small business owners

  • The Failing State of Small Business

The Failing State of Small Business

The Role of Mergers and Acquisitions Amidst the Pandemic

Small business owners who are running completely out of options (and in many cases, running out of hope) are going out of business in droves, crushed by the weight of the pandemic and without the support of an effective government.

The last thing many business owners are thinking about right now is buying a business. With so much uncertainty in the marketplace, even global brands such as Boeing have stopped their plan to acquire a major stake in Portuguese aerospace conglomerate Enbraer while open deals are on the table for companies such as Google Cloud, Nestle SA, BlackRock and Boohoo according the Harvard Business Review article, “What M&A Looks Like During the Pandemic.”

The pandemic has driven the climate for business deals to an all-time low. However, according to Fortune Magazine, “M&A is showing signs of life in the healthiest and least healthy sectors,” and the markets for business are beginning to come back.  The article goes on to report that the deals are smaller, prices are lower, there are fewer of them, and private equity is playing a much larger role in getting the deals done – all which present an opportunity for them to buy distressed companies at a discount with the expectation of substantial returns at some point.

How does this impact small businesses?

According to Bloomberg’s article, “Small Businesses Are Dying by the Thousands — And No One Is Tracking the Carnage”, there are thousands of small businesses that are going bankrupt or are simply walking away as the economy is decimated by the prolonging pandemic. Thousands more are afraid that their firms won’t survive either and they will end up in the same fate.  The loss in revenue and difficulty generating sales in their traditional format is just too much for these firms to bare.

An article in Inc. magazine, “How Change Offers New Opportunity for Buying a Business, During and After Covid-19,” shares how the Cares Act SBA subsidized loan program created an opportunity for some business owners to purchase companies that entrepreneurs may be trying to unload. As private equity financiers noted – it may be an opportunity time to purchase or partner with a struggling business at little to no money down and a delayed repayment schedule.  Unfortunately, all funds have been distributed and there doesn’t seem to be a plan in place to revive it.

While struggling companies such as JC Penny, Brook Brothers and Lucky Brand are at least being considered for acquisition as they face or have faced bankruptcy, most small businesses and small business owner are simply not in the position to be able to outlast the  devastation that the pandemic is causing.  The market simply isn’t there for many smaller retailers, restaurants, gyms, beauty salons and other businesses to survive in their traditional format.

Many companies that could potentially have a greater online presence simply don’t have the technical expertise or level of support to make the transition. The potential problem right now is this: should there be a resurgence and a secondary shelter in place or national quarantine, these companies are going to be in desperate positions.

It would be my hope that governments would focus on developing solutions for its growing number of unemployed citizens, whether they had traditional W-2 employment, they were contractors or business owners.  One would think that living in the wealthiest nation on earth would provide greater support in a time such as this. One would have thought that we had the power to better protect the country from getting to its present state.

However, that is not the case. Small businesses are not being purchased. They are not successfully partnering up to any great extent. They are not restructuring under chapter 11 because they have no customers who will bring in revenue to support the restructure.

These businesses are simply going away in the wealthiest, most powerful nation on Earth. And it is a travesty.

Business Catalyst Masterclass

To give back to the small business community, we have developed the Business Catalyst Program to help you retrench, move your company forward, and bridge the gap from where you are today to where you want to go.

We still have a few spots left for the catalyst program. Register through this link, then once we review your application, we’ll let you know if your business qualifies for it.

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Amazon Storefronts – Amazon’s Online Store for the Small Business | Extraordinary Business

Amazon, the second company to hit a $1 trillion market cap (among other things), has launched an online store for small businesses. While critics of Amazon often call out the eCommerce giant for out pricing small scale businesses, this initiative provides a different narrative.

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How Small Business Owners Are Leading the Country in Innovation | Extraordinary Business

Recommended Reading: How Small Business Owners Are Leading the Country in Innovation

If you have been in business for a while, you and your staff probably have had some great ideas about how to improve your business. The interesting thing is, you are not alone. As a matter of fact, according to Patricia Greene, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson College in her article, “How Small Business Owners Are Leading the Country in Innovation,” as the title indicates, small business owners lead innovation – not just in product and service development, but also in their processes, markets they pursue and serve, sources of supply and changes in their business models.

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Total Market Domination | Extraordinary Business

One of the things that I see beginning to plague small businesses and make the world “un-flat,” again is obsolescence.  As you know, most small businesses that start up go out of business after a few years.  Only two out of the ten that opened their doors 10 years ago are still in business under the same leadership that established the business.

A little known fact is that probably only 4% (that’s right four out of 100) of business leaders ever make more than $100K per year.  (That means that if our mutual friend is bringing home more than $100K, you and I are out of luck!)  The reason I bring that up is because one of the reasons people go out of business is because they are under financed.  What that equates to is not having the resources necessary to keep the business in business. The World Isn't Flat

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Where do you Fit?

Entrepreneur?
Small Business Owner?
High Growth Small Business Owner?
In August 2010 issue of Entrepreneur magazine (p. 14), several business leaders were polled – most considered themselves entrepreneurial, while one considered herself a small business owner.  The common thread seemed to be that most thought that small business owners simply start and stay small, while entrepreneurs take huge risks and either make it big or lose everything.

As a business strategy consulting firm, we are often faced with the question of how to help a client build their business with the ideal outcome that represents their role in their business.  This might be building a business around a great product or service, helping a business leader start or stabilizing an existing business, or developing a scalable, duplicate-able infrastructure for a high growth business.

The challenge for many business leaders is that they don’t know where they fit, and thus, are challenged when it comes to making certain decisions about their businesses.  Decisions for an entrepreneurial firm might be devastating to a typical small business firm…and visa versa.

Consider the following:

  • An entrepreneur often comes up with an on slot of ideas – good or bad – for businesses.  Many deal with “flash in the pan” types of goods or services, though some do take a single concept and grow and expand it for all its worth.  They typically are very good at leadership, but not so good at management – managing the day-to-day activities of a firm.  You might see them as people who are always building something.
  • A small business owner, on the other hand, is someone who tends to have the more stable personality, and will build a business  with the goal of making it possible, supporting their family and being part of the elite community of small business owners.  While they tend to be good or great managers, they often lack the leadership and drive toward a vision to grow a business that could be bigger than what they can physically put their hands on.
  • A high growth small business owner is probably the hybrid between the two: the business leader wants to not only start a business, but he or she wants to create something that makes an impact, ideally, on the way people do things for an unforeseen future.  Their businesses might start off as small, but are aiming to grow their businesses, as one client put it, “As big as it will grow.”

Understanding where a business leader fits directly impacts the way that the business should be designed.  As they say, “You can’t send a duck to eagle school.”  Be Extraordinary.  Know where you fit.

Aepiphanni is a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. We are the trusted advisor to those seeking forward-thinking operational and strategic solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth.

If you are ready to discuss how Aepiphanni can help you with business strategy, overcoming challenges to growth or any number of business solutions for your business, whether a small, growing or established company, contact us directly or submit a request for a complimentary Coffee & a Consult to learn how we can help you CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD an Extraordinary company.

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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Leader,Business Owner,Entrepreneur,High Growth Company,Business Architecture
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Great Strategy Video from Tony Galliano

Tony Galliano � the Sixty Second Strategist, posts this video on his website titled �Strategic Planning Through Analysis & Forecasting.  In it, he discusses the idea that strategic planning doesn�t just happen, and just because you�ve come up with some things you would like to do, there is a process for your strategic planning that has to make sense. 

For more info on Tony and his work, check him and his book out at www.60secondstrategist.com.  Take the quiz � see what your Strategic Quotient is.

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are a Small Business Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping business leaders and executives organize, plan and develop strategies for their organizations. We are committed to our clients’ success. 

If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Strategic Planning,Strategic Thinking,Video,60 Second Strategist
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The New New Economy: More Startups, Fewer Giants, Infinite Opportunity

The New New Economy: More Startups, Fewer Giants, Infinite Opportunity

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].

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Focus…Plan…Reach: Plan – overview of Business Systems Planning

Below is a portion of the ‘Focus…Plan…Reach: Moving Beyond Today’s Economy’ presentation.  This portion is the “Plan” Section that discusses viewing a business as a system, and prioritizing planning and decision making for the business leader or executive.clip_image002

Enjoy!  I welcome your comments.

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At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are a Small Business Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Getting There…Maybe??

Strategic planning for your business isn’t simply a matter of getting an idea and putting some steps to get there on a piece of paper.  It isn’t just finding ways to increase capacity, add to your product line or open more offices.  While many business owners operate from this perspective, this isn’t a sustainable method: it tends to be short sighted, and is easily pushed off track.

Strategic planning can be likened to a sport: not only do you want to win, but you need to have an idea of how to do it.  If it is soccer, for instance, you need to know the rules, how to kick, accurately, what the different positions are and how they interact.  You must have leadership and a team committed to the same goal of winning, who understand their role or position on the team.

Once the inter-team dynamics are considered, the leadership can begin to look at clip_image002the league, other teams, the playing field, the weather, the referees, etc..  While it is great to have a team that operates well internally, when the team goes out to play, so to speak, they need to know the playing field and how to defend it.  The more they know, the greater chance they have of developing strategies to win.

In a business, in order for your strategic planning to be effective, you must

  1. be aware of where you are going
  2. know how you want to get there
  3. know the organization’s strengths
  4. know the organization’s weaknesses
  5. know external opportunities
  6. know external threats

In other words, SWOT your business.  Only with this information should you begin to put some ideas down on paper.  Only with this information should you begin to plan for how to accomplish these goals.  To get started, find a typical SWOT diagram, here.

At Aepiphanni Business Solutions, we are a Small Business Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small business owners. We specialize in helping you develop strategies for your organization, and are committed to your success. If you have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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