Monthly Archives: September 2018

Before You Sell Your Material Handling Business

If you’re a family business owner, chances are you’re thinking about what you’ll do when your working days are over. As William Rothwell, a professor at Penn State University, noted in the foreword to Exit Right: A Guided Tour of Succession Planning for Families in Business Together “More than 40% of the people who run the closely held operations that comprise 80% of the North American economy will retire by 2007.”
Even if you currently view the idea as unlikely, you are wise to consider the possibility of selling your material handling company. The decision to sell is all too often a reactive one rather than a proactive one — the primary reasons are a serious health issue, owner burnout, the death of a principal, general industry decline or the loss of a major customer. Advance planning can ensure that you exit your business from a position of strength, not from weakness due to necessity.
1. The biggest mistake business owners make is waiting too long to sell. Have you ever heard, “I sold my business to early?” Compare that with the number of times you’ve heard somebody say, “I should have sold my business two years ago.” Unfortunately, waiting too long is probably the single biggest factor in reducing the proceeds from the sale of a privately held business. The erosion in business value typically is most pronounced in that last year before exiting.
The decision to sell is often times a reactive decision rather than a proactive decision. An individual who spends 20 years running their business and controlling their outcomes often behaves differently in the exit from his business. The primary reasons for selling are events such as a serious health issue, owner burnout, the death of a principal, general industry decline, or the loss of a major customer.
Exit your business from a position of strength, not from the necessity of weakness. Don’t let that next big deal delay your sale. You can reward yourself for that transaction you project to close with an intelligently written sale agreement containing contingent payments in the future if that event occurs.
2. Figure out what you will do with your time after you are no longer working sixty hours per week. We all create business plans both formally and informally. We all plan for vacations. We plan our parties. We need to plan for the most important financial event of our lives, the sale of our business.
Typically a privately held business represents greater than 80% of the owner’s net worth. Start out with your plans of how you want to enjoy the rewards of your labor. Where do you want to travel? What hobbies have you been meaning to start? What volunteer work have you meant to do? Where do you want to live? What job would you do if money were not in issue? You need to mentally establish an identity for yourself outside of your business.
3. Get your business ready to sell. Now that you are all excited about the fun things you’ll do once you exit your business, it’s now time to focus on the things that you can do to maximize the value of your business upon sale. This topic is enough content for an entire article, however, we will briefly touch upon a couple of important points.
First, engage a professional CPA firm to do your books. Buyers fear risk. Audited or reviewed financial statements from a reputable accounting firm reduced the perception of risk. Do not expect the buyer to give you credit for something that does not appear in your books. If you find that a large percentage of your business comes from a very few customers, embark on a program immediately to reduced customer concentration. Buyers fear that when the owner exits the major customers are at risk of leaving as well.
Start to delegate management activities immediately and identify successors internally. If you have no one that fits that description and you have enough time, seek out, hire and train that individual that would stay on for the transition and beyond. Buyers want to keep key people that can continue the momentum of the business.
Analyze and identify the growth opportunities that are available to your business. Get rid of that outdated inventory. The buyer will not pay you for it anyway and it just clutters up the place.
4. When you are wearing all the hats already, trying to sell your company yourself can hurt your business. A major mistake business owners make in exiting their business is to focus their time and attention on selling the business as opposed to running the business. This occurs in large publicly traded companies with deep management teams as well as in private companies where management is largely in the hands of a single individual.
Many large companies that are in the throws of being acquired are guilty of losing focus on the day-to-day operations. In case after case these businesses suffer a significant competitive downturn. If the acquisition does not materialize, their business has suffered significant erosion in value.
For a privately held business the impact is even more acute. There simply is not enough time for the owner to wear the many hats of operating his business while embarking on a full-time job of selling his business. The owner wants the impending sale to be totally confidential until the very last minute.
If the owner attempts to sell the business himself, by default he has identified that his business is for sale. Competitors would love to have this information. Bankers get nervous. Employees get nervous. Customers get nervous. Suppliers get nervous. The owner has inadvertently created risk, a potential drop in business and a corresponding drop in the sale price of his business.
5. To maximize your selling price, you must get multiple buyers interested in buying your material handling business. The “typical” business sale transaction for a privately held business begins with either an unsolicited approach by a competitor or with a decision on the part of the owner to exit. If a competitor initiates the process, he typically isn’t interested in over paying for your business. In fact, just the opposite is true. He is trying to buy your business at a discount.
Outside of yourself there is no one in a better position to understand the value of your business more than a major competitor. He will try to keep the sales process limited to a negotiation of one. In our mergers and acquisitions practice the owner often approaches us after an unsolicited offer. What we have found is generally that unsolicited buyer is not the ultimate purchaser, or if he is, the final purchase price is, on average 20% higher than the original offer.
If the owner decides to exit and initiates the process, it usually begins with a communication with a trusted advisor – accountant, lawyer, banker, or financial advisor. Let’s say that the owner is considering selling his business and he tells his banker. The well- meaning banker says, “One of my other customers is also in your industry. Why don’t I provide you an introduction?” If the introduction results in a negotiation of one, it is unlikely that you will get the highest and best the market has to offer.
You may have spent your life’s work building your material handling business to provide you the income, wealth creation, and legacy that you had planned and hoped for. You prepared and were competitive and tireless in your approach. You have one final act in your business. Make that your final business success. Exit on purpose and do it from a position of strength and receive the highest and best deal the market has to offer.

Tips To Set Up Your Internet Home Based Business

Home Based Business
What are the top three things you should concern yourself about when starting an Internet home based business? Here are some tips to make it in the online business environment.
Setting up an Internet home based business is like starting an actual business. Some people may think that since a business is operated online and from home, it is a smaller-scale venture compared to real businesses. This, however, is a misconception. Some Internet home based business are even bigger and are experiencing more growth than real ones. Starting and operating an online business venture may be a bit challenging when you are new to the field and is used to the conventional business and marketing world. However, there are also many resources on the Internet that you can get your hands on in the actual setting. The difference lies on how you take advantage of these unique Internet resources and make them work for you. Here are some tips on how you can successfully set up your Internet home based business.
PLAN AND SET GOALS
As in any business venture, the key to a successful Internet home based business is to plan. Set goals; determine what you want your business to achieve, and prepare concrete action plans on how you will achieve your business goals. Plan what you are going to need, in terms of investment and tools. In terms of investment, you might need to upgrade your computer for a better one, or you might need to purchase another computer to sustain your business operations. The investment requirements will differ based on the nature of your Internet home based business. In terms of tools, since there are a lot of resources available to you on the Internet, plan which resources can help your business. Do you need to set up a blog site, or join forums to advertise your site? If so, in what way should you advertise? These are just some of the things you should already lay out in detail before you even get started.
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE
Once your Internet home based business is under way, the next thing you need to do is to advertise! There are plenty of ways to advertise on the Internet. You can set up a blog and write articles about your products. You can join forums and post website ads in various sites that your target customers often visit. You can exchange links with other sites to drive traffic to yours. You can post pictures and videos of your products on your site, your blog, and in forums. Also, master the art of search engine optimization to lure people to your website, and thus, to your product. The more visitors you get, the more potential customers you have!
BUILD A CUSTOMER BASE
Just as any actual business will not succeed without a loyal customer base, you also have to build a customer base for your Internet home based business. It is important to build a relationship with those who transact business from you. Chances are that they can even bring in more customers because of their contacts. Social networking is yet another concept that is very popular on the Web, and it will pay to take advantage of the social networking sites and communities online. There are a lot of social networking sites on the Web, such as Facebook and Myspace, which can help increase your customer base. When you have a loyal customer base, coupled with a social network that continues to bring in more and more customers, your Internet home based business will be unstoppable!
The arena where your Internet home based business will perform in may be different from the conventional marketing world, but the same rules applies. No business will be successful without careful planning, focused goals, a loyal customer base, and a source of customers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you put your business on the Internet, it will grow on its own. The Internet is as wide as the world we live in, and your Internet home based business will only be successful if you’re ready for a challenge

Mlm Business How To Improve Your Leadership Qualities

Do you care if your down-line network is growing in numbers? Or are they motivated?
If you are an individualistic person who only cares for yourself, you are in the wrong business. MLM members are independent and unsalaried sales people. In other words they are the company’s independent agents and they only earn their income from the sales they made.
Everyone in the network is working towards a common goal— that is to make money. To make money in the multi-level marketing business or MLM it needs members in a network to promote and sell the company’s products or services and they will be compensated with promotions and monetary gains.
Each member is directly dependent on the performance of their down-line for their success. If your down-line really is holding the reins that can make or break your business or can propel you upward in the network, then do you have the quality of a good leader that would make them work with you?
Quality No.1-Think big
A good MLM leader aims high and has big goals for himself and his down-line. If your targets are low and are easily achievable, you are not setting a high standard to follow. Besides he has to made their network popular so as to attract people to join them.
It is the job of the leader to motivate his down-line and provide them with the knowledge to recruit more members. The leader without a goal for his weekly and monthly targets will eventually fade and crumbles. Without a realistic targets, your down-line will not be motivated enough to push themselves. So as a leader you have to coach them and make sure they employ the right tactics on how to recruits.
Quality No.2-Be a guide to your down-line
Besides taking the initiative and motivating and guiding your down-line, leader has the responsibility to accompany recruits when they are out there prospecting. Other than conducting their own workshops and seminars, leader has to see that their down-line is doing it correctly too.
Quality No.3-Be results-orientated
To be a good leader, you have to lead by example. If you want your down-line to achieve a monthly $1,000 in sales, you must make sure you can top it up and sell $2,000. If you want them to get three new prospects every month, be sure that you can recruit more than three to show that you walk your talk.
Quality No.4-Be an inspiration to your down-line
Your results you have achieved will inspire them to work harder. People are motivated by successful individual who can prove to them that with hard work and the right strategies and tactics, anyone can also have the same success as you do. Sometimes you have to brag about your new sports car you have just bought or the new house in Beverly Hills you have just moved in to show them that your business opportunity works. After that, what you say gets noticed and you have just earns their respect as a leader.

How To Forecast Spa Business Sales

Forecasting upcoming sales in your Spa business is a critical constituent of starting up and running a business; it is a fundamental constituent of your Spa business plan. It’s doubtful that your Spa business will be dead on but you ought to be able to make credible, evidence-based projections in order to plan your Spa business strategy.
The quantity of money your Spa business will achieve each year depends on how many sales of its products or services – but before you start off the process of actually making these sales you should create a sales forecast. The sales forecast for your Spa business will stand on its own virtues – it will of course be a part of your overall Spa business plan.
So why do you need to forecast sales?
A sales forecast is necessary in order to
1. Plan cash flow – that you will need to add into your business plan when seeking funding, and to avoid sudden cash flow problems by establishing if and when you will need to inject capital or have access to funds.
2. Manage Cash flow – innermost to the success of your business, it is essential that you appreciate how sales forecasting contributes to the computation of the cash flow forecast.
3. Plan future resource requirements – for example, you may want a new mechanism which produces more goods.
4. Plan marketing activities – this will obviously have a knock on effect to the quantity of sales you make as well.
Whatever the situation, it is crucial that you research your projected sales regularly and realistically, and take appropriate action to have another look at your strategy. Your sales forecast is the point of reference alongside which you should constantly gauge what in fact happens in your business with regards to sales and the important thing is to appreciate the variances and why they arise, and to incorporate what you have learned into coming forecasts.
What components do you need to think about?
Your sales forecast should show sales by month for at least the next 12 months, and then by year for the following two years. Three years, in total, is generally enough for most business plans.
Things to think about
1. Is there an customary market for your product or service?
2. How extensive is the sector?
3. Is this an escalating/contracting market and if so; by what %?
4. What are the most important considerations for this market?
5. What may possibly affect it in future?
6. How do recurring factors affect purchases of your product or service?
7. What trends or fashions are related to the sector?
Who are your customers going to be?
1. What % will purchase?
2. Why will they finish trading from someone else to buy from you?
3. What is your pricing plan and how will it influence sales?
4. Can you in fact make available the products and services that you are predicting?
5. How many competitors do you have?
6. Your business will not be distinctive; what happens when new competitors come into the market once you have done the footing to raise market awareness?
The whole planet is your marketplace with the invention of the world wide web – but what products/services can you persuade somebody to buy Virtually every business has some competitor(s) – how can you hoover up your competitors customers? How can you avert your competitors taking your customers? Can you adjust your product prices up or down to match new customers – can you easily add or adjust the services you offer to new and existing customers to boost your turnover and profits?
Preparing your Spa business forecast
You need to make certain future assumptions for your Spa business in order to create a sales forecast
1. Sector increase/decline by a certain percentage e.g. 5%.
2. Personnel increase to increase production or sales – maybe 25%.
3. Different location – more customers – 30% increase in sales.
Preparing your forecast
You should prepare a sales forecast for each item you sell,and forecast:
1. By volume
2. By value
3. By a combination of both value and volume.
So what are the pitfalls when forecasting sales?
1. Make sure your forecast is based on verifiable,realistic and unbiased info.
2. Don’t be tempted to overlook your study if it showed bad results.
3. Don’t make projections solely on historical results. Put your business under a microscope – try and imagine what might have an effect on your sales in the future – good or bad.
4. Make sure you understand your capacity limits. Can you produce the amount of sales being forecast with the equipment,personnel and monetary resources available to you?
5. Does the pricing policy you have used in working out your sales forecast relate to what is really achievable?, or conversely, have the prices been set too low or too high so that either way your forecast is potentially unrealistic?
6. If you have just started up in business, your business may take longer than you believe to get established, and have you set accordingly realistic sales targets?
7. Have you allowed for the possibility that high sales based on an initial promotional surge may drop off, leading to a need for more intensive marketing and higher ongoing expenses once preliminary interest has peaked?
8. When you make clear your sales forecasts to prospective investors – are they believable?