Tag Archives: chicago

Get to Know Mark O’Brien Chicago

Value Growth Partners Founder and now a partner at Newport, Mark O Brien Chicago has over thirty years of experience in Business Growth, Successions, and Transitions as a business owner, executive, and advisor to privately held & family businesses. He is adept at accelerating sustainable growth in competitive & challenging markets. 

Knowledge, skillset, and experiences enriched through hands-on work in manufacturing and distribution within aerospace, automotive, woodworking, plastics, supply-chain logistics, & technology worldwide.  Mark is highly experienced with innovating, improving, & implementing manufacturing & supply chain solutions that yield improvements in productivity, cost reductions, and throughput resulting in sustainable growth.

Mark supports business owners with realizing their value potential, achieving life goals, and fulfilling dreams by supporting growth, transition, & succession plans that assist with Getting-2-Next©.

After many years of assisting owners in transitioning their business, Mark and VGP partners help business owners realize that one of the biggest challenges is executing succession and transition is the lack of a plan for “What’s NEXT?”

It’s very challenging for an owner or executive leader to manage a leadership succession and even more difficult to manage a business transition without a transition plan that addresses “What’s Next.” We understand and have a plan that will assist.

Find out more about mark o brien Chicago on our website and contact us if you are looking for help with a business transition strategy. Value Growth Partners/Newport can assist you in knowing and growing your business value before the transition – (312) 525-8382.

Are You Planning to Sell a Business? Avoid These Traps

It has been said that some business owners have been known to refer to due diligence as “the entrepreneur’s proctology exam.” While this is a crude analogy, it is a good representation of what it feels like when a stranger pokes, prods, and looks inside every inch of your business. 

Most professional acquirers will have a checklist of questions they need to be answered if they’re considering buying your company. They’ll want answers to questions like:

  • Do you have consistent, signed, up-to-date contracts with your customers and employees?
  • Are your ideas, products and processes protected by patent or trademark?
  • What are the loan covenants on your credit agreements?
  • How are your receivables? Do you have any late payers or deadbeat customers?
  • Do you have any litigation pending?

In addition to these objective questions, they’ll also try to get a subjective sense of your business. In particular, they will try to determine just how integral you are personally to the success of your business. 

Subjectively assessing how dependent the business is on you requires the buyer to do some investigative work. It’s more art than science and often requires a potential buyer to use a number of tricks of the trade, such as:

#1: Juggling calendars

By asking to make a last-minute change to your meeting time, an acquirer gets clues as to how involved you are personally in serving customers. If you can’t accommodate the change request, the acquirer may probe to find out why and try to determine what part of the business is so dependent on you that you have to be there.

#2: Checking to see if your business is vision impaired

An acquirer may ask you to explain your vision for the business, which is a question you should be well prepared to answer. However, he or she may ask the same question of your employees and key managers. If your staff members offer inconsistent answers, the acquirer may take it as a sign that the future of the business is in your head.

#3: Asking your customers why they do business with you

A potential acquirer may ask to talk to some of your customers. They will expect you to select your most passionate and loyal customers and, therefore, will expect to hear good things. However, the customers may be asked a question like ‘Why do you do business with these guys?’ The acquirer is trying to figure out where your customers’ loyalties lie. If your customers answer by describing the benefits of your product, service or company in general, that’s good. If they respond by explaining how much they like you personally, that’s bad.

#4: Mystery shopping

Acquirers often conduct their first bit of research behind your back before you even know they are interested in buying your business. They may pose as a customer, visit your website, or come into your company to understand what it feels like to be one of your customers. Make sure the experience your company offers a stranger is tight and consistent, and try to avoid personally being involved in finding or serving brand-new customers. If any potential acquirers see you personally as the key to wooing new customers, they’ll be concerned business will dry up when you leave.

If you are thinking it is about time to sell a business Chicago, then it’s time to contact Value Growth Partners. We can help you build your business value before you sell a business. Call us for a no-fee initial consultation at 312-525-8382.