My Library and Courses
Last Update: Tuesday December 12, 2017

OK now, you have some money. How are you going to leverage it?

It is time to give back and prepare the new


  Four Steps to start and run All of us
Step 1. Initial Idea $
Step 2. Start-up $$
Step 3. Incubate $$$
Step 4. Sole proprietor $$$
  Four to run and grow a business orngeldy.gif
Step 5. Employer $$
Step 6. Growth $$$
Step 7. Sustainability $$$$
Step 8. Exit at the top $$$$

Key Questions at Step 8

1. Focus on the ways you create order and continuity. 

You have choices.

And focusing on the fundamentals of your business is now as important as it was in the beginning. Do you have that knowledge management system in place? How would you value your business?

2. Focus on your relations and their symmetries and asymmetries.

Are you fair with your family?  ...your employees?  ...your suppliers?  ...your customers?  Are they fair with you?

3. Focus on the dynamic of your business and ways to create more harmony.  

Do you know your options?  Which equity-liquidity model is best for both you and your business?

4. The Big One:  What's next?  Can you more-fully integrate it all?

What is the highest and best use of your time? 

Does your exit strategy include a path to the end of your life?  Who are you mentoring?  What do you have in place?


The Online Workshop - Case Studies

Learning through other peoples stories - Metaphors and Analogies

Go to the general discussion to review the eight case studies



Join us as a teacher.  Tell your story to the nations.

The general media's fascination with the greedy within business taints us all.  Our only hope to turn this attitude around is to lift up good stories about good people doing good things. There are thousands and thousands of such stories!  And, we could use your help to tell a few of them.   More...

Money at Step 8 -  Exiting Small Business at the Top        Overview

The day you graduate from small business is coming.  In this chapter more so than any prior chapter, the way you use money and leverage your assets, writes the story of your legacy.  In this eightfold-way of learning and knowing you, of course, have eight choices:

  1. Grow your business beyond 500 employees

  2. Sell to an employee, employees, and/or a member of the family

  3. Sell through an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP).

  4. Sell to someone like yourself (Buy-Sell market) 

  5. Sell through a Merger &  Acquisition (M&A) process

    • Sell to the highest bidder

    • Sell to a publicly-traded company

    • Sell into the Private Equity Market

  6. Sell through a public offering, either a Direct Public Offering (DPO) or Initial Public Offering (IPO)

  7. Die. Your executor will either sell or liquidate the assets

  8. Give your business away.

Small Business School (SBS)  has stories of business in each of these eight categories.  SBS also have a list of businesses that have disappeared. Though most were absorbed by acquisition, a few simply shut their doors and liquidated their tangible assets.

That old identity that was uniquely developed disappeared; it is gone forever.

Our list of IPO case studies is limited but also growing. Usually IPOs dramatically change the corporate culture. If you do an IPO, you are saying, "We are growing beyond the size of a small business."

Though there many small steps to prepare to use your equity (most often just to become liquid), we summarize them in four basic tasks:

1. Business model. If you did that business plan back in the first four steps and it has been "in action" over the years, you will have demonstrated the sustainability of the business. It will also present the most leveragable aspects of your business through all your managers reports and contributions to that business plan.

2. Business Valuation: If you have been working through these steps, you have also been doing an on-going business valuation. It is based on the actuals from your quarterly financials (but now recast to maximize profitability, not to minimize tax burden), comparative data based on key critical ratios from within your industry, the leveragabilty of your business model, and your five-year projections from your business plan. Your goodwill (intangibles or blue sky) should quietly add to this valuation.

3. Equity-Liquidity evaluation model: Equity models include the ESOP, SCOR, M&A, Private Placements, Angel Capital, Venture Capital, and the IPO. The more you run scenarios with each option, the more you know the potential players.

The more you know the potential players, the more valuable your equity becomes.

4. Exit Strategy. One of the scenarios for your exit from the business is to minimize your tax burden and to structure a deal that provides you with a balance of security -- you know the money is not at risk, but it does not all become available as reportable income in a single year.

There are many professional services available to help businesses with Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) and to take a business public through the DPO/IPO process. Just put the words in quotes and you'll discover 1000s of useful links on Google. Here is the first of several episodes of the show where we are look at Step 8 and how one handles their money: Selling your Business. It's never easy."

The ESOP case study may also be useful. It is usually a long-term strategy that has been cultivated within a business over time.

If you are at this step, you probably know what to do better than we ever will. However, if you have not reviewed the information about DPOs, you would be well-served to do so.

There are no two business owners who are alike. No one formula works for every one and ultimately the decision rests on the abilities and leadership of you, the founder/owner and chief executive officer. Your board of advisers can help, but the decision is yours.

As we continue to add capabilities to this site (see the Future), these could become hot pages. Eventually we will schedule events so you can meet investors and drop off into individual chat sessions. We are just beginning this project. Help us out! What resources have you found to be useful? What resources and interests do you have? Send us a note.