Be Innovative Anticipators

What makes me unique to the IT world is my background in consultative sales and marketing. This give me the perspective of a business owner/partner to my firm as opposed to the technician that carries a toll box full of toys. Read this article from Dougtheis.com. If you or someone you know would benefit from partnering with a someone like myself that has extensive background in business development, let me know.
Business leaders want IT to be more than strategic partners. The goal now is for IT leaders to actually drive business opportunities — to be innovative anticipators. http://www.dougtheis.com/2018/02/cio-com-it-business-alignment-is-out-anticipators-are-winning-the-day/

Anticipators are winning the day

What makes me unique to the IT world is my background in consultative sales and marketing. This give me the perspective of a business owner/partner to my firm as opposed to the technician that carries a toll box full of toys. Read this article from

By Dan Roberts and Larry WolffCIO | FEB 14, 2018 7:35 AM PT

If you or someone you know would benefit from partnering with a someone like myself that has extensive background in business development, let me know.

The journey to advance IT maturity turns out to be less about competence around technology and more about something more human, and it’s often harder to define and instill in the organization: collaborative human relationships built on trust.

The old trap was business leaders wanting to keep IT in the IT Supplier box, and we were happy in our order-taker comfort zone. Today, IT is on the offensive — moving up the Maturity Curve so we can position our companies to fight off disruption while driving transformation and disruption ourselves

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https://www.cio.com/article/3252256/leadership-management/it-business-alignment-is-out-anticipators-are-winning-the-day.html

>Business Valuation: A Crucial Tool

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Most people would never question the wisdom of evaluating the price of art, jewelry or other collectibles.  Serious hobbyists, likewise, wouldn’t dare entertain the notion of neglecting a valuation for a coin or stamp collection.  But, incredibly, there are business owners who neglect to have business valuations performed.
For many owners of small and medium sized businesses, their companies and identities are one; their personal wealth, financial future and community connections cannot be separated.  Still, many owners believe that a business valuation is appropriate only for sales situations, and that it can always be performed later.[1]
They’re wrong—on both counts.  It’s human nature to believe that we always have time to prepare for tomorrow; but, for most of us, tomorrow comes earlier than we could ever have imagined possible.  And, when tomorrow sneaks up on business owners, they have much more to be concerned about than the sale of their business.
Business valuation is an effective planning tool for small, privately held firms as well as for larger stock companies.  It is a useful device that can smooth the way not only in the sale of a business, but in business succession plans and in a variety of tax situations.
Unlike business planning, a valuation puts a dollar figure on virtually every internal or external factor that affects a business—past, present and future.  This process helps business owners place a value on the loss of their services—or a key employee’s services–due to death or disability.  It can help family members plan for the future when the business will be either sold or passed on to a family member.  It’s not uncommon to find heirs to a business scrambling for cash to pay the taxes because the government valued their newly inherited businesses at four or five times the worth they anticipated.
If you’re a business owner and haven’t had a business valuation performed, perhaps now is the time.  A fair valuation is best conducted by an accountant, or an attorney that has extensive experience in this field.  Many trade and professional associations offer referrals.  Business owners should rely on an independent professional to perform the valuation, but they can make sure the following aspects of the valuation are considered.
Valuations should cover financial statements of at least the past five years, examining specifics such as cash flow, earnings trends, depreciation charges, recurring and non-recurring expenses, compensation and employee benefits.  Management interviews should be conducted to gather other operations information on inventory, sales, assets, liabilities, debt and, in general, the cost and reward of each component to doing business.
Management makeup can be a minus when only a few people are responsible for the majority of a business’ success; if this is the situation, their departure would greatly affect the business.  A valuation would also uncover insurance that protects business from the loss of these key employees—or at least uncover the need for the insurance.
External factors also weigh heavily in any evaluation.  Is the business in a growing or dying industry?  What about competition?  What is its growth potential?  How will economic, social and even environmental trends affect the business?
A good valuation will take all these factors into consideration, while acknowledging that each individual factor does not make the valuation by itself.  Steady past performance, though one of the more reliable gauges of any company’s value, can’t always precisely predict future value.  Even more intangible elements such as goodwill value—the reputation of a company that makes it more competitive than similar businesses—play a value in the equation.
A good business valuation that is updated periodically gives business owners a better than educated guess as to how much their share of a business is worth, making business, estate and succession easier.  Many planners will advise business owners to use a simple valuation preparation method called “book value,” essentially assets minus liabilities divided by number of shares.  Another valuation method called “fair market value”—the price a business can garner in an unforced sales situation—is sometimes considerably higher and is often the basis upon which estate and gift taxes are paid.
Because most owners of small and medium sized businesses claim their companies as their greatest assets, it makes sense to know how much those assets are worth.  Without a business valuation, preparing for the future is about as reliable as playing a lottery.

[1] Please bear in mind the information contained herein is not intended as tax or legal advice.  Please consult with your Attorney or Accountant prior to acting upon any of the information contained herein.

Turning Business Success into Personal Financial Security

Most business owners depend on their business to provide current income, with the objective of using the future sale proceeds from the business to meet retirement income needs, or to provide family survivor income needs. Some business owners may also see their business continuing in the hands of family members who will continue its successful operation, extending the financial benefits far into the future. However, many business owners never take the time to plan how this will actually happen; discovering too late, for example, following the untimely death of a co-owner, that the time for planning has gone by.

Family businesses who make it to the second, third and even fourth generations have one thing in common; owners who understand the planning opportunities available to them and the importance of developing and implementing a long-range plan. These plans include protecting against the unexpected death of an owner or key employee; motivating and rewarding key people with tangible benefits and incentives; using business dollars to fund retirement plans, and transitioning the business to a successor owner.

One of the ways a business owner can protect his or her business if an essential employee dies unexpectedly, is through the purchase of business-owned life insurance. With insurance coverage in place, the business will have the funds it needs to replace essential skills or expertise. Having life insurance in place on key people may also improve the creditworthiness of the business; creditors may be less likely to call loans and may be more likely to extend credit to a business that has a plan in place in the event of the death of a key person.

Keeping and motivating key employees can be as important to the ongoing success of a business as protecting the business in the event of their death. Certain types of benefits can be offered to select key people on a “discriminatory” basis – that is, a business owner has a great deal of flexibility in terms of who is rewarded and by how much. Depending on the benefit, the business may get an offsetting tax deduction or build an asset that can be tapped into for cash needs.

As some point, most business owners start to think less about guiding their business into the future and more about transitioning out of its day to day operation. This is the time to plan an exit strategy that allows an owner to transfer any personal wealth accumulated inside of the business to him or herself, without jeopardizing the business’ ongoing financial health. Without such an exit strategy, an unexpected death could leave an owner or their family in a disadvantaged selling and/or bargaining position. Life insurance can address this important need. Because of its income tax free death benefit, life insurance is often used to fund a buy-sell agreement that can help ensure the continuation of the business beyond the voluntary or involuntary departure of the owner. This type of agreement is a legally binding document that the business owner can enter into now that sets out the terms and conditions of the sale of his or her business interest at some point in the future. These terms and conditions include who will purchase the business and for how much, when the sale will take place, and how the purchase price will be paid.

Planning for the growth and success of a business is not something you do only once. It’s something you do on an ongoing basis. As your business moves through the various stages, the strategies you implement in one stage can help build the foundation for future stages, as you build a strong financial future.

The views and information contained herein have been prepared independently of the presenting Representative and are presented for informational purposes only.