Stalemate

To leave work after thirty-five or forty years may sound like a great idea. You may be ready to go. But when you begin to consider the reality of what life will be like after retirement, the uncertainty can be pretty intimidating. If you haven’t planned, you may be dragging your heels. You may have […]

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Springboard to Riches

Springboard to Riches A number of years ago a man named Rick called us to sell a division of his company. As we began our Comprehensive Business Analysis, we started hearing that the business was not operating very well. While sales were in excess of $100 million, pre-tax profits the previous year were only $100,000. […]

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Under the Restaurant Table

A dishonest business owner discovers the domino effect … the hard way. Early in my career I was selling a mid-sized restaurant in a shopping mall. It was a nice restaurant, family style, licensed, table seating of a hundred and twenty with ten bar stools. The statements showed a reasonable profit, not great, but reasonable. […]

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When a Rest is as Good as a Change

Burnout is a very real problem and shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a state of emotional and physical exhaustion. It’s caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout reduces productivity and saps energy. It leaves its victim feeling hopeless, powerless, and resentful. Burnout can threaten jobs, relationships, and health. It certainly affects a business owner’s judgment. We […]

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Perception is Everything

Perception Is Everything We were called in one day to look at a company that was in the specialized trucking business. Milt had forty trucks and substantial customers. He was thirty-seven or thirty-eight years old and looked like he was fifty. And as I got to know him, I found out that he worked roughly […]

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A Magic Wand

A banker was put in a difficult position with two partners who were fighting. The only thing he could do was call in their loans, because their business was making no money. “I don’t know if you can do anything about this,” he told me, “but I recommended that they talk to you.” “Am I […]

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Out of the Shadows

The following is a great example of the complexity of family-run businesses. It’s often just one thing that needs fixing. Out of the Shadows Approximately eighteen years ago I was approached by Graham, who wanted to know if I could put a value on his business. Of course I said yes. While our Comprehensive Business […]

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The Value of Full Disclosure

When it comes to digging businesses out of self-made trenches, there is nothing quite like an advisory board. Here’s a tale from Doug’s book of how a team of experts helped a company. The Value of Full Disclosure Donny and Erica, a husband and wife team, approached us a number of years ago to sell […]

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Playing Hardball

The secret to a successful next generation transfer is to create a structured plan as a guide prior to the changeover. The plan needs to be specific to the business and to the family’s circumstances. Once potential trouble spots are identified, proper succession and transition plans can be put into place to overcome them. The goal […]

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I Put My Foot Down

An old Chinese proverb says, “He who speaks first, loses.” Consequently, I always advise my clients to simply answer any questions put to them by the purchaser during negotiations, without offering any additional information or overtures. I tell them that when the purchaser is allowed to speak first, we can assess the proposals as they […]

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