Dog Day Afternoons

BrunsliSmallMy dog Brunsli is not fazed by the hot and humid weather, she just sleeps it away in the cooled house! Hope you are staying cool! Lots responded to my Lemonade request and it has been great to catch up with so many. It is still hot enough to have Lemonade, so don’t be shy….

This has been a summer of many distractions and also points to pause. Europe with its Brexit, multiple terrorist attacks, Deutsche Bank possibly in need of a bail out and overall currency fluctuations. This may indeed affect your business if you are doing business in Europe.

Here we are in the middle of the US presidential campaigns. It is not politics as usual……or is it?

Last week I attended the funeral of a client and dear colleague, Kevin Gosnell. Kevin was the CEO of T&K Asphalt Services, loving husband of Kathleen and father of three handsome sons. He died of ALS after a 15-month battle. What is so remarkable about Kevin is that once he was diagnosed with the incurable disease, he pulled out all plugs and decided to use his leadership skills from running his company and the Vistage group we shared, and bring the fragmented medical community together to pool funding and speed up research through ALS One with the hope to eventually have a cure. Take a look of the videos and support this great cause. Kevin is a hero in my eyes in how he took is death sentence public and made an incredible difference in a very short time. RIP Kevin and healing thoughts to his family.

Life intertwines with business as we all know. I am sure you are looking for the balance the way I have and figuring out where to draw the line. Take a moment these last few days of summer to reflect on where you are, what is good and what is possible to change.

Have you taken a closer look at the internal and external risks of your business? Most internal risks you can actually eliminate. What succession plans do you have in place?

Externally, mitigating risks for your business can be tricky, but being aware of the potential economic risks and implementing some buffers into your financial plans is a good strategy to consider.

Here is a blog post that may help you get started
https://nssblog.com/2015/11/09/de-risk-your-business/

Want to have a conversation over lemonade call me at 781-929-9125.
In the meantime, stay cool, Rudi

Get Ready for a Transaction

Advisory Team Integration Strategies | Part 2

XPXboston

Thursday,  June 23, 2016 | 7:15 AM – 9:00 AM

Babson College, Olin Hall,  Wellesley, MA

A 5-Step Integration Plan to Get Ready For a Transaction | Register Now!

Facilitated by Rudi Scheiber-Kurtz, Next Stage Solutions, Inc.

In the first part of this process, we discussed how to best engage our clients in the conversation of always thinking ahead and why that is vital for their future success. Participants are raving about the first event that took place in May, so don’t miss out on our second.  This unique format let’s you participate and share your expertise in the integration process as well as learn from others’ sitting at the table.

For the second part, we will focus on the integration piece to readiness. How can your client avoid pitfalls and roadblocks costing both time and money and more often lead to losing the deal? Having your ducks all lined up will pay off when your client begins the process of succession or selling. We will consider the 5-step integration plan and how to prepare best our clients.

Bring your ideas and suggestions and join us in this roundtable discussion among advisors highlighting collaboration, enhanced value and client leverage. Each advisor will hear other advisor’s perspectives on the whole business transition/transaction process, and be able to present their own. The goal is to help educate all of us and open our thinking on collaboration and the benefits it brings to us individually and to our clients.

Register Now!

Agenda
7:15 – 8:00 AM Full Breakfast & Networking
8:00 – 9:00 AM Program

Finance your Growth Now?

Is it a Good Time to Finance your Growth?

We think so. Accessing the capital markets for future growth before interest rate increase makes sense.

My dear friend and colleague Debra Drapalla, SVP of the Middle Market Lending Group at Webster Bank shared the following with me. Keep in mind that her middle market lending group focuses on companies with $50-$500M in annual revenue.

“Presently, there is an abundance of capital available in the market by banks which are sitting on large reserves from the Fed’s stimulus programs to thwart the Great Recession.  If a middle market company presents a sound business plan for their financing needs, they should receive very competitive proposals from banks for both interest rates and credit structure. It is definitely a buyer’s market for bank loans during this stage of the economic cycle.”

If your company falls below the $50M revenue range, it can be a daunting task. The smaller your business the harder it gets to access reasonable funding and convince the lender.

According to the Pepperdine Report for Q2 2015 on Private Capital Markets, 61% of companies with $5-$50M in annual revenue will be looking for debt financing from a bank. Of those, 39% are projecting that this will be difficult.

PepperdineAccessing the right-sized capital at the right time is a balancing act and requires adequate time.  I created a chart for you below that might help you identify the approximate stage with a sample of capital markets available to you. The smaller the business, the more difficult it is to raise capital. It is so very important, that you can de-risk your inquiry for capital to the investor by providing solid and realistic numbers and you may have to provide a personal guarantee. Having a strong sales history and being on a fast track also helps.

Capital Market Chart                                                                                                    We  know that interest rates will be raised, some speculate as early as September. The US economy is starting to show signs of strength and hopefully will lead us toward faster growth. What happens when the interest rate is raised? Things that it will affect will be Cost of Borrowing, Effect on Prices and Plans for Marketing. This will also affect your vendors, so allow for some elasticity in your forecasting. You might want to revisit your strategy and business plan and evaluate whether you have the proper outlook and risk criteria in place.

Let me emphasize the importance of size of your business. The larger the annual revenue, the lower your Cost of Capital (CoC). The market views it as less risky. Public companies will enjoy an even lower CoC and gain more trust in the market, as they typically are run more efficiently. More on that in another blog!!

However, if you are in the $5-$50M revenue range as many of our clients are, you may benefit from working with a trusted advisor like NSS who can guide your through these complex preparations and transactions. We can provide you with alternative options you may not have thought about, such as:

  • Mezzanine debt
  • Subordinated debt with warrants
  • Leveraged asset-based loans
  • Secured trade credit

This of course also depends on where you are in the process. NSS tailors its approach to your needs. You may want help with the preparation, connections to the right lenders, negotiate the best terms or all of the above.

Listen to our RudiTuesday video on “Access to Capital” for additional tips in how to prepare.

Rudi TuesdayTake this opportunity and act on it now before interest rates increase significantly. Securing the appropriate financing now can give you a competitive edge so that you can expand, grow and bring on the right talent.

We also developed a funding guide and check list for our clients to properly prepare for a lender meeting. We will be glad to provide this additional resource so you can start on your deliverables. Sign up here for a copy and we will be glad to send it to you.

Begin to work on that list, let us know if you need help, so that at the end you have a greater chance of locking in a strong financial round.

So where might you be in this process? If you are not ready, you are not alone, the majority of businesses we work with do not have the internal resources or time to have all the ‘docs’ lined up! Start today with the conversation of how much money you need to raise, the timing of it and the financing options you should consider. Decide where you are in the process and give us a call if you need help!

Where in the Process

In conclusion, it is a buyer’s market and a great time to access capital. Larger companies have easier access to the capital market. Smaller companies can fundraise successfully too, so consider closing the funding gap today and remember, first impressions are lasting.

According to lenders, companies are generally not prepared. You can change that statistic!

Contact us at 617-449-7728

CEOs Secret Weapon:Identify & Mitigate Risk for Successful Decision-Making

CEO Workshop Co-Sponsored by Next Stage Solutions and Adaptive Planning


 

 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 | 10:30am – 12:30pm

Host: Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, P.C. at CityPoint 230 Third Avenue, 4th Floor Waltham, MA 02451

Register Today!

With the proper approach and correct decision tools, CRITICAL business decisions can be clearly defined, analyzed, and successfully executed by the leadership of any organization.  CRITICAL DECISIONS include:

  • Acquisition or Merger
  • New Product Launch
  • Key Technology Purchase
  • Strategic Alliance/Partnerships
  • New R&D Project
  • Major Capital Investment
  • Sales Force Expansion/Re-Alignment

Overall Approach:

  • Identification of Business Assumptions/Rationale
  • Key Business Drivers
  • Comprehensive Analysis
  • Sensitivity Testing (What-if Scenarios)
  • Executive Summation
  • Post-Decision Follow-up & Outcome Comparison

The NSS value proposition as growth advisors provides the structured approach and oversight for critical decision, making, while Adaptive Planning provides the tools and methodology of effective decision support.

Adaptive Planning is the worldwide leader in cloud-based business analytics solutions for companies of all sizes. The company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform enables finance and executive team collaboration in planning, monitoring, reporting, and analyzing financial and operational performance.

Planning Growth: The CEO Challenge 1

NSS Workshop Series for CEOs and Business Owners

CEO Workshops are part of our continuing series of educational forums where CEOs participate in peer-to-peer exchanges of ideas and thought leadership. We focus on the CEOs role as the center of the business. Professional Advisors may attend with a CEO.

Planning Growth: The CEO Challenge

When: Thursday | January 10| 10:30am – 12:30pm | Light lunch served

Host: WilmerHale, 850 Winter Street, Waltham, MA

REGISTER TODAY!

Join a group of CEOs addressing strengths, opportunities and threats for the upcoming 12 months while reflecting on the past 6 months. Each CEO, teamed up with a CFO, chooses a challenge they are faced with and a course of action. They then present the solution to the advisory board that will examine, question and probe the team from different angles. The audience will add questions and comments and vote at the end whether or not to approve the course of action then will vote the solution a go or no-go.

Our theme is around the Strategic Challenge CEOs face:

  • Strategic Market Assessment
  • Organization & Talent Management
  • Growth Strategies from planning to delivery
  • Infrastructure build-out to achieve scalability

CEOs:

Annette Tonti, CEO of MoFuse, Inc

Linda Moraski, CEO of PeopleServe, Inc

Moderator:

Neal Yanofsky, Strategic Partner at New Delta Partners will focus on the overall planned growth and how to realistically achieve it.

Advisory Board Members:

Michael LaCascia, Partner at WilmerHale will stress the importance of looking at acquisitions for growth.

Laurie Kirk, Founder of The Board Forum will focus on company culture and communications.

Ben Weller, Managing Director at Next Stage Solutions will consider the cost/benefit of the solution.

A Deep Bench of Financial Leadership – The NSS Team

Access to a Deep Bench with As-Needed Solution

The NSS Team offers financial expertise that large companies have access to but smaller companies typically do not.  Compromising with a one-person-do-it-all is no longer the only option. NSS has a part-time solution allowing small to medium sized companies to work with a deep bench of financial professionals and business partners. We have expanded our team with broader capabilities and specialties. Let me introduce you to this vibrant group of senior level professionals:

  • 180+ years of CFO/COO/Controller expertise
  • Our team has participated in 40+ M&A transactions on the sell and buy side in excess of $2.5Billion
  • 25+ ERP Process Flow Management Projects completed
  • Currently engaged in Part-time CFO, Full-time Interim CFO, Business Advisor and Controller

Frank M. Bahl, CPA, MBA, CGMA, FHFMA

Specialty:  Health Care and Construction, Cost Accounting

bahl@nextstagesolutions.com

Amy R. Feldman, CPA, MBA

Specialty: Retail, Software, Venture and Emerging Company Management and Finance

Feldman@nextstagesolutions.com

Derek A. Smith, CA, CPA, CGMA

Specialty: Software (Premise based and SAAS), and Professional Services

smith@nextstagesolutions.com

Robert M.  Weber, MBA

Specialty:  Life Sciences, Biotech, Medical Devices and Big Pharma

weber@nextstagesolutions.com

Ben Weller, MBA, CPA

Specialty:  Lean Manufacturing, Retail and Enterprise Business Systems

weller@nextstagesolutions.com


Want to meet with us? Give us a call today at 617-449-7728 or send us an email.


A Debate on Growth: How will you Grow your Company in this Economy?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 CEO DEBATE   10:30am – 12:30pm with a light lunch

Sign up today to guarantee a space; last event was sold out!  We limited the debate to the first 40 CEOs and Business Owners.

A Debate on Growth:  How will you Grow your Company in this Economy?

This debate will tackle the pros and cons of organic versus acquisition growth.

  • What is your appetite for risk?
  • Are you looking for fast growth and if so, which way can you grow faster?
  • What are the opportunities and constraints to consider for your business?
  • What are some of the hurdles to avoid on either track?

Host: Gray, Gray and Gray at 34 Southwest Park, Westwood, MA 02090

Facilitator: Frank Leibly,  Alcon Partners

Acquisition Side:

Sal Calvino, CEO of Quantem Aviation Services

Janice Shields, Shields & Company, Inc.

Jack Langworthy, Covington Associates

Laurie Kirk, The Board Forum

Steve Honig, Duane Morris LLP

Organic Side:

Bob France, CEO of Senate Construction Corp.

Deb LaPointe, Enterprise Bank

Ted Clark, Center for Family Business at Northeastern University

Shannon Zollo, Morse, Barnes-Brown, Pendelton

Sponsor: Next Stage Solutions, Inc

From our Annual CEO Survey in 2011, we learned that the #1 Aspiration for CEOs was Sales Growth. We are responding to that particular question in two ways:

1)    Organic Growth – survey says:

  • Constraint 1:  Sales department is not in place
  • Constraint 2:  Business infrastructure not in place

2)    Growth via Acquisition – survey says:

  • Constraint 1:  Access to capital markets (Prior NSS CEO Workshop)
  • Constraint 2:  How to recognize an opportunity

In this debate we will explore how CEOs and experts view the two venues of growth and how to identify and recognize opportunities and synergies. This is also an exploration of how much risk the CEOs feel comfortable with.  A fun and educational, interactive debate where your participation is wanted.