Starting a Business recent posts
Working with successful entrepreneurs who are dedicated to growing and selling a valuable business offers me the opportunity to learn from the best. I pinch myself most days as I am invited into the lives of my clients and have the privilege of experiencing the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Truly, it is my pleasure!
When you started your small or family business you more than likely developed a business plan. In this plan you laid out your purpose, vision, and strategy in great detail. As your business grew you created contracts, invoices, marketing materials, and other documents, all on paper, so that you had written evidence to signal agreements, to showcase your work, and to provide the necessary leverage should you ever have needed it.
A patent is a governmentally granted monopoly that gives an inventor the exclusive right to make, use, or sell their invention for a limited time, in exchange for disclosure of that invention. There are three types of patents: design patents, plant patents, and utility patents. Generally utility patents are being referenced when you hear the word ‘patent’ and these will be the focus of the rest of this article.
If you have the opportunity to buy or sell a business, negotiating the terms of a letter of intent (an “LOI”) is one of the first and most critical steps in the process of completing the transaction. A well-written letter of intent provides a valuable foundation for a potential transaction as it captures the parties’ intentions with regard to the structure, timing and material terms of the transaction. An LOI often imposes significant obligations on each of the parties, and consequently is typically the product of fairly intense negotiations between the parties.
Did you ever hear the story of the businessman who was pulled over by a State Trooper? When told he had been going more than 20 miles per hour over the limit, the man gestured toward the traffic zipping by and quite reasonably observed “Officer, everyone out there is doing the same thing!”
Unimpressed, the trooper asked a question of his own. “Sir, have you ever gone fishing?” “Yes, of course,” the speeder answered, somewhat confused by the turn of conversation.
“Well,” continued the officer as he handed over the ticket, “did you ever catch all the fish?”
Often entrepreneurs find themselves in a situation where their commercial bank considers their existing line of credit too risky to extend or renew. This places the entrepreneur and their banker at odds, and many times pushes the business owner to take drastic steps to keep their company’s doors open and paychecks coming. Has this happened to you or one of your fellow entrepreneurs?
The Great Recession has been a great teacher for many seasoned entrepreneurs. Those who have survived have been the ones willing to truly look at their businesses objectively. And in doing so, they have learned many lessons.
For every entrepreneur, a smooth transition of business ownership will be of importance at some future point. The Buy Sell Agreement deals with a specific exit strategy case. An agreement by and between business owners, it establishes a mechanism for the purchase of ownership interests following the departure of an owner due to a triggering event (i.e., death, divorce, disability, retirement, etc.).
If indeed, a greater amount of profit remaining at the bottom of the Profit & Loss Statement is what a business owner is striving for, then one should consider undertaking this exercise before attempting to grow the business by increasing sales.
Many people discuss the importance of pivoting in the context of a startup business. And I agree, once a business launches, the entrepreneur must be mindful of what is working and what is not. That’s when it is time to pivot the startup.
Understanding a company’s operating results is an important factor for a business owner to determine the value of a business. However, the operating results must be placed in the proper context by comparing them to results of the industry as a whole. By doing so, a business owner is able to understand how they are doing financially relative to their industry peers. This exercise is known as benchmarking.
How many times have you been to a cocktail or Christmas party, making friendly conversation, when someone in the group asks, “So what do you do?” Most business owners and consultants struggle with giving elevator speeches. Actually, let’s forget struggle and move straight to panic, dread, and sweat. They think, “How could I possibly sum up what I do in 10 seconds?