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Maximising the Value of your Business

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Maximising the Value of your Business

By , March 15, 2019
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For those Business owners nearing exit, a big important life event, we are observing more and more knowledge of the demographics and circumstances around it. Barely a week goes by when a business owner does not approach us to say:

“I have about 18 months or 2 years before I would like to retire:
how can I best utilise my time and resources?”

What this represents is a much greater awareness among business owners of the need to prepare, not pray, for a successful exit. There are some high-value projects we came to so routinely recommend they formed our 21 steps program for exit readiness. We organised these 21 steps into 5 stages, all around maximising the value of the business.

Following on from the Protecting Value, the third in this series of stages focuses on the ‘how’ of maximising such value.

 

Stage 3: Maximise Value

  • Step 7 Clarifying exit options – of which there are far more than simply selling to a competitor one day. Many clients think of this as a very enlightening exercise, “I did not know that was a possibility for me” is a typical comment we receive.
  • Step 8 Strategic planning business model – again one of the simplest yet most neglected things in business. Without a business plan, it is very difficult to convince anyone (including potential purchasers) of a destination.  
  • Step 9 The financial component to the business plan – arguably one of the very most important pieces.
  • Step 10 Systems and procedure are heavily touted as a strong business value building tools – and rightly so. Documentation and systematic methods to produce results are looked upon very favourably by any type of investor or purchasers.
  • Step 11 Similar to broader business systems, systematic marketing and sales are a great big value add.
  • Step 12 Corporate governance, quite possibly one of the most difficult things to master, but one of the greatest value adders you can implement as a small or medium business owner.
  • Step 13 Respectfully, employees do not tend to understand business, and the temptation is to focus on one’s own interests, rather the profits (or the financial health) of the business, leaving the owners to be often totally responsible for it. Ownership Mindset is a set of managerial practices designed to completely reverse this.
  • Step 14 There is a war for talent in the developed world, and Australia is no exception. Lots of businesses try to establish incentive systems with good intentions, but through inexperience and inadequate tools, they often create something that is dysfunctional. Our PPT or ESOP is a system that grows alongside your business.
  • Step 15 ESOPs are not the only thing you can do to minimise the risk of key person flight. Good old fashioned managerial succession planning is one and we cover it here.

Ready to take the next steps? Discover Stage 4: Extract Value.

Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.

Ready to maximise your business' value before you sell?
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