Relationships are important, especially the ones you have with each and every member of your supply chain. But sometimes, as our guest on this edition of "Deal Talk" might tell you, our long-term relationships can cloud our judgement when it comes to the bottom line.

When was the last time you audited your distribution network, or your supply chain as a whole? How much have rising costs chewed into your profits? When was the last time you put your materials or distribution needs up for bidding? Tim Van Mieghem, partner at The ProAction Group in Chicago, has seen it all. Jeff Allen speaks with Tim about the warning signs and what you can do to help get your supply chain costs under control so more money goes to your bottom line.
If you're looking into selling your business, the question you have in mind right now must be the same question that other small-business owners often ask: “How can I increase the value of my business?”

On this episode of Deal Talk, you’ll learn about the 10 ways that are proven to boost the value of your company.  With examples and illustrations provided during our discussion with our guest, you will better understand how and why you should work on improving your company’s value right now.

Our guest, Ms. Anja Bernier, is a company sale and acquisition advisor, a certified business appraiser and certified valuation analyst. As the CEO of Efficient Evolutions LLC in Boston, MA, Ms. Bernier specializes in working with small businesses in all stages of the M&A process.
If you're a business owner looking to diversify your holdings and/or to create a business portfolio, then owning a business franchise may be the way to go. And what you learn along the way may benefit your own privately held company, particularly where systems come into play. 

Terry Coker, a consultant at FranChoice, joins host Jeff Allen for a discussion of the various types of systems that franchisors put into place to help ensure the overall success of their individual franchise owners and the corporation.

Choosing the right contractor for improvements, expansion or installation projects requires careful consideration. Unfortunately, many small business owners tend to give priority to the lowest bids, often putting quality and — most importantly — health and safety at risk, the consequences of which can be costly indeed in terms of time, money and legal penalties. Our guest on this edition of “Deal Talk” is Marina Manoukian, senior counsel at ADLI Law Group. Ms. Manoukian will share her experience of working with business owners to properly vet contractors for experience, licensing, safety protocols, quality assurance as well as their relationships with subcontractors, who often perform most of the work.

Crowdfunding has been around for several years; however, its use by small businesses as a source of growth capital is becoming increasingly popular. Changes in securities laws since the passage of the JOBS Act have created a spike in interest among not only entrepreneurs, but also individual investors who seek to broaden their portfolios. What does this mean for you and other business owners who may be leaning toward nontraditional funding sources to grow their companies? We get the low-down from attorney Jennifer Post, partner at the LA-based law firm of Raines Feldman LLP, where she specializes in M&A and venture capital financing.

You’ve heard us talk about due diligence before, but the fact is, the better your accounting practices and bookkeeping are in the first place, the easier it will be in the long run when it’s time to begin the sales process. Buyers of small and mid-market businesses are more savvy these days, and they know the signs of a company that is in distress versus one that is succeeding, well-managed and built for the future. Business, corporate and real estate transactional attorney Michael Schachter is the co-founder and co-owner of the Pearson & Schachter Law Firm in Southern California. Listen as he talks about the importance of staying organized and having the right people in place to help in that process.

Even in the best of times, running your business can be a challenge. With so many things to remember, it’s easy to forget certain responsibilities that could end up costing you a lot of money when you sell your company. And if a prospective buyer takes you to court over issues you fail to disclose or inconsistencies in your financials, the results could be catastrophic and even prevent any chance of selling your business in the future. Find out about the most common legal mistakes that business owners make and how you can avoid them as we welcome business attorney and managing partner of The Ticktin Law Group Mr. Jamie Sasson on this edition of “Deal Talk.” 

Business valuations — or business appraisals — are an important part of a successful transaction of any M&A deal, but valuations are also important for a number of other non-transactional purposes. In this edition of “Deal Talk,” you’ll learn about the other business and personal uses for business valuations. If you have business partners, are involved in forming a new entity, are married with a family or have special considerations, this show will be of special interest to you. Join Jeff Allen as he speaks with professional business valuation consultant Trisch Garthoeffner, CVA and owner of Anchor Business Valuations & Financial Services LLC.

Business attorneys have a breadth of knowledge that we as business owners can use to our advantage.  However, it’s important to make sure you have the right attorney on your team before you sell your business.  Whether you own your own privately held company or a franchise, you need to know who to talk to and what questions to ask to find a lawyer who will have your best interests at heart. M. Blen Gee Jr. is a business lawyer specializing in commercial law, contracts, corporate law, business litigation and mergers & acquisitions.  He has helped hundreds of business owners, and agreed to share some of his legal tips with you on this edition of “Deal Talk.”

Properly written buy-sell agreements are essential to the smooth transaction of any deal involving mergers and acquisitions. So why are most written so poorly, if at all? If the agreement in any way favors one party over the other, is based on an unreliable calculation method or excludes any pertinent information, the seller can find themselves in court. So how do you avoid litigation? What steps should you take to ensure that your buy-sell agreement is as iron-clad as possible? Those are just some of the questions we ask Michael Blake, CFA and director of Valuation Services at Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP in Atlanta, on this edition of “Deal Talk.”