Written by Paul Spadaro unless otherwise noted.
These news briefs are a Sharing of information, thoughts, ideas and suggestions concerning the world of business and finance. Consider this our Sunday morning get together in a small SoHo Cafe enjoying an Espresso and a "fruita de bosco" discussing business with friends. I am not a degreed financial or legal professional. I was a Gymnastic Club Owner and operate and still own businesses that have the highest business mortality rate in the most challenging of cities. I learned more from a business that failed then those that are extremely successful. The Gymnastic Club I owned was the most difficult business to run because it was close to my heart and the person who taught me much was my accountant.
FREE BUSINESS RESOURCES
Small Business Administration- www.sba.gov
Eastablished in 1953. The SBA provides financial, technical, and management assistance to people who want to start, grow and run a business.
MarketingProfs - www.marketingproofs.com
One of the best marketing sites on the Internet. It is an aggreagator of everyone else's marketing stuff, it generates new content from its network of marketing professors and professionals. Find: marketing articles, blogs, case studies, events and online seminars. Most of the info is accessible with no fee. Premium Membership $49.00 per year.
WSJ Enterpreneur - www.wsj.com/entrepreneur
Provides comprehensive set of online resources for businsses. Great articles and business-plan tools.
Center for Business Planning - www.businessplans.org
Provides free business planning guidelines, which include articles and templates on things such as: cash-flow statement, mission statement and financial ratios. You can find checklists, segmenting your market, pricing and strategic marketing.
Kaufman Foundation eVenturing - wwweventuring.org
Devoted to growing a business. Finance & Accounting, HR, Sales & Marketing, Products, Ervices, Operations, and the enterpreneur. Sponsors a monthly newsletter.
Mind Tools - www.mondtools.com
100 essential life, career and management skills - free. It also offers self-development courses and e-classes taught by experts (not free)
SCORE - www.score.org
Service Corps of Retired Executives - Counselors to America's to America's Small Business
Answer Questions, give advice and share their wisdom and experience. Has a 24/7 counseling service and has offices nation-wide.
You must prepare for Retirement. Savings in some type of Retirement Fund is paramount. It's a concept business owners have a difficult time planning for. Many believe that they will sell their business and live off the proceeds. This as I stated in a previous Business Brief (below) can be a huge assumption. Many businesses simply cannot be sold and others end up being sold for far less than expected because of unrealistic expectations of business worth.
INVEST IN THE FUTURE
Business Owners take a lot of risk in their professional lives because much of their net worth is tied up in one asset (65-85%), their business. Therefore you as business owners must use your saved money to work for you. Invest conservatively and diversify, assets that are liquid, have low volatility and generate income and are generally an entrepreneur's best bet. Corporate bonds that can be sold quickly or are held to maturity and mutual funds that are invested in equities and pay dividends are "safe bets". Avoid bonds because when interest rates rise the bonds lose value.
BUY THE BUILDING
Owners who own their building should hold the real estate in a separate company from the business for rent-related purposes and to limit liability. Owning your building gives you the added bonus of No landlord and the possibility of a dream tenant, YOU! Owning your building gives you options when you are are close to retirement:
(1) sell the business & building
(2) sell the business and keep the building allowing you to collect rent/income from a new occupant.
KNOW YOUR BUSINESS WORTH.
If selling your business is part of your retirement plan, it is essential that you start tracking its value long before you plan to sell. Hire professionals to calculate the current value of your company, then determine how much money you will need to live the lifestyle you want. More importantly think about whether you will be able to increase the value of your business enough to match your retirement numbers. Pay attention to what the industry doing? What direction is it going in?
Do you know what your business is worth?
I have a saying, your business is only worth what the buyer is willing to pay and if you do not own the building you are behind the eight-ball because it is the landlord who controls the space your business is in and your future. Owning your building gives you options: (1) sell the building for market value, remember not everyone wants to open a Gymnastic Club, (2) sell the business and not the building and collect rent as the landlord, (3) sell the business and the building as a package. Your decision will be based on your own personal finances and your plans for the future. How do you determine what your business is worth? By getting a valuation of your Business by Professionals. There are three basic approaches:
Your potential buyer will figure heavily in the size of the multiple. Is the buyer from the gymnastics world or someone from outside the gymnastic world? Is it a person who has vision and sees an upside in your location (not the business)?
Example: a commercial building in SoHo was worth $50-75 million, two floors 2500 square feet each equaling 5000 square feet of space with no air rights'. A sneaker Company bought the building for 151 million dollars! They wanted a presence in SoHo. So, I go back to my opening remarks: "your business is worth what the buyer is willing to pay" but you need to think about the future no matter what your age is.