How It Works
NxStep + Local Partners and Advisors
[ don't use simplified view ]
Like a Grant Only Better
Communities and counties are accustom to applying for grant opportunities to help fund special projects. These grants provide significant financial support while requiring a minimal level of match and participation on their part.
NxStep is a value-added program based on a national exit and value program called Value.Plan.Go. In NxStep, scholarships are available to lower the cost of the program and incentivize owners to engage and begin planning.
NxStep program scholarships work on the same principle as a grant, providing the equivalent of a technical assistance grant to enrolled business owners in partner communities or counties.
Owners in NxStep partner locations always save 50% from the cost of a standard Value.Plan.Go. exit and value project. This partnership lowers the project cost to just $1,495, a savings of $1,500 to the owner.
NxStep scholarships save owners over 83%. The remaining balance or required cash match is just just $495. A savings of $2,500.
There are 100 total scholarships offered in advance of each multi-state workshop and launch event, available on a first come basis.
Unlike a grant proposal, a community or county doesn't have to apply. They only need to decide to participate.
Where does the balance or match come from? That's entirely up to the participating community or county. In many cases the business owner will pay the balance to participate. Some communities may have available funds to sponsor a number of local business enrollments. Funds may also be sought through donations or sponsorships from area lenders, economic development councils, county or state grant programs or philanthropic organizations.
A Community or County Becomes a Partner
Becoming a partner is simple enough. Contact NxStep to enroll.
The request must come from a key leadership position. Examples include a chamber director or president, economic development director or president, mayor, city manager or a county board chair. You register on-line by selecting the "Enroll Now" tab at the top of the page.
The program has no cost to the community or county. No fees or expenditures.
It is up to the partner to market their program inside of their community using no-cost forms of advertising or outreach. In return, NxStep provides ongoing materials and occasional programs to help the partner launch and sustain their program. We also create a partner web page to consolidate program information and market only local advisors and services to owners or next generation buyers.
The NxStep program will not replace existing advisors or services in your community or county. We prepare owners to have greater success working with their local team of advisors to plan and implement their chosen exit or transition strategies.
Partners Receive Promotional Materials
After enrollment, we'll provide partners with a number of promotional products to introduce their program to business owners and interested advisors. Parters use no-cost methods of promotion to reach owners and professionals: email, electronic newsletters, lunch and learn events, press releases, etc. If certain business owners absolutely need to participate, maybe a phone call.
We recognize that local leadership and organizational professionals know the businesses and owners in their region better than anyone else. They know who needs to begin planning for a transition so that the economic impacts and wealth created by those businesses can be retained and passed on.
Partners also provide business owners or advisors a unique NxStep code for their program allowing them to enroll, request a scholarship, and access additional resources and planning tools.
With Any Type
of Small Business
Retail. Service. Manufacturing.
Professional. Construction. Wholesale.
Partners Invite Owners
and Professional Advisors
Owners or advisors will decide whether or when they want to participate in an exit and value project. Partners are simply providing them with the opportunity to do so.
In addition to individual owner enrollments and scholarship requests, bulk registrations may be purchased by the community or county partner, or by advisors for use with multiple local businesses.
There are no restrictions on the number of program enrollments a community or county may purchase or on the number of business owners who may register up to the maximum available enrollments per multi-state event.
Scholarships are only awarded to the first 100 registered and paid event enrollments from all combined multi-state locations for that event. Additional registrations are available at the standard project cost.
Partners may consider purchasing a group of 5, 10 or 20 enrollments to ensure scholarship pricing for local business owners, or provide them to businesses to encourage advanced transition planning.
• • •
Owners or advisors who don't enroll in time to participate in the initial workshop and program launch event may still enroll in the NxStep program later, anytime they're ready so long as the community or county are still program partners.
After the initial program event or after all 100 scholarships are awarded, business owners or advisors will still received a 50% discount or $1,500 savings off the full program cost and pay just $1,495 per project.
Owners or advisors of participating businesses register directly with NxStep through the owner portal on this website or by calling NxStep directly.
All project information and results are confidential between the business owner or advisor and NxStep. We will never provide individual client information to any other third-party. All information and data is secured locally and not on the internet.
Community-county program partners will be provided with information regarding the total number of local business enrollments and awarded project scholarships for their location.
Live Workshop Event
and Program Launch
The workshop event will be presented live according to the schedule for that region as a webinar. The event is available on computer, tablet or smart phone.
The workshop will last a total of four hours and prepare the owner or participating advisor for the NxStep program. It will provide important sessions on business value, various types of exits and deal structures, and the keys to a successful transition. The workshop will also include a session on family owned business and succession events.
The workshop event will be recorded. If a participating owner or advisor can't attend the scheduled live event, they will be able to stream the presentation whenever they're ready.
Participating Owners or Advisors Gather and Send Requested Materials
Prior to the workshop event, participants will receive workbook materials. These resources include additional program introductions, workshop agenda and a checklist of information and data owners will need to gather and submit for their project when they're ready to move forward.
Owners or participating advisors on behalf of a registered businesses submit a minimal amount of requested information to NxStep. We try to keep it as easy as possible, but we do need the appropriate information and data to prepare each custom business exit and value project.
Generally, we'll ask for several years of annual profit and loss statements, matching balance sheets, and the most current IRS company tax return. We also need basic operational information: asset and depreciation schedules, information on any real estate that might be part of the business, ownership information, a brief history of the company, a list of products and services provided, and how the business is organized.
The information is gathered and then sent all together at one time to NxStep. We will confirm to the owner that the information has been received and provide an estimated delivery date range for their project.
In About 60 Days a Completed Exit and Value Project Is Ready
NxStep projects are provided back to the owner or the participating advisor as a .pdf file using a secure server. Owners use their unique program ID to access the finished report. If requested, a printed and bound version of the report may be ordered and provided for a separate charge.
The project itself is provided in three sections:
An Executive Summary of results.
A detailed Exit and Value Project Report with numerous sections, examples, recommendations and models for the owner to review and consider.
An Owner Exit Plan - ready for the owner to further customize according to their priorities, time-line, chosen exit strategies and deal structures.
• • •
When the owner is ready, the draft exit plan and the exit-value report should be shared with their local advisor team. They'll work with the owner to improve the plan and assist with its implementation.
As an option, owners may choose to purchase a Pro Session with a NxStep advisor to go over their project results and address any questions they may have. Pro sessions are available to assist the owner or other involved parties and are not required. Sessions are available at an hourly consulting rate
Contact NxStep at
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NxStep Exit & Value
Pinnacle Consulting & Media
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)