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Guest column by SEACAP's Mackie Gober: An open letter to owners of a family business

  1. Confirm mutual goals.

  2. Identify essential components associated with the objective(s).

  3. Accomplish (or exceed) expectations within agreed-upon parameters. With so many surrounding light-speed changes, where should you turn for incremental support? Analogous allies — such as mentors, advisers, and consultants — share similar but different connotations. Each has its niche and nuance. A “mentor” is often associated with a person (or group) with whom you confer, from time to time, to discuss common issues, trends, shared experiences, and cause-and-effect hypotheses. Some think of an “adviser” as a person who takes a longer view of components, such as risk, tax and wealth management, talent development, diversity, employee benefits, and retirement planning, some of which may be shared between the confines of the existing business and its owners. A “consultant” characteristically focuses on more specific and pressing imperatives, which are of upmost importance to the owner, but beyond their current full attention. Prevalent circumstances may require a call to action. In response to such a demand, a consultant can add perspectives and suggest informed initiatives toward a significant decision. A consultant should provide evidence-tested ingenuity, supported by the experience of best practices, to align with the prescribed interests of the owner. Accompanied by an unbiased calendar, a consulting engagement would likely reflect some or all of the following components:

  4. Analytical evaluation of historical performance

  5. Projection of expectations

  6. Valuation of the business

  7. Direction of strategic alternatives of selling the business, incremental growth though acquisition, and/or repositioning the balance sheet and income statement to maximize efficiencies We are living in a world of specialized external knowledge and services. The demands for information and aptitude are rapidly compressing. Procrastination may be challenged by an unavoidable imperative to anticipate the future of your business. Relying on a versatile and experienced guide should decipher the road map to your destination. Do what you do best while soliciting an imaginative and proficient reinforcement to make your best even better.


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