Introducing The Bottom Line
Ideas, resources and connections to help improve your business and life
We have created The Bottom Line to give you our best ideas for starting, growing and transitioning your business. We want to put the spotlight on local business owners and their success stories. We want to provide useful perspectives on economic trends, asset expansion, mergers and acquisitions, tax planning, risk management and cash flow.
Most importantly, we want to help you make better decisions and enjoy more success, in business and in life.
Starting, growing and exiting a business are three very distinct and challenging stages of business ownership and management. Each one requires a different set of strategies and skills.
To start a business, it takes courage and capital. To grow, it takes creativity and capital. To exit, it takes experienced counsel and capital.
Yes, there’s a pattern with capital here, but with some important variations.
While capital – cash, money, funds – may be the common denominator, it’s not the rare commodity.
What we believe really counts with capital – especially in business banking – is what comes with it. It’s quality people going above and beyond every day. It’s the ideas, resources and connections they collect and share. It’s an earnest desire to be helpful and get things done.
We welcome – and strongly encourage – your feedback any time. Let us know what you like (or don’t like.) Contact us to tell us what you want to know more about – we promise to answer. We look forward to being in touch.
To your bottom line.
— Brian Hoban, Chief Commercial Banking Officer
High inflation, low unemployment and rising interest rates confound the markets, predictions still mixed
The annual inflation rate remains stubbornly high at 6.5 percent (5.7 percent core) for the 12 months ended December 2022, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
But the Federal Reserve has a firm grasp on the rudder, tightening monetary policy consistently in 2022, raising federal funds rates by 4.25 percentage points, the largest one-year increase in 40 years. And by its own estimates, the Fed believes interest rates may need to come up another half or full percentage point in 2023 to get closer to the Fed’s 2 percent annual inflation target.
It appears that the Fed's now slowing rate increases, plus easing supply-chain pressures and lower energy prices are likely to prevent an extreme economic slowdown, but a recession is still not out of the question even though the classic sign of a recession – GDP contraction – still does not appear to be on the horizon.
The final piece to the puzzle is unemployment, which has now fallen to 3.5 percent, a level we have not been below since 1969. A striking contrast to the weekly headlines of mass layoffs in the tech sector.
Bottom line: The U.S. economy still grew at a solid 2.9% annual rate in the fourth quarter, only down slightly from the 3.2% in the third quarter - not as big a dip as some may have feared. Consumer spending remained positive in the fourth quarter, while housing and business spending pulled back, but remember, positive GDP growth, at any rate, is the key to avoiding a recession. Look for the Fed to gradually increase interest rates in 2023 to continue to slow inflation while trying to keep the labor market and economy in check.
— Marcus Scott, CFA, CFP, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for The Country Club Trust Company
The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Country Club Trust Company, a division of Country Club Bank, or any affiliate thereof. Information provided is for illustrative and discussion purposes only; should not be considered a recommendation; and is subject to change. Some information provided above may be obtained from outside sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Please note that investments involve risk, and that past performance does not guarantee future results.
Stephanie Siders, Managing Director at CC Capital Advisors, and Christopher Wolff, Senior Vice President of Country Club Trust co-authored a recent article featured in Ingram’s magazine addressing the challenges of family business succession planning. The article dives into the ten questions leaders of family-owned businesses should consider as they approach succession planning for long-term wealth. Questions include:
- Why are you selling?
- What family members are ready, willing and qualified to run the business?
- What's best for customers, employees and other stakeholders?
- How will the sale be structured?
- What are the life insurance needs for the transaction?
Learn more about the finer points of family business succession-planning and how the right plans can reduce confusion and uncertainty, assure customers and lead to long-term viability.
CC Capital Advisors, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC.
Reeves-Wiedeman Company Taps Country Club Bank for Resourceful Lending and Cash Flow Solutions
When Reeves-Wiedeman Company, a fourth-generation family business, wanted to remodel its historic headquarters and finance its business succession plan, it turned to Country Club Bank for guidance, diligence – and a successful conclusion.
With 133 years of history, and now 22 locations spread across the Kansas City metro area and surrounding region, Reeves-Wiedeman Company has come a long way from its horse-drawn wagon and Model-T delivery truck days.
And paper order forms have given way to modern warehouses and online ordering systems, but the fundamentals have not changed: plumbing products for residential and commercial applications are offered with dependable service and fair pricing.
As current CEO and CFO, Kurt Wiedeman naturally handles day-to-day accounting and treasury functions, but also serves as point person for the company’s most strategic projects including real estate transactions, invoice payment systems and perhaps the company’s most important transaction to date – selling to the next generation of family shareholders and leaders.
“We’ve been fortunate to have great employees and customers over the years, and we’ve also been fortunate to have Country Club Bank on our side,” Wiedeman said. “They have been incredible partners for us, always willing to work on difficult finance projects, whether it be real estate or succession planning, they’ve rolled up their sleeves and got it done.”
A Good Move: Investing in Downtown
For years, Reeves-Wiedeman was headquartered in Lenexa, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. An opportunity to move back to Kansas City, to the historic O.H. Dean Building on Main Street was an enticing offer.
But it was a gamble, in large part because there were so many questions and hurdles for Reeves-Wiedeman: Procuring state and federal historic tax credits, staying in compliance with the National Register of Historic Places and getting LEED certification.
“Country Club Bank said if this is what you want to do, we want to do it with you,” Wiedeman said. “The financing rules surrounding tax credits require a great deal of research and compliance, but they jumped in, figured it out and made it happen.”
Country Club Bank helped procure the necessary financing and certifications. Reeves-Wiedeman moved into its new headquarters in 2010 and its building is now a mainstay amid the midtown Kansas City renaissance.
Next-Level Financing for the Next Generation
As a family-owned business – and one that wants to remain family-owned – succession planning has been an important consideration for some time. In 2017, the fourth generation – Bradley Wiedeman and Luke Wiedeman, cousins – along with cousin-in-law Brian Priest, began buying shares in the company, and became majority shareholders in 2021.
The size of the transaction naturally warranted preliminary conversations with other financing providers, but Luke Wiedeman, who serves as VP of purchasing, said no one else could compare to Country Club Bank in terms of professionalism and responsiveness.
“The team at Country Club Bank gave us their full attention, critical thinking and best possible terms,” Luke Wiedeman said. “Their credibility and expertise gave us the confidence that we were in the right place, and it’s been an excellent relationship.”
Country Club Bank developed a financing package collateralized by real estate currently owned by Reeves-Wiedeman, plus the inherent business valuation driven by inventory, receivables, and historical earnings. The parties on both sides of the buy-sell transaction came together for the successful closing of a loan package smartly designed and grounded in good faith.
Cash Flow: The Need for Speed
While the real estate and succession planning loan packages have enabled two long-term strategic goals at Reeves-Wiedeman, it is the invoice payment, ACH and fraud/abuse controls that keep working capital flowing day in and day out at the company, which just recorded $47 million in revenues for 2022.
Kurt Wiedeman said online invoice payments that used to take two business days to be credited into the Reeves-Wiedeman operating account, are now there on the next day thanks to Country Club Bank.
Additional fraud and abuse intelligence also guards against bad checks and charges, protecting Reeves-Wiedeman and customers alike from internal or external fraudsters looking to steal or divert funds.
As for the future of Reeves-Wiedeman, Luke Wiedeman said he and his fellow shareholders have new ideas to bring to the business, but the fundamentals won’t change, nor will its banking relationship.
“In a family business with this much history, we know what works and that’s providing quality products, fairly priced, while overserving our customers, and we’re going to keep getting better at that each year,” Luke Wiedeman said. “We work with Country Club Bank because they have a similar outlook, focused on the essentials of hard work, continuous improvement and strong relationships.”
More good ideas and resources to educate, inform, and inspire
We strive to provide new perspectives, interesting insights and economic news to keep you informed about our local business community and the national economy.
Check out Banking on KC – our weekly podcast series featuring interviews and conversations conducted by KC’s advocate of entrepreneurs, Kelly Scanlon.
Guests include makers, innovators and community leaders who have changed the business, cultural and economic landscape of Kansas City.
- Listen to how Laura Jackson and Larry Rouse of The Mission Project provide programming, support and social opportunities to help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities live independent, meaningful lives.
- Meet Patrick Sallee, President and CEO of Vibrant Health, as he explains the various ways in which the nonprofit is working toward healthier outcomes for communities in Wyandotte County.
- Listen to Harry Campbell share lessons learned as a senior executive with more than 35 years of successful leadership experience with Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and startups. He has co-owned an award-winning small business and he was a founding member of the Procter & Gamble Walmart customer team. He uses that experience to speak and consult on leadership with clients throughout the region and around the country, and has written three books on what he calls Get Real Leadership.
Gain access to the insights and informed opinions of our leaders and money management experts with our Month in Review stats and highlights, or take a deeper dive on quarterly performance with A View from the Tower.
The information provided does not constitute legal, tax or investment advice by Country Club Bank, its divisions or affiliates. For legal, tax or investment advice, the services of a competent professional person or professional organization should be sought.