Learning From the Smart Money: What VC’s Ask Startups (And Good Stuff Generally)

ICYMI – Article originally appeared in 2015…. updated and revised for 2018!

While getting my daily dose of Quora this morning, someone posed the question “What are the Top 5 Questions a VC should ask a startup?”  Lots of good responses are in there, but Patrick Mathieson @ Toba Capital really had a great response.(Really suggest you head over to read directly)  While Patrick’s response is geared towards the startup / VC world, his response really has broad application across mature companies as well. Continue Reading…

Hanging with Holly: Interview with Sales Team Expert Jake Wilson

Profit or perish… There are only two ways to make money: increase sales and decrease costs”. -Fred DeLuca

It is a pretty simple concept, and when we value businesses, we know top line revenue is an important indicator of the health of the business- In fact it is one of the 18 value drivers we look at when we assess a business.

In this video, we talk with Jake Wilson, the Founder of Sales Team Builder, who discusses how he works with clients to help them build their sales team in order to drive profits. His body language, energy, and knowledge demonstrate that it is not just about following a magic formula, but it is about coupling your product knowledge and your process and being able effectively communicate that with your client through words and presence.

Hanging with Holly: Interview with Sales Expert Jake Wilson from Dan Doran on Vimeo.

Holly:    So, welcome to today’s video blog. I’m here with Jake Wilson, who’s from Sales Team Builder and sales teams are so critical to every business. So many businesses prevent growing value because they have not integrated the right sales strategies. So, very key for any business operation is the focus on sales. Jake, how’re you doing today? Continue Reading…

Hanging with Holly – Interview with Derek Martin

We’re stoked to have Derek Martin from 56 Capital Partners join us and talk with Holly Flores.

According to USDA Economic Research, net farm income in 2018 is expected to reach a 12 year low. Additionally, on-farm household income remains negative on a year over year basis. These are challenging statistics for our farmers across America. Whether farmers are thinking about evolving their business in order to overcome increased costs or they are thinking about succession planning and how they will manage their retirement years, it is critical they are engaging in these conversations before it is too late.

Derek Martin, of 56 Capital Partners, grew up on a farm with his parents in Michigan. He knows the different challenges that a farmer may face as they plan for their future. This brief video shares some insights from working with farm owners and highlights some challenges and solutions for planning for retirement.

Continue Reading…

Quantive Named Moxie Award Finalist

Quantive is pleased to have been named a finalist in the 2018 Moxie Award, said Dan Doran, Quantive’s Founder.  The Moxie Award honors companies, nonprofits, and associations for their boldness in business, placing them among an elite group of leading organizations.

“I want to congratulate our team for enabling us to be recognized among the boldest and most innovative organizations in the D.C. metro community,” Doran said.

Finalists were recently announced by Sarah Cody, the 2018 Moxie Award executive chairwoman.

“We received an unprecedented number of entries,” Cody said. “We look forward to revealing the winners at the 2018 Moxie Award celebration on Oct. 11 at The Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner.”

A complete list of finalists can be found at https://moxieaward.com.

Choosing a Business Valuation Firm

Most business owners perform a business appraisal only once or twice in the tenure of ownership of their company.  Oftentimes the reason driving the business appraisal – exit planning, tax considerations, litigation – suggests that the selection of a business appraisal expert is a critical one.

So with limited experience and great importance, how should the business owner select a business appraisal firm? Continue Reading…

Search Funds: The Goldilocks of Buyers?

The M&A market is booming, and for entrepreneurs and family businesses seeking to capitalize on a historically great seller’s market, some are finding that the lack of long term planning is weighing on valuation.   As we approach the end of a historically great M&A market it’s important to start thinking about trading some smaller portion of value in return for a deal that closes while the market is still at its high point. Continue Reading…

Clear Rock is now part of the Quantive Family

We are pleased to announce that our sister company, Clear Rock Advisors, LLC., has rebranded under the Quantive name. The two companies share common ownership, and this rebranding better aligns with our vision of offering a full range of services related to corporate value.

About Quantive

Quantive is a veteran owned and operated financial services company serving the lower middle market. We assist entrepreneurs, family businesses, and their advisors in Valuation, Value Growth Consulting, and M&A Advisory.

For more information please contact Dan Doran @ 202-734-6490.


Has there been a change in ownership?
No. This is a simple rebranding – ownership remains the same.

Will this change impact my relationship with my Advisor?
No. There will not be any change whatsoever to your advisor relationship or your direct interaction with Quantive / Clear Rock.

Why the change?
As our financial services practices have continued to grow we find more and more overlap between our M&A, Valuation, and Exit Planning services. We want to cut down on any confusion and improve consistency in the way we go to market. Ultimately we think this change will drive a better client experience.

When is the change effective?
We finalized our rebrand to Quantive in March 2018.

State of GovCon M&A: 2018 Edition

Despite declines in the overall market, M&A activity relating to government contractors has remained quite active. Within the larger trend of agency and military projects adhering to the current president’s priorities, here is a look at the major trends shaping the M&A landscape for government contracting. Continue Reading…

Understanding Valuation Adjustments

One common step in all business valuations is the “search for adjustments” – whether it be a public company with GAAP accounting or a small pass through entity.  Valuation analysts are (almost) always looking at past performance as a proxy for future value.  In doing so, we need to understand what the “real” earnings capacity of the company is.  Unfortunately, the story isn’t always so clear.  Myriad  factors cloud the question of “what’s real?”  Nonetheless, analysts work through a process to start quantifying these changes – or Adjustments – to earnings to realizing the real number.   From there, we can work through modeling performance, risk, and ultimately value.

Why do we care?  A few reasons: Continue Reading…