My name is Michael Balstad, and I'm the founder and Chief Dreamer at Bizleavable. I suspect that many who read this will wonder how my being a dreamer would be at all helpful in moving them toward a successful exit. I mean really...wouldn't a "Doer" be more effective in such a role? Yes, of course...the doing goes without saying. First though, wouldn't it be great to know what you're "doing" will result in an outcome that meets your needs not only financially....but personally and spiritually as well? As a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA), I help my clients to navigate what can be an intimidating undertaking; by using proven processes and methodologies to chart a clear map toward their definition of success. If you're here, you probably don't feel adequately prepared for an exit (and may not know what your options are). Believe me, you are not alone. Outside Harvest, I've worked with business owners and executives over the last 20+ years in roles that have included asset management, insurance, and finance; and strategic planning and performance management for one of the nation's largest pension systems. One thing I noticed in most every case - whether it was a small family owned business or an organization with 1,000 employees - each had unaddressed risks in one or more of 4 key areas that had the potential to threaten their long-term viability; and ultimately the financial security of owners, their families, and their employees. In fact - the statistics bear it out; as only 20% of businesses (30% of family businesses) survive an owner's exit - the rest simply close.. So, I founded Harvest with the purpose of helping business owners to realize a successful transition to a rewarding "Life after Business" while also ensuring the sustainable continuation of these small to mid-size businesses which employ nearly half the US workforce; in a way that makes these services and resources accessible not only to the lower-middle market; but also to small businesses and underserved communities where they're often unaffordable, if available at all. Please feel free to explore the complimentary resources available on our site; and to schedule a consultation to learn how Harvest can help you to build your dream "Life after Business"; while leaving behind a thriving enterprise as a legacy to your sacrifice and hard work.
To your continued success,
You're in business. However you got there, it's what you do. Your efforts and experience have built the success that you now enjoy. Our role is to enable you to continue focusing your efforts on that, while we quarterback a process and team that will help you to imagine and articulate a post-exit vision for you, your family, and your business - and then to identify and execute on the best strategies to position yourself to achieve those outcomes.
As the philosopher Laozi famously said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Contact us today, and you'll get a complimentary copy of our "Introduction to Exit and Succession Planning" e-book. Take the first step toward having the future of your dreams, and embark on a path that can get you there!
After all the dreaming...we have to get down to doing. The unfortunate thing about doing - is that it often doesn't happen. In fact; 70% of failures among business owners and executives are the result of a lack of execution. Further, only about 10% of strategic initiatives are ever implemented. As a Certified Exit Planning Advisor and MAUS Accredited Partner, we leverage a combination of systems, processes, and technology to both assess gaps in both personal preparation and business value, and deliver the action plan, structure, and accountability to close them...resulting in a business that's more profitable, sustainable, and...."Leavable". Following are the steps we go through to get there:
Simply put - what do you want...and when? Having clear and SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals is vital when it comes to exit planning. Such goals have a much better chance at being realized.
In order to maximize the value of your business in the future, you first need to understand what's impacting its value now. Here, we work with you to identify improvement opportunities in your business, then estimate the potential value improvement that may be derived by taking action on them. It's Important to note that this is not a formal valuation, but rather, an exercise used to establish a point of reference from which to identify and prioritize action items that will best enhance the value of your enterprise.
When you boil it all down, a buyer is buying one thing - the future earning potential of your business. The premium or discount they'll be willing to pay for it will be primarily determined by their perception of your business as it relates to two things: Amount of potential and degree of risk. The higher the potential and lower the risk; the more attractive (and valuable) the business. In this exercise, we evaluate where you are related to those factors that make a business attractive to a potential buyer
Imagine you're selling a home in a very desirable housing market, and it unfortunately has a lot of deferred maintenance. While you will likely be inundated with showings; there's a chance you won't get the number or qualify of offers as other listings in the same area. Why? Buyers may be concerned over the cost or risk associated with needed repairs compared to buying another listing that is turnkey. The same can be said for a business - while you may be in a niche or location that's desirable (attractive); it's important that everything is in order and "de-risked" in order to command the best price and terms. For instance, some things included in preparing the business for sale would include ensuring things like employment contracts, financials, and trademarks are all up to date. In this exercise; we take a comprehensive look into your business in the way a buyer would likely do their "due diligence" to identify those things that need to be addressed.
As mentioned earlier, 3/4 of sellers surveyed profoundly regretted it within 12 months. Why is that? In most cases, believe it or not; it wasn't the money. Imagine you've been in business 20, 30; even 40 years. You eat, sleep, and dream your business. Even when you're not their, it's likely on your mind. Now, imagine this afternoon you turn off the "open" sign for the last time. What will you do tomorrow? This very question, when unanswered; is the source of the aforementioned regret. Having a clear idea of what you want in your "Life after business" will not only enable you to look forward to your next act; it will help you to begin to determine what steps will be necessary to attain it. This is where the dreaming comes in!
Value is created when profitability is increased and risk is reduced. Through our "Leavability Assessment", we work with you to identify and prioritize the factors that will help you to do just that. Still, there's one more component you'll need to maximize your chance of success:
As mentioned earlier - most business failures are due to a lack of execution; not of inspiration. So to help ensure that the improvements come to pass; we work with you to Implement systems and processes designed to help you and your team to remain accountable to achieving and implementing your high level goals and strategies.