Blog

Planning Your Escape (from business ownership)

There are different types of exit strategies to choose from. Most entrepreneurs who start businesses set their goal with an initial public offering. While this is a respectable and admirable goal, for most it is not likely to happen. Most exits from business involve an acquisition or sale of the business. Continue reading

Why You Need a Business Valuation

The valuation of all or part of a private business is integral to the operation and the long-run survival of the business itself. Continue reading

6 Year End Steps to Ready a Business for Sale…

Whether you are ready to sell your business now or in the future, steps should be implemented now to make your business more salable. Continue reading

Business Appraisal? Two View Points

Recently I read an article in “Inc.” magazine espousing why a business valuation is less than important (http://www.inc.com/david-lonsdale/why-a-valuation-is-less-important-than-you-think.html). Then a week later in “Forbes Magazine” is an article stating that to build value you should value your business (http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveparrish/2012/08/14/if-you-value-your-business-you-should-value-your-business/). Read … Continue reading

Timing Your Business Exit or Business Sale (Part 2 of 3)

In our first post on exiting business ownership timing, we highlighted how selling your business at the “right” time exists at the intersection of proper preparedness and these three timing conditions: Continue reading

Why You Need a Business Valuation

The valuation of all or part of a private business is integral to the operation and the long-run survival of the business itself. Continue reading

6 Year End Steps to Ready a Business for Sale…

Whether you are ready to sell your business now or in the future, steps should be implemented now to make your business more salable. Continue reading

Timing Your Business Exit or Business Sale (Part 2 of 3)

In our first post on exiting business ownership timing, we highlighted how selling your business at the “right” time exists at the intersection of proper preparedness and these three timing conditions: Continue reading

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly

I fight grammatical errors constantly and I found this blog from Brian Clark the founder of copyblogger.com to be a great reminder of what (not) to do. Enjoy! Continue reading

6 Tricks to Sell Yourself by Geoffrey James

A few months ago, we posted a blog about selling yourself to business buyers – Tips for Business Buyers: Sell Yourself – from Nick Rodites of Bankers Advocate.  Today, I will be sharing some ways to sell yourself to the … Continue reading

Entrepreneurs don’t care about Google, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn

The many ways an entrepreneur can spend money generating leads is infinite. Sadly, the return on those “investments” is not. Continue reading

The Magic of Doing Things One At A Time

Tony Schwartz, the president and CEO of The Energy Project and the author of “Be Excellent at Anything” shared in Harvard Business Review the magic of doing one thing at a time. Why is it that between 25% and 50% … Continue reading

Business Acquisition Checklist

“When you buy a company, you are not buying a building or the employees but you are really buying the customers.” Planning of acquiring business? There are a couple of things you definitely need to know before you sign that … Continue reading

5 Reasons Every Small Business Are Extending Credit

There is much debate over whether or not extending net terms to customers is a smart practice for small businesses. There is risk involved, with providing a service or product and trusting the customer to pay you back at a … Continue reading

Ways to Save Money on Business Travel

Travel is one of the most expensive line items on any body’s budget so here’s a few tools to save key dollars that could be spent in your marketing and sales machines. Read more…

Tools to manage your business in the cloud

Since Bankers Advocate has Virtual Offices with teams members in Orlando, South Florida and the Philippines (Jessie and Rachael are our wonderful Virtual Assistance), we thought you would be interested in the tools we use to be in the “Cloud” … Continue reading

New Vistage Small Business Group in Miami

“I am such a big Vistage fan for my clients, I want those in Miami to know about my good friend Les’ new group” Chris Now Miami area small businesses have access to the advantages of Vistage Membership Veteran Vistage … Continue reading

4 Practical Succession Planning Tips

Matt Schaeffer, CPA, CVA, CFF, is a local partner with accounting firm Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), the nation’s 34th largest. Contact him at mschaeffer@cricpa.com or 727-324-1223. 4 Practical Succession Planning Tips A successful company should have a future, and … Continue reading

Always bring a Condom by the 7L Guys

Here is a funny, irreverent but to the point blog on BEING PREPARED! by my friends at 7th Element. We recently set up a meeting between a company and one of our clients to see if the company might be … Continue reading

A better exit with marketing dashboards

Using Operation Manuals to Exit Business Ownership

Improve your chances of Exiting Business Ownership by utilizing operation manuals Continue reading

6 Simple Steps to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile… by Hannah Pace

If you use LinkedIn, you are looking to make connections. Not only do you want to find people, you want others to find you. Once you’ve been noticed, what will compel someone to connect with you? To maximize your chances … Continue reading

Creating an Effective Social Media Profile

Your social media profile may be more valuable than you think. A well-developed profile can either make or break your brand’s online growth. Profile content that intrigues gains attention. It is the first crucial step to engaging your audience. Whether … Continue reading

Avoid These Social Networking Mistakes

Yes, social media is a platform that provides free marketing. Is that a reason to make its sole use self-promotion? Not if you want your venture into the digital realm to be successful. Continue reading

3 Steps to an Effective Presence in the Social Media World

The following steps will help you establish an effective presence in the social media world. Continue reading

Your Most Important Meeting of the Year: The Annual Business Review

With less than 60 days left until the end of the year, business owners are likely starting the process of evaluating the results of 2010 and formulating resolutions for 2011. We suggest using this opportunity to hold an “Annual Business … Continue reading

How to Know when to Sell Your Business… by Nick Rodites, AVA

As the in-house AVA and leader of the Central Florida Office for Bankers Advocate, business owners often ask me how to predict the right time to sell. I know from recent conversations, that many owners feel they missed their chance … Continue reading

The Best Way to Grow Your Business, Frank J. Gnisci B2B CFO

“The B2B CFO people do good work. Here is an article from one of their consultants, Frank Gnisci.” Chris Although every business wants to grow, some types of growth are certainly better than others. Consider the following 2 options: 1: … Continue reading

Business Success: Organizational Change and Culture By Doreen M. McGunagle, Ph.D.

“I enjoy Doreen’s work and writings. Here is an article from her. CC” For firms to compete today, they must change to meet the demands of the business environment. In fact, change can be used to create a competitive strategy … Continue reading

The Delayed Gratification of 2009 and 2010

In my talks with business owners and their advisors throughout 2009 and early 2010, I see one common theme – Survive. Business Owners who back in 2007 planned to fund their retirement by selling their business in 2009 were hit … Continue reading

McGwire Returns to Mudville, by Tom Reilly

“I enjoy Tom’s newsletter and this article on being humble and making time to learn hits home” , Chris By Tom Reilly, the guy who wrote the book on Value-Added Selling Former St. Louis Cardinal, Mark McGwire, is returning to … Continue reading

Seminar this Thursday at Stetson’s Celebration Campus…

In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever to plan ahead. That is why it gives me great pleasure to invite you and your clients to a seminar on Planning Your Exit from Business Ownership. This seminar … Continue reading

How the Stimulus Package of 2009 Can Help Your Small Business, Diana Fitzpatrick

(This is a great article by the legal editor of www.nolo.com, Chris) The economic stimulus package (Recovery and Reinvestment Act) includes tax, loan, and investment provisions for businesses. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (commonly called the “stimulus … Continue reading

Business Owners Land the Whales

I was taking a prospective buyer on a client tour recently. The principal of the buyer’s group is a serial entrepreneur who has started or bought numerous companies and taken each to the next level. We were talking about sales … Continue reading

Using Technology to Increase Business Value Before a Sale or Merger

“My friend Norman Katz contributed this great article” Chris  Improvements in information technology and business processes can make an important difference in not just the perceived value of a business, but the actual value too.  Technology improvements that are visible … Continue reading

All Buyers Are Liars – Dave Rothfeld

“I enjoy Dave’s newsletter and this caught my eye” Chris A group of prospects were meeting with a sales representative at a Colorado steakhouse, and all were complaining that their steaks were overcooked. When the waiter came and asked whether … Continue reading

A Tax Warning for Buyers, Sellers and Investors in Businesses

I was talking to a friend at a Private Equity Group today who found out that a company they own a portion of is behind on federal withholding taxes. He does not know how big the problem is, but he … Continue reading

Employee Theft: is it Happening to you? by Tom Comollo

“Tom had this insightful article that I wanted to share, Chris” It is not a nice thing to think about but employee theft is rampant in small to mid-sized businesses. It never ceases to astound people that a trusted employee … Continue reading

E-Myth: Delegation vs. Abdication

This article http://www.e-myth.com/cs/user/print/post/delegation-vs-abdication does a a wonderful job fleshing out my last post on on The Cult of Personality No-No. Letting go of your ego and taking the time to build great systems and procedures is the only way to build … Continue reading

The Cult of Personality No-No

Many entrepreneurs are do-it-all, take charge types who cannot delegate any business duties. Their argument is that no one can do it better than them. The problem with this scenario is that the owner has created themselves a job, not … Continue reading

Price Cutting, A Race to the Bottom

In this tough business environment, it is tempting to cut prices to pick up or hold onto sales. However, margin erosion has to be monitored carefully.   See the following chart:     As you can see, small changes in … Continue reading

SBA Urges Lenders to Offer Loan Deferement Relief

Note: “I found today’s press release from the SBA very interesting.” Chris WASHINGTON – In response to the financial crisis, the U.S. Small Business Administration today announced it is strongly encouraging its participating 7(a) lenders and Certified Development companies to work with … Continue reading

Prime rate drops to 4.5%

“Note: Since this was written, the prime has dropped to 4% and furthur rate cuts are possible.-Chris”  One item not receiving a great deal of attention through the financial crisis is the fed’s action causing the prime interest rate to … Continue reading

Stetson University & TMA Present the Business Renewal Series…

Business Renewal Series: Survive Hard Times, Navigate the Economy and Control Your Own Destiny…  The Stetson University Family Enterprise Center in partnership with The Turnaround Management Association presents a unique group of seminars, The Business Renewal Series.    http://www.turnaround.org/Events/Calendar.aspx?objectID=9647 Survive Hard … Continue reading

Upcoming Seminar in Orlando

Topic: “Planning Your Exit from Business Ownership” Presenters: Frank Mock, Lowndes, Drosdick & Chris Curtin, Bankers Advocate  Sponsor: The Law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. Location: Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., Orlando Date: December … Continue reading

Selling One Location or Part of your Business?

We are getting more calls from potential Exiting clients wanting to sell part of their business; two stores, one clinic, a manufacturing plant, etc. A big road block to this is that many times the books and records are not setup to … Continue reading

IRS Increases Mileage Rates through Dec. 31, 2008

This was recently posted on the IRS website. Of course every little bit helps, Chris. IR-2008-82, June 23, 2008 WASHINGTON  The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of … Continue reading

Two Exit Planning Seminars this Thursday & Friday

Later this week on June 19th in Ft Myers and June 20th in Ft Lauderdale, I am participating in two Planning Your Exit from Business Ownership Seminars. BB&T, Ruden McClosky and Richard Hall CPA are my gracious sponsors. Whether you want to Exit … Continue reading

Government Contracts May Put Struggling Companies on Road to Recovery by Robert Koehler

Establishing a plan for sales to the government may be the business opportunity a company needs to turn around lagging sales or expand the scope of its marketing footprint. In the most recent Journal for Corporate Renewal (The official magazine … Continue reading

Being on a Non-Profit Board: “Give, Get or Work”

Like me, you probably serve on a few non-profit boards. Giving of yourself can be very rewarding, but sometimes frustrating in the non-profit arena. A key difference between your business and the non-profit is that when you serve a client, … Continue reading

Protect Your Accounts Receivable….

In these tougher economic times, collection of your AR needs monitored more closely. The credit worthiness of your clients has probably degraded and their ability to pay you may be at risk. There is only one thing worse than no … Continue reading

Thoughts On Dealing With Price Objections from Tom Reilly

I received this email today from www.TomReillyTraining.com and in this market it is easy to fall into the “sell by price” trap (which is not selling, your just an order taker). It also got me to thinking of one of my … Continue reading

Why Didn’t My Business Sell? Part Two…

Here are seven more reasons that your business did not sell or sold at a steep discount: 6. Bad Location or Lease: A great franchise in lousy location makes for a failing business. Also, too high a rent as a percentage … Continue reading

Why Didn’t My Business Sell? Part One…

If you have tried to sell your business on your own or it was listed with a broker for over a year and the contract lapsed and you have given up in frustration, let us talk about what might be the problem. … Continue reading

Uses for a Business Appraisal

The majority of the time Bankers Advocate employs a certified business appraisal, it is for use when our Client is Entering or Exiting Business Ownership. However, recently we were asked for a certified business appraisal, where the shareholders were not happy with … Continue reading

16 Red Flags for Fraud in Your Business

Fraud is rampant in business today. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, U.S. organizations lose 5 percent of their annual revenues to fraud — about $652 billion a year. The median loss is $159,000, but one-fourth of the … Continue reading

What Prospective Business Buyers look for:

Provable & Timely Books & Records Reasonable Price backed up by an Appraisal Satisfactory Borrowing Leverage & Terms Sufficient Free Cash Flow FF&E  (Current FMV,  Not Overstated) Good Appearance & Lack of Environmental Issues A Scalable Platform that can be … Continue reading

It’s All About Control

You have built a great business. You control your labor & material costs, AR turn, cash flow, etc. Your not even afraid to “fire” a client occasionally if they don’t meet your standards. Now that you are ready to exit from … Continue reading

Keys to a Great Business

Great businesses have two things in common: Culture and Cash FlowCulture: Those of you who fly, compare SouthWest Airlines to the non discount airlines. At SouthWest, the pilots help the attendants clean the cabin after a flight lands. No one … Continue reading

Successful Start-up: Make People Care

Kevin Ready, a serial entrepreneur, consultant, and author of the book Startup: An Insider’s Guide to Launching and Running a Business shared on Forbes.com some tips to have a successful start-up: It can be a lonely world out there.  During … Continue reading

Five Tips in Starting a Small Business

In today’s entrepreneurship, you are either succeeding or failing. Your business might be the next Apple, or it will be a dud. Being an Educated, Experienced, Creative Professional (EECP) is not enough to survive a start-up. While there is a … Continue reading

Tips for Business Buyers: Sell Yourself

“Here is a timely blog from our own Nick Rodites” Chris Tips for Buyers: Sell Yourself A mentor once told me, “People do business with people they like.” For Buyers in the M&A arena, this is an important insight to … Continue reading

Conducting M&A Due Diligence

“This blog is from my good friend Patrick D. Heyn, CPA at Weinberg Company, PA who has 20+ years of due diligence experience” Chris Curtin When conducting due diligence for M&A, it is important to rely on both historical information … Continue reading

Chris Curtin talks about Distressed Company Seminar | May 26, 2011

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Angel Investing: A look from Both Perspectives…

Interest in Angel Investing from both investors and the entrepreneurs who need the money is at an all time high. Many of the participants from both camps are relative neophytes at the process. Here is a list of common pitfalls … Continue reading

SBA Offers Free Youthpreneur Webinar Series To Promote Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy

“It is critical that young people are exposed to Entrepreneurship and basic finances. Pass this on to any budding Entrepreneurs” CC SBA News Advisory PRESS OFFICE                   ************** SBA Offers Free Youthpreneur Webinar Series To Promote Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy — … Continue reading

SBA delays limit on goodwill financing

“Note: This article is from the Orlando Business Journal – by Kent Hoover Washington Bureau Chief, but it is being reported in numerous publications. The SBA 7-A program is the key lending product to buying/selling a business worth less than $4 … Continue reading

How to Tap into your 401k or IRA to buy a Business using a VERSA

You can utilizing a Versatile Entrepreneur Retirement Savings Account Plan (VERSA). The VERSA Plan structure allows you to rollover your 401(k), or other qualified plan, into the equity of a new or existing business without the burden of taxes or … Continue reading

Banks Tightening Credit brings Business Exiting Preparation Front and Center

SBA backed loans are down 31% in South Florida. The new SBA SOP (standard operating procedures) have made the rules more onerous for Entering clients and prospects. A constant refrain we hear from banks is we would have done this … Continue reading

How is the Credit Crunch affecting Smaller M&A Deals?

I get asked by potential Exiting Clients how the tighter lending environment is affecting the market for their company. I see a couple of things happening in the market place: Deals are still getting done- Fairly priced companies under $10 million … Continue reading

Buying a Business for your Kids? Think Twice…

Everyone wants to help their children succeed. Many believe the best path for them is the same path they chose-Entrepreneurship. Before you help your children buy or start a business let’s look at some caveats: Can you afford it? The … Continue reading

Planning Your Escape (from business ownership)

There are different types of exit strategies to choose from. Most entrepreneurs who start businesses set their goal with an initial public offering. While this is a respectable and admirable goal, for most it is not likely to happen. Most exits from business involve an acquisition or sale of the business. Continue reading

Unlock Your Client’s Business Value to Create Investment Liquidity

“71% of small and mid-sized enterprise owners plan to exit their businesses within the next ten years…however, the challenge is that few organizations genuinely understand what actions they must take to achieve this goal.” Continue reading

What are the risk factors that are taken into consideration in a business valuation?

In AccuVal’s (a global leader in valuation, advisory and asset management services) most recent newsletter, the above question was asked. Here is their answer: A: In addition to the appraisal approach, business risk, financial risk, and liquidity risk should also … Continue reading

Timing Your Business Exit or Sale (Part 1 of 3)

You want to sell your business at the “right” time and that requires being properly prepared to enter the market when three conditions exist: 1. The economy is expanding 2. Your business is growing 3. You are ready personally and … Continue reading

Exit Strategy Seminars in Fort Lauderdale & Clearwater

Whether you want to exit your business in six months or six years, the proper strategies need to be formulated and executed. This factual and hard-hitting 4 hours will give you the information you need to successfully Exit from business ownership after a lifetime of hard work. Continue reading

Chris Curtin talks about Exit Strategy Seminar | May 5 Orlando, FL

Whether you want to exit your business in six months or six years, the proper strategies need to be formulated and executed. This factual and hard-hitting 4 hours will give you the information you need to successfully Exit from business ownership after a lifetime of hard work. Continue reading

Is it Time to sell your Family Business?

Deciding whether to sell your family business is a once in a life time event. Should you sell the whole or part of the company to outsiders? Are the 2nd or 3rd generation family member’s good options? Are the family … Continue reading

Acquisition Multiples Trend Down

I received this in an email from Rich Goeldner of FairValue Advisors. My take on the reduced multiples paid for the smaller mid-market companies is that sales/ebitda trended down for many of them in 2008/2009 and financing dried up. I … Continue reading

The Structured Sale, A different method of tax deferral

The Structured Sale is a unique type of installment sale whereby specific installment payments are secured by an annuity   issued by a major, well-known life insurance company.  The Structured Sale is established pursuant to Internal Revenue Code 453, Installment Sales. … Continue reading

Why get a 3rd Party Business Appraisal before going to Market? An Exiting Perspective…

1.The Buyer’s lender will demand one and there is a good chance yours will match the one subsequently ordered by the Entering buyer’s bank. Do you only want an appraisal from the buyer’s and lender’s perspective? 2. Pre-financing can be arranged … Continue reading

What is a Hypothetical Appraisal and why would you Need One?

Whenever we take on a new Exiting client, we get a 3rd party business appraisal done by a reputable company (one that the banks will take, hold up in court, etc.). We also utilize a business appraisal in our targeted … Continue reading

Selling to Family Members or Employees? Ask Question #1

If you are contemplating selling to the next generation or to key employees as part of an Exit Strategy, Question #1 is: Do you need money from the sale to fund your retirement? If you retirement needs are already met, you can … Continue reading

Hello Business Owner

Wellcome to our blog. We hope to share thoughts and ideas on Entering, Enhancing & Exiting Business Ownership. We hope others will share their experiences, too.

Chris Curtin joins the board of Child & Family Connections

I am honored to join the board of Child & Family Connections. As the lead agency for community-based care in Palm Beach County, Child & Family Connections (CFC) is charged with management of the organization, enhancement, coordination, and oversight of … Continue reading

Kids in Palm Beach County, FL need donated space for 1800 Toys…

Child and Family Connections (CFC) in conjunction with Foster Adoptive Parent Association (FAPA), is in need of donated storage space for approximately 1,800 toys for the children our two organizations serve. We are both participating in this year’s Toys for … Continue reading

Chris Curtin talks about Angel Boot Camp | April 21, 2011

Florida is awash in Start Up companies that need Angel Seed Money. Have you thought about angel investing but weren’t sure whether it was right for you or how to get started? Or have you dabbled in Angel Investing with disappointing results? This factual and hard hitting 4 hours will give you the information you need to target, mitigate risk and close on an angel investment. Continue reading

Business Appraisal? Two View Points

Recently I read an article in “Inc.” magazine espousing why a business valuation is less than important (http://www.inc.com/david-lonsdale/why-a-valuation-is-less-important-than-you-think.html). Then a week later in “Forbes Magazine” is an article stating that to build value you should value your business (http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveparrish/2012/08/14/if-you-value-your-business-you-should-value-your-business/). Read … Continue reading