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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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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Have an Exit Strategy

A professional practice is a business, just like any other, and partnerships are prone to fail. The cost of setting up the correct structure for operating and ultimately terminating the partnership is relatively inexpensive compared with the cost of unraveling a relationship that no longer meets the original needs, not to mention the emotional cost. […]

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The Elephant in the Room

It was time for Ned to retire from the family business. But Ned didn’t have an exit strategy, so he came to us. He and his wife, Joanne, had three children – two sons and a daughter. All three siblings were married. All three worked in the business with Mom and Dad. It was a profitable business. […]

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Crying Over Spilled Oil

An owner, Jackson, approached us to sell his small machine shop. It was absolutely pristine, located in a brand new 10,000-square-foot building, situated in a farmer’s green ten-acre field. It also featured a paved driveway and parking lot and was well landscaped. We recommended that a phase one Environmental Impact Study be done prior to […]

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Shhh – Keep it Quiet

Confidentiality is one of the most important things for a business owner to consider when it’s time to sell. In fact, as our experience has shown us time and time again, sellers who maintain a very high level of confidentiality are much more likely to get a favourable amount for their company. If you have been […]

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