Crawl, Walk, Run: Pandemic Recovery Strategy in the Events Space

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In 2020, you were doing $100 million in revenue with 250 employees. But then, your revenue dropped to $20 million, and you could only keep 38 employees (most at 25% of their salaries). Right after an acquisition, too.

Just a year later, you’ve recovered to $45 million (that’s 250% bounce back), and many of your employees have returned.

This is the experience of today’s guest, Ray Pekowski, Owner at The Expo Group, a 30-year-old company that’s chosen to act like a startup to recover its growth.

In this episode we discuss:

- Digitization, outsourcing, tax credits, and other resources and strategies that saved the business

- How thinking like a startup has shaped the recovery plan

- The importance of culture, hiring, and servant leadership

- Stock appreciation rights (SARs)/phantom stock

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Ray’s book is Lessons of an Entrepreneur

- The Expo Group also shares a ton of resources

For more episodes like this one, find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Path to Profit in your favorite podcast player.

We're on our way back, i call it acrawl walk, run, we're taking the position that hey. This is just like astartup. You are listening to past or profit apodcast looking at business growth from every angle, postle. If you're lookingto hear stories of success and staler lessons learned from leaders that havegrown and scaled their businesses, you've come at the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to pass to profit, i'myour host for today's episode, stephen king cel of growth force, i'm joinedtoday by ray kakhowsky, ceo and chairman of the export group right. Howare you doing today? I'm knowing grate steve, o happy yea great, it's good tobe here, it's good to be working yeah, exactly it's good to have you on theshow. I know i'm excited to have a great conversation about getting abusiness back on track after suffering through real trouble during pandemicyou're, an events organizer. You know you re we're an event business thatends depends on events and you wrote a book lessons of an entrepreneur andtoday we're going to talk about the the updates that you've learned for thepandemic and how you had to go back to the decision you made thirty five yearsago to get your business back on track to pre pendein ties. But before webegin, can you tell our listeners a little bit about your background andwhat's your team at export group is up to these days sure my background is mycareer started as a teacher and a coach for five years and and after havingthree children and trying to survive on a coaches, salary and migrated out ofthe business and got into the trade show world, basically through a familythat i knew when i was growing up and during college i'd work for theircompany during the brakes and semester break. So that's all i got in. Istarted my career in chicago and the company i was working for wasacquired by a larger company and we then expanded into texas, and ioriginally started in houston, texas, and then i was recruited by a companythat was owned by clint murkison. I don't know if you know who clint markis out so clint is the. He was the founder of the dallas cowboys, oh andone of the companies that he acquired was in our business, and so i wasrecruited to go to work for his company and moved to dallas texas in tonineteen, eighty four, and shortly there after one thousandnine hundred and eighty seven, i started my first company callednationwide convention systems and i sold that to my partner and fromthere i took a year off started a couple ofsmall companies and then started the x bot group in one thousand nine hundredand ninety one. And what is the xpo group do? So we are a primary we beclassified as a general service...

...contractor, who is a supplier to showorganizers for their events. So when a trade show is going to happen in theconvention center, they when people attend, they go to the shows, but theynever think about how those shows were set up. So we provide logistics, decore,graphics, furnishings to make it all come come to furit. Well, you grewquite a company before pen the pandemic kicked in you who are two thousand andnineteen. You were eighty million in top line revenue with two hundredemployees and thirteen, and over almost fourteen million in nevada, seven and ahalf percent to the bottom line, and then you did an acquisition in twothousand and twenty ve got that up to a hundred million dollar business withtwo hundred and fifty employees and then the whole world change right. Youo world your world. You know one of the things i was excited to get you on. Theshow is because you know a lot of our listeners were impacted by ovid, butanybody who was doing trade shows and events and a travel or entertainmentwas really affected in hotels. All of it. Yes, yeah you drop down to twentymillion dollars. Like you know, eighty percent of your revenues lost you. Youlost ten million dollars after four million of ppp, and so you suffered asmuch as you know as much as anybody could have suffered. So what are youdoing now right now to get your business back on track to that prepedem world? So we are slowly coming back a lot ofour customers postponed or canceled in the first half of this year and theones that postponed are doing at on the backalong this year. So we have a very,very compressed schedule, starting in next month in august, and we didthrough the process. You know we had the the the total number of employeesthat we had with the acquisition was two d, a d: seventy five and we gotdown to e thirty eight employees who were basically taking a seventy fivepercent, less lester salary, so they're making twenty five percent of theirsalary and they stayed with us, and we are so appreciative for those folksthat did believe and did stay with us to get us back. Sowhat we're doing now is we're on our way back. I call it a crawl walk, run,we're taking the position that hey. This is just like a start up, we'restarting grand new sure we're bringing people back. Some people are comingback, others have elected to to move on into a new industry. Certainly can'tblame him for that, because it in fact ed their families. Do you have? Are youfinding that it's difficult to get people to come back? I mean that's oneof the things that we're seeing in our clients is, i don't know if it's theunemployment benefits or it's the working at home, got them use to beingwith the family. What's it like to have a trade shore convention, business andall of a sudden now the work for us is being asked to go back to the old way.So so the old way is one of the things...

...i think we kind of threw that out sowe're working as a high bred. We were, we had flex time, you know before thethe pandemic, and so we we're evaluating is very fluid right now,just as a start up would be so you're bringing people back. You know we'relooking at. You know how comfortable they are in the work environment. We'renot. We are not man dating vaccinations, and so it's the comfort level that youfeel if you feel comfortable working in our environment come on in and whichright now, i'm in the office today we have. We have lots of people hereworking today and i feeling very comfortable so, but that was just oneof the processes that we had to to bring back. We were going for fifteenmonths, so we had, we had to make it fun. We wanted to make things fine soand we had an integration that we didn't complete. So we made theacquisition january fifteenth of two thousand and twenty, so we had fifty. Ithink it was fifty three, a d fifty seven employees that came on we werenever able to fully get them integrated into our company. So that was that's ahuge challenge as we come back, so we decided that, let's integrate like wewere started up. Let's get everybody like they never worked here before. So as we bring people back in waves, youknow one of the things that we're doing is we're doing enterprise wide podcast like this andso we're taking an employee, maybe in orlando and interviewing an employee inlas vegas and and telling a little bit of story about things that quite humilthat we didn't even know about them, so we're making it very personal as theybring them back and welcome them back to the company. So that way, we we getthe person irlanda, who never met the person, the vegas person in vegas, whonever met a person in orlando because we didn't have time to integrate. Sonow they come on screen. We have. It probably takes three minutes. You knowand see some people as they come back, so we are we're in the process of doingthat. So we have a new wave coming in this week. We have twenty twenty peoplecoming back, so we look like projecting for thisyear. Our revenues are going to be around twenty five million. So now we are going to be going approximatelybe a hundred and fifty people by the end of year or january, coming up isgood. I mean that's a poe still down to from from the two d d: seventy fiveyeah, but you you know if you got, you went down to less than twenty millionyou're going to get to forty five million in two thousand and twenty one.That's two hundred and fifty percent bounce back yeah. Well, what? What isthe profit on that? What are you going to you going to get back to break? Even?Are you going to still have some subsidies? What do you think i know?Well, the subsidies that we do have is the is. We are getting peril taxcredits from the government, and that is really helping us a lot a lot there,that's a lot more money than we thought...

...would be coming in. I mean we'retalking about at the end of the proof that whole process it'll be sevenfigures. You know worth of peril. This is this is just for the listenersbenefit. This is the tax credit which tax credit is different from a taxdeduction right. It's a credit right off your bill, so it's money in thebank, money and then and what was that based on for you for keeping peopleemployed? You know now you're asking the wrong guy. That's! Okay! That'swhat it's intended to it! It's intended to that's what the government wantedright was to keep the unemployment rate below you know double digit self yeah.So so so you know you got. You got your bringing people back. You got fortypeople coming back this year. You know when we talked early you're talkingabout developing a model to predict head count and things that you didn'thave to do in the past. I, like yeah, absolutely so. What were what we did iswe looked at the company things that we were? We were doing pre pandemic. Youknow as far as scaling, so we took this time and we looked at i things that we couldeliminate in processes we digitize processes. We took a, we were lookingright now. We still are evaluating maybe doing outsourcing. Instead ofdoing it. Direct and house will outsource it. We're looking atpartnerships, so things that probably if the pandemic didn't happen, we wouldhave just kept on moving along and not really looked at. Let's stick into that.What kind of process is we digitizing? So so we have we're very logistic typecompany. So when you look at the movements of the things we have to do to prepare foran event, we have to take all the things out of our offices, move them tothe location, the show site, location set them up and either when the show isovertake, that that same amount of equipment and send it to the next doorfor next show or bring it back to the warehouse. So this was all basically insilos in some of it was not not automated whatsoever. So we took allthat and we're automating it into a thing. We call a cube, and now itallows workers from wherever they are. If they're at home, for example, theycan tap into the cube and check the pro where the progress of the of the eventis so in our business. Believe it or not.These events take a year to plan sure one one one one one one chill ends youimmediately begin planning for the next war is that show going to base and mostof our shelves travel from city to city. So you start up start the whole processover again and an more that you plan the more the better your margin isgoing to be so the better we can get at execution and the more time we put inthe planning, because all all all the shows are the shows laxed about tendays from five days of moving you to two or three days, a show, then acouple days and move out and that's it. So you spend the whole rest of the timeplanning in the better you plan to...

...butter. You ex you know, i often say topeople you have to spend twenty percent of your time planning for the other,eighty percent. If you really want to max late, that's one full day a week,just planning and a lot of times smaller businesses in particular. Youknow they just they have to do it all and they skip that spot. I think it'sit's encouraging that even an eighty to a hundred million dollar business hassome manual processes that they could automate. So that's there's hope forall of us. So yeah. Absolutely there is it's a continuing process. So so wehave a proprietary software that we developed when we first start at thecompany. So that's that's! That's always working were in, like i thinkversion seven s so, but the challenges is just like a startup. As i talkedabout is so we have all these people coming back when they left fifteenmonths ago, we had one system now they're coming back into a new system,some of them like it. Some of i don't so we're doing we're right now, fasttracking, a lot of training and development. So not only are theycoming back to war and it's like anything else. So if you go play golfand you haven't played in fifteen months going to be a little rusty, soyeah i, the king out, we're working a king south. So one of the big benefitsof that investing in that training is that's the number one reason why peoplequick companies is lack of training. I mean they join other companies, thatscree, to get training opportunities so good for you. That will help you withyour attention to talk to me about your partnerships and your outsourcing.Obviously you know that's music to my ears. What are you thinking? Why areyou going through that right now? Why would a why? Why is it different today?So we're talking to our competitors like we've never talked to before, andso obviously we are all facing the same challenges and so we're looking to themto say if we all, maybe out sore one one of the services that we provide isis carpeting, it's a very labor intensive business, it's a loss leaderfor us, but perhaps by consolidation we can week and mitigate the loss and andmaybe get even some profit out of it. So we're looking that just one oneservice were looking at furnishings. Transportation were early in the game.A lot of discussions in this this will evolve. You know once once we getthrough the stabilization period as i like to call so right now we're tryingto stabilize stabilized meeting getting back to we're, not hiring twenty peoplea week and i and and and we've gone through, the train. We've got people upto speed, we're generating revenues were making a profit, and so you askedabout profitability, so we because of these shows not the first time they'recoming through after this historic one hundred year pandemic that we've had sotoday. Just earlier today, i was talking with with one of my projectmanagers and the show that we did in two thousand and nineteen is about halfthe size of what we're going to have this year. Sure soi we have. We have tonow make adjustments so things that...

...maybe we had in our contract that wewere going to provide for them we're talking them were working with them aspartners. You know ways to to reduce the cost for them and also for us. Itmakes sense. I see it in every every business doesn't matter non profits arechanging the way the delivering services or profits. You know i justlike the way you look at it says we're a third year old business, we're actinglike a startup, oh yeah, it's fun, yeah yeah, one, one of the things that yousaid was you know if you were having problems prepandemic, this pandemic put you over the hedge, but that's thedifferentiator, for you was your culture. I it was. It was like this.You said this is the single biggest thing for your success and right and ifyou and and and the single biggest thing to improve marges, what does thatmean to you? This is my love language. So what does that mean? Okay, soculture culture was very important to me from the beginning. You know. So ifyou had to define culture in one word, it would be behavior rigot's, thebehavior, it's how people are treated, how you feel for them. Do they feelthat that love right? I know it sounds like a silly word, but we look at that.People spend the majority of their lives at work. Yes, they don't spend itat home. They spend that at work, and so we become the extension of theirfamily and we try to look at it that way. So so the first thing we do is iswe have a servant, leadership idalie serving a purpose greater thanourselves now, whether that be god, country orthe company, and so those those types of things wewe have. I don't want to say indoctrinated but from the beginning isvery important to us. So i would say that to build a culture that it startsat the hiring process, you you very rarely can change people'spersonalities, so they either they are in a they're, going to serve and feelgood about, serving feeling good about giving whether or not or they're goingto want to make a lot of money. And if this company is not the company thatthey can do that, then they want to move on. So everyone all of us seethese the resumes the the job offers from job to job job. So we look at atwhen we bring someone in is hiring them for life. I know it sounds crazy intoday's world, but but we have in our company three generations of peopleworking for us, the grandparents, the kids and now their kids wow yeah, andso that's that's what i mean by culture. What was that like, when you had to cuteighty percent of your staff? So that was a very difficult right, butthey knew they knew that that we would never have done it if we didn't have toyou know it's it's kind of, i think you know. I had a executive team meetingthe other day, and i said you know a...

...lot of the rank and file never askabout where the money's coming from. They just believe that we're a mom anddad and mom and dad are going to make it happen for him. I you know, keep himgoing and so that there's a trust right. There's a ous, there's communication wecommunicated- and you know with them over those fifteen months. Let themknow what we were working on. What we were trying to get done did you know,we we didn't know was a moving target, is never experienced anything like this.In my life, no, and- and so we felt it was coming back this month, this bethand it just kept getting further down the line. So how did? How did you find?How did you find the ten million? That's a big nut, so we spoke to atremendous amount of private equity firms. We spoke to a lot of familyoffices, and so we ended up at the end. We brought in a partner that had afamily office that had experience in our in our industry great and it was alife saver and and so it wasn't something that we were wanting to do,but at the same time the alternative was not very good. No, but could kudosto you, because family offices are probably some of the best investors,because there they're passive in many ways right n repasses right. They don'twant to sit on a board every month. They check in once twice a year andwhat it also says is that you did have a profitable business before, and thiswas a temper well good for you. Congratulations, yeah! Well, thank you.So i love that culture. You know you're hiring servant leaders, you know you.You basically hire servants right, people a recruit for es yeah. So to goback to that, so you know how we do so. It starts at the hiring process. So oneof the things that we do is we give them personality test. We happen to useberkman and we don't. We don't do this for every employed. We do it for themajority of the majority. We did it in the beginning for every play, but sothen, when you're a candidate to come into an opening in our company, youwill learn a view the whole day with. If, for whatever position, you're goingto be doing, i in every department that you touch you will interview with thatdepartment manager and then at the end, we come together at the end of that day,and we ask you know: are they still interested in working or what do theylearn about the company and do they want to move forward? And then, afterthat we grew, we re grew with er every person that that candidate met with andwe make a decision. Is this person a culture fit that's number one m. Theyhave to fit the culture and in number two skill set. Is that if they have theright attitude, they may not be the a player, but sometimes a players are astands for a different, a right, yeah big ar little a right, a right andthat's what we do. We, the other part, is just understanding theirexpectations right. So one of the questions i always ask is,as tell me what: where do you want to be in? You know in one year, threeyears and five years, how much money do you want to be making and if they give me honest answers, andi feel that there is no way that we're...

...going to we can meet those objectors. We just let him know that and we wishfrom the best, because it's better than bringing in that person you reallyreally want. Then you know they really really good, but they want to make moremoney than we could ever pay them. And then what happens? Is you end up you'regoing to have a failure right and i look at that our process. I look at anytime. Someone leaves us, there was a failure. It was a failure either on ourside or on their side. Either they didn't they weren't forthright andtelling us what they want it or we just made a wrong decision after sixinterviews, he'd, say, and that was as occasionally and so we manage it. Thatway, so other part of our culture is eight twenty, so and everybody uses etwenty, but i always tell people that i want you to be happy. Eighty percent ofthe time and there's going to be time periods when we're going to put out apolicy or we're going to do something. That's not going to make you happy, butwhere are an imperfect world or an imperfect company and guess what you'rean imperfect employe right? So we don't live in a perfect world, and so once weget through that, there's an understand now. Our turn over at least my hr guy tellsme with very low, and one of the things i m most proud of is that when we havelost people over this period of time, we've had so far. Nineteen people leaveus and come back and product, and so and and part of that is in going backto the berkman is, is we call it? The platinum world and the platinum rule is?Is we've all heard about the golden rule right? We, you know, treat peoplelike you want to be treated. That's that's not really true. Theplatinum rule is to treat people like they want to retreat it, and that takeswork that that you have to get involved. You have to immerse yourself into youremployees. You have to learn what their hot buttons are when there, whenthey're off and and to the point where they could be having something reallyreally personal going on in their life and that's going to carry over, you gotto back off and just let if you really believe in that person give them thespace to get through that time. Pro whatever it may be, could be a familymember of sick lost divorce. You know whatever it is. I think that's soimportant, because employee turnover is one of the most insipid hidden costs inthe business. Yes, you know the ai cpa did a report called valuing the humandimension and they wanted publicly traded companies to disclose theturnover because they found a direct correlation between employee turnoverand profits. So that's really important because having lower turnover, itsdirect correlation to increase profits, the ai cpa and did a report through thec gma on valuing the human dimension,...

...and they said, sixty eight percent ofthe value of a company is its people. It's the relationships with thecustomers, the relationships with the vendors knowledge of your vision andthe tactics and when business when somebody leaves businesses a run ontravel knowledge. I remember the tribe leave, so does the knowledge, oh yeah,absolutely, and they recommended that publicly traded companies have requiredfootnote of employee turnover because it has such a profound impact on thebottom line. That's that's really impressive. I applaud you for for that accomplishment.So i think part of that steve is, is the find out again going back to theirexpectations and we found over the years that some people, just they getto a point where they're happy they you know they're there. They don't wantthat big increase. They don't need that bones. They just love the working hereand they're happy in the position right and so those are great employees. Thoseare great employees. We all we live for those people, but but it's a consciousstrata is status. Is i love that i got to work at it? So now? Why? So, youknow you've got this business. What do you want to do with it? I mean you know,we're probably the same age. You know starting to think about what happensnext, im a lot older, i so we we have so one of the things wewere working on you know prior to tapan. Domec is we're family on business, andso we have. We have worked with an outside family business consultant foryears and just kind of preparing us for one of the rules that we have as afamily is that we do not have any discussions about were at family meetat family engagements meeting christmas, easter birthdays, it's off limus. Wedon't talk about it. However, then we do have structured meetings to where wecome in and we do talk about him. We have our outside family business.Consultant comes in and facilitates that so about six years ago we made adecision, we met as a family, we talked about it. We asked the kids hey if wesold a company a any problems with that in the outsaid. No, you know go for youknow. If that's what you want to do, we understand it's. Your company then metwith our board, and so some of the questions that the board members wereasking me was so right once you get this chunk of money. What are you goingto do? I said: well, you know i'm going to invest it. He said what kind ofinvestments right not there's, not many investment south there you that are notrisk in verse right, so i i said: well, i i probably invest in some companies.You know create a create a family office, and so they said will junes inthis company and they said absolutely they so okay and why you sell. I i right if youdon't need some money and- and things are going well so and we did have asecession plan in place. We were doing that. That was the that was the finnymoment and then we kind of accelerated it by that by sesuto planning. Wewanted to have the next generation of...

...leaders in the the company, and sothat's what we've done. We've been successful with that our whole secondgen is all new leaders into the company and the biggest challenge that i haveis to maintain that culture. So because that that to me this culture can beapplied in any size company. You can take it into a fortune. Five hundredcompany practice, those same things that i'm talking about it doesn't haveto be on a company wide level, but it can be within your division right. Youcan do this stuff right in within your division. So what does it mean? So youknow i'm look talk to a lot of people about the same thing. You don't want tosell to a third party because it changes the culture to have a outsidecorporate ownerships or have a poor, a real board of directors. What are youroptions i mean i sat is one: what are the things you're looking at, what wedid a lot, a lot of de diligence on esops and, and i'm not here advocatingone way or the other, and just this is our personal view. I love to hear andwe've heard all the pros. We heard all the cans, and so one of the things thatthat we felt was the biggest con was our ability to do things as ownerswithout having to be worried about a stockholder, saying, well, jes ray,went out and bought himself alexis or took a vacation. You know where's thatmoney coming from that type of thing, so we want any autonomy to discontinueto to run like we have been running. So what we did is we implement it backthen, what we call a stock appreciation, races, stars, sars, yeah and so phantomstock. We're get different terms for it, but reality that's what it is. So we wehate to explain, explain what that is. First, okay, stock appreciation is, isthe if i issue you a sar at a unit value. That's that's your basis. Sothen, when you sell or exit whatever the difference in value of that sar isthat when we vision it to you to your exit is what you get paid. So what'sthe difference between that in regular stock? What's why is it phantom litcome on steve? You can answer that one probably better than i i know i, but you know you're, not you don't have to deal withany of the other issues right, so everybody looks at the upside of beingan equity player. We've had numerous people come and say so i have anopportunity for recut. They never look at the downside like we just wentthrough call for capital, you know just think of if they had to make the callfor capitals sell their houses, all the other things sure that they would havehad to do to come up with their percentage of whatever that was. Yoursis a great example of that right, because if you had to go out and getten million dollars of outside investors, everybody gets deluded bythat amount if they owned real stock and if you have to- or they have to putup, you know ther their pro rata share...

...of ten million dollars right, that'scorrect and- and it's also a lot less administration right, you're, notactually getting the actual ownership, not you're getting the interest in theprofits, that's correct. In so yeah yeah we went out and did we hired acompany that you hire just let's give a pluck? Well now: okay, it's okay! No!No! No! No! I would happy to do that, but they sold it. The jp, morgan, okayand so, but they came in and did valuation for us. We paid. You know onefeet for that, and then we gave him. We were paying them a monthly update, sowe sent them our financials and they would give us monthly for what thevalue the company was. So what we did for the sars as we work just off of thetop end, it's a percentage of the revenue, no nothing to do with you now theprofits losses or anything like that. Oh so, that's interesting, because theesop is all about ebitda right right, that's correct his! So i didn't knowthat so percent the percent, the sars you can value it based on other thingsother than what the banks would look like look is crack yes, so we have afixed amount and we locked that in now one of the things that obviously justas everyone else did their sars got devalued very quickly from when theywere issued. If you got issued within the last twenty four months of which,unfortunately, some of our folks did so what we have been doing now, as we talkto our outside consultant that helped us with this compensation- and wecreated, they told us they never heard of this. So we created what we call afive star and a seven star program. So the stars that we have issued in thebeginning were for retirement or salary continuation. So when they retiredthere was a pay out, i think, of nine years when from the vat from the timethey were ishidate, they retired, whatever the difference was so now. Weare issuing here in the next thirty to forty five days, a we call five starand a seven star program, and so five started meeting the length of time. Soit's going to be five years, so we're going to issue at our current value andthen pay off. If we achieve a certain level of revenue in five years, they call it their term that they useis called. That's called a cliff yep. So if they know, if we don't get there,they lose it, and then we did a seven yards, seven years stock so or sevenstar. I love this. I love this well well ray. I really appreciate youtaking the time to share a great story about how you've take builtthis business to success, got it to a hundred million dollars and two hundredand fifty employees and then once in a hundred year pandemic hit andyou dropped it to twenty million and losing ten on the bottom line. And ilove the i love you know what your...

...mindset is now of you're, like a thirtyyear old, start up, you're you're, going back to the beginning and sayingwhat should we do to grow this back up? Digitizing your processes to automateeverything looking at out, sourcing and part, and actually talking to yourcompetition, which is one of the things that i know a lot of people struggle with. Butyou know like a start up, you're investing in training and developmentand and what a emphasis on that culture right, your exensive, thethirty years. One of the reasons i was so excited to talk to you was youreally understand, and i erable to share with the listeners what culturereally means it means recruiting for behaviors and the those people that arebehaviors about how people get treated right. Do they feel the love? You knowany anybody's in a service business, you don't want to recruit for skills.You want to trot cruit for a servant. Leadership right servant, mindshiftbark berkman- is a great company there here in houston and they're, really agreat way to test whether or not people are truly those servant, leaders butinterviewing for cultural fit, and do they have the belief systems that youwant then, after they culturally fit, and they have the skills and thensomething i hadn't heard before it is asking about their expectations. Youknow understanding. Where do they want to be in one three five years? We dothat, but we do it after they've been hired. I love. I love doing that on theinterview process. I might take that one myself, but because, if does ifsomebody does leave, it is a failure and yes is a file and and the abilityto you know, keep your your turnover. Do you know what your turnover ratiowas or what your target is? Your goal? No, i don't i don't want to. I don'twant to state something all i all i do know is that so our hr person said ray,you mean we are so low on turnover compared to our peers and it talksabout the diversity. We have a lot of diverse all before this just came out.I mean we were. We were diversified well before you know this all happened.Well, i guess you know, that's that's one of the biggest hidden costs inbusiness, so it's not surprising that you got to thirteen million dollars inprofit if you turn over s low- and i also like that- you know you'rethinking about what do you do with this now you got a family business. Esopusis something that a lot of people look at, and i learned today that the stockappreciation rights, the stars, a phantom stock. You know it has the samekind of benefits of real stock ownership without all the hassles,without the risks of actually, if you have a pandemic, and you got a cough up-ten million dollars- you don't have to do that. If you're you don't, if youhave a anthos, but that you can do evaluation based on what's good foryour business so and having a payoff, if you hit that five year cliff if yourrevenue gets to where it needs to be in five years, that gets everyoneincentive to move in like things. So thank you right for sharing so muchknowledge of your thirty five years. You know what what what is thereanything in you know you in your in your book or anything you're going toadd to your. So i say you know.

Obviously one of the things i'm one ofmy personal goals is the right and updated and what we just gone through.You know not for as a second addition to my blood, but if you're interestedin awe built it in the culture that you can find you know inside you know thebook, it's an easy give give them the name of the book again. Okay, it'slessons of an onpenitent. Oh there. It is obscene lessons of an entrepreneuror red look at that and how to grow, take risks and survive. So, yes, andand where do people find this book, that amazon, amazon, okay, great i'mmike i'm going to go, get that myself just to get the cultural guidelines sowell right. I really appreciate your time if anyone has any follow questionsor just wants to connect with you. What's the best way for them to findyou can reach me at ray paesk at the xpo group com or just reach out to thexpo group. You can call thell a directory there leave me a voice, mailget back yea and i i do i used to say i'll get back. He was in twenty fourhours. I don't do that anymore. It's forty eight hours, but i do return.Peoples no worries well right. Tekoi, thank you for taking the time to joinus o, have the profits and to the rest of you will see you next time visitgrowth, forco podcast for more helpful resources to help you find your ownpath to profits. Growth corse is a smart back officesolution that ceos need for better financial management of their business,delivering a level of reliability, consistency and expertise that istypically reserved for mid market companies from advanced bookkeepingmanagement, accounting, controller and advisory services. Growth forceprovides dedicated teams and cloud based technology that becomes a scale.This solution we meet you where you are to learn more visit. Growth for comyou've been listening to pat the profit, to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast. If you're listening,ape podcast we'd love for you to give a quick grating show just hap the numberof stars. You think the podcast deserts. Thank you so much for listening untilnext time. I.

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