NxStep and Affilated Programs
Our award-winning NxStep advisors have worked with thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs over the past twenty years. Start-ups, exits and everything in between. We've built, run and sold our own businesses, or gone through family succession events.
Over time it became apparent to us that small businesses, especially those in smaller communities, lacked meaningful access to programs that would help them prepare for an eventual exit. We've seen it in surveys and heard it from business owners and economic development professionals too.
It seemed that owners were either unable or unwilling to access available
exit or transition planning services for a number of reasons.
• Most program providers were located in urban centers sometimes hundreds of miles
away from the owners' business.
• Existing exit and value program costs were too high - hopelessly out of their reach.
• Uncertainty over the real value of their business. Would a sale be enough to fund their retirement?
• Where would a buyer come from and how?
• Could they trust a provider to promote their best interests over those of the buyer or other parties?
• Would local people find out they were considering leaving or selling their business?
What about employees, friends, family, competitors, suppliers, or lenders?
• Would selling or transferring their business cause problems between family members?
• What would their life be like after they sold and left the business, after operating
it everyday for decades?
• What about illness, disability or the death of an owner - especially the principle owner?
Traditional exit and value programs are expensive and really not meant
for smaller firms. Yet these owners need assistance and access to
planning resources as much as larger businesses do - maybe more so.
We knew a different approach was needed.
We began by developing a credentialed product and training program that was provided to advisors only.
It allowed them to work with clients and produce their own projects. It successfully introduced advisors to the concepts of exit and value planning, however, too many advisors only did occasional exit planning work or had limited additional resources.
We chose to discontinue that model so that we could re-imagine a new program that would reach a larger number of owners and users, and ensure the constant quality and content of each exit and value project.
The result was Value.Plan.Go., our comprehensive exit and value program available directly to business owners and buyers nationwide. From this platform we've created NxStep Exit & Value, a smaller community value-added version available beginning in 2019, and Value.Plan.Pro, an advisor-only version set to launch in 2020. We're also working on an on-line owner-seller + successor-buyer matching program we hope to make available in 2020.
From Clients, Advisors and Partners
- Professional Business Counselor
“It’s about time that today’s entrepreneur
has access to the guidance and insight that has been afforded to only high-end businesses in the past due to cost. This program offers an affordable solution that enables today’s small business owner the ability to position themselves for the optimum business exit or value possible. It should be part of any wealth building strategy.”
- Business Consultant and Former Business Broker
“This is a great program. I work with small business owners and their lenders. There is no other product that provides this wealth of information in such a timely manner. It’s easy to read and understand, at a price any client can afford. I am very satisfied with this program.”
- Professional Business Consultant and Accountant
“The program and report format was very user friendly. Amazingly great value and ongoing support adds extreme value to this package. I tried two other firms and both times, the cost was much higher with less results.”
- Environmental and Restoration Company Owner
“The class was extremely valuable, very informative.”
- SBDC Director - Texas
“Great program. Seriously one of the best as an economic developer I've ever had. Beat the pants off IEDC and SEDA training I've been to. You deserve a lot of credit for bringing this together”
- Regional Economic Development Director
"The material was some of the best training I've ever had in economic development. It was very easy to understand and practical. This helped a lot - it was a wonderful opportunity."
- Economic Development Director
“We aren’t selling a business, we’re buying. The business evaluation process is affordable. The education is invaluable and worthwhile.”
- Key Management Group, National Metro
Home Furnishings Business
“Before this program, we would have advertised for a sale through a newspaper or by auction. Now we have a logical price to base the sale of our business on. We will pass the business on to family members or consider trying to sell to an outside buyer. You have brought a lot of things to our attention for us to think about. You brought information to our level of understanding”
- Family Owners, Rural Lumber Center
“Before this program, I had no plan. I learned the true value of my business - items that I need to put in order before the business is offered for sale.
You provided me with the information that I needed to adjust and fix these issues to help me facilitate a future sale.”
- Owner, New and Used Auto Dealer
“The most valuable information I took from the report was the comparison of the possible exit strategies. It opened my eyes to the true value of my business.”
- Rural Electrical Equipment Repair Business Owner
“Thank you. Before this process began, I thought that some day I would have to accept whatever I could get or liquidate and walk away from my business. Now I know there are things I can do to not only improve my business but to increase its worth. The value enhancement analysis you provided me gave me a road map of things I can and will do to increase the value of my business. It is clear to me you understand what small business is and the importance it has for rural communities. This has been a very beneficial experience for me. The service you offered would not have been affordable to me in any other way.”
- Owner, Large Rural Grocery Store
“I'm working with a barbecue restaurant that's very successful and has been open over 20 years. The owner is starting to think about an exit strategy and your material is spot on. I can't wait to start working with my clients at this much higher level than where I was before this program.”
- Small Business Consultant
“Just being able to use the program and library of information for educational purposes will be a godsend.”
- County Economic Development Director
“I would recommend this program to anyone that is serious about selling their business. The information you have provided to me is beyond value. You have provided me with a great service.”
- Rural Grocery Store Owner
“We’ve learned more about operating our business for profit and how to position our business for our future retirement than all the years we’ve owned our business. Great ideas about how to use our real estate, contracts, and marketing to attract or even develop our own buyer. I wish I had talked with you years ago.”
- Rural Retail Store Owner
“This business exit and succession program is an excellent opportunity. It really brings emphasis and importance to planning. It's attractive because I can work cooperatively with other professionals. Great analysis.”
- Community Development Coordinator
“I applaud you for putting this proactive approach and exit planning model together.”
- National Manufacturing Firm
“We looked at other services recommended by our national association and couldn’t afford their fees. Your program is an incredible value! Thank you so much for helping us.”
- Electrical Engineering Firm
“If this takes hold, it could completely change how youth retention is promoted, how communities position open businesses and how they secure their future.”
- Regional-State Development Representative
“I'm looking forward to getting started. I truly believe our rural and at-risk urban areas need this program to remain relevant.”
- Multi-State Utility Representative
Comments provided are from clients and advisors using some variation of our flagship program, Value.Plan.Go. and associated advisor training program - the genesis of the NxStep Exit & Value program.
Odee Ingersoll, the creator of Value.Plan.Go. and NxStep is an award-winning consultant. He has provided exit and value presentations for the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank and the ASBDC National Conference for Six Consecutive Years. He has been featured in Forbes Online, MarketWatch, USDA Rural Community Blog, and at the Rural Futures Conference. Odee is credentialed as a certified valuation analyst (CVA), a certified exit planning advisor (CEPA), an economic development finance professional (EDFP) and a master business planning advisor (MBPA).
He has provided numerous speaking and training events nationwide and is the director of a university economic development and business creation program. He is also a court recognized expert and provides professional services for litigation, SBA loans, feasibility studies and economic impact projects. He has personally sold several of his own businesses and gone through a family generational transfer.
A quick guide to NxStep features and affiliate programs.
Affiliates and Partners of NxStep Exit & Value
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Credentialing organizations award credentials to the advisor alone and not to any organization or firm that may employ the advisor.
NxStep Advisors are credentialed as:
Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA)
Finance Professional (EDFP)
Certified or Master Business Planning Advisor (CBPA or MBPA)