People always ask if we have any suggestions for being successful. They question if we can name what we think contributed the most to our success. As one of the major business advisors in Houston, we’d like to share our observations from years of business experience. Applicable for both online and physical businesses, here are our top eleven tips for success:
- Always ensure all of your phone calls and emails get returned. In addition, make a lot of contacts and requests through phone, email, or even in person. We’re absolutely shocked at the number of people who don’t bother to return the request. It’s disrespectful and classless to ignore someone’s request – it disappoints them. When people are disappointed, they let others know you’ve wronged them. The fewer people out there talk bad about you, the better.
- Help anyone who asks. It doesn’t matter what it is (as long as it’s legal) – if someone asks you to assist them and you can, don’t hold back. Whether it requires setting aside some valuable time, writing a check, rolling up your sleeves, or just responding to a question from someone who doesn’t know as much, suck it up and help.
- Try knowing more than most people do about your business or industry. Go to a trade show or seminar every now and then. Participate in forums or discussions, whether they’re online or not. It’ll keep you connected to the people in your industry, making you a guru. The internet is a brilliant tool for getting you there.
- Treat your employees well – because they deserve it. In our business, our employees get away with a lot. They can come and go as they please, get surprise perks all the time, and are well paid. While some take advantage of these, they don’t last long. Being bad to your subordinates always come back to haunt you. It also means that you’ll get hosed. Try to make the workplace as casual, comfortable, and fun as you can. Show your employees by example, how you want them to treat co-workers and customers. They’re going to follow your lead. If they don’t like coming to work, it will show in what your business produces.
- Appreciate everyone who assists you in climbing the ladder – especially those who didn’t gain anything from it. This is another thing that we’re shocked more people have not caught on to. A simple, heartfelt thank you acknowledges the time and effort of these people, cementing them as allies. Trust us: you need all the allies you can get.
- Befriend your competitors. Yes, you’re all competing for customers, but you’re all frogs in the same pot of boiling water.
- Keep your sense of humor – it’s invaluable.
- Over-deliver to your customers. Remind them you’re watching out for their business and treat them as if they’re your friends.
- Get a hobby – race car, motorcycle, hot tub, whatever. You need a transition away from business to your personal self. Ensure you have one. It’ll give your mind a chance to disengage and enable you to background process all you’re thinking about. Transferring information from the conscious mind to the subconscious one is like working out using different muscles – it’ll help you gain results.
- Be very careful who you choose to listen to, but have a go-to team, and defer to someone niftier than you. While people mean well, it takes far less courage to poke holes in someone’s idea than it does to highlight the positive. Try keeping some good advisors around you.
- Don’t give up.
Irrespective of the books you read about getting rich quick, it doesn’t happen that way (most of the time). While some of us make it look simple, it really isn’t – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.Read More
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
In the modern age, the market environment is extremely focused on start-ups, which are created and sold by the hour, with certified business valuation being very vital. Where you wish to offer your business, you must know its true value. Where the value is exaggerated, there may be no buyers, and where it is reported as less than actually is, it will be a huge loss. Thus, a certified business valuation is crucial.
It is sometimes difficult to place value upon business as there are important resources that are a part of reaching an appropriate valuation in the future. Such resources, including information resources and licensed innovation, have to be evaluated on purpose. Correct valuations provide an advantage when a transaction is being conducted.
Choosing cost subjectively while viewing the business owners’ impulses will not bring respect or esteem to the business in the sector it is operating in. Business owners are not able to reach a decision regarding the value of a business where a recoup must occur. A buyer will not pay for a business that is not worth its value.
Estimating the value of a business
It is vital to understand that when estimating the value of the business, unimportant information and unimportant estimations are to be avoided in order to achieve a genuine and true estimation to determine the correct value of the business. The worth has to be viewed without uncertainty and passion.
Quality in this regard has to be discovered logically. Businesses with simpler systems and set ups are easier to analyze and estimate. This is in contrast in the case of broad systems and protected innovation. Books of the company as in its records are vital to assessing the value of the firm and where they are not updated and/or tampered with, the valuation may be negative and turn out bad for the business.
It additionally gets to be hard to esteem the business that has numerous proprietors with various interests. The proverb of administration and entrepreneurs additionally impact the valuation.
The significance of the business valuation can’t be focused on enough. In our free enterprise economy, it’s the most vital criteria by which the development of the business will be evaluated. If the benefit and misfortune elements don’t reflect in business sector valuation, then they will have no significance in the business.
Unique methods to estimate the value
The valuation of a business is conducted for reasons of liquidation and also to meet and comply with the rules of the USPAP. Also, firms that are esteemed and with to offer themselves can make use of the esteem of dealers. The actual value can be analyzed through the business valuation, as exhibited above, and has to be done as an experiment while considering costs. A report which may be fair from a master who is ensured will possess value in the sector of business as dealings will occur by using the report as a rule book.Read More
A common misunderstanding held by businesses, whether old or new, is that they are not able to benefit from the savings in costs coordinated by a customs broker. They feel that they may need to make over $5 Million in revenue in order to receive such benefits and that smaller businesses do not need such a broker.
There are small businesses that apply classification of tariffs seeing it as a customs value and develop contracts that allow for sales to start coming in. Next, a small error in the form of a classification of tariffs may become a bigger problem when larger volumes take over, and there are larger volume transactions taking place across the border.
Where the business is new, it is important to be careful where not using a customs broker. Even though a person may wish to interact with customs authorities directly, it is advised that a customs broker is approached and asked for advice. This is especially true in the initial planning stages of a business to assist in eliminating risks in relation to the business, which is cross-border in nature. If you’re putting your business up for sale in Houston and moving to another country, this blog will prove to be a fascinating read.
How you can add value with a custom broker
- Update customs clearing process
- Make sure that documentation for customs is prepared in an adequate manner
- Figure out the classification of tariffs
- Understand whether your commodity will be allowed
- Making sure that the right duties and taxes are applied to shipments
- Identify whether your commodity is regulated through any other agency or government department
- Understand whether any exemptions apply on the commodity
- Assistance in execution of vendor contracts
In the event a customs broker is not used to conduct business activities as an agent on your behalf, it is vital to understand that during the planning stages, customs brokers can be useful by:
- Insightful advice provided concerning terms
- Origin country sourcing recommendations provided
- Tariff classification and type of entry suggestions and advice given
- Compliance and decision making process assistance
- Providing the best solutions
- Increasing competitive worth
Thus, a customs broker should be consulted with when in the planning stages. This will allow for a variety of benefits to be gained, as have been noted above and will also allow for risk to be identified and mitigated appropriately.
At TruView Business Advisors, we’re constantly offering advisory services. As a major business broker in Houston, we aim to solve problems and engage with a huge number of small, medium, and large businesses. Contact us now to know more!Read More
What is so special about “Baby Boomer” business owners? Well, there are a lot of them. It is estimated 52 percent of businesses are owned by people between 50 and 88 years of age. This equates to 9 million businesses in the United States. Put it another way, a business owner is turning 65 every 57 seconds.
So, why is this important? Typical of most business owners, the value of their business amounts to 50 to 75 percent of their net worth (if not more); the remainder in personal real estate and financial investments. Ordinarily, the business owner has only one chance to monetize his or her largest asset through the sale of the business.
It is estimated that 11,000 people are turning 65 years old every day, with this trend continuing for the next 18 years. Being that many of these Baby Boomers are also business owners, one would suspect that every year for the next two decades more and more business owners will be wanting to sell their businesses to cash out and fund their retirements. These businesses amount to some $10 trillion worth of assets.
Yet while more and more businesses go up for sale, the audience of buyers is decreasing. Today, the highest segment of business buyers is the same Baby Boomers in the age range of 55 to 64 years old. The 80 million millennials in the U.S. make up a larger demographic, though their abilities to purchase these businesses are quite low.
Applying the law of supply and demand, there is going to be a growing inventory of businesses for sale each year, while the number of qualified buyers is decreasing each of those years. The law of supply and demand would suggest there will be pricing pressure on these businesses. In addition, overall only 1 out of 4 businesses actually sell after being put on the market; however, the success rate increases to 1 in 3 for businesses with sales of $10 million, and the sale success rate grows to 1 in 2 for businesses with sales greater than $10 million.
The PriceWaterhouseCoopers accounting firm estimates more than 75 percent of business owners have done little planning for their single biggest financial asset. It is sad to say, but business owners spend more time planning their next vacation than planning for their exit into retirement.
Business owners should start the exit planning process today. Serious consideration should be given to creating a timeframe to place the business in the best position to be sold at the highest possible valuation.
Fortunately, the window of opportunity is quite good. Current conditions of rock bottom interest rates, low inflation, historically low capital gain taxes and overall high business valuations make this an ideal time to sell a business. In real estate it is all about “location, location, location,” whereas in business it is all about “timing, timing, timing.” Now is the time to cash in.
Exit planning, however, is a process that requires a significant amount of work. Most important, business owners need to assemble a team of professional advisors to assist them in this process. The team may consist of all or some of these professionals: a business intermediary firm, CPA/accountant, business attorney, financial planner, investment advisor, insurance advisor, valuation specialist, investment banker, banker and business consultant.
Using the analogy of an actual roadmap, this process can be broken down into five exits:
Exit 1: Making the Decision to Sell
Exit 2: Exit Planning Process
Exit 3: Maximizing Business Value
Exit 4: Preparing the Business for Sale
Exit 5: The Deal Process
The actual Planning Process often includes the following seven steps:
1. Identify Exit Objectives
2. Quantify Business & Personal Financial Resources
3. Maximize & Protect Business Value
4. Ownership Transfer to Third Parties
5. Ownership Transfer to Insiders
6. Business Continuity
7. Personal Wealth & Estate Planning
There is no time better than right now to start planning an exit, whether that is tomorrow, next month, next year or the next decade. Just be careful not to miss your EXIT…else you will hear your GPS (or significant other) say, “when possible turnaround” or as my GPS would say, “you idiot, you missed your exit…proceed on this road for another 20 miles.”
This article appeared in the November 2015 edition of Traverse City Business News.Read More