Skyrocketing home prices, massive developments, condos, second and third homes, McMansions bought on the speculation that 12 to 18% increases were the new normal. Everybody wanted to buy something, anything. Builders are anxious to accommodate the anticipated increase in demand and rents, and therefore pay too much for land and construction. Rehabbers also overpay anticipating someone else will pay even more after they pretty it up. Eventually the supply equals the demand, but like a locomotive, the construction started in stage two is hard to stop,
so supply overtakes demand and vacant units grow. This phase is hard to recognize because everyone is happily making money – at least on paper - and that is the key to look for. When the capital gains far outpace a reasonable increase based on initial numbers, the savvy investor will sell into this market, capture the gain and wait for the inevitable...
Retraction – Simply, a collapse in the market. The speculative projects don’t sell, prices drop suddenly and foreclosures start mounting with decreasing rents and underwater mortgages. This phase is typically tied to an economic recession, job loss, and overspending by government.
Alan Dooley is CEO of Grathia Corp, a private lending and real estate investment firm. He has a BS in Computer Science from Rutgers University and serves on the board of the Lake County Historical Society. He is Business Development Director with BizNOW.
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When the previous 100 years in American housing prices are examined, with the exception of WWII, it has been found that the real estate market generally operates on an 18 year cycle with peaks in 1989 and again in 2007. Can we predict the future? No, but we can learn the market forces and better understand why and how the cycles evolve.
Looking for the bottom is like ‘trying to catch a falling knife’ as they say on Wall Street. Smart investors will wait for supply to drop below BIZ Real Estate Sponsored by: demand and then pick up some great deals, starting GRATHIA CORPORATION the cycle once again. u Private Lending & Trust Deed Investing
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The 18-year real estate cycle theory was initially advanced by economist Homer Hoyt in the 1930s and again by economist Fred E. Foldvary, who accurately predicted the real estate collapse of 2008 in his report, The Depression of 2008.
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10 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
Interview by Charlotte Hofer
SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR WITH A GOLDEN TOUCH Brian Rand was 23 when he started his first business. Just seven years later, he’s on his third venture! Known as an innovator and creative business strategist, he talks to Biz about his philosophy on entrepreneurship and what has inspired his dynamic rise to success.
1. How many businesses do you own and how did you come to be a serial entrepreneur? I currently own 3 companies,
they are a web design firm, Revolutionary Designs, a strategy and consulting firm, Fluxxr, and an entrepreneur center, The Bakery.
© Shalista Photography
2. D o you prefer a partnership or sole ownership? One of my companies is sole
ownership and two are 50/50 partnerships. In my experience, both have their own set of rewards and challenges. If you are considering stepping into a partnership, I would strongly encourage you to sit down and discuss business and hiring philosophy with your partner, and the vision Don’t ever let anyone tell you of what your future that you can’t live out your holds. My partner and dreams… I have failed more I started in a basement than I have succeeded, but I and never imagined learn from my mistakes, I move we’d be where we are on and I never give up. today. With growth comes situations you – Brian Rand may not have planned for, we have had to have
some hard conversations to gain 100% clarity and focus on where our companies are headed, but through it all it has thankfully made us stronger.
3. Starting a business is risky; what creative strategies did you use to control cash flow? First of all, I started
my first business in the middle of a recession. I knew people wanted cash so when I started my first company I did a campaign asking my friends to name my company for $200 cash. I sent out an email to 1,500 people and received over 500 responses, 2,000 names to choose from, and 20 web design projects. I then used the profits of that company to fund my second company, and the profits of my second to fund the third.
4. Competition is a fact of life; how do you set yourself apart from competitors? Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I make sure any project we take on starts with the idea, ‘The world will be better when we are done because…’ continued > May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 11
5. What are 5 secrets to your success? Surrounding myself with mentors. Building a strong network. Building a strong team. Never being afraid to ask. Oh, and don’t forget caffeine!
6 Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you had known about entrepreneurship?
If you want to run the best business in town, think of every customer that walks in as having a sign on their forehead that reads, ‘I just want to be important to someone today.’ If you’ll treat them that way, they’ll never leave. – Brian Rand
To keep my mouth shut. As a natural promoter, I have the tendency to get ahead of myself. There is a time to build hype and a time to do the work. With experience I have learned the difference and continue to strive to be better at this balance.
7. If you could offer a first-time entrepreneur only 1 piece of advice, what would it be? Don’t ever let
anyone tell you that you can’t live out your dreams. Learn from your mistakes, and when you fall, get up and try again. I have failed more than I have succeeded, but I learn, I move on and I never give up.
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8. What creative things do you do to develop a positive company culture?
We focus on education and development of our people. We allow dogs to come to work. We supply plenty of snacks. We allow our employees to work where they want and when they want.
9. How do you turn a one-time consumer into a loyal customer? If you want to
run the best business in town, think of every customer that walks in as having a sign on their forehead that reads, ‘I just want to be important to someone today.’ If you’ll treat them that way, they’ll never leave.
10. Is running several businesses different from what you thought it would be?
Not really, my 3 companies naturally play off of each other so it is not as difficult as I thought it would be. They may get a website done, Revolutionary Designs, need strategy, Fluxxr, and use The Bakery as work space.
11. D escribe the Bakery and how it can help entrepreneurs. What makes this concept unique? The Bakery is a memberbased space in Sioux Falls for people to work,
think, and grow ideas together. The idea is to build a community for all of the entrepreneurs, business leaders, creatives and educational institutions of the area and give them a physical space to collaborate. We will be hosting educational workshops ranging anywhere from topics on marketing to professional photography to fly-fishing; potlucks and lunch-n-learns. Members have 24-hour access to the building with internet and coffee provided. We see The Bakery as an opportunity to create an environment that encourages collaboration, education, and innovation in the Sioux Falls community!
12. What’s the best business idea you have that you’ll never use? Designing a pill that gives your body the effect of sleeping 8 hours without having to actually sleep! If you figure this out, call me. u
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“I read other national magazines online, but BizNOW is the only publication I read cover-to-cover in the print format. I love learning about other successful business people in our region and the successes they have achieved.” – Brian Rand, serial entrepreneur
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L G IN G U
BUSINESSES Matthew Paulson, Sioux Falls, became an entrepreneur at just 8 years old, recycling aluminum cans for scrap metal and selling candy to friends at school. He started his first real business during his junior year of college, which was a network of personal finance websites. He’s now 29, and on his 3rd business venture. There’s no stopping this busy entrepreneur! 1. What kind of companies do you own?
I never intended to become a serial entrepreneur, but a lot of opportunities come across my desk. Every now and then, an opportunity shows up that’s simply too good to pass up. My largest business, Analyst Ratings Network, is a digital publishing company that publishes a daily investment newsletter to more than 180,000 subscribers. I also host GoGo Photo Contest to help animal welfare groups raise money. Finally, I am a partner with USGolfTV, which produces a nationally-syndicated television show and educational products for golfers.
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2. What is your philosophy on partnerships? If your company has the potential to scale, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to do everything yourself. If you need a partner, be careful to choose someone who will complement your skills. If you wouldn’t marry your business partner (or want them to marry your brother or sister), you probably shouldn’t go into business with them.
3. Do you have to have a lot of money to start a business? I started my first publication business
with literally no money. My recommendation to new entrepreneurs is to keep their day jobs until it’s no longer feasible, and to spend as little money as possible when they’re just getting started.
I really like markets that have a lot of competition, because that means that there are a lot of different people making money in that particular market. You just have to create and market a product as good as everyone else, then find one key differentiator to set yourself apart. â€“ Matthew Paulson
May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 15
BIZ Interview 4. Is competition good for the market? I really
like markets that have a lot of competition, because that means a lot of people are making money in that particular market. You just have to create and market a product as good as everyone else, then find one key differentiator to set yourself apart. I’ve been able to grow quickly because I’m willing to outwork everyone else when it comes to marketing. I’m constantly testing out new marketing channels and optimizing existing sales funnels in order to get more customers in the door.
6. W hat’s one thing you wish you’d known about entrepreneurship before you got started?
matter of creating a great experience for your customer and implementing a follow-up marketing strategy. If you can leave your customers smiling after interacting with your company and can implement a strategy to make them aware of and interested in your other products and services, you’re going to have a lot of repeat customers. The key is to create a system so that every new customer gets sent a set schedule of marketing pieces by mail and email.
10. You’re also an angel investor. When investing in a business, what do you look for in a good deal? When
5. W hat habits have helped make you successful? Continuing education. I listen to as many as 20 podcasts a week, read between 4 and 6 nonfiction books every month and regularly attend conferences and seminars.
9. How do you create a loyal client? It’s really a
If you wouldn’t marry your business partner (or want them to marry your brother or sister), you probably shouldn’t go into business with them.
evaluating a potential deal, there are really two key questions that I ask myself: Do I understand how this business works, and is this product or service something that I would personally buy or recommend to a friend? If the answer is no to either of those questions, it’s not a good investment for me.
– Matthew Paulson
It is a substantial amount of work to create a profitable company out of nothing. Launching a company is not something that you can do half-heartedly and no one else will make your company work for you. It takes years of hard work, sweat and determination to create a profitable business that has staying power.
In order to minimize risk, the key is to spread your money across a lot of different deals. Out of 10 companies you invest in, 7 will probably eventually go bankrupt, 2 will offer a modest return, and hopefully one will offer a substantial return. By having money in a bunch of different deals, you’re more likely to be invested in a company that hits a home-run.
7. M atthew, what’s your best advice for a new entrepreneur? Don’t spend too much time coming up
11. W hat’s the secret to managing multiple businesses? It’s a unique challenge because you constantly
8. How do you keep your team motivated? All of
12. BizNOW believes in sharing entrepreneurial insights so everyone wins – how important is it to learn about successful entrepreneurs? I love
with the perfect business plan before getting started. Your business is going to have to change to meet the needs and realities of your market. Anything that you come up with on your own before talking to actual customers is just a theory that probably won’t survive first contact with the enemy.
the companies that I’m involved with are made up of small remote teams. This makes creating a company culture a challenge, but the two keys are to continually communicate the vision and mission of your company and keep your employees happy. Make sure that each member of the team feels understood and appreciated at all times. You’re going to get the best work out of people when they’re not mad at their boss!
16 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
have to shift your attention from one issue to the next. You have to be flexible with your time because you never know what issues are going to arise. While it’s challenging, it’s also incredibly rewarding to see how the businesses that you’ve created are helping people.
how BizNOW highlights local entrepreneurs and businesses. I always pick-up a copy whenever I see one. It’s important to share knowledge.
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Are you a serial entrepreneur? 5 signs you might be:
1) A sense of humor. Most serial entrepreneurs never take themselves so seriously that they are afraid of failure. Not every decision to buy or start a new business is a good one, so when something does not work out, they laugh it off and try again. They learn from their mistakes and move on.
2) Thrive on chaos. Let’s face it, running one business is frantic enough for most owners, but anyone who can keep tabs on multiple businesses is probably an expert at making sense of chaos! While it can be frenetic, the rewards are worth it. And it really boils down to developing great organizational skills, the ability to surround yourself with the right team, and the ability to read a financial statement. “I analyze the profit and loss statements daily to understand if my businesses are on track or not,” says one local owner who has a staggering 50 businesses in South Dakota!
3) You are a collector. One is not enough, nor is two - or three. Having a collection of businesses in a similar field, like plumbing, painting and carpentry, just makes you want to round out the set by adding drywall, flooring and maybe a heating and cooling business to your collection. Many serial entrepreneurs do indeed build a collection of complementary businesses in order to provide a total solution for their client.
4) Challenge motivates you. Success begets success. Once we accomplish something and feel the euphoric high, we want to accomplish something else just for the rush, just because we can. Self-motivation and a desire to learn and earn are the drivers behind the business leaders that own and operate businesses in a variety of fields.
I’m looking for a healthcare plan that will encourage my employees to stay healthy. What are some options?
Many plans today will have a component that rewards employees to stay well, which can include such things as disease and medication management, information on good nutrition, smoking cessation and exercise programs. Some plans even offer access to a health club at a discounted rate which can help employees reach their health care goals. Rather than just have employees self-report healthy lifestyle changes, a health club can help monitor and verify that employees are meeting their objectives. Prevention programs like these can have a great impact on the well-being of your employees, AND save YOU on the bottom line.
5) Love and trust. You have to love people, the interaction, the variety of skills and abilities it takes to run several enterprises. None of this can be done alone, so the ability to surround yourself with good talent and trust them to exceed your expectations will keep them challenged and loyal. A good employee works for more than just monetary compensation, they work harder when they know they have your respect. If you have the confidence, conquer your curiosity and blaze a new trail to make the world a better place. Biz salutes you!
18 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
Trisha Dohn BS, MA, CWC Director of Health & Well-Being DAKOTACARE 605.334.4000 www.dakotacare.com
Think how good it could feel to find the right home and have your existing home sold. Now, think how good it would feel to have saved valuable time, maximized your dollars and had peace of mind throughout the process.
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be, whether you’re closing on your new home or selling the old one.
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Do you buy high and sell low? Most serious investors know the simple formula to investment success: buy low and sell high. It sounds simple, but it’s incredibly difficult to implement and involves two steps. 1. Calculate the underlying value of the asset under consideration. Most fail this test and buy what is going up and sell what is going down – confirming the old proverb “what the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end”. 2. Implement a systematic approach to sell overvalued assets/asset classes and purchase undervalued assets/ asset classes. Today, prices of most asset classes are expensive and we recommend raising some cash for better opportunities ahead.
Recent news indicates the real estate market is hot and home prices are increasing? Is this true?
It's true the market is doing well this year. Home sales are up, and prices for many have increased since last fall. However, it is not across the board in all price ranges.
Should South Dakota have 2 minimum wages?
In November of 2014, South Dakotans passed an initiated measure that raised the minimum wage to $8.50. Shortly after, a bill, SB 177, was introduced and signed by the Governor to allow employers to pay a dollar less to employees under the age of 18.
Sales and prices have increased due to lower interest rates, more consumer confidence in the economy, and pent-up demand.
The South Dakota Democratic Party feels that it is wrong to pay workers differently solely based on their age, whether they are old or young.
There are a few factors that could be a drag on the market going forward; slow growth in household incomes, higher health care costs and taxes, and a tentative global economy. Sales will most likely stabilize to normal activity within a few months.
Consequently, we are pushing for bill SB 177 to be reintroduced via the referendum process to have you, the voter, be the final arbiter on this issue. What are your thoughts?
L to R: Megan, Tony, David, Diane, Sue
knowledge Elgethun Capital Management me Vision. A Registered Investment Advisory Firm Sioux Falls
5915 S. Remington Place Sioux Falls, SD 57108 Phone: 605.336.8866 After hours: 605.359.4100
John A. Barker, CFA
email@example.com (office): (605) 367-3336 1-888-828-3339
Tony@tonyratchford.com (605) 336-8866 www.TonyRatchford.com
Executive Director (605) 271-5405 www.sddp.org
May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 19
WHY ONE SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR
COMBINED TWO BUSINESSES You may not have heard of YUM!
Brands, but you've probably heard of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, all of which are held by YUM! Sometimes it makes sense to consolidate brands under one umbrella to garner economic, legal, administrative and social advantages. Serial Entrepreneur Renae Eidenshink recently consolidated her two businesses, Insurance Specialty Group and ACES which provides accounting and human resource solutions into ASSURGO in order to save time, money and staffing. Here she talks about that bold move.
20 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
Why did you decide to consolidate your businesses and how are you consolidating?
What advice do you have for someone who's thinking of consolidating businesses?
When you only market one company, it is difficult to tell the whole story. We wanted our clients and potential new clients to see us as a partner, but it was difficult for them to clearly understand who we really are and what we can do for them. Now when a business owner comes to us they have a better concept of how we can help them be more efficient, and ultimately more profitable.
When businesses have something in common, their products and services intertwine or complement one another, it makes sense to consolidate. While the process is time consuming, it can be made easier with the right design company. Search for one that aligns with your goals and vision and make that vision very visible to them. Allow them the time to organize and walk you through the process, nothing happens overnight. It took us 6-8 months to create the new name, message, and look.
What are some advantages you're hoping to see through consolidation? One advantage we realized immediately was in the reduction of IT costs. We now have one domain name and one website to host. Administratively, going to a single letterhead and combined marketing material will save money and lessen intra office confusion. We consolidated banking accounts, insurance and our tax returns as well. Perhaps the most important benefit is to our customer, enabling us to create a vision for them that will help drive their profitability.
Has consolidation given you more power in negotiating a good deal? Merging the two into one gives us a competitive advantage. ACES processes the payroll, and reports to Insurance Specialty Group who then uploads to the insurance carrier, making it a seamless process for us to better market to our clients. But I feel the most important benefit from consolidation is to the customer -- they get a full package of services and donâ€™t have to go to several separate companies for a complete solution.
Describe the process you went through for consolidation?
Timing is everything in life. How do you know when itâ€™s time to consolidate a business?
The process took nearly six months to launch. A qualified design team kept us on task with an organizational check list and it was my responsibility to ensure that we accomplished each step.
When you get frustrated trying to tell someone who you are and what you really do. u
May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 21
Economic - It is easier and more cost effective to deliver a product if a company owns the supply chain. Offset this thought with the need to stay technologically adept. For example, if you are making toothpicks, owning the forest, lumbering company and manufacturing plant would make sense, but open competition for high tech chips might be better if you produce computer games. Here, your strength is in the creativity of the game, not the ever evolving chip manufacturing process. Secondly, consolidation increases purchasing power. If you own multiple restaurants, you can order in bulk and spread the cost.
Administrative - Consolidating any two or more businesses will save administrative, management and
perhaps manufacturing costs if facilities can be easily geared for different product lines. Second, merging two similar businesses will reduce some of the cost of competition and advertising, allowing for more resources to be directed into expansion or providing new products and services.
Legal – Well-defined business units can be incorporated as a division of a parent company, allowing its profitability to be managed and easily sold if or when desired. In the interim, there is the advantage of filing a single consolidated tax return. Combining complimentary businesses will eliminate the overhead of negotiating for supply line services, allowing a business to better meet its legal obligation to
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maximize shareholder profit. However, when similar and powerful businesses combine, it may attract the anti-monopoly government eye.
Social – When cost savings can be realized along with an increase in quality, the commodity becomes more easily consumable by more people, thereby increasing the quality of life for society in general. For example, the cell phone was a luxury and prohibitively expensive at first, but open competition and quality improvements made it accessible to almost everyone. Government subsidies completed the picture, making the commodity essentially an entitlement for everyone – and the providers extremely wealthy. Secondly, high quality production provides jobs and stability for an area and society as a whole. u
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Julie Bruflat, Realtor 5915 S. Remington Place • Sioux Falls, SD 57108 Office: 605-275-0555 • firstname.lastname@example.org
May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 23
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24 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
BROTHER AND SISTER ENTREPRENEURS BEN DUENWALD AND STACY WHITE Ben and his sister Stacy have a lot in common. They both love being their own boss, they both love fresh homemade donuts, and they both love the exhilarating freedom that entrepreneurial life brings them. Today he owns Flyboy Donuts in Sioux Falls and Stacy, CSW-PIP has her own counseling practice. While they have different businesses, they have the same entrepreneurial roots, borne from a life of true entrepreneurialism: farming. Here they share their recipe for success and some insights – about a Baker’s dozen!
Being an entrepreneur gives you more ownership in the community, because as a business owner I think you are much more engaged in your community; it matters more. – Ben Duenwald
Q&A > May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 25
Char: Ben, can you describe your management style? Ben: I am a hands-on owner, not a desk manager. Never have been, never will be.
C: S tacy, what are 2 qualities an entrepreneur needs to have? Stacy: Confidence in yourself and curiosity. B: And I’d add honesty. You have to be honest about whether something did or did not work. If the result shows nobody is going to buy it, or it’s a bad idea, give it up.
S: And fear can’t hold you back. You have to be willing to take the risk.
26 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
Interview by Charlotte Hofer
B: Optimism is another quality. If you are constantly looking
at what if, what if, what if, you’ll never make a move. You have to have the ability to not listen to friends and relatives. (laughs) It also takes creativity and imagination.
C: C an there be entrepreneurs within the corporate world? B: I think being an entrepreneur can mean stepping out and
building your own business, but it can also mean being happy at your current workplace if you’re doing things you enjoy. Entrepreneurial thinking is doing your task better, smarter, faster. It’s coming up with innovative ideas to move the company forward. That’s why I left that world. I knew in my heart I was an entrepreneur, and whenever I did something really innovative, they acted surprised, and probably wondered, ‘Why haven’t we figured this out before?’ I knew I needed a change.
BIZ Feature C: Are entrepreneurs born or are they made? B: I think it’s a little of both. It’s personality certainly, but personality based on experience.
C: C an you teach someone to have an entrepreneurial spirit? S: I don’t know about teaching it, but I think you can uncover it. People have it, but they might not realize it. You may have the ability but not the confidence to use that ability. Confidence can be encouraged and ability can be strengthened. But you have to be born with that spirit.
C: W hat is the best thing for each of you about being an entrepreneur? S: For me, it’s about the flexibility of deciding what, when, and how much I want to do.
B: If you want to change something, you can. You don’t need
to ask anybody. If I want to create a new opportunity I can. There are no limits. An entrepreneur does not count hours. It’s fun, you do it. It’s like the best video game. There are so many scenarios; it’s like a big chess game.
C: W ho keeps you motivated, on track, inspired? Who gets into that inner circle? B: It’s very important, both on a personal and professional
basis. Stacy has been a rock for me. My family and my wife were very supportive and that has been crucial to my success.
C: But not everyone has that. B: Sometimes relatives ask, ‘Why would you risk it, you have
a good job, good insurance.’ They’re protective, but it can hold you back. Some people define success as stability. But corporate is not stable anymore. And if you’re not happy, money doesn’t mean anything. I wouldn’t go back to a corporate setting for a million dollars. I wouldn’t do it.
C: S tacy, what motivated you to go out on your own? S: It wasn’t an easy decision for me. It wasn’t something I
thought I would ever do, because I liked the job and my coworkers. I was comfortable.
B: It's life experience that motivates you and pushes you
out the door. I think the majority of people aren’t entrepreneurs because they are comfortable in their job.
C: What do you want your legacy to be? B: I want to be a family man, and I want to have ownership in what I do. I think being an entrepreneur gives you more ownership in the community, because as a business owner I think you are much more engaged in your community -- it matters more. I feel like you become part of a community--a business community.
entrepreneurial skill is lifelong learner.
B: Never be satisfied. S: Always be curious about things.
C: W hat has surprised you the most about being an entrepreneur? B: I think it’s just in our blood. We were raised on a farm. We
learned early how to deal with pressure and the unexpected.
S: Work was expected and it’s not like we counted how many
hours we worked on the farm, we just worked every day. When it’s your own business, the hours can be long, but the work is fun.
B: And the reward is there – whether it’s monetary or the payoff is pride in your accomplishment. u
May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 27
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by Alan Dooley
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, The Farmers Aren’t Snoring. They’re Moving Wetlands.
WETLAND MITIGATION BANK
For decades, farmers have had to be careful not to disturb any wetlands on their parcels. Between EPA rules and regulations on wetland preservation, and the fact that if you diverted water from your farmland it would become someone else’s problem, the farmer’s hands were tied. Consequently, it is difficult to do anything with low spots in the middle of a field that collect water and kill crops. The South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) hopes to change that by the end of August, 2015. In cooperation with a $75,000 grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), South Dakota will develop its first agricultural wetland mitigation bank in cooperation with several industry and ecology or preservation groups such as the South Dakota Soybean Association, South Dakota Corn Growers Association, Izaak Walton League, Ducks Unlimited, Beadle County Conservation District, and Eco Asset Management, LLC. “Our goal is to develop a structure and framework for the agricultural wetland mitigation banks in South Dakota that will allow for degraded wetlands on continuously cropped fields to be put into production while offsetting equal acreage into a protected wetland where it will have higher value and function,” says Wayne Smith, Executive Director of the SDFB. The Farm Bureau is in the process of establishing the eligibility rules for the statewide program along with a verification system, registries and trading methods to reclaim valuable wetlands within viable crop producing parcels. “The farmer will deal directly with the mitigation bank and the
bank will then work with the NRCS to complete the mitigation process,” says Smith. On the flip side, there are plenty of production acres that cry out for water. South Dakota has 370,000 irrigated acres, according to the 2013 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey. The number of irrigation permits has seen a gradual, cyclical increase, going from 29 in 2001 to 139 in 2008, then dropping below 70 for three years prior to maxing at 354 in 2013, tapering off again to 144 in 2014. Sprinkler systems seem to be favored over gravity systems, as of 2013. Founded in 1917, the South Dakota Farm Bureau is a grassroots agricultural organization representing more than 14,300 member families across the state. The wetland mitigation group continues to meet and resolve concerns to ensure environmental protection while maximizing crop production. They hope to have a framework drafted this month. For more information on the mitigation project, visit www.sdfbf.org. u
Sources: Department of Environmental & Natural Resources, South Dakota Corn Publication: emerge, Wayne Smith, South Dakota Farm Bureau Executive Director (605) 201-4262 / email@example.com
May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 29
by Scott Swier
4 PIECES OF LEGAL ADVICE THAT SOUTH DAKOTA BUSINESS OWNERS SHOULD
As a current (or potential) small business owner in South Dakota, you’ve undoubtedly received plenty of advice - good and bad. Here are four pieces of “bad” legal advice that you should quickly disregard:
“Just get the business going and worry about legal issues later.” One of the worst pieces of advice given to South Dakota small business owners is to delay the “legal issues” until your business achieves a certain income.
Delaying the “paperwork hassle” and “legal fees” may sound like a good business strategy. However, failing to incorporate could result in your personal liability for injuries or damages. For instance, if your flower shop delivery driver accidentally hits a motorcyclist, there could be serious legal consequences. Also, avoiding the “legal issues,” such as forming a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), can result in expensive litigation to resolve later disputes about company structure, company ownership, and company profit distribution.
“Bypass the attorney and go online.” Generic legal documents are all over the Internet. Unfortunately, these documents are probably inadequate for your business and may leave you exposed to future legal problems. Every business document must be tailored to your specific situation.
Relying on online legal advice is also risky. Unfortunately, you may spend a significant amount of time and money trying to “unring the bell” and undo what you've already done based on bad online advice.
30 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
“Noncompete agreements are worthless.” Small business owners often believe that noncompete agreements “are not worth the paper they’re written on.” This is simply not true.
In South Dakota, noncompete agreements can be enforced under certain conditions. For some small businesses, a well-drafted noncompete agreement is often one of its most valuable legal documents.
“Always designate your ‘employees’ as ‘independent contractors.’” Most small business owners worry about initial start-up costs and continuing overhead expenses.
One popular myth that small business owners often hear is that designating your workers as “independent contractors” and not as “employees” is a great money-saving technique. However, there are strict legal definitions of employees and independent contractors. And any business that misclassifies its workers can create significant legal liability relating to taxes, workers’ compensation, wage-and-hour issues, and unemployment insurance. u
Scott Swier is the Founder and Managing Member of Swier Law Firm, Prof. LLC. The firm’s Business & Corporate Law Practice Group works with a wide array of clients, from individuals and families in rural South Dakota to small businesses, government officials, and Fortune 100 companies throughout the United States.
BENEATH THE SURFACE. Swier Law Firm can help you resolve deep issues and provide an anchor of trust for you and your business. Our attorneys thrive on delivering exceptional, yet creative, legal services to local, regional, and national clients with high expectations. Having four offices in the heart of South Dakota, Swier Law Firm stands apart based on our nationally recognized experience, responsiveness, and results. We proudly provide innovative legal services while keeping our client’s needs in mind. The attorneys at Swier Law Firm make business law easier so you can get back to doing what you love... running your business.
Visit Swierlaw.com for helpful articles and tips on business issues.
Scott Swier –
Brooke Schloss –
Jake Fischer– Michael Henderson Chris McClure–
Nationally Recognized Legal Solutions SIOUX FALLS OFFICE 5024 S. Bur Oak Place | Suite 214 | Sioux Falls, SD 57108 605.275.5669 With additional offices in Avon, Corsica and Winner.
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by Jeremy Brown
THREE WAYS TO THINK
LIKE A WARRIOR Whether you are an entrepreneur, a stay-at-home-mom or brand new sales rep – developing a warrior mentality will make you resilient, courageous and honorable. And those three characteristics are exactly what the world desperately needs. Our nation and our youth must idolize men and women brave enough to try, loving enough to care and strong enough to lay down their life for the sake of others. We need warriors! Here are 3 main attributes that are common among all true Warriors. Adopting these characteristics will help you develop a warrior-metality:
1 – The Cause
“He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
The warrior knows endurance comes through rest, bravery from reflection and wisdom gained from wise mentors.
Warriors have a deep sense of calling. They are absolutely all-in and give their entire lives for a cause bigger than themselves. Warriors don’t think about what they are going to get but rather what they are going to give for the cause. Their ultimate gift is themselves, their life, their devotion, their resources and all their energies for the sake of something greater.
2 – The People
“The more generous we are, the more joyous we become. The more cooperative we are, the more valuable we become. The more enthusiastic we are, the more productive we become. The more serving we are, the more prosperous we become.” - William Arthur Ward Yes, warriors are called, and they are not so much called to a thing or a work as much as they are called to a
32 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
Biz Spiritual Series:
people. They feel a strong and compassionate love for a certain people and it is that love that compels them into action every day. Typically, it is a group of people that are going through a struggle that the warrior themselves went through at one time. Whether it’s helping someone in recovery for an addiction, someone facing cancer or even helping to mend a broken heart, the warrior, filled with compassion, steps in with an offering of time and presence to walk with the hurting. The warrior treats the outcasts as royalty. Warriors don’t want the spotlight, they want to help others shine, they want to help the ones who are overlooked.
3 – The Work
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
Warriors work extremely hard. They pour everything they have into everything they do. Called forth by a powerful sense of calling, they do what is worth doing – doing “mighty things” as Roosevelt put it. Their work is to serve, to add value and to show support for the ones they love. They absolutely refuse to quit. They have a goal and they do not look to the left or to the right – their eyes are fixed on their target. They see failure as a chance to grow in strength and wisdom. The warrior knows endurance comes through rest, bravery from reflection and wisdom granted by wise mentors. Remember these three things each day and you will begin to feel your inner warrior awakening and being inspired into action. The first glimmer will be a powerful love you will feel towards others. That is the great warrior summoning you into action. You are needed and the time is now. Rise up and move onward to serve your people! u
Jeremy Brown, serial entrepreneur, is the owner of Throne Publishing and president of Link, a company that assists in career development in Sioux Falls. He has also established a nonprofit mentorship program for young men, called Warrior Leadership.
! Biz Spiritual Series: Has a principle of faith helped YOU in business? Tell us about it. Submission guidelines: 500 words or less on how a principle of faith has helped guide you in your professional life, such as: compassion, honesty, humility, gratitude, forgiveness, generosity, kindness, courage, integrity, patience) to: firstname.lastname@example.org If your article is selected for publication, you will be notified.
at Your service. at Your side. At Your Service. At Your Side. at Your service. at Your side.
Fischer, Rounds & Associates, Inc. is an independent insurance agency with a broadRounds range of personal, commercial, health and life insurance products. Fischer, & Associates, Inc. is an independent insurance agency with a broad range of personal, commercial, health and life insurance products. call us in siOuX Falls
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May 2015 | BizNOWmagazine.com | 33
Send items to: email@example.com
what's now May 1, 2, 3 Downtown Arts Festival Sioux Falls
May 1 Ag Committee Meeting 7:00 - 8:00 AM Second Street Diner 610 S. Washington Ave., Madison, SD All welcome. May 2 Kentucky Derby Gala 3:30 – 7:30 PM Sioux Falls Convention Center 1201 N West Ave, Sioux Falls, SD Benefits Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Attire: Derby Fashion (don’t forget your hat!) May 6 YPN Morning Buzz 7:30 - 8:30 AM Panera Bread Network with other YPN members
May 6 Young Entrepreneurs Meetup 6:00 - 7:00 PM Hegg Realtors 1000 E 41st St, Sioux Falls, SD Topic: What do small business owners want? Rsvp: www.meetup.com/Siouxfalls-young-entrepreneur-meetup
Biz Lunch Spotlight
May 12 Sioux Falls Membership Mixer 4:30 – 6:30 PM Carnaval Brazilian Grill 2401 S. Carolyn Ave., Sioux Falls $5 for members
May 19 SME Membership Meeting 11:30 – 1:00 PM Holiday Inn City Centre – Starlite Room 100 W. 8th St, Sioux Falls Mark Cotter speaking on The Growing Needs of Sioux Falls Members free, guests $40
May 14 Brandon Chamber Mixer 5:00 – 6:30 PM Oakridge Nursery & Landscaping 2217 S Splitrock Blvd, Brandon, SD Network with members.
May 20 YPN power Lunch Noon – 1:00 PM Grille 26 1716 S. Western Ave, Sioux Falls
May 15 A Seat at the Table with Craig Lloyd Noon – 1:00 PM Chamber of Commerce YPN members only
May 21 Business After Hours 4:30 – 6:30 PM Rasmussen Mechanical Services 2425 4th Street, Sioux City, IA Free for Siouxland Chamber members & their guests!
May 19 Brandon Networking @ Noon Noon – 1:00 PM 212 Boiling Point 328 S Splitrock Blvd, Brandon, SD Get to know members and their businesses.
May 20 Young Entrepreneurs Meetup 6:00 - 7:00 PM Hegg Realtors 1000 E 41st St, Sioux Falls, SD Speaker: Matthew Paulson on Marketing Hacks: Cheap Ways to Gain Customers Rsvp: www.meetup.com/Sioux-fallsyoung-entrepreneur-meetup
Need a nice spot for a quick lunch to conduct business? Red Lobster An extraordinary atmosphere with a great selection of fresh seafood. Extra wide and private tables for a casual business meeting or serious conversation. Impress your clients with a woodfire grill selection or classy lobster tail and shrimp followed by a luscious brownie a la mode or key lime pie. Conveniently located near I-29 on 41st at the Empire Mall. Got a place we should know about? Send in your own review in 75 words or less - we’d love to hear about it! firstname.lastname@example.org
May 21 SD Real Estate Investors Association 6:30 – 8:30 PM Keller Williams RE Office 5915 S. Remington Place, Sioux Falls
May 28 May Off The Clock mixer 4:00 – 7:00 PM Falls Overlook Café 825 N. Weber Ave, Sioux Falls YPN networking
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Don’t let a deal pass you by 34 | BizNOWmagazine.com | May 2015
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