If you’ve long wished to be self-employed, to design your own destiny, or call your own shots, try bypassing all those yeah-buts that’ve been stopping you everytime. While business ownership may not be for the ordinary, it’s the only way to go for those who understand the American Dream by accomplishing a satisfying lifestyle through business ownership. Successful business owners share specific character traits that have assisted them in getting there. They have what it takes to overcome barriers – to evaluation situations – and have a can-do attitude. Let’s discuss three types of attitudes:
The self-protective type
This person usually wants to be comfortable. They work hard to seek a routine comfort level, avoid pain, fly under the radar, play it safe, and avoid risks. This probably describes most people to a certain degree. In maintaining the status quo, shaking things up, or not making waves, all of us have a certain degree of comfort. But if being more extra cautious can’t be overcome, business ownership may not be in the cards. Besides, being self-sufficient equates to being self-employed. It requires you to be confident in your abilities and get out of your comfort zone. While many people may think it’s riskier to work for profit instead of a steady paycheck, millions of people are laid off and fired every year in the corporate world; being an employee is rarely low risk.
The self-involved type
To a large degree, this person believes that they are the strongest, fastest, biggest, the best, and the smartest. However, their ego can let them down. These people are systematic, focused, and successful goal setters – but they can have trouble as enterprise builders. They may not be willing to listen to others who are in the position to advise them, like financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, or other business experts. Since they can’t empathize with others, they’re unable to lead and inspire. So, they can’t piece together the building blocks that set the foundation of successful business operation – a group of people working together as a team. Interpersonal and management skills along with the ability to delegate, must be present somewhere in the DNA of an owner of a long-running business.
The self-esteemed type
These individuals have the inner motivation and creative spirit that drives them to accomplish what motivates them. They embrace personal responsibility and believe if there’s a problem, they can come up with a solution. They know what they aren’t aware of and the skills they lack and fully intend to hire others to fill the gaps. They know what makes them tick and have a God-gifted inclination to be responsible for doing the right thing – with judgement and honesty. They also believe that others will do the same.
Keep in mind that none of the above types is the stand-alone secret of business ownership. It’s the genetic makeup or right combination of these attitudes that are the stuff that successful business owners are composed of. For example, self-protectiveness is a natural instinct. It’s impossible to survive without it. However, this attitudinal gene should be tempered and can’t be so dominant that it’s difficult to overcome. A measure of risk must be allowed to take a leap of faith. By exercising due diligence on any specific business of interest and performing a self-assessment before pursuing a business acquisition, a potential business owner can accomplish an acceptable risk level for their individual situation.
In search of business advisors in Houston? Well, you couldn’t have come to a better place. Call us now to know more!Read More
If two firms are selling similar products, how can you differentiate yourself so that customers purchase from you and not your competitor?
If you’re opening a business that’s selling the same thing as everyone else, then there’s no reason for your business to exist. Coming up with a unique concept with some stunning product innovation and development is the key to success. So, it’s essential to provide at least some products as part of your mix that customers can’t get anywhere else.
That being said, it’s not possible for a small business just making its way into the market to compete with big business on volume. However, it can compete with them on relationships. Relationships with customers, employees, and vendors. Here’s how:
Change your views
According to Andrew Carnegie, making money becomes an easy proposition after the other guy’s basket is filled to the brim. It means that a business does not have to be a zero-sum game. Nobody needs to lose for someone else to win. Instead, try developing mutually-beneficial relationships with your vendors to assist them in producing, while offering the kind of high-quality, well-designed, fun, and useful products that will delight your customers.
How do you do this? Honestly, these relationships take time to develop. Still, initially, you should spend a significant amount of time familiarizing yourself with your vendors, learning about their business and the issues they face. You should then be looking for ways to assist them, make them more profitable, more productive, and of course, happier. And in turn, allow them to get to know you, your business, and what you stand for.
When you develop relationships like this, you’ll be shocked at how many of your vendors aren’t willing, but happy to provide you great pricing, high quality, fast delivery, and exclusive, custom-made products. While it’s difficult to beat the mass merchants on a lot of things, you can sure defeat them on relationships.
Train your employees to sell solutions, not just products
There are many instances of firms where training is perceived as an afterthought or a burden. However, comprehensive training for new hires on every aspect of the products you sell enables them to truly serve as the experts, and offer valuable service to your customers. Thus, you’re not doing, “items-based selling,” but “solutions-based selling.”
When a customer approaches one of your employees and asks about a product, the representative must start asking questions to understand their needs – maybe even finding needs said customer didn’t know they had when they first came in. It’s after assessing their needs that the employee can recommend the best possible solution for them – whether it’s the product they originally came in for, or not. That is truly one of the biggest differentiators out there – and excellent customer service, to boot.
Create an environment where customers want to shop
Don’t underestimate the significance of developing an environment where people want to shop. This applies whether your business is online or brick and mortar. It’s having that, “air of enthusiasm,” or something you can feel in the bright visual displays of useful, clever, elegant products. The customer can feel genuine interest in the their needs, and employees’ smiling faces. Customers can sense when employees are enjoying their jobs and having fun – it’s a contagious attitude, which hopefully causes customers to spend more time shopping. This differentiates you from others irrespective of what you’re selling.Read More
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc globally on a big scale. The COVID-19 threatens lives while the measures required to stop its spread threaten livelihoods. The combination has forced numerous businesses into financial distress and will continue to impact businesses for months to come.
Due to this pandemic, there are three categories of firms available for transactions: firms that have advantaged from the crisis (value likely to be up), those that were healthy before the pandemic and are now distressed, stressed, or shot down (value likely to be down), and firms that were distressed or teetering per-pandemic and are now even worse off (value going down even further).
Since the coronavirus crisis and the resulting distress aren’t size-specific, industry-specific, or geographically restricted, private equity investor of every type on the buy/sell-side of M&A transactions need to come up with a high-pressure, high-risk period in an economy so distinct that it is not possible to predict precisely based on previous recessions or historical models. Even as the market has flipped from fierce competition for fewer deals and seller’s market of high valuations to a buyer’s market of more deals at fewer valuations, a large number of deals will be distressed. For deal makers who are accustomed to healthy company transactions, the idea of distressed investment offers big opportunity, but also a big challenge.
Distressed investment is to healthy company investment as sprinting is to marathoning. While both of them are running races, they have very non-transferable and unique characteristics and requirements to compete effectively. Just like a marathoner isn’t likely to do well in a sprint without substantial support and preparation, a healthy company investor diving head-first into the distressed M&A market is likely to find themselves struggling to keep up and without sufficient risk mitigation. But those that have the power to adapt to this new normal will have opportunities for substantial returns.
Can the Business Adapt Quickly to Survive?
As the business emerges from its immediate crisis, distress creates the chance for an investor to get it right. After developing a deep understanding of how the business got to the condition it is in, you’re in a position to pinpoint what can be changed to improve performance going forward. The immediate to-do list should comprise an analysis of the company’s days payable outstanding (or DPO), vendor contracts, historical liabilities, capital structure, workforce, days sales outstanding (or DSO), pricing, customer base, structure, along with shedding of non-money-making/non-core locations, units, and assets. While forecasts are challenging today, business fundamentals remain. More money has to come in than goes out; it’s typical that 20% of the revenue generates 80% of the profit, and bet on good management every time.
When it comes to predicting the capability of a distressed business to survive and eventually thrive in the long-term, investors usually look backward by challenging every line on the income statement and the balance sheet and look forward based on consumer-trend and economic forecasts. No one has a clear picture of how consumers will behave once a reliable forecast is available, and mandates are lifted, thanks to the uncertainty that the coronavirus pandemic has injected into today’s market. It has become important for the long-term viability assessment to challenge every assumption about the behaviors of the consumer in the same way that the historical analysis has always challenged all the line items within the financials. Will customers return to restaurants and stores, or will the coronavirus pandemic-driven migration to online sales change the retail landscape irreversibly? Will people return to hotels, airplanes, and face-to-face interactions, or have they become so accustomed to digital interactions that those sections will never return to the pre-2020 levels?
Plus, demand is not the only uncertainty. It is important to question the assumptions around supply too since you aren’t dealing with just a single faltering business, but with whole faltering industries. Look at the whole supply chain, from distribution to facilities to parts, and factor in where supplies are coming from – are they being produced somewhere abroad, where production could be closed even as the US opens again?
Business managers and investors who get the answers to questions like these right will be the ones who are positioned to succeed in the upcoming years.Read More
The buyer-seller meeting is quite often a “make or break” meeting. Your business broker or M&A Advisor will do everything possible to ensure that this meeting goes as well as possible.
It is vitally important to realize that rarely is there an offer before buyers and sellers actually meet. The all-important offer usually comes directly after this all-important meeting. As a result, you want to ensure that meetings are as positive and productive as possible.
Buyers need to understand how the process of selling a business works and what is expected of them from the process. Buyers also need to understand that following their broker’s advice will increase the chances of a successful outcome.
Sellers should be ready to be honest and forthcoming during the meeting. They also want to be sure to not say or do anything that could come across as a strong-armed sales tactic.
Asking the Right Questions
If you are a buyer preparing to meet a business owner for the first time, you’ll want to make sure any questions you ask are appropriate and logical. It is important for buyers to place themselves in the shoes of the other party.
Buyers also shouldn’t show up to the buyer-seller meeting without having done their homework. So be sure to do a little planning ahead so that you are ready to go with good questions that show you understand the business.
Building a Positive Relationship
Buyers should, of course, plan to be polite and respectful. They should also be prepared to avoid discussing politics and religion, which often can be flashpoints for confrontation. When sellers don’t like prospective buyers, then the odds are good that they will also not place trust in them.
For most sellers, their business is a legacy. It quite often represents years, or even decades, of hard work. Needless to say, sellers value their businesses. Many will feel as though it reflects them personally, at least in some fashion. Buyers should keep these facts in mind when dealing with sellers. A failure to follow these guidelines could lead to ill will between buyers and sellers and negatively impact the chances of success.
Sellers Should Be Truthful
Sellers also have a significant role in the process. While it is true that sellers are trying to sell their business, they don’t want to come across as a salesperson. Instead, sellers should try to be as real and honest as possible.
Every business has some level of competition. With this in mind, sellers should not pretend that there is zero competition. A savvy buyer will be more than a little skeptical.
The key to a successful outcome is for business brokers and M&A Advisors to work with their buyers and sellers well in advance and make sure that they understand what is expected and how best to approach the buyer-seller meeting. With the right preparation, the odds of success will skyrocket.
The post Essential Meeting Tips for Buyers & Sellers appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 situation seems to change with each and every day. The disruption and chaos that the pandemic has injected into both daily life and business is obvious. Just as it is often difficult to keep track of the ebbs and flows of the pandemic, the same can be stated for keeping up to speed on the government’s response and what options exist to assist companies of all sizes.
In this article, we’ll turn our attention to an overlooked area of the government’s pandemic response and how businesses can use a whole new lending platform to navigate the choppy waters.
As the pandemic continues, you will want to be aware of the main street lending program, which is a whole new lending platform. It was designed for businesses that were financially sound prior to the pandemic. Authorized under the CARE Act, the main street lending program is quite attractive for an array of reasons. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this program almost too good to be true.
This lender delivered program is a commercial loan. Unlike the PPP, there is no forgivable component. However, the main street lending program does have one remarkable feature that will certainly grab the attention of all kinds of businesses. It can be used to refinance existing debt at a rate of around 3%. With that stated, it is also important to note that businesses cannot refinance existing debt with the current lender. Instead, a new lender must be found. Generally, loans are a minimum of a quarter million dollars and have a five-year term. In another piece of good news, there is a two-year payment deferment period.
The main street lending program can be used in a variety of ways. In short, the program is not simply for refinancing existing debt. Additionally, there is no penalty for prepayment. The way the program works is that lenders make the loans and then sell 95% of the loan value to the Fed. This of course means that the lender is only required to retain 5% of the loan on their balance sheet. The end result is that lenders can dramatically expand the amount of loans they can make.
Whether it is the PPP or a program like the main street lending program, there are solid options available to help you. Businesses looking to restructure debt or put an infusion of cash to good use may find that the main street lending program offers a very flexible loan with great interest rates.
The post The Main Street Lending Program appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.