About BTF eLearning Series

This complimentary webinar series is designed for business owners that want to learn concepts for increasing the probability of a successful and lucrative sale of their business one day.  Business Owners will get an introduction to various transition options including tactical how-to's from experts with experience helping Canadian lower-middle market and mid-market companies (ie suggested $2m-$50m in annual revenue)  prepare for transitions.

At the conclusion of each session, you will have the opportunity to speak with the instructor and ask personalized questions while also having the opportunity to have discussions with other entrepreneurs participating in the class. 

Who Attends?

  • Exclusively for Owners, Partners and C-suite executives of lower-middle market and mid-market businesses. 
  • Exclusive group structure of 20-30 attendees
  • No Service Providers please!

60 minutes of classroom-style instruction

30 minutes of open Q&A and discussion groups with other entrepreneurs

Small Groups

This was probably the best conference I've attended in the past few years. It offered both big picture ideas and practical tactics.

Even though it's all virtual, it was completely engaging - the speakers and content really made me think and reflect on things.

The organizers really get it!

Let's make the most of our new virtual world instead of lamenting the loss of the physical.

Things can still be fun and innovative and this virtual event has made that clear!

What a fantastic virtual conference! Everyone was welcoming and engaging. The speakers and the sessions were varied and interesting.

It was so much easier to engage and focus during this virtual conference than any other in person conference I have attended. 

eLearning Series Program

Click to expand for program description

Transition Mapping, presented by MNP | March 17, 2021

Transition mapping – A birds-eye-view of steps and strategies for a successful exit

March 17, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT

Presented by

Selling or otherwise exiting a business is, by far, the most complex transaction that most entrepreneurs will ever undertake.  Detailed planning is instrumental and ideally begins long before any decision to sell. 

This session will provide attendees with a birds-eye-view of various exit options, scenarios and preparation tips.  Planning milestones and a self-assessment will help attendees determine their best path.

Areas that will be covered include:

  • Self-assessment of primary reasons for transition: When is the right time to transition or otherwise exit?
  • What acquirer opportunities are best for your type and size of company (Strategic acquirer versus financial buyer versus management buyout etc.)
  • What different exit types are available? Outright Acquisition versus MBO etc?
  • Different sales processes (Exclusive versus targeted versus auction etc.)
  • Costs to consider
  • IOI’s versus LOIs and how to use them properly
  • Essential must-have documents and materials

Show Me the Money | March 24, 2021

Show me the money - Understanding how to increase value of your company (for real + on paper)

March 24, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT

There are dozens of “value drivers,” depending on who you ask – but what about value disruptors? How can you maximize one at the expense of the other? The answer? This session of course.

As a business owner, it’s imperative to focus on specific areas of your business that drive value, even if you have no immediate intention of selling. We’ll take you through the levers that can be pushed or pulled to optimize the paper value of your company. We’ll also explain how the PROCESS you settle on could dictate the proceeds of a sale more so than your P&L, EBITA, etc. We’ll also explore the characteristics that different acquirers' look for in the most acquirable businesses.

Areas to cover:

  • How to increase the value of your assets
  • How to adjust your P&L to maximize profitability in the eyes of an acquirer
  • Extensive discussions around value drivers (and detractors!)
  • How to determine your “number”
  • The impact of the exit process on proceeds

Managing Confidentiality | March 31, 2021

Managing confidentiality – When and who to tell (and how to let the cat out of the bag)

March 31, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT

One of the biggest concerns owners fret about is how to keep exit aspirations and transaction details confidential. Few business owners want word of a potential sale reaching their customers, employees, competitors or vendors.

Before and during a transaction, risks abound when things are not kept extremely confidential.  There are basic stages at which you'll be required to reveal increasingly intimate details about your organization to suitors.  What are these so-called “stages?” In this thought-provoking session we’ll address how owners can embark on a transition plan or an outright competitive sale process under the radar without information leaks.

Areas to cover:

  • Protecting against potential competitors using information gained through the data-room and due diligence processes
  • At what stage should personnel within and outside your organization be made aware of the bigger picture?
  • What do you say (and do) if there is a leak?
  • How should the announcement be made when the deal is finalized?
  • What role can you expect your senior management, board, advisors and the rest of your employees to play?

Tax Strategies to Structure Your Company for Transition, presented by RSM | April 7, 2021

Tax Strategies to structure your company for transition (so there’s money left at the end)

April 7, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT

Presented by

When you sell or transition your business you may face a significant tax bill. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself with less than half of the purchase price in your pocket. Fortunately, with the right preparation and enough time to implement, there are several opportunities to limit or even eliminate tax. This is the ideal workshop for owners, CEO’s and CFO’s to attend. 

Areas to cover:

  • How to structure your company well in advance of a potential sale or recapitalization 
  • Tactics to avoid major post-sale surprises 
  • Options for how to manage what are no longer business expenses, post-transition       
  • How to reduce tax liability and holdbacks 

Understanding Your Liquidity Options | April 14, 2021

Understanding your liquidity options 

April 14, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT

The word EXIT can be scary for some entrepreneurs, but when we hear liquidity, our ears perk up! This session is all about understanding options to generate liquidity, pure and simple. This session will explore some of the most common exit alternatives and show how to evaluate your options in the context of your overall objectives (financial, legacy, success, timing and others). Also discussed in this session will be common acquirer types – for those that plan on moving towards a true exit – what types of companies are most likely to acquire your business?

Having accessible cash at the right place at the right time and building a healthy liquidity lifeline has never been a more pressing concern after the COVID disruptions!

Areas to cover:

  • Full sale: What differentiates different acquirer types? Strategic acquirers, versus financial acquirers and so on... 
  • Majority or minority recapitalization 
  • Management buyout 
  • Dividend recap 
  • ESOP (ESOP Group) 
  • Growth investment option 
  • Discussion of process & timing

Executing an Effective Management Buyout or Buy-In, presented by BDC | April 21, 2021

Executing an effective MBO (Management Buyout) or MBI (Management Buy-In)

April 21, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT 

Presented by

A management buyout can be an excellent succession strategy, and an opportunity to empower your senior managers team to become owners. How do you equip your management team to become a credible bidder for the business?  Will you effectively replace yourself with the right skillsets? Is the team prepared to become owners? What about external management teams?

Areas to cover:

  • When should you begin your MBO/MBI planning? 
  • Pros and cons and pitfalls around MBOs 
  • How to prepare your senior management team for transition and the shift in leadership and responsibility 
  • Strategies for partner buyouts 
  • Different types of financing options 
  • Implementing your post-closing transition plan 

How to Find and Approach External Buyers | April 28, 2021

How to find and approach external buyers (aka “Run a process”)  

April 28, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT

So you’re the kind of person that “swings for the fences” and wants a home-run for an exit? The data shows that a well-run auction with multiple bidders will result in significantly improved outcomes for most sellers. This is called “running a process” and we’ll show you how it works.

Hint: Running a process is NOT for the faint of heart. If you decide to sell to third-parties and solicit multiple offers, you’ll need to prepare and plan strategically. Managing outreach, multiple bidders, confidentiality, negotiating and ultimately closing the deal* while still running your business is a big ask.

In this session, we’ll discuss the key steps to running a process, including revealing the answers to these questions:

  • How to decide on the breadth and nature of a sale process 
  • Why timing and deal tension matters, and how to create it 
  • Which terms have an impact on price, and which do not 
  • The role advisors can play through the sale process, and when and how to manage them (and how they get paid)       
  • Who the most likely buyers are, where to find them, what they’ll pay and how to build prospect lists 
  • How do I separate real acquirers from tire kickers? 
  • When do I reveal my numbers? 
  • How do I hang on to my negotiating leverage after signing an LOI? 

All in the Family, presented by Dynamic Legacy | May 5, 2021

All in the family  – Strategies for professionalizing your family business as a step towards transition. 

May 5, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT

Presented by

Are you the primary owner or controlling shareholder in a family business? Whether your business is multi-generational or that is merely a long-term aspiration - when is the right time to take definitive action around your transition plan? 

At some point in the life of a family business you may decide to professionalize the firm.  What exactly does professionalizing accomplish? What is the goal?  How can it help with transition? 

Professionalization could entail the involvement of a non-family manager or advisor chosen to lead the business or advance internal communicationsChanging to non-family management is only one possible element of professionalizing your family business however.   If your family business is considering professionalizing, it is vital for family and business leaders to agree about what this process entails.  What does a family business need to do to become professionalized as part of a transition plan?  

Areas to cover:

  • When to decide if you need outside help 
  • How to attract, develop and retain great family and non-family talent 
  • How to ensure that the organization can always make timely big decisions 
  • How to strengthen family discipline and commitment toward the business 
  • How to respect the management hierarchy and empower employees to make decisions 
  • How to create systems to ensure consistently high performance and fairness 
  • How to guard your core family values and legacy 

The Diligence Trap | May 19, 2021

The diligence trap: Avoid these common mistakes that sellers make 

May 19, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT

After a long negotiation, you and a prospective buyer agree to a price and terms for the sale of your business. You’ve spent many months in a cat-and-mouse game.  You shake proverbial hands and assume the deal is done... 

Then, not surprisingly, your buyer wants to verify the claims you’ve made during negotiation.  Due diligence can start off in a benign fashion, and quickly get out of control.   

Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months.  Diligence often takes 90 days or more (!) and while most acquirers use this process honestly enoughothers use diligence to grind you down They’ll go to great lengths to justify a lowered price or other changes to the deal. 

How can you maintain control of the process without impeding success?  Many deals collapse at the due diligence stage and maintaining deal momentum is crucial - in this session we’ll dive into the areas that present the most risk to sellers. 

Areas to cover:

  • Avoiding financial due diligence snags 
  • What acquirers are seeking to uncover during operational due diligence 
  • Common deal killers that will put an end to your transaction 

Unintended Consequences | May 26, 2021

Unintended Consequences: Considerations to prepare for the unexpected 

May 26, 2021. 8:30am - 10am PT

You’ve built your business from the ground up, without seriously considering how the finish line might look.  You’re realizing now, with a transition on the horizon that there were many times over the years that certain agreements and contracts were left incomplete - and whether it’s liquidity, conflict or fatigue (three common reasons that owners sell), you are starting to consider your exit.  How can you mitigate and manage risk? 

Any aspirations you may have to transition your business one day will be derailed if an unexpected event triggers a premature transition of ownership. The unfortunate truth is that many businesses transitions occur as a result of the 4 D’s: Death, Disease, Divorce or Dispute.  This session will draw your attention to major risk areas - from wills that misalign with shareholder’s agreements to powers of attorney, partner agreements and major supplier/customer risks. 

Areas to cover:

  • Shareholder and partner agreement checkups 
  • Protecting critical roles in your organization 
  • What to do about “disproportionate dependence” 

Register Now

Registration is complimentary. However, the BTF eLearning Series is intended for companies with revenues of $2-50M annually. You must meet this criteria in order to qualify. You may register for a maximum of 3 sessions.

Seats are limited to a maximum of ~25 business owners/entrepreneurs per session to allow everyone to participate effectively. As a courtesy to others who wish to attend, please only reserve a seat if you plan to show up!