Small companies with urgent planning, marketing or management needs will soon be able to turn to rapid-response teams of Wright State University Raj Soin College of Business students for help.
The “InTeams” are designed to be on standby throughout the year and be available for short assignments — 30 to 60 days.
Earl Gregorich, director of Wright State’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and Lance Cauley, director of Career Management, came up with the idea.
Read the full story on the Wright State University Newsroom website.
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (March 23-27, 2015 248 Rike Hall)
Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Green Belt is one of the most sought after certifications in today’s marketplace. According to the 2014 ASQ Salary Survey, U.S. Green Belts make over $8000 more than their untrained counterparts.
This dynamic, fun, and interactive 5-day program is 100% compliant with the standards established by the originators at Motorola and is taught by their lead instructor. No background in math or statistics is required and students will learn everything they need to successfully complete their own project:
- The vocabulary, methods and fundamentals of LSS
- Selecting and launching a project
- The DMAIC model with its associated intermediate-level graphical, statistical, and lean tools
- Strategies and tactics for managing behavioral change in an organization
Students will use their own laptops in class. Tuition includes a copy of the SigmaXL analytic software used in the course, project review and certification.
To learn more and register, visit: http://www.lsscert.com/services/public-workshops
PIQUA — Edison Community College has announced the appointment of Lori Minnich as director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and workforce sales development. Minnich will be responsible for providing consultation for small business start-ups and growing businesses throughout the Upper Miami Valley. Additionally, she joins the Edison’s Business and Industry sales team.
“I was drawn to the role of SBDC Director because it allows me to combine my past business experiences and education,” said Minnich. “It’s a really nice blend of previous positions that I’ve held and enjoyed.”
Minnich comes to Edison as a seasoned entrepreneur, owning two successful small businesses. She began her first business venture managing corporate health and wellness programs for Fortune 500 companies and smaller local businesses, coordinating their efforts to reduce rising health care costs and improve employee health and wellness.
Following her initial business venture, Minnich provided expertise and services as an interior decorator, for both commercial and residential clients in Las Vegas and throughout Ohio.
Minnich holds a master’s of education from Bowling Green State University. Additionally, she has completed numerous certifications in corporate training, Six Sigma, AGILE Process Design, Sandler Sales Training and GrowthWheel business certification.
“We are very excited about having Lori as part of our team,” said Peggy Wiggins, director of the Business and Industry Center at Edison. “Her past experiences as a small business owner and a corporate trainer will be invaluable as she works with not only start-up businesses but others that are thriving and growing. She has many ideas for both our SBDC and corporate clients.”
Outside of work, Minnich is an active member of Troy Noon Optimist and volunteers her time in the community with D.R.E.A.M animal rescue, Troy Strawberry Festival and 4-H programs. Minnich resides in Troy with her two daughters.
The Ohio Small Business Development Centers Network is the premier technical assistance program for Ohio’s small businesses. The SBDC at Edison provides no-cost, confidential, in-depth, one-on-one counseling for businesses that will or currently employ under 500 employees. Additional services include training, e-counseling, quality-based assessments, technical assistance, loan packaging guidance, and information on federal, state, and local regulations and programs.
To set up an appointment for free business consultation, contact Minnich at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a complete list of services and training opportunities offered by the Business and Industry Center visit http://www.edisonohio.edu/training.
Business is booming! Just Ask Amy Staging, LLC.’s owner, Amy Zumberger, who just expanded her business with an exciting move and grand opening last month. Located at 212 W. State Street in Botkins, Ohio, the larger space showcases home furnishings by Ashley Furniture while Amy continues to expand her home staging business.
The housing market is ever-evolving—and Amy plans to stay on top. Starting back in May 2011, Amy recognized a market niche when busy real estate agents needed assistance in property staging, but had little time to do it themselves. With careful consideration and resource help from the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business, Amy decided to take the leap into the business role of ownership. Her business offers knowledge and experience of staging homes to sell, redesign existing décor, and senior downsizing. She enjoys remaining flexible in the dynamics of her industry, her goal is not only to redecorate homes on the selling market for the fastest sale and top dollar returns, but to ease lifestyle transitions for the homeowners as well.
Since 2011, having already earned her Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) certification, Amy took on additional Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) coursework to eventually earn her ASP Professional Certification (Masters). She has also expanded her business by doubling her client and service base from acquiring Debra’s Home Staging and Redesign of Springboro. Other notable accomplishments include being featured on the WDTN Channel 2 News and in the Dayton’s B2B Magazine. She is also a prominent member of the Women in Business Network, and in 2013, was honored as Ambassador of the Year.
For more information, or general inquiries, call Ask Amy Staging at (937) 726-3341 or online at www.askamystaging.com. For more information about the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business, call 937-775-3503 or visit www.sbdcwsu.com.
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Many individuals strive to own a business, whether that desire is driven by increased opportunity to make money, a passion for a certain industry or the ability to be their own boss. Whatever the reason, the current atmosphere is very conducive for acquiring a business. A growing number of businesses are on the market as a result of the steadily improving economy, baby boomers seeking to monetize their assets and uncertainty regarding potential federal capital gains tax increases.
However, acquiring a business is a very complex process, and it is important to understand the intricacies involved to avoid any surprises along the way. The following 10 questions can help determine whether you are prepared to move forward with an acquisition, and if not, provide a road map to achieve readiness.
1. Are you truly an entrepreneur willing to make a significant investment and assume the economic risks associated with the investment?
As compared to the average person, entrepreneurs often have higher levels of risk tolerance. As the saying goes, there are rarely “free lunches” in the capitalist marketplace. To reap the rewards of a successful business venture, aspiring owners will most likely need to assume risks—perhaps sizeable ones. If you are the type of person that lies in bed all night worrying about the performance of your investments, risking a significant sum of your hard-earned personal capital in order to purchase your own business might not be your calling.
2. Do you have access to capital and is the business financeable?
Aspiring owners need to consider not only the initial capital necessary to fund the purchase, but also the potential future capital requirements the business will require either to grow or to continue to exist as an ongoing concern. Invariably, most industries fall on hard times at some point. When and if these times come, owners may be forced to fund their operations differently. Capital markets may tighten, forcing owners to provide direct capital infusions or requiring owners to forgo salaries and benefits for an extended period of time. This question should be considered prior to incurring the expensive transaction costs related to a potential business purchase.
3. Are you comfortable with the impact to your personal life as a result of owning your own business?
Business owners typically work very long hours for the benefit of their business and their livelihood. This hard work may come at the expense of family or social commitments. If aspiring owners are not willing to make these sacrifices and are still committed to buying a business, they will likely need to pay someone else for their sacrifices. This compensation typically is in the form of additional cash or a slice of equity ownership, which will dilute the expected investment return of the business owner.
4. Do you really possess an in-depth understanding of the industry?
Aspiring owners need to have a firm grasp of the competitive dynamics of the industry where the business they are considering purchasing resides. For example, do they know the competitors, the industry trends, how the business is positioned against these trends, the competitive advantages of the business, how defensible these competitive advantages are and whether the industry is at risk of becoming commoditized? Answers to these and other industry dynamic questions prior to making an offer for the business will go a long way in helping to avoid overpaying for the business, while at the same time presenting a reasonable and compelling offer to the seller.
5. Are you qualified to lead and manage the business, or will you need to employ professional management and a board of advisors?
Owners of businesses, particularly small businesses, oftentimes wear more than one functional hat (i.e., operations, human resources, strategy, finance). If an aspiring owner’s experiences have been narrow in scope, he or she may need to hire an experienced CEO to effectively run the organization. In either case, no matter how talented aspiring owners are, they will need to surround themselves with strong individuals in order for their business to be successful over time. Having an existing management team in place that knows the business will help to ensure a smoother transition upon the change in control.
6. Have you considered the opportunity cost of the potential investment?
Presumably, one of the reasons aspiring owners are interested in purchasing their own business is to make money. Oftentimes this will require a significant up-front payment on their part. Aspiring owners not only need to consider the expected return on the proposed investment, but also how this compares to other investment opportunities available in the marketplace. These other investment opportunities (which could include controlling positions in other businesses, stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, private equity and venture capital) may offer higher expected returns for a similar or lower level of risk.
7. Are you experienced in navigating through the complex M&A process?
There are many steps in the M&A process. These can include: identifying the industry and business, valuing the enterprise, performing due diligence (financial, operational, legal, etc.) and negotiating the purchase price and definitive legal agreements. If you are not experienced in each of these areas, aspiring owners will need to surround themselves with experienced M&A advisors that can guide them through the M&A process. The benefits (i.e., reduced purchase price, legal protections) of surrounding yourself with seasoned experts should far outweigh the costs for their advice.
8. Have you considered what you will do in the event that the business fails?
While aspiring owners may believe this will never happen to their business, factors beyond their control may force them to eventually liquidate the business (i.e., severe economic recession, loss of key customers to competitor). If aspiring owners are beyond middle age, it might be difficult to reenter the corporate world, let alone at the compensation level commensurate with their years of experience.
9. Do you know why the current owner is interested in selling the business?
Understanding the seller’s motivations will not only help in negotiations (i.e., buyer will have more leverage if the current owner is desperate for liquidity), but can also raise red flags for a potential buyer. For instance, if the current owner intends to purchase another company with the proceeds from the sale, this may signal that they believe that the business has peaked.
10. Have you considered the timing and avenue of your exit strategy?
To the aspiring owner, this may not seem like a critical item to consider at the onset of the process, but it is one of the most important. Unforeseen circumstances may require owners that intended to hold onto their business for decades to sell it prematurely. The majority of an owner’s expected financial return may very well come from monetizing their investment. Aspiring owners need to consider the likely buyer of the business in the future (competitor or financial buyer), as well as whether there are any other parties interested in purchasing the business today, or if the aspiring owner’s bid is the only “bid in town.”
Owning a business is a challenging task. While this list of questions is not comprehensive, your answers can help dictate whether you are ready to purchase and operate a business. Not being fully prepared prior to entering into an agreement could be the difference between a successful transaction and the failure of a business venture.
Battelle Capital Advisors assists business owners in all facets of buying or selling businesses, as well as in corporate financing and capital formation. Services include the development and implementation of marketing plans to buy, sell or finance a business, succession planning, valuations and value-based strategic planning. For additional information, please contact Jim Sachs, Senior Managing Director, at (937) 853.1485, Frank Sanders, Managing Director at (937) 853.1494, Greg Barney, Managing Director at (937) 853.1498, or Jack Lohbeck, Managing Director at (937) 853.1423.
Source:This article written by Anthony Trotta, Director, McGladrey Transaction Advisory Services, was taken from the library of ©RSM McGladrey, Inc., 2012.
Who says you can’t reinvent yourself?
Talk to Ellen Bailey, President of Asset Business Computing, and one of the growing number of female-owned business enterprises in the Ohio region. Not too long ago, Ellen’s focus was on Computer Zoo, a retail store specializing in repairing computers for DIY’ers, business, and residential clients. In fact, Computer Zoo had been in IT services since 1998. However, quietly over the years, she realized a shift in consumer purchasing habits from desktops to lighter laptops and tablets. As higher overhead costs for brick-and-mortar storefronts struggled to give fair wages and pay taxes, low-cost online stores such as Amazon and Newegg were undercutting prices to steal marketplace customers, making it difficult for Computer Zoo to maintain profitability.
After some careful cost-analysis, and with resource help from the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business, Ellen realized two-thirds of her clients came in for small business IT service and repairs. So, changes were made. By minimizing the retail store, and focusing as a specialty service provider, Asset Business Computing was born. Ellen is reinventing the game by evolving a successful business turn-around, and splitting it into a personalized IT service provider—complete with custom clientele servers and workstations, network consulting, and cyber security and disaster response.
Ellen and her staff have been serving small businesses in the Dayton area for more than 15 years. As President for both Computer Zoo and Asset Business Computing, she also serves as one of the coordinators for the Oakwood Koffee Talks, which is an affiliate networking group with the Women in Business Networking organization, where women meet, mingle, and discuss business-related topics in a comfortable environment.
For more information, or general inquiries, call Asset Business Computing at (937) 435-5466 or online at www.assetbusinesscomputing.com. For more information about the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business, or the Boots to Business program, call 937-775-3503 or visit www.sbdcwsu.com.