Entrepreneurship at the Next Level

Department specialist: Don Nilson

Business Advisory Services

We frequently are asked to help our clients with business and financial decisions, e.g. personnel issues, expansion, financing and leasing, relations with government bureaucracy, reacting to competitors.

Our academic education, diverse business experiences, years in practice, and pragmatic approach to business combine to offer you valuable information and advice.

Through our on-going consulting engagements, we have developed numerous management initiatives and programs to help run businesses more successfully. We also have an extensive library of readings on management topics.

Comprehensive Business Planning

Small business owners face a complex array of demands on their time and skills. Day-to-day pressures typically never subside to leave time to look at the long term view. We believe that small businesses must take time out to plan strategically.

The firm has developed materials to assist you in reviewing your firm’s direction. The materials have been developed in-house from our years of academic training and practical experience.

The material is divided into topics including marketing, finance, financial and management accounting, human resources, technology, legal considerations and strategic overview.

Our staff members act as facilitators in a one day seminar attended by you and, perhaps, your senior management staff. The objective is for you to assess critically how and what the firm does, and to develop a detailed strategic plan.

The seminar is conducted at an off-site centre so that you can leave your day-to-day demands behind and focus on long term planning.

With our prepared materials, the facilitators lead the participants through a series of questions and discussions to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. While one of the facilitators delivers unit material, the other acts as “secretary,” taking informal “minutes” of the participants’ action plan.

After the seminar, the firm prepares a written summary of your action plan, based upon the “minutes”.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Over the years, the firm has represented numerous entrepreneurs in buying new businesses or selling established ones. We can offer valuable assistance with tax, financing and negotiation strategy, and valuation of the business.

Financing Proposals

We can assist you in preparing a business loan request. The firm has a computer spreadsheet application which prepares cash-flow projections for business plans. The application facilitates analysis of several “what-if?” scenarios for the prospective new business or expansion plan.

We also have a spreadsheet application which calculates the implicit interest rates in lease options. Another application prepares amortization schedules for conventional loans and mortgages.

Strategic Planning

We have assisted various clients in developing either detailed or general strategic plans. The plans are separated into “Internal” and “External” components. The former focuses on making the existing business units more successful, while the latter looks to potential diversification through new business units.

Detailed strategic plans start with an analysis of SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats), followed by developing a “Statement of Purpose.“ Broad company-wide goals are identified, followed by more specific objectives.Strategies are then identified to attain the objectives and detailed plans become the actionable “to-do’s.” These plans are then assigned as to individual responsibility and time line.

A computer application sorts the plans by “do-er” and by time line. Periodic follow up of this document by senior management enforces the pursuit of better practices to make the firm more successful.

Link to Strategic Planning article.

Complex Organizational Structures

Successful entrepreneurs need to look ahead to the future. This may require a complex organization structure including a long term holding company and/or a family trust. These structures  prepare for wealth preservation and family income splitting and also for access to the $800,000 capital gains deduction when the operating business is sold in the future. It is important that pro-active planning is undertaken in these circumstances.”

Link to Complex Organizational Structure article.