Exit Strategies Insights

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

Business Strategy Insights

Do Your Business Emails Convey Professionalism?

Normally we blog about M&A or Business Valuation issues, but this week I want to address email effectiveness, a subject important to all business people considering the tsunami of email messages most of us receive each day (an estimated 121). I recently read an article from the Harvard Business Review that succinctly focused on important do’s and don’ts regarding business emails, including: Do keep emails brief, clear and to the point to capture attention and interest …

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Economic indicators help put the current U.S. economic climate in perspective.

I have four common gauges of U.S. economic activity that deserve a few moments of your attention today: stock market, interest rates, inflation and unemployment. Let’s look at graphs of each of these measures for a visual perspective on the state of our economy. Stock Market. The Wall Street Journal, Equities pg. B17, January 25, 2017 reported the DJIA rose 100 points amid expectations of increased government spending on infrastructure projects.  The DJIA crossed the 20,000 mark …

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Rising Interest Rates and Investment

Since July, the benchmark interest rate, the US 10-year treasury bond, has risen from 1.35% to over 2.55%. That’s a very big move in a short-period. Post-election day the rising rate trend accelerated. We saw a similar spike in 2013, only to see rates retreat. Is it different this time? Valuation Building Block Markets seem to believe that current rates are sustainable and can keep rising given the lower tax and infrastructure spending pronouncements coming …

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Buried in the Corporate Archives – a Valuation Case Study

A lot of our valuation work is done for the purpose of internal share transfers of private businesses, or buy-sell transactions. In doing this work, we often see that owners have overlooked or neglected to keep important documents up to date. One such document is the buy-sell agreement, which articulates important legal, tax, valuation and financing issues that are important to ensuring smooth share transfers and business continuity. We recently evaluated a holding company with a fair …

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What you don’t know about your business name can hurt you.

In my work as an M&A Broker and Business Valuation Expert, I’ve noticed that many business owners don’t understand how their trade names are protected. San Jose attorney David Burgess recently wrote an article addressing common fallacies in this area, which I felt compelled to pass along  … 5 FALLACIES ABOUT PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS NAME by David C. Burgess, Esq. You have worked hard to choose the perfect name for your business. You want to be …

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5 Strategies to Preserve Core Values during a Business Sale

For many owners selling their business is not a simple financial transaction, it’s personal. Owners have poured blood, sweat and tears into building a business that is not only profitable but represents their values as individuals.  Their businesses become not just their livelihood but their self-worth and connection to some of their most important relationships.  The business values and culture are reflected in the everyday interactions with clients, vendors and employees.  Often owners live in …

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Good Exit Planning: First and Foremost, A Valuation of the Company

With the baby boomer generation retirement rush beginning to take hold, many business owners lack sufficient information about the value of their business for retirement planning purposes and don’t foresee the deal killers that await them.  A Deal Killer is a condition that, if undetected and unresolved before the sale of a business, will kill the transaction. The purpose of pre-sale planning is to maximize sale proceeds (as well as to achieve other non-financial goals), …

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Simple Way to Avoid Stale Thinking and it’s Ugly Cousin Group-Think

As a professional advisors we all have habits, standards, rules and regulations that direct much of our daily activities. It’s important that we constantly reexamine our preconceptions, processes and practices to avoid stale thinking. It’s easy to default to accepted dogma that might be hindering our work. This isn’t to say everyone needs to be on the absolute leading or bleeding edge of their profession. However, periodically challenging our thinking and methods helps stimulate us …

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Pricing Methodologies in Buy-Sell Agreements

When it comes to valuing a business for tax filings, M&A transactions, ESOP’s and most other purposes, business appraisers are usually free to use all of the methodologies in their arsenal.  But, when it comes to Buy-Sell Agreements that govern the sale or exchange of interests among closely-held business owners, many of these agreements specify a fixed amount or formula to price equity interests. Recently our firm analyzed the valuation and funding-related provisions used in thirteen buy-sell …

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Funding Your Buy-Sell Transactions

A properly structured Buy-Sell Agreement (BSA) ensures a market for owners’ equity when they leave the business, restricts the transfer of shares to unwanted parties, and lays out a set of rules and processes that mitigate the overall risk of uncertainty when a trigger event occurs. However, without having adequate funding mechanism(s) in place, a well-intentioned buy-sell agreement may not satisfy the shareholders needs when a trigger occurs. In this post I’ll briefly outline the …

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