190 Attwell Drive, Suite 650, Toronto ON M9W 6H8 | Tel: 416.498.1550 | Fax: 416.498.1029 | info@osborne-group.com

The Osborne Group turns 25 in 2018…

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

As we look back over the last 25 years, a lot of things have changed. Computing and internet capability are two great examples. Do any of you remember those “luggables” – the so-called first portable computer? Compare that to today’s smartphone which literally puts the world at our fingertips. No one uses the phone like they used to; everything is done via email, twitter, Facebook etc. and we only pick up the phone if those other methods fail us. Social media presence is critical to promoting your product and services because if you don’t manage your message, the customers themselves have the tools to influence others. Let’s also not forget the deluge of apps that can help with everything from accounting, your golf game, improving your health and setting the temperature in your house. We now have digital photography which allows no limits on the number of photographs or selfies we can take. We have even invented a stick to get a better view of ourselves in the picture! Healthcare advancements include exome and genome sequencing that has identified genetic causes of neurological disease. This breakthrough impacts the entire field of medicine and how medications are provided to individual patients. Smoke-free environments are improving the long-term health of our population. Treatments are available for HIV and Hep-C and, on the horizon, could be several benefits associated with medical marijuana. Change has no doubt accelerated and, despite some people’s belief that we were better off in the past, we will continue to find ways to do things better than yesterday. Through the last 25 years, The Osborne Group has provided clients with the experienced executives needed to navigate the changing landscape. Our experts help clients take advantage of the benefits available through many of the advancements that relate to their field of business. We look forward to another 25 years helping clients address the challenges associated with change. We will continue to bring the depth of experience, knowledge, and leadership that can help with the most complex issues at a reasonable...

Read More

Are you doing the right things to create a culture of engagement with your employee group?

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Family Enterprise Xchange Forum last week. The biggest benefit of being a speaker at these events is that – while I was there to share my story – I also got to listen to the experiences of others. The forum was aimed at addressing how to maintain a strong foundation in your family-run business. We heard from a couple of 3rd generation business owners: Paul Higgins of Mother Parkers Tea and James Schlegel Jr. of Schlegel Villages to name a couple. Both talked about their successes and what they felt were the reasons they were able to beat the odds and have a successful family enterprise ready for 4th generation leaders. My takeaways from those discussions are the following: Importance of the employee It was clear from listening to these two that they deeply understand the importance of their employees in the success of their corporations. They see their role as leaders to ensure that the organization is working to support frontline workers and provide them with the resources they need to deliver on their customer’s expectations. Culture that embodies the corporate values Both organizations continue to stress the corporate values that have lasted through the 1st and 2nd generations. They have regular discussions with employees about the corporate values and how they can make those values part of the way each employee handles their responsibilities and interacts with customers. Professional development that drives succession Neither leader gave you the impression that they were satisfied with the status quo. They expressed a healthy interest in seeking more knowledge about their business by witnessing firsthand how their staff handles day to day issues. Armed with this research, they can plan staff development and place future leaders in the right roles so that they are ready to meet the succession needs of the organization. As an HR professional, these all make sense and align with the positioning I take with my clients. Engaged employees deliver superior customer service resulting in increased cash flow through repeat business or referrals. I was fortunate to experience the wisdom of these business leaders. Now, I’d like to ask you: Are you doing the right things to create a culture of engagement with your employee group? Mike Dick Human Resources Visit Osborne-group.com for other Principals’ ideas and opinions on a range of topics. The Osborne Group provides interim executive management, consulting and project support across all sectors and over a broad scope of service...

Read More

5 Reasons Why Now Might Be The Right Time To Sell

Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

This is an excerpt from a Value Builder System™ publication. Are you trying to time the sale of your business so that you exit when both your business and the economy are peaking? While your objective to build your company’s value is admirable, here are five reasons why you may want to sell sooner than you might think: 1. You May Be Choking Your Business When you start your business, you have nothing to lose, so you risk it all on your idea. But as you grow, you naturally become more conservative because your business actually becomes worth something. For many of us, our company is our largest asset so the idea of losing it on a new growth idea becomes less attractive. We become more conservative and hinder our company’s growth. 2. Money Is Cheap We’re coming out of a period of ultra-low interest rates. Financial buyers will likely borrow money to buy your business so—at the risk of over simplifying a lot of MBA math—the less it costs them to borrow, the more they will spend to buy your business. 3. Timing Your Sale Is A Fool’s Errand The costs of most financial assets are correlated, which is to say that the value of your private business, real estate, and a Fortune 500 company’s stock all move in roughly the same direction. They all laid an egg in 2009 and now they are all booming. The problem is, you’ll have to do something with the money you make from the sale of your company, which means you will likely buy into a new asset class at the same frothy valuation as you are exiting at. 4. Cybercrime If you have moved your customer data into the cloud, it is only a matter of time before you become the target of cyber crime. Randy Ambrosie, the former CEO of 3Macs, a Montreal-based investment company that manages $6 billion for wealthy Canadian families decided to sell in part because he feared a cyber attack. Ambrosie and his partners realized they had been underinvesting in technology for years, at a time when cybercrime was becoming more prevalent in the financial services space. Ambrosie decided to sell his firm to Raymond James because he realized the cost for staying ahead of hackers was becoming too much to bear. 5. There Is No Corporate Ladder In most occupations, the ambitious must climb the ladder. Aspiring CEOs must methodically move up, stacking one job on the next until they are ready for the top post. They have to put in the time, play the right politics and succeed at each new assignment to be considered for the next rung. By choosing a career...

Read More

Want to Get a Big Company Price for Your Small Business?

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

Osborne Group Principal Michael Dick passes on some thoughts from The Value Builder System on how strategic buyers view the opportunity to purchase your business. So how do you get a public company like multiple for your business? One approach is to look for a strategic buyer. Unlike a financial buyer that is looking for a relatively safe return on their capital invested (which is the reason investors place a premium on big, stable companies trading on the stock market), a strategic buyer will value your company on how buying you will impact them. Imagine you have a grommet manufacturing business predictably churning out $500,000 in pre-tax profit. These days, a financial buyer may pay you around 4 or 5 times earnings – in this case, roughly $2.5 million – if you can make the case your profits are likely to continue well into the future. Now, imagine that a company selling a billion-dollar worth of widgets starts sniffing around your manufacturing business. They think if they integrate your grommets into their widgets, they can sell 10 percent more widgets next year. That means your little grommet business could add 100 million dollars of revenue for the widget maker next year – and that’s just year one after the acquisition. Imagine what your business could be worth in their hands if they continue to sell more widgets each year because of the addition of your company. The widget maker is not going to pay you $100 million for your business, but there is somewhere between the $2.5 million a financial buyer will pay and the $100 million in the sales the widget maker stands to gain next year that is a good deal for both you and for the widget maker. Premium multiples get paid to big companies, and to the little ones that can figure out how to make a big company even bigger. If you’d like to know how your company could become a strategic purchase, first take our Value Builder Assessment, simply complete the 20-minute on-line questionnaire http://www.thevaluebuildersystem.com/osborne-group . Then we’ll arrange a complimentary review of how a purchaser would value your business. Mike Dick Operations and Human Resources &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /> &amp;amp;amp;lt;div style=”display:inline;”&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /> &amp;amp;amp;lt;img height=”1″ width=”1″ style=”border-style:none;” alt=”” src=”//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/940422155/?value=0&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;guid=ON&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;script=0″/&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /> &amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br />...

Read More

What Drives Value in Your Business?

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

The Osborne Group spent June 8, 2016 at the Toronto Entrepreneurs Symposium and Tradeshow talking to many entrepreneurs. We asked them “What drives value in your business?” To keep the discussion somewhat focused we gave entrepreneurs the list of eight value drivers outlined in John Warrillow’s book “Built to Sell” to choose from.  To no one’s surprise the top two drivers selected by the majority of people were financial performance and growth potential.  These were followed by cash flow and the ability of the business to create recurring revenue.  Next was customer service and the level of differentiation that exists between your product or service and that of the competition. I am sure many of you would agree that these are significant drivers of value in any business, but who really determines value – the Owner, the Certified Business Valuator or the Purchaser? While the first two can provide an estimate of value, it is really the purchaser who has the final say in what they are willing to pay for the business. Warrillow believes there are two other important factors that, from a purchaser’s standpoint, are value drivers. How dependent the business is on one customer, one employee or one supplier and the level of effort the current owner is expending on making the business successful. Interested in finding out how your business rates in relative to others in your industry?  If so, take our 20 minute on line survey at http://www.thevaluebuildersystem.com/osborne-group. We’ll provide you with an assessment of how your business is doing in each of the value driver areas and what you can do to improve the overall value of your business from a purchaser’s perspective. It’s never too early to begin to build a value driven business. Mike Dick Operations and Human Resources &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /> &amp;amp;lt;div style=”display:inline;”&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /> &amp;amp;lt;img height=”1″ width=”1″ style=”border-style:none;” alt=”” src=”//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/940422155/?value=0&amp;amp;amp;amp;guid=ON&amp;amp;amp;amp;script=0″/&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br /> &amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br />...

Read More