So far in our value acceleration series, we have talked about increasing the value of your business and building liquidity into your life starting with taking inventory of where you are at and aligning values, reducing risk, and increasing intangible value.
This month, we focused on planning and execution. How these action items are introduced and executed may be just as important as the action items themselves. We still need to protect value before we can help it grow. Let’s say you had a plan, a good plan, to sell your business and start a new one. Maybe a bed-and-breakfast on the coast? You’ve earmarked the 70% in cash proceeds to bolster your retirement accounts. The remaining 30% was designed to generate cash for the down payment on the bed-and-breakfast. And it is stuck in escrow or, worse yet, tied to an earn-out. Now, the waiting begins. When do you get to move on to the next phase? After all that hard work in the value acceleration process, you still didn’t get where you wanted to go. What went wrong?
Many business owners stumble at the end because they lack a master plan that incorporates their business action items and personal action items. Planning and execution in the value acceleration process was the focus of our conversation with a group of business owners and advisors on Thursday, April 11th.
Business valuation master plan steps to take
A master plan should include both business actions and personal actions. We uncovered a number of points that resonated with business owners in the room. Almost every business owner has some sort of action item related to employees, whether it’s hiring new employees, advancing employees into new roles, or helping employees succeed in their current roles. A review of financial practices may also benefit many businesses. For example, by revisiting variable vs. fixed costs, companies may improve their bidding process and enhance profitability.
Master plan business improvement action items:
|•||Customer diversification and contract implementation|
|•||Use of relevant metrics and dashboards|
|•||Financial history and projections|
|•||Systems and process refinement|
A comprehensive master plan should also include personal action items. Personal goals and objectives play a huge role in the actions taken by a business. As with the hypothetical bed-and-breakfast example, personal goals may influence your exit options and the selected deal structure.
Master plan personal action items:
|•||Family involvement in the business|
|•||Needs vs. wants|
|•||Development of an advisory team|
|•||Life after planning|
A master plan incorporates all of the previously identified action items into an implementation timeline. Each master plan is different and reflects the underlying realities of the specific business. However, a practical framework to use as guidance is presented below.
The value acceleration process requires critical thinking and hard work. Just as important as identifying action items is creating a process to execute them effectively. Through proper planning and execution, we help our clients not only become wealthier but to use their wealth to better their lives.
If you have been participating in our value acceleration events so far, we welcome you to attend our next presentation on Wednesday, May 8th at 8:00 a.m. in our Portland office. Please contact me or register here if you would like to attend. We will be discussing the decision of whether to grow your business or exit―and options for each path.
If you haven’t been able to attend prior sessions in our series, please reach out to us, as we plan to restart the value acceleration series soon and welcome you to attend at that time.