The Business of Family Companies

Operating a family business presents additional obstacles (along with additional opportunities) to entrepreneurs.

Relationships are put at risk on a professional and a personal level as work/life boundaries become blurred. Often family members know the right buttons to push and disagreements can easily escalate. Additionally, financial risk may be intensified in a family business if both family incomes are from the same pot.

Continue reading “The Business of Family Companies”

Knowing If Your Business Is Ready to Sell or Transition

The key element in selling your business for maximum value is ensuring you own a business and not just a job.

The biggest deal breaker when you want to sell your business is how involved/important the owner is to the successful operation and profitability of that business. If the owner is key, the business will be tougher to sell. If the owner is key and the skill set is very unique or rare, the business may never sell. Continue reading “Knowing If Your Business Is Ready to Sell or Transition”

Cash Flow is King!

Most business owners struggle with cash flow. This is especially true with new and with growing businesses. As long as you are growing, cash flow can be a challenge – if you double in sales, you could double in cash requirements. Last year’s profit probably won’t be enough to cover your new cash needs.

To understand your cash flow issues, you need a proper cash flow statement. If cash flow from your operations is negative, you should take a deeper look at your underlying business issues. The following scenarios can result in negative cash flow from operations: Continue reading “Cash Flow is King!”

Exit Strategies Versus Succession Planning

Like many people, I often get asked “So, what is it you do?”

I usually start with a high-level overview, such as “I help people buy, sell, value, and improve their business.” If pressed, I elaborate on each of the areas I listed, because each dimension has its intricacies & nuances. That’s usually when the topic of exist strategies versus succession planning arises. Continue reading “Exit Strategies Versus Succession Planning”

Buyers & Sellers: Business Valuation Approaches

One of the biggest questions business buyers and sellers have is: “What is this business worth?” The answer is never easy, but we can start by discussing some of the approaches business brokers and advisors take when we value a business. We will also discuss some recent research on Canadian and U.S. business transactions, the findings of which are relevant and revealing. Continue reading “Buyers & Sellers: Business Valuation Approaches”

Business Acquisitions: The Importance of Understanding Your Cash Flow

If you’ve ever bought a house, you know that up-front costs are only half the battle. Even when the math looks good on the surface – you have the down payment, and even know what you will pay in land transfer tax – the closing costs often come as a surprise. Lawyer’s fees, moving costs, new furniture, painting, and dozens of other new expenses you didn’t even think of can end up sinking you. Continue reading “Business Acquisitions: The Importance of Understanding Your Cash Flow”