Growing Your Business by Acquisition and What You Need to Know Along the Way

One of the most challenging aspects of an acquisition is ensuring there is a cultural fit between the company that is buying and the seller. As an entrepreneur who has completed multiple acquisitions, Brian Jones knows how to evaluate fit prior to closing a deal. The acquisition matrix he and his partners use guides their decision-making around the fit of a new business and its people into their current growth strategy.

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9 Things to Increase Your Business’ Value

The value of your company is partly determined by your industry. For example, cloud-based software companies are generally worth a lot more than printing companies. However, when analyzing businesses in the same industry, we still see major variations in valuation. So ATB dug through the data available to us from our partners at The Value Builder System™ and found 9 things that can make your company more valuable than its industry peer group.

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No Two Exit Stories Are The Same – No Matter How Many Times You Buy And Sell

Barry Wood knows what it takes to build a company. An innovator by nature, Barry has decades of experience starting and acquiring businesses ranging from manufacturing to sales distribution and services. Along the way, he’s encountered his share of challenges and tough lessons, as well as the steps required to build a healthy employee culture and set a company up for success.

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The Chemistry Behind Building Seven Successful Businesses

After founding seven successful companies, Chris Micetich is a bona fide serial entrepreneur. Now he’s putting his experience in pharmaceutical innovation to work as the mastermind behind an innovative new accelerator program designed in collaboration with the University of Alberta that is celebrating great early success.

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Seven Tips For How To Scale Your Business For Sale

You’ve done well. You’ve taken your business from start-up to growth and profitability over the years and now it’s time to get it ready to sell. You’ve heard a lot about how important scalability is to a potential buyer for your business. But what does that mean, and what should you be doing about scaling your business at this critical point in its life cycle? Do you need to scale up the business completely before you try to sell it, which could take many years? Or is making a serious commitment to scalability and putting the right mechanisms in place enough?

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Choosing The Right Transition Path For Your Family Business

The decision to transition from a multi-generational family business is not an easy one. Watching loved ones build a business from scratch, growing it into a successful, thriving enterprise – and knowing the sacrifices that were made along the way – can weigh heavy. Just ask Ashlynne Dale, the former CEO of Norwood Industries, a personal portable sawmill company turned global outdoor lifestyle brand.

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How to Unlock Equity Without Selling Your Business

The decision to sell a business is a difficult and multi-layered one with many considerations. Besides the complexity of the process and emotions involved, entrepreneurs need to make sure they maximize the value of the business they’ve put so much effort and time into building. Claude Miron, Managing Partner, Growth Equity Partners with BDC Capital, said that anywhere between 75 and 80 per cent of transactions his team executes are geared toward some form of an ownership transfer. But, for entrepreneurs considering a transition, selling out is not the only option.

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How To Navigate The Emotional Side Of Selling

Making the decision to sell your company and navigating through a deal is a complex process. One aspect that is often overlooked is the emotional toll that selling a business can take on an entrepreneur. Vern Sabeski is an entrepreneur who knows first-hand about the emotional and psychological side of selling a company built from the ground up. He recently sold a successful software company and is sharing how to ensure your emotions don’t jeopardize the deal.

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The Unique Considerations Of Selling A Service Business

An interesting turn of events led Steve Duyvewaardt and Dale Mumford to think about selling their successful commercial property management company in 2019. The firm carried key man insurance, a common type of insurance for small business that helps protect the value of the company. However, the partners wanted to confirm that the coverage was an appropriate reflection of the value of the company and to ensure the correct coverage, they had the business valued by an investment banker. The result confirmed that the existing coverage was inadequate.

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Finding the Right Strategic Partner to Grow Your Business

Entrepreneurs sometimes don’t know when to get out of their own way. The passion and drive that builds a successful business can also be detrimental when it comes to knowing when to seek help to get to the next level. Kleo Landucci, CEO & President, CrescentView Investments Ltd. and Board Member and former Managing Director of Ashcroft Terminal Ltd., has gone through the process twice and in this issue, she shares her experiences and the lessons learned along the way.

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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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