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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

For some business owners, a third-party sale is their best option for a successful business exit. Third-party sales are popular because owners often believe they can get the most money from their businesses in as little time as possible from a third-party buyer. They might be right. But what they may not consider is how little control they have over their businesses, their schedules, and even their futures once the third-party sale process begins. Consider the following case study:

After 35 years of building a successful manufacturing company, which employed about 100 people, Lemont Lemieux was ready to retire. Always a do-it-... Read More

Monday, October 23, 2017

GREENE - Dennis Hobson has owned and served as president for American Tool & Engineering Inc. in Greene for 25 years. A few years ago, he decided he'd like to someday retire.

Hobson attended a business seminar with his daughter, Sonja - who is transitioning to own the business with her brother, Matt - that started them on the path to pass the plastic molding company onto his kids. 

"What you hope for is you go to one of these, and every question you have is answered. 'Oh, I've got a plan now," Hobson explains. "Well, what you do is you go to one of those and you put up this idea and this idea, and then you maybe go to another one, and..." READ MORE

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

It’s likely that few people, if any, have ever told you, “You need to make yourself less important,” regarding your business. But sophisticated buyers look for businesses that can operate without their owners. Unless your goal is to sell or transfer your business, and then stay with the business as a subordinate to assure a smooth transition, you’ll need to train a management staff that can run the business without you. This is the most important Value Driver you’ll install, and for many owners, it’s the hardest, because they aren’t prepared to expend the emotional and mental energy required to remove themselves from their businesses. 

There are countless technical strategies to m... Read More

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Many owners and advisors talk about the importance of growing business value, and there are nearly unlimited options to help business owners do just that. Wouldn’t you agree that growing business value is pointless if you don’t know how to reduce the threats to that growth? As you prepare for an eventual exit from your business, there are several threats to business value that you need to be aware of:

Key employees leaving the company and competing by taking customers, employees, and/or trade secrets. Key employees dying or otherwise leaving without a replacement. Data security breaches. Uninsured casualty loss. Fraud and embezzlement. Losses from high-risk operations. Any numb... Read More
Monday, September 18, 2017

A fundamental aspect of a successful business exit is assuring that your business has enough value to allow you to exit with financial security. This, coupled with wisely invested non-business assets, gives you the best chance to pursue the Exit Path you want on the timeline you want. Obtaining a proper, professional business valuation is the first step in determining how much your company is worth, but what happens if the valuation shows that your business isn’t worth enough to allow you to exit your business with financial security? How can you increase your business’ value if everything that’s made it successful thus far isn’t enough? 

The answer lies in installing Value Driver... Read More

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Setting goals is critically important to owners who begin Exit Planning. Without goals, even the strongest processes fail, because they have no purpose to work toward. Your goals are what guide your process toward a successful exit, and without them, you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels in the mud of indecision.

While setting goals is the most important thing you do as you begin your business exit journey, it doesn’t mean that you have to know exactly where you’ll end up after you exit your business. Goals can and often must change to give you the best chance to exit your business on your terms. Business exits are rarely all-or-nothing propositions. Having the foresight to s... Read More

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

You know how things work in terms of starting and running a successful business. You’ve hired the right people, offered a useful product or service, and developed high-quality relationships with your customers and vendors. None of these things magically appeared out of thin air: You most likely followed a proven process, mixed in with your own creative problem solving, to build a successful business. The same adherence to process that applies to starting and running a successful business applies to a successful business exit.

Whether you’re looking to exit your business in 10 months, 10 years, or never, one fact governs them all: All business owners—even the hardest working, most... Read More

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

While there isn’t one right answer, owners who see that Exit Planning and Estate Planning share the same goals begin to appreciate how they can leverage the time and money they spend on their Exit Plans into the design of their Estate Plans. To help make the choice about where to start, we urge owners to consider two issues: (a) Estate taxes are (currently) easier to avoid than income taxes, and (b) Estate Planning techniques often involve funding from life insurance proceeds, whereas Exit Planning techniques often involve the owner’s own funds.

A successful business Exit Plan achieves three important owner goals:

Financial Security: The business sale or transfer provides th... Read More
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

We’ve made it past the unofficial midpoint of summer and on every freeway in America is a steady stream of mini-vans torturing, I mean taking, families across our great nation seeking out a little slice of Americana on their summer vacations. It’s a rite of passage for so many of us. Or as one famous father said – "This is no longer a vacation.  It’s a quest.” 

With this backdrop, I find myself in a conversation with Founder Frank. You have probably met him. He started a small company and has now grown it to 62 employees strong. He puts in 80 hour weeks and wears it on his sleeve as a badge of honor. Today’s conversation is about the frustrations of covering vacation time for his... Read More

Monday, July 17, 2017

A focus on current businesses and strategic growth combined with increased educational opportunities and strong, dedicated private and public partnerships has created a vibrant and diverse Dubuque-area economy. The area has done a complete turnaround from the days in the 1980s when it had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation with more than 20 percent of people out of work.

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