Beware of Valuation Rules of Thumb

Valuation Rules of Thumb are a common way to estimate the value of a business.  Their easy to comprehend and seemingly broadly apply.  But reader beware: at best, the represent an average.   And in real life there’s often no such thing as “average.” Continue Reading…

#ICYMI Dan Doran Published in Financial Advisor Mag

If you’re a financial advisor you’ve likely spent ample time with clients that are focused on the more liquid portions of their portfolio… and ignore the elephant in the room.  By ignoring their operating company as a component of their portfolio the entrepreneur is potentially jeopardizing their retirement.

Check out Dan’s latest writing on the topic in Financial Advisor Magazine.

Dan writes “Financial advisors have the unique perspective on a business owners’ personal financial picture, but not necessarily an in-depth understanding of a company’s value. The entrepreneur’s business interests can be complex and difficult to work into a comprehensive financial plan.  Pairing an accurate assessment of a business’ Fair Market Value with your financial planning process can yield deep insights for entrepreneurs… and deepen client relationships with advisors.”


Common Issues When Valuing a Small Business for Divorce

Every valuation engagement is unique and dependent upon a wide range of considerations, observations, and assumptions.  One business can have multiple valuation conclusions based on the purpose at hand, intended user, date of the valuation, state of the economy, revenue/earnings stream considered, and normalizing adjustments utilized in presenting financials to name a few.  The following article highlights the most common issues associated with divorce valuations. Continue Reading…

3 Standards of Value in Divorce Valuations (and why you should care)

Valuations are often required when a privately held business is part of a marital estate.  In order to perform a division of property the parties must know the value of the asset, and in the absence of a public market price a third party valuation is required.

For the purposes of business valuation for divorce, we first look at standards of value. A quick definition: standard of value is defined in the International Glossary of Business Valuations as:

“the identification of the type of value being utilized in a specific engagement.” Continue Reading…

Understanding Seller’s Discretionary Earnings

So you’ve heard someone throwing around the term “Seller’s Discretionary Earnings” and you find yourself thinking “my earnings aren’t discretionary at all.”  Let’s jump in and understand this oft-misunderstood term (which also, confusingly, goes by “Seller’s Discretionary Income,” SDE, and SDI…). Continue Reading…

Fall EPI DC Event Schedule Announced

Another season, another EPI event series!  We’ll be talking about the ins-and-outs of Succession Planning, the Exit Planning Process, and also hosting another “Cashed Out Owner” panel.  Plus a Happy Hour!


September 13th Happy Hour

September 19th  – “Cashed Out Owners: The Good, the Bad, the Lessons Learned”  Cancelled – Venue not available

October 17th – The Ins-and-Outs of Succession Planning

November 28th – Family Governance

December 19th – The Exit Planning Process

We’d Love to Hear from You: Call for Presentations (EPI DC)

Are you interested in participating in a future panel?  Have an idea that you’d like to see included?  We’d love you’re input!  To be considered as a presenter / panelist next year, please submit a proposal with the following:

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2018

Proposal Guidelines

  • Include a synopsis of the proposed event. This should be a one paragraph-ish blurb detailing what the session is about.
  • Prepare 3-6 learning objectives
  • Briefly discuss why you believe the topic is timely and relevant to our discussions
  • Panelist suggestions (if not by name, then ideal background)
  • * If you have a similar presentation available please feel free to share
  • Submit proposals to dan at goquantive dot com <– We all hate spam… 🙂 

Ground Rules

  • All content should be related to “ownership transitions.”  Topics of interest include:
    • Preparing for an exit
    • Managing growth / creating an inflection point
    • Navigating next-generation transitions
    • Matters related to an entrepreneur’s estate
    • Etc
  • All sessions are panel discussions – we do not do “single person presenter” events

Selection Criteria

  • Relevance to the EPI Chapter mission / purpose
  • Interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary application to Exit Planning / Ownership Transitions
  • Potential to attract a varied audience and stimulate collaborative discussions
  • Timeliness of the topic
  • Practical application of information to be presented
  • Practical and clearly defined Learning Objectives

Our Mutual Commitment

  • Once selected, we commit to ample prep time (typically 2 conference calls in the month prior to event)
  • After presentation date is determined, parties “hard commit” to the date and will not request changes
  • Each presenter will be asked to prepare a slide deck for distribution to audience (* new for 4Q18)
  • Presenters are asked to help market their event to their network.  One of the best things about our sessions has been the ability to attract new, high quality attendees.  We leverage our speakers, in part, to expand our mutual network of colleagues
  • Presentations are an opportunity to showcase subject matter expertise, but our sessions are not “sales opportunities”

Chapter Mission

The mission of the EPI Capital Region Chapter is to create a forum where a community of professional advisors can collaborate to address unique needs of the local community; develop educational programs for professional advisors to build awareness and better prepare an owner for the successful exit of their business; develop, encourage and foster the adoption of best practices for the exit planning profession and related professionals; and promote the common business interests of those business advisors engaged assisting entrepreneurs through ownership transitions.

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…