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The Entrepreneur’s Corner

Is now the right time to sell your business?
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.
Community

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Journey to mediocrity

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ fails to capitalize on tasty concept
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a curious little Romeo and Juliet of a film. A family, forced out of their native India, begins a trek across Europe.

The family’s sole mode of transportation sputters and dies in a sleepy little French town, but the town’s food culture is high, and that’s a perfect place for a family of restaurateurs to settle down. There’s only one problem – the family’s rustic “Maison Mumbai” is right across the street (a hundred feet away, if the title didn’t clue you in) from a prestigious French bistro with a Michelin star, run with an iron fist by the dreaded Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, pictured).

It’s here that a particular Romeo and Juliet story begins to develop, with Hassan (Manish Dayal) on the Indian side and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) on the French side. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

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