The Real Deal Perspective – Know When To Stay And When To Walk Away

James Pratt knows what it takes to buy or sell a company – and he says never be afraid to walk away from a deal. Over the years, James has grown companies through acquisitions, taken companies public and private, and sold businesses to NYSE listed companies. After originally starting his career in investment banking, he made the move to food and nutraceutical manufacturing industry as a co-founder and senior executive. Today, he works with family businesses and private equity firms, augmenting their management team in a CEO or CFO role, to prepare for a liquidity event such as an exit, merger or even financing.

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Gordon Raman: Deal Killers: Preparing for Transaction Challenges

For those working in the world of mergers and acquisitions, there are a lot of stars that have to align before the champagne cork pops. Given the state of our economy and new pandemic work norms, the risks may seem greater than ever, but today’s environment may also be ripe with opportunity for some lucky business owners. The secret to deal making is knowing what might kill a deal and then taking deliberate steps to minimize risk and maximize the success of the transaction.

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The Unexpected Factors That Can Be Deal Breakers – In Conversation With BTF Edmonton Chair Cheryl Lockhart

BTF Edmonton returns on May 11, 2022. We recently caught up with this year’s BTF Conference Chair, Cheryl Lockhart, to discuss why Edmonton entrepreneurs should plan to attend. We also discuss the local challenges and opportunities and the overall outlook for the Edmonton region. There are many practical takeaways in this article that are actionable today. Enjoy this issue!

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Beanworks CEO Catherine Dahl’s top lessons learned from acquisition

When Catherine Dahl, CEO of Vancouver-based Beanworks, received a message from a consultant saying their client was interested in acquiring her company, she wasn’t in an M&A mindset. It was the March of 2020, and just over a year before, Dahl drafted the company’s three-year plan to keep doubling their growth. “We’ve already had a growth rate in 2019 over 100% and we had over 100% the year before, so…let’s just keep doubling and doubling,” says Dahl. “We had all of our metrics cascading down from that concept.”

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Paystone CEO Tarique Al-Ansari explains why you should include HR early in acquisitions

In our interview with Tarique Al-Ansari, CEO of London, Ontario-based Paystone, he detailed the important lessons learned after undergoing five acquisitions, including the importance of a corporate development team and how to align acquisitions with a company’s vision. While these are important business considerations, another aspect of the acquisitions Al-Ansari wished he’d included early on in these deals is HR.

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Access To Investment Capital Has Indigenous Peoples In Alberta Positioned To Drive Prosperity For Their Communities And The Surrounding Region

Alicia Dubois, Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC), is leading a Crown corporation created to facilitate Indigenous investment and commercial partnerships in Alberta’s natural resource development. She joined AIOC just over a year ago and has quickly established a first of its kind program designed around building strong partnerships and meaningful relationships with the Indigenous communities they aim to serve. And she’s done it by taking a different approach.

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How A Passion For Building Created A Specialty Travel Company That Redefined The Industry

Every entrepreneur has a different story about how they built their business and the lessons they learned along the way. And hearing these stories offers an opportunity to see how others have overcome tough challenges and to learn from their success. Michael Merrithew is one of those people with a great story to share. He’s an experienced leader, CEO, negotiator and proven business development professional who took a single travel franchise and built a business with annual revenues of $400 million.

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How to Scale Your Business Through Acquisition

For entrepreneurs wanting to grow their business, knowing when and how to do it can be a big barrier. It takes a solid strategy, a little luck and (sometimes) nerves of steel to scale. Alex Webb understands firsthand that the path to growth is never a straight one and there are bound to be a few hard lessons along the way.

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Why You Can’t Miss This Year’s BTF Vancouver Conference

A CFA charter member, Axel has more than 25 years of mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporate finance experience. With a career focused on serving small- to mid-sized B.C. companies across a wide range of industries, he’s routinely sought out by entrepreneurs who want to successfully transition their businesses.

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It’s Never Too Early – Or Too Late – To Prepare For Transition

Allison Maher is the co-founder of Family Wealth Coach Planning Services, based in Calgary, Alberta. Over the past 20 years, she has become the “Chief Legacy Officer” for many Canadian families and their businesses. She specializes in working with multigenerational family offices, family businesses and high net worth individuals, with a focus on estate, insurance and succession planning.

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Two million dollar tips to consider when selling

A serial entrepreneur and long-time BTF supporter, Paul LeBlanc loves doing deals and has started up and invested in multiple successful companies over a 25-year span. He has recently exited from the successful advertising agency he founded in 1997 and gives invaluable advice for entrepreneurs contemplating their own exit.

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When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough…Pivot

For some businesses, the transition to remote work environments and the pandemic lockdown brought opportunities and growth. For the majority though, it was a challenging time that has stretched resilience and resources to the max. Much has changed since Canada went into its first lockdown, but (spoiler alert) we feel optimistic that the future is bright .

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Keeping It All in the Family – Keys to a successful family business

Laura Zanchin, Principal, Zanchin Automotive Group, knows what it takes for a family business to thrive, even through challenging times. We recently sat down with Laura to have a wide-ranging conversation about how her family’s business has grown from a single dealership founded by her father, Joe Zanchin, in 1973 to a thriving company boasting over 30 locations and 19 brands.

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Thinking about selling your company? Here’s how to get the best deal.

The road to closing a deal and selling a company can be long and winding with a few unexpected bumps (or potholes) along the way. For Paul Hemsley, founder of Hemmera – a leading Canadian environmental consultancy, the initial road he took to selling the company he built from the ground up hit a sudden dead end, forcing him to start a whole new journey.

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Advice From an Emmy Award-winning Entrepreneur

With only one week away from BTF Vancouver, we continue to spotlight the profiles of amazing business owners who will be sharing their experiences on stage.    This time we spoke with Delna Bhesania, CEO & Co-Founder of Bardel Entertainment, who will be sharing her journey next week. Delna is an Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer and… Read More

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A Transition During an Economic Crisis

With only a couple of weeks away from BTF Calgary, we continue to spotlight the profiles of amazing business owners who will be sharing their experiences on stage. This time we spoke with Bill Darling, former President of Big Guns Energy Services.   Bill is a native Calgarian and has worked in the oil patch… Read More

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Retirement dreams put in jeopardy after business valuation

Originally published on Calgary Herald  Donald Cranston still remembers the pit that formed in his stomach more than a decade ago when he and his business partner saw the cold, hard numbers about their successful business. For decades, he and his cousin Lynn Cranston had run the Medicine Hat-headquartered retail business Nutters Bulk and Natural Foods,… Read More

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How It All Began

As we move into the new season of BTF events, we are excited to share some insights into how our sessions, speakers and success stories have helped 1000’s of business owners over the past five years plan for successful transitions.  To kick things off, we sat down with Mark Stephenson – President and Co-founder of Cube… Read More

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Generational shift brings new dynamics to a family business

  Laura Zanchin gives a hearty laugh when asked if there was any uncertainty about whether she and her sister Andria would take a leadership role in the family business. “Was there ever any question? Absolutely not,” says the executive vice-president of Zanchin Automotive Group, which includes 32 automotive dealerships across the Greater Toronto Area…. Read More

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