Eric Berman of Emb Solutions on Financial Freedom and Non-financial Metrics With Your Business

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On this week’s episode, I interview Eric Berman of EMB Solutions, an accounting firm specifically working with business owners as a strategic partner offering them guidance and support to thrive from an exit point of view or just tactically helping them reduce the friction in their business.
What I love about this interview is Eric’s insights into:
  • How he integrates both financial and non-financial ideas to help people win in business
  • We also unpack Eric’s ideas on how to navigate the next 12-24 months as a business, and
  • His wisdom advice on investing outside of your business

Show Notes:

00:00:00 – Intro

00:02:05 – Eric’s Background

00:04:58 – Metrics to look for when helping businesses during COVID-19

00:08:50 – The value of asking help from someone outside of your business

00:13:33 – What business owners are doing well with their overall wealth strategy

00:18:46 – Re-investing into your business VS investing outside of your business

00:22:48 – How much income is considered “enough” when it comes to wealth-building?

00:27:25 – Thank you

Q: Can you give everyone a bit of an overview of who you are and who you help?

  • Chartered Account 
  • Spent ten years in the profession and tripled that time outside the profession as a CFO of public and private companies and in my own private consulting businesses.
  • Three revenue streams over the last 15 years: CFO outsource; exit strategies and business succession.
  • Leveraging off many years in the profession in the commercial arena to give advice to clients and to add value to businesses across all industries
  • Specific passion for helping businesses with exit strategies and business succession

Q: What are the key indicators that you’re looking for when you go in, in terms of trying to help a business?

  • In general terms, I look at the financial indicators such as liquidity and profitability.
  • Taking the pandemic into account, I will also look at what was the turnover pre-COVID? What is it now?
  • I will also try and gauge the non-financial indicators, which are more important than the financial indicators.
  • I’ll look at how the business entrepreneurs how faring and if their mind is strong.
  • Speak to some of their staff – see how they’re thinking, how many are left etc. 
  • A business entity can thrive with the right mindset, with the right input and with the right professional skills around them.

Q: What non-financial indicators are you specifically looking for and where are the opportunities to shift on the mindset level?

  • When the cash flow is tight, and insecurity comes to the fore, many people lose hope while in fact, there may be hope.
  • They just need to follow the right recipe and use the right ingredients. 
  • That’s where someone comes in and asks the hard questions to add value. 
  • That’s also where non-financial skills come in – show entrepreneurs who are struggling that there is a way out. 
  • Once that message gets across, it’s very rewarding. 

Q: What do you see businesses doing well in terms of their overall holistic wealth creation strategy versus those who aren’t?

  • It goes way beyond financially doing well. 
  • There’s no one size fits all – dependent on who is driving that company and who they surround themselves with in terms of the skills they require
  • They financially are doing well but when you ask non-financial questions, such as “show me your processes” or “how do you get your leads” you learn that the general business owner isn’t actually thinking about these questions. 
  • So the inefficiencies start wearing away at the core of the business.
  • There are all these unseen non-financial factors that aren’t addressed and that’s where I come in to question anything worth questioning to add value and get better results.

Q: What are you witnessing with those entrepreneurs that do nothing other than building their retained earnings versus those that develop income streams outside their business?

  • Seen both types of entrepreneurs – they are both smart.
  • But, my personal view is that the better strategy is the entrepreneurs who engage the right people around them and don’t put all their eggs in one basket.
  • They use one platform to invest in other platforms. 

Q: What words best describe why financial freedom matters to you?

  • If you aren’t financially independent, you are psychologically worse off.
  • But what is enough?
  • It’s not all about money. 
  • Health and family are more important.
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