Midwest Business Advisors

Services

Servicing Business Owners, Executives & Investors from Startups to Legacy Companies.

Service Offerings


INTERIM CEO, COO & CFO SERVICES

As part of our Interim Executive Management work, we can assist companies with short-term support when a President/CEO, CFO or COO exits the business unexpectedly or on short notice. We have the core areas of expertise and the intellectual curiosity to do what it takes to explore and learn about the needs of the business very quickly so we can effectively fill the void more quickly than a long recruiting or internal training process. We understand the distractions of a long and stressful recruiting or training period can take the executive management team’s focus away for the day-to-day and compound the stress on the business. We can help clients to keep the business moving forward with limited interruptions and distractions.


GROWTH/EXPANSION OF OPERATIONS

The final part of our Operational Leadership practice is assisting companies with planning and executing growth and expansion of operations. Many business leaders feel it is easy to grow and expand, all you have to do is add people and resources and the business will follow that path. It is definitely not that easy, but it can be with an experienced partner that has the experience with both growth phases and expansion projects. Also, it is important to note that growth and expansion require different planning and implementation. Growth entails defined steps designed to incrementally grow revenues first, and people and resources second as sales warrant; whereas expansion requires capital investments for fixed assets, sales growth planning/management and human capital retention which must come together in a well-planned and organized process. We understand what missteps or poor timing can do to the bottom line and we are here to proactively discuss them so you can enjoy the results and benefits.


PRIVATE INVESTMENT FUNDS

If you are interested in starting a small, limited private investment fund under the rules of a LLC to assist in purchasing private business in a closed loop environment, we can assist you in the development of the LLC, research possible acquisition targets, assist in the due diligence review, work through various financial avenues to manage leverage, provide ongoing management oversight and support, and assist with any future M&A support including an exit. We can be your eyes and ears on your investments using our years of experience in these situations while also being that trusted partner in growing your returns.


MAJOR INITIATIVE MANAGEMENT

Another part of our Interim Executive Management work is the ability to work with business leaders and investors on major initiatives they feel need outside support or expertise to allow them to focus on the day-to-day yet see these important projects completed. We can take the independent lead and execute the process related to these major decisions. Whether it be an operational or financial reorganization, implementing a new system within the entity, integrate an acquisition or transfer of ownership, drive a cost realignment or a performance improvement initiative, or implementing a new organizational design; we are there to discuss, plan, implement and complete the required initiative and project.


AUDIT SUPPORT SERVICES

Our audit support services function within the Financial Leadership practice is designed to help businesses understand the importance and reasoning why and when a company needs to seek more in-depth financial support through a formal auditing process. Too often businesses feel that a simple review from your CPA are sufficient, or maybe you do not have a review and you simply have your CPA complete your annual tax work and feel that is enough. While this is a proper channel for some businesses, but for businesses that wish to grow, seek financing, or may want to sell to a larger or most sophisticated entity in the future, an audit tenure will be important. If you can establish a 3-5 year track record of solid audit reporting and a lack of non-conformance or risks issues, your business will have more value to future investors/owners which should mean for value to you the seller. If you are an active and growing company or looking to possibly sell in the future, you should look at an audit as an investment in your future, not an expense.


TURNAROUND/RESTRUCTURING MANAGEMENT

As part of our Operational Leadership work is an area offering turnaround and restructuring management. If a company is at a point of looking at a possible turnaround or restructuring process, it is a very difficult time as operational changes, structural changes, and the most difficult, employment changes need to be effectively planned for and implemented. We have the experience and the subsequent outcome success with this difficult process. We can help your company make these very difficult changes easier by having a solid plan, the ability to communicate it in a very down-to-earth and at multiple level dialogue, and implement it with the most discretion as possible in mind. It is a not an easy process and time will not wait for you to figure it out on your own and under pressure, we are here to make it beneficial and as painless as possible for you. Ask about how you can receive free turnaround services, and have it 100% based on performance.


BUSINESS STRATEGY & PLANNING

The final piece of our Financial Leadership practice is business strategy & planning. Too often businesses develop a strategy for today, tomorrow, next week and maybe next month, however, to be a strong and growing business, you must focus on both short-term and long-term strategies. It is great to know your goals for each of the next four quarters and for the next year (short-term strategy planning), but it is vitally important to set goals for three, five and ten years into the future (long-term strategy planning). By developing this level of strategy, you can set goals, and when you meet or do not meet those goals, you can make measured changes inline with your set-forth strategy. This keeps you from feeling the constant pressure of worrying about what to do next, how are we going to handle these changes in the business effectively, and lastly, making a decision on a timely basis. Many times, the lack of a strategy and a plan, can cause us to miss the opportunity to make a change in the path we are looking to follow, and that leads to missed opportunities for growth or in a negative position due to a downturn in the business. Twenty years ago, the best way to make sure you were heading in the right direction was to have a good map, while the paper maps are gone and we now have Google Maps, having a solid business strategy and plan for your business is like having one of those tried and true maps. A good map always seemed to lead you in the right direction and to the destination in which you seek.


RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Another part of our Financial Leadership practice is in the area of Risk Management. In today’s highly regulated and tight margin business world, having a proactive and strategic risk management program will make the difference in your long-term success. Some key risk management focus points are fixed and indirect expenses that can easily get out of control and need to analyzed; there are the various key insurance coverages like worker’s compensation, general liability, property & casualty, crime, cyber security, and health insurance that need to be checked constantly for excessive coverage or over pricing; and then there are the financial and operational risk concerns related to loan covenants, cash flow, human capital issues, accounts receivable management, and other potential risks that could affect your specific business. We can be your partner to help identify the issues you face, assess the size of the risk, and develop and implement the corrective action plan to reduce or eliminate the risks you face.


PAYROLL & ERP SYSTEM PLANNING

Two difficult system planning decision for a growing business is when and with whom should I choose to assist us with our payroll processing or which of the many ERP systems should we choose and implement. This planning and implementation process is another piece of our Financial Leadership practice. We have the experience working with national and regional payroll processors and can assist you reviewing your goals for your payroll processor, what each firm offers to meet those goals, making the decision on the right partner, and most importantly, helping implement the system with your business. As it relates to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, every business and every software solution is different and it is important to decide if, for one, does my size and structure support us installing an ERP system, and if it does, what provider should I work with. We have the experience working with several providers (small, medium and large) and can assist you in developing a preliminary demo plan, help with the analysis of the offerings, help with the tough decision-making process, and most importantly, help with the implementation of your new system. These decisions are not cheap and should be taken lightly, get the support of a company with a proven track record working with both.


MERGER & ACQUISITION ADVISORY SERVICE

A core piece of our Financial Leadership practice is the research, planning, implementation and follow-up management of all types of merger and acquisition (M&A) projects including Buy/Sell side transactions and entity carve-outs. All discussions and projects are completed with strict confidentiality and discretion. We have the ability to analyze all the due diligence pieces from the analysis of the historical financial statements, development of projections for post-transaction operations, and provide an independent and clear financial recommendation while integrating our experience within operations to ensure the operational side of the business has the ability to support the financial projections and the valuation. The best route to a good deal is understanding the risks and challenges that lie ahead because it is not just about the deal, it is about the right deal and structure. We can do that for you. Ask us about our deal-based fee approach that is based on performance, not hours spent.


BOARD ADVISORY SERVICES

The final part of our Interim Executive Management focus is related to paid and volunteer board member services. All businesses need support from finance and operational leaders to help support the executive management team make big decisions, to help them navigate through the ever difficult waters of business, or to simply give them a second viewpoint. Too often, over time, the business becomes stagnant, and having a third-party viewpoint brings renewed ideas and freshness to the air. We can be that partner that is passionate about supporting businesses, providing them that different viewpoint and doing what we can to assist them towards a prosperous future.


INTERNAL CONTROL ANALYSIS

Our internal control analysis is a small, less interesting piece of our Financial Leadership practice, however it can be an extremely important and expensive one to lose focus of. Many business owners and executives feel internal controls are just more regulation and roadblocks, however a properly setup internal control system can protect your investment, your employees and give your investors and banks more confidence. This analysis can cover areas like accounting and computer systems, cash receipts from accounts receivable flow, cash disbursements from accounts payable and purchase orders, and inventory and fixed asset management. We can also make recommendations on organizational structures and protections for processes and employees.


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ADVISORY SERVICES

Another part of our Operational Leadership work is our area of intellectual property advisory services. We have a background of taking patent worthy work through the long and arduous process of not only receiving patent pending status, but the critical point of being awarded a patent. We have experience receiving and maintaining trademarks registrations and copyright protections. This service helps companies through the processes of working with intellectual property attorneys and the US Patent & Trademark Office. We have worked with firms from South Dakota, Minnesota and Virginia, and they are very solid firms with a long history of intellectual property work. More than 95% of all patents do not make it to market, we can help get your intellectual property protected plus we can use our operational and financial expertise to help your idea be one of the 5% that make it to market. We are here to help you protect and implement a very important asset.