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Show Me Your Friends, I’ll Show You Your Future – Business Edition

Updated: Oct 6

It has never been more important to surround yourself with competent advisors. You might ask, why now and not in the past? Well now, compared to even 10 years ago, there are far more options to maximize the value of your company but it’s not easy. The difference is not trivial – consider for a moment what it means to you if your company is worth 1x Revenue or 3x Revenue.


“CONSIDER FOR A MOMENT WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU IF YOUR COMPANY IS WORTH 1x REVENUE OR 3x REVENUE”


It has never been more important to surround yourself with competent advisors. You might ask, why now and not in the past? Well now, compared to even 10 years ago, there are far more options to maximize the value of your company but it’s not easy. The difference is not trivial – consider for a moment what it means to you if your company is worth 1x Revenue or 3x Revenue.


OK – so, unless you are the among the few, a 3x Revenue scenario requires  development of the right advisory team who will help you assess and prioritize company initiatives around value drivers that maximize business value  It is imperative that your advisory team consists of specialists who are assembled to achieve your unique combination of business and personal objectives.   In short, there’s no such thing as a standard plan or team, but there are processes you need to follow.


The foundation of sound planning and team creation is one that integrates the industry in which your business resides, capital-markets behavior along with your individual circumstances.


Where do you start? Well, you start by understanding where you are today

Step 1: Personal & Business Objectives Step 2: Company Assessment

Step 3: Prioritize Initiatives & Build Timeline

Step 4: What to avoid


Step 1:

YOU CAN MAKE ANOTHER DOLLAR, BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE ANOTHER MINUTE”

-Alan Weiss, Author – Entrepreneur


“75-90% OF OWNER’S WEALTH IS TIED UP IN THEIR BUSINESS”


PERSONAL & BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Many owners of closely held businesses have spent a lifetime building their enterprises and creating a storehouse of value. Very often though, an owner gives little attention to Personal Objectives other than what is immediately necessary for family, security and discretionary time. However, personal objectives are the foundation of planning, serving as the direction for business objectives. So, the first step is setting concrete personal objectives which are grouped into the categories below.

  • Work / Life Balance

  • Personal Lifestyle Needs

  • Family Security

  • Charity Interests

  • Legacy

Now for Business Objectives. It’s very simple — your primary business objectives are to achieve your personal goals. That may seem shortsighted, but you will find, as you prioritize your personal goals, your business objectives will become far more strategic.   Business initiatives will focus on growth, business continuity, employees, management team and risk management among others.  Ultimately, in achieving your aligned personal and business objectives, accelerating business value is more than just increasing profits and cash flow.  Focus must be given to non-financial value drivers and killers.


Step 2:

Now with your Personal Objectives in place or in process, it’s time to dive into your business to identify the most valuable strategic initiatives that will enable you to achieve your goals. This is best achieved through a formal Deep Discovery and Enterprise Value Assessment. Surprisingly, many of the most valuable initiatives in this process will not involve common value acceleration strategies around growth, profitability or improving cash flow. Why? . . . because accelerating the value of a business means transforming the business from “average” to “best in class” as compared to other companies in the same industry. This analysis involves all aspects of your business including operations, your management team, processes, financial performance and others.  The ultimate goal – is your business treated as an investment?COMPANY ASSESSMENT.


In short, a Deep Discovery and Enterprise Value Assessment will provide:

1. The current market-based value of your company (e.g. sale to a 3rd party)

2. The intrinsic value of your company (e.g. the potential value of your company if it were an excellent performer as compared to its peers)

3. Possible Company initiatives ranked by importance to close the value gap between your company’s current value and intrinsic value.


Deep Discovery will typically review the following business value drivers:

Growth | Market Size | Market Share | Recurring Revenue | Barriers to Entry | Product Differentiation Brand | Margins | Customer Diversification | Company Characteristics | Finances | Operations | Sales & Marketing | Customer Satisfaction | Senior Management | Human Resources | Legal | Innovation

1This process should not be confused with a business valuation completed for tax, credit or estate planning purposes.


Step 3:

Personal Objective:

Spend more time with family  

                           

Business Initiative:

Delegate Responsibilities

Add to Management Team

Grow Net Worth

Transaction Readiness/Value Acceleration Initiative

De-Risk Cash Flow

Develop and Implement Recurring Revenue Model

“COORDINATION OF YOUR ADVISORY TEAM IS CRITICAL TO YOUR SUCCESS”

PRIORITIZE INITIATIVES & BUILD TIMELINE

Prioritizing business initiatives is a combination of aligning personal and business objectives, return on investment and timeline. Every situation is different, and you should focus on those initiatives that have the greatest impact on the value of your business and timeline.   The table below provides some examples of aligning Personal Objectives and Business Initiatives.


While a timeline may be adjusted to your specific circumstances, typically the process of developing and executing a well thought out transition plan takes time.  Your plan will outline your aligned personal and business objectives and highlight those value drivers and value killers that may require specialized advisory services.  Your advisory team should be determined and assembled at the beginning of the execution phase, even though some or even most of the advisory services will not be needed for months in the future. Coordination of the Advisory team is optimally organized by your Quarterback and is critical to your success.


Step 4:

WHAT TO AVOID

There are a few critical missteps to avoid:

  1. The personal and business benefits derived from planning and assembling a highly-qualified advisory team are likely unmatched by any other action you can take.

  2. Bypass Proper Planning. Initiating specific initiatives without comprehensive planning is the equivalent of firing and then

  3. Not working with Specialists. Today’s market, regulatory, tax and legal environment is simply too complex for any one or even a few generalist advisors. You need to work with a team of specialists led by a qualified Quarterback who is trained in identifying and addressing the unique issues impacting owners of closely held companies to optimally achieve your personal and business

CONCLUSION

It has never been more important to surround yourself with a team of specialist advisors. This critical process is best led by a specialist Quarterback who is experienced in aligning personal and business objectives, helping an owner assess the highest ROI initiatives and assemble and manage the right advisory team of specialists who, collectively on a coordinated basis, will allow an owner to achieve specific personal and business objectives.


TYPES OF SPECIALTY ADVISORS

  • Quarterback / Business Advisor

  • Personal Financial Planner

  • Estate Planner

  • Tax Specialist

  • Executive Coach

  • IT / Cyber Security

  • CPA

  • Valuation Firm

  • Investment Banker

  • Commercial Banker

  • Insurance Specialist

  • Wealth Manager

  • Corporate Attorney

  • Exit Planner

  • Value Growth Specialist

  • ESOP Specialist

  • Real Estate

  • Others

Birkdale Transition Partners LLC is the objective source for those seeking business sustainability, growth or considering a business transition. Our goal is to ensure business sustainability and to maximize the value of an enterprise before any transition or transaction. Business owners without a transition plan often are unable to sell or transfer their company at its highest value. We help them to balance a company transition with the owner’s personal goals. Then we work with them to avoid problems caused by the lack of planning and/or not recognizing what needs to be added, corrected or modified before then.

Birkdale is unique because it only offers an unbiased assessment and solutions for the company owner. We do not sell any other products or services, so are a fee-only firm. We work in partnership with the company’s current professional advisors and staff. Because we help companies increase their monetary value, owners view our assistance as an investment—with payback and payout occurring during and at the conclusion of an engagement.


For a no-obligation, confidential discussion of your situation, please contact Barry Goodman at 312-626-1820 or contact us.




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