How well do you forecast in business?


Forecasting helps your business be ready for what lies ahead.

by Chia-Li Chien | Mar. 18, 2014

How well do you forecast in business by Chia-Li Chien"Three-million good ideas each year in North America get shot down. At best, 1% make it." This is according to Professor John P. Kotter in his book Buy-In: Saving Your Good idea from Getting Shot Down. Obviously, it takes more than good ideas in products, services, process improvements, etc. for success. Even Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple was fired by Apple’s first CEO and Board of Directors despite of ahead-of-his-time ideas, according to The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation by Jay Elliot with William L. Simon.

In the business world, public or private sectors tend to take ideas and run a forecast just to see how they stack up financially. I want to focus in this article on what and why to forecast and then talk about how to forecast in a follow-up article.

What is Forecasting?


Let’s take a look at the definition from Merriam-Webster dictionary:

PROFITS MATTER® in Business Marketability!


What Are You Doing To Stay On Track With Your Objectives?

by Chia-Li Chien | Mar. 07, 2014

As I’ve worked with many business owners like you over the years, helping them build value in their businesses, I find myself continuously reminding them—

Please don’t sabotage your business’s marketability!


Chia-Li ChienYou are probably saying to yourself, maybe under your breath, “Chia-Li, of course I’m not going to sabotage my own business. I’m not stupid, you know.”

I understand that you would never intentionally sabotage your business. Your objective is to build your business in value, then transfer it —profitably—when the time is right for you.

However, that objective can sometimes be difficult when there are so many people, investors and family members to consider. Sometimes those offers, or changes in circumstances come unexpectedly. Sometimes they are good news in the form of a family member or employee approaching you with an amicable plan, or the third party offer you dreamed of but never thought you’d see. Sometimes you’ve planned for investors to maximize your business’s marketability. Sometimes you haven’t.

No matter what stage your business is in or what kind of offers or transfer plans you have or anticipate, it pays to regularly check the marketability of your business.

Realize Your Business ROI


How Will You Equitably And Profitably Transfer Your Business?

by Chia-Li Chien | Feb. 19, 2014

Realize Your Business ROI by Chia-Li ChienWhat would have been your ROI (Return of Investment) if you had invested in Apple on January 6, 2003? Well, according to Yahoo Finance, if you had bought Apple stock on that date, you would have paid $7.36 a share. On January 7, 2013, the same Apple Stock was trading at $520.30 per share. A quick calculation reveals your ROI would have been 69 times greater than your initial purchase. Let’s further assume that if on average ROI is 7%, using the Rule of 72, your investment should double in 10 years. Wow, the ROI on Apple stock more than doubled in ten years. Would you have liked to have invested in Apple on January 6, 2003? If so, when would you like to sell your Apple stock to realize your ROI?

What if you started your business back on January 6, 2003 and used your own hard earned money to the tune of $100,000 as a start-up capital? Once again, using the Rule of 72, with the average ROI of 7%, your initial capital investment should double or be worth $200,000 by January 7, 2013. Would you cash out to realize your initial investment of $100,000? Do you think that your business is worth far more than that? And when would you realize your ROI? Let me guess—in the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years or so?

You see, your business is like an investment. As a matter of fact, it’s an investable asset! You happen to be the captain, driving ROI year after year to help your business realize your ROI. But the idea of cashing out or selling simply hasn’t crossed your mind yet. Perhaps you just don’t see your business as an investable asset, but if so, why not?

Raising Capital – Rule 506(c) Offerings Better Than Alternatives


by Jim Verdonik | Feb. 12, 2014

CrowdFunding Chia-Li ChienThere’s been a lot written lately about the SEC’s proposed crowdfunding rules and new Rule 506 (c).

But most of the articles don’t address the bottom line issue:  Which exemption is best for most companies that are trying to raise capital?

Here’s the bottom line answer:  New Rule 506 (c) provides much greater capital raising flexibility than both the proposed crowdfunding rules and traditional private placement exemptions.

Only Rule 506 (c) offerings have all the following advantages that affect your ability to communicate to a wide audience on a cost efficient basis:

– Allow you to use social media, advertising and other solicitations with the only limit being that you are not allowed to commit fraud.  Social media is a cost efficient tool for attracting investors if you know how to use it.
- Allow maximum flexibility about what you disclose to investors and how you disclose it, subject only to the requirement that you not commit fraud.

Reduce Your Risk


You can with these strategies

by Chia-Li Chien | Feb. 06, 2014

Reduce Your Risk by Chia-Li ChienMaking your business valuable from an investor or buyer’s perspective must be your ultimate goal. Otherwise, how will you be repaid for pouring yourself into the business year after year?

There are three major categories that impact business value:
1.    Increase recast EBITDA
2.    Employ high-yield capital
3.    Reduce Risk

For today, let’s concentrate on that last category—reducing risk—something that always seems to be top-of-mind for many of my clients.

So, what are some ways to reduce risk but still ultimately increase business value and the chance to cash out with financial independence?

What makes your company Marketable? Part 2 of 2


Keep focused on value and your transfer goals.

by Chia-Li Chien | Jan. 23, 2014

What makes your company Marketable by Chia-Li Chien

As we discussed previously, many of my clients receive calls and inquiries from would-be investors on a weekly basis and are often approached with interesting business and financial propositions. For any business owner, these calls can become confusing. The next “shiny thing” can be very alluring. Or, they suffer from FOMO—fear of missing out.

In part, this is because owners often believe that 3rd party buying is the only option and the only way to sell the business and maximize their profit. In fact, there are two major channels: Internal and External.

Internal channels would include transfers to:
•    Partners/ Co-owners
•    Employees
•    Family members
•    Charitable trusts

What makes your company Marketable? Part 1 of 2


Keep focused on value and your transfer goals.

by Chia-Li Chien | Jan. 23, 2014

What makes your company Marketable by Chia-Li ChienI see it quite often, even with well-known clients in the media, community, and market leaders in their industry. They need my advice because they receive calls and inquiries from investment bankers on a weekly basis and are often approached with investment leads and complex and numerous discussions that would become confusing to any business owner.

In part, this is because owners often believe that 3rd party buying is the only option and the only way to sell the business and maximize their profit. In fact, there are two major transfer channels: Internal and External.

Internal channels would include transfers to:
•    Partners/ Co-owners
•    Employees
•    Family members
•    Charitable trusts