I spent the last three years learning from some of the most ingenious mergers and acquisition specialists around. And now I've decided to take the leap into buying businesses. The real questions are, how will I do it? How much of the behind the scenes can we really show? And how can business owners like you maximize their purchase price and build generational wealth? This show is going to give you the answers. Join me and follow along as I share mine and other stories as we buy, sell, or merge healthcare businesses and physical therapy practices. I'm Dave Kittel. And this is the Dave Kittle Show.
Welcome back to the Dave Kittle show today we have a really interesting financial professional. Chris Younger, the CEO of financial services company in Denver called plastics partners. He's also the author of harvest, the definitive guide to selling your company will link to it in the description, you can get it on Amazon, and on their main website. Today, we're going to cover a couple things, we're going to cover the most common value to tractors and small to medium sized businesses, we're going to cover the best and worst transition or exit stories that Chris has come across them interacted with in his 30 years of deal making. And if we have time, also what owners can do in advance of a sale to maximize the value before we get into that, Chris, welcome on.
Thanks so much, Dave, and thanks for doing what you're doing to help business owners out there. That's awesome.
Absolutely. So for the audience out there that might not know about you or hadn't come across you yet. Can you give a little bit of a bio about yourself and class six and who you guys helped?
Yeah, you bet. Well, don't hold this against me. I'm a recovered attorney practice for a couple years out in Silicon Valley, and then transitioned over to the deal business. And my first venture out of the law was doing a consolidation in the communications industry. So I was a co founder of a business and was the deal guy. And we acquired 27 companies over a couple year period. So it was fairly hot and heavy. And as you might expect, you learn quite a bit during that many deals in that shorter period of time. And I like to say I think I've made most of the mistakes that you can make in acquiring a company. And you can't see how Polycom but it used to be a lot taller before having gone through that experience of integrating those companies. So and then we sold that business to Avaya, which is a big communications company actually tried to retire for a year or so. My wife, Mary Beth decided that I needed to hop and so I wanted to stay married. So I did. And we started our investment bank about 20 years ago with my partner, David Tolson. And through that experience, we were working entrepreneurs, and about five or six years into it, we kept seeing common themes, and our clients not necessarily being adequately prepared. And so we started a business, we today, we call it Pathfinder. And that business is really designed to get businesses ready to go to market. And then obviously, we've got our investment bank that manages the transactions. And then about six and a half years ago, we started a family office to help our clients personally in terms of wealth management, educating their kids, and making sure that they make that transition from being the business owner with sometimes a lot of asset value, but maybe not a lot of cash to, you know, post business owner having a lot of cash, and just help them manage that transition. Because sometimes it's pretty tricky. And so we we help about 70 75 families, and we have active assets under management of about a billion dollars. And then we have, we advise on another billion and a half for those families. And like I said, I love my job, I get to work with entrepreneurs all day. So it's, it's about as good as you can get. Yeah, that sounds great.
Before we jump into the common value, detractors of small to medium sized businesses are any other comments, or are just kind of like initial starting points to kind of provide like an introduction, before we kind of do a deep dive into some of these topics.
You know, I think the topics will be really good to get into to just to help business owners, particularly those that you know, might be a little away from an exit start to plan for that. I think it'll also be helpful for anybody that's looking to buy a company as well, just to pay How do you think about value? And how do you think about navigating a transaction? So you know, happy to dive into it.
Yeah, that sounds great. So what are some of the commonalities or some of the things that you've seen, that would be the value destroyers or the value detractors? I'm assuming more on what you're seeing on the sell side? It could certainly be some of the behavior on the buy side, but I'm assuming it has to do more with the core function of the actual business, the practice that is looking to potentially exit.
Yeah, if you could put it into one sentence. I would say the biggest mistake that we see business owners make is really lack of preparation, which is it's disheartening to see sometimes because you watch an entrepreneur who's spent years and years and years of sweat, toil and money and energy and stress, building a business, only to see a lot of that value leak when they go through a transaction. And I try to describe it to business owners who've never been through it, it's, you know, it's a little bit, you know, like heart surgery, it's, it's pretty intense. If you haven't been through it before, you're likely to make a lot of common mistakes. But all that really starts with preparation. And I think the first step in preparation is really, how do you get an objective view of your business, most entrepreneurs just because they've been managing their business, and are very familiar with the risks and have gotten comfortable with those a lot of times aren't necessarily the most objective when it comes to evaluating their business, we often see, for example, business owners will value their business as much higher than the market. And I think that's, you know, at some points, right, you say that tongue in cheek, but it's actually I think it's true for a couple of different reasons. And when you think about business value, business value, in my opinion, is really a combination of two factors. One is, how risky is the business perceived to be by a buyer. So how much risk is there perceived to be in that business. And the second one is, how credible is the growth plan, if the growth plan is highly credible, and the buyer believes in that growth plan, then you're going to feel good about its prospects to generate future cash flows. In addition, if the business is perceived, not to have a lot of risks, then those cash flows are fairly predictable. And as a result, that's going to really drive the value of the business a lot higher, unfortunately, a business owner because again, they've managed that business for years and years, they're very comfortable with those risks. You know, it's almost like traversing rapids, right? If you're, if you've been down the river 30 times, even in a very, very difficult rapids, you're gonna feel pretty comfortable, whereas the person going on the first time, you know, it could be deadly forum. Likewise, a business owner typically is quite convinced about their growth plan that they have. And I would say, 95% of the entrepreneurs that come into our office, I think they've got a good growth plan in their head. But being able to translate that in to the language of an investor that's credible. Oftentimes, it's very challenging for them just because it's a it's a different language, right? Investors speak a little bit different language than entrepreneurs. So there's a lot of translation that needs to happen there. Yeah, that makes a lot
of sense. I want to come right back to the preparation and the potential value detractors. But in the pre interview, I had asked, What was the origin of classic partners? Like, what does that name mean? Since you mentioned the rapids, I got to ask you here on the show, so why don't we go into that real quick?
Yeah, so class six are the most difficult rapids, you know, almost a navigable, and you definitely need a guide, if you're going to go down those rapids and, at least in our mind, you know, going through a transaction process for most business owners is really, really tricky. And so having somebody that's been there and done that, you know, hopefully will dramatically increase your odds of success and reduce your odds of failure. Yeah,
that's awesome. Makes a lot of sense. So going back to the preparation of this experience of this process, there's a lot of there's individuals that just try to wing it and do it on their own, or they'll use like their accountant or lawyer that they've known for 20 years, what is just some high level conversation or considerations, that versus using like a specialist or firm or a company like you, or someone like you, or your team? What are the you know, maybe it might cost more, maybe the fees are higher, but like you're getting a specialist versus someone who may look at commercial real estate contracts here or there, but they're not really involved in m&a and transitions of actual businesses. So what like, just at a high level, for someone who's watching or listening, what are some of the, the challenges there the considerations of going one way or the other?
Well, back to our rapids metaphor, right? Or you can either hire the guy that seen those rapids, you know, 100 times, or you can hire the guy that's maybe been down at once or twice, you know, I think the likelihood of success is fairly predictable in both of those situations. Right? And in most cases, this business is the business owners largest asset, and so not having expertise that has been there and done that a bunch of times and really knows the game. you potentially can leave a lot of money on the table, and it's really Pennywise Pound Foolish right? You want somebody who has that and has done it a bunch of times can bring a lot of buyers to the table for you knows the pitfalls and anticipates those is very Are you good at problem solving very quickly, time kills deals. And so if you have folks that are less sophisticated or don't necessarily know how to address those issues, the common issues that come up, you know, that can delay the transaction significantly. And like I tell my clients, you know, there's there's nothing good for seller that happens between the letter of intent and closing, it's only risk, though the shortest we can make that period of time, the better it is for the seller. And quite frankly, it's better for the buyer as well, it just gets it's much more efficient. And that's true, not just for somebody like what we do a banker that can go really tell the entrepreneur story in a way that the markets going to hear the right way, but also act a number of different bidders that compete with one another and then manage that, you know, that process of negotiating the different offers, it's also true for your lawyer, I can't tell you how many times, you know, we, we really have to have hard conversations with our clients that at hiring their corporate lawyer who, you know, may do one or two deals a year, it may seem like it's gonna be less expensive, I can guarantee you that it will be much more expensive, you know, they don't necessarily know, market. So they can spend a lot of time and therefore dollars on issues that either don't matter or are out of, they can take a lot longer to prepare documents, we were just involved in a transaction where it took our clients lawyer about two months to put a purchase agreement together and almost killed the deal, right? Because it's again, the longer you extend that timeframe to get something done. Between Letter of Intent closing, the worse it is for the seller. And so, you know, it's it's one of those where you really given the magnitude of the traction, right? And the significance of it. It's It's like going to the general practitioner versus the heart surgeon when you need a bypass done. You really want somebody that's all they do. And they're very, very good at it.
Yeah, that's awesome. It makes a lot of sense. I do want to get into some of the best and worst transition or exit stories before we do so any other additional value detractors that we didn't cover or just any recap to that section,
the biggest one that we see, right, if if you're just assessing a company, the biggest one that we see, we do, we have a patented tool, we call copilot, it's a health assessment furnace. And so we've had almost 1000 companies take that. And so we see kind of what are the most common risks, the number one risk that businesses have is that the business is too dependent on the owner, or the CEO, and particularly for business that are starting to scale, right? If you're starting to get to 10 million in revenues and above, it's hard right to make that financial decision to start to hire a team. But I can tell you both with respect to the happiness of the owner, as well as the scalability of that business, that getting that team on board, it will add a lot of value to the business, it will allow you to grow and scale faster. And it again, it will make the life of the business owner a lot better, because they can start to delegate those tasks that they may not be as good at or that they don't like. And they can get folks that quite frankly, hopefully better than they are at those different tasks. And so that one, we see 95% of our survey, users have that risk in one form or another. And so it's one where if you haven't spent time on this, if you're a business owner, I would highly, highly recommend spending time on that. It's obviously a longer conversation. But that's probably the number one that we see, we see a lot of other risks. Our assessment identifies about 95 of those risks. You know, the other ones are too dependent on one or a few customers for your revenues, or too dependent on one or a few lead sources for your customers. We see a lot of financial controls risks in companies, you know, on our website, we've got a blog post might be of interest to your listeners, you know, particularly on financial controls, some best practices that companies can deploy, but it's, it's really all about, hey, how do I get how do I get my business in a position where the perceived risk a lot lower, and my growth plan is highly credible. And that takes time.
And that one consideration of where the businesses wrap too much around the CEO or that there are the owner or the majority owner is probably would love to hear your feedback, either that they have not done it before where they haven't tried or they haven't been forced to or in the process of replacing themselves. So there's either a combination of fear where they don't want to be replaced because they don't want to groom that CEO or someone internally, some up and coming VP to kind of be the next CEO or the future. Either there might be fear of replacement, or just lack of experience and knowledge around it. And maybe there's a third or fourth but what are there other considerations there as to an individual Have that size or maybe is maybe a one to 5 million or like you said up to a $10 million business where they are, they would vet the practice will be valued, typically the best if they were to delegate more, and were to take themselves out a lot of those executive functions, but then that replacement would be either they're blocking themselves, either because of fear or lack of experience, or maybe I don't know, a third or fourth thing, what are your thoughts there?
I think you put your finger on it, a lot of it is, look, entrepreneurs by nature are have a lot of confidence in themselves. They believe that they can do things better than others in a lot of respects. And I think for certain elements of what they do, that's probably true. Where they start to misstep is that they can do everything, right, that's better than others. Having a great CFO is sometimes the hardest hire that we have to convince clients to make, because it's not revenue generating, they don't understand necessarily the value of having really good forecasting and predictive financials and, you know, solid financials that are accurate. They don't necessarily appreciate that, that until they get one on board, when you get a great CFO on board. And I can't tell you how many clients have called me and said, you know, what, why didn't you make us do that earlier, and you get to get that quality person on board. So I think part of its fear, oftentimes, look, hiring is messy, I would love to say that, hey, the your odds are 100%, that you're going to be successful. And particularly with one of these key hires, where culture is so important. Here, your odds might be 50%. But what I do know is if you don't make that hire, you won't scale past 10 million or so in revenues. Because you just, it's physically impossible for the business owner to scale themselves. And so it's definitely a fear issue. That's why I always recommend, you know, find somebody who is not just a great recruiter, right, because you have to get candidate flow, but also somebody who can help you assess these candidates. And that's really important, somebody who's an expert at interviewing and evaluating executive talent, you know, we've worked with several folks that can help business owners really assess that talent to make sure it's going to be a good cultural fit, that that person is going to be competent, that you know, it's going to work out, or at least increase your odds of that. And the old adage of, you know, hire slowly, fire quickly is absolutely true, particularly with a COO, CFO, head of sales type position where they're so critical to the company's future growth.
Excellent. So next, let's jump over to some of your without mentioning any names or anything like that best and worst transition and exit stories, what are some things that what some anecdotal stories or situations that we can kind of riff on and discuss that would help some of the audience and some of the business owners and practice owners out there so that they can maybe learn from or avoid some of these road bumps or some of these challenges or issues?
Yeah, there's really two stories that illustrate the point that we were just talking about, right, of how important it is to prepare. I'll give you the train wreck story first. But we had a was CEO, and he had a business that have changed all the names to protect the innocent, but he had a business that was pretty nice business, it was about 50 million in revenues, it was about $10 million. So it was a really nice company, had been building it for 25 years, like a lot of business owners had gotten the call from a private equity representative saying, Hey, I'm such and such from this private equity firm, I'm really interested in your business. And whereas most of the time, he would have ignored that call for a reason this time he took it. And I like to say, look, you know, most private equity professionals are very, very good salespeople, because they're selling the most commoditized of all commodities, which is money. And, you know, this particular private equity representative was able to convince the CEO, to sign a nondisclosure, send him some information, and then have a meeting. And like, I think most CEOs, when they're presenting their business, they're going to present their business, you know, in the best light possible versus warts. And all right, that's just our natural tendency. And so as you know, he's telling us private equity representative, you know, the the story about his business, the private equity person is getting super excited, and says, Hey, I'd like to make an offer for your business and offers the owner about $65 million. And again, the owner was starting to get a little burned out. And the hook in the story is, the private equity guy says, I can close this in 45 days. So imagine you're the business owner, you're really stressed out and get $65 million in 45 days. Well, of course, the CEO hadn't done any preparation. So they signed this letter of intent right Luxman to exclusive negotiation And he's, he's scrambling to fill the diligence materials prepared, he's scrambling to respond to all the requests. So 45 days rolls around. And of course, you know, the phone call goes something like, Hey, we've, we haven't been able to get everything that we need, we need another 45 days. So now we're at 90 days, at the end of 90 days, of course, that buyer has learned all the words as well. And so the offer is no longer 65 million, it's now 55 million. Well, we got a call about probably 90 days after that, the offer had deteriorated to about 45 or 50 million. And, of course, our advice to the business owners CEO was looked a step back, your business is actually doing better, it was making about $11 million at that point. And it's probably worth north of 75 million. So there's no reason to this. But as sometimes happens, the CEO was just really committed to this deal. And he just said, No, I just want to get it done. You know, I'm just so burnt out from this process, and from running the company, I just want to be done. And so that's probably the most disheartening discouraging example I've ever seen of a CEO, you know, basically giving that private equity firm about 30 or $35 million, right of value. And, and when you think about, you know, he had big customers, like Walmart, you know, he probably spent a year to two years preparing for those sales, right. And, you know, the value of those sales compared to the 35 million that he has left on the table is insignificant. So it's, uh, it really points to that lack of preparation, but also, quite frankly, the lack of running a really disciplined process to find a lot of buyers, just, you know, that that allowed that private equity firm really to steal from us that you know, which was terrible compare and contrast that to, we had another client who, you know, he came to our came to office. And at that time, the business was really a lifestyle business for himself and his wife. And he said, Look, I want this to be much more, and I don't want to be a lifestyle business anymore. And my goal in four years is to sell this business for $30 million. That time, his business was probably worth five or 6 million. And so he said, Alright, so tell me, what do we have to do? Right? What's the game plan. So literally, it was just, hey, let's evaluate the business. Obviously, he needed to build a team, like we were just talking about. And the one great thing about him was he was great at executing. So he went out, he hired a team, we help them think through product strategy, channel strategy, as he was building his product set. And he ended up getting to his 30 million, not in five years, but in three years, and sold the business and ended up staying on as the CEO, and actually selling yet again, for about $120 million. And so he, you know, just cleaned up. But that's the difference, I think, between a CEO who is hyper intentional, and is willing to put in the effort front and do the planning and make those hard decisions and do the hiring, versus the CEO who just reacts to something coming over the transom, but hasn't done any of that preparation. Like I said, it's, it's like running a marathon, right? If you expect to run a really good marathon, if you have trained for six or nine months, you know, the odds of you having a good race are pretty slim, the odds of you finishing are pretty slim. And that's, you know, in the in the former story, that's what happens to a lot of those one off deals fail. Because if you think about it, right, the private equity guys thinking, well, this business isn't what was representative it is and owners thinking, Oh, the PE guy is trying to steal from me, right, you know, they're trying to renegotiate, you know, after they've dragged me through due diligence for 90 days. And so I just think, well, much can be gained just by doing that core preparation. And that's, that's going to generate your very, very best results. And we've we've certainly seen it time and time again.
Yeah, I really appreciate you sharing those stories. And that definitely paints a picture of what are the possibilities in the preparation in understanding the process. And then also working with like a specialized firm like you guys or someone else, wherever they're located. There is definitely a an array of possibilities out there when someone just kind of stumbles into the process. And then they're not prepared. And then there could be deal fatigue and the deal drags on. And then like in that first example, where the individual or the executive team, the CEO, the majority shareholders will kind of just reluctantly stick with that and just kind of get it over with because of some of that deal fatigue and that improper setup and that whole experience, right?
Oh, for sure, for sure. And it's all preventable, right? It's all preventable. It just takes a little bit of foresight and a little bit of investment of time and money and energy that you can generate. Like I said, I've always argued that the work that a CEO or an owner does to really work on positioning their Business and positioning their business has value and thinking about risk and thinking about a credible growth plan. That's the best return on investment they'll get of any time that they spend in their business. And I've just I've watched it a lot of times, and it's definitely true.
Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. We'll go into next, what can owners do in advance of a sale to maximize value? Before we do that? You did write harvest, the definitive guide of selling your company? Why write a book I've heard that I've had some people say that I should write one or different books or some different ideas. But I've heard that it's a challenging process, to write a book, Why write a book, and how was the process?
Our mission as an organization is to empower the entrepreneurial spirit, we have a really, really high regard and respect entrepreneurs, as entrepreneurs, ourselves, we know how hard it is to build a business, let alone build a business to be successful enough where it could be sold. Businesses don't make it to that level, right? Most businesses fail. And these entrepreneurs I live in Colorado mean, midsize businesses are the one thing, two thirds of the hiring, primarily responsible for our economic development and health. And so our mission as an organization and as individuals is, what can we do to help those entrepreneurs get the most out of all this risk and time and stress that they put into running their companies. And we thought, hey, if we could write a book that could summarize a lot of the lessons that we've learned, does that allow us to reach a lot more people than we could ever certainly have as clients, but also just give back to that community and give them maybe at least another leg up as it results to, you know, swimming in the shark infested waters of transactions, right, it's, you know, it's, as I said, an unwary entrepreneur can lose a lot of money that they shouldn't have to. And so that's why we decided to put the book together the process. It's interesting, I sat down for about three weeks, I did nothing but just write. And that's about as painful as you can as it sounds. And then my business partner and I, we just spent a lot of time editing, and just running, running through and editing and editing. And that took about a year to put all that down and kind of refine it. And, you know, we joke that look, if you're ever having a hard time sleeping, it's pretty good to get you back to sleep. But we do think that it's we've gotten the feedback, hey, it's, it's hopefully helpful for an entrepreneur to use as a reference guide, and at least prepare themselves a little bit better for what's coming. Because it is. Again, it's like heart surgery, right? It's a major, major life experience, and you just don't want to go into it unprepared.
Right? Alright, let's, let's finish up with what owners can do in advance of a sale to maximize value. Now, we covered a couple of things on this episode. So they certainly could find resources and like your book, read your book, utilize a specialist who convey the preparation and the process to you before going into it, as opposed to just winging it yourself. What are some other things that practice owners business owners can do in advance of a sale to maximize value?
So I think the as we talked about, right, the two key drivers for how to drive value in the business are how to increase risk. And how do I make my growth plan more credible? And both of those activities when done right, that's a year to two to three years of runway to really dial those in? So the first thing is, how do I understand, from an outsider's perspective? How much risk is in my business? And what are those specific risk factors? And how should I prioritize going about trying to solve those. And so that's step one is, again, we use tools on our end to do it. But you could go to an outside business advisor or consultant, and just have them assess your company. I'm a big fan of CEO groups, you know, to have 12 or 13 other CEOs give you their objective feedback on your business is really helpful. Because again, as a business owner, you're not going to see the risk in your business the way a third party would or a buyer would. So getting that assessment, and then sitting down and prioritizing. Alright, what are these? Which of these risks am I going to go tackle? Based on your number one? How big an impact will they have on valuation? But you also have to look at how long it would take or expensive it would be or how difficult it would be. And you've got to prioritize those risks. So that's first and foremost is that piece, and I would argue, every business owner should be doing that anyway, because it'll help you sleep better at night and it will make your business more scalable, so really focused, focusing on Hey, what is it that makes my business more risky, right, if I've got, you know, we've talked about owner dependence or customer concentration or lack of financial controls, or hey, Maybe my legal house is not an order, or maybe I've got some provisions in the contracts that I've signed that are gotchas for a buyer, right? Well, we need to go solve all those things before you go talk to buyers. So there, there's so they're not gotchas. You know, maybe you've got environmental issues, or maybe you've got employment issues, maybe you've got litigation, all that stuff is worthwhile to spend time on that. The counterbalance to that is also how do I build a growth plan? That is going to be credible to an investor? Like I said, I think most entrepreneurs have an intuition about, hey, how should I grow my business? And where are those opportunities? Most entrepreneurs, when pressed, really couldn't put that into the language of an investor, really a spreadsheet with detailed assumptions, detailed analytics, and an analysis that shows why this is believable? And so spending that time to understand where's that growth gonna come from? Is it my existing customers? Or I gotta go? Do I need to go get new customers? Is it my existing product set? Do I need to get new products? Is it? Am I going to try to do an acquisition? You know, pretty tricky. So you got to understand, where's that growth gonna come from? And then you have to build the model around, alright, what investments do I need to be making to make that growth possible? And if you're a manufacturer, that could be, you know, new facilities or new manufacturing equipment, it could be new salespeople, it could be product development that I've got to do a lot of r&d for, there's a bunch of different things that go into, Hey, what are the investments that are required to make that growth possible? Understand, all right, like translate this in, quite frankly, and for better or for worse, most professional investors, you know, they're gonna build a detailed discounted cash flow model. And that's going to have a lot of detailed assumptions. And so how do I take what this model is and put that in? Do you know, a full discounted cash flow model that I could talk intelligently about to a potential buyer, having that put together? And then the final piece is running a lot of common metrics against that. So hey, am I assuming that sales per employee is going to be higher or lower than they are right? Now, if they're a lot higher? Why is that? How do I justify that to a potential buyer? You know, sales per salesperson, am I expecting my salespeople to be as productive, more productive or less productive going forward? There's a lot of those metrics that you can build into the model to help you gut check whether it's realistic or not. And then having that just allows you to communicate to a buyer so much more convincingly, that, hey, this is a plan that you can bet on. Right? This is a plan that's highly credible, that you can believe in. And that's going to drive value in the business in addition to, hey, how do I how do I take risk out of my business? And I would argue, by the way, again, both of these sizes, every business owner should be doing regardless of they're going to sell next year, or never just because it's just good business practice. And it's, it's a good discipline.
Yeah, it's never too early for them to start working on this and start considering some of the points that we're talking about. For sure, for sure. For the audience it I know the honest is gonna find this insightful and valuable. So if you're listening, you're watching jump over to the YouTube, subscribe to YouTube, you'll be notified of new episodes like this that can publish twice a week, Chris, in terms of the audience reach out to you, there's class six partners.com. So that's Class VI, partners.com, maybe LinkedIn or other website or email address, what's a good place for the audience to reach out to you and your company? Your firm if they want to hear more or connect?
Yeah, absolutely. They can either reach out via the website can certainly reach out to me on LinkedIn, or my email is Chris Chr. Yes, at class six. partners.com.
Excellent, Chris, really appreciate your time. Really interesting, really insightful. And I'm glad that we're able to record it and share with my audience. You
bet. Thanks, Dave, again, for doing what you're doing and happy to chat with you.
Hey, it's Dave Kittel. Are you a healthcare business owner or physical therapy practice owner who is looking to figure out your succession plan or exit strategy? We might be able to help. And in fact, we may be interested in acquiring your practice. If you're interested, you can reach out to me shoot me an email at Dave at concierge pain relief.com That's the AV e at c o n C i e r g pain relief.com Or you can call me at anytime 467818884