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Business Valuation

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Most owners of a business are guessing at its value to an outside buyer. They may have an idea or can guess at it, or more specifically, they know what they want for the sale of their business. Unfortunately, very often, what they want does not relate to what the business is worth. Owners should have a valuation of their business completed every three to four yearsmore often if they are contemplating a sale in the near term. The valuation should be performed by an outside industry expert, one who is familiar with market trends and values. By having a valuation done, the owner can now get a feel for the value of their business and whether it meets their ...
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Sustainable Sales Growth

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Heres where we are. Yes, its the 4 th quarter, the time when most graphic communications companies are doing very well, and are making hay a technical term. Most of you are reaping the rewards of the hard work your team has done over this past year and prior years. If you arent, maybe you should take a hard look at your business building process . More on this in my next post. As you review your YTD numbers, take a hard look at a few segments of your business: How are you doing overall last year? How are you doing overall vs. budget? How many of your sales reps have increased their business ? What % of your reps will make budget? ...
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When the Seller has narrowed the prospective Buyers down to one, a Letter of Intent is requested from the Buyer. The Letter of Intent will spell out the Terms and Purchase Price that the Buyer is willing to pay, which has presumably been verbally agreed to. Among other items, the Letter of Intent will be based on the Buyer receiving a number of days of exclusivity to complete due diligence and finalize documentation. This period of time usually ranges from 60 to 90 days. During the Exclusivity Period the Seller agrees to cease to solicit any potential offers or to negotiate or participate in discussions with others in connection with the possible sale ...
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Heard at the Diner

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Last week I was fortunate enough to facilitate our NexGen Leadership group in a Sales Leadership session. Several of our participants are currently in a sales role and could relate to much of what we discussed. The others had to gauge the conversations from the role of a bystander, working in a different department that may or may not come directly into contact with the sales team. These sessions are designed to encourage give and take with group exercises and open discussion and everyone contributed equally. Youth Movement in our Industry In the most recent Epicomm State of the Industry report, my friend and colleague Andy Paparozzi listed the biggest ...
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The Flavor of the Month

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How good is your organization at getting things done? I’m not talking about client projects and programs as much as I’m referring to the initiatives that are on your 90-day action list. Staying on task can be a major stumbling block for gaining momentum in your business. This is a common occurrence and its’ causes can come from different directions. Let’s look at a few. The Planning Structure With an industry that is experiencing an unprecedented pace of change, there are many more balls in the air and guess what – none of them can hit the floor. So, often it becomes hard to work on the business when you’re knee deep in the business. What level of ...
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Specification supports those serving publishing, direct mail, and USPS supply chains. February22,2016 [Alexandria, ...
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Overwhelming support of the combination by members of both Associations sets the stage for the merger’s completion by July 1. Alexandria, Va. (February 18, 2016)― The members of Idealliance and Epicomm have voted overwhelmingly to approve the joining of their two industry associations, setting the stage for completion of the merger by July 1. Members who took part in separate virtual meetings this week offered their unequivocal support of the merger, some two weeks after the Idealliance Board of Directors and Epicomm Board of Trustees announced their approval of the plan. “We are very gratified that our respective memberships ...
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PRIMEX EAST 2016

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MARCH 15, 2016 Convene Conference Center 810 Seventh Ave (52nd and 53rd), New York, NY The challenges presented in today’s media landscape can be overwhelming! Digital technology – both device and consumer driven – raise a multitude of workflow and strategic questions across graphic communications in advertising, packaging, print, and publishing. You don’t have to navigate these challenges alone! PRIMEXEAST is bringing together industry thought leaders to share insights and offer next steps and strategies for you and your clients. Our group of industry executives will provide perspective and analysis on where we are today – and more ...
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RECOGNIZE YOUR HERO! DEADLINE : April 15, 2016 http://www.idealliance.org/FLA-ZengerMedal About The John Peter Zenger “Community Service” Medal is awarded to an individual employed in the graphic communications industry who has exhibited exemplary character in the form of selfless courage, charity, activism, philanthropy or military service. These Individuals... Inspire us to be more than we are. Make our community a better place to live. Serve our country in ways that make us proud. Selection Criteria The Award is not based on business position or title and is meant to recognize an ...
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If you are achieving outstanding financial results during this current fiscal year and expect the results to be record breaking by year end, maybe it’s time to consider a sale of the Company. For example, if sales have increased by 6% each year for the last 3 years, but this year you should show a 20% improvement in revenues and even more for Adjusted EBITDA Results. What should you expect if you take the Company to market? In formulating a purchase price a buyer will start by taking a weighted average of the last three years’ Adjusted EBITDA. A buyer is not likely to pay the seller based on a multiple of one year. If the seller focuses only on the current ...
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In my last blog post I mentioned the inspiration I receive when having a genuinely engaged talk with clients. It truly is a challenge to then come up with new ideas – to listen to their needs and craft a new solution or alternative to what has been tried in the past. The same comes up when you are looking for new topics to write about for your ongoing blog and social media sites – or when you look for new markets to service and how you could approach them. Not that you have to come up with the “next big thing” that will solve all of humanity’s problems, but you do want to offer a different perspective or hopefully something unique within ...
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I have often mentioned within my blog posts the concept that "the more you give, the more you get." In fact I had once referenced a great book called "The Go-Giver" by Bob Burg and John David Mann, and I would recommend it to everyone in business today. This concept once again came to mind over the past few weeks, as I have had the opportunity to have a meeting with several clients with regard to their year-end projects. It was truly inspirational to me when 4 of these talks lasted two or more hours! Obviously there was some good discussion throughout these meetings, and it was very much two-sided. Both the clients and myself shared thoughts ...
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FINANCIAL INFORMATION

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At some point you might be thinking about selling your Company. One of the questions you need to consider is “Am I collecting and reporting data in a meaningful manner?” By this I mean, are you reporting revenues and associated costs by business segments? If you are a commercial printer, do you have data on revenues and costs by Commercial Print; Digital Print; Direct Mail; Fulfillment or Variable Data, among others? If you are a Label Converter, do you have data on business segments such as PS Labels, Booklets; Extended Coupons or Flexible Packaging, to name few? This information is critical to a prospective buyer and as an owner should be critical to you ...
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The problem with most strategic plans is that they end up on a shelf collecting dust. I have gone through the strategic planning process (or so I thought) many times over the years that I have been in business. Most of the time, it was a waste of time. The plans failed due to lack of buy-in, lack of follow through, and lack of accountability. So, how do you go about making sure that not only is your plan actionable, but that action is actually taken? The key is to take your time, and don't skip any steps. But how much time and what are the steps? I'm sure the time question will have a different answer for every company. I can only tell ...
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I’m a student of organizational culture. After nearly 50 years of work experience in a variety of companies with different organizational cultures, I’m fascinated by what I believe is a direct correlation between long-term success and the work culture that both describes the personality of the company and dictates the behavior of its employees. With this in mind I was captivated by a lead article that appeared in a recent edition of the NY Times that attempted to describe the very unique culture that exists at the most valuable retailer in the U.S. This was not a brief overview occupying a couple of paragraphs. This was a lengthy article that included interviews ...
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For more than twenty years I’ve worked with clients to improve their marketing efforts, read (and even wrote) books on the subject, and attended every type of event you could imagine to further my understanding of marketing. But I can confidently state there isn’t a training, webinar, workshop, or state of the art global conference that has taught me more about marketing than my kitchen table. Or more accurately, the time spent with my family surrounding the kitchen table (just in case you considered the possibility of me having nightly conversations with a table). I’ll begin by telling you how my family (three boys, my wife and myself) communicates and ...
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Business Valuation

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If you are contemplating a sale of your business in the next few years, you should have a business valuation completed by an outside industry expert. Most owners do not know the value of their business as it relates to a merger or sale. They may have an idea, or can guess at it, but more specifically they know what they want for the sale of the business. Unfortunately, most often what is wanted does not relate to what the business is worth. By having a professional valuation done, you can get a feel for how much you can realistically expect to receive in the sale of the business. Valuations take into account current market conditions, industry specific ...
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Flipping around my 500 cable stations (480 or so unwatchable and unwanted) the other evening, I stumbled on a recent Woody Allen movie, “Midnight in Paris.” The plot is sweet and simple, somehow managing to retain its realism while treading far into the realm of fantasy. The main character is a screenwriter vacationing in Paris. One night, while walking alone in the city in search of inspiration, he is spirited away by a group of party-goers who take him back in time to the 1920s. The premise of the movie, according to several reviewers, is that we are always longing for some sort of “golden age” that we perceive to be far different and far better—often, ...
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The print communications landscape continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, but with change comes opportunity. The potential now lies in the ability and desire of the leadership team to refocus the direction of the sales team to better align with how clients buy, their company goals, and the expectations of the marketplace. Top-down leadership steps to kick off the transition start with discussion, analysis, brainstorming, and defining. What follows is a series of evaluation topics and techniques that help you explore key areas that define your sales transition followed by process building, and implementation. Tackling these issues is one of the biggest ...
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Even in the age of social media, press releases remain one of the best ways to get the word out about your business. The press release can be a simple and very cost-effective marketing tool—after all, the publisher or electronic news service is paying for the distribution; all you have to do is tell them your story. Get started writing your release by considering the famous “five Ws”—Who, What, Where, When, Why. Providing answers to these questions is the basis of journalism and marketing. (Actually, answering or discussing the answers to one or more of these questions is the basis of nearly all verbal and written communications. It is how we convey information ...
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