OVF Fostering New and Existing Business Ventures in Oklahoma.
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- September 2016 -

Myriad Insight

Exit Ahead?
Navigate with Myriad Insight
Bryan Clifton

By Lori Williams email>>

When 12-year-old Bryan Clifton became a partner in his family’s toy and novelty business, he did more than positional marketing and production outsourcing. He laid the foundation for his own future entrepreneurial endeavors. “I thought it was normal for a kid my age to run cash registers and sell toys at trade shows,” he says. “Soon thereafter, I was handling the majority of the business’ financial operations and logistics. And once again I thought that was normal.”

By the time Bryan learned that his prominent role was, in fact, quite unique, he was also discovering how a business transitions without an exit plan. “Part of the reason I founded Myriad Insight is that I saw firsthand what happened in my family’s business when the right pieces were not in place for a successful exit strategy. There was pain and frustration. My goal and desire is to make sure people realize they have other options.”
“I’ve found that there are a lot of resources out there to help entrepreneurs begin well,” says the CEO, “but there are very few resources to help them know how to end well. So launching Myriad Insight is a market opportunity as well as a way to help alleviate the stress I see in the lives of many entrepreneurs.” 
At the September 14 Oklahoma Venture Forum luncheon, Bryan will present his custom exit strategy plan. “I call it the EFT model, which stands for emotional, financial and tactical.”
Clifton’s approach, which puts a priority on dealing with the emotional aspect of letting go of a business, may seem counterintuitive. But he is quick to point out that, “The number one reason why a transition or succession is a failure is the inability to deal with the emotional aspect. It does not matter what the number says on the piece of paper if you feel like your identity is taken or like you weren’t valued or respected.”
“People need to have the chance to voice their concerns so that all parties are on the same page from an emotional standpoint. That includes spouses of business owners because their lives are about to change dramatically. When all of this is done properly, putting together the terms and financial aspects for an exit strategy becomes much easier.”
But easier does not mean quick. “Many times entrepreneurs will come to me and say, ‘I want to sell my business in three months.’ But you can’t sell in that time frame and get the maximum value for your business.”
“The short side for selling a business is a year,” says the founder of Myriad Insight. “But most of the time it’s three to five years of preparing, getting your financials in order, and getting your performance up to a spot where you’re able to get that maximum value.”
“Three to five years shows that your business has a track record. It also shows that it has probably been able to weather at least one storm, whether that was a key employee leaving or an economic issue that really hit your particular industry. People want to see that there’s some staying power and that this isn’t just a concept or an idea.”
“All of this doesn’t mean you have to start working on an exit strategy today so you can sell in 2021. It does mean you have to have a good track record and performance for a minimum of three years.”
In the meantime, Clifton will continue his own serial entrepreneurship journey. “I am currently an owner in four different ventures,” he says. “Myriad Insight is the biggest one; the others are in different stages of growth and have differing pieces of my attention.”
“If I hadn’t been exposed to business opportunities at a very early age,” he says, “I wouldn’t have the entrepreneurial drive that I have today.”

Please join us September 14th for the first
Speaker Series Luncheon of the
2016-2017 OVF Session.

Click HERE to register to attend.

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Short Presentation

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Shaynin Richardson

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PHF Conference Center at University Research Park

PHF Conference Center

September 14th
OVF Luncheon

PHF Conference Center
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September 29th
OVF After Hours

Water's Edge Winery
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October 12th
OVF Luncheon

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November 9th
OVF Luncheon

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December 14th
OVF Luncheon

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Register to attend


French Boned Chicken Breast Santa Fe
with Pepper Jack Mornay 

Parmesan and Portabella Risotto 

Seasonal Fresh Vegetable Medley 

Rolls and Flat Breads with Basil Honey Butter 

Chef Salad 

Turtle Cheesecake & cookies 

OVF AFter Hour
September 29th
Water's Edge Winery

712 N Broadway Ave,
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Sponsored by: OU Price College MBA Program
Director Lynann Sterk-Brooks &
Executive Director Eddie Edwards

Member Profile:

The Golding Group

Kyle Golding

The Golding Group Connects
with the Audience


by Lori Williams >>email

He tames redwood by night and develops businesses by day, but Kyle Golding’s jobs don’t end there. The owner of The Golding Group and Share Furniture is also a venture capitalist and a partner in the 1219 Creative Co-Work Space + Art Gallery. “An organic, natural approach is the best way to get people to connect with your product or service,” says the chief strategic idealist who’s as comfortable polishing business plans as he is sanding gnarled wood.

Those slabs of redwood were destined for the landfill until Kyle Golding rescued them from the dumpster. “The cut-off pieces are the hard sections with knotholes,” says Kyle, who fused the three sections into a table. “I almost cut my hand off a couple times while I sanded out some of the roughness. But I kept as much of the natural element as possible.”
At The Golding Group, Kyle also fits pieces of his clients’ stories together into a marketable platform. “As a business owner, you need to connect with the right audience for all the right reasons,” says the CEO. “People don’t even care what your product or service costs as long as they can associate with you for the reasons they find important.”
“We create systems that allow business owners to focus on the real story and the real audience. That way, they avoid the habit of using a snappy ad campaign to sell something based on price or a list of features that has nothing to do with the actual product or company.”
“The hardest work we do is identifying the real target audience,” says Golding, “and a lot of people are not ready for it because they’re afraid of turning down opportunity.”
Kyle, on the other hand, is very comfortable turning down opportunities that do not mesh with his company’s modus operandi. “When we ask clients who their customers are, and they say, ‘Everyone,’ I’m not going to do business with them.”
“That’s because, unless you’re selling oxygen, everyone is not your customer.”  
Nailing down the customer base is something Kyle’s been doing since he was a teenager. “I played guitar for a rock group called EZ Access before I started doing sound for local bands on the weekends,” he says.
That gig led to the formation of a production company while Golding was still in college. “As an audio engineer I did national and international shows,” he says. “The most challenging tour was for Nine Inch Nails because their audio and video feeds had to sync without the audience hearing the cues for the band.”
These days, Kyle sits behind a desk instead of a control panel. But his decidedly untraditional office is at 1219 Creative Co-Work Space + Art Gallery on N. Classen Blvd in Oklahoma City.  “At The Golding Group, we set ourselves apart from other business development professionals because we rely heavily on creativity,” he says. Thus his decision to offer co-working spaces as well as large and small offices for lease on a monthly basis. “My co-workers and I like to be around like-minded people because there’s an energy in that kind of environment. It’s been very good for all of us.”
“Everyone who’s in an office at 1219 started at one of the co-work desks,” says Kyle. Although it’s not an official incubator, business lessons rub off on the lessees as readily as linseed oil lends gleam to a table. “When people move out of the co-work desks and into one of our office spaces,” says Kyle, “their businesses are turning into successes.”

Chairman's Perspective



Jim Bratton

There has never been a better place or a better time to launch a new business venture than right here, right now, in Oklahoma.
Sure, we’re in the middle of a national election that’s fomenting uncertainty and discontent. Yes, our state’s economy has been hit hard by the downturn in energy prices. Foreign countries continue to challenge and oppose open trade policies that would help American companies grow. And, yes, our nation is grappling with social issues that are straining our cultural fabric.

But, the business of America is business. Innovation is restless.  And, the money never sleeps.
What do 3M, Apple, Buffalo Wild Wings, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Johnson & Johnson and Southwest Airlines all have in common?  According to the Kauffman Foundation, they were launched during periods of economic distress. They didn’t wait for a boom market to start. They saw opportunity and jumped on it.  They may have faced headwinds raising capital or closing sales, but they had vision and passion and, as a result, they are thriving today.
Consumers and industries are constantly looking for solutions to problems.  Whether it’s a better way to shop, cheaper way to deliver goods or a faster way to get information and make decisions, demand for efficiencies always outstrips supply.  Entrepreneurs who actively listen to customers and deliver results thrive in every economic environment, including this one.
Right here in Oklahoma we have some of the country’s fastest growing companies in some of the most dynamically expanding industries.  Our diverse, entrepreneurial ecosystem boasts start-ups in big data, renewable energies, online services, weather information, education, healthcare and biotech.  New incubators, accelerators and shared workspaces are popping up alongside affinity groups of developers, designers and scientists.  And VCs from around the country are starting to take notice.
For the last three years, Oklahoma has ranked 11th or 12th in the nation for Net Job Creation in a study by Beacon Economics.  Overall, the cost of living in Oklahoma is about 9% below the national average according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Last year, Entrepreneur Magazine listed OKC as the number one place to start a business. listed Oklahoma City as the ninth best city to live in while in your 20s.  And, The Princeton Review’s rankings of the Top 25 Graduate School programs for Entrepreneurship included both OU’s Price College of Business (#12) and OSU’s Spears School of Business (#23).
As incoming Chairman of OVF, I am excited about our year ahead.  We have a great line up of speakers and activities that will highlight the diverse and growing entrepreneurial economy in our state.  Our monthly lunches combined with members-only, after-hours, networking events promise to enlighten, engage and, hopefully, inspire you to pursue your entrepreneurial instincts.
I look forward to working with each of you this year.  I am grateful for the opportunity to lead OVF and hope each of you will reach out regularly with ideas of how we can improve our programming, create broader impact and ensure the enduring global competitiveness of Oklahoma and the nation.
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