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The Exit Planning Exchange –  XPX San Antonio Chapter is a community of trusted advisors that collaborate to help their private company clients build business value, transfer ownership and create a legacy of success in their lives and their communities.

2023 Summit Recap: Navigating Detours on the Road to Success

XPX San Antonio hosted their annual summit featuring an impressive lineup of keynote speakers and several panel discussions focusing on all sides of the exit. “We had a great half day event thanks to our amazing business community, superb speakers and incalculable business connections,” says San Antonio Summit Chair, Angel Salinas.

XPX San Antonio July Networking Event

Thank you all for joining our July XPX San Antonio-Networking Event!

We’re thrilled to announce its tremendous success, thanks to each and every one of you. The outstanding turnout and exceptional conversations showcased the brilliance of diverse professionals forging valuable connections.

Our heartfelt appreciation goes to our incredible host, Lone Star Capital Bank, for their generous support in creating an engaging and welcoming environment. Kudos to them for making this event a resounding success!

 

 

San Antonio members awarded SBJ 2023 Best Places to Work

The San Antonio Business Journal is pleased to present the winners of the 2023 Best Places to Work Awards.

There are five categories: extra-small companies with 10-24 employees; small companies with 25-49 employees; medium-sized companies with 50-99 employees; large companies with 100-249 employees; and extra-large companies with 250 or more employees.

The Business Journal will reveal where each company ranks within its category at the awards ceremony set for July 20 at the Rosenberg Skyroom at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Congratulations to all of our XPX San Antonio members who received this award!

Employer Flexible

Rosenblatt Law Firm

Steven Bankler, CPA, Ltd.

theKFORDgroup

Valcor Commercial Real Estate

Verde Commercial Real Estate Group

Vaco SA

 

Featuring Lone Star Capital Bank

Company Culture That Encourages Social Responsibility

Lone Star Capital Bank (LSCB) is a leading financial institution renowned for its commitment to community engagement and social responsibility. With a strong focus on making a positive impact beyond the realm of traditional banking, LSCB and its dedicated employees have become pillars of support for various organizations in their local communities.

The bank has forged partnerships with esteemed organizations, including XPX (Exit Planning Exchange) and TEAMability, to address critical societal needs. Through these alliances, Lone Star Capital Bank’s employees actively contribute their time, skills, and resources to uplift the communities they are a part of.

XPX (Exit Planning Exchange), an organization dedicated to helping business owners plan and execute successful transitions. Through their involvement, LSCB employees share their expertise and provide invaluable guidance to business owners, contributing to their long-term success.

To learn more about Lone Star Capital Bank and the comprehensive suite of financial services they provide, visit their website at www.LSCB.com or contact a representative directly at 210.496.6116.

Interested in Joining XPX San Antonio?

If you are an advisor to owners and managers of companies in the lower middle market, XPX can be a powerful learning network for you! Our members represent twelve different professions but share core principles of collaboration, putting the client first, thinking long term, considering the human angle and continuous learning. Learn more about our membership benefits and options 

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The Latest News – XPX San Antonio

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I once had the thrill of interviewing Jerry West on management. He was “The Logo” for the NBA, although back then they didn’t advertise him as such. Only the Laker followers knew for sure. In 1989 the “Showtime” Lakers were coming off back-to-back championships.  Pat Riley was a year away from his first of three Coach of the Year awards. 

When it comes to careers, business owners are a minority of the population. In conversations this week, I mentioned the statistics several times, and each owner I was discussing it with was surprised that they had so few peers. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are over 33,000,000 businesses in the US. Let’s discount those with zero employees. Many are shell companies or real estate holding entities. Also, those with fewer than 5 employees, true “Mom and Pop” businesses, are hard to distinguish from a job. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Association, lists businesses with 5 to 99 employees at about 3,300,000, and 123,000 have 100 to 500 employees (the SBA’s largest “small business” classification.) Overall, that means about 1% of the country are private employers. Owners are a small minority, a very small minority, of the population. Even if we only count working adults (161,000,000) business owners represent only a little more than 2% of that population. So What? Where am I going with this, and how does it relate to our recent discussions of purpose in business exit planning? It’s an important issue to consider when discussing an owner’s identity after transition. Whether or not individual owners know the statistics of their “rare species” status in society, they instinctively understand that they are different. They are identified with their owner status in every aspect of their business and personal life. At a social event, when asked “What do you do?” they will often respond “I own a business.” It’s an immediate differentiator from describing a job. “I am a carpenter.” or “I work in systems engineering,” describes a function. “I am a business owner” describes a life role. When asked for further information, the owner frequently replies in the Imperial first person plural. “We build multi-family housing,” is never mistaken for a personal role in the company. No one takes that answer to mean that the speaker swings a hammer all day. Owners are a Minority We process much of our information subconsciously. If a man enters a business gathering, for example, and the others in the room are 75% female, he will know instinctively, without consciously counting, that this business meeting or organization is different from others he attends. Similarly, business owners accept their minority status without thinking about it. They expect that the vast majority of the people they meet socially, who attend their church, or who have kids that play sports with theirs, work for someone else. There are places where owners congregate, but otherwise, they don’t expect to meet many other owners in the normal course of daily activity. This can be an issue after they exit the business. You see, telling people “I’m retired” has no distinction. Roughly 98% of the other people who say that never built an organization. They didn’t take the same risks. Others didn’t deal with the same broad variety of issues and challenges. Most didn’t have to personally live with the impact of every daily decision they made, or watch others suffer the consequences of their bad calls. That is why so many former owners suffer from a lack of identity after they leave. Subconsciously, they expect to stand out from the other 98%. “I’m retired” carries no such distinction.       This article was originally published by John F. Dini, CBEC, CExP, CEPA on

    Truth in pricing is a common issue when discussing the sale of a business. The selling price of their company is a point of pride for any owner. When they are willing to share the price they were paid, they usually include everything that was listed in the purchase agreement. While there is nothing inherently dishonest about that, it’s often not exactly the truth either. In our

The Value Gap is one of the most used phrases in exit planning. Simply stated, it’s the difference between what a business owner would realize if he or she sold the company today, and what they need to embark on a financially secure “next act” after business ownership. Both amounts can be determined with some accuracy by professionals. A qualified appraiser will analyze a company, its prospects, differentiation, markets, and comparative businesses and develop a value for the business. A good financial planner will look at savings, expected income, anticipated lifestyle expenses, life expectancy, and inflation and develop a scenario for the amount needed to fund those expectations. Simple, right? Financial plan requirements minus net proceeds from the business transfer equals the value gap. Testing the Value Gap If it is so simple, why do so few business owners do it? Instead, they value their businesses by hearsay, misestimate their lifestyle needs by a substantial margin, and think “I’ll probably be fine.” In fact, fewer than one owner in five has even documented any plan for their transition. Let’s take my favorite business owner, Bob of Bob’s Widgets Inc. Bob pays himself $120,000 a year and lives nicely on that amount. So he estimates that $10,000 a month should cover his lifestyle in retirement. To generate that, he needs $3,000,000 in savings with a 4% return. That means he has to sell his business for about $4,000,000, assuming 24% capital gains tax.  His company sold $7,000,000 in widgets last year, with a $500,000 pre-tax bottom line, so he is sure it’s worth at least $4,000,000. (We’ll discuss this valuation in my next column.) But wait a minute. Is Bob really making $120,000 a year? He drives a Ford Super-Duty company truck that cost $85,000. The payment is about $1,500 a month. Insurance, maintenance and fuel are paid for by the company. Bob’s Widgets Inc. also pays for Bob’s $750 a month health insurance, his $1,200 monthly life insurance, and his $7,200 annual personal tax preparation bill. “Sellers Discretionary Expenses” Bob’s company expenses are not only common, but he doesn’t really take all that much in comparison to some owners. Any advisor can tell stories of company-paid second homes, family trips and other expenses far less business-related than Bob’s. Without going beyond what would be considered “normal” owner perks, we can add about $58,000 a year in post-tax spending to Bob’s lifestyle. At his 4% return assumption, that adds another $1,450,000 in post-tax proceeds from the business to his need for a liquid asset base. Even if Bob’s assumption of a lower capital gains rate is correct (which is not the case in 90% of small business sales) he actually needs a sale price of at least $6,000,000 just to maintain his current lifestyle. Even Bob knows that his company can’t sell for $6,000,000. Without getting an appraisal or a formal financial plan, Bob has just had his first lesson in planning for the Value Gap.   This article was originally published by John F. Dini, CBEC, CExP, CEPA on

Business owners, advisors, and buyers frequently have widely different impressions of value when it comes to a business. The Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Survey canvasses intermediaries who sell privately held Main Street and mid-market companies. One question is about the obstacles that prevented the sale of a business. The number one response is “Owners’ unreasonable expectations of value.” That may be self-serving or an excuse. Nonetheless, valuation is a sensitive subject. Many owners have worked in the business for 30 or 40 years. They assume it will fund their next 20 years of retirement. Their target price is set only by their desired lifestyle after the business. Different Values for the Same Business Unfortunately, many owners have an opinion about the value of their business that is grounded in the multiples of public companies. Others are based on conversations with colleagues, salespeople, and articles in their trade publications. Even those who have professional appraisals of their business may not understand that the purpose for getting your valuation may skew the results. Valuations that are done for estate planning or internal transfers of equity often have little resemblance to a company’s fair market value. Various people including H.L. Hunt and Ted Turner have said “Money is just a way of keeping score.” For many owners, the emotional tie between the perceived value of their company and their self-image of success is closely connected. Some advisors skirt this issue by recommending that their clients get a professional opinion of the fair market value of the business. While this is certainly a safe approach, it can take substantial time. It also requires considerable assembly of the underlying data for the appraiser. This can slow down any consulting project considerably and may derail it entirely. Impressions of Value A coaching approach helps the owner understand the practical boundaries surrounding the value of the company without either dictating to him or taking the project in a tangential direction. We do that by helping the client model “lendable value.” We start by explaining that most businesses are valued by their cash flow. There are certainly many areas where value can be enhanced. These include intellectual property, exclusive rights to a product, protected sales territory or long-term contracts. Owner Centricity™ or customer concentration can also reduce the fair market pricing of your business. In the final analysis, however, cash flow to pay an acquisition loan is of principal concern to a lender. SBA minimums for financing include a cash-to-debt service ratio (1.25 to 1) and required owner compensation – usually $75,000 a year for acquisitions under $500,000 and twice that for larger deals. While not all lenders follow SBA guidelines, they are a useful national baseline for looking at your value. The company may well be worth what you think it is, but finding a lender to finance it is a different problem. Understanding a lender’s impression of value before starting sale negotiations can save you considerable time and negotiation down the road.

Dealing with  COVID fatigue unites business owners. If that sounds strange to you, let me make my case. I’m not doing this to whine, but I want business owners who don’t have an existing support structure to know that they aren’t alone. I facilitate several peer groups of business owners. For decades, we’ve met monthly to discuss trends and issues in our businesses. It is typically a lively roundtable. Hiring, termination, customers, vendors, regulation, new initiatives, and finances present themselves at most, if not all meetings. The First Wave At the beginning of the pandemic, we increased our meeting frequency from monthly to weekly. It really helped with the news pummeling us every day. First, we had sanitation and control of infection. What should we do if an employee was diagnosed? What were the guidelines, or more accurately, the current guidelines regarding quarantine? How serious was this? Opinions ranged widely on the severity and need for action. Then came the lockdowns. Who decided that this was within the power of a mayor? Like so many regulations, it seemed to come without any discussion of the impact on small businesses. We never “blamed” the medical community. They were told to recommend the best way to slow the virus’ spread. They did. Our meetings became both strained and strange. We started living in two worlds. Some businesses were decimated, others were setting sales and profit records. The Light in the Tunnel Then came the relief bills. How did FFCRA work? Who has the poster? Will our employees all choose to go home at 2/3 pay? (Not very many did.) We traded policies and memos from HR advisors, CPAs, and law firms. Then the CARES act. BAM! $2 trillion flushed through the economy like a transfusion. We didn’t talk much about EIDL. The need to pay it back from PPP proceeds and running out of money early on focused us all on the Paycheck Protection Program. Of the 28 participants in the groups (myself included,) all 28 applied for and received PPP funds. We all shared application information and intelligence on which banks were handling it best. Again, we had concerns that the $600 unemployment bonus would dry up the recruiting market. It made things a bit more challenging, but not insurmountable. Most folks seem to prefer continuing employment. People who seek to milk the benefits to the last dollar aren’t the ones we wanted anyway. Of course, watching the collapse of the antiquated government infrastructure for unemployment may have influenced applicants as well. We traded information on remote working. How to keep employees engaged? Tips on contests, productivity tracking, and virtual technology. Those in essential industries never stopped working (see my post on 

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