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Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a program partnership required for business - owner participation?
The majority of the products and services provided through the NxStep program are also available in a similar form to any small to mid-sized business owner anywhere in the United States through the Value.Plan.Go. business exit and value program. However the Value.Plan.Go. program is targeted to businesses operating in larger communities and metropolitan areas at a cost $2,995. NxStep is a value-added program with various discount and scholarship opportunities that lower the overall cost of the program making it affordable for any sized small community or rural business. To deliver this program at this price point, we require the community or county to be actively involved in the program providing local marketing and publicity. This partnership is the only way NxStep can be effectively delivered to these geographies at these savings. Additionally, local leaders know local businesses and owners. They know who should be engaging in exit and value planning and who would be helped by NxStep. Helping to keep successful local businesses in operation and contributing to their community and economy is a core goal of every chamber and economic development program. It's also a core NxStep goal.
How long does it take to receive a completed exit and value project.
We begin by offering a scheduled multi-state launch event to a limited number of enrolled businesses. Then, businesses or owners participating in the program can expect to receive their completed exit and value project in the order that their completed information package is received. All projects are prepared one at a time by professional advisors once all of the information we have requested is provided. No exact time frame or delivery date is provided, and the number of projects underway at any time can and will affect the production and delivery of completed projects. However we know owners are anxious to see their results and get started. We try to have completed projects returned to the owner or advisor in about 60 days; every project is provided on an as-soon-as-possible basis.
Are the projects just created by machine, apps or AI produced?
No. Never! Each report is prepared by a credentialed value and exit analyst. Over the past ten or more years we've developed our own proprietary software and systems to help us produce exit and value reports more quickly, but all of the information provided in a report is created and or provided by our experienced consultants. Online apps or instant result programs cannot match the level of quality analysis and reporting NxStep provides.
Are business values provided based on rules of thumb or ballpark estimates?
No. Each opinion of business value is created unique to that business using three valuation approaches: the market approach, the income approach and the asset approach. Up to four methods are used under these approaches depending on financial performance: the direct market data method or guideline private transaction method for both revenue and seller's discretionary earnings under the market approach; a single period capitalization method under the income approach; a net-adjusted book value method under the asset approach. These developed values are then reconciled into a completed opinion of business value based on a 100% controlling interest. Minority, impaired or individual interests are not valued separately and would require a full business valuation engagement and report. We also test the value conclusion using a common deal structure and example industry multiples. However these are only sanity checks and are not included in the actual opinion of business value provided. The result is presented in a credentialed letter-form valuation appropriately suited for business planning purposes. It is not intended or appropriate for litigation, ESOP or tax purposes.
Will you tell owners how to exit or sell their business?
We will provide multiple models of possible exit strategies and deal structures including example cash-to-the-seller values for demonstration purposes. These exit strategies and deal structures can be combined with each other to produce various exit and value opportunities. Owners are encouraged to pursue multiple exit strategies at the same time. When and how owners decide to sell or exit a business is up to them. We want owners to have as much information as possible so they can maximize their business value, maximize their opportunity for a successful exit and minimize their total planning and exit cost. Owners should also share their NxStep project and completed owner exit plan with their local advisor team, letting them make additional recommendations to improve their plan and transition outcomes.
Will you market and sell the business for the owner?
No. We are not business brokers or investment bankers. Some owners do use professional business brokers to sell their business, but there are many other ways to successfully exit or sell a business that owners should also consider. We do offer topic cards that include suggestions on developing or finding a buyer. Ultimately, how an owner leaves their business is up to them.
Can an owner keep using your services after their project is completed?
Yes, if they want. But we want to emphasize that no additional services from our program are required after a project is provided to the owner. We do offer separate "Pro Sessions" between the owner and our consultants. Some owners may want to update of their NxStep project annually to see the progress they've made and what the updated value might be.
There are additional programs and services offered through our affiliates for specific purposes - litigation, ESOP filings or gift valuation for instance. We can discuss these options with owners if they choose.
Why do owners need an advisor team?
Getting out of a business successfully is at least as complicated as getting into a business - maybe more so. Owners need the help of an accountant, attorney, financial planner, insurance professional and other services to ensure they maximize their results and exit opportunities. Leaving a business will require addressing a number of issues: tax planning, agreements, contracts and other legal documents and filings, investment or wealth management issues, owner or family insurance, property transfers, estate, gifting or ownership transfers, transferring leases, asset assignment, stock or asset sale decisions, buy-sell negotiations, addressing business and personal debt, risk mitigation and more.
We recommend owners use local or regional professionals if possible, and support their community or region. These professionals are small business owners too. Occasionally, an outside professional with specific experience may be necessary. Advisor skills should always match an owners needs and it is up to each owner to make an informed decision regarding professional services.
How long should a business exit take?
It depends. The time to begin to pursue an exit event is a unique owner decision. The optimum time frame used in our program is a schedule of one to three years. However, owners can still use NxStep to improve the performance and value of their business ahead of time, and begin to lay the foundation for a future exit or transition event that is five or more years down the road. To maximize business value and real exit opportunities, we suggest owners begin early, giving themselves a reasonable amount of time to prepare and act.
Sometimes there are circumstances beyond an owners' control that hasten the need to leave a business - sometimes in only a matter of months. NxStep's program will help owners prepare for this type of exit as well.
The owner will use the current fair market value report for the business, short-term value and performance recommendations to maximize available value, and review several demonstrated exit strategies and deal structures that can provide a quick out.
Can an owner still receive a project scholarship if all 100 scholarships
are already awarded for a multi-state event?
The scholarship program is provided only for the launch of a community or county program partnership and only
for the states participating in that event. When all available scholarships for a scheduled event are awarded,
no additional scholarships will be available. We make 100 scholarships available for each multi-state event.
Total registrations for any multi-state event is limited to 250.
Owners or advisors will still receive the 50% discount from standard exit and value program prices anytime just for doing business in a partner community or county. That's a $1,500 savings from the normal fee of $2,995 for a full Value.Plan.Go. project. It's also an incredible value compared to other exit and value programs costing $15,000 to $40,000 or more.
How do businesses or owners pay for a project.
First, complete the business-owner enrollment form located on this website. Then we'll contact you directly for payment. You can also call NxStep to enroll and provide payment information at that time. You'll provide payment information directly to a member of our staff for credit card processing, or you can send us a check for your enrollment. We do not take credit card payments over the internet for security reasons. Credit card payments require an additional 10% processing fee in addition to the program fee due. It's a charge we incur that we must pass along. Checks may be sent for the program amount only without any additional processing fee. Remember that your enrollment is not confirmed until full enrollment payment has been received. Once received, you will be provided with an email confirmation of successful enrollment and a customer number for your project.
In some cases, community or county partners may provide separate programs that incentivize owners to participate in NxStep and offer local scholarships, grants or other financial assistance toward the outstanding balance. Owners need to check with their community leadership regarding such programs. In most instances, the owner will be responsible to pay the program balance.
Is NxStep available for larger regions or even entire states?
Well, NxStep isn't, but our flagship program Value.Plan.Go. is. Large regions or entire states will include small communities and very large cities. NxStep is designed only for small communities with populations of 15,000 or less. Value.Plan.Go. is available nationwide for any small to mid-sized business regardless of location.
We offer discounted VPGo pricing options for regional or statewide engagements depending on the number of projects to be included with a minimum number of 300 total engagements. The more projects included in the program, the lower the price of each individual engagement. Regional or statewide programs are recommended to be multi-year endeavors to increase total use and impacts.
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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)