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Why You’re Never Alone on Your Business Journey

By John Binkley

Never Alone Business Journey

The path of a business owner is not one you can tread lightly. I know, I’ve been walking mine for decades.

Of course, it is very rewarding – financially, socially, personally. But it’s often paved with late nights. Early mornings. Difficult decisions. Lost weekends. Navigating ever-changing industry trends. It’s a real emotional rollercoaster.

Maybe this makes us crazy, yet we walk this demanding path for a variety of reasons. To ensure the financial security of our loved ones. To make a difference in people’s lives. To change the world. To leave a legacy that outlives us.

Whatever your reason for being on this path, it is easy to forget that we don’t have to walk it alone.

That was my intention when I formed Generational Group. To be that one-stop destination for business owners – no matter where they were on their journey – to find specialist advice, support and encouragement on this strenuous path. To be there from beginning to end, so they could make their experience as rewarding as possible.

Today, we can deliver just that and have done so for our clients across North America. In this article, I want to outline how our services provide this start-to-finish support, so you too can make the next steps on your journey that much easier.

Growing your company

Whether you’ve run your business for five months or five years, you are focused on growing it to its full potential. You aspire to reach that next level and want each day to be another step towards achieving your ultimate goals, whatever they may be.

However, this isn’t always possible, even with the best intentions. You may get too caught up in the day-to-day details to think about the future. Events outside of your control could slow down your progress. Or you may simply reach a point where growth starts to stagnate, and you aren’t sure why.

Realizing consistent, continuous growth at any stage in a company’s journey requires a dedicated strategy. So, if you feel that your path has been going sideways for a while, Generational Consulting Group (GCG) can point you in the right direction again.

The team with GCG, is dedicated to revitalizing or accelerating growth in a business by establishing clear goals, identifying opportunities and weaknesses in a company, and documenting it all in one tactical and/or strategic action plan.

Through this, GCG empowers business owners to inspire both short-term and long-term growth in their company. This guides them towards key milestones, builds their business value, and puts them in a strong position to fulfill a successful exit. Our growth specialists have helped numerous clients push forward on their path, including:

Protecting your wealth

Once your company is positioned for continuous growth, you will then need to protect the wealth that it has generated for you and your loved ones over the years.

While you may be in business for more than financial gain, this is what will provide for you and your family once you decide the time is right to move on. The earlier you start a wealth management program, the more secure you will feel throughout your journey, knowing that you have a plan in place for the future.

This is where Generational Wealth Advisors (GWA) plays a key role in our process. Our associates in this team offer personalized, unbiased strategies that enable business owners to grow, protect and transfer their wealth pre- and post-sale. This incorporates:

  • Independent and objective advice, with no incentives to favor a particular strategy, asset class, fund manager or service provider
  • An approach based on Nobel-prize winning financial and economic research
  • Collaboration with an extensive network of trusted partners for needs such as estate planning and tax services

With several members of the GWA team recognized as Five Star Wealth Managers – the largest and most widely published award program of its kind in North America – this member of the Generational family has helped many reap the full benefits of life after their exit (and even before).

Valuing your business

Effective growth strategies will also impact your company’s valuation. Knowing your company’s current and future economic value is a critical difference-maker between an optimal exit, and one that leaves money on the table. If you don’t know your company’s value, how do you know you’re getting a good deal?

That’s why, as part of the comprehensive M&A services offered by Generational., our evaluation team is one of the most crucial aspects. Their role prevents our clients from either underselling their business when the time comes to exit or overestimating the value. Both scenarios are important to avoid as you market your business.

Our evaluation service provides a true reflection of your company’s worth, taking into consideration:

  • Recasting strategies to prevent substantial understating of a company’s worth
  • Potential value enhancement strategies that can boost business value before an intended exit

As a three-time winner of the coveted Valuation Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor, our evaluation team is highly regarded for its accuracy, honesty and experience.

An education in exit planning

Beyond the valuation phase, our associates with Generational offer valuable advice, guidance and techniques across an owner’s journey to exit.

It is an undeniable truth that you will exit your business one day. But something that can be influenced is how you exit your business. Because, in my experience, there are two types of business owner:

  1. Those that PLAN to sell their business
  2. Those that HAVE to sell their business

You want to be in the first of these two scenarios. With the first group you have control over your circumstances and can exit when your business is “buyer ready” and the market is aligned to maximize the value of your exit. Otherwise, you, your family or your colleagues will be forced to sell when circumstances force you to, giving a buyer considerable leverage.

Our award-winning teams give business owners a comprehensive education in M&A through our Growth and Exit Strategy Conferences, and harness their experience in exit planning to navigate the numerous obstacles and pitfalls that will emerge on this leg of your journey. Due diligence, buyer analysis, document preparation – no stone is left unturned.

There is a reason why our Generational teams have won numerous awards from reputable industry bodies, and why we are consistently ranked as one of the leading middle market M&A firms in North America.

It’s because we have established a proven, tried-and-tested process that works for our clients, helping them reach their financial goals through a very challenging process (exiting a business optimally is never easy). If you’d like to learn more, then I’d encourage listening to a few of our client’s stories first-hand:

Identifying a buyer

When the time comes to exit your business, do you believe you’ll sell to a competitor down the street? Someone who operates in the same markets as you do? You wouldn’t be the first, but this narrow mindset can prevent you from optimizing your exit.

Locating the most suitable buyer means casting as wide a net as possible, exploring avenues that you may never think of venturing to on your journey. Private equity firms. Family offices. Offshore buyers. Individual investors. The list is endless and should be.

Maybe after this search, it turns out that your competitor is the optimal buyer. But until you explore the possibilities you cannot be sure that you’ve found the buyer that will:

  • Offer a premium for your business
  • Remain aligned with the culture you have established
  • Look after your remaining employees
  • Grow the legacy you created

I have long recognized this need for broader horizons. This was our intention when creating DealForce – the largest and most varied middle market portfolio in the industry.

With over 34,000 registered buyers perusing hundreds of acquisition opportunities at any point in time, this helps ensure that we identify an ideal buyer. One that meets a client’s vision for their company’s future and will produce an offer that reflects its true value.

Negotiating an optimal deal

The final leg of your journey as a business owner can be the most perilous. Most will only exit one company in their lifetime, meaning that if you tread this path alone, you might as well be doing so blindfolded.

Again, our experienced M&A associates with Generational have been through this process many, many times before. We know how to communicate and negotiate with savvy buyers, who are equally as focused on securing the best deal from their perspective.

Our team has generated over $6 billion in wealth transferred to our clients over the years – empowering many to embrace the benefits of life after business.

Once negotiations have ended, our associates, through their understanding of your personal and professional situation, work with you to structure a deal that achieves both your current and future financial goals.

With this guidance on the last stage of your journey, you can comfortably transition onto your new path, and approach it with confidence and enthusiasm, rather than regret.

Support from start to finish

I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into how Generational Group actively walks alongside business owners at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey. It is a long, winding path with many challenges along the way, but with experienced guidance, we can make every step smoother, easier and more productive than it otherwise would have been.

If you are interested in learning more about the Generational team, I’d encourage you to review the following links:

No matter how far along the path you are, we help make the exit journey as rewarding as possible.

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T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.
Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!
Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.
Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Dear Chris and Andre, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help. Even though this process was not an easy one, it was comforting to know that I had a capable team standing beside me. You made me feel like we were almost your only client or at least the most important one. Thanks again, and I will recommend your service in the future.
Shenille Engelhart, Owner – CLS Technology
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”
Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.
Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!
Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.
Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.
Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.
Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.
Pete L.
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.
Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing