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10 things to consider when selling your business

Dane King

By

Dane King

Recently I successfully concluded the sale of the wealth management division of Stratking Advisory Services Inc. as part of a restructuring plan.

Here are a few points I learnt from that exercise:

1. Ensure you are selling at the right time

It is said that we should “buy low and sell high”. Timing is everything. Are you selling high or low? Is this the right time? If it is not, what are you doing to prepare the business for sale? Maybe you have never reached that high in your gross revenue yet? Maybe the markets and economy is good and so you may fetch a better price? It is also said that time in the market is more important than timing the market..so should you continue the business a few more years to the extent that the price should go up the longer you hold it? Consider these things carefully.

2. Ensure you are selling to the right business or person

You have to take your time and do lots of research of your potential buyers. Are they are good fit for you and your clients? Do you like the owner of the other business? Would you be able to get along with him or her as a client or employee? Do they bring new technology, know how, distribution channels and access to markets that would enhance your business going forward so that they do not fail and destroy what you built. If the buyer is successful then you are successful.

3. Get your books and records in order

Have your completed your last years financial statements? Have you filed your tax returns? Have you completed your annual filings? Are your corporate records in order? In this regard seek the services of a professional Accountant and Lawyer.

4. Get your business professionally valued

You may have an idea of what your business is worth from your knowledge of your industry, but you may be short changing yourself without getting the independent opinion of a professional business valuator.

5. What are you selling?

Are you selling the inventory alone, clients alone, assets or everything?

6. What is the Plan B?

OK, you are going to sell the business, but then what? Are you going into retirement? Do you have enough money to retire now? Are you going to start another business and have you done a business plan for this? What would be the cost of starting the new business and before it becomes profitable?

7. Do you have time to stay around for a while?

Well you may be thinking of selling your business and retire to the Caribbean! Would that be nice? The only thing is that many buyers require you to hang around a bit to assist with the transition. How long will that be? Is the cost of that time factored in the price? You need to factor this in your plans.

8. Have a communications plan in place

You need to put in place a communications plan pre and post sale to address issues your clients, employees, suppliers and business partners may have. So there need to be an internal and external communications plan. Hire a professional marketing consultant if you do not have the expertise in this area.

9. Have you factored in restructuring costs?

You have to take some time and compute what your selling costs would be. This needs to be deducted from your estimated disposal proceeds to determine your net cash flow arising from the sale. Your Accountant should be able to assist in this area.

10. Risk assessment

Selling a business can be a risky process. You need to do a holistic risk assessment of the financial, reputational,career, marketing, tax and business risks of proceeding with the sale. Unsure, then bring in a risk management professional to give you an independent assessment.

These are a few of my top of the mind ideas worthy of sharing with you and I hope they were beneficial.

Dane King is the President of Stratking Advisory Services Inc., principal accountant with ProfitPAT Accounting and Tax and marketing consultant of Chartered Marketer For Hire.

For over 20 years Dane had been helping professionals,professionally owned businesses an financial services firms grow their wealth, increase profits and reduce taxes.

Dane is a Chartered Global Management Accountant, Registered Public Accountant, Chartered Management Accountant(UK),Chartered Marketer and Financial Management Advisor. He is an author and public speaker on a variety of small business, tax, wealth management and marketing issues.

He can be reached at 1-888-865-3870 or service@stratking.org

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Stratking Insight Q4 Newsletter is now out!

Subscribe to and view the Q4 version of Stratking Insight Newsletter:

  • Financial and Economic Outlook
  • Fear can limit financial breakthrough
  • A vision to withstand the test of time and more!

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What to do when all else has failed?

Dane King,CMA,Chartered Marketer
President, Stratking Advisory Services

 

 

As a business owner I often have multiple roles to juggle. Father, husband, Director, Small Business Consultant, Financial Advisor, Community Volunteer, etc., etc.  The list goes on and on. I may not be alone as I know many of you have multiple roles and responsibilities, just like myself.

 However, it often seems that because you are focused on so many things, something may not work out as you planned and sometimes at the wrong time, when you have had your plate full already. At that stage you can be tempted to throw in the towel and give up.

 Basically I think you have three choices:

1. Throw your hands up in the air in despair and give up, or

2. Face the issue directly in the eye and become creative to overcome it, or

3. Focus on something else

The choice is yours! We may all agree that 1 and 3 may not be appropriate since we have already committed the time on that project, relationship, new service, etc.

 So what do we do when all else has failed?

 Here is a list of mind jugglers:

 1. Go back to the concept – why did I start this in the first place? What am I trying to achieve? What did I do wrong? Does this feel right? Was my concept right in the first place? Should I look at this from a different angle?

2. Get help – seek the help of an expert in the issue we are dealing with. It is true that we cannot be experts at everything. Not all expert help costs anything…so it may not be a paid professional, but a friend or family with the expertise and whose opinion you value. It may also involve getting feedback from your clients using a survey or focus group. The key here is not to delay, get help as quickly as possible, before it is too late!

3. Take some time to reflect on the issue…take as long as you need or can afford. This should be some solitary time where you are completely relaxed and can focus on the issue at hand without any distraction. Usually it involves going into a different environment.

4. Let go and give it time – maybe your idea just needs some more time to bear fruit? Maybe your plans were too optimistic or aggressive? Maybe the new product or service just needs some more time in the market? Sometimes you can go only as fast as the market and the decision maker would go..so be patient. When I mean let go, I do not mean letting go forever. To clarify, let go for now, if you can afford to. Reserve sometime in the future to come back to the stagnant problem!!! Also people need time, just give the situation sometime and it may turn around.

5. Get a new team or team members – you may be working on a project with internal and/or external team members and it is not working out. Maybe it is time to change the team composition, assign new roles or bring in an external consultant?

6. Ask yourself, are you trying to re-invent the wheel? Many times we rush off into doing something, that has already been done before, has some system or way of doing that works, yet for the thrill of it, we decide to chart our own destiny…Google it!! Save time and money, it may be as easy as that!

7. Exercise – many times my mind becomes clogged up! My creative juices dry up. Soon after hitting the soccer field and playing a hard game out in the open air, my mind is clearer and I would come up with an idea I did not think about before. It is just that simple!

8. Don’t give up! There is a season for everything. We were never promised that our life will be without trials and tribulation, valleys and mountains. Sometimes victory lies just over the next hill, over the next mountain. We just need to keep walking up that slope one step at a time. We have to have faith in what we were called to be and do. Have faith in our product or service, have faith in the concept we started or relationship we committed to many, many years ago. It is in the darkest hour that our faith is tested and if we persist, we will have victory. The victory is not for the fastest but for those who endure to the end! So keep trying, keep experimenting until you get the secret formula, that special recipe! Remember that vision you had when you started out, keep it in your mind’s eye and keep walking up that mountain. It will pass!

9. Positive Attitude – are we looking at the problem from the position of half full or half empty? Many times my clients and friends would tell me, Dane you are always so positive! Well, why shouldn’t we be? Most of us who live in North America are the most wealthiest and most educated than most people around the world. We also have access to more information than ever before. Why should I be negative? The world is full of solutions. I prefer to look at the side of the coin which is half full. I choose to believe that there is a practical solution for everything; it is just that it has not been figured out yet. I often say, “don’t tell me about problems, tell me about solutions”! We have to be careful that we are not continuously living in the darkness of what does not work instead of the light of what is working. Maybe it may be an idea to focus on what is working and build on this, instead of obsessing on what does not work! This often ignites the positive energy and confidence to solve the issues that are not working.

10. Remember past successes! If you are a professional or business owner, I estimate that in the past you must have been successful in something. A simple thing as getting your Degree, is not easy! You did it, you successfully attained your degree and you got a job. You can solve problems! You are not a quitter! So why start now?

11. The final one on my list is “good ole prayer”! Often when all has failed I would take my unsolvable problem to my creator and I would get revelations to the problem I never thought possible. When all else fails I would often take it to prayer on my knees and then wait for the Lord Almighty to send me an answer, patiently.

All these things have worked for me in my over 20 years in business and I hope it works for you! Have a great day!

Dane King is the President of Stratking Advisory Services www.stratking.org which provides professional services to small businesses across Canada and wealth management services to professionals in Ontario. For over 20 years Dane has helped corporations and individuals increase profitability and/or grow wealth. Dane holds several professional designations such as Certified Management Accountant, Chartered Marketer and Financial Management Advisor, etc. His mission in life is to make a difference in people’s lives. He can be reached at 1-888-865-3870 or email at service@stratking.org

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A vision to withstand the test of time!

President of Stratking Advisory Services

Dane King, CGMA,FMA,Chartered Marketer
President
Stratking Advisory Services

A vision to withstand the test of time is needed for a successful business and personal life.

Great vision gave rise to great men

The greatest men of our time have been able to conceptualize a vision for the future and communicate that vision to influence others so that they may participate in that vision. In so doing lives have been changed, men became wealthy, businesses became profitable, employment was created for many and that vision was passed on from one generation to another. Additionally, the vision survived many years after the visionary leaders were no longer alive. This is the type of vision that can withstand the test of time!

Such vision therefore never dies; it withstands the test of time and provides hope for lives often in darkness and provided continuity for businesses that need to be continuously propelled further. Such vision gave hope to so many in the darkest hours of our time.

Visions are the seedlings for small beginnings

The small beginnings then became huge household names. The vision of one man or woman became the fuel of great things which was imaginable to generations before.

Such visions are truly valuable

So who would form a business without a carefully thought out vision? But is a vision something that can be taught, that can be given? What is the source of this vision which formed the greatness of many? Was it from God? Was it from Business School? Was it from our fathers? Was it from our fathers, fathers? Were we born with a vision, enshrined in our DNA, and just waiting for an opportunity to be brought to the surface?  I am often convinced that the latter is true! I believe that we were born with that vision, planted by our Maker, to give us a purpose in life. If you know your Maker, it would be easier to know the vision for your life, which you would eventually manifest in given birth to your business. My vision in life is to make a difference in people’s lives and Stratking Advisory Services was started to do exactly that. One of the great books I have read, that supports my view is the Best Seller, “The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren”. When the vision comes from our Maker it is bigger than anything we could ever imagine.

Vision drives passion

If your business reflects your vision for it, you would never work a day!  I mean it. It gives you such a great drive and energy. You would often do what would seem impossible to others. You would not know you are working past 5PM. In fact you would be up 1AM in the morning and loving everything you do because you are actually living your vision. Doing what you were designed to do so others would benefit.

A vision that withstands the test of time, should be a labor of love

You know you are working towards something. There will be ups and down, but you are working towards that state you saw in your mind’s eye, when you were first planning your business. It is great when your employees can be caught on fire with that vision as well!!

 The vision is often not valued at all but is reflected eventually in an amazing brand

We speak of brands and valuing a brand. However it is anomalous that long before the brand was created, the vision behind it is not valued. How much pay do we get for our vision initially? NOTHING! It means nothing unless you and I make it into something that people can feel, touch, taste, experience and like. This is too bad since many communicate their vision to others, don’t do anything about it and the person who put the idea into action paid nothing for it. So be careful who you share your vision with. The life behind the vision is often undervalued, by family, by friends, by employees, by clients, by suppliers, by government. What if we could value the vision of a man? How much would that man be worth today? Would his/her pay be enough, $100,000, $1Mn, $2Mn a year? How much should we pay for a man or woman with vision?

How much would we pay for Martin Luther King, Jr and his vision? How much is equality worth today for you and me?

How much would we pay for John F. Kennedy and his vision? How much is going to the moon first worth?

How much more would we have paid for Steve Jobs? How much is the ability to design and communicate with a computer worth?

Vision must be acted on

When no else would do what they spearheaded, they stepped forward in faith, acting on their vision, so that others would be encouraged and challenged to move to the next level. Often alone, often under great hardships they toiled. Often with many sleepless nights they sacrificed, so much they endured to make their vision a reality.  Often not merely for themselves, but for others, for you and me, for the employees sake and for the family’s sake. Visions that was bigger than themselves!

Selflessness

I think great visions are often founded on selflessness. These are the ones that usually made the biggest difference in world history. So a vision means nothing unless it is acted on and also when it is motivated by selflessness. It must have impacted others so the vision would last a life time. People will remember you for what you did for them.

Needs the visionary to drive the vision

As the visionary, you have to be the driver of the vision. It is your cross to bear during your lifetime. You can share it with others, but there are few who will stick with you in the mud to see it through. They may also be with you for part of the journey. The journey is therefore yours to ensure!

Vision comes at a price

So do not seek a vision if you do not want to pay the price of making that vision a reality. Some have paid that price with their lives, others by losing a fortune, others by losing close friends and family, some have lost it all for their vision. Then you ask them, was it worth it? To which they may say, it was worth it, every moment of it! I would not have done it any differently. I did what I had to do, it became my life. So I ask today, what is a life without a vision? And are you living the vision for your today as if it were your life? Are you living each day with the end in mind? Whose vision are you living and is it worth it?

A vision requires sharing with your support system to grow and stay alive

Often a vision is a picture of the future, of the end of it all. A beautiful picture of how the business would be like, what the customer would experience, what the business environment would be, what the lifestyle a people will live. It is often so clear in our minds that we can smell it, we can touch it. Though clear as daylight for the visionary, often hard in the beginning for those who do not believe in the unseen, but the seen. Those who cannot see what you see. It is often a lonely road, where you are building that dream today, when others cannot understand what you are building until it is finished. So what is a vision without trust, without people who believe in you and the vision to make the journey hoping that the end that you see, would materialize one day, to the benefit of all interested parties. To ensure that vision lasts a life time. Gather those around you that would keep your vision alive, that would keep your spirit alive, that would carry the torch when you are no longer there to carry it on…

Make your vision a reality

A vision is worth living, a vision is worth building, a vision is worth sharing, a vision is worth acting on. So take out that note pad and reflect on that vision you had for that business you always dreamt about, the vision of your life after you have paid off your debts, the vision for your existing business, for your department, for your marriage, for your family and start taking action with Trusted Advisors to make it a reality. A vision is a terrible thing to waste! Turn a new page TODAY!

Dane King is the President of Stratking Advisory Services which provides professional services to small businesses across Canada and wealth management services to professionals in Ontario. For over 20 years Dane has helped corporations and individuals increase profitability and/or grow wealth. Dane holds several professional designations such as Certified Management Accountant, Chartered Marketer and Financial Management Advisor, etc. His mission in life is to make a difference in people’s lives. Connect with Stratking Advisory Services on Twitter or call Dane King at 1-888-865-3870

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