Enhancing Your Business Value...the Climb to the Top

Enhancing Your Business Value...the Climb to the Top

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Growth is an ongoing process that occurs in many facets of our lives. There are so many individual factors that go into creating, increasing, and sustaining business value it virtually impossible to list them all. Determining how to prioritize your business efforts is an even greater challenge.

The first step is accepting there are always two groups of influences impacting your organization – external and internal. External factors include such items as overall economy, labor and raw material supply, political climate, industry cycle, marketplace, and interest rates. Considerable time should be spent understanding and "managing" the impact of these external factors; however, it is beyond the scope of this book to address them extensively.

Our energy will be spent addressing the internal factors the areas you can change. This book encourages you to take a top-down view in your strategic planning as you strive to gain maximum benefit from the internal factors.

There are three primary, internal Value Pillars that affect business growth:

• Offering – what product or service does your organization provide? • Competency – who are the people involved? What infrastructure and information systems are needed for management to make productive decisions? • Financial – what is the revenue and profit potential? Can shareholder value goals be met?

The management team, a key component of the competency pillar, is ultimately the engine that drives the success or failure of any organization. The management team must cast the vision, develop the strategy, and oversee implementation of the plan. Every management team has different skill sets containing natural and learned strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, the moreweaknesses that can be overcome, the greater chance for success one has. It is, of course, impossible to address and overcome every weakness. The key is to focus on the ones that have the greatest impact. In the same way, achieving premium value for your company depends on your ability to focus on the strategies that matter most.

Naturally, the financial pillar has the greatest impact on your business value. When you improve your cashflow margins, enhance the productivity of your assets, and invest for growth, you will experience greater business value.

Outside of the financial element, how do you determine which components of the other two Value Pillars will impact your business value the most over the long term? Why not ask professional buyers – people who evaluate and assess companies every day? This book reflects my observations in dealing with professional buyers coupled with my sixteen years of working with business owners in exit strategy planning. The results yield significant insight into practical steps that make a difference. The mission of this book is to provide perspective from the eyes of professional buyers, mergers and acquisitions advisors, and exit planners on practical steps that will put you on a path to Enhancing Your Business Value. This book should be read as a strategy guide that inspires you to take action. Use it as an idea generator – a launching pad to guide you in your next steps for improved growth. Chapters 1-3 focus on the macro factors. In the remaining chapters we turn our attention to the micro issues – specific strategies and techniques that can be implemented to enhance long-term value.

Ground rules need to be established. This book was written with the small to medium size business owner in mind. The owner or manager tasked with managing business revenues up to $50,000,000 will benefit the most from this book. The objective of the book is to give you an overview of many different strategies, not to lay out a detailed implementation plan. There are no new discoveries in the chapters that follow. There are no concepts that will provide instant success. You are probably familiar with

many of the ideas discussed. In fact, some you may have tried to implement. The goal is not to convince you to implement every step but to see you commit to action those steps that are most feasible. Timing is everything. Is now the right time to implement all of the suggestions – probably not. Is now the right time to implement some of thestrategies – absolutely!