Despite their grand ambitions for their company, entrepreneurs often face seasons of struggle. One reason many companies fail is that they don’t get enough good advice. Statistics show that many businesses fail after five years.
As an entrepreneur, you are in a unique position — you not only own the business, but you are its strategist, visionary, cheerleader and fiduciary guardian. With such significant responsibilities, you face many tough issues. Developing and sustaining a competitive business model, properly financing your business, maintaining successful relationships with personnel, navigating family disagreements, staying ahead of the competition and finally monetizing or passing along the business to the next generation are just a few of your challenges. You face different hurdles depending on the stage of your business and just as the pressure points are different at each stage, the type of support you need changes. However, one thing is always constant: the need for a true partner and trusted advisor as an objective resource to be at your side along the way.
It’s easy to associate boards with large businesses, whether they’re boards of advisors or boards of directors. This is the common perception. What makes them big and influential?
As well as proliferating benefits to individuals, mentoring and advisory relationships can also benefit organizations. For the mentor or advisor in question, there is often an ingrained desire to give back in the form of sharing what they’ve learned over the years with an up-and-coming entrepreneur.
There’s also a financial aspect to employment because many advisers have access to the equity of the firm they’re assisting, which may be profitable if the company succeeds.
Finally, when mentors and advisers interact with young entrepreneurs, they have the chance to develop their own networks.
QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ASKED
- Is it necessary to have an Advisory Board? Whom does it serve?
- Does the advisory person meet regularly or is it when contacted, as needed?
- When is it vital to have a robust, engaged, and outspoken advisory board?
- Some businesses aim to impress by including prominent names in their pitch deck. Are there any drawbacks to appointing high-profile, outspoken individuals to an advisory board?
TWO EXAMPLES OF ENTREPRENEUR ADVISORY MCDA CCG DOES
As a startup, you have a vision about what you want to become. Your passion gives you the strength to tackle what others see as barriers and turn them into opportunities.
As you start your business, you need to make sure you have a sustainable model – the proper team and equity structure, appropriate funding and the proper tools in place to keep track of where you have been and where you are going while at the same time minimizing your tax burden. That is a lot to handle and having the right mentor and professional advisors are critical to your success. Many startups benefit from our Growth Services which focus on these needs with additional support such as a critique of your “pitch deck”, business plan/model review, alternatives on ownership strategy and structure, tax entity selection and critical tax advice in areas such as R&D Tax Credit and State and Local Tax.
HIGH GROWTH COMPANY
If you are a high growth company, congratulations! You are admired by the market. However, along with heightened demand for your products and services, comes an increased responsibility to execute and to keep all of your stakeholders happy.
As a high growth company, your financing sources move from Angels, VCs and family to banks and possibly Private Equity Groups (PEG’s), or even an Initial Public Offering (IPO). An entrepreneur needs to continue to focus on profitable sustainable operations as you grow and to keep in mind the various financing alternatives that may be available to you. Keeping your staff happy while complying with the environment of ever-changing rules is another challenge you face – our team is at the forefront of these changes and regulations with tools and techniques, including solid expertise in various “ownership options “for employees. You may come to decide it is appropriate to outsource your finance and accounting function; our outsourced accounting solution can be the answer.
Growth is often achieved through acquisition, but if you never purchased a company before, it can seem a rather formidable task. Our Transaction Advisory Experts are just the group to help you navigate the path to closing your first deal. You may look to build your “inner circle” with an Advisory Board. We can help you by either performing this role or in helping you craft an Advisory Board function and assisting you in recruiting new members. We have the right resources to help you grow and do it effectively
As your company matures and achieves new milestones, your focus begins to shift to what’s beyond the high point of your successful business – what will your next move be? The evolution of ownership is not an if, but a when question. Do you want to keep the legacy alive and pass the business to the next generation of management? Can you afford to retire and are you really ready to “step back?” Is it time to “take some chips off the table” or perhaps sell outright? These are difficult questions, and the answers are fraught with emotion as one reaches the twilight of their career. The good news is we have dealt with these scenarios many times and have the processes and resources to help. Let’s explore a little further.
Succession planning is seldom done on a timely basis. Too often, you are focused on driving the growth curve of your business without appropriately considering a transition to the next generation of management or owners. Unfortunately, many family or management members are forced into a leadership role due to an unfortunate event, like the illness or passing of an owner with little or no planning to guide them. But it definitely doesn’t have to be that way. Our Next Generation Succession Planning Strategy is a well-established process to objectively assess the skill sets and capabilities of potential successor managers and lay the groundwork for the transition to the next generation of management under your terms. Our private client services can help you to ensure the value you have built is passed along to your heirs in the most tax-efficient manner.
Shareholder disagreements are not uncommon (especially among family members) and most come from divergent views; one owner wants to step back and obtain some liquidity and the other wants to remain active and expand. While there are certainly disputes, most disagreements are simply from owners’ changing objectives. Our Entrepreneur Advisory Services Team has extensive experience in helping with family and closely-held business matters, shareholder disagreement resolution and similar issues and has served as an objective and often calming influence during those trying times.
Your business is probably the most valuable asset you have but there comes that inevitable point in time when you need to monetize some or all of that investment. But how does one even start such a daunting task? There are so many questions – how much is my company worth, how long will it take to sell, are we prepared to sell, how do we preserve our legacy or keep our team intact after a deal, etc.? While many owners are used to selling their product or service every day, marketing their company is a much different challenge and the process is not well understood.
Our Entrepreneur Advisory Team has as its sole mission, helping owners address their unique concerns.
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