Why You’re Never Alone on Your Business Journey

By John Binkley


The path of a business owner is not one you can tread lightly. I know, I’ve been walking mine for decades.

Of course, it is very rewarding – financially, socially, personally. But it’s often paved with late nights. Early mornings. Difficult decisions. Lost weekends. Navigating ever-changing industry trends. It’s a real emotional rollercoaster.

Maybe this makes us crazy, yet we walk this demanding path for a variety of reasons. To ensure the financial security of our loved ones. To make a difference in people’s lives. To change the world. To leave a legacy that outlives us.

Whatever your reason for being on this path, it is easy to forget that we don’t have to walk it alone.

That was my intention when I formed Generational Group. To be that one-stop destination for business owners – no matter where they were on their journey – to find specialist advice, support and encouragement on this strenuous path. To be there from beginning to end, so they could make their experience as rewarding as possible.

Today, we can deliver just that and have done so for our clients across North America. In this article, I want to outline how our services provide this start-to-finish support, so you too can make the next steps on your journey that much easier.

Growing your company

Whether you’ve run your business for five months or five years, you are focused on growing it to its full potential. You aspire to reach that next level and want each day to be another step towards achieving your ultimate goals, whatever they may be.

However, this isn’t always possible, even with the best intentions. You may get too caught up in the day-to-day details to think about the future. Events outside of your control could slow down your progress. Or you may simply reach a point where growth starts to stagnate, and you aren’t sure why.

Realizing consistent, continuous growth at any stage in a company’s journey requires a dedicated strategy. So, if you feel that your path has been going sideways for a while, Generational Consulting Group (GCG) can point you in the right direction again.

The team with GCG, is dedicated to revitalizing or accelerating growth in a business by establishing clear goals, identifying opportunities and weaknesses in a company, and documenting it all in one tactical and/or strategic action plan.

Through this, GCG empowers business owners to inspire both short-term and long-term growth in their company. This guides them towards key milestones, builds their business value, and puts them in a strong position to fulfill a successful exit. Our growth specialists have helped numerous clients push forward on their path, including:

Protecting your wealth

Once your company is positioned for continuous growth, you will then need to protect the wealth that it has generated for you and your loved ones over the years.

While you may be in business for more than financial gain, this is what will provide for you and your family once you decide the time is right to move on. The earlier you start a wealth management program, the more secure you will feel throughout your journey, knowing that you have a plan in place for the future.

This is where Generational Wealth Advisors (GWA) plays a key role in our process. Our associates in this team offer personalized, unbiased strategies that enable business owners to grow, protect and transfer their wealth pre- and post-sale. This incorporates:

  • Independent and objective advice, with no incentives to favor a particular strategy, asset class, fund manager or service provider
  • An approach based on Nobel-prize winning financial and economic research
  • Collaboration with an extensive network of trusted partners for needs such as estate planning and tax services

With several members of the GWA team recognized as Five Star Wealth Managers – the largest and most widely published award program of its kind in North America – this member of the Generational family has helped many reap the full benefits of life after their exit (and even before).

Valuing your business

Effective growth strategies will also impact your company’s valuation. Knowing your company’s current and future economic value is a critical difference-maker between an optimal exit, and one that leaves money on the table. If you don’t know your company’s value, how do you know you’re getting a good deal?

That’s why, as part of the comprehensive M&A services offered by Generational., our evaluation team is one of the most crucial aspects. Their role prevents our clients from either underselling their business when the time comes to exit or overestimating the value. Both scenarios are important to avoid as you market your business.

Our evaluation service provides a true reflection of your company’s worth, taking into consideration:

  • Recasting strategies to prevent substantial understating of a company’s worth
  • Potential value enhancement strategies that can boost business value before an intended exit

As a three-time winner of the coveted Valuation Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor, our evaluation team is highly regarded for its accuracy, honesty and experience.

An education in exit planning

Beyond the valuation phase, our associates with Generational offer valuable advice, guidance and techniques across an owner’s journey to exit.

It is an undeniable truth that you will exit your business one day. But something that can be influenced is how you exit your business. Because, in my experience, there are two types of business owner:

  1. Those that PLAN to sell their business
  2. Those that HAVE to sell their business

You want to be in the first of these two scenarios. With the first group you have control over your circumstances and can exit when your business is “buyer ready” and the market is aligned to maximize the value of your exit. Otherwise, you, your family or your colleagues will be forced to sell when circumstances force you to, giving a buyer considerable leverage.

Our award-winning teams give business owners a comprehensive education in M&A through our Growth and Exit Strategy Conferences, and harness their experience in exit planning to navigate the numerous obstacles and pitfalls that will emerge on this leg of your journey. Due diligence, buyer analysis, document preparation – no stone is left unturned.

There is a reason why our Generational teams have won numerous awards from reputable industry bodies, and why we are consistently ranked as one of the leading middle market M&A firms in North America.

It’s because we have established a proven, tried-and-tested process that works for our clients, helping them reach their financial goals through a very challenging process (exiting a business optimally is never easy). If you’d like to learn more, then I’d encourage listening to a few of our client’s stories first-hand:

Identifying a buyer

When the time comes to exit your business, do you believe you’ll sell to a competitor down the street? Someone who operates in the same markets as you do? You wouldn’t be the first, but this narrow mindset can prevent you from optimizing your exit.

Locating the most suitable buyer means casting as wide a net as possible, exploring avenues that you may never think of venturing to on your journey. Private equity firms. Family offices. Offshore buyers. Individual investors. The list is endless and should be.

Maybe after this search, it turns out that your competitor is the optimal buyer. But until you explore the possibilities you cannot be sure that you’ve found the buyer that will:

  • Offer a premium for your business
  • Remain aligned with the culture you have established
  • Look after your remaining employees
  • Grow the legacy you created

I have long recognized this need for broader horizons. This was our intention when creating DealForce – the largest and most varied middle market portfolio in the industry.

With over 34,000 registered buyers perusing hundreds of acquisition opportunities at any point in time, this helps ensure that we identify an ideal buyer. One that meets a client’s vision for their company’s future and will produce an offer that reflects its true value.

Negotiating an optimal deal

The final leg of your journey as a business owner can be the most perilous. Most will only exit one company in their lifetime, meaning that if you tread this path alone, you might as well be doing so blindfolded.

Again, our experienced M&A associates with Generational have been through this process many, many times before. We know how to communicate and negotiate with savvy buyers, who are equally as focused on securing the best deal from their perspective.

Our team has generated over $6 billion in wealth transferred to our clients over the years – empowering many to embrace the benefits of life after business.

Once negotiations have ended, our associates, through their understanding of your personal and professional situation, work with you to structure a deal that achieves both your current and future financial goals.

With this guidance on the last stage of your journey, you can comfortably transition onto your new path, and approach it with confidence and enthusiasm, rather than regret.

Support from start to finish

I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into how Generational Group actively walks alongside business owners at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey. It is a long, winding path with many challenges along the way, but with experienced guidance, we can make every step smoother, easier and more productive than it otherwise would have been.

If you are interested in learning more about the Generational team, I’d encourage you to review the following links:

No matter how far along the path you are, we help make the exit journey as rewarding as possible.