Welcome and Thank You for visiting our website.
This site was designed to provide entrepreneurs a strategic business resource center.
I believe implementing measurable systems and processes into a business will increase performance and revenue, as well as improve cash flow and profitability. Sounds simple, and once a strategic plan is adopted, it is. However, you might be surprised how few company take the time do so.
How we Help
This is a place for entrepreneurs and business owners to research and discover new ways to grow and improve their businesses. Within these pages and blog posts, you’ll find everything from “what’s working now” marketing strategies, to the automated sales processes, to non-traditional financing sources, to proven insights on how to 10X your business valuation – all in an effort to help you grow revenue, improve cash flow, build your management team, and maximize the valuation of your most valuable asset… your business.
Over the past past 28 years, I’ve founded, built, grew and sold three businesses. All in different segments of the market. The first specialized in the retail ceiling fan and lighting industry. This business grew and led to creation of the second, an import/wholesale distribution business that serviced new home builders, hotels, apartment complexes, condominium projects in the southwest region of the country.
After exiting the retail/distribution businesses, The third was a furniture manufacturing business that was founded in 1989. This business serviced large national brand-name retailers throughout the United States and Canada.
The business grew over the years and at the time of selling the company in 2006, we employed just over 200 people, and had built trusted brand loyalty with our customer base. All supported by a professional nationwide sales team of manufacture reps who serviced over 1,500 retail locations, which established our business as an industry leader within our category.
During this time, there were many lessons learned – some tested us and presented true challenges – although putting those aside, there were many successes along the way as well.
In building this business, I had the pleasure to work along side many exceptional people, industry experts and well run companies. A few became valued mentors that offered tremendous support, knowledge, guidance and wisdom that paved a road-map for systematic growth, process driven profitability, and balanced lifestyle. In addition, within this website, I will share the insight gained from that experience.
That said, very little of this advice really prepared me for the sequence of events that took place when selling my business, including the mental distractions, ongoing negotiations and , countless information requests and the mind-numbing due diligence process after agreeing to the terms within the letter of intent/purchase agreement.
Why is this important…
One Day – You Too Will Sell Your Business.
For me – Selling to a Private Equity Firm – and learning the process first hand was to say the least – was very interesting and to be transparent a bit stressful.
First – everything about your business is exposed and scrutinized. Second, systems, processes, and trade secrets are revealed for review. Third, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are measured against industry standards which generates additional competitive advantage questions, and finally, I would be remiss by not mentioning the eleven month due diligence process or as I like to refer to this as my financial proctology exam.
Quick heads up, if you plan on selling to private equity – get ready – they bring the operating table along with a team of surgical accountants armed with laptops filled with reconstructive financial models.
In all seriousness, the good news is, our team of advisers did a great job, I received a fair valuation for all my efforts, and my business did sell .
Bringing Real World Experience
More importantly, I was involved with all aspects of the negotiations, deal structure, and became well educated on how all this works both before and after the sale of my business. As a result, this experience led me into the world of business brokerage and private equity.
In selling three businesses I started, and now by working with hundreds of business owners over many years I bring Real World and first hand experience to business owners looking to implement proven strategies and resources to grow their businesses as well as increase their market valuation prior to selling.
Let me share a few of my biggest concerns when putting my business on the market. There were more, however these were my top 4.
- Not Making a Mistake and hiring the right advisers – I was not in the business of buying and selling businesses, I was in the business of servicing our customers and laying out the vision for my business.
- Getting the Best Price. – this was a big one – most of my hard earned equity was trapped inside my business, and getting the right valuation multiple would be the difference between cashing out big or leaving a lot of money on the table.
- Maintaining Confidentiality between all parties – another big one – I didn’t want my customers, vendors and/or employees to know until it was absolutely necessary.
- Getting Paid in full at closing – negotiating favorable terms for a cash payout while limiting taxes and other liability after the sale is critical.
What is Your Exit Strategy?
The bottom line is this… There is a silver lining to putting together a Strategic Exit Plan. Many – if not all – of the same strategies, systems and processes used to grow and scale your business will be the same as those used to lay out a profitable exit plan – with a few modifications.
Simply put, my goal is to bring private equity marketing strategies, sales processes, follow-up automation, operational systematization, and many other insights, resources and tools to grow your business.
Truth be told, Private Equity Partners will typically not consider buying a business unless they can get a return of 5 to 10 times their investment.
So my question to business owners looking to sell…
Why give up all your hard earned equity trapped within your business to the prospective Buyer? If by making few simple changes and by implementing the same proven Private Equity financial models and strategies… You could realize the same gains for yourself thereby dramatically increasing revenue, cash flow and profit while you still own the business, not to mention a less stressful lifestyle.
Another insider private equity truth… Strategic Buyers and Private Equity will study lifetime customer value and future sales conversion opportunity as much – if not more – than key performance indicators and past financial performance.
They understand, the initial investment will cure debt issues and their collective expertise can stabilize and plug holes in a weak management teams until suitable replacements can be hired.
However, the crown jewel for upside growth – and to a 5X to 10X Return on Investment – almost always centers around fixing the marketing system, sales conversion, and follow up process to develop customer loyalty while at the same time building the lifetime customer value – as by doing so – the company will almost always realize exponential growth through increasing sales frequency and transaction size.
Again my question to business owners – why leave all the upside growth and valuation on the table. Doesn’t it make more sense to make the necessary changes so you can sell for more?
In talking to many friends and acquaintances who own and/or owned businesses; they all understand the need to consistently measure key performance indicators to maximize revenue and earnings. Some have better strategies, systems, and processes than other, but they do understand these need to be tightened up prior to putting their business on the market – that is – if they planned on selling for the highest cash flow multiple of valuation.
Understanding this and in an effort to help, seven or so years ago I entered enter the world of business brokerage and consulting. Since that time, I have worked with hundreds of business owners within a array of vastly different industry sectors. Everything from professional practices, to industrial businesses serving very specific markets, to consumer based businesses with generic product lines.
In doing so, I have be able to look behind the curtain, ask relevant questions and discover how these industries function at multiple levels, how they position their products and/or services in the market, and the different ways they advertise, plus much more…
How Is Your Business Different?
Another important point – most innovation within a specific business sector will typically come from implementing ideas and concepts from outside their specific industry niche. For example, McDonald’s got the idea to add a drive through window based on what the banks did. They were the first to take that concept and add it to the restaurant industry.
Domino’s Pizza was the first to promote delivery – not pizza – through a powerful USP – Hot Fresh Pizza Delivered in 30 Minutes or Less – or It’s Free. They never said it was good pizza, grandma recipe, or hand tossed… No, they said it would be served fresh, hot and fast. As a result Domino’s grew to be the leader in a highly competitive business – now with others copying them.
Another example is Subway, they – with the help of Jared – re framed Subway as a weight loss company within the fast food industry. Think about is, do you really think eating a loaf of bread with a few veggies would be supported by Weight Watchers or Nutri-Systems…
Surprisingly, very few business owners look outside their industry to see what or how other industries reach, sell and develop customer loyalty. In addition, many do not develop a USP (unique selling proposition) highlighting specific customer based benefits that separates their products and services in the market-place. Another common mistake, business owners generically spread their marketing dollars equally and most do not segment their customer lists into specific areas of interest and then market to those interests. As a result most conform to industry norms left only to compete on price.
In summary, implementing a strategic plan for grow will require challenging, testing, and continually improving existing models. Again, my goal with this website is to provide you with viable tools and resources to grow your business, increase your market valuation, and strategically plan your exit.
If you would like to schedule a Confidential Private Consultation, please contact me at 480-616-8138 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. – So this website is my way of giving back and providing entrepreneurs information, tools, insights and tips, to dramatically increase their top line revenue, cash flow, and profitability. To do so, in addition to my personal posts, you will also find me reference other professionals within their respective fields as wall as links to many other websites – all in an effort to help you start, build, grow, and/or exit your business.
For my friend that procrastinate, realize you will only sell your business once. There are no mulligans.
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