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Carl Gerhardt

Business Sense & Sensibility

By Carl Gerhardt

About Carl

Carl Gerhardt is the chairman of Alliance Franchise Brands LLC, the parent company of Allegra Network LLC and Sign & Graphics Operations LCC, and a world leader in marketing, visual and graphics communications, linking more than 600 locations in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. The company’s Marketing & Print Division, headquartered in Plymouth, MI, is comprised of Allegra, American Speedy Printing, Insty-Prints, Speedy Printing and Zippy Print brands of marketing, printing, mailing and Web services providers. Its Sign & Graphics Division, headquartered in Columbia, MD, is comprised of Image360, Signs By Tomorrow and Signs Now brands of sign and graphics communications providers.

Carl and his wife, Judy, owned and operated their own successful Allegra franchise for nearly 20 years before selling the $2.3 million operation in 2003. He is a PrintImage International/NAQP Honorary Lifetime Member and was inducted into NAPL’s prestigious Soderstrom Society in 2010 in recognition of his contribution to the industry.

 

Smart Financing - Be Your Own Banker

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Here is a comment made by one of our wise Allegra Network franchise members regarding financing a new equipment purchase:

“For what it’s worth, I’m loaning the money to myself. The bank was willing to go 5 percent for two years, while my various accounts with them only pay .25 percent interest. It seemed like a no-brainer to pull .25 percent money out and loan it to Allegra at 7 percent for 12 months.

“Why pay the bank for money I have when I can pay myself more for the same monetary use? It messes up some financial ratios and skews operating costs, but it works out better for yours truly.

“It’s akin to buying the building a couple years ago and leasing the space back to my company at competitive, but high, market rates. Just another footnote for the company financials is all.”

If you have any money sitting around collecting essentially no interest, you might want to consider loaning your business some money. If you don’t need to buy anything, consider paying down some debt and save yourself some interest costs.

If you don’t have any free cash sitting around, you might want to call on friends or family and pay them more interest than they may be getting on money-market accounts, but less that it would cost you at a bank.
 

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