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EXIT – Are you planning to get out of your small business?

All Business Owners Have PAIN’s.

If you’re scaling your business, you will recognize these PAINS

exitFor the past 27+ years I have worked for, with or coached business owners / leaders. I recognize that each and every business is different and unique.  The clients I have served range from the single real estate agent to the Executives of a 2000 FTE  manufacturing firm.  Often, our efforts surround finding ways to increase efficiencies, reduce time investment on projects or provide new and timely information have been the focused solutions.   This is apparent that they have PAINs that they would like to have eliminated from their lives.
RECOGNIZING THAT ‘EXIT’ IS A PAIN
This pain is most common for business owners that are in their 50’s+, have been working IN the business for years and, very often, will have feelings of being tired, or burnt out, and may have lost much of the energy and passion that was part of the early years of growing their business.  They are seeing the potential of retirement, but have just realized that their biggest asset is their business.
You will hear them say things like…
  • How much is my business worth?
    • Your business is worth exactly how much someone is willing to pay for the business.  The estimated sale price of the same business will vary greatly depending on their role… accountant, business broker, family member looking to run the business, key employee wanting to buy it, or a financial or strategic buyer from outside your company.
  • Who would be interested in buying my business? and how will I make that happen?
    • First – you need to start thinking about / looking for potential buyers years before you expect to sell / retire.  The path to transfer a business (for the value that you expect) is long, often unclear, and filled with barriers and pot-holes.
    • Second – look to the ‘low-hanging fruit’… family member who is working in the business, key employee that has been engage and loyal, or your competitors.  When you’ve exhausted all of these, then a business broker may be another option
    • The ‘HOW’ for any of the above is to gather an EXIT team of professionals together to help you develop and implement a plan… Business professionals could  attorney, bankers, accountant, coach, financial advisor, insurance, and tax advisor. All these can play a significant role and be of great assistance in different part of your ‘trip’
  • I’d like to retire, but who will run the business if I’m not here?
    • Selling the business outright is not always the best option.  It may make more sense to hire someone to run the business and have it provide an income stream to you and your family.  Each case is different and so will be the solution.
  • How do I convert the business I’ve built into cash for my retirement?
    • First – you need to know how much you will need when you are away from the business.  A good financial advisor will be able to help you put together a good estimate.
    • Second – now that you know what you’ll need, you need to evaluate what you have in liquid and retirement assets and an estimated value of the business.  For safety sake, I would suggest that you plan for the lower number on the price range of the business.   There are a variety of industry specific formulas to determine value, but if you take that EBITDA average over the last 3 years.  Multiply that number by .5 and 5.  The end result of the value of your business will (likely) be within that range
    • Having the buyer write you a check is the easiest and cleanest – but it doesnt often happen.  Talk to your EXIT team – they can help you develop a realistic plan
  • Making sure that we have a proven system for generating qualified leads will increase the value of my company… now I just need to figure out how to do that.
    • The value of your business will depend on its ability to consistently grow and scale.  Being able to create a steady stream of new business will ad great value to the business and significantly increase the amount someone will be wiling to pay.
HOW TO FIX IT?
As we mentioned before, the way to achieve your goal of Exiting your business is a ‘long and winding road’, but the following 6 steps can provide you an outline to follow…
  1. START NOW – Exit planning can be complicated and take time. Assemble  your EXIT team now.  Plan for 5-10 years and you may have enough time.
  2. CLARIFY YOUR GOALS – Share your dreams with your EXIT planning team.
  3. BUILD YOUR PLAN –Work with people that know the process. There is much to consider.
  4. MANAGE YOUR RISK – A strong plan should account for all the things that could derail the plan.  Protect yourself, your family and your business.
  5. VALUE YOUR BUSINESS – Find the right valuation formula for you.  Your EXIT planning team can help
  6. REVIEW YOUR PLAN – The only constant is change.  Review your plan yearly to identify any changes
If you would like learn more about how you can develop your plan to Exit your business,  call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.

Case Study: Start Up Funeral Home Takes 18% Market Share

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Funeral Provider

Business To Consumer

 

Client Situation – AT A GLANCE

 

Find a niche and serve it extremely well … the clients will come

CHALLENGES:

  • New provider of funeral services to a market that had the highest concentration of funeral providers per-capita in Wisconsin.
  • Limited working capital
  • Consumer education of the benefits of alternative funeral services

SOLUTIONS

  • Solid 10-year business plan with realistic projections for growth and market share penetration.
  • Business planning included an exit plan for the owners after 5 years in business.
  • Weekly measures of KPI’s
  • Alternative guerrilla marketing strategies to reach their target market
  • Multiple product and service offerings to generate value-add service to prospective client base

RESULTS

  • Investors were secured to allow for additional cash flow needs
  • Non-traditional marketing methods focused on relationship-building strategies with prospective clients and strategic partners.
  • Annual growth rates ranged from 23%- 57%
  • After just 3 years in business, 18% of the funerals conducted were performed by this provider.

HERE’S THE STORY

Less than 4% of business that started 5 years ago are doing business today. Those numbers reduce to 1% when you look back 10 years. Those numbers are not encouraging, but entrepreneurs are willing to face the challenges in hopes of overcoming the odds to achieve success.

Funeral Service is a business that most people don’t know, or understand, but is one of those things you don’t think about until you need. Understanding the business model and being very clear on the products and services needed by your target market were the keys to success for these Start Up business owners. After meeting the owners and investors, we conducted an in-depth Evaluation / Alignment with the team members, vendors and suppliers. From those meetings, we were able to create a clear picture of their desired results.

When Advanced Business Coaching was introduced to the owners, we generated a 10 year (long-term plan) , a 36 month Road Map with success metrics and milestones and a 1-year action plan that would be visited monthly to ensure the Road Map would be followed. Quarterly meetings were held with investors and team to ensure that transparency of all ac- counting and activities was achieved. Immediate focus was placed on dividing roles and responsibilities of the principles of the business. The Organizational Chart for High Performing Companies was used to establish balanced growth and accountability. Empowerment measures were put in place to allow for key decisions to be made with- out unnecessary meetings.

The needs and wants of the Baby-Boomer demographic was a key component to the establishment of the marketing programs being developed. Focus groups and over 100 interviews were conducted. From this information, a plan was developed to deliver ‘education-based’ presentations to all interested parties. By diverting marketing/advertising dollars from traditional ‘image advertising’ to more direct-response approaches, the client was able to spend 50% less than industry averages and produce 3 times the results.

The first 24 months was time to develop systems and processes to maintain contact with prospective clients. Innovative marketing strategies and educational seminars were implemented to encourage regular contact between prospects and business owners. Strategic partner relationships were formed to find additional connections with their target market. After 5 years in business, market share is currently 18% and growing. What will happen in the future is still being determined, but growth rates continue and families happily call when the need arises

To take a Test Drive on our system visit http://abcgrowthacademy.com/guidedtour

To your success,

Michael Stelter

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our ABC E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the ABC E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.

 

 

Case Study: Family Trade Turns Into The Family Business

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Residential Painters

Business To Consumer

 

Client Situation – AT A GLANCE

 

Just because he knows how to paint, doesn’t mean he knows how to run a painting business…

CHALLENGES:

  • Finding the working capital to meet payroll and material expenses.
  • Finding qualified workers
  • Development of replicate-able systems to build a solid business.
  • Limited understanding of business financial reports and the value the information brings to the business.

SOLUTIONS

  • Solid business plan for slow and steady growth of production and overhead costs.
  • Clear understanding of the 5 major areas of the Organizational Chart for High Performing Companies
  • Balanced efforts in all work-rooms of the business
  • Utilization of employee pre-hire assessment to determine learning traits and skill-sets.
  • Value-add relationship for all customers to ensure repeat business and active referrals.

RESULTS

  • Business growth is within 5% of plan numbers.
  • Employee retention is well above industry averages
  • Cash flow needs have been met and no additional financing has been needed since year 1

HERE’S THE STORY

In the 19th and early 20th century, it used to be a tradition that sons were taught the trades of their fathers.  The sons would learn the skills of their father as they were growing up.   This is what led to this new business owner getting bit by the ‘entrepreneurial’ bug.

He is a 3rd generation painter, but rather than work for someone else, he decided he wanted to own his own business.  But, as most business owners know, there is more to owning a business than just delivering the quality product and service you sell to your customers.

An existing client referred this business owner to Advanced Business Coaching.  When we first met this owner, he was extremely frustrated with the Business Owner / Business Leader,  Marketing / Sales, Systems / Team and Customer Service/ Customer Care areas of his business.  Defining each area and separating the principles, practices, measures and metrics for each area, we were able to put together a plan for balanced growth and his frustration lessened.

As with most business owners, his talents were in the Product / Production area of his business.  Establishing the Vision and Culture of the business was the corner-stone of all future growth.  Once that was written and confirmed, we started the search for team members that would thrive and grow within that culture.  Utilizing group hiring processes and pre-hire employee assessments we were able to save time and find qualified employees that were comfortable delivering the quality work that was important to the owner—and his customers.

Creating a shared risk/reward compensation plan for all employees was an important part of the business model that contributed to the first years Family success.  Having all employees concentrating on cost containment, productivity and efficiency led to better than planned job profit analysis and high than expected income by the team.

For the small business owner, finding balance in their business is imperative to sustained growth and long-term success.  Working in all areas of the business to achieve the most important things that would contribute to strengthening the business.

Focus on delivering customer expectations was the biggest area of concentration over the first few years.  Happy customers provided quality referrals, held ‘open house’ parties to show neighbors and friends their newly painted home, and made took advantage of opportunities for the owner to do interior work that kept his team working year round.

To take a Test Drive on our system visit http://abcgrowthacademy.com/guidedtour

To your success,

Michael Stelter

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our ABC E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the ABC E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.

 

 

Case Study: 27% Growth While Owner Is Away

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Heavy Equipment Repossession 

Business To Business

 

Client Situation – AT A GLANCE

 

Business Is Reorganized To Allow 27% Growth While The Owner Is Away!

CHALLENGES:

  • Revenue streams were concentrated 60% on 2 clients.
  • Partner disengaged from the business.
  • Employees compensated by salary with incentive pay or production goals
  • Loosing $50,000/month

SOLUTIONS

  • Established Key Performance metrics in Production, Sales and Customer Service.
  • Adjusted compensation plan adjustment to provide above-average income to strong producers
  • Diversified customer base so that no customer is responsible for more than 20% of monthly revenues

RESULTS

  • Made necessary expense reductions to get to Break Even within 60 days.
  • Negotiated a transition of 100%business ownership to manger-owner.
  • Margin contribution goals from all producers with incentive pay for strong performance.
  • Increase Sales by 135% in 2 years
  • Created an Organization that allowed the business owner to be away from the business for 6 months.

HERE’S THE STORY

Frustrations of business ownership, flat sales over the past 4 years, lack of employee productivity and accountability, and a partner that was disengaged from day-to-day operations while continuing to take a significant salary were all symptoms of the pain being experience by this service provider to the financial services industry.

An existing client referred this business owner to Advanced Business Coaching in hopes that we could provide a path through the challenges they were experiencing.  After a thorough Evaluation / Alignment with the client, team members,  vendors and suppliers, we were able to see a clear picture of the current   situation and present a 36 month Road Map to achieve the longer-term goals envisioned by the business owner.

Immediate focus was placed on expense reduction and strengthening the  balance sheet of the business.  Cutting costs, liquidation of assets and alternative financing options were evaluated and implemented over the first 60 days to stop the ‘financial bleeding’.  During this period, we also  developed a clear understanding of employee productivity and how that   related to Margin contribution to the business.

Development of a new compensation plan that rewarded high performing   employees was implemented within the first 90 days.  Adjustments in  employee new-hire process, employee assessments, supervisor deliverables and clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of all employees created a pro-active environment of growth and profitability for the company.

Over the first 12-24 months, regular team meetings focused on short-term deliverables for each department, combined with updates on company successes and failures, created an culture of trust within the team and a willingness to work together to grow the business.  At the end of the second year of working together, revenues had increased by 135%, while net profits grew to 11.5% monthly.

The strength and commitment of the team was proven when the owner was afflicted with a life-threatening health condition.  He was completely  disengaged from the business for over 6 months.  During that time, the  Advanced Business Coaching Leadership team provided leadership insight and guidance and direction the business management team.  During that time away,  the business revenues grew by 27% and net profits increased by 32%.

To take a Test Drive on our system visit http://abcgrowthacademy.com/guidedtour

To your success,

Michael Stelter

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our ABC E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the ABC E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.

 

 

You Need To Know These 5 Things You Can’t Control When You Want To Sell Your Business

exitYou Don’t Have 100% Control Of All The Things

That Will Impact The Sale Of Your Business

We often hear business owners state the specific year when they will sell their business, such as “I will sell the business next year,” or “I will sell the business in the year 20XX….”

While it is good to have specific goals, when selling a business the outside world plays a surprisingly large role in determining how many potential buyers may be interested, and the price and terms you may ultimately receive. Selling your business for the maximum value involves careful timing.

There are five external factors nobody can control, but any or all of them may play a significant impact on your success at sale:

1. The Availability of Financing. When money is tight and buyers lack access to cash at attractive rates, generally this depresses business prices. For example the graphic below from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank* shows the surge in banks tightening their commercial and industrial (C&I) lending standards in the midst of the recent US “Great Recession.”

2. The Overall Economy. When the overall economy is strong, business sales prices generally rise. In the reverse, during a weak economy business sales prices tend to fall. A rising tide lifts all boats, and a falling tide lowers all boats. The chart below shows median EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) multiples paid for U.S. companies purchased over approximately the last ten years.** As the economy has cycled through recessions and expansions, the chart shows median multiples have changed by 25% between highs and lows. 

3. Your Geographic Region or Country. In many cases, different regions of the country (and different regions of the world if your business operates internationally) will be growing at different rates. If your area is experiencing difficult economic conditions relative to other locations, than can reduce your business sale price. Of course the reverse can be true as well, raising a business’s sale price.

4. Your Specific Industry. Industries go through hot and cool spells, where demand for businesses in that industry will rise and fall. These cycles can greatly raise or lower business sale prices and favorable terms.

5. Tax Policy. Known or anticipated changes to relevant tax rates can impact business sale prices, both gross and net. For example, several years ago in the U.S. federal long term capital gains tax rates increased by about 20% for most taxpayers, a change everybody knew was coming. We witnessed multiple business owner clients sell their businesses earlier than planned, before the tax rates increased.

All five of these external factors change with time, sometimes quickly. To sell the business for the top price, owners need to build timing flexibility into their exit planning, and carefully monitor these outside factors. Owners also must start seriously planning their exit years prior to the actual event. An owner who wishes to exit anytime within the next five years or less needs to realize that it’s crunch time.

When you sell your business is not likely to be determined by the year you choose, but rather by whenever a willing buyer shows up with a price and terms that you are willing to accept.

We’d like to offer you the NO COST opportunity for You to get your “Value Builder Score”.  This is a score from 1-100.  Your Value-Builder Score is calculated through an analysis of your businesses performance on eight attributes proven to be important to acquiring companies when evaluating a business as a potential acquisition target.

If you haven’t gotten your copy of the FREE REPORT… “12 Fatal Mistakes You Can Make When Transitioning Your Business”

If you would like learn more about how you can plan for a successful sale of your business, call Coach Michael Stelter at Advanced Business Coaching, Inc. (262) 293.3166.