The Entrepreneur’s Corner

Some business owners are asking themselves a difficult question, “Is now the time to sell?” They missed cashing out in the great run up in value during the middle of the last decade and have worked diligently to restructure in the “new economy.” And they now think this is as good as it’s going to get for a while.

Business owners have devoted significant time and effort in retooling their businesses, only to see their own pay diminish. Or certainly pale in comparison to what they once made. Now with the economy looking like it will take a considerable amount of time to rebound, has a fatigue factor set in? Are owners burnt out and feeling that the effort to rebuild will take too long to pay off?

If you are at that point, how do you determine if your business is salable? First, assess your cash flow. Any business owner has learned over the past three years that cash flow is critical and that will be the starting point for any prospective buyer. If your cash flow is steady and measureable, at least there is a determinable value.

Next, consider the state of your businesses’ records. A potential buyer will want to examine financial information. The more organized and complete, the easier it is for a potential buyer to evaluate what they will be purchasing.

Third, honestly evaluate your revenue trends. If your top line has flattened out, consider what options are available for a new owner. If sales have been decreasing, is there an end in sight or some mitigating factors? A reasonable explanation may make your company more appealing and offer some value to a potential buyer.

Lastly, how transferrable is your business? Do you have customers that would be willing to deal with someone else? A new owner will only pay for a business that will still have customers coming in the door long after you have departed. The more entrenched an owner is with customers, the more difficult a transition will be.

So while it may seem like it’s bad timing, businesses are bought and sold in every market. Both strategic and financial buyers will be searching for opportunities to invest capital that will give them a better than market rate of return. If you can demonstrate that your business is worth a price, a deal can be made. So maybe it is the right time to consider a sale.

Edward T. Blair, CPA is a Partner of Witt Mares, PLC, a regional accounting and business-consulting firm. He is a certified family business advisor who regularly assists businesses with exit strategy decisions. He can be reached by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or phone at (804) 323-0022.
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Reynolds CC dedicates student center


Reynolds Community College recently celebrated the dedication of the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center, named for longtime supporters of the college who have made numerous investments in it.

Jerry Owen served on the Reynolds College Board from 1984 to 1988, and he and his wife support the college’s scholarship fund and created an endowment for the Reynolds Middle College, which helps students earn a high school equivalency and transition into a degree or workforce credential program. > Read more.

Capital One sponsors ‘Coders Experience’


Capital One hosted its “Coders Experience” event in Richmond and a number of other state locations Oct. 14. The events attracted hundreds of middle school girls, who learned how to create their own mobile apps, hone problem-solving skills and gain software development knowledge. A second day of Coders Experience events will take place Oct. 21. More than 500 Capital One volunteers are participating in the 10 events. > Read more.

Hermitage band member named All-American


The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Presented by American Family Insurance Selection Tour will visit Hermitage H.S. Oct. 19 to recognize Truman Chancy as a 2018 U.S. Army All-American. Hermitage High School will honor Chancy before his classmates, bandmates, family and friends at the high school’s band room during band practice, and he will be presented with his honorary All-American Marching Band jacket. > Read more.

Crime Stoppers’ Crime of the Week: Oct. 16, 2017


This week, Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers is asking for the public to assist the Richmond Police Department in the identification of wayward artists that were using buildings as their canvas.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 14, four people were recorded on security cameras vandalizing multiple properties in the area of the 2500 blocks of West Main Street and Floyd Avenue. The suspects (pictured) were walking north on Robinson Street and spray painting the properties as they meandered along. > Read more.

Slipping through


Hermitage quarterback Jay Carney escapes defenders during the Panthers' 33-0 win against Godwin Friday night. Hermitage is 8-0 and has won its past four games by a combined score of 172-28. > Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

October 2017
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The American Heart Association’s 2017 Richmond Heart Walk will start at 8 a.m. in West Creek Parkway (next to Richmond Striker’s Fields). Options include a 5K or a 3.1-mile non-competitive walk. Proceeds support life-saving cardiovascular research and community education programs in Central Virginia. Activities include an educational area, Kids’ Zone, tribute area, Stroke Center’s “Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.” display, hands-on CPR training, entertainment and more. For details, visit http://tinyurl.com/HeartWalk2017. Full text

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