Exit Strategies Insights

Industry insights, knowledge base and announcements for business owners and professional advisors

Business Strategy Insights

Building Value Means Building Leaders

It’s the New Year, that time when many business owners make a fresh resolve to develop their business. For some, that means updating equipment and driving sales. But others will focus on something more personal and possibly more pivotal: developing their leaders. GF Data shows that a solid management team will increase the valuation multiple. For smaller businesses, the quality of your management team can be an even bigger factor, influencing whether your business sells …

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5 Ways to Make Your Business More Sellable, Right Now

It was time. After 30 years running their small 25-employee company, Frank and Martha were ready to retire to the Oregon Coast. To their surprise, after a 12-month listing with a business broker, there were just a few interested parties and no offers. Instead of enjoying retirement, Frank and Martha are now a year older and no closer to retirement. For them, preparing to sell was an after-thought. Regretfully, this scenario plays out often. Many …

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Corporate Social Responsibility in Mergers and Acquisitions

Like it or not, and irrespective of our personal political ideologies, corporate social responsibility has gained in popularity in the past decade. In this article, we’ll discuss what Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is and what it means for private business owners from an exit strategy perspective. The Four Pillars of CSR CSR is often thought of as having four pillars: the community, the environment, the marketplace and the workplace. Community. This pillar refers to the …

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M&A Advisor Tip:  What Buy-and-Build Means for You

Private equity firms have increased their use of buy-and-build investment strategies. A buy-and-build strategy involves bolting together several smaller companies into a larger business enterprise that will likely sell at a higher multiple. See our post on the size effect. This trend is affecting many industries, from healthcare clinics to niche business service companies. The uptick in buy-and-build acquisitions could mean more buyers and more competition for your business than you expect. Contact Al Statz …

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Business Interruption 101

If you are reading this blog post from the Left Coast today, you know all too well the front page pictures and stories on the wildfires affecting Northern and Southern California in the past few weeks. The devastation is unimaginable. As I write this, the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County (just north of our Petaluma office) is 60% contained and 76,825 acres have burned. In local terms, that is about the size of San Francisco …

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Profit from Intangible Assets in a Business Sale

The sale of a business includes intangible assets. This article explains what intangible assets are and how articulating, supporting and protecting them enhances business sale outcomes. Let’s get started. What is an Intangible Asset? Intangible assets are things that are non-physical in nature that you can identify, describe, document (e.g. a contract, list, logo, drawing or schematic) and, most importantly, transfer. Intellectual property is an example of an intangible asset. The Financial Accounting Standards Board …

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Inside the Mind of a CEO

Of course it’s in a CEO’s DNA to think big, challenge the status quo, set stretch goals and inspire teams to perform to their full potential. So, why did this recent CNN Business article on How power changes the CEO brain catch my attention?  Because my wife pointed it out to me Seriously, according to this article, neuroscience researchers have found that those who feel powerful become: more goal-oriented and think more abstractly more optimistic about …

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Exit Planning: Meaning and purpose drives sustainable business growth

Several years ago I had the opportunity to work on an acquisition assignment for Mitsubishi Electric, one of the multinational business units of the Mitsubishi group of companies. While doing research to better understand my client’s organization, I found an inspiring article that quoted Tachi Kiuchi, Mitsubishi Electric’s managing director at that time… “Are the needs of the corporation and the world in conflict? In the long run, they can’t be. Today, 600 million of the Earth’s …

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Six Reasons NOT to Skim

Pulling unreported cash receipts out of a business is indefensible and unwise under any circumstances, but particularly if the owner expects to exit in the next 3-5 years. All of us during our childhood were offered the parental edict: “Don’t do it, you are only hurting yourself.” So “why”, you may ask . . . now that you are a grown adult, “should I not skim?” Many reasons immediately come to mind and I am certain …

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Goethe on Exit Planning

Early this morning at my Rotary meeting I heard a quote that struck a chord with me. Our speaker, Stephan Stubbins, recounted the story of how he co-founded a successful theater company that helped save one of our local state parks. Once Stephan and his partners quit their jobs and fully committed themselves to starting a theater company, things started to happen for them. The quote he shared is by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ( 1749 – 1832) the prolific German …

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