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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State Police urge motorists to #MoveOver during Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and Virginia State Police officials are urging motorists to "do what’s right when they see lights" and move over.

The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads. State Police are using the #MoveOver hashtag on social media to promote the law. > Read more.

Henrico to hold June 8 open house on Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill study

The Henrico County Planning Department will hold an open house Thursday, June 8 for residents and other members of the public to provide input for a study of the Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill areas.

The open house will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Varina Area Library, 1875 New Market Road. The meeting’s informal structure will allow the public to attend at their convenience and to ask questions and discuss the study one on one with Planning staff. > Read more.

Henrico real estate staying strong despite low inventory

The Henrico real estate market has been relatively strong for the past month, despite a lower amount of inventory, according to data from Long and Foster Real Estate.

In the past month, 408 homes have been sold in Henrico, which is 2 percent less than were sold in the same timeframe in 2016.

Last year the median sale prices for Henrico homes was $219,975, whereas this month it's up to $232,500, a 6 percent increase. Which means half of the homes in Henrico are priced above $232,500 and half are priced below. > Read more.

Smither named director of Henrico’s Department of Finance

Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas has appointed Edward N. “Ned” Smither Jr. to serve as director of the Department of Finance, effective July 1.

Smither has served Henrico since 2013 as director of the Accounting Division in Finance. He will succeed Eugene H. Walter, who has delayed his retirement until June 30 to ensure an orderly transition within the department.
> Read more.

State honors EMS officials this week

There were nearly 1.5 million emergency medical services calls and 4,063 incidents per day in Virginia just last year.

This week, May 21-27, declared as National EMS week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, recognizes the more than 34,000 EMS personnel and 631 agencies in the state and commends their efforts and commitment to Commonwealth citizens.
> Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

May 2017
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The Museum District Association’s 23rd annual Mother’s Day House & Garden Tour will take place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The tour provides a rare opportunity for guests to go inside some of Richmond’s most beautiful and historic homes, gardens and institutions. The hospitality center is located at the Virginia Historical Society. A tour trolley will run continuously between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tour proceeds benefit non-profit agencies in the Richmond area and help protect and beautify this historic neighborhood. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of. For details, visit http://www.museumdistrict.org. Full text

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