We make
your business
work for you.
Joan M. Ridley
Pres., CFP™, CEPA, CBI

2911 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 300
Dallas, Texas 75219

E-MAIL:  info@businesswealthsolutions.net
PHONE: 214.692.9192
FAX: 214.523.9001

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Blueprint for Growth: From Survival to Creation


Joan M. Gruber Ridley, CFP

Growing a company takes skill, vision, capital, and a lot of energy. Perhaps you have been profitable, even without a formal plan. You have survived. And now you are ready for the next step: creation. You are poised to create the life you have always wanted. Maybe you wish to mentor young people, devote time to your favorite non-profit, attend classes that have nothing to do with earning a living, or live in a foreign country. It’s your dream. You get to write the script and cast yourself in whatever role you wish. Now that you’re ready to live the dream, where do you start?

Assemble a Team

Start by assembling a team with the expertise to turn your dream into reality. Retain a credentialed financial planner to look at all aspects of your personal financial affairs. Interview professionals with these designations: Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), or Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). Make certain that the professional you select has the expertise to advise you about all areas of your personal financial affairs. A team of planners might be needed in order to give you a broad scope of services and advice.

Have a valuation of your company prepared by a credentialed valuation professional such as a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), Accredited Business Valuations (ABV), Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA), or a Certified Business Appraiser (CBA). The professional you engage and the level of valuation that is recommended will depend upon the type and size of your company and the purpose of the engagement.

Seek out a firm to assess the current position of your company, develop a strategic plan to maximize its value, and develop an exit strategy that is consistent with your personal goals and resources. A mergers and acquisitions firm with consulting services might be a wise choice.

Take a good look at your current trusted advisors. Are they prepared and qualified to take you to the next level? If the thought of replacing them is too painful, consider maintaining the relationship while retaining others to do the more specialized work.

Assess Your Current Position

The team you have selected will help you address key issues. Take a look at your personal situation. Is your after-tax cash flow, risk management, asset mix and performance, and estate planning all working together to move you toward living your dreams? Your business is an important part of that assessment. What is it worth? Is it likely to continue to grow to enable you to reach your goals? What isyour plan to exit and unlock the equity? How long will it take to implement the strategy you select? If you have been putting off addressing some of these issues, maybe now is the right time to take charge to see where you stand and to develop and implement a plan to create your ideal lifestyle.

Teamwork is the Key

You will derive the greatest benefit if your advisors work well together, respect each other’s space, and initiate contact with one another. Make certain that all advisors know their respective roles. Each must also understand and appreciate your goals, both financial and otherwise. All involved must be enthusiastic about working together and sharing information to help you live your dreams.You have come this far and survived. Fear is no longer a reality or an option. With the right advisors you can take the leap, moving forward with courage to create the life you have always imagined.


Joan M. Ridley is president of Business Wealth Solutions, a Dallas-based advisory firm that consults with business owners about how to successfully grow and leave their business. Visit our website at www.bwsllc.net. Call us today at 214.692.9192 for a complimentary meeting to learn how we can help you get where you want to go.

Copyright 2004 Joan M. Ridley

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