Understanding the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)

EOS provides a systematic approach to managing and scaling a business

The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is a comprehensive business management framework designed to empower teams with a set of simple, practical tools to achieve better alignment across all levels of the organization. To best support our portfolio companies and internal teams, RevRoad is continuously seeking innovative ways to enhance operational efficiency and has recently adopted this method. 

The system, developed by Gino Wickman, was introduced in his book, “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.” EOS provides a systematic approach to managing and scaling a business by focusing on six key components: Vision, Data, Process, Traction, Issues, and People. 

Vision: Implementing EOS begins with establishing a clear vision that is shared and embraced by the entire organization. This vision articulates where the company is heading and how it plans to get there through core values, core focus, long-term vision, and goals. By creating a shared vision, EOS helps foster collaboration across teams.

Data: The Data component focuses on setting and analyzing measurable data points that offer an objective view of the company’s performance—free from emotion or opinion. This aspect of EOS helps startups and businesses move away from subjective decision-making and towards informed decisions based on data and KPIs. 

Process: The Process component ensures that data-driven efforts are consistent and scalable by standardizing processes across the organization.

Traction: Traction involves the discipline and accountability necessary to execute the vision. This is done by having regular meetings, using scorecards to track progress, and holding individuals accountable for their responsibilities. 

Issues: The Issues component is about identifying and addressing obstacles promptly and effectively, ensuring they do not impede progress. This involves creating a culture of openness where issues are identified quickly, discussed honestly, and resolved effectively.

People: Lastly, the People component of EOS emphasizes having the right people in the right seats, which is crucial for any organization aiming to implement EOS successfully. This means aligning the team not only based on skills and capabilities but also ensuring they fit with the company’s core values and culture.

Additionally, EOS includes the GWC component (Get it, Want it, and Capacity) to evaluate whether a person is right for a specific role within a company. This aspect is embedded into performance reviews so that managers have regular conversations with their team members to ensure the right people are in the right seats and provide coaching and feedback whenever needed.

For a successful implementation of EOS, it is essential to engage every team member in the process. This can be achieved through training sessions and workshops that educate and empower employees about the benefits and mechanics of EOS. Regular check-ins and feedback loops should be established to address any challenges that arise, and leadership should act as champions of the system, consistently demonstrating their commitment to the EOS principles. For a full implementation, organizations should plan on 18-24 months before all components are introduced and put into regular practice.

Adopting EOS can significantly enhance operational efficiency and drive better business outcomes as it offers a proven framework that addresses immediate business challenges and lays a robust foundation for sustained growth and success. 

At RevRoad, we are already seeing benefits and look forward to additional improvements as we continue to implement EOS over the next year.

Written by Jenney Rees

How due diligence works

The due diligence period is a critical phase in the investment process, giving investors the chance to take a deep dive into a startup’s operations, strategy, finances, and overall potential. 

During this time, investors verify the information presented by a startup, ensuring that they fully understand the risks and opportunities before finalizing their investment and signing a check.

Understanding the Scope

If you are seeking funding, or looking for a sweat equity investment, here is what you can expect investors to be looking at during the due diligence process:

  • Financials: Review of past financial statements and future projections. This helps verify the startup’s financial health and the realism of its forecasts.
  • Legal: Examination of legal standings, including patents, intellectual property rights, employment contracts, and compliance with relevant laws.
  • Market: Analysis of the startup’s market size, competition, growth potential, and position within the industry.
  • Technology: Assessment of the technological foundation of the product or service, ensuring it’s both sound and scalable.
  • Team: Evaluation of the startup’s leadership and team capabilities, ensuring they have the skills and experience to execute their business plan.

How Due Diligence Works

During the due diligence process, both founders and investors play distinct roles in gathering and providing information.

Founders are typically responsible for organizing and preparing key documents for investors to review. This includes financial statements, business plans, market research reports, legal agreements (such as IP rights and contracts), and operational documents. They are also responsible for facilitating access to the company’s premises, key personnel, and any other resources that investors may need to conduct their due diligence effectively.

Investors’ responsibilities include reviewing the documents and information provided by startup founders and conducting independent verification of the information. This involves engaging in additional research, background checks, or consulting external experts to validate claims made by the founders.

With this information, investors will assess the risks associated with the investment—considering factors such as market competition, technological feasibility, legal compliance, and financial stability—then negotiate terms and conditions of the investment—including valuation, equity stake, governance rights, and any specific provisions to mitigate identified risks. Ultimately, investors use their findings from due diligence to make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the investment, negotiate further, or decline the opportunity.

Effective collaboration and transparency between founders and investors are crucial for a successful due diligence process and building a strong investor-founder relationship.

What To Expect as a Founder

  • Be Prepared: Before entering due diligence, ensure all your documents and data rooms are organized. This includes financial records, business plans, market research, legal documents, and more. Being well-prepared can significantly speed up the process—but still expect the due diligence process to last a few weeks or even a few months.
  • Transparency is Key: Always be honest about the challenges and risks your business faces. Investors would prefer that you be upfront with them rather than surprise them after they’ve committed their funds. Being transparent can build trust and lead to a better partnership.
  • In-depth Questioning: Be ready to answer detailed questions about every aspect of your business. This might include discussions about your revenue model, customer acquisition strategies, cost structures, and long-term vision.
  • It’s a Two-way Street: Just as investors are evaluating you, use this period to assess them. Are they the right partners for your business? Do they bring more than just money to the table, such as strategic advice, industry connections, or operational expertise?
  • Follow-Up Promptly: Quick responses to requests for information can help maintain momentum and show your commitment to the process.

The due diligence period is more than just a hurdle to secure funding; it’s an opportunity to refine your business strategy and align with partners who can help propel your growth. Founders should approach it with the seriousness it deserves, putting their best foot forward and ensuring they present their startup accurately and completely.

Zenzio AI Secures Investment Partnership with RevRoad to Advance AI-Driven Automotive Sales

Zenzio AI, an AI Sales Associate for a global automotive retail market

Tampa Bay, FL – June 11, 2024 –  Zenzio AI, a pioneering artificial intelligence sales associate for the automotive industry, secures an investment partnership with RevRoad venture services firm. 

Zenzio AI’s flagship product, AISA™ (AI Sales Associate) is designed to increase efficiency within the automotive sales process by leveraging AI to mitigate friction in the purchasing process for buyers while providing sellers with deeper customer insights. 

In the current digital landscape, 70% of sales leads start online. However, dealerships often lack the tools needed to convert prospects into store visits and close purchases. Zenzio AI’s Omni-Channel AI Sales Associate exceeds human results in communication, boosting dealership revenue and optimizing sales processes.

Founder and CTO Andrew Grubbs expressed his enthusiasm for RevRoad’s unique approach to venture capital and investment. “We started this journey looking for funding, but after talking with RevRoad’s investment team, we quickly saw the value of gaining actual services and valued the way they manage their investments. They don’t just throw money at a problem and hope for the best; they offer real partnerships and tangible services. It’s a breath of fresh air.”

Amy Caldwell, RevRoad Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer, commented, “We are always looking for companies that innovate in big markets. The founding team at Zenzio AI has impressive experience in the industry and the expertise to take this product to market. Along with our service teams, AISA will become the top-performing sales associate in the automotive industry.”

Zenzio AI’s founding team leverages decades of experience in automotive sales, technology and AI development, and technology law. With the support of RevRoad, Zenzio AI is focused on several key objectives: iteratively validating and building both inbound and outbound AI sales tools, increasing the customer base, and boosting revenue.

For more information, visit zenzio.com and revroad.com.

About Zenzio AI

Zenzio AI bridges the divide between online lead gen and in-store purchases by streamlining digital conversations on the dealer’s site. Our AI Sales Associate (AISA™) handles most sales activities better than an experienced salesperson, including answering queries and checking inventory—all 24/7. With the help of AI, dealerships can take the pressure off of car buying and fill their sales team’s pipeline with more quality leads. 

About RevRoad
RevRoad is a sweat equity partner, dedicated to scaling and achieving the full value of startups. The company empowers portfolio companies to maximize profitability, get to market faster, and create a solid foundation for their venture. RevRoad team members work shoulder-to-shoulder with portfolio companies, enabling businesses to scale efficiently while keeping founders in the driver’s seat. 

RevRoad Hosts 6th Annual RevRoad Rally in Orem, Utah

RevRoad Rally June 3, 2024

OREM, UT — We are excited to announce the 6th annual RevRoad Rally, proudly sponsored by Squire. In partnership with Oremfest, this family-centered event will feature exotic cars, kid-friendly activities, and a complimentary dinner (while supplies last). The event will take place on Monday, June 3, 2024, from 6-9 pm at Scera Park in Orem, Utah.

RevRoad’s commitment to gratitude and community giveback is a core value that drives our company’s initiatives. The RevRoad Rally began as a local event to support the community near our headquarters in the neighboring city of Provo, Utah. Over the years, it has grown into a highly anticipated gathering of over 3,000 attendees, bringing together families, car enthusiasts, and community members for a night of fun and appreciation.

Each year, we honor local organizations Medallion Manor and TURN Community Services, which make a significant impact on the special needs community. These VIP guests look forward to the event each year, where they are given center stage.

The name RevRoad symbolizes a startup’s ‘road to revenue.’ This event creatively blends our branding with an exotic car show, making it a playful and fitting celebration.

For more information about the RevRoad Rally and to stay updated on event details, please visit revroad.com/rally/ or follow us on social media.

Timing the Market and Optimizing Capital with Shawn Bercuson, BullVC

Meet Shawn Bercuson, Founder & General Partner of BullVC, who took center stage as the Featured Founder at May’s RevRoad University. Here are four lessons we learned from Shawn at the event:

1. The Relationship Between Success and Luck

Through Shawn’s entrepreneurial experiences, he has learned that you need to have the right idea at the right time.

“I’ve seen really great ideas and good teams fail because the time was wrong; and I’ve seen really bad teams and bad products succeed because the time was right.”

Shawn claims that he and the founding team at Groupon became the fastest-growing company ever partially because their timing was right. In 2008, there was little focus on small businesses. This allowed them to directly contact the decision-makers of small businesses, a task that would be much more difficult today.

“I don’t think we were any different than any other scrappy startup, aside from the fact that we were just really lucky and had the right idea at the right place and right time.”

On the flip side, when Shawn later launched a video analytics platform, known as Prescreen, he suffered from poor timing. Though a promising idea, the venture failed to build meaningful traction demonstrating that even the most promising startups can fail if the market isn’t ready.

2. Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

Entrepreneurs often overlook the challenges that venture capitalists in raising their own funds. 

“When I was raising, what I quickly realized as an entrepreneur is that I have to put myself in their shoes. What are they looking for? How is their portfolio constructed? What are they missing? What are they focusing on? Even though they invested in a company in a similar space and maybe it’s fintech—well, maybe they don’t want another fintech company. Maybe they have to balance that out with cybersecurity.”

He follows this same principle as a general partner at a venture firm pitching to big family offices, endowments, and institutions. Do your research beforehand to see if there may be a potential fit, or if the conversation would be a waste of time for both parties.

Time is a limited resource. And if I’m talking to them for an hour, I’m not talking to somebody else for an hour.

Understand what the investors seated at the other side of the table are thinking and looking for before requesting a meeting. Be smart about who you are talking to and how you position your company.

Shawn Bercuson of BullVC sits on the stage at RevRoad University.

3. Competing for VC dollars in a Crowded Market

“You’re not competing against all your individual competitors in the space. You’re competing against everybody else who wants to raise capital and is talking to these same [investors].”

Shawn estimates that even small boutique VC firms are meeting with approximately 400 companies a year and only investing in 6-8 per year—that’s just over 1%. He advises entrepreneurs to keep this in mind when building their pitch deck to strategically position their companies to stand out from the crowd. 

4. What Investors Are Looking For 

As in most things—it depends. 

In early-stage companies, investors want to see capital efficiency, profitability, and really big markets. In late-stage companies, the focus is profitability, gross margins, and a proven track record of growth. 

In years past, companies may have spent $0.80 to earn $1, and that was acceptable because they were growing a strong user base. Venture Capital dollars would be spent to subsidize those costs and help scale. Shawn reckons that we won’t be seeing that type of allocation in today’s VC environment.

“The good news is we have a lot more resources at our disposal that reduce costs. There’re all these tools available to us as startups so that we can be more capital efficient. And I think that investors want to see that those companies are utilizing those tools”. 

RevRoad University is a monthly lunch & learn event for entrepreneurs. Enjoy a short training on the best practices for your business. Then, hear from a Featured Founder on the ups, downs, & lessons they have learned throughout their entrepreneurial journey. Join us online at youtube.com/revroad or in person at 412 W River’s Edge Dr., Provo, UT 84604 (RevRoad HQ).

5 Free Ways to Support Small Businesses

small business owners at revroad entrepreneur competition

It is National Small Business Week, a time to celebrate the contributions of entrepreneurs and small businesses to our economy and society. We are honored to work alongside innovative entrepreneurs who solve customer problems while creating job opportunities that provide income to support families and communities.

So how can we, as individuals, support the growth of these small businesses which are the backbone of our economy?

Here are 5 free and simple ways you can support small businesses:

1. Leave a Google Review: Boost a business’s visibility on the world’s largest search engine and build trust among prospective customers with a quick review.

2. Refer a Friend: Spread the word to your neighbors, family, and friends about the small businesses you admire. It’s a cost-free way to amplify their reach and bring in new customers.

3. Engage on Social Media: Follow their social media accounts and interact with their posts. A few likes and comments go a long way in increasing awareness and expanding their audience to reach potential customers.

4. Share on Social Media: Hop on LinkedIn or Instagram to shout out your favorite small businesses in a post. Share what you love about them and encourage others to support them too.

5. Offer Mentorship: If you have valuable expertise, consider offering a few hours of mentorship to a small business founder. Your insights could help them navigate a challenge they are currently facing. If you’re not the right fit, connect them with someone who is.

Remember, small businesses come in all shapes and sizes. They’re not just a local corner store; they encompass everything from e-commerce brands to software startups and family-run shops.

See what you can do to help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed!

Scrappy Startup Strategies with Chari Pack of Persnickety Prints

Meet Chari Pack, the entrepreneur behind Persnickety Prints, who took center stage as our Featured Founder at April’s RevRoad University

In this interview, Chari divulges her scrappy strategies for scaling her business – and we’re not just referring to her love for scrapbooking! 

Here are five lessons we learned from Chari.

1. Scrappy methods lead to big successes. 

Chari bootstrapped Persnickety Prints from $0 to $1 million in only three years, never spending a dime on advertising. 

The infancy of her business coincided with the rise of the Internet. Chari got creative and found free marketing channels through online forums and blinkies on blogging sites.  

She printed coupons and handed them out anywhere she could find a crowd—parades, rodeos, etc. Chari purchased second-hand equipment for her print shop and used furniture for the lobby. 

“Sometimes we think we need to have a glass house up on the high corridor with our big name out front in order to be a legit business—or think we need to have all this money and funding. But I didn’t believe that. I didn’t want it. For me, it wasn’t really about the name or the status.”

For Chari, true success meant sticking with lean strategies and staying debt-free while growing her business.

2. Patience + passion = perseverance

Chari started her business when she was 35, after years of changing diapers and scrapbooking from her kitchen table.

When she found something she was passionate about—telling stories through printed photos—working through problems was fun and she enjoyed the journey. 

“I think a lot of us see the end result of a business and we don’t realize how hard it is to get to that point. A lot of people start businesses and quit, saying, ‘This is too hard.’ But it’s been hard for everyone.”

Very few businesses go from zero to hero in under five years. There is no get-rich-quick scheme and there is no predictable path to scaling.

In the era of instant gratification with everything at our fingertips, Chari emphasizes that building a business takes time. There will be ups and downs and in-betweens. But those who are willing to hustle and pivot along the way will rise to the top.

Chari Pack, founder of Persnickety Prints, chats with Brittany Ouimette, RevRoad PR specialist, during RevRoad University

3. Experience the world to find problems to solve. 

Everybody has some entrepreneurialism inside them. And people rarely set out to start a business just for the sake of starting a business. 

Most businesses are born from someone who discovered a problem that needed solving.

“I had no business plan, zero education, and had no clue what I was doing. I just tried everything,” Chari recounted.

She taught her children to get out and experience life because that’s how problems are discovered.

“I think one disservice we offer to our kids sometimes is giving them everything.”

Chari believes that great things need to be worked for.  From wishing your ski boot clipped differently to wondering why some photo shops print richer colors than others, thinking outside the box to find solutions will lead you down the path to solving real-world problems. 

4. Success looks different to everyone

It’s easy to compare your business and your success to others. You may read a headline that so-and-so company raised $20 million, or so-and-so landed a deal with Elon Musk. But that doesn’t mean those things are right for your business. 

“Every person, every entrepreneur is different—they have different strengths and weaknesses. And every business model is different,” Chari said.

Chari advocates that success is not one-size-fits-all and counsels that comparison is destructive to growth. 

For some, success is defined by money and raising funds to scale quickly. But for Chari, success meant balance in life and financial freedom.

5. Letting go to grow

For the last decade, Chari aimed for consistent 10% year-over-year growth.

Business was thriving and her team was shipping out thousands of orders per day, but Chari knew there were additional growth opportunities. Expanding into different markets, buying new equipment, building out larger teams—there were so many avenues, but Chari didn’t feel she was capable of doing it herself. 

“You start a business and it becomes your baby. It’s my fourth child. I’m so emotionally invested in it, but I also want it to succeed,” Chari shared.

Despite this deep connection, Chari recognized the need to step aside to facilitate the business’s expansion.

“I felt like I was the one stalling it a little bit because there’s so many opportunities with it,” Chari reflected.

“I have to put it in someone else’s hands—someone that has more people and resources.” 

Last year she found the right buyer and sold her company to enable its continual growth. 

RevRoad University is a monthly lunch & learn event for entrepreneurs. Enjoy a short training on the best practices for your business. Then, hear from a Featured Founder on the ups, downs, & lessons they have learned throughout their entrepreneurial journey. Join us online at youtube.com/revroad or in person at 412 W River’s Edge Dr., Provo, UT 84604 (RevRoad HQ).

RevRoad Entrepreneur Competition Spring 2024 Winners Announced

RevRoad Spring 2024 entrepreneur competition

Securing funding is the lifeblood of startup ventures, propelling companies forward from mere concepts to tangible realities. Beyond the glitz and glamour of winning a giant check, this pitch competition offers invaluable exposure and access to vital startup resources by making connections with fellow founders, mentors, and successful business leaders.

The Spring 2024 competition broke the standing record of applicants, bringing in over 250 startups nationwide. From this pool, the top 36 companies were invited to attend the in-person pitch competition on March 2, 2024 at the Experience Event Center in Provo, Utah for a chance to win awards totaling over $30,000 of value.

Without further ado, we are honored to introduce the winners of the Spring 2024 semi-annual Entrepreneur Competition, sponsored by Squire

$15,000 Squire Grand Prize winner – Success Fund

Mark Walker (SuccessFund), Jesse Myrick (SuccessFund), Joe Hillstead (Squire and Company, PC), Jonyce Bullock (Squire and Company, PC), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

School districts use SuccessFund to prevent mishandling of funds (fraud) in schools. SuccessFund’s fundraiser approval management tools give districts oversight and unprecedented visibility into every initiative that solicits money from the community. School faculty use SuccessFund as a payment solution that manages fundraisers, events, school stores, and more. SuccessFund is expanding quickly and currently operates in nearly every district in Utah, with additional districts in Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and others.

$5,000 Runner up – Proactive Health

Alec Gustafson (Proactive Health), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Proactive Health keep seniors from going back to the hospital by monitoring their biometric data as they sleep, identifying their unique baseline, and leveraging multidimensional scaling analytics to identify concerning deviations. When concerns arise, the company reaches out to the senior, sees how they’re feeling, and coordinates with their care providers when necessary.

$2,500 3rd place – HoneyGrid

James Delorey (HoneyGrid), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

HoneyGrid provides data-driven location targeting for local advertisers to boost ad performance, resulting in lower cost and better results.

$1,000 Fan Favorite – Interval

Brandon Davis (Interval), Connor Ashton (Interval), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Interval is a virtual AI receptionist for the automotive industry. Its AI receives all inbound calls to answer customer questions, schedule test drives or oil changes, track valuable insights, automatically send reminders, and connect directly to business CRM / DMS. Interval handles all things front office for auto dealerships or repair shops. The company mission mission is to help automotive businesses drive customer experience while still increasing sales.

WTCUtah Trailblazer Award (Value) – Whelm

Chipper Whatcott (Whelm), Ben Ruckman (Whelm), Matt Wunderli (WTC Utah), CEO Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Whelm is an all-in-one business administration platform, built specifically for freelancers. Invoicing, digital payments, legal contract templates, eSignatures, project management, asynchronous client feedback, and more. All in one simple app. With Whelm, freelancers no longer need 5 different apps and subscriptions to run their freelance business.

Kiln Membership Award (Value) – Levo Therapy

Amber Linebaugh (Kiln), Thomas Lund (Levo Therapy) , Keanna Nabrotzky (Levo Therapy), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

The Levo App provides personalized tools to amplify the benefits of each therapy session. Designed to complement your therapist’s guidance, it offers a suite of intuitive features like mood tracking, journaling, and custom reminders. This ensures that the insights and progress made during therapy are integrated into your daily life, fostering continuous growth and self-awareness.

Thread Consumer Product Award (Cash) – Breath of Life

James Drake (Breath of Life), McKenzie Bauer (Thread), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Breath of Life is an industry disruptor designed to actually solve the trauma of a terrifying choking incident. We are determined to see this brilliant choking rescue device save lives and give peace of mind to establishments all around the world.

Soul Seed Academy Growth Training or Services Award (Value)- Best Foot Forward Consulting

Sarah Asay (Soul Seed Academy), Reneé Rodriguez (Best Foot Forward Consulting), Derrin Hill (RevRoad)

Best Foot Forward Consulting helps protective parents who are in a custody dispute with an abusive co-parent to get the custody arrangement that is safe and best for their children.

We congratulate the incredible entrepreneurs who made it to the semifinals and especially those who won. This event is only made possible through the contributions of our fantastic judges, sponsors Central Bank of Utah, Squire & Company, PC and RevRoad Capital, and all the competitors, team members, and community who support entrepreneurship.

For information about future RevRoad Entrepreneur Competitions, please visit ecomp.revroad.com.

Holiday Gift Guide 2023 – Supporting Entrepreneurs on Small Business Saturday

This Small Business Saturday, join us in supporting rising entrepreneurs while finding the perfect presents for those who matter most. From tech gadgets and educational courses, to delectable meals and stylish clothing, the 2023 RevRoad holiday gift guide features an array of select consumer products from our portfolio companies. This guide spans a diverse range of options to accommodate preferences of each family member.

Happy holiday shopping!

For the EV enthusiast

EVject breakaway adapter

EVject: $199 breakaway charging adapter

EVject is the ultimate gift to keep the EV drivers in your life safe. Offering a unique charging adapter that ensures a secure breakaway while plugged in, this innovative device is the first of its kind. With its convenient design, EVject not only prioritizes safety but also provides unmatched peace of mind, making it the ideal present for tech-savvy individuals or electric vehicle enthusiasts. See the EVject in action on the company website here

For the master of organization

Salt By Sabrina expandable drawer organizer

Salt by Sabrina: $68 Expandable Drawer Organizer

Give the gift of organization and elegance this holiday season with premium acrylic drawer organizers and dividers. Crafted with precision to seamlessly fit any drawer, these exceptional organizers not only elevate the aesthetic of any space but make for a perfect holiday gift. Founder Sabrina Gardner believes that organization can enable us to conquer whatever life brings our way. Each product is designed to simplify your life, beautify your spaces, and you with confidence. See all the organizational solutions for your home by visiting their website here.

For the healthy home chef

Citrus Pear freezer meal delivery

Citrus Pear: $179 set of 10 freezer meals 

This holiday season, give the gift of  convenience and health with freezer meal kits. Ensure that loved ones can enjoy warmth in every bite of the delicious and nutritious meals effortlessly, making every dinner a stress-free and wholesome experience. Citrus Pear believes that healthy eating should be easy no matter what stage of life you’re in. Their team of registered dietitians provides pre-assembled meals and hosts freezer meal prep classes. Look for gift card options as well by visiting their website here.

For the dragon rider 

dragon federation egg

Dragon Federation: $149-500 dragon egg

Turn this holiday season into an enchanting journey by gifting the wonder of a dragon egg. This egg is waiting to be nurtured and brought to life. With a mystical AR portal on your mobile device, you can monitor your dragon egg’s vital signs, creating a unique and enchanting experience for anyone who loves fantasy and interactive storytelling. To learn more about raising a pet dragon, or seeing other breed options, check out the Dragon Federation website here

For the firearm fanatic

bone dri gun case

Bone Dri: $99 Rust Prevention Shotgun & Rifle Case

Still searching for the perfect gift for the gun fanatic of the family? Help them keep their collection in pristine condition by giving the gift of protection. Bone Dri’s gun cases are designed to remove any and all moisture on or inside the weapon, while also preventing any more from creeping in. Simply place the compromised gun inside the case before bed, then unwrap a perfectly dry weapon the next morning—just like Christmas! Even the deepest, most seeped-in moisture doesn’t stand a chance. Keeping firearms in good condition is not only essential to the gun’s functionality, but it also increases safety for the user. Check out the various cases and styles on their website here.

For the carbonation addict

Bobelo self-carbonating drink mix

Bobelo: $35.99 self-carbonating drinks 32 count box

This gift is for the soda lover, energy chugger, and sports drink enthusiast. Bobelo’s delicious drink mix gives you all the flavor and bubbles you want from a soda, but with better hydration, better nutrition, and none of the guilt. Each Bobelo pouch is sweetened with stevia leaf instead of sugar, and packed full of vitamins and electrolytes—keeping families hydrated and energized all year long. Plus, their small and portable drink packs make for perfect stocking stuffers! View flavors and recipes on their website here

For the outdoor adrenaline junkie

CRUX Academy outdoor courses

CRUX Academy: $612 per month course subscriptions 

This gift is for anyone looking to experience the outdoors with confidence. It’s hard to go wrong when you grant the gift of knowledge. CRUX offers many courses on outdoor activities for the season, such as backcountry skiing and avalanche preparedness, as well as fly fishing, living the van life, climbing, mountain biking, and more. Crux Academy delivers an excellent learning experience from the world’s most accomplished outdoor athletes and thought leaders to empower anybody’s outdoor experience. View courses and get more information at their website here.

For the healthcare hero

ALTA Scrubs: $56 scrub joggers

These scrubs provide comfort and style to the medical worker in your life. ALTA Brand has innovated on the classic look and designed something with performance and comfort in mind, down to the very last stitch. With 4-way comfort flex, antimicrobial Silvadur™ lining, strategic pocket placement, and a modern, trendy design, this scrub uniform is flexible, comfortable, and practical for both men and women. Give a gift they’ll love wearing every day! Shop all ALTA Brand products on their website here.

For the creative visionary

Sentient Academy online art courses

Sentient Academy: art courses and subscriptions starting at $20

Be the spark that ignites creativity in someone you love. With a Sentient membership, anyone can unlock their creative potential by experiencing a master firsthand. Dive into the mindset, techniques, and inspiration behind dozens of award-winning artists as they journey from canvas to masterpiece. While other courses circle around subjects with no real substance, Sentient has cut out the fluff to make better artists faster. Whether that special someone is a doodler, sketcher, painter, or designer, Sentient will help them reach higher and find their fire. Bring the joy with a single course pack or a subscription to their vast catalog of lessons and demos. See their full course list and plans here.

For the traveler 

Elios portable battery pack to charge all electronic devices

Elios: $299 GoPlug 100 SMART Power Bank

Have you ever been navigating through an unknown city when your cellphone dies? Nobody carries around paper maps these days, so how can you be expected to find where you’re going without your travel companion apps? Give the gift of portable power so that the traveler in your life will never be stranded with their battery on 1%. Let the most compact, long-lasting portable battery on the market jump-start their phone, laptop, camera, or other technology, in preparation for the next leg of the adventure! View battery packs, portable solar panels, and carriers on the Elios website here.

For the family cook


PrePear app for recipes and meal planning

Prepear: $9.99 per month meal planning subscription

Putting a healthy dinner on the table every night continues to be one of the biggest stresses for busy parents. Give the gift of stress-free cooking with a subscription to Prepear! The receiver of your gift will enjoy step-by-step cooking with a thoughtfully-designed recipe interface to help them save time, eat healthier, and cook creatively. They get access to unlimited meal plans and grocery lists that take the stress and planning out of meal preparation. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Learn more at Prepear’s website here.

For the musical maestro

Duet: Monthly Subscription for $20

We all have that one music teacher in our community who has taught our kids the joys of music for years. Now give them something in return this holiday by saving them hours each week on managing their students using Duet! With Duet’s simple and intuitive software, any music teacher can keep track of their students, perfectly plan out their week, and even build their entire season schedule in just a few clicks. No more endless back and forth with parents. Now you have the perfect gift for some of the most dedicated, yet kindest members of your neighborhood. Get the full scoop at Duet’s site here.

For the scrapbook queen

Persnickety Box eco-friendly photo keepsake box

Persnickety Box: $197 (sale price) for the ultimate photo bundle

There’s always at least one person in the family who wants to take photos of everything—every outing, every meal, every road-side flower. It’s time they experience Persnickety Box. Each month, Persnickety will print 30 of their favorite photos, which they deliver in a beautiful, eco-friendly keepsake box. What could be more memorable than a gift that helps preserve cherished memories! Plus, it’s so easy to get started! View all printed products on Persnickety Box’s website here.

For the children who dream

Cedar Fort personalized children's books

Cedar Fort: $29.99 (sale price) personalized children’s book 

Customizable books are just what they sound like: books that are customizable! Have you ever read a children’s book and thought, “This sounds like my child!” Cedar Fort made it possible for parents to bring that dream to life by transporting children into their very own book! A perfect and exciting gift for children to receive on Christmas day, a personalized book is the kind of gift a child would keep for the rest of their life. View all published products on Cedar Fort’s website here

For the super sanitizer 

PhoneSoap UV light sanitizer

PhoneSoap: $39.95 (sale price) UV-C sanitizer for smartphone

Did you know that studies have shown your phone’s surface contains 10 or more times the bacteria as your average toilet seat? Thankfully, PhoneSoap’s UV-C technology will sanitize your phone after you’re done scrolling TikTok from the porcelain throne. Compatible with all smartphones, these sanitizing pods kill 99.9% of germs on hand-held devices. Maybe you’re the biggest germ spreader of the home, or maybe it’s your partner, but no matter who’s been skipping their handwash singalongs, having a PhoneSoap around can help make everyone healthier and safer this holiday season and beyond! Shop all UV-C sanitation products on PhoneSoap’s website here.

And there you have it—many amazing gift options sourced from local entrepreneurs and small businesses. We hope you found an item for your spouse, friends, children, neighbors, and more! We’ve used these items ourselves, and we absolutely love them! By adding unique and memorable gifts like these under the tree this year, you’re not only guaranteed to stand out, but you’ll also be supporting Utah entrepreneurs.

LLC for Business – What You Need to Know

women discussing LLC for Business

In the vast landscape of business structures, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) stand out as a versatile and popular choice for entrepreneurs. Offering a unique blend of flexibility and protection, LLCs have become the go-to option for many aspiring business owners. Not to mention, they are extremely simple to set up and a very affordable option. 

Many startups opt for the LLC route right from the beginning. The allure of an LLC’s simplicity and ease of setup is undeniable, making it an attractive choice for those ready to get a jumpstart on their business venture. 

We’re no strangers to the vibrant tapestry of startups. While many ventures kickstart their journeys as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), we often find ourselves guiding them through the complex terrain of potential transitions, helping them make informed choices based on their unique needs and long-term goals.

In this article, we’ll delve into the key considerations surrounding LLCs to help you make an informed decision when setting up your small business, lifestyle business, or high-growth company.

What do I need to know about an LLC business structure?

Let’s break it down simply. First, the name says it all. With an LLC, you (as the owner) have limited personal liability for business debts. This means that nobody can come after your personal assets if your business ever finds itself in deep waters. Within your LLCs, you can be a single member, or have multiple members. 

Next, when setting up your LLC, you have more flexibility than you would with other business structures. LLCs have fewer formalities compared to corporations, giving you the freedom to structure things in a way that you want for your business.

You will need to define the Operating Agreement which states how the business is run, member roles, and financial arrangements. You will also need to identify Management to indicate who the decision makers are: management will either be indicated as member-managed for all members to share in decision-making, or as manager-managed to designate a singular manager to make decisions on behalf of the company. 

When it comes to taxes, LLCs are usually pass-through entities for tax purposes which means that profits and losses pass through to the members’ personal tax returns.

Remember, while LLCs do offer protection, the specifics can vary. It’s always wise to double-check your work with a lawyer. 

Is an LLC the right choice for my business?

When deciding if an LLC is right for your business, you need to consider your entrepreneurial goals. Are you envisioning a modest, family-run enterprise or are you aiming for aggressive growth with institutional investments? Ask yourself the following: 

  • What are my Long-Term Business Goals? 
  • How Important is Personal Asset Protection
  • What is the Role of Investors or Partners? 
  • Do I Envision Complex Ownership and Governance Structures?

Entrepreneurs who are looking to establish a lifestyle business or a cozy family-run enterprise where high growth may not be the primary objective will typically find that an LLC suits their needs. The inherent protections offered by an LLC’s limited liability shield provide peace of mind, ensuring that personal assets remain sheltered even in the face of business uncertainties.

Lifestyle businesses and enterprises with localized ambitions may find the LLC’s protective shield sufficient for their long-term objectives. For these ventures, the flexibility of an LLC – the ability to tailor ownership structures and governance models – remains a powerful tool that aligns seamlessly with its vision.

However, if you already know from the get-go that you will want to raise venture capital or will have complex ownership, you may consider setting up your business as a C-Corp. 

Pivoting Towards Growth: The Path to a C-Corp

Keep in mind that you don’t have to know the answers to all the previous questions from day one. Plans change over time and you can always restructure your business as needed. 

A C-Corporation (C-Corp) emerges as an appealing option for companies preparing to raise institutional funds. The 1202 tax code “allows capital gains from qualified small business stocks to be excluded from federal tax.” This unique advantage can’t be overlooked, especially when the venture plans for substantial growth and the need for external investors.

Crafting a Tailored Path: RevRoad’s Expertise

As startups evolve and scale, the decision-making process can be complex. Navigating the legal documents needed to ensure a structurally sound foundation for your business can be daunting. That’s where sweat-equity firm RevRoad steps in as your trusted advisor and partner.

RevRoad’s role is not only to provide guidance but also to facilitate the strategic decision-making process. Our Legal team has witnessed the unique advantages and disadvantages that both LLCs and C-Corps offer and can help startups understand the nuances, risks, and rewards associated with each.

RevRoad’s seasoned team is here to work shoulder-to-shoulder with you and attain the full value of your startup. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs with the knowledge, insights, and team needed to make a difference in the world. Let’s start by setting up your organization with the right structure. Contact our investment team to see if your company is a good fit for the RevRoad program.