Focusing on transition success

Succession Stories Podcast guides entrepreneurs from transition to transaction- from building value in your business to letting go. Tune-in for insights to reward your hard work and avoid succession regrets. Available on all podcast platforms.
Hosted by Laurie Barkman, the Business Transition Sherpa

Show Sponsor:

Succession
Stories
Podcast 

Focusing on transition success

Succession Stories Podcast guides entrepreneurs from transition to transaction- from building value in your business to letting go. Tune-in for insights to reward your hard work and avoid succession regrets. Available on all podcast platforms.
Hosted by Laurie Barkman, the Business Transition Sherpa

Show Sponsor:

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The Process of Letting Go, Find Your Exit Podcast

The Process of Letting Go, Find Your Exit Podcast

The exit process is nuanced but sometimes it comes down to simply knowing how to let go. How to move on from what you’ve built your whole career and into the next phase of your life. Laurie Barkman has worked on guiding business owners along this process. Laurie Barkman joins host Mark Kravietz on the Find Your Exit Podcast.

Grow a Small Business Podcast

Grow a Small Business Podcast

Laurie Barkman joins Troy Trewin on his top Australian entrepreneurship podcast to discuss how growing a business requires planning for the future and making it transferable.

95: When Highest Bidder Is Not Best Fit, Gabriela Isturiz

95: When Highest Bidder Is Not Best Fit, Gabriela Isturiz

Gabriela Isturiz joins Laurie Barkman to discuss how she bootstrapped two SaaS legal tech companies and successfully sold them to Fortune 500 strategic buyers. She shared the M&A bid process used to generate multiple offers, and why the highest bidder is not always the best buyer for your company. Recently Gaby started a venture capital fund, The Fund XX, investing in the next generation of women-led startups.

94: Finding Purpose After Selling The Business – Sarah Dusek

94: Finding Purpose After Selling The Business – Sarah Dusek

Sarah Dusek shares her entrepreneurship journey as co-founder of Under Canvas to selling for over $100 million to a private equity firm. Sarah shares her experience how she grew the business through innovative marketing channels and differentiated experiences. Sarah also talks with Laurie Barkman about growth capital and the exit decisions they made, and challenges she experienced leaving the business. Now Sarah pays it forward by investing in women-led businesses in southern Africa empowering entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.

93: Acquisition Entrepreneur Buy-Side Deals, Ron Skelton

93: Acquisition Entrepreneur Buy-Side Deals, Ron Skelton

What do acquisition entrepreneurs look for in buy-side deals? Ron Skelton joins Laurie Barkman to discuss his approach to buying existing small to medium sized businesses. Listen in as they discuss deal criteria, why not all buyers are the same, and the importance of transferable business operations when you’re ready to sell.

Buy Side Considerations, Exit Readiness Podcast

Buy Side Considerations, Exit Readiness Podcast

Laurie Barkman discusses when M&A acquisitions may be part of your strategy for growth and building value. Listen in as she talks with hosts Pat Ennis and Corby Megorden about why a business owner would consider growing through acquisition, common pitfalls on the buy-side M&A process, and how a transaction intermediary can be helpful in the process.

How2Exit Podcast, Acquisition Entrepreneurship

How2Exit Podcast, Acquisition Entrepreneurship

How2Exit Host Ronald Skelton interviews M&A industry experts and mentors from around the world to talk about acquisitions and mergers of small to medium businesses. Ron speaks with Laurie Barkman about the ins and outs of buying, growing, and selling small to medium businesses.

90: Exit Your Business and Launch Your Future Self, Jerry Cahn Ph. D

90: Exit Your Business and Launch Your Future Self, Jerry Cahn Ph. D

Many business owners and entrepreneurs face the challenge of wondering what they will do after they leave the business. Jerry Cahn, Vistage Chair, founded AgeBrilliantly.org to help people focus on opportunities for a fulfilling life while working in their company and afterwards. Listen in as Jerry talks with host Laurie Barkman how thinking about life stages, rather than age stages, creates a positive mindset for exiting your business and launching your future self.

89: Make Your Business Independent of You – Scott Snider, Exit Planning Institute

89: Make Your Business Independent of You – Scott Snider, Exit Planning Institute

Why are businesses that operate independently of their owners more valuable? Scott Snider, President of the Exit Planning Institute joins Laurie Barkman to discuss how owners can gradually relinquish control and not let your company define you. They also talk about Scott’s own succession experience over the last 10 years with his father, Chris Snider, and next generation leadership.

88: How to Turn Failure Into Transformative Success, Nicole Jansen

88: How to Turn Failure Into Transformative Success, Nicole Jansen

Nicole Jansen grew up in an entrepreneurial household and by her mid-twenties had helped build an 8-figure family business that spanned nearly a dozen countries. But at the height of their success, they lost it all. Nicole joins host Laurie Barkman to discuss how the experience of the unexpected transition shaped her mission for leadership transformation. Key themes: How can we become better, not bitter, when things don’t go our way. And why the most valuable thing you can pass to the next generation is integrity.

87: Hope is Not a Plan for Exit Success, Marcia Riner

87: Hope is Not a Plan for Exit Success, Marcia Riner

How can business owners turn their biggest asset into one worth selling? Marcia Riner shares the heartbreaking experience of watching both of her parents close their businesses. Host Laurie Barkman talks with Marcia about why it’s best to have a plan, rather than hope for exit success.

86: How to Prepare for Sell Side Diligence – Jeffrey Ford, Grossman Yanak + Ford

86: How to Prepare for Sell Side Diligence – Jeffrey Ford, Grossman Yanak + Ford

How can business owners protect your investment? Laurie Barkman hosts Jeffrey Ford, a Founding Partner at Grossman Yanak + Ford, a regional CPA and consulting firm. They talk about the importance of having a transferable business, and how to address risks to protect your sell price. Listen in as they discuss what can derail the sale and how to prepare for sell side diligence.

84: Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling Your Business – Paul Visokey, Stony Hill Advisors

84: Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling Your Business – Paul Visokey, Stony Hill Advisors

Selling your business is one of the most important transactions of your life. But there are numerous pitfalls that can derail the M&A sales process. It’s an intensive undertaking that requires the right team of collaborators to guarantee success. Paul Visokey is the President of Stony Hill Advisors, specializing in transactions in the lower middle market. He returns to the Succession Stories Podcast and joins host Laurie Barkman to discuss the realities of selling – before, during, and after the process.

83: Family Office Investment Trends, Mark Brandt RSM

83: Family Office Investment Trends, Mark Brandt RSM

Could a Family Office be your next acquirer? Family Offices preserve the legacy and investments of the original family enterprise. Many see direct investment as a way to tap into the entrepreneurial DNA that made the family business successful. And family office investors can be a source of patient capital having a longer time horizon compared to other financial buyers. Mark Brandt joins Laurie Barkman to talk about some of the important trends with family office investing.

Transition Planning with Laurie Barkman, Profit with a Plan Podcast

Transition Planning with Laurie Barkman, Profit with a Plan Podcast

Business transition sherpa & M&A advisor, Laurie Barkman talks with Marcia Riner about transition planning. There are many reasons to start planning as early as today. Laurie uses the Value Builder system to analyze gaps & improve the value of your company so that you can be better prepared for a transition as well as get the biggest price in return.

82: Selling Your Company – John Warrillow, Author, Built to Sell and Founder, The Value Builder System

82: Selling Your Company – John Warrillow, Author, Built to Sell and Founder, The Value Builder System

Guest John Warrillow, best selling author of Built to Sell, Built to Sell Radio, and Founder of The Value Builder System, talks with Laurie Barkman about how business owners can improve value by preparing for an exit. John shares relatable stories – including his own – about personal readiness and having blind spots for the potential value of your company. John shares practical steps business owners should take to maximize value, and protect their business in both the short and long term. If you think you might sell your company one day, or want to know that you can, this is a great episode to dig into.

81: How to Productize Your Services – Andy Cabasso

81: How to Productize Your Services – Andy Cabasso

How can a services business drive recurring revenue? Andy Cabasso co-founded JurisPage, a marketing services firm bought by a strategic acquirer for 7-figures. Listen in how they packaged services as products and developed a recurring revenue model – a key value driver.

How To Prepare a Business for Transition – Build Value By Choice

How To Prepare a Business for Transition – Build Value By Choice

Laurie Barkman is a “business transition sherpa.” With her firm, SmallDotBig, she advises owners on having more valuable, sellable businesses. And as a Partner with Stony Hill Advisors, a mergers and acquisitions firm, she guides them through the complex process of letting it go. She joins host Nana Bonsu on Build Value by Choice to give you advice on preparing your business for transition.

79: Don’t Fail to Plan Your Exit | Mark Kravietz, Aline Wealth

79: Don’t Fail to Plan Your Exit | Mark Kravietz, Aline Wealth

Every business owner will leave their company one day. Laurie Barkman talks with Mark Kravietz, award-winning Certified Exit Planning Advisor and Managing Partner of Aline Wealth. Listen in as they discuss why not having an exit plan presents risk to your business, finances, and your future.

78: Finding Time Wealth | Craig Clickner and Carrie Bohlig, Tandem Consulting

78: Finding Time Wealth | Craig Clickner and Carrie Bohlig, Tandem Consulting

Finding time wealth means having the ability to choose how you spend your time. On this episode, Laurie Barkman talks with Craig Clickner and Carrie Bohlig. They’re the married co-founders of Tandem Consulting and other companies. Their businesses, which initially started as side hustles, allowed them to step away from their corporate careers, and developed 8 income streams bringing in over $3 million annually.

There’s More Than One Way to Run a Business

There’s More Than One Way to Run a Business

On the Tandem Talks Podcast, Laurie Barkman talks about her journey in business, self discovery and finding her niche as an entrepreneur. She discusses 8 types of entrepreneurship, and three archetypes of business owners. Laurie also shows us that there is more than one way to get into running a business, but the best way of learning is to just go and do it.

77: Scaling Small Businesses | Danielle Cuomo, CEO Virtual Assist USA

77: Scaling Small Businesses | Danielle Cuomo, CEO Virtual Assist USA

Given today’s talent wars, have you considered virtual assistants? Danielle Cuomo is the Founder and CEO of Virtual Assist USA – the largest VA company in the United States. Danielle shares how she took an entrepreneurial leap from bootstrapping the company to growing to $4.5 million in revenues today. This insight-packed episode provides fresh ideas for scaling small businesses.

On “Behind The Podcast”

On “Behind The Podcast”

What’s a Business Transition Sherpa? Laurie Barkman sits down with Stephanie Scheller on the Behind The Podcast to share the backstory on her podcast and her business. If you’re a business owner, she’s a highly valuable listen for you, so check her out!

76: Growing Through the Pandemic | Stephanie Scheller

76: Growing Through the Pandemic | Stephanie Scheller

Looking to enhance and grow your business in 2022? Stephanie Scheller joins Laurie Barkman to discuss success in the face of disruption. Stephanie is the founder of Grow Disrupt, a marketing agency in Texas that grew by nearly 50% in 2020. How? By optimizing recruitment, offering packages that address customer needs, and improving the agency’s positioning.

Innovation, Growth and Selling the Family Business – Laurie Barkman on The Connected Generation Podcast

Innovation, Growth and Selling the Family Business – Laurie Barkman on The Connected Generation Podcast

Laurie Barkman joins host Nike Anani on The Connected Generation Podcast Episode 100. Laurie discusses how as a “business transition sherpa” she advises business owners on having more valuable, sellable businesses. Listen in to this layered conversation on innovation, growth and selling the family business. Laurie comes with an invaluable perspective, as former CEO of a privately held company and as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship.

What’s Your Business Exit Strategy? SharkPreneur Podcast

What’s Your Business Exit Strategy? SharkPreneur Podcast

80% of business owners want to stop working in their business in the next 5-10 years, but most have not planned for that transition. Many need to improve the business first. Listen to this illuminating Sharkpreneur episode with Laurie Barkman about business exit strategies.

74: Obsession with Succession – Beth Miller

74: Obsession with Succession – Beth Miller

100% of business owners will leave their business someday. Whether a business thrives after an owner leaves depends on your succession plan to ensure a smooth transition. Listen in as Beth Miller rejoins Laurie Barkman to discuss insights from her book Replaceable to help you plan for a successful transition in your business.

73: Launching a Family Office with Alex Panosian, CW Growth Partners

73: Launching a Family Office with Alex Panosian, CW Growth Partners

How do Family Investment Offices approach business acquisitions? Hear from Alex Panosian, co-founder of CW Growth Partners, about launching their new family office to acquire and grow small businesses in the Midwest. Laurie Barkman and Alex discuss family business legacy, core values, and how that shapes investment strategy.

72: Solving the Rainmakers Dilemma with Amy Franko

72: Solving the Rainmakers Dilemma with Amy Franko

If a high percentage of your company's revenue is undertaken personally by you or your fellow equity holders, you're a Rainmaker. You've got a strong ability to influence customers, but you may be lowering your company's value. Amy Franko is a...

71: ESOP Management Buyout as a Succession Plan | Darren Gleeman, MBO Ventures

71: ESOP Management Buyout as a Succession Plan | Darren Gleeman, MBO Ventures

Explore how ESOP management buyouts can be a great succession plan as a way to transfer your family-owned business to your children and employees. Laurie Barkman and Darren Gleeman, an ESOP expert and Partner at MBO Ventures, discuss why you might consider an ESOP over selling to a private equity firm. In addition to substantial tax incentives, your children can get warrants to buy back a large chunk of the company in the future. Listen in to learn more about the immense possibilities ESOPs can create for your business.

Learn How to Grow to Exit, Laurie Barkman | Wealth Stream Podcast E75

Learn How to Grow to Exit, Laurie Barkman | Wealth Stream Podcast E75

As a business owner, exit planning is something that you only get one shot at. Have you considered growth through acquisitions as an exit plan?
Host Tim Scannell from High Tower Great Lakes is joined by Laurie Barkman, founder of SmallDotBig, to discuss growth through acquisitions as a means of succession and exit planning for business owners. Laurie shares her recommendations and insights into what makes a successful business acquisition.

70: Investing in Your People – Alisa Spector Angelo

70: Investing in Your People – Alisa Spector Angelo

How can employers retain people in the face of The Great Resignation job market phenomenon? Alisa Spector Angelo is the Owner and President of Compass Business Solutions, an HR consulting firm that takes a people first approach in driving organizational performance. Listen in as Laurie Barkman and Alisa talk about why it’s more important than ever to put your company values into practice to drive retention and foster a healthy and productive work environment.

69: Enterprise Value Scorecard – Steve Peplin, Talan Products

69: Enterprise Value Scorecard – Steve Peplin, Talan Products

All entrepreneurs will leave their company someday. What’s your path to increasing your company’s value? Steve Peplin, CEO of Talan Products, a $50 million manufacturing company, has achieved impressive growth. Listen in as Laurie Barkman and Steve discuss his secrets to success using enterprise value as a scorecard to improve the business. And how he thinks about the entrepreneurial journey, succession, and what comes next at a personal level.

68: Value Creation Revenue and Subscription Businesses | David Wible, Work.Software

68: Value Creation Revenue and Subscription Businesses | David Wible, Work.Software

Have you thought about who potential buyers of your company might be in the future? On Succession Stories, Laurie Barkman is joined by David Wible, CEO of Work.Software and former CEO of Industry Weapon, a company he sold in 2020. David shares his experience of selling his business, what made the sale successful, and why he started conversations five years prior to the actual sale. The key was understanding which value drivers mattered most.

67: Making Your Business Sellable for Succession – Miche Jean

67: Making Your Business Sellable for Succession – Miche Jean

A common mistake business owners make is thinking it is too soon to start having a conversation about exit strategy. If you are selling your business because it is time to retire or start another business, then you want to ask yourself whether the current valuation is enough to fund your lifestyle. If not, you may need to work on boosting its sellability. Miche Jean, CEO of Grotte Business Partners, joins Laurie Barkman for a conversation about making your business sellable for succession.

66: Preparing Your Business For Sale

66: Preparing Your Business For Sale

How can business owners focus on enterprise value rather than short-term profits? Listen in as Laurie Barkman talks with Kevin Trout about preparing your business for sale. Kevin built Grandview Medical Resources with the intent to sell one day. Revenue growth was strong, but created too much risk in the business. Kevin shares some key decisions that he made to drive enterprise value and his reflections on what he would have done differently along the way. Today Kevin pays his experience forward as a Vistage Chair, advising high-performing executives and business owners on growing their businesses and enhancing their lives.

64: NextGen Growth By Acquisition – Ben Grossman

64: NextGen Growth By Acquisition – Ben Grossman

How acquisitions fuel growth at a multi-generational company. Laurie Barkman talks with Ben Grossman, Co-President of the Grossman Marketing Group, a fourth generation business. With sustainability as a key priority, they employ acquisition strategies as a platform for expansion. Listen in as they discuss their approach to M&A, including how they source deals, build strong trust based relationships with sellers, and integrate those companies into their organization without losing what makes them special and unique. A great episode for NextGen leaders and anyone on the buy-side of deals.

63: Human Side of M&A Deals | Jennifer Fondrevay

63: Human Side of M&A Deals | Jennifer Fondrevay

Did you know that 80% of mergers and acquisitions fail? An often overlooked yet critical aspect of M&A deals and transitions is the people factor. Listen in as Laurie Barkman talks with Jennifer Fondrevay, Founder of Day1 Ready, on planning for expected challenges and the emotional aspects of business transition for a newly merged organization.

62: Owner-Centric Exit Planning | John Brown, BEI

62: Owner-Centric Exit Planning | John Brown, BEI

Laurie Barkman talks with John Brown about taking an owner-centric approach to exit planning to achieve your financial goals and be rewarded with the lifestyle you desire. Only 20% of business owners have a formalized plan to transition ownership, but 100% will exit their company one day. John Brown, best selling exit planning author, started BEI in 1996 for the purpose of helping owners benefit from their lives’ work by supporting business advisors who share the same vision.

61: Strategic Planning to Reignite Growth | James F. Richardson PhD

61: Strategic Planning to Reignite Growth | James F. Richardson PhD

Reignite growth in your company by doing this one thing: Be curious. Rethink your assumptions about why people buy from you– and why they don’t. On this episode, Laurie Barkman talks with Dr. James Richardson, a professionally trained cultural anthropologist turned business strategist, about the importance of customer research. Understanding customer needs is a critical part of strategic planning and differentiating your business in an increasingly competitive market.

60: Founder Succession to the Next Generation – Nike Anani

60: Founder Succession to the Next Generation – Nike Anani

Helping owners achieve business success and lead their family organizations to long-term impact and legacy is a core focus. In Africa, private businesses have just a 2% succession rate to the second generation, compared to 40% in the US. With over a decade of family business expertise in Africa, Nike Anani is creating a multinational network to help reverse this trend. Listen in as Laurie Barkman talks with Nike about bridging generational gaps to enable companies to successfully transition to the next generation.

59: Exit Planning vs Succession Planning – Mike Silverman, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby

59: Exit Planning vs Succession Planning – Mike Silverman, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby

How does exit planning differ from succession planning for business owners? Laurie Barkman and Michael Silverman, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, discuss the strategic benefits of business transition planning to maximize enterprise value and exit options. Listen in to learn more about the differences between exit and succession planning and importance for your business. Be sure to learn more about the Business Advisory Group– a collaborative approach to exit and succession planning for business owners– and how they can help you get started.

58: Handling Unexpected Succession – Kurt J. Lesker Company

58: Handling Unexpected Succession – Kurt J. Lesker Company

Business succession isn’t easy, especially when it’s unexpected. Listen in as three 3rd generation siblings share their personal and professional challenges of dealing with the death of their father, Kurt Lesker III, CEO of Kurt J. Lesker Company.  With support from their family and executive team, KJLC successfully transitioned to the next generation of leaders including Kurt Lesker IV, Kristin Lesker Eisel, and Jenna Lesker Lloyd. 

57: Make Your Business More Attractive to Potential Buyers – Nelson Anderson

57: Make Your Business More Attractive to Potential Buyers – Nelson Anderson

How can strategic acquisitions fit within organizations as tuck-ins? Sixteen years ago, Nelson Anderson bought a small printing franchise from his father-in-law. And for 10 years, he did it all – from sales to operations and more. With the helpful guidance of trusted advisors, Nelson built a team and processes that enabled him to step back, a hard thing to do but has enabled their growth through acquisition. This approach has helped Full Sail Media grow from a small $400,000 print shop to a multifaceted marketing company that’s over $8 million in revenue. Make your business more attractive to a potential buyer, and listen to Nelson’s suggestions for what you should start doing today. 

56: Get Unstuck, Trust Your Intuition – Jon Dwoskin

56: Get Unstuck, Trust Your Intuition – Jon Dwoskin

Laurie Barkman talks with Jon Dwoskin about selling his first company and the cancer diagnosis that changed not only his career, but his outlook on life. Facing death head-on made Jon realize how his biggest fears were holding him back. Instead, he turned it into a mission helping people get unstuck. Be sure to listen for Jon’s actionable ideas for trusting your intuition and taking action on small things for big results in your life.

E55: Mergers and Acquisitions Deal Dynamics For Business Owners – Dave Eichenlaub

E55: Mergers and Acquisitions Deal Dynamics For Business Owners – Dave Eichenlaub

For many business owners, selling your company is typically a once in a lifetime transaction. But it’s hard to know how it all works until you’re in it. Laurie Barkman talks with M&A and boutique investment banker, Dave Eichenlaub from Confluence Advisors, about deal dynamics and what makes a business ready for sale. They explore what can make or sink a deal, and the role of trusted advisors to help bring it all together.

E53: How to Make Winning Deals – Corey Kupfer

E53: How to Make Winning Deals – Corey Kupfer

Successful M&A deals begin with a deal making mindset. Find out the measures you need to take to make a winning deal. Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, deal-maker, attorney and consultant. He shares how his background in law ultimately...

50: Next Gen Corporate Innovation

50: Next Gen Corporate Innovation

Karen Norheim is the President of American Crane and Equipment Corp, a specialized manufacturing company, founded by her father. Karen shared her story as the next generation and how she’s taking the company to the next level. In early 2020, the...

49: The AI Intersection of Technology and Psychology, Dr. JT Kostman

49: The AI Intersection of Technology and Psychology, Dr. JT Kostman

Laurie Barkman talks with Dr. JT Kostman, CEO of ProtectedBy.AI and global expert in Artificial Intelligence and Psychology. JT’s unique story began as a homeless nine year old in New York City. Now a globally recognized Data Scientist, Mathematician, and Psychologist, JT is regarded as one of the leading experts in applied artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. As a global entrepreneur, his focus is enabling small and mid-size companies to use data to protect and transform their businesses.

Quotable Quotes: Mark Twain

Quotable Quotes: Mark Twain

I like to ask all of my podcast guests if they have a favorite quote about entrepreneurship. What's yours? "It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just isn't so." - Mark Twain From Succession...

46: How To Avoid the Owner’s Trap – Lloyd Wolf

46: How To Avoid the Owner’s Trap – Lloyd Wolf

Lloyd Wolf started his consulting business in 1989. Over 30 years he grew Wolf Consulting from a one-man show to a leading regional provider of computer support and cloud services. Lloyd talked with me about his slow and steady philosophy to growth...

E45: AI Innovations | Neil Sahota

E45: AI Innovations | Neil Sahota

Listen to the audio: Neil Sahota helped create the artificial intelligence ecosystem that famously won Jeopardy called Watson. He's an IBM Master Inventor and artificial intelligence subject matter expert with the United Nations. Neil's written a...

E38: Building Your Competitive Moat with Phillip Swan

E38: Building Your Competitive Moat with Phillip Swan

Listen to Succession Stories E38: https://youtu.be/2S6im5QWpN0 Want to differentiate your business? Build a competitive moat by mapping out your customers' journey to discover what matters most to them. Laurie Barkman, host of Succession Stories,...

The Prospecting Show

The Prospecting Show

Episode 89 - The Transition from Corporate America to Hometown Entrepreneur with Laurie Barkman Episode Description This episode covers the ups and downs associated with leaving corporate America and transitioning into the small business world....

E23: The Power of Connecting with Lou Diamond

E23: The Power of Connecting with Lou Diamond

Listen to the Podcast: This episode focuses on the power of connecting to create business value. Lou Diamond, CEO of Thrive Loud, is a performance mentor for sales, marketing, and leadership teams. This has been a tough year and not everyone is...

93: Acquisition Entrepreneur Buy-Side Deals, Ron Skelton

93: Acquisition Entrepreneur Buy-Side Deals, Ron Skelton

What do acquisition entrepreneurs look for in buy-side deals? Ron Skelton joins Laurie Barkman to discuss his approach to buying existing small to medium sized businesses. Listen in as they discuss deal criteria, why not all buyers are the same, and the importance of transferable business operations when you’re ready to sell.

Buy Side Considerations, Exit Readiness Podcast

Buy Side Considerations, Exit Readiness Podcast

Laurie Barkman discusses when M&A acquisitions may be part of your strategy for growth and building value. Listen in as she talks with hosts Pat Ennis and Corby Megorden about why a business owner would consider growing through acquisition, common pitfalls on the buy-side M&A process, and how a transaction intermediary can be helpful in the process.

How2Exit Podcast, Acquisition Entrepreneurship

How2Exit Podcast, Acquisition Entrepreneurship

How2Exit Host Ronald Skelton interviews M&A industry experts and mentors from around the world to talk about acquisitions and mergers of small to medium businesses. Ron speaks with Laurie Barkman about the ins and outs of buying, growing, and selling small to medium businesses.

83: Family Office Investment Trends, Mark Brandt RSM

83: Family Office Investment Trends, Mark Brandt RSM

Could a Family Office be your next acquirer? Family Offices preserve the legacy and investments of the original family enterprise. Many see direct investment as a way to tap into the entrepreneurial DNA that made the family business successful. And family office investors can be a source of patient capital having a longer time horizon compared to other financial buyers. Mark Brandt joins Laurie Barkman to talk about some of the important trends with family office investing.

73: Launching a Family Office with Alex Panosian, CW Growth Partners

73: Launching a Family Office with Alex Panosian, CW Growth Partners

How do Family Investment Offices approach business acquisitions? Hear from Alex Panosian, co-founder of CW Growth Partners, about launching their new family office to acquire and grow small businesses in the Midwest. Laurie Barkman and Alex discuss family business legacy, core values, and how that shapes investment strategy.

Learn How to Grow to Exit, Laurie Barkman | Wealth Stream Podcast E75

Learn How to Grow to Exit, Laurie Barkman | Wealth Stream Podcast E75

As a business owner, exit planning is something that you only get one shot at. Have you considered growth through acquisitions as an exit plan?
Host Tim Scannell from High Tower Great Lakes is joined by Laurie Barkman, founder of SmallDotBig, to discuss growth through acquisitions as a means of succession and exit planning for business owners. Laurie shares her recommendations and insights into what makes a successful business acquisition.

64: NextGen Growth By Acquisition – Ben Grossman

64: NextGen Growth By Acquisition – Ben Grossman

How acquisitions fuel growth at a multi-generational company. Laurie Barkman talks with Ben Grossman, Co-President of the Grossman Marketing Group, a fourth generation business. With sustainability as a key priority, they employ acquisition strategies as a platform for expansion. Listen in as they discuss their approach to M&A, including how they source deals, build strong trust based relationships with sellers, and integrate those companies into their organization without losing what makes them special and unique. A great episode for NextGen leaders and anyone on the buy-side of deals.

63: Human Side of M&A Deals | Jennifer Fondrevay

63: Human Side of M&A Deals | Jennifer Fondrevay

Did you know that 80% of mergers and acquisitions fail? An often overlooked yet critical aspect of M&A deals and transitions is the people factor. Listen in as Laurie Barkman talks with Jennifer Fondrevay, Founder of Day1 Ready, on planning for expected challenges and the emotional aspects of business transition for a newly merged organization.

57: Make Your Business More Attractive to Potential Buyers – Nelson Anderson

57: Make Your Business More Attractive to Potential Buyers – Nelson Anderson

How can strategic acquisitions fit within organizations as tuck-ins? Sixteen years ago, Nelson Anderson bought a small printing franchise from his father-in-law. And for 10 years, he did it all – from sales to operations and more. With the helpful guidance of trusted advisors, Nelson built a team and processes that enabled him to step back, a hard thing to do but has enabled their growth through acquisition. This approach has helped Full Sail Media grow from a small $400,000 print shop to a multifaceted marketing company that’s over $8 million in revenue. Make your business more attractive to a potential buyer, and listen to Nelson’s suggestions for what you should start doing today. 

The Process of Letting Go, Find Your Exit Podcast

The Process of Letting Go, Find Your Exit Podcast

The exit process is nuanced but sometimes it comes down to simply knowing how to let go. How to move on from what you’ve built your whole career and into the next phase of your life. Laurie Barkman has worked on guiding business owners along this process. Laurie Barkman joins host Mark Kravietz on the Find Your Exit Podcast.

Grow a Small Business Podcast

Grow a Small Business Podcast

Laurie Barkman joins Troy Trewin on his top Australian entrepreneurship podcast to discuss how growing a business requires planning for the future and making it transferable.

95: When Highest Bidder Is Not Best Fit, Gabriela Isturiz

95: When Highest Bidder Is Not Best Fit, Gabriela Isturiz

Gabriela Isturiz joins Laurie Barkman to discuss how she bootstrapped two SaaS legal tech companies and successfully sold them to Fortune 500 strategic buyers. She shared the M&A bid process used to generate multiple offers, and why the highest bidder is not always the best buyer for your company. Recently Gaby started a venture capital fund, The Fund XX, investing in the next generation of women-led startups.

94: Finding Purpose After Selling The Business – Sarah Dusek

94: Finding Purpose After Selling The Business – Sarah Dusek

Sarah Dusek shares her entrepreneurship journey as co-founder of Under Canvas to selling for over $100 million to a private equity firm. Sarah shares her experience how she grew the business through innovative marketing channels and differentiated experiences. Sarah also talks with Laurie Barkman about growth capital and the exit decisions they made, and challenges she experienced leaving the business. Now Sarah pays it forward by investing in women-led businesses in southern Africa empowering entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.

93: Acquisition Entrepreneur Buy-Side Deals, Ron Skelton

93: Acquisition Entrepreneur Buy-Side Deals, Ron Skelton

What do acquisition entrepreneurs look for in buy-side deals? Ron Skelton joins Laurie Barkman to discuss his approach to buying existing small to medium sized businesses. Listen in as they discuss deal criteria, why not all buyers are the same, and the importance of transferable business operations when you’re ready to sell.

How2Exit Podcast, Acquisition Entrepreneurship

How2Exit Podcast, Acquisition Entrepreneurship

How2Exit Host Ronald Skelton interviews M&A industry experts and mentors from around the world to talk about acquisitions and mergers of small to medium businesses. Ron speaks with Laurie Barkman about the ins and outs of buying, growing, and selling small to medium businesses.

90: Exit Your Business and Launch Your Future Self, Jerry Cahn Ph. D

90: Exit Your Business and Launch Your Future Self, Jerry Cahn Ph. D

Many business owners and entrepreneurs face the challenge of wondering what they will do after they leave the business. Jerry Cahn, Vistage Chair, founded AgeBrilliantly.org to help people focus on opportunities for a fulfilling life while working in their company and afterwards. Listen in as Jerry talks with host Laurie Barkman how thinking about life stages, rather than age stages, creates a positive mindset for exiting your business and launching your future self.

89: Make Your Business Independent of You – Scott Snider, Exit Planning Institute

89: Make Your Business Independent of You – Scott Snider, Exit Planning Institute

Why are businesses that operate independently of their owners more valuable? Scott Snider, President of the Exit Planning Institute joins Laurie Barkman to discuss how owners can gradually relinquish control and not let your company define you. They also talk about Scott’s own succession experience over the last 10 years with his father, Chris Snider, and next generation leadership.

88: How to Turn Failure Into Transformative Success, Nicole Jansen

88: How to Turn Failure Into Transformative Success, Nicole Jansen

Nicole Jansen grew up in an entrepreneurial household and by her mid-twenties had helped build an 8-figure family business that spanned nearly a dozen countries. But at the height of their success, they lost it all. Nicole joins host Laurie Barkman to discuss how the experience of the unexpected transition shaped her mission for leadership transformation. Key themes: How can we become better, not bitter, when things don’t go our way. And why the most valuable thing you can pass to the next generation is integrity.

87: Hope is Not a Plan for Exit Success, Marcia Riner

87: Hope is Not a Plan for Exit Success, Marcia Riner

How can business owners turn their biggest asset into one worth selling? Marcia Riner shares the heartbreaking experience of watching both of her parents close their businesses. Host Laurie Barkman talks with Marcia about why it’s best to have a plan, rather than hope for exit success.

86: How to Prepare for Sell Side Diligence – Jeffrey Ford, Grossman Yanak + Ford

86: How to Prepare for Sell Side Diligence – Jeffrey Ford, Grossman Yanak + Ford

How can business owners protect your investment? Laurie Barkman hosts Jeffrey Ford, a Founding Partner at Grossman Yanak + Ford, a regional CPA and consulting firm. They talk about the importance of having a transferable business, and how to address risks to protect your sell price. Listen in as they discuss what can derail the sale and how to prepare for sell side diligence.

84: Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling Your Business – Paul Visokey, Stony Hill Advisors

84: Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling Your Business – Paul Visokey, Stony Hill Advisors

Selling your business is one of the most important transactions of your life. But there are numerous pitfalls that can derail the M&A sales process. It’s an intensive undertaking that requires the right team of collaborators to guarantee success. Paul Visokey is the President of Stony Hill Advisors, specializing in transactions in the lower middle market. He returns to the Succession Stories Podcast and joins host Laurie Barkman to discuss the realities of selling – before, during, and after the process.

83: Family Office Investment Trends, Mark Brandt RSM

83: Family Office Investment Trends, Mark Brandt RSM

Could a Family Office be your next acquirer? Family Offices preserve the legacy and investments of the original family enterprise. Many see direct investment as a way to tap into the entrepreneurial DNA that made the family business successful. And family office investors can be a source of patient capital having a longer time horizon compared to other financial buyers. Mark Brandt joins Laurie Barkman to talk about some of the important trends with family office investing.

Transition Planning with Laurie Barkman, Profit with a Plan Podcast

Transition Planning with Laurie Barkman, Profit with a Plan Podcast

Business transition sherpa & M&A advisor, Laurie Barkman talks with Marcia Riner about transition planning. There are many reasons to start planning as early as today. Laurie uses the Value Builder system to analyze gaps & improve the value of your company so that you can be better prepared for a transition as well as get the biggest price in return.

82: Selling Your Company – John Warrillow, Author, Built to Sell and Founder, The Value Builder System

82: Selling Your Company – John Warrillow, Author, Built to Sell and Founder, The Value Builder System

Guest John Warrillow, best selling author of Built to Sell, Built to Sell Radio, and Founder of The Value Builder System, talks with Laurie Barkman about how business owners can improve value by preparing for an exit. John shares relatable stories – including his own – about personal readiness and having blind spots for the potential value of your company. John shares practical steps business owners should take to maximize value, and protect their business in both the short and long term. If you think you might sell your company one day, or want to know that you can, this is a great episode to dig into.

81: How to Productize Your Services – Andy Cabasso

81: How to Productize Your Services – Andy Cabasso

How can a services business drive recurring revenue? Andy Cabasso co-founded JurisPage, a marketing services firm bought by a strategic acquirer for 7-figures. Listen in how they packaged services as products and developed a recurring revenue model – a key value driver.

How To Prepare a Business for Transition – Build Value By Choice

How To Prepare a Business for Transition – Build Value By Choice

Laurie Barkman is a “business transition sherpa.” With her firm, SmallDotBig, she advises owners on having more valuable, sellable businesses. And as a Partner with Stony Hill Advisors, a mergers and acquisitions firm, she guides them through the complex process of letting it go. She joins host Nana Bonsu on Build Value by Choice to give you advice on preparing your business for transition.

79: Don’t Fail to Plan Your Exit | Mark Kravietz, Aline Wealth

79: Don’t Fail to Plan Your Exit | Mark Kravietz, Aline Wealth

Every business owner will leave their company one day. Laurie Barkman talks with Mark Kravietz, award-winning Certified Exit Planning Advisor and Managing Partner of Aline Wealth. Listen in as they discuss why not having an exit plan presents risk to your business, finances, and your future.

On “Behind The Podcast”

On “Behind The Podcast”

What’s a Business Transition Sherpa? Laurie Barkman sits down with Stephanie Scheller on the Behind The Podcast to share the backstory on her podcast and her business. If you’re a business owner, she’s a highly valuable listen for you, so check her out!

Innovation, Growth and Selling the Family Business – Laurie Barkman on The Connected Generation Podcast

Innovation, Growth and Selling the Family Business – Laurie Barkman on The Connected Generation Podcast

Laurie Barkman joins host Nike Anani on The Connected Generation Podcast Episode 100. Laurie discusses how as a “business transition sherpa” she advises business owners on having more valuable, sellable businesses. Listen in to this layered conversation on innovation, growth and selling the family business. Laurie comes with an invaluable perspective, as former CEO of a privately held company and as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship.

What’s Your Business Exit Strategy? SharkPreneur Podcast

What’s Your Business Exit Strategy? SharkPreneur Podcast

80% of business owners want to stop working in their business in the next 5-10 years, but most have not planned for that transition. Many need to improve the business first. Listen to this illuminating Sharkpreneur episode with Laurie Barkman about business exit strategies.

74: Obsession with Succession – Beth Miller

74: Obsession with Succession – Beth Miller

100% of business owners will leave their business someday. Whether a business thrives after an owner leaves depends on your succession plan to ensure a smooth transition. Listen in as Beth Miller rejoins Laurie Barkman to discuss insights from her book Replaceable to help you plan for a successful transition in your business.

73: Launching a Family Office with Alex Panosian, CW Growth Partners

73: Launching a Family Office with Alex Panosian, CW Growth Partners

How do Family Investment Offices approach business acquisitions? Hear from Alex Panosian, co-founder of CW Growth Partners, about launching their new family office to acquire and grow small businesses in the Midwest. Laurie Barkman and Alex discuss family business legacy, core values, and how that shapes investment strategy.

71: ESOP Management Buyout as a Succession Plan | Darren Gleeman, MBO Ventures

71: ESOP Management Buyout as a Succession Plan | Darren Gleeman, MBO Ventures

Explore how ESOP management buyouts can be a great succession plan as a way to transfer your family-owned business to your children and employees. Laurie Barkman and Darren Gleeman, an ESOP expert and Partner at MBO Ventures, discuss why you might consider an ESOP over selling to a private equity firm. In addition to substantial tax incentives, your children can get warrants to buy back a large chunk of the company in the future. Listen in to learn more about the immense possibilities ESOPs can create for your business.

69: Enterprise Value Scorecard – Steve Peplin, Talan Products

69: Enterprise Value Scorecard – Steve Peplin, Talan Products

All entrepreneurs will leave their company someday. What’s your path to increasing your company’s value? Steve Peplin, CEO of Talan Products, a $50 million manufacturing company, has achieved impressive growth. Listen in as Laurie Barkman and Steve discuss his secrets to success using enterprise value as a scorecard to improve the business. And how he thinks about the entrepreneurial journey, succession, and what comes next at a personal level.

68: Value Creation Revenue and Subscription Businesses | David Wible, Work.Software

68: Value Creation Revenue and Subscription Businesses | David Wible, Work.Software

Have you thought about who potential buyers of your company might be in the future? On Succession Stories, Laurie Barkman is joined by David Wible, CEO of Work.Software and former CEO of Industry Weapon, a company he sold in 2020. David shares his experience of selling his business, what made the sale successful, and why he started conversations five years prior to the actual sale. The key was understanding which value drivers mattered most.

67: Making Your Business Sellable for Succession – Miche Jean

67: Making Your Business Sellable for Succession – Miche Jean

A common mistake business owners make is thinking it is too soon to start having a conversation about exit strategy. If you are selling your business because it is time to retire or start another business, then you want to ask yourself whether the current valuation is enough to fund your lifestyle. If not, you may need to work on boosting its sellability. Miche Jean, CEO of Grotte Business Partners, joins Laurie Barkman for a conversation about making your business sellable for succession.

66: Preparing Your Business For Sale

66: Preparing Your Business For Sale

How can business owners focus on enterprise value rather than short-term profits? Listen in as Laurie Barkman talks with Kevin Trout about preparing your business for sale. Kevin built Grandview Medical Resources with the intent to sell one day. Revenue growth was strong, but created too much risk in the business. Kevin shares some key decisions that he made to drive enterprise value and his reflections on what he would have done differently along the way. Today Kevin pays his experience forward as a Vistage Chair, advising high-performing executives and business owners on growing their businesses and enhancing their lives.

63: Human Side of M&A Deals | Jennifer Fondrevay

63: Human Side of M&A Deals | Jennifer Fondrevay

Did you know that 80% of mergers and acquisitions fail? An often overlooked yet critical aspect of M&A deals and transitions is the people factor. Listen in as Laurie Barkman talks with Jennifer Fondrevay, Founder of Day1 Ready, on planning for expected challenges and the emotional aspects of business transition for a newly merged organization.

62: Owner-Centric Exit Planning | John Brown, BEI

62: Owner-Centric Exit Planning | John Brown, BEI

Laurie Barkman talks with John Brown about taking an owner-centric approach to exit planning to achieve your financial goals and be rewarded with the lifestyle you desire. Only 20% of business owners have a formalized plan to transition ownership, but 100% will exit their company one day. John Brown, best selling exit planning author, started BEI in 1996 for the purpose of helping owners benefit from their lives’ work by supporting business advisors who share the same vision.

60: Founder Succession to the Next Generation – Nike Anani

60: Founder Succession to the Next Generation – Nike Anani

Helping owners achieve business success and lead their family organizations to long-term impact and legacy is a core focus. In Africa, private businesses have just a 2% succession rate to the second generation, compared to 40% in the US. With over a decade of family business expertise in Africa, Nike Anani is creating a multinational network to help reverse this trend. Listen in as Laurie Barkman talks with Nike about bridging generational gaps to enable companies to successfully transition to the next generation.

59: Exit Planning vs Succession Planning – Mike Silverman, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby

59: Exit Planning vs Succession Planning – Mike Silverman, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby

How does exit planning differ from succession planning for business owners? Laurie Barkman and Michael Silverman, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, discuss the strategic benefits of business transition planning to maximize enterprise value and exit options. Listen in to learn more about the differences between exit and succession planning and importance for your business. Be sure to learn more about the Business Advisory Group– a collaborative approach to exit and succession planning for business owners– and how they can help you get started.

58: Handling Unexpected Succession – Kurt J. Lesker Company

58: Handling Unexpected Succession – Kurt J. Lesker Company

Business succession isn’t easy, especially when it’s unexpected. Listen in as three 3rd generation siblings share their personal and professional challenges of dealing with the death of their father, Kurt Lesker III, CEO of Kurt J. Lesker Company.  With support from their family and executive team, KJLC successfully transitioned to the next generation of leaders including Kurt Lesker IV, Kristin Lesker Eisel, and Jenna Lesker Lloyd. 

57: Make Your Business More Attractive to Potential Buyers – Nelson Anderson

57: Make Your Business More Attractive to Potential Buyers – Nelson Anderson

How can strategic acquisitions fit within organizations as tuck-ins? Sixteen years ago, Nelson Anderson bought a small printing franchise from his father-in-law. And for 10 years, he did it all – from sales to operations and more. With the helpful guidance of trusted advisors, Nelson built a team and processes that enabled him to step back, a hard thing to do but has enabled their growth through acquisition. This approach has helped Full Sail Media grow from a small $400,000 print shop to a multifaceted marketing company that’s over $8 million in revenue. Make your business more attractive to a potential buyer, and listen to Nelson’s suggestions for what you should start doing today. 

56: Get Unstuck, Trust Your Intuition – Jon Dwoskin

56: Get Unstuck, Trust Your Intuition – Jon Dwoskin

Laurie Barkman talks with Jon Dwoskin about selling his first company and the cancer diagnosis that changed not only his career, but his outlook on life. Facing death head-on made Jon realize how his biggest fears were holding him back. Instead, he turned it into a mission helping people get unstuck. Be sure to listen for Jon’s actionable ideas for trusting your intuition and taking action on small things for big results in your life.

E55: Mergers and Acquisitions Deal Dynamics For Business Owners – Dave Eichenlaub

E55: Mergers and Acquisitions Deal Dynamics For Business Owners – Dave Eichenlaub

For many business owners, selling your company is typically a once in a lifetime transaction. But it’s hard to know how it all works until you’re in it. Laurie Barkman talks with M&A and boutique investment banker, Dave Eichenlaub from Confluence Advisors, about deal dynamics and what makes a business ready for sale. They explore what can make or sink a deal, and the role of trusted advisors to help bring it all together.

E53: How to Make Winning Deals – Corey Kupfer

E53: How to Make Winning Deals – Corey Kupfer

Successful M&A deals begin with a deal making mindset. Find out the measures you need to take to make a winning deal. Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, deal-maker, attorney and consultant. He shares how his background in law ultimately...

Quotable Quotes: Mark Twain

Quotable Quotes: Mark Twain

I like to ask all of my podcast guests if they have a favorite quote about entrepreneurship. What's yours? "It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just isn't so." - Mark Twain From Succession...

46: How To Avoid the Owner’s Trap – Lloyd Wolf

46: How To Avoid the Owner’s Trap – Lloyd Wolf

Lloyd Wolf started his consulting business in 1989. Over 30 years he grew Wolf Consulting from a one-man show to a leading regional provider of computer support and cloud services. Lloyd talked with me about his slow and steady philosophy to growth...

E45: AI Innovations | Neil Sahota

E45: AI Innovations | Neil Sahota

Listen to the audio: Neil Sahota helped create the artificial intelligence ecosystem that famously won Jeopardy called Watson. He's an IBM Master Inventor and artificial intelligence subject matter expert with the United Nations. Neil's written a...

E38: Building Your Competitive Moat with Phillip Swan

E38: Building Your Competitive Moat with Phillip Swan

Listen to Succession Stories E38: https://youtu.be/2S6im5QWpN0 Want to differentiate your business? Build a competitive moat by mapping out your customers' journey to discover what matters most to them. Laurie Barkman, host of Succession Stories,...

E23: The Power of Connecting with Lou Diamond

E23: The Power of Connecting with Lou Diamond

Listen to the Podcast: This episode focuses on the power of connecting to create business value. Lou Diamond, CEO of Thrive Loud, is a performance mentor for sales, marketing, and leadership teams. This has been a tough year and not everyone is...

E18: Ann Dugan – Enterprising Generations

E18: Ann Dugan – Enterprising Generations

Listen to the episode: On this opening episode of Season 2, Laurie Barkman speaks with Ann Dugan, former Executive Director and Founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Her expertise in succession, Board governance, and family...

E05: Ageless Startup, Author Rick Terrien

E05: Ageless Startup, Author Rick Terrien

Listen to the full episode using the player below: On this episode of Succession Stories, I explored next generation entrepreneurship from a different angle with Rick Terrien, author of Ageless Startup. After selling his last company, Rick pondered...

Grow a Small Business Podcast

Grow a Small Business Podcast

Laurie Barkman joins Troy Trewin on his top Australian entrepreneurship podcast to discuss how growing a business requires planning for the future and making it transferable.

95: When Highest Bidder Is Not Best Fit, Gabriela Isturiz

95: When Highest Bidder Is Not Best Fit, Gabriela Isturiz

Gabriela Isturiz joins Laurie Barkman to discuss how she bootstrapped two SaaS legal tech companies and successfully sold them to Fortune 500 strategic buyers. She shared the M&A bid process used to generate multiple offers, and why the highest bidder is not always the best buyer for your company. Recently Gaby started a venture capital fund, The Fund XX, investing in the next generation of women-led startups.

94: Finding Purpose After Selling The Business – Sarah Dusek

94: Finding Purpose After Selling The Business – Sarah Dusek

Sarah Dusek shares her entrepreneurship journey as co-founder of Under Canvas to selling for over $100 million to a private equity firm. Sarah shares her experience how she grew the business through innovative marketing channels and differentiated experiences. Sarah also talks with Laurie Barkman about growth capital and the exit decisions they made, and challenges she experienced leaving the business. Now Sarah pays it forward by investing in women-led businesses in southern Africa empowering entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.

93: Acquisition Entrepreneur Buy-Side Deals, Ron Skelton

93: Acquisition Entrepreneur Buy-Side Deals, Ron Skelton

What do acquisition entrepreneurs look for in buy-side deals? Ron Skelton joins Laurie Barkman to discuss his approach to buying existing small to medium sized businesses. Listen in as they discuss deal criteria, why not all buyers are the same, and the importance of transferable business operations when you’re ready to sell.

How2Exit Podcast, Acquisition Entrepreneurship

How2Exit Podcast, Acquisition Entrepreneurship

How2Exit Host Ronald Skelton interviews M&A industry experts and mentors from around the world to talk about acquisitions and mergers of small to medium businesses. Ron speaks with Laurie Barkman about the ins and outs of buying, growing, and selling small to medium businesses.

89: Make Your Business Independent of You – Scott Snider, Exit Planning Institute

89: Make Your Business Independent of You – Scott Snider, Exit Planning Institute

Why are businesses that operate independently of their owners more valuable? Scott Snider, President of the Exit Planning Institute joins Laurie Barkman to discuss how owners can gradually relinquish control and not let your company define you. They also talk about Scott’s own succession experience over the last 10 years with his father, Chris Snider, and next generation leadership.

87: Hope is Not a Plan for Exit Success, Marcia Riner

87: Hope is Not a Plan for Exit Success, Marcia Riner

How can business owners turn their biggest asset into one worth selling? Marcia Riner shares the heartbreaking experience of watching both of her parents close their businesses. Host Laurie Barkman talks with Marcia about why it’s best to have a plan, rather than hope for exit success.

86: How to Prepare for Sell Side Diligence – Jeffrey Ford, Grossman Yanak + Ford

86: How to Prepare for Sell Side Diligence – Jeffrey Ford, Grossman Yanak + Ford

How can business owners protect your investment? Laurie Barkman hosts Jeffrey Ford, a Founding Partner at Grossman Yanak + Ford, a regional CPA and consulting firm. They talk about the importance of having a transferable business, and how to address risks to protect your sell price. Listen in as they discuss what can derail the sale and how to prepare for sell side diligence.

84: Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling Your Business – Paul Visokey, Stony Hill Advisors

84: Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling Your Business – Paul Visokey, Stony Hill Advisors

Selling your business is one of the most important transactions of your life. But there are numerous pitfalls that can derail the M&A sales process. It’s an intensive undertaking that requires the right team of collaborators to guarantee success. Paul Visokey is the President of Stony Hill Advisors, specializing in transactions in the lower middle market. He returns to the Succession Stories Podcast and joins host Laurie Barkman to discuss the realities of selling – before, during, and after the process.

Transition Planning with Laurie Barkman, Profit with a Plan Podcast

Transition Planning with Laurie Barkman, Profit with a Plan Podcast

Business transition sherpa & M&A advisor, Laurie Barkman talks with Marcia Riner about transition planning. There are many reasons to start planning as early as today. Laurie uses the Value Builder system to analyze gaps & improve the value of your company so that you can be better prepared for a transition as well as get the biggest price in return.

82: Selling Your Company – John Warrillow, Author, Built to Sell and Founder, The Value Builder System

82: Selling Your Company – John Warrillow, Author, Built to Sell and Founder, The Value Builder System

Guest John Warrillow, best selling author of Built to Sell, Built to Sell Radio, and Founder of The Value Builder System, talks with Laurie Barkman about how business owners can improve value by preparing for an exit. John shares relatable stories – including his own – about personal readiness and having blind spots for the potential value of your company. John shares practical steps business owners should take to maximize value, and protect their business in both the short and long term. If you think you might sell your company one day, or want to know that you can, this is a great episode to dig into.

81: How to Productize Your Services – Andy Cabasso

81: How to Productize Your Services – Andy Cabasso

How can a services business drive recurring revenue? Andy Cabasso co-founded JurisPage, a marketing services firm bought by a strategic acquirer for 7-figures. Listen in how they packaged services as products and developed a recurring revenue model – a key value driver.

How To Prepare a Business for Transition – Build Value By Choice

How To Prepare a Business for Transition – Build Value By Choice

Laurie Barkman is a “business transition sherpa.” With her firm, SmallDotBig, she advises owners on having more valuable, sellable businesses. And as a Partner with Stony Hill Advisors, a mergers and acquisitions firm, she guides them through the complex process of letting it go. She joins host Nana Bonsu on Build Value by Choice to give you advice on preparing your business for transition.

79: Don’t Fail to Plan Your Exit | Mark Kravietz, Aline Wealth

79: Don’t Fail to Plan Your Exit | Mark Kravietz, Aline Wealth

Every business owner will leave their company one day. Laurie Barkman talks with Mark Kravietz, award-winning Certified Exit Planning Advisor and Managing Partner of Aline Wealth. Listen in as they discuss why not having an exit plan presents risk to your business, finances, and your future.

77: Scaling Small Businesses | Danielle Cuomo, CEO Virtual Assist USA

77: Scaling Small Businesses | Danielle Cuomo, CEO Virtual Assist USA

Given today’s talent wars, have you considered virtual assistants? Danielle Cuomo is the Founder and CEO of Virtual Assist USA – the largest VA company in the United States. Danielle shares how she took an entrepreneurial leap from bootstrapping the company to growing to $4.5 million in revenues today. This insight-packed episode provides fresh ideas for scaling small businesses.

What’s Your Business Exit Strategy? SharkPreneur Podcast

What’s Your Business Exit Strategy? SharkPreneur Podcast

80% of business owners want to stop working in their business in the next 5-10 years, but most have not planned for that transition. Many need to improve the business first. Listen to this illuminating Sharkpreneur episode with Laurie Barkman about business exit strategies.

73: Launching a Family Office with Alex Panosian, CW Growth Partners

73: Launching a Family Office with Alex Panosian, CW Growth Partners

How do Family Investment Offices approach business acquisitions? Hear from Alex Panosian, co-founder of CW Growth Partners, about launching their new family office to acquire and grow small businesses in the Midwest. Laurie Barkman and Alex discuss family business legacy, core values, and how that shapes investment strategy.

72: Solving the Rainmakers Dilemma with Amy Franko

72: Solving the Rainmakers Dilemma with Amy Franko

If a high percentage of your company's revenue is undertaken personally by you or your fellow equity holders, you're a Rainmaker. You've got a strong ability to influence customers, but you may be lowering your company's value. Amy Franko is a...

69: Enterprise Value Scorecard – Steve Peplin, Talan Products

69: Enterprise Value Scorecard – Steve Peplin, Talan Products

All entrepreneurs will leave their company someday. What’s your path to increasing your company’s value? Steve Peplin, CEO of Talan Products, a $50 million manufacturing company, has achieved impressive growth. Listen in as Laurie Barkman and Steve discuss his secrets to success using enterprise value as a scorecard to improve the business. And how he thinks about the entrepreneurial journey, succession, and what comes next at a personal level.

68: Value Creation Revenue and Subscription Businesses | David Wible, Work.Software

68: Value Creation Revenue and Subscription Businesses | David Wible, Work.Software

Have you thought about who potential buyers of your company might be in the future? On Succession Stories, Laurie Barkman is joined by David Wible, CEO of Work.Software and former CEO of Industry Weapon, a company he sold in 2020. David shares his experience of selling his business, what made the sale successful, and why he started conversations five years prior to the actual sale. The key was understanding which value drivers mattered most.

66: Preparing Your Business For Sale

66: Preparing Your Business For Sale

How can business owners focus on enterprise value rather than short-term profits? Listen in as Laurie Barkman talks with Kevin Trout about preparing your business for sale. Kevin built Grandview Medical Resources with the intent to sell one day. Revenue growth was strong, but created too much risk in the business. Kevin shares some key decisions that he made to drive enterprise value and his reflections on what he would have done differently along the way. Today Kevin pays his experience forward as a Vistage Chair, advising high-performing executives and business owners on growing their businesses and enhancing their lives.

62: Owner-Centric Exit Planning | John Brown, BEI

62: Owner-Centric Exit Planning | John Brown, BEI

Laurie Barkman talks with John Brown about taking an owner-centric approach to exit planning to achieve your financial goals and be rewarded with the lifestyle you desire. Only 20% of business owners have a formalized plan to transition ownership, but 100% will exit their company one day. John Brown, best selling exit planning author, started BEI in 1996 for the purpose of helping owners benefit from their lives’ work by supporting business advisors who share the same vision.

59: Exit Planning vs Succession Planning – Mike Silverman, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby

59: Exit Planning vs Succession Planning – Mike Silverman, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby

How does exit planning differ from succession planning for business owners? Laurie Barkman and Michael Silverman, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, discuss the strategic benefits of business transition planning to maximize enterprise value and exit options. Listen in to learn more about the differences between exit and succession planning and importance for your business. Be sure to learn more about the Business Advisory Group– a collaborative approach to exit and succession planning for business owners– and how they can help you get started.

57: Make Your Business More Attractive to Potential Buyers – Nelson Anderson

57: Make Your Business More Attractive to Potential Buyers – Nelson Anderson

How can strategic acquisitions fit within organizations as tuck-ins? Sixteen years ago, Nelson Anderson bought a small printing franchise from his father-in-law. And for 10 years, he did it all – from sales to operations and more. With the helpful guidance of trusted advisors, Nelson built a team and processes that enabled him to step back, a hard thing to do but has enabled their growth through acquisition. This approach has helped Full Sail Media grow from a small $400,000 print shop to a multifaceted marketing company that’s over $8 million in revenue. Make your business more attractive to a potential buyer, and listen to Nelson’s suggestions for what you should start doing today. 

E55: Mergers and Acquisitions Deal Dynamics For Business Owners – Dave Eichenlaub

E55: Mergers and Acquisitions Deal Dynamics For Business Owners – Dave Eichenlaub

For many business owners, selling your company is typically a once in a lifetime transaction. But it’s hard to know how it all works until you’re in it. Laurie Barkman talks with M&A and boutique investment banker, Dave Eichenlaub from Confluence Advisors, about deal dynamics and what makes a business ready for sale. They explore what can make or sink a deal, and the role of trusted advisors to help bring it all together.

E53: How to Make Winning Deals – Corey Kupfer

E53: How to Make Winning Deals – Corey Kupfer

Successful M&A deals begin with a deal making mindset. Find out the measures you need to take to make a winning deal. Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, deal-maker, attorney and consultant. He shares how his background in law ultimately...

46: How To Avoid the Owner’s Trap – Lloyd Wolf

46: How To Avoid the Owner’s Trap – Lloyd Wolf

Lloyd Wolf started his consulting business in 1989. Over 30 years he grew Wolf Consulting from a one-man show to a leading regional provider of computer support and cloud services. Lloyd talked with me about his slow and steady philosophy to growth...

E45: AI Innovations | Neil Sahota

E45: AI Innovations | Neil Sahota

Listen to the audio: Neil Sahota helped create the artificial intelligence ecosystem that famously won Jeopardy called Watson. He's an IBM Master Inventor and artificial intelligence subject matter expert with the United Nations. Neil's written a...

E38: Building Your Competitive Moat with Phillip Swan

E38: Building Your Competitive Moat with Phillip Swan

Listen to Succession Stories E38: https://youtu.be/2S6im5QWpN0 Want to differentiate your business? Build a competitive moat by mapping out your customers' journey to discover what matters most to them. Laurie Barkman, host of Succession Stories,...

E18: Ann Dugan – Enterprising Generations

E18: Ann Dugan – Enterprising Generations

Listen to the episode: On this opening episode of Season 2, Laurie Barkman speaks with Ann Dugan, former Executive Director and Founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Her expertise in succession, Board governance, and family...

95: When Highest Bidder Is Not Best Fit, Gabriela Isturiz

95: When Highest Bidder Is Not Best Fit, Gabriela Isturiz

Gabriela Isturiz joins Laurie Barkman to discuss how she bootstrapped two SaaS legal tech companies and successfully sold them to Fortune 500 strategic buyers. She shared the M&A bid process used to generate multiple offers, and why the highest bidder is not always the best buyer for your company. Recently Gaby started a venture capital fund, The Fund XX, investing in the next generation of women-led startups.

94: Finding Purpose After Selling The Business – Sarah Dusek

94: Finding Purpose After Selling The Business – Sarah Dusek

Sarah Dusek shares her entrepreneurship journey as co-founder of Under Canvas to selling for over $100 million to a private equity firm. Sarah shares her experience how she grew the business through innovative marketing channels and differentiated experiences. Sarah also talks with Laurie Barkman about growth capital and the exit decisions they made, and challenges she experienced leaving the business. Now Sarah pays it forward by investing in women-led businesses in southern Africa empowering entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.

78: Finding Time Wealth | Craig Clickner and Carrie Bohlig, Tandem Consulting

78: Finding Time Wealth | Craig Clickner and Carrie Bohlig, Tandem Consulting

Finding time wealth means having the ability to choose how you spend your time. On this episode, Laurie Barkman talks with Craig Clickner and Carrie Bohlig. They’re the married co-founders of Tandem Consulting and other companies. Their businesses, which initially started as side hustles, allowed them to step away from their corporate careers, and developed 8 income streams bringing in over $3 million annually.

77: Scaling Small Businesses | Danielle Cuomo, CEO Virtual Assist USA

77: Scaling Small Businesses | Danielle Cuomo, CEO Virtual Assist USA

Given today’s talent wars, have you considered virtual assistants? Danielle Cuomo is the Founder and CEO of Virtual Assist USA – the largest VA company in the United States. Danielle shares how she took an entrepreneurial leap from bootstrapping the company to growing to $4.5 million in revenues today. This insight-packed episode provides fresh ideas for scaling small businesses.

76: Growing Through the Pandemic | Stephanie Scheller

76: Growing Through the Pandemic | Stephanie Scheller

Looking to enhance and grow your business in 2022? Stephanie Scheller joins Laurie Barkman to discuss success in the face of disruption. Stephanie is the founder of Grow Disrupt, a marketing agency in Texas that grew by nearly 50% in 2020. How? By optimizing recruitment, offering packages that address customer needs, and improving the agency’s positioning.

Innovation, Growth and Selling the Family Business – Laurie Barkman on The Connected Generation Podcast

Innovation, Growth and Selling the Family Business – Laurie Barkman on The Connected Generation Podcast

Laurie Barkman joins host Nike Anani on The Connected Generation Podcast Episode 100. Laurie discusses how as a “business transition sherpa” she advises business owners on having more valuable, sellable businesses. Listen in to this layered conversation on innovation, growth and selling the family business. Laurie comes with an invaluable perspective, as former CEO of a privately held company and as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship.

72: Solving the Rainmakers Dilemma with Amy Franko

72: Solving the Rainmakers Dilemma with Amy Franko

If a high percentage of your company's revenue is undertaken personally by you or your fellow equity holders, you're a Rainmaker. You've got a strong ability to influence customers, but you may be lowering your company's value. Amy Franko is a...

61: Strategic Planning to Reignite Growth | James F. Richardson PhD

61: Strategic Planning to Reignite Growth | James F. Richardson PhD

Reignite growth in your company by doing this one thing: Be curious. Rethink your assumptions about why people buy from you– and why they don’t. On this episode, Laurie Barkman talks with Dr. James Richardson, a professionally trained cultural anthropologist turned business strategist, about the importance of customer research. Understanding customer needs is a critical part of strategic planning and differentiating your business in an increasingly competitive market.

50: Next Gen Corporate Innovation

50: Next Gen Corporate Innovation

Karen Norheim is the President of American Crane and Equipment Corp, a specialized manufacturing company, founded by her father. Karen shared her story as the next generation and how she’s taking the company to the next level. In early 2020, the...

49: The AI Intersection of Technology and Psychology, Dr. JT Kostman

49: The AI Intersection of Technology and Psychology, Dr. JT Kostman

Laurie Barkman talks with Dr. JT Kostman, CEO of ProtectedBy.AI and global expert in Artificial Intelligence and Psychology. JT’s unique story began as a homeless nine year old in New York City. Now a globally recognized Data Scientist, Mathematician, and Psychologist, JT is regarded as one of the leading experts in applied artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. As a global entrepreneur, his focus is enabling small and mid-size companies to use data to protect and transform their businesses.

E45: AI Innovations | Neil Sahota

E45: AI Innovations | Neil Sahota

Listen to the audio: Neil Sahota helped create the artificial intelligence ecosystem that famously won Jeopardy called Watson. He's an IBM Master Inventor and artificial intelligence subject matter expert with the United Nations. Neil's written a...

E38: Building Your Competitive Moat with Phillip Swan

E38: Building Your Competitive Moat with Phillip Swan

Listen to Succession Stories E38: https://youtu.be/2S6im5QWpN0 Want to differentiate your business? Build a competitive moat by mapping out your customers' journey to discover what matters most to them. Laurie Barkman, host of Succession Stories,...

E23: The Power of Connecting with Lou Diamond

E23: The Power of Connecting with Lou Diamond

Listen to the Podcast: This episode focuses on the power of connecting to create business value. Lou Diamond, CEO of Thrive Loud, is a performance mentor for sales, marketing, and leadership teams. This has been a tough year and not everyone is...

E05: Ageless Startup, Author Rick Terrien

E05: Ageless Startup, Author Rick Terrien

Listen to the full episode using the player below: On this episode of Succession Stories, I explored next generation entrepreneurship from a different angle with Rick Terrien, author of Ageless Startup. After selling his last company, Rick pondered...

70: Investing in Your People – Alisa Spector Angelo

70: Investing in Your People – Alisa Spector Angelo

How can employers retain people in the face of The Great Resignation job market phenomenon? Alisa Spector Angelo is the Owner and President of Compass Business Solutions, an HR consulting firm that takes a people first approach in driving organizational performance. Listen in as Laurie Barkman and Alisa talk about why it’s more important than ever to put your company values into practice to drive retention and foster a healthy and productive work environment.

61: Strategic Planning to Reignite Growth | James F. Richardson PhD

61: Strategic Planning to Reignite Growth | James F. Richardson PhD

Reignite growth in your company by doing this one thing: Be curious. Rethink your assumptions about why people buy from you– and why they don’t. On this episode, Laurie Barkman talks with Dr. James Richardson, a professionally trained cultural anthropologist turned business strategist, about the importance of customer research. Understanding customer needs is a critical part of strategic planning and differentiating your business in an increasingly competitive market.

E53: How to Make Winning Deals – Corey Kupfer

E53: How to Make Winning Deals – Corey Kupfer

Successful M&A deals begin with a deal making mindset. Find out the measures you need to take to make a winning deal. Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, deal-maker, attorney and consultant. He shares how his background in law ultimately...

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