Prepping the Princess for the Party: Is Your Business Ready to Sell? Part Six

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HOW TO NAVIGATE THE "NEW NORMAL" TO SELL YOUR COMPANY

This week on “In Process: Conversations about Business in the 21st Century,” we reach the final podcast in our series dedicated to the topic of preparing your business for sale.

There's a “new normal” in the marketplace. Too much money, chasing too few deals. We’re also now seeing a fairly dramatic reduction in the number of companies above 100 employees. That shrinkage, if you will, accounts for a lot of the competitiveness. And, the impact on the market? It's driving the capital downstream.

In the final installment of our six-part podcast series, show hosts Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon speak with Doug Tatum, chairman of Newport Board Group, a national partnership of CEOs and senior executives who advise emerging middle-market companies and assist private-equity firms to invest in and grow portfolio companies. Doug is also the author of “No Man’s Land: Where Growing Companies Fail,” a leading text about growth companies that has been translated into several languages and has won four National Best Business book awards. 

“If you take the notion that we're in a cheap capital environment―both interest rates and equity―then I think the new normal, or the new financial calculus in the capital markets or private equity, is that it's just cheaper to buy customers than it is to win them through a traditional sales channel, which is more expensive and takes too much time,” said Doug. “If you can't find a platform company of any size to buy or they’ve already been bought, then you end up performing add-ons or what we refer to as bolt-ons. We’ve got research that shows as much as 85 percent of every deal in the United States is now an add-on, if you include private-equity firms buying from each other.”

Companies looking to navigate these uncharted waters need to be aware of today’s requirements and have in place a set of good fundamental principles in order to make a successful sale.

During the course of the podcast, entrepreneurs, business owners and C-level executives will learn about the:

  • Concept of fractional C-level officers
  • Succession planning process
  • Best practices for selecting a successor
  • Lessons-learned from the sales process
  • Qualities you should look for in a purchaser

Learn more about selling your business in today’s marketplace by streaming the conversation in its entirety in the player below, or download it to your mobile device via iTunes. Don’t miss a single episode, subscribe to our show “In Process Podcast” on iTunes to receive this episode as well as future episodes to your smartphone.

Is Your Business Ready for the GDPR Deadline?

 By John Monahon, Partner at Trusted Counsel

By John Monahon, Partner at Trusted Counsel

EU General Data Protection Regulation takes effect May 25, 2018

If you are a U.S. business providing goods or services to individuals and businesses in the EU, it is time to undergo a thorough review of your data processing procedures.

The goal of The EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) is to allow individuals to have greater control on how their personal information is processed by organizations.  And although GDPR is an EU regulation, many U.S. businesses are discovering that they may have certain obligations under the regulation.  

Below are questions you should be asking.

What is GDPR?

  • GDPR is a data protection and privacy regulation in EU law pertaining to processing an individual’s personal data.

What is personal data?

  • Any information related to an identifiable natural person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular, by reference to an “identifier” (such as a name, an identification number, location data, or an online identifier).

my business is in the U.S., do I have to comply?

  • GDPR applies to organizations that are established in the EU.  However, it also applies to organizations outside the EU, and U.S. businesses that (1) offer goods and services to individuals in the EU and/or (2) monitor the behavior of individuals who reside in the EU. 

If my business is B2B, do I still need to comply?

  • GDPR can definitely apply in B2B relationships.  Although GDPR regulates the processing of individual personal data, that does not limit its application to businesses that deal only with individuals (i.e., consumers).  In a B2B relationship, a vendor may collect personal data from individuals working for its business customers or that are customers of the business customer, which may subject it to GDPR. 

What is the first step to GDPR compliance?

  • Determine if your organization is subject to GDPR by performing a thorough review of the personal data your organization collects, determine how it is used, and decide if you have a lawful basis to use it under GDPR. Generally, a lawful basis for GDPR purposes can be based on express consent, performance of a contract, compliance with the law or legitimate interests.

What other steps may be necessary for GDPR compliance?

  • If your organization is a “controller” of personal data (i.e., you determine the purposes and means of processing the personal data), you must address your organization’s own compliance requirements, as well as those processing personal data on your organization’s behalf.
  • Your organization should review and revise its privacy policy or customer contracts to be transparent and inform individuals as to the manner that your organization processes personal data. This includes the purpose for collecting and processing personal data, data retention polices, and how the personal data will be shared with others. 
  • For those that are processing data on your organization’s behalf (for instance, a vendor that hosts the data), you will be required to put in place a written agreement which identifies the specific personal data to be processed by your vendor, the type of processing performed on the personal data, and security and technical safeguards.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding GDPR and your organizations compliance  efforts, please do not hesitate to contact me. Global confusion still surrounds GDPR compliance and we are here to assist. I may be reached via phone at 404.961.7641 or via email at jmonahon@trusted-counsel.com 

Prepping the Princess for the Party: Is Your Business Ready to Sell? Part Five

Moon phases

Sellers Need A Phased Approach to Wealth Planning

This week on “In Process: Conversations about Business in the 21st Century,” we continue with the next podcast in our series dedicated to the topic of preparing your business for sale.

Business owners often consider themselves immortal and are among the worst offenders when it comes to wealth management and estate planning. They’re just so focusing on growing their businesses, they make the mistake of not setting the necessary time aside to address these very important aspects of their lives. 

In the fifth installment of our six-part podcast series, show hosts Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon (of Trusted Counsel) speak with Wilmington Trust’s Jonathan Fitzgerald, vice president and director of wealth and fiduciary planning in the Southeast, about how busy business owners can take a phased approach to wealth planning. Wilmington Trust is one of the largest personal trust providers in the United States.

“We think about business owners in one of three phases,” said Jonathan. “There's the business-capital phase when people are starting their companies―focusing on growth―and really might not be at a point where they're able to pull a lot of cash out of the business. Then there’s the personal-capital phase when the business is running successfully, and owners can start pulling cash out of the company and thinking about diversifying their overall asset picture. Finally, there’s the legacy-capital phase where the company is so successful that business owners focus on passing the wealth that they've generated onto the next generation.”

Needless to say, each phase requires its own set of wealth-planning strategies and tactics in order to successfully take business owners from start-up to their after-business lives.

During the course of the podcast, entrepreneurs, business owners and C-level executives will learn about the:

  • Processes and timelines involved with wealth planning
  • Aspects of family succession planning
  • Importance of wills and trusts
  • The role valuations play in wealth planning
  • The impact of insurance on the planning process
  • Different ways to transfer value outside of the estate
  • Tax changes affecting estate planning

Learn more about the wealth-planning strategies you need before―and after―the sale of a business by streaming the conversation in its entirety in the player below, or download it to your mobile device via iTunes. Don’t miss a single episode, subscribe to our show “In Process Podcast” on iTunes to receive this episode as well as future episodes to your smartphone.