Tag Archives: transition

Business Transition Planning Best Practices Study Reveals How Not to Spend Your Time

Are you the Boss/owner of your own business? Who does the
selling in your business? 
My guess is
that when you’re personally involved in doing the selling, your business is a
whole lot more profitable than the months when you leave the selling to others.

That makes sense because you’re likely the most passionate
advocate for your business. You have the most industry knowledge and the widest
network of industry connections.

If your goal is to maximize your company’s profit at all
costs, you may think that you should spend most of your time out of the office
selling and leave the dirty work of operating your businesses to your

However, if your goal is to build a valuable company—one you
can sell down the road—you can’t be your company’s number one salesperson. In
business transition planning best practices tells
us the less you know your customers personally, the more valuable your

The Proof: A Study of 14,000 Businesses

We’ve just finished analyzed our pool of Value Builder Score
users for the quarter ending December 31.
We offer The Sellability Score questionnaire as the first of twelve
steps in The Value Builder System, a statistically proven methodology for
increasing the value of a business.

We asked 14,000 business owners if they had received an
offer to buy their business in the last 12 months, and if so, what multiple of
their pre-tax profit the offer represented. We then compared the offer made to
the following question:

Which of the following best describes your personal
relationship with your company’s customers?

I know each of my customers by first name and they expect
that I personally get involved when they buy from my company.

I know most of my customers by first name and they usually
want to deal with me rather than one of my employees.

I know some of my customers by first name and a few of them
prefer to deal with me rather than one of my employees.

I don’t know my customers personally and rarely get involved
in serving an individual customer.

2.93 vs. 4.49 Times

The average offer received among all of the businesses we
analyzed was 3.7 times pre-tax profit. However, when we isolated just those
businesses where the owner does not know his/her customers personally and
rarely gets involved in serving an individual customer, the offer multiple went
up to 4.49.

Companies where the founder knows each of his/her customers
by first name get discounted, earning offers of just 2.93 times pre-tax profit.

When Value Is the Enemy of Profit

Who you get to do the selling in your company is just one of
many examples where the actions you take to build a valuable company are
different than what you do to maximize your profit.
  If all you wanted was a fat bottom line, you
likely wouldn’t invest in upgrading your website or spend much time thinking
about the squishy business of company culture.

How much money you make each year is important, but how you
earn that profit will have a greater impact on the value of your company in the
long run.

If you are thinking about selling your business and are
business transition planning best practices then
it’s time to contact Value Growth Partners. We can help you build your business
value before you sell. Call us for a no-fee initial consultation at


Value Growth Partners Founder is a Certified Business Transition Expert

The Managing Director of Value Growth Partners, a successful business growth, succession, and transition advisory firm, Mark O’Brien, MBA, CMAA®, CEPA®  has added another high-level accreditation to his name and business. O’Brien can add the title certified business transition expert to his name after successfully completed the rigorous course requirements to become a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®), as certified by the renowned Exit Planning Institute.

As a CEPA®, Mark is now certified to lead business owners in the strategic process of successful business succession, transition, and exit planning. This includes advising clients on the program’s key principles of:

1) Maximizing business value and transition-risk mitigation

2) Personal financial planning and personal-risk minimization

3) Life after business planning and happiness maximization.

“I have been blessed to know such wonderful mentors like Peter Christman, Richard Jackim, and Chris Snyder in the field of exit (succession and transition) planning,” said Mark O’Brien. “These experts have been very supportive in my goal to become a Certified Exit Planning Advisor. I am thrilled to have learned and worked with them to be certified and I look forward to continuing to assist business owners with executing successful succession and transition strategies.”

The CEPA® process emphasizes that a good exit strategy is a good business strategy. It is about building, harvesting, and preserving family wealth for generations to come and integrating best-in-class business practices into daily operations.

To qualify initially for the CEPA® program, an exit planning advisor must have already finished a bachelor’s degree from a college or university, and have worked 5+ years full-time working directly with business owners as a financial advisor, attorney, CPA, business broker, investment banker, commercial lender, valuation advisor, estate planner, insurance professional, business consultant or similar professional capacity.

Mark supports business owners with realizing their value potential, achieving life goals, and fulfilling dreams by supporting growth, transition, & succession plans that assist with Getting-2-Next©. If you are looking for a certified business transition expert  contact Mark O’Brien and Value Growth Partners today.

What Your Birth Certificate Says About Your Transition Strategy Plan

In our experience, your age has a big effect on your
attitude towards your business and how you feel about one day getting out.
Here’s what we have found about transition strategy plan
and age:

Business owners between 25 and 46 years old

Twenty- and thirty-something business owners grew up in an
age where job security did not exist. They watched as their parents got
downsized or packaged off into early retirement, and that caused a somewhat
jaded attitude towards the role of a business in society. Business owners in their
20’s and 30’s generally see their companies as means to an end and most expect
to sell in the next five to ten years. Similar to their employed classmates who
have a new job every three to five years; business owners in this age group
often expect to start a few companies in their lifetime.

Business owners between 47 and 65 years old

Baby Boomers came of age in a time where the social contract
between company and employee was sacrosanct. An employee agreed to be loyal to
the company, and in return, the company agreed to provide a decent living and a
pension for a few golden years.

Many of the business owners we speak to within this
generation think of their company as more than a profit center. They see their
business as part of a community and, by extension, themselves as a community
leader. To many boomers, the idea of selling their company feels like selling
out their employees and their community, which is why so many CEO’s in their
fifties and sixties are torn. They know they need to sell to fund their
retirement, but they agonize over where that will leave their loyal employees.

Business owners who are 65+

Older business owners grew up in a time when hobbies were
impractical or discouraged. You went to work while your wife tended to the kids
(today, more than half of businesses are started by women, but those were
different times), you ate dinner, you watched the news and you went to bed.

With few hobbies and nothing other than work to define them,
business owners in their late sixties, seventies and eighties feel lost without
their business, which is why so many refuse to sell or experience depression
after they do.

Of course, there will always be exceptions to general rules
of thumb but we have found that – more than your industry, nationality, marital
status or educational background – your birth certificate defines your transition strategy plan.

If you’d like some help to manage these ratios and figure
out the next steps in a business transition strategy, contact Value Growth
Partners to see how we can assist you in knowing and growing your business
value before the transition – (312) 525-8382.

The Factors that Shape Your Succession and Exit Transition Plan

Preparing your exit transition plan from your business takes a great deal of forethought, analysis, and
often outside expert counsel. Business owners often underestimate the time
involved in the succession planning process, and because of that, the intention
to ‘retire in a few years’ gets passed by. What’s needed is a clear business
exit strategy, with defined goals at specific junctures. 

Preparing your business exit transition plan is essentially creating the plan for finalizing your
official status with the business, and wrapping up your full involvement in the

Once you fully commit to this
strategy, you will see yourself starting to make different decisions around the
company’s operation. 

You may start to delegate more of
the nuts and bolts of operational aspects to others in the company. You may step
back from hand-holding certain clients. You may inspire others to create new
products to carry the company forward after you leave the firm. You may start
to consider the aspects of selling your business at a high valuation

It is 2021. Over 50% of baby
boomer business owners are 64 or older, and three-quarters or more of their
wealth is tied to their businesses. According to the Exit Planning Institute,
about half of these business
owners are looking to exit
 from their businesses in the next
five years.  

If you are over 65 and thinking of
your transition into retirement in five years, the time is now to start
planning a transition exit plan. It will take this amount of time to analyze
all the different aspects of a successful transition. 

The Key Factors
in a Succession and Exit Transition Plan

Some of the key factors involved
in a successful business exit transition plan involve knowing the answers to a set of
personal and business questions. 

First, there are personal
questions that should be thought through and answered:

  • Where are you in your life plan? What’s Next? In 5 yrs? and 10 yrs? 
  • Do you have the right people in place to continue the legacy of
    your business? 

  • What retirement wealth plans need to be fulfilled in a transition?

There are business transition
questions, like:

  • What are my options for transitioning the business? Who is the
    right next leader?

  • What is the business worth today? How does this fulfill your
    retirement plans?

  • How does one prepare a business for an exit transition plan? 

Your age may be another
consideration. You’ve heard baby boomers say “Age is just a way of keeping
score” and similar phrases. And it’s true. Your energy, ideas, vitality, and
enthusiasm for your business count for a lot more than the number on your driver’s
license. It’s crucial to determine the answers to these questions when
determining your next steps. 

The Timing

The stock market is strong. Your
business revenues are up. You ask yourself, “Can it last forever?” To those of
us who aren’t Jeff Bezos, the answer is no, it can’t. That’s why keep abreast
of market conditions for a potential transition or sale should be top of mind
for business owners.

A 2018 UBS Bank report on business
ownership found that more than 40% of business owners expected to
leave their business in the following five years. The pandemic of 2020 may have
hastened the plans for some of them. But as these business owners are getting
close to retirement age, they are feeling the pulse for a new chapter in their

But selling the business in the
right market with strong financial headwinds is important to them too. The
report found that among the business owners who were considering an exit, more
than half of them planned to sell their businesses, and another 20% hoped to
leave the business to family members. Less than 20% planned to close the
business and another 10% were unsure of their plans. 

If you have been building growing
value and revenues in your business, and you’re looking ahead to that next
phase in your life, then it’s time to look at succession planning. Succession
planning is a good business strategy for always being ready for what’s next! 


You may have certain stock option
plans that kick in at a certain age. Your revenue targets may be on track for a
successful windfall. These are the factors that can shape your exit strategy
and determine your next steps in moving away from the business and handing it
off to your management team. 

Freedom for the

Many business owners, when in
their later ages, on the back nine, start to feel the tug of a more restful
lifestyle, warmer climates, or perhaps a full change of life into retirement.
To those, this is a certain type of freedom.  
Age plays a large part in these
feelings. Your body may be slowing down, and you find you are a little less
tolerant of the stresses or the daily fires of a business.  

Planning for

A successful transition means
preparing the person and the business for a transition in leadership and/or
ownership. If a sale is part of the transition plan, a well-organized business
transition strategy becomes an asset, often adding higher value to the selling
price and greatly reducing risk for the buyer. This increase in value adds
greater wealth to retirement accounts reduces the time to transition a business
to the right buyer, and creates more sustainable businesses to carry on the
legacies of the founders.   

If you are a CEO or founder of a
successful business and are beginning to think about your personal and business exit transition plan,
 then call us at Value Growth Partners.  We would be happy
to share best practices to assist you in developing your unique personal and
business transition strategy. Call us at (312) 525-8382 or learn more on our website.

Do You Have a Business Transition Plan?

Is your business one of the 80% of businesses that do NOT have any type of written Transition Plan? 75% of Baby Boomers plan to sell their business within the next 10 years. Only 20% will leave it to a family member because 4 out of 5 do not want it. No matter what your reasons for wanting to exit your business are you need to have a sustainable growth and transition plan in place.

If you are ready to get a solid business transition plan in place for your business, contact us at Value Growth Partners today.

The Manhunt for Saddam Hussein: A Story of Building Trust

Strap yourself in for this amazing debut episode of Season 2 of “The David Johnson Show” – The veteran talk show.

This is the unclassified story of the manhunt for Saddam Hussein as told by lead interrogator Eric Maddox, a U.S. Army Veteran who spent 6 months serving in Baghdad interrogating members of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle.

In this episode, Eric shares the stories, challenges, and the process of how his team gathered all the key intel that led to Saddam Hussein’s eventual capture. He eventually shared his story about his experiences in Baghdad in his book “Mission: Blacklist #1”.

About guest Eric Maddox:

Eric Maddox joined the Army in 1994, spent three years as an infantry paratrooper (82nd Airborne Division), later joined the military’s Defense Language Institute, studying Chinese/Mandarin, and eventually got trained as an intelligence collection officer. In 2003, the Iraq war starts and Eric instead gets sent to a new mission in Baghdad.

Over the next year, Eric became an interrogator in Iraq, working with a Delta Force team on raids. There were already dozens of Iraqi prisoners. It was Eric’s job to make prisoners of war talk. He used his training and his techniques to help shape the future intelligence collection for the military and civilians around the world.

Since 9/11, Eric conducted over 2,700 interrogations while deployed eight times in support of the Global War On Terrorism, including multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. During this period, he conducted over 300 interrogations and collected the intelligence which directly led to the capture of Saddam Hussein in 2003, while assigned to the Joint Special Operations Task Force during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It’s a tremendous story that underscores the foundation of Eric’s current life as an author, consultant, motivational speaker, and interrogator. Learn more at https://ericmaddox.com/.

“The David Johnson Show” is a national voice that talks about points of interest in the American military and veteran subculture. Each show episode showcases a different guest with a different story. Sign up to get notified of new episodes at https://thedavidjohnsonshow.com and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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