Green Merger News – October 2011



The Professional Landcare Network’s Green Industry Conference, along with the massive Green Industry Expo, is October 26-29 in Louisville, Kentucky.
This is one of the most important educational and networking events of the year.  We’ll be there and hope you will be, too. We’d welcome the chance to visit with you during the events.
We will be co-hosting a special luncheon program, “Unlocking the Value of Your Business,” near the Expo Center on Friday, October 28, along with the well-known industry consultant Jeffrey Scott.  For more information about this event, see below.  We will also be at Planet’s Breakfast with Champions on Thursday and Saturday.
We look forward to the opportunity to meet with you during the conference.  We’ll be staying at the Marriott downtown and spending lots of time at the Expo Center, too.  If you’d like to meet during the conference, please give us a call at 888-229-5740 or contact us by email.  We look forward to seeing you in Louisville.
This month, we are concluding our series on Exit Planning in the  Green Industry with two features, an article on “Putting Your Plan into Place” and an “Exit Planning Checklist.”
We are also announcing the publication of our new book, Green Exit—Exit Planning for Lawn & Landscape Business Owners.
Even if you won’t be in Louisville, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your business and your plans.  Please give us a call or send us an email.
—Ron Edmonds
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Focus on Exit Planning

Putting your Plan Into Place


Editor’s Note:
This is the final article in our series on exit planning.

In most cases, there are a variety of exit options available to a business owner, including a sale to a third party and a transfer to an insider. Often, there are a host of further options, including such alternatives as an employee stock ownership plan and a private equity recapitalization. Based on the owner’s objectives and a realistic assessment of the value of the business, the business owner can identify the option or options that are most likely to best satisfy his or her objectives.  It is now time to pull the plan together.
The completed plan should include the following parts:
· A restatement of the business owner’s objectives in developing the exit plan and a statement of his or her plans post-exit.
· An assessment of the value of the business as it currently stands and what steps are expected to be necessary to unlock that value.
· A specific plan to improve the value and salability of the business based on an examination of the business, its value drivers and market conditions, currently and in the foreseeable future.
· A specific plan to preserve the value of the business against risks and uncertainties that exist or may develop between the time the plan is developed and the time the plan is to be executed.
· A specific plan, customized for the situation, to unlock the value of the business by completing a sale or transfer of the business in the future, including a description of the plan, steps that must be taken to execute the plan and a planned timeframe or milestones which must be reached to execute the plan.
· And perhaps, most importantly, a process for updating the plan for changing circumstances.
As the plan is completed, you will have assembled many of the resources and advisors you will need to execute the plan when the time comes.  Because you will have familiarized your team of advisors with your objectives and the facts about your business, they will be in a much better position to advise you about steps to take in the future.  They will also be ready when you make the decision to proceed with a sale or transfer on your terms and on your timeframe.
A key part of the plan will be to include a process for updating and revising the plan for changing facts and circumstances.  Among the changes that will often require modification of the plan are the following:
· Family changes, including marriage, births and death.
· Health issues.
· Positive or negative changes in the business.
· Positive or negative changes in the overall industry.
· Positive or negative changes in the overall economy.
· Changes in the business owner’s attitude toward specific potential buyers or transferees.
· Competitive issues.
· Changes in the business owner’s personal plans post-exit.
· Changes in the business owner’s financial assets other than the business.
· Changes in federal, state and local taxes.
Many of these changes are inevitable.  Without updating the plan for changes, the plan’s value to the business owner greatly diminishes in value. One approach that many business owners find useful is to schedule an annual review of the exit plan, either as part of an overall planning process or as a part of a year-end financial review.

You’re Invited
Exclusive Event During Green Industry Expo:
Unlock the Value of Your Business

You are invited to a private luncheon with Ron Edmonds and Jeffrey Scott on Friday, October 28, during the Green Industry Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.
Learn about building business value and long-term exit strategies.
Meet Ron Edmonds of The Principium Group and Jeffrey Scott, a well-known industry consultant and facilitator of peer groups.
Edmonds and Scott will lead a discussion of strategies for building business value and long-term exit strategies.
You will learn how to:
· Understand the value of your business
· Prepare for transition
· Sell to a family member or key employee
· Develop the business today for more value tomorrow
· And more.
Space is highly limited for this exclusive event, so reserve your space by emailing either Ron Edmonds at [email protected] or Jeffrey Scott at [email protected].
The event will be within walking distance of  Kentucky Expo Center, site of the Green Industry Expo.

Just Published:

Green Exit by Ron Edmonds


Ron Edmonds’ latest book, Green Exit—Exit Planning for Lawn and Landscape Business Owners, has just been published.
Green Exit introduces lawn and landscape business owners to the basic concepts of exit planning, including defining your objectives, understanding the value of your business, improving and preserving the value of your business and developing a plan for exiting the business.  The book discusses a variety of strategies, including third-party sales, private equity, transfers to family members or key employees and employee stock ownership plans.  Green Exit targets all green industry business owners who either are or should be considering their business exit plans.
Green Exit is available now in print and e-book formats from the publisher,, and will soon be available from &


An Exit Planning Checklist

This checklist is intended to guide you through the exit planning process and to stimulate your thoughts as to topics you may not have considered.
1.  After exiting your business, do you expect (1) to retire, (2) to start or buy another business or (3) to become an employee of another business?
2.  Have you analyzed your financial readiness to exit the business?
3.  If you plan to retire, have you analyzed your financial requirements in retirement and how they will be met?
4.  If you are planning to start or buy another business, have you analyzed the financial requirements associated with that endeavour?
5.  If you are planning to become an employee of another business, have you analyzed your living requirements and how they will be met through a combination of compensation and other sources, including investments and proceeds from the sale of your business?
6.  In almost all cases, when a business is sold, the seller will be required to enter into a noncompetition agreement with the buyers of the business.  If you are planning to start or buy another business or to become an employee of another business, have you considered whether a noncompetition agreement will affect the new business?
7.  Do you consider yourself mentally ready to exit the business?  If not, what steps will you take to prepare yourself mentally for exiting the business?
8.  Have you identified the team of professionals to assist you with exit planning?   E.g., Exit Planning Specialist, Attorney, Accountant, Tax Advisor,  Wealth Planner, Business Intermediary or Business Broker? (Some advisors may fill more than one role, and not all roles may be necessary in every situation.)
9.  If everything were perfect, when would you like to exit your business?
10.  Do you have a realistic understanding of the value of your business?
11.  Do you have an understanding of the value drivers of your business?
12.  Have you considered what steps you can take to improve the value and salability of your business and developed a plan to address them?
13.  Have you considered and taken steps to preserve the value of your business between now and the time you plan to exit the business?  Have you considered what can go wrong and how to minimize its effect?
14.  Have you identified the exit planning options that are most likely to meet your personal objectives?
15.  Have you completed an exit plan to guide you from now until you exit your business?
16.  Have you established a process for regularly reviewing and updating your exit plan for changes in your objectives, your personal situation, the progress of the business and market conditions?
17.  Have you considered what is most important to you?  Rank the following objectives in order from most important to least important to you.
____Selling your business at the highest possible price
____Selling your business to the best possible buyer
____Transferring the business to a family member or family members
____Transferring the business to a key employee or employees
____Making sure your employees have an opportunity for continued employment
____Making sure your customers continue to be served in the way that you think they should be
____Having a stable income after exiting your business
____Minimizing the tax consequences of selling your business

Our Travel Calendar
We’d like to meet with you

We plan to attend the following industry events:

Green Industry Conference, Louisville, KY, October 26-29
We’ll be at the Breakfast of Champions Thursday and Saturday.

We are cohosting a luncheon on Friday.  We are also available for appointments.
Lawn Care Summit, Aventura, FL, December 7-9
National Green Centre, Kansas City, January 8-9
We’ll be speaking at 8:00 am on January 9 and will also be available for appointments.
Green Industry Great Escape, Nassau, March 1-4
If you are attending any of these events and would like to meet, please give us a call or send us an email to schedule a time.

Visit Our FaceBook Page


The Principium Group’s  FaceBook page can be found at: .

We invite you to visit (and “like”) our page.  The FaceBook page is updated regularly with commentary and links to articles and information we find interesting related to green industry mergers and acquisitions and related topics.

We also welcome comments and questions there which may be of interest to other visitors as well.  We will do our best to respond to your questions and comments.

If you have suggestions for pages for us to include as favorites, please let us know.  We’d be happy to link to your pages in that way.