Benefit from our meticulous assessment process:
At Business and Legal Advisors, our initial consultation is always free. Business and Legal Advisors has developed a unique process to assist our clients in assessing and aligning their personal and business goals towards a successful future.
We start our process by requesting the client to complete an assessment questionnaire which enables us to: (a) assess the business’s strengths and weaknesses; (b) assess the business owners’ personal strengths and weaknesses; (c) determine the steps to nurture these strengths and eliminate their respective weaknesses; (d) assess communication between business owners; and, (e) focus on and develop their five-year plan and objectives. Business owners and, if relevant, key employees will independently respond to this questionnaire enabling BLA to zero-in on and build consensus toward their aspirational goals. Setting these goals allows the business owners to establish measurable and achievable milestones and identify the personnel who will be accountable for realizing them. Once goals are established, the owners can periodically make the necessary adjustments to achieve these subsequent milestones. We believe that by properly delegating certain roles and setting accountable goals, the business owners will be able to focus on the business areas that are more personally rewarding, which will improve the owners’ quality of life, and will increase the overall efficiency of the company.
We review the standard operating procedures in each aspect of the business as well as financial statements, income tax reports and existing legal documents. The purpose of this step is to: (a) examine, revise and implement standardized business practices that facilitate accountability and the integration of any future acquisitions in a more time and cost effective manner; (b) review and clean-up financial reports and statements to make the business more attractive to potential acquirers and financial institutions, as well as maximize tax savings; (c) review and protect the business’s intellectual property; and (d) evaluate the profitability and customer diversification of each of the business’s products/services and make recommendations to streamline costs and improve profitability. The review of legal documents allows BLA to make recommendations that minimize risks without creating an undue burden on the business.
We utilize standard valuation metrics to arrive at a preliminary valuation of the business and, if necessary, we will work with the business owner to obtain a formal third-party valuation. Simultaneously, we strongly encourage the business owner to work with a financial planner to analyze the amount of investable assets required to achieve a fully funded retirement and any legacy goals. In the event that there is a shortfall between the business valuation plus the business owner’s other assets and the amount of assets that the financial planner recommended for a secure retirement, then we continue to Steps 4, 5 and 6. However, if the business valuation plus any other assets are in excess of the business owner’s needs, then we will develop strategies to reduce income and estate taxes, to pass income or assets to the business owner’s family and nurture any legacy or charitable goals.
If the valuation of the business plus any other assets does not fully fund retirement and any legacy goals, we assess (a) if the business can achieve the required growth internally within the business owner’s timetable for an exit or (b) does the business need to become a strategic acquirer? If the business owner prefers an internal growth strategy, then we will work with the business owner to implement the recommendations determined in Step 2. In the event that the business has multiple owners, we will review and make recommendations regarding their Operating/Stockholders Agreement to address issues pertaining to: (a) third-party offers to purchase the business; (b) the planned or unplanned exit of an owner; and (c) procedures concerning potential management disputes. As discussed further in Step 6 of our process, the employees may be the most valuable asset of the business; therefore, we work on developing a plan and preparing the necessary agreements to hire and retain key employees. During this step, we strongly recommend, and assist the business owner with, building a due diligence library. Compiling a comprehensive due diligence library is an essential component in the process of buying and selling of a business and the lack of preparation is a primary reason why the sale of a business fails to close after entering into a letter of intent.
If strategic acquisitions are recommended to achieve financial security for the business owner, BLA assists them in identifying the missing pieces in the business necessary to achieve the desired valuation in order determine the appropriate targets for acquisition. Additionally, we work with the business owner to assess the business’s corporate culture since there are many examples of acquisitions that fail as a result of not recognizing significant differences in the corporate cultures, such as the Mercedes/Chrysler merger. Once a potential acquisition target is found, we assist the buyer in structuring, negotiating and drafting the letter of intent and subsequent transactional documents. BLA’s years of experience allows us to bridge any gaps between the desires of buyers and sellers and create transactions that are ‘win-win’. A critical part of the due diligence process for the acquirer is to begin developing a plan to integrate the target company. BLA assists the business owner in identifying areas for integration and the implementation of the integration plan. Having developed the standardized business practices and procedures as determined in Step 2 ensures that the integration process will be more time and cost efficient.
In many businesses, the most valuable asset is its personnel. BLA works with the business owner to develop an attractive incentive compensation package that (a) is aligned with the long-term goals of the business owner as described in Step 3 and (b) facilitates the hiring and retaining of the most qualified employees. A successful compensation package will also address the unplanned or planned exit of the business owner. Without this planning, a sudden illness or death of the business owner can have a devastating effect on the financial value of the business, thereby negatively impacting the finances of the business owner’s family. Having an intact management team that is incentivized to remain with the business in the event of a business owner’s unplanned exit will provide greater protection for the family. Furthermore, an incentive compensation package will add value to the business on sale if the acquirer can be assured that key employees will be retained with the acquired business. It is important to note that many business sales do not close after executing a letter of intent because a key employee refuses to continue with the business after an acquisition without being offered new and significant incentives. Therefore, having an incentive compensation package that addresses these issues will increase the value of the business and the likelihood that the transaction will close.
Contact Us Today to Get Started
If you are a business owner who wants to: improve your qualify of life; improve the value of your business by establishing defined roles for yourself and key personnel; create accountable goals for the business; align your personal and business objectives to ensure that key employees foster those objectives; minimize business risks; and/or substantially improve the likelihood of a successful and more profitable exit from the business, please contact us for your free consultation.