As a business owner, your net worth isn’t tied only to your investments and the money you take home. The sellable value of your business is also an asset that must be included in your overall wealth. At Coastal Family Business Advisors, we understand this and take long-term actions to get the maximum value growth from your business.
Our goal is to double your net worth every 3-5 years.
More than this, the team of experts at Coastal Family Business Advisors provides comprehensive strategic planning and business strategy services, all while managing your company’s risks. Our team has been through planning and implementation countless times and is well-equipped to guide you and your team through the entire process.
In addition, we can help prepare you and your team for the next stage in life and exit planning services.
The team at Coastal Family Business Advisors has successfully founded, grown, and sold multiple companies of their own, as well as increased the overall value of many of our clients’ businesses.
The philosophy behind integrating personal financial planning with business planning is because of how deeply tied together these two processes are. Simply put, one cannot be done without taking the other into consideration.
How the Coastal Process Works
Our relationship begins with a phone call meeting. During this call, we will discuss your personal and business goals, as well as what the reason is that is driving the desire to grow the value of your business. Typically, this introduction takes about 15 minutes. Because the objective of this meeting is to get to know more about each other, there is no obligation to move forward. However, if there is a mutually beneficial value in the new relationship, and we all agree to proceed, the process can officially begin.
Once we have decided to continue our relationship, some paperwork will be necessary to begin the management process. First, you will need to fill out an Engagement Agreement to make it official. The Coastal team will then request some of your past personal records to better assess and create an action plan moving forward.
In addition to your personal records, the Coastal team of business advisors will request business records. These records requests could include your previous tax filings from the last five years, operations manuals, a written business plan, employee profiles, organizational charts, etc. The information contained in these documents is necessary for us to fully and accurately assess the current health of your business.
Once everyone is clear about personal goals and how your business can support achieving them, we transition into business value growth. Your personal financial planning doesn’t stop here but is 1 of the 2 integral pieces in reaching those goals. Here, we will continue working toward your goals through one-on-one meetings and adjustments with your personal financial planner alongside those meetings with your value growth advisor. You will get to know your value growth advisor very well and they will work diligently to help you through every step of the process.
We will begin the Business Value Growth process with a benchmark business assessment. During this evaluation, your advisor will examine eight key areas of your business, as discussed above. Once the assessment is complete, your business will be assigned a starting position. Additionally, you and your advisor will have a clearer indication of which areas of your business need the most attention. This allows us to know where you are now, to help shape a plan to get you where you want to be.
Increasing the value of your business is a lengthy process. As you improve in one area, other areas will react, creating the need for adjustments. Knowing how to pivot from one area to another without losing the momentum gained in previous areas can be challenging. During the alignment phase, you will begin working on each area of your business through strategic planning.
Your advisor will guide you through our strategic planning workshop, where you will choose three objectives to work on from the eight key areas for a determined amount of time. For each objective, you will identify three tactics to achieve them. Similarly, you will choose three action steps for each tactic. As you complete each action step, you should move closer to successfully achieving your objective.
After each strategic planning session, you will review its impact on each area of your business. While you should see small improvements at the end of each session, it will be necessary to complete several strategic planning cycles to reach your overall goals.
Depending on your personal/business needs, we have multiple tiers of consultation. These consultations could occur up to four times per month. If your goal is exit planning, the meetings will focus on updating the data points that move you toward your exit. For those who are working towards value growth, the benchmark value of your company will be assessed upon the completion of each strategic planning cycle, as well as annually. Clients using our strategic planning service are guided through the movement of their plans, monitoring and correcting as needed.
The results of these improvements to the business’s asset value are constantly moved into the personal planning side, contributing to the owner’s overall net worth.
After the implementation phase, we will review your progress and adjust the data in the business valuation software packages. You will receive an updated appraisal on an annual basis. The updated numbers are then factored into your net worth statement. As we review the data, your advisor could suggest further adjustments. Because the business value growth process is constant and ongoing, many of our clients choose to repeat the cycle once they’ve completed it, refining even more.
How do you determine the value of a company? Your gut might tell you first to examine financial performance or analyze the competitive landscape. In a study of 1,511 companies, we found one factor commonly omitted when assessing the value of a company – the owner. Our research suggests that the owner’s reasons for exit and the steps they take to prepare can play a significant role in the value of a company.
The Overlooked Owner E-book explores key insights from our latest research study and data that can predict up to a 53% difference in company value between two seemingly similar companies.
The Overlooked Owner E-book helps business owners discover:
- Three common reasons for exit and how each affects business value.
- What 4 areas in the preparation process can lead to a 36% increase in business value.
- Proactive steps they can take annually to ensure they are helping, not hurting their company’s value.
We Focus on Increasing the Business Value
Statistics have shown that 80% of the business owner’s net worth is tied to their business. While we encourage diversification in your investments, we put a premium on maximizing your greatest asset… your business. At Coastal Family Business Advisors, we focus on growing the benchmark value of your business so that it can become an asset that could be sold for a profit to fund your retirement or to finance your next business venture.
Our goal is to grow the value of each of your assets, making a well-rounded and profitable portfolio that increases your wealth. With so much of your own net worth tied up in your company, it makes sense to increase the value of that asset.
Business Value Growth
Our Certified Value Growth Advisors (CVGA) guide you through the process of increasing the benchmark value of your company by assessing the eight key areas that impact your business’ value:
Once we have completed your assessment, we work closely with you as you execute the business strategies that we’ve tailored to your specific needs. The more you improve each of these key areas, the more valuable your business becomes. A side-effect of improving these areas is that your business’ profitability almost automatically goes up because of greater efficiencies within your operations.
As part of the Business Financial Planning, we might work through and implement some or all the following methods in your business:
|Business Value Growth/Maximization||Leadership/Departmental||Quantification/KPIs|
|Comprehensive Strategic Planning||Retirement Plan Strategies||Preparation of Strategies for the Sale of the Business|
|Business Structure Advisement||Sales & Growth Forecasting||Succession/Exit Planning|
|Risk Management Assessment||Sales & Marketing Planning||Funding Buy/Sell Agreements|
And our advisors have gone to the next step in their credentialing by becoming Certified Value Builder (CVB) advisors, as well.
So, after earning the CVGA designation, our advisors go on to earn their CVB designation. It is here that they use a 12-module program to help you move your business forward through growth. Here is what the modules look like.
The Value Builder Score is an interactive tool offering a comprehensive assessment of the “sellability” of your business, whether you want to sell next year or you’re building an asset for the future. When you complete the Value Builder Score questionnaire, you’ll receive your overall score out of 100 plus a comprehensive analysis of your score and a detailed action plan for how to improve your score on each of the eight key drivers, which are statistically proven to improve the value of your company.
Why Get Your Score?
How To Improve
Roadmap for Improving Value
Frequently Asked Question
Make Your Transition Easy –
Expert Exit Planning For Business Owners
At Coastal Family Business Advisors, we know that preparing to exit the company you’ve poured yourself into for so many years is one of the most important things you will ever do. Through our exit planning services, it is our goal to ensure that both the business owner and the business are ready to sell when the opportunity and the correct timing intersect.
Business exit planning is a process and should be approached with the same intentionality with which you run your business. That’s why we believe that it’s never too early to begin planning your exit from your business. The team of Certified Exit Planning Advisors (CEPA®) at Coastal takes the guesswork out of preparing for your exit, guiding you through personally tailored plans with meticulous detail. Our extensive training in business value growth and exit planning strategies makes us unique.
Whether it’s personal finance, value growth, taxes, or legal issues, you can rest assured that Coastal Family Business Advisors will guide you through the entire process, choosing the exit strategy that’s best for you, your family, and your business. Gathering, assessing, modifying, and monitoring the numbers can be an in-depth and complicated process, one that continues to become exponentially more complicated as competition increases, laws change, and technology advances. Navigating a business exit requires the skill of proven advisors. Coastal Family Business Advisors has the experience and the expertise to guide you through your exit.
Business exit planning is a complicated and ever-changing process that not just anyone has the experience to handle. Here at Coastal, we have the training to navigate the complexities of that process. We coordinate your company’s principles with key staff members, your CPA, your banker, your legal team and anyone else that has an effect on your finances, in an effort to drive your long-term growth.
From small, single-owner businesses with modest annual sales to large, multi-owner corporations, Coastal has the knowledge and experience to prepare you for a successful exit. The team at Coastal Family Business Advisors has been trained as Certified Exit Planning Advisors® and Certified Value Growth Advisors™ allowing us to create strategies that help prepare you to meet your business objectives.
The Exit Planning Process for Business Owners
By focusing on the Value Acceleration Methodology (VAM), we can position you and your business to be ready for your exit when the opportunity and timing present themselves. Proper exit planning should be an ongoing process that begins years before you plan to make your exit. Using the VAM, we can break the entire exit planning process down into three “gates.” These gates are Discovery, Preparation, and Decision. Each one has multiple steps to complete before you will have successfully passed through them.
Coastal Family Business Advisors’ Certified Exit Planning Advisors® take you through the entire process so that you are assured that your transition is as seamless as possible. In order to better prepare you, we have created a detailed description of the process.
The Discovery gate is all about getting to know you and your business, inside and out. Here, we will evaluate your personal finances, your business’ benchmark value, tax records, and even estate plans. Each of these components shows us where you are and how to proceed.
Assess Current Business Value and Personal Assets
The first step in our exit planning process is determining the value of your business, your personal assets, and your investments. Having a baseline measurement is necessary for creating your business, tax, estate, and personal financial plans. We use this information to create an action plan – the path to drive you and your business toward its maximum saleable value.
During this part of the process, you may discover some things about your business that you weren’t previously aware of. Through the valuation assessment, we can determine exactly where you’re most at risk and pinpoint potential earnings that are being left at the table.
This meeting is often called the Triggering Event and it really begins the entire growth process. It provides you with an exact picture of the value of your business, allowing you to see specific ways to reduce risk and add increased value and transferability.
We will conduct a series of interviews and have you complete the self-assessment questionnaires, in order to determine the attractiveness of your business — how it looks from an outsider’s perspective — and its readiness for your departure. Attractiveness and readiness are not the same. Your business could appear very attractive from the outside but quickly become very unattractive to potential buyers once they’ve conducted their due diligence and examined its readiness.
Create a Prioritized Action Plan
Throughout the exit planning process, we will be working to increase the multipliers that will increase the sellable value of your business. As you work through the triggering event, our exit planning team of advisors will help you develop a plan to improve the areas in your business that scored below average. You will be given directives that are aimed at improving your business’ attractiveness and its readiness, in order to protect and increase its value. Early in the cycle, you will be working to mitigate risk and prioritizing the protection of your business’ value. However, your first step is to formulate a series of 90-day action plans with deliverable results. Usually, these early tasks are easily accomplished but grow in difficulty as you progress.
The 90-day action plan consists of pointed and prioritized tasks that will improve the areas of attractiveness and readiness that are found to be underperforming within your business, as well as to leverage the areas that are considered above average or even best-in-class. You will then implement these action plans with your team to begin the work of closing the value gap and achieving the overall vision.
We will use advanced metrics to measure the results as you and your team complete the items on your action plan. Your exit planning advisor will coach you through value acceleration methods to build routines within yours and your company’s daily operations, driving growth, and increasing its value multiplier.
The second gate is all about delivering your action plans and executing them with your team. By this time, you will have held several workshops with them and should have come to a consensus on what the vision is and how to prioritize each action step in your plans.
It is best to keep your plans to 90-day “sprints.” By focusing on what is immediately in front of you, we can more easily manage the necessary changes that must be made to prepare for a successful exit. After completing the tasks designated for the current 90-day plan, you will reset your focus and we will make preparations to begin the next 90-day sprint.
Turning Plans Into Action
Now that you have completed the triggering action and devised a series of 90-day plans based on the personal, financial, and business assessments, it’s time to put those plans into action. We keep the plans short—confined to one business quarter—with the goal of keeping everyone involved and focused.
During each 90-day plan, we encourage you to complete five personal objectives and five business objectives. Successfully completing these objectives drives you to finish the quarter with tangible progress. Each 90-day plan works toward completing the annual “theme” which also works toward the overall 3-5 year vision for your exit.
At the end of each successfully completed objective, you will be closer to completing your quarterly directives and increasing the value multipliers that drive your salable value. As we complete each cycle, your advisor will assist you in recalibrating and reassessing your goals. We want to continuously evaluate your progress and make decisions about whether you should keep or sell/transfer your company. Having a qualified and objective advisor will help you when making these assessments.
Throughout the second gate, we will assist you in coordinating a repeating series of workshops with your team. You will meet with your project leaders in a one-on-one check-in workshop, three times during each 90-day sprint. The purpose of these meetings is to receive progress updates, provide individual feedback, and to encourage them to complete the assigned task before the end of the month team accountability meetings.
Team accountability meetings will be held at the end of each month. Each project leader is expected to present the team with the status of their individual projects and to hold each other accountable. Doing so will clarify who is on track and who needs added support in completing the task on time.
Finally, we will help you to conduct quarterly renewal workshops with your team. This is an opportunity for everyone to come together in a time of bonding and to review the successes and missed opportunities from the previous 90-days, establishing priorities, and assigning them to specific groups.
After you have completed at least two 90-day cycles, we will reevaluate your personal, financial, and business value factors to reflect the changes that have taken place. Through continuous evaluation, we are able to ensure that you are staying on the most direct path toward your goals.
By the time you have passed through gate three, we will have made many operational, personal, and financial changes to your business. Many of these will have become routine in the day-to-day activities within your company.
Entering gate three is the culmination of our client/advisor relationship. What were once long-term goals will now be a tangible reality that requires you to contemplate the current status of your company, reflect on the past, and make a decision about the future for you and your business.
The Honest Evaluation: Keep or Sell?
Just as we have done through each step in the exit planning process, Coastal Family Business Advisors will challenge you to be brutally honest with yourself during this decision-making process. We will conduct a readiness survey to ensure that you are properly prepared to make one of the most important decisions of your life. Being honest with yourself as you answer these questions is paramount, as there can be severe consequences to making your exit before you are truly ready.
We will reassess your tax and estate planning strategies to make sure that they have had ample time to maximize your net proceeds and offer you the best advice based on your current standings. Our goal is to position you to make your transition in the most beneficial way for you and your business.
Once you’ve made your decision, we will guide you through the eight exit options (many of our clients will realistically only have seven options, as they aren’t large enough for an IPO). Your exit planning advisor will help you to weigh the pros and cons of each option and begin the necessary steps for whichever option you choose.
However, should you elect to keep and grow your business, Coastal Family Business Advisors will continue to work with you to increase its value.
FROM SUCCESSFUL TO SIGNIFICANT:
The Framework for a High Value Business Transition
According to Chris Snider’s book, Walking to Destiny, the Three Legs of the Stool, also called “Master Planning,” helps to maximize the value of the business by ensuring the owner is personally and financially prepared to maximize net proceeds and that they have a plan for what they will do next. These Three Legs are an owner’s Business, Personal, and Personal Financial needs. All three impact the ultimate value of your business, and the success you feel in your life outside of your company.