Is The Time Right To Exit My Business?

Every business owner needs to acknowledge that they will want to leave their business at some stage. Therefore, thinking of a business exit strategy from the very beginning couldn’t be more important. Many things need to be borne in mind when exit planning, but perhaps the most vital has to be timing considerations.

Here at CBS-CBS.com, our consultants know how important it is to think well in advance about how to exit a business as early as possible. Therefore, we’ll take a look at how to know when the time is right to exit a business.

The Lifecycle Of Your Business

Whatever kind of business you have, it has its own lifecycle. Knowing where your company is within its own lifecycle is key since this will impact in a major way on how sellable your business is. While there isn’t a single perfect time for selling a business, if you know the exact stage that your business is at, you can ascertain an accurate valuation and, therefore, build a sales pitch that will convince potential buyers. For example, if your high growth business is under a year old, you might require more time in order to progress towards a mature stage, while businesses that are already in their mature stage could require diversification if its value is to increase and its appeal is to extend to a wider pool of buyers.

Is The Time Of Year Right For Selling Your Business?

When you’re timing your business sale, its seasonality shouldn’t be overlooked. For example, if you consider e-commerce enterprises, most notice a significant increase in sales around the busier shopping period from October to January. In the case of some e-commerce websites, this may account for more than half of the company’s annual revenue.

While it may feel natural to sell your business right after this especially lucrative time of year, however, it’s important to consider whether any buyer would be interested in acquiring the company in February but having to wait for 8 months until real returns start to come in. This would have a material impact on how much the buyer would be willing to pay for the company.

With this in mind, timing your exit around lucrative periods is vital.

Is It The Right Choice For Your Business?

Timing is essential to successful sales. There are numerous factors that come into play and, therefore, you need to make sure that you don’t just sell for the right reason, but that you sell at the right time too. Selling your business under duress or too quickly is almost certainly going to end up getting you a low sale price. In general, the longer you’re able to keep your business, the better the chances of your business having a fully-developed exit plan, and the greater the value you can achieve when you sell it.

When it comes to timing your business exit, it’s important to take professional advice. The Corporate Business Solutions team is on hand to answer your questions and help you to draw up an effective strategy for the long-term.

Business Analytics And The Manufacturing Industry – An Expert Guide

Many of the latest business trends like vertical integration, margin pressure, and globalization have forced manufacturers to look for innovative, new ways of boosting their performance and improving their decision-making processes. This is where business analytics can prove helpful. Traditionally, the manufacturing sector has been quite slow in the adoption of analytics. Yet, now, it has begun to leapfrog other industries through the application of business analytics to a broad spectrum of business areas, from supply chain and finance to product development and marketing.

Now that external and internal data is exponentially expanding, and insights-driven by data has become a strategic necessity, it’s no wonder that many manufacturers have been tempted to launch analytics initiatives across their enterprises that try to analyze and capture all aspects of their business. Yet, taking an all-encompassing approach is risky, time-consuming, and expensive. Therefore, as Corporate Business Solutions consultants say, it’s a better idea to focus analytics on targeted areas to produce optimal results.

Why Do Business Analytics Matter To The Manufacturing Sector?

Analytics provides actionable insights to support any company’s key business decisions directly. Which products have yielded a lower margin? Which suppliers have been more disruptive to production processes? How does the landscape look when it comes to competitive sales incentives? How is it possible to manage and predict the levers driving sales revenue?

Products, typically, lie at the heart of any manufacturing business. Therefore, the first analytics wave is usually focused on improving the development of those products. Other common areas of focus include management of the marketing and sales spend, optimization of the chain of supply, reduction of warranty spend, and improvement of financial management overall.

Analytical insights in those key areas can have major impacts on the manufacturer’s performance. They can also potentially deliver impressive returns on the business’s analytics investment. Not only that but by using business analytics, it’s possible for new revenue models to be enabled that have been designed around the sale of services rather than solely products.

What Are The Advantages Of Business Analytics For The Manufacturing Sector?

Analytics provides an edge over any manufacturer’s competition by revealing new opportunities for the improvement of efficiency through the product’s lifecycle. This allows the company to spread the cost of innovation across various product lines so margins can be boosted.

Also, with business analytics, the link becomes clearer between investments in analytics and business decisions that can deliver improved performance and results. In the manufacturing industry, this is particularly important, since many organizations use the federated business model, with multiple relatively independent business units. Responsive, flexible, and agile analytics provide insights that are forward-looking enough to aid the organization in the more effective management of its resources.

By taking a focused analytical approach, results can be produced that are more relevant than when taking the enterprise-wide approach. Not only that but it’s also cheaper and swifter to implement.

How Can Manufacturers Benefit From Business Analytics?

It’s clear that business analytics has great potential to improve your manufacturing company, giving you a greater competitive advantage within the marketplace. Yet, it isn’t a sure thing. You’ll need to take the correct approach to achieve the results you seek. The best way to do this is to seek advice from experts in the field and Corporate Business Solutions are here to help.

4 Effective Business Exit Strategies To Consider

Business exit strategies are plans for what is going to happen when you wish to leave your company. In this strategy, the form of the transition will be described and outlined. In the same way, as you create your business plan as a way of guiding your company through its life, it’s important to have a similar plan to guide it to its conclusion.

Of course, having a business exit strategy shouldn’t mean failure or disaster. It doesn’t even mean that action needs to be taken imminently. Actually, most business owners begin their company with the intention of existing it after a set period of time. That doesn’t mean they’re not committed as entrepreneurs. It simply means they’ve got a clear plan in place.

However, when you’re thinking about a business exit strategy, you don’t just need to consider the way in which you’ll leave, but also the other factors involved with the process:

  • Will you be making money when the time comes to exit the business, and if so, how much?
  • What is going to become of the business after you’ve left? Is it going to carry on operating with a new owner?
  • How long is the exit process going to take and what sort of transitional period is going to be involved?

When you’re reading Corporate Business Solutions reviews, you’ll see that many business owners have turned to us for assistance in this respect, so here are four of the options that our consultants recommend.

1.Continuing A Family Legacy

Some entrepreneurs are keen to keep the business within the family in the long-term. This means that they make plans to transition their company to a relative. While this seems to be an appealing strategy, it’s vital to ensure that family relationships are strong enough to cope with the stress and volatility of owning a business.

The benefits are that it’s possible to choose someone that you wish to carry on the business once you’ve left and prepared them fully for the challenge. You also don’t need to be completely separate from the business, being able to remain in place as an advisor in the long-term.

On the downside, though, it can be difficult to find someone in the family or is capable or who wants to take the business on. Also, business partners, investors, and employees may not be supportive of the chosen individual, while the process brings a considerable amount of financial and emotional stress to the family.

2.Merger Or Acquisition

When you adopt an acquisition or merger business exit strategy, the company will either be bought by or merge with an organization that has aligned or similar goals. Depending on who the business is sold to or merged with, this could mean greater flexibility with it comes to your own involvement in the future.

This strategy allows you to negotiate the sale price, but it can be a time-consuming process and it may not happen at all. Only a fifth of all companies listed for sale gets bought.

3.Employee Or Management Buyout

While it’s hard to plan in advance, it’s possible when you want to leave your business, the management team or employees may wish to purchase it from you. Since these individuals already know how the organization is managed, this strategy may result in a much smoother transition process, with a better chance of your legacy being preserved. On the downside though, there may be nobody willing to make the purchase.

4.Taking Your Business Public

A lot of entrepreneurs hope that one day they will be able to sell their company to the public and make a huge profit. Yet, when it comes to exit strategy planning for small businesses, this option won’t work for everybody. Even when your business is successful, your industry might not be appealing to the public, and therefore, your company may be devalued. Also, IPOs are quite rare. Yet, they’re also very lucrative and could gain you substantial profits.

No Single Strategy Is Best

When it comes down to it, there isn’t a single perfect exit strategy for every business. The right strategy for yours depends on several factors, and it could develop or change as your company’s life cycle progresses.

It’s important to be aware, though, that planning ahead is the best option. From the moment you launch your enterprise, you should be considering exit strategy possibilities. After all, if you’re proactive about the process – how it could look, how you could execute it, and what the possible consequences could be – you’re most likely to be successful when the time comes to leave your company behind.

 

Working From Home? 7 Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

In the past several months, many have had to quickly adjust to working from home rather than the office. Although at the start, it doesn’t seem too bad, you quickly realize the challenges behind not being in the office.

One of the hardest parts of working from home is finding the motivation and dedication to get the job done. You don’t have your boss around the corner, making sure you complete your day. It relies solely on just you.

To help you out, try these tested out tips provided by reviews for Corporate Business Solutions.

Maintain Your Same Work Schedule

One of the best things you can do for yourself as you work from home is to maintain the same schedule. That means, if your workday started at eight in the morning, you’d want to do just that at home.

Keep Your Same Routine

Although this ties in with maintaining your same work schedule, keep your same daily routine as well. When did you take your coffee and lunch breaks? What was your morning routine like? How did you unwind after coming home from work? Keep doing the same things to help keep you in the working mindset.

Dress for Success

Have you ever heard the saying about dressing for success? What we wear has a significant impact on how we feel about and portray ourselves. As tempting as it is to crawl out of bed and start working while in your pajamas, getting dressed in your regular work clothes will help you more in the long run.

Have a Designated Workspace

Even if you don’t have an office with a closed door, you should still have somewhere in your house that is meant as your workspace. That way, you can keep all your work-related items in the same area and stay organized.

Reward Yourself

It may seem silly, but give yourself rewards for a successful workday. Did you have a big project that was on a tight deadline? Maybe you finally sent that email you’ve been dreading all week. Give yourself a pat on the back, go have a snack, put on one of your favorite television shows, and take a relaxing break.

You deserved it.

Purge Yourself From Distractions

Although there are distractions basically everywhere you go, there are even more of them at your house. If you have housework to do or groceries to grab, those will be in the back of your mind.

Other distractions include your cell phone, television and surfing the web on your home computer. If you struggle with online distractions, consider a way to keep applications locked at a particular time, or set yourself a timer for when you need to get back to work.

Make Time for Relationships

One of the hardest parts of working from home is feeling isolated from the outside world (especially during our current events). As you spend so much time at home, take moments to call or video chat with your friends and family. Head outside for a walk and say hi to your neighbors. Whatever you do to help keep your relationships up and not feel isolated, include those.

There we have it – seven tips that often can help one adjust to working from home. Give these points a try for your next workday and see how different you feel.

4 Exit Planning Steps To Get Your Business Prepared

A lot of business owners know they should have an exit plan in place, but fail to develop one. This is a major problem. All owners should ensure they have a plan for exiting their business in place from the start of their enterprise.

With an exit strategy in place, you’ll be able to keep your business moving in the right direction since you’ll be aligning constantly with the long-term goals you’ve set. An exit strategy also ensures there’s a trigger event to signal the time has come to get out. Without one, you’ll just carry on without ever knowing when the time has come to stop.

There is one thing to note, though. Your exit strategy will certainly change with time, so it has to be reviewed often. Writing down your exit strategy then re-reading it and reviewing it every 6 months to make updates is the best solution.

With this in mind, the team at CBS-CBS.com outlines these simple steps to help prepare your business exit strategy.

1. Sourcing A Buyer

One thing that many business owners fail to consider is how to find a buyer for their company. A lot of owners just naturally assume somebody out there will be interested in purchasing their business, but this is a big mistake. In fact, only a quarter of all saleable companies exit.

One critical element of your exit strategy is to keep a list of prospective buyers. They may be businesses or individuals who have shown an interest previously in buying the business. They may even be competitors who have an interest in acquiring the business once the time has come.

2. Reoccurring Revenue

Revenue represents a key element of a business exit strategy. It isn’t only about the amount of revenue you have, it’s also about the form it takes when it arrives. Subscription-based services and products producing predictable and reoccurring revenue present an attractive proposition to prospective buyers.

Automatically billing in advance is a wise strategy. If all revenue has been set up to be recurring payments, your business will be an extremely attractive option for purchase.

3. A Strong Pattern Of Growth

A business that has displayed strong patterns of growth will be attractive to potential buyers. Predictable and steady financial growth couldn’t be more important. As long as erratic growth swings can be avoided, some tips that are explained easily won’t affect your business’s appeal to purchasers.

4. Standard Procedures Of Operation

If your business doesn’t have a written set of operating procedures, developing them now is vital. Your business should reach the point where should you have a sudden accident and be unable to run your operation yourself, the company would be able to carry on running with no disruptions. Detailing everything from your core values, management practices, mission, vision, and execution strategy to your marketing and sales plans will ensure that prospective buyers have no difficulty in taking over your business.

Every small business owner will have to exit at some future point, and it’s foolish to assume somebody will be ready to buy it when the time is right. If you follow these four steps, you’ll have the best chance of making a successful sale once you’re ready to make the move.

Could Flexible Working Cause A Lack Of Community In The Workplace?

Flexible working is becoming more commonplace. There has been a greater demand for a transformed work culture in this day and age due to the belief that a smarter and more modern approach will foster better business productivity while supporting a healthy work/life balance for employees.

It seems clear that the flexible work scenario isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and it comes in many forms. From flexible daily hours to home working and compressed working weeks, this style of employment is especially appealing to today’s workforce. So much so, that it has been suggested that in just a few years, the dominant form of employment will be flexible working.

The Benefits Of Flexible Working

It’s easy to see why flexible working is such a popular choice. There are well-established benefits associated with allowing workers to work more flexibly, and positive correlations with a higher level of commitment to the organization as well as better job satisfaction. When family commitments can be accommodated, the stress of commuting can be reduced and workload aligned to the energy cycles of the individual, employees are empowered and feel they have greater control over their working environment and schedule.

For the employer too, the evidence suggests flexible working can reduce staff turnover while also helping in the recruitment of top talent. It also helps to keep a successful team intact while enhancing the company’s image overall.

Yet, there are some disadvantages too that are often overlooked.

The Downside Of A Flexible Work Schedule

Flexible working can lead to the “always-on culture” which can be detrimental to an organization and its employees. Checking emails and responding to them out of office hours, and being available for work at any hour of the day or night may be a way to enhance effectiveness and efficiency, but it can also cause high levels of stress among workers that can impact negatively on psychological and physical health.

Nurturing A Positive Work Community And Environment

When a team can work together closely within the time and space they can generate the best creative energy. Being physically together permits intimacy, clarity, and spontaneity that, in turn, nourishes conviction, confidence, and understanding.

The answer to this is to have more flexibility about flexibility. Flexible working’s outcome should be a set of agreed targets that both employee and employer are on board with, that cover a mix of personal and professional priorities.

So, how do you go about implementing this practice within your organization? If you read Corporate Business Solutions reviews you’ll see that getting the right business consulting help can make an enormous difference to your company’s success.

Our team is well-positioned to give you the essential advice that you need to take your business forward into the future with modern and flexible working practices that reap all of the benefits of this way of operating but that avoid the potential pitfalls of a loss of community and an uncreative, incohesive working environment.

Would Selling Your Company To Its Employees Be A Good Exit Strategy?

If you’ve built up a successful business, deciding whether or not to sell it is a difficult choice to make. Yet, every business owner must have their exit strategy firmly in place.

You’re sure to already know the classic exit strategy options – finding strategic buyers, an equity sale, or possibly going public for a larger small business. Some owners decide that they’ll just wind down their business entirely. There is, however, a different option – the ESOP or Employee Stock Ownership Plan. This could be the perfect exit strategy if you want your business to stay rooted in its locality and its staff meaningfully employed.

What Is An ESOP?

In simple terms, an ESOP is a tool that can be used by a retiring business owner to sell their company to its employees. They are becoming more popular worldwide thanks to the many benefits that they provide. The Corporate Business Solutions team will explain some of those advantages here.

A Flexible Timeline For Exit

Everyone knows that most Baby Boomers aren’t retiring when they get to 65 anymore. They enjoy working and are happy to carry on as long as they remain in good health. This trend looks set to continue for many more years to come since more people today are seeing their work as an extension to their personal life.

ESOPs allow business owners to carry on playing an important role in their business, but with added flexibility to begin reducing their value within it by transferring value to its employees. With a long transition period, the owner can educate and mentor key people to take over their new roles.

Not only does an ESOP enable a more flexible departure, but it also enables owners to start accessing their retirement capital via the liquidity of transferred shares to employees.

Getting Money Out

Every exit plan hinges on being able to turn the business as an illiquid asset into cash. For your employees to purchase shares in the company, it has to be valued professionally at FMV (Fair Market Value).

As long as the company is currently profitable and looks set to continue in that vein, your employees are unlikely to mind paying fair prices for share. Although some owners believe their employees won’t be able to afford to purchase their company, they find many different financing tools are available that facilitate the process.

Lasting Legacy

Studies have shown that a lot of owners of small businesses end up regretting the sale of their company a short while after the deal is closed. Some even regret the decision when they got the price they wanted for the sale.

A major reason for regretting the decision is that their exit plan has failed to address issues such as legacy and succession. For a lot of business owners, it’s very important to be reassured that the values and culture they put in place will carry on once they have left.

An ESOP helps to ensure the business moves forward with those people who have already shared the owner’s values and vision. More importantly, research has shown that ownership by employees also results in better business outcomes such as improved engagement, retention, and productivity.

Would An ESOP Suit Me?

Not every business owner will find employee stock ownership the right solution since it requires a willingness for financial information to be shared and a more participative management style. However, for those business owners who are keen to have a more flexible timeline for their exit, to obtain a fair price for their sale and a way of leaving their legacy intact, the idea of an ESOP is certainly worth exploring.

Will A Facilitator For Strategic Planning Help Your Business?

Planning strategy planning sessions for your business can be a real challenge, and that’s why a strategic planning facilitator could prove to be indispensable. When you need some specialist support and advice, a facilitator can come to the rescue, helping you to get the most out of each session.

How can a facilitator be helpful? Corporate Business Solutions consultants outline just a few of the reasons why.

A Facilitator Will Enable Your Contribution And Participation

Rather than leading a planning session, a facilitator will enable you to participate. You cannot participate fully in any session if you’re leading it, so this is a major benefit. A facilitator is also an expert in their field. They have developed a process that maximizing the effort and time you put in and know which questions to ask to produce optimal results. While it’s technically possible to lead your strategy meetings, it’s best not to take any risks with the future of your organization.

Getting To The Heart Of The Matter

As a facilitator is neutral they can ask tough questions on your behalf without any misconceptions or expectations. Even if you think the questions they ask are irrelevant or pointless, these questions often get right to the heart of what is most important. As a facilitator is coming in from outside, they can ask the perfect questions at the perfect time and in the perfect way to ensure the success of your business.

Having someone to lead your organization through the strategic planning process who is neutral is vital to getting your business to the place it needs to be. Your choices won’t impact the facilitator and that means they’re able to approach sessions without any bias.

Setting The Tone

A facilitator will set the tone for a planning meeting and can show you’re committed and serious about strategy development. It shows you’ve made not only a financial commitment but also an emotional commitment to ensuring the session gives your company the best possible level of value.

It isn’t easy to manage a planning session and its facilitation if you’re trying to involve yourself in the conversation too. A facilitator will put pauses into the discussion at strategic moments while controlling the agenda to ensure the best possible outcome for the team.

People Management

Facilitators are used to managing people with all kinds of personalities. It’s their special skill and they use it to ensure there is balanced conversation throughout the session. They ensure everyone can offer their contribution and that it’s as easy as possible to move on with your strategy.

A facilitator can also act as a catalyst to keep things moving forward and getting change initiatives underway. They help to move the organization forward more quickly, rather than living with legacy conversations and decisions that never seem to get dealt with.

Alignment And Clarity – The Key To A High-Performing Team

All businesses, regardless of their size or industry require a high-performing team to ensure their long-term success. Many company leaders have recognized that one of the best ways to ensure that their workforce achieves their best daily is to maintain alignment and clarity in all ventures. How does this work in practice? The answer lies in regular strategic planning meetings that bring business leaders together with their key team members in a positive atmosphere of cooperation and discussion.

The expert team here at CBS-CBS.com believes that strategic planning meetings are vital in this respect. Not only are such meetings important for drawing up an effective strategy in the first place, but they’re also essential for re-evaluating, honing, and reinforcing that plan to ensure it remains relevant and successful in its aims.

Holding regular meetings to create, re-evaluate and reinforce the strategic plan for your organization helps you to generate both alignment and clarity amongst team members – the two key elements that have been identified as vital to allowing the workforce to achieve its best. So, what does drawing up your business’ strategic plan involve?

How Does Strategic Planning For Alignment And Clarity Work?

The starting point to achieve greater alignment and clarity amongst your workforce through your strategic plan is to assess where your company is right now. The next step is to look at where the business is heading, all the time engaging your team throughout the process. This allows greater alignment and clarity to be achieved simply by taking on board their ideas and suggestions and involving them in the creation of the plan. As a result, your workforce will enjoy greater alignment and clarity for better goal achievement and higher performance overall.

Why Does A Strategic Plan Improve Alignment And Clarity?

When you follow this process, your team will be able to evaluate both opportunities and risks and to discuss them in full and frank detail in a meeting setting. This brings everything out in the open, allowing team members to raise their concerns and issues in a positive environment so everyone can have a greater focus on the things that matter. Ultimately, it allows your team to follow through a process of discussing priority items while also deciding consciously what they shouldn’t do under the current circumstances.

The Benefits Of Professional Advice

Business leaders often feel as if they’re ground down by daily with the day-to-day operation of their company. There is a lot to bear in mind with the daily running of an organization, and strategic planning can so easily fall by the wayside and be overlooked. This is where a team of talented consultants like those at Corporate Business Solutions can prove to be extremely helpful. With the right management consultancy advice, you will be well-placed to identify your company’s most important priorities and to align your team with the best ways to reach your business goals. As a result, you can all achieve more and increase your organization’s profitability in the long-run.

 

 

Build Your Company’s Wealth With Effective Strategic Tax Planning

A key element of building up and preserving your company’s wealth is strategic tax planning. For many, tax is their biggest expense. It, therefore, couldn’t be more important to focus on saving money when it comes to paying taxes. Why waste money on tax that you legally aren’t obliged to pay? This is where strategic tax planning comes into its own. So, how can you retain more wealth? Let’s take a closer look.

Why Lower Your Taxes?

The two ways you can put more money in your company’s pocket are to make more or to spend less. While you can put a lot of effort and time into promoting your company with no guarantees of success, you can, instead, focus on your strategic tax planning to guarantee better tax efficiency. A lot of people try to find ways of making more money, but a financial defense in the form of spending less is actually a better course of action.

How Does Strategic Tax Planning Help?

When you adopt strategic tax planning measures, you can keep more of the money your business makes. So, it makes sense to seize every available opportunity to save on the amount of tax you payout. There are many ways you can harness the power of legal Acts to write off expenses and to deduct payments that will reduce your tax burden considerably. Skilled tax planning consultants, such as the team at Corporate Business Solutions can advise you where these savings can be made.

How Does Wealth Management Work Alongside Strategic Tax Planning?

Wealth management and strategic tax planning work together for your business to yield maximum results. When you lower your company’s tax burden, you can achieve higher profits. As a result, you enjoy greater wealth. Experienced tax planning consultants can help you to use tax codes so that they work for you rather than against you.  With the greater profits that you reap, you can then plow that money back into your business, helping you to grow and expand, and, ultimately, to become even more profitable in the long-term.

Seeking Professional Advice

Many business owners, especially those running small businesses, view taxes as a necessary evil. They have a lot to do and a lot to think about when it comes to running an organization. Often, tax payments sit on the back burner and just get paid year after year. However, we all know that taxes are a major expense for any organization. This is why it makes sense to switch your focus and to put more effort and energy into strategic tax planning so that you can save money where it can most easily be saved. With the right tax planning advice, you can immediately reduce your tax burden and, so, instantly increase your company’s profitability. The Corporate Business Solutions team is here to offer you an expert strategic tax planning service that will lower the amount of tax you pay and boost your company’s profits in one fell swoop.