Build: Improving Value

Enhancing the value of your business takes on new importance when you are looking at cashing out. How do you secure employees and customers? How do systems and processes affect your sale price? What specific areas of improvement will make your business more attractive?

Owners Live in Two Different Worlds

Business owners live in two different worlds. If you are a Baby Boomer, the title of this column might bring memories of any one of the many covers of the song by the same name. (Everyone from Nat King Cole to …
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Ageing Boomer Entrepreneurs: Fearful or Smart?

Do we become more cautious with age? Startups are usually associated with younger entrepreneurs. By the time they reach their 50s or 60s business owners tend to tackle fewer big new ideas. Those that do tend to be successful enough that they …
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Money is Only Money

Last week I discussed the general parameters of the private equity market for small and midsized businesses. A rational look at the number of “funds” active in the market, measured against the number of legitimate candidates for investment or acquisition, …
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Investing in Your Own Business: Will It Pay Off?

A few months ago a business owner asked me to evaluate an acquisition offer for his small business. It was from a larger company headquartered in a different region of the country. They had a branch operation in his city, and wanted to expand …
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What is Your Company Worth? II

Last week we discussed how business owners frequently use hearsay or incomplete information to estimate the value of their companies. They give the number to their financial planner, or include it on a personal financial statement for their banker, neither of …
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The Road Less Traveled

Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Perhaps Robert Frost’s famous poem isn’t a perfect expression of what I am …
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The Gen X Business Buyer

Generation X’ers aren’t mini-Boomers. Raised in a rapidly growing economy by parents that approached child rearing as a competitive activity, they saw more, did more, and were given more than their parents could have dreamed of. I took my first …
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The (pen)Ultimate Hire

Every sane business owner will acknowledge that there is a point at which his or her own skills are no longer sufficient to grow the business beyond its current level. The revenue point where that happens differs by industry, but it frequently begins at …
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