Does the House Always Have to Win?

In roulette, the table odds are set so the house, the casino, wins more than 90% of the time when the ball rolls. This means that with each spin, you have less than a 10% chance of winning. Your betting strategies may change, but the reality is that this will not put you ahead of the odds, and you’ll likely find that the risk was not worth the reward. Take this concept, and apply it to your business, the life you’ve worked so hard to build. Years, often decades of diligence, yet you put ...

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Three Essential Steps to Building a Successful Small Business

Dreams versus dreams realized. I note in the preface of my book that the difference, what it takes to continue to build a successful dream realized, is inspired conscious action. Of course, that’s the beginning of the story. How to really start the journey to build a successful business, many of us know, is a little more complicated than that. What are some of those inspired conscious actions? Below, I share three essential pieces I believe are critical on the road to building a successful small business. 1. Understand what it means to know your destination. Having a vision for what you want is the cornerstone to building a successful business. As part of your vision, knowing your desired role, and what capabilities you have and/or need to reach your goals are critical components to think through early, to avoid roadblocks later. Having an understanding of these things allows you to do some of the planning needed to move forward. Realism is critical. In my book, I discuss being realistic largely in Ownership Conversion, but it’s just as important when you start shaping your vision and building the business you want to transform into your legacy. Of course, realism doesn’t mean limiting your ambition. Realism, in this case, is understanding your market, creating a well-thought timeframe as you scale, knowing how to build a team to support you, and understanding your limitations so you can find ways to overcome or minimize them. 2. Invest in Efficiencies Early As entrepreneurial companies develop, operational decisions are subject to ‘fake-it-until-you-makeit’ and ‘if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it’ mentalities. While I understand it’s easy to make decisions in this manner, these are good mindsets to abandon early so you can become more efficient as soon as possible....

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Financial Spring Cleaning for Your Business

Spring cleaning isn't just for your home; it is essential for your business and your future. You made it past tax season. We have endured this extended, cold winter weather long enough. It's time to “Think Spring!” and get your business ready for a big cleanup. These tips also touch on "Turning Your Business Into a Butterfly" section in my Seven Steps to an Effective Ownership Conversion Plan. Set Goals Every business owner has ideas and aspirations that may or may not come to fruition. ...

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7 Steps to Your OCP

Seven Steps to Your Ownership Conversion Plan™

Creating a consciously designed Ownership Conversion Plan™ (OCP) ensures business owners are in full control of a realistic and timely approach to passing on their businesses. An effective OCP is achieved in seven key steps: Cement Your Future Vision – Start by assessing your retirement goals. What is your ideal vision for your business, your family, and your retirement? The Size of the Pot – Take stock of your assets. What is the value of the business and what assets do you have ...

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Building Your Ownership Conversion Plan™ Team

Entrepreneurs spend years working on their business and building it up to be a successful venture. When I talk to them about bringing in a team of trusted advisors for succession planning, many want to hide their checkbooks thinking it will be too expensive. However, planning the sale or transfer of your business is no time to cut corners. Your Ownership Conversion is about selling your life’s work on your terms to outsiders, insiders or family members. It is a strategy comprised of ...

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Ready or Not, Your Future is Coming

I have worked with incredibly successful business owners worth tens and hundreds of millions of dollars. Early in my career as a financial advisor, it was easy to assume these business owners planned for their financial future. One client described how his son-in-law, a leading law professor at an Ivy League university, advised him that all of his ducks were in a row. Upon closer examination, it became apparent that essential planning had not been executed. He only had a basic will in place for ...

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Avoid Gap Shock by Preparing a Strong Personal Hedge

My mission is to advise business owners on how to achieve the strongest possible position for the sale of their business to outside or inside buyers. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a strong and diverse Personal Hedge. Being prepared financially can eliminate the gap shock when it comes time for you to transition your business. What is a Personal Hedge? A Personal Hedge is the accumulation of assets outside your business that ultimately enables you to achieve the cash ...

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How Preparing for Tax Season Also Helps Your Ownership Conversion Plan™

Are you the kind of business owner who scrambles through a box of receipts once tax season hits or do you have your records organized and ready to go? The latter, obviously makes surviving tax season a whole lot easier but it also is a big part of having a solid Ownership Conversion Plan™ (OCP) for your business. As I stress in my book, it is equally important to work on your business as it is to work in your business. Therefore, it is vital for you to spend time making sure that your ...

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What does the Tax Reform do to your Ownership Conversion Plan™?

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed, I told you about some of the business wins and advantages. Now you may be asking yourself what that means for your Ownership Conversion Plan™. The answer, for most small businesses, is more money to put back into your business, buy new equipment, hire new workers or expand operations. That, in turn, helps your businesses become more successful and help you reach your Designed Destinations. Sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations are what ...

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Lasting Relationship Advice for a Family Business

I grew up in a family business. My father began a small nursery which eventually grew into a successful and highly profitable business. However, he never had a business plan. I nagged him for years about it until he finally understood how important a succession plan would be for the business, the employees and our family. He died suddenly just a week after we met to discuss what would happen when he was ready to transfer the business. Unfortunately, none of the ideas we discussed had a chance ...

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