A CPA-trained business consultant can give you deeper insight into key decisions made on a regular basis, such as buying or renting office space, hiring independent contractors or full-time employees, renting or leasing equipment, and much more. Here are three questions you might ask to help you get the most out of your relationship.

What’s the Best Way for Me to Track, Monitor and Improve Cash Flow? Whether you’re running a startup or an established business, properly projecting your cash flow is essential to maintaining its health and navigating out of challenging periods. An accountant can help you develop an effective cash flow model to improve receivables, manage payables, and work through shortfalls. Experienced business advisory teams also alert leaders to damaging missteps and profit maximization opportunities that may not be immediately apparent.

Am I Taking Advantage of Opportunities Unique to My Industry? Advisors like those at Talley and Company have decades of experience working with a number of different industries, from retail to construction to high tech, and can spotlight opportunities that apply to specific businesses. For example, companies in the tech industry can take advantage of certain R&D, facilities and manufacturing tax credits or exemptions. Working with your advisor can ensure you’re following industry best practices and managing your business competitively.

What Are My Options for Securing Capital for Growth? There are more financing options today than ever before, from equity vs. debt financing, loans, grants, venture capital, angel investing, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and of course friends, family, and colleagues. Depending on the intended use for the capital, the urgency of the need, the state of your industry, the strength of your management team, and many other factors, experienced advisors can help you assess your financial situation and discover whether one option might suit your needs better than another. The right team can also help you prepare your business to be considered favorably by banks, lenders, and investors when outlining your plan for the next five years and showing what your revenue stream will look like.

These are only some of the areas in which Talley LLP advisors can offer business and tax advice throughout the year. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you become more profitable.

Celebrities and their reps consider many angles when structuring compensation for a project. If you’re considering the sale or acquisition of a company, you should do the same. Why? Because it is not only what but how you present your assets to the other party, along with the terms for which you negotiate a transaction, that can make all the difference. See what these stars did that worked.
Sylvester Stallone Insisted on More Than Money – Stallone wrote Rocky but allegedly refused to sell the script until he was allowed to star in the film. As an unknown actor at the time this was pretty risky, but it all came down to what he ultimately wanted from the deal. Instead of achieving success as a storyteller alone, he built a longstanding career as a blockbuster action star. Deal Tip: Consider what you want to get out of a deal, financially and otherwise. Are you looking to retire with a comfortable nest egg? Expand your service line? Know your real motivations.
Sandra Bullock Leveraged Her Market Success – Coming off her Oscar win and box-office success from the Blind Side (an actor’s EBITDA equivalent), Bullock allegedly negotiated a deal that included $20 million first and then an additional 15 percent of first-dollar gross for Gravity. The film took in an estimated $723 million in world box office sales, that potentially netted the star another $70 million. Deal Tip: When coming to the table, consider tangibles and intangibles such as brand power, client lists, in-house talent, market share, industry trends, proprietary processes and more.
Cameron Diaz Took Less Up Front for a Bigger Payout Later – For her role in the little-remembered but profitable film Bad Teacher, Cameron Diaz agreed to accept much less than she would normally command. She took $1 million up front in return for a percentage of box office sales, which ended up bringing her $42 million. Deal Tip: Factor in your needs and tax situation before structuring a lump sum payment, distribution over time, partial ownership or other option.
Van Halen Put the Devil in the Details -Legend has it that should Van Halen have found even one brown M&M backstage in a bowl required by contract, he could legally cancel a scheduled appearance. As the rockstar explains here, the line-item stipulation (no brown M&Ms) was inserted deep into contracts to ensure promoters were reading them closely and therefore clear about the extensive physical requirements and safety measures needed for such a colossal show. Deal Tip: Go over “details” such as the future roles of company staff and other points that could make a smoother transition.
Celebrities wouldn’t think of going it alone in the complex deal process, and you don’t have to, either. Experts like those at Talley LLP who’ve negotiated hundreds of M&A transactions can help you make the most of a transaction based on your goals and priorities. 

As fans of the hit show “Shark Tank” can attest, it’s not easy securing funding for your small business.  Since debuting in August of 2009, millions of viewers have watched entrepreneurs try to convince one of the five “sharks” to invest in their business, not just financially but also with advice for long-term growth.  To quote head-“shark” Kevin O’Leary, “Building fast-growing, globally competitive companies is tough.”

In each episode small business owners make their pitch to the five sharks, all well-known millionaires who started out as entrepreneurs themselves, including Mark Cuban (entrepreneur/owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks) and Daymond John (founder of the FUBU clothing line), to convince at least one of them to invest their money and time.  But that isn’t easy.  Like all investors, the “sharks” have heard it all – from failures like the Life Caps Survival Pill (a vitamin and mineral pill that allows you to live without food for up to two weeks) to successes such as Ava the Elephant (an effective medicine dropper for children). Many contestants on the show get eaten alive by the “sharks” for the same reasons entrepreneurs outside of the reality TV show, by not having their financials in order or having a well-thought-out business plan.  As one “shark” put it, “Just because you have a hobby, doesn’t mean you have a business.”  This is a reality show that really is, well, real.

Whether you’re appearing on “Shark Tank”, seeking angel investors, or acquiring financing, you’ll need to do your research and be prepared. Talley LLP can assist you throughout the entire process.  From reviewing and preparing financial statements in a way that interests potential buyers/investors, to uncovering value from areas financials alone won’t reveal, the experts at Talley are here to help your business ventures succeed.

March Madness bracket pools are commonplace at businesses across the country when the NCAA Tournament rolls around every year. But chances are no contest comes close to the stakes at Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett’s contest prize will award $1 million a year for life to the extremely lucky worker who manages to correctly predict the Sweet Sixteen.

While picking a perfect Sweet 16 might not seem all that difficult, the odds certainly aren’t in employees favor — according to CNBC, last year, of the 18.8 million brackets filled out on ESPN, just 18 people picked a perfect Sweet 16.

Even if your organization is not willing to wager $1 million a year, the tournament will still cost employers $2.3 billion per hour in time employees are engaged with the tournament at work, according to one estimate by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Of course, the distractions do not end with filling out the bracket. Even more productivity is lost over the first two full days of tournament play (Thursday and Friday), when a dozen games are played during work hours.

Challenger’s estimate is based on the number of working Americans who are likely to be caught up in March Madness, the estimated time spent filling out brackets and streaming games, and average hourly earnings, which, in January, stood at $26.74, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Talley offers a broad spectrum of services to fulfill the needs of high net worth individuals, entrepreneurially driven companies and their owners. Whether you are considering an M&A transaction or experiencing a financial windfall event, the professionals at Talley can make the most of both your earnings and winnings.

After 11 years as one of the buzziest startups in tech, file-sharing company Dropbox filed its S-1 on Friday, kicking off the road to an initial public offering.

Since its launch in 2007, Dropbox’s customer base has grown to more than 500 million registered users, with 100 million joining just in the last year. Dropbox hasn’t managed to convert many of those to paying customers just yet. Unlike many cloud companies that rely on enterprise sales teams, over 90 percent of Dropbox’s revenue comes from users purchasing their own subscription, the company said. In its S-1 filing, Dropbox said it has 11 million paying users between individual accounts and people who are part of a paying team.

Still, the loss-making company has about $1.7 billion in contractual obligations, like leases, outstanding. Dropbox also has a multi-million dollar relationship with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The San Francisco-based company, which started as a free service to share and store photos, music and other large files, competes with much larger technology firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Google, Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc, as well as cloud-storage rival Box Inc.

Proceeds from the IPO will be used to fund an expansion plan of upgrading more users to subscriptions and expanding integration with third-party software. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Allen and Company are among the top underwriters for the IPO.

Revenue grew 31% in 2017 to $1.1 billion, up from $844.8 million in 2016. Dropbox’s net losses also shrank from $210.2 million in 2016 to $111.7 million in 2017. The company also had a positive free cash flow of $305 million in 2017.

While typically compared to competitor Box, Dropbox’s business approach to attracting paying customers is a little different. The company said in its S-1 that 90% of its revenue comes from “self-serve” customers, or users who “actively purchase a subscription through our app or website.” Dropbox spent $314 million on sales and marketing in 2017.

Dropbox will list its shares on the Nasdaq under the stock ticker “DBX.” The company was last valued at $10 billion during a 2014 funding round. Its closest publicly traded competitors, Box and Atlassian, had market caps at close on Friday of $3.17 billion and $12.37 billion, respectively.

With over 25 years’ experience consulting with industry-leading companies, Talley understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs with generating and protecting income. Whether you’re looking to improve your profitability, build your brand through a business transaction or capital raise, Talley is the consulting and financial services firm dedicated to strategic business solutions that deliver meaningful results.

Disney on Thursday announced that it is buying a huge chunk of 21st Century Fox in a deal that promises to reshape the media industry and help the entertainment giant fend off digital rivals such as Netflix. The $52.4 billion deal will combine two of Hollywood’s biggest juggernauts.

As part of the transaction, Disney is also acquiring cable channels FX, National Geographic, and get Fox’s stakes in Hulu and European pay-TV provider Sky.

Prior to the deal closing, 21st Century Fox will separate the Fox broadcasting network, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and some national sports networks into a new company that will be spun off to its shareholders. The remaining properties would ideally in the coming years merge with News Corp., from which they split in 2013, Fox’s Rupert Murdoch said on Fox Business Thursday morning.

Disney, which counts ESPN among its crown jewels, has suffered as consumers switch off their TVs and spend more hours watching streaming services such as Netflix that are distributed directly to consumers.

The deal allows Disney to expand its content, especially for streaming services. In addition to a majority stake in Hulu that it will have once the deal closes, Disney is preparing to launch two separate streaming services, one for sports and another focusing on entertainment. And it is pulling its content from Netflix in preparation for the launch. Adding Fox’s television and movie studios and the content they own means adding to the stable of must-watch content it can offer directly to consumers, bypassing their streaming competitors’ platforms.

The deal will need to undergo regulatory review and will likely take at least a year to close.

Talley LLP understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs with generating and protecting income. Whether you’re looking to improve your profitability or build your brand through a business transaction or capital raise, Talley is the consulting and financial services firm dedicated to strategic business solutions that deliver meaningful results.

 

Source: www.cnn.com 12/15/17

Depending on where you call home, you may have noticed Amazon’s fleet of plain white trucks delivering packages around town.  Amazon is experimenting with a new delivery service intended to make more products available for free two-day delivery and relieve overcrowding in its warehouses, which will push the online retailer deeper into functions handled by longtime partners UPS and FedEx.

Amazon will oversee pickup of packages from warehouses of third-party merchants selling goods on Amazon.com and their delivery to customers’ homes, cutting into the work that is now often handled by UPS and FedEx. Amazon could still use these couriers for delivery, but the company will decide how a package is sent instead of leaving it up to the seller.

The project underscores Amazon’s ambitions to expand its logistics operations and wean itself off the delivery networks of UPS and FedEx. A rush of last-minute holiday orders in 2013 forced Amazon to issue refunds to shoppers who didn’t get gifts in time, highlighting the perils of being overly dependent on partners for an integral component of its business pledge — quick, reliable delivery. Taking over some responsibility for delivery enables Amazon to protect that edge as rivals like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. enhance their own delivery operations.

Amazon’s latest move should not surprise many, as the company has demonstrated its ability to disrupt industries time and time again.

With over 25 years’ experience consulting with industry-leading companies, Talley understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs with generating and protecting income. Whether you’re looking to improve your profitability, build your brand through a business transaction or capital raise, Talley is the consulting and financial services firm dedicated to strategic business solutions that deliver meaningful results.

Last year, non-tech companies spent nearly $10 billion on venture capital-backed businesses. These days large companies are increasingly partnering with, investing in, and acquiring startups that disrupt their own core business -and doing so at a price premium. Here are several examples of corporate giants thinking outside of the box that provide a lesson to both startups as well as entrepreneurs looking to sell their businesses.
Wal-Mart’s Acquisition of Jet.com
At $3.3 billion, Wal-Mart’s acquisition of Jet.com in the largest deal to date for an online startup. Jet, despite its promised $1 billion run rate, is still burning cash and often not making a profit on sales.
What we miss when we focus just on the above is that Jet is a way for Wal-Mart to counter its greatest weakness and make a play against one of its strongest competitors—Amazon. Despite six decades of success as a brick-and-mortar retailer, Wal-Mart has consistently had issues competing online.
Jet is a real innovator, incorporating dynamic pricing based on warehouse location into its model and incorporating the best of AI to ensure that the client experience is exemplary—a very different selling point than Walmart has traditionally focused on.
The lesson for entrepreneurs: Pay attention to the weak spots of would-be acquirers. How would your strengths complement their weaknesses? If you can identify and demonstrate the ways you can help them patch those holes, you instantly become a more attractive acquisition candidate.
General Motors Acquisition of Cruise Automation
Last spring, automotive giant GM closed on its $1 billion acquisition of Cruise Automation, a startup that hadn’t even launched a product yet. The San Francisco-based startup develops software for self-driving vehicles, a technology that on the surface threatens GM’s core business as a legacy automobile manufacturer.
Some might say GM didn’t have much choice but claim a stake in the self-driving vehicle industry. Its competitors are working to develop new technology for autonomous cars—with Cruise, GM at least has a chance to compete against front-runners like Google and Tesla. GM has high hopes for its self-driving vehicle initiatives. Last January it entered into a partnership with ride-sharing service Lyft that it hopes will result in a fleet of robo-taxis—a pilot program for driverless non-taxi cars to come.
The lesson for entrepreneurs: Don’t be afraid to compete with the big names in your industry—even if they have a head start. When Cruise was founded, Google had already been working on self-driving cars for more than 5 years. But automakers are hungry to own the technology that they see as the future of their industry, and buying Waymo from Google is not an option. It’s no surprise that Cruise got such a high price even in a crowded field.
With over 25 years’ experience consulting with industry-leading companies, we understand the challenges facing entrepreneurs with generating and protecting income. Whether you’re looking to improve your profitability, build your brand through a business transaction or capital raise, Talley is the consulting and financial services firm dedicated to strategic business solutions that deliver meaningful results.

While most of the retail industry is focused on scaling back their brick-and-mortar presence, Target said earlier this week that their stores, both existing stores and small-format stores to come, will be critical to the growth of the company’s core business.  Given the current trend of shopper’s focusing more and more on e-commerce websites to satisfy their shopping demands, many analysts wonder if the company should consider first shutting down of its low performing assets to free up funds for the many ambitious projects the retail giant has planned.

During the company’s financial community meeting, Target outlined its strategy for the future, which includes a $7 billion investment over the next three years. In that time, the company plans to revamp more than 600 of its approximately 1,800 locations, and open more than 100 small-format stores.

The small-format stores will be focused on metropolitan areas with large populations and college campuses. Thirty of these stores will open in 2017. Target began rolling out smaller stores in cities in 2012, and opened 13 of them in places like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia in 2016. The company is also revamping its supply chain and the way merchandise moves across its network.

The focus on growing stores is a departure from the store closures we’ve heard from major retailers like J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Sears.   While analysts are generally supportive of the changes that Target outlined, some believe a few closures could be a good thing:

“We do have some concerns that Target should consider more aggressively seeking to prune lower productivity stores despite the fact that they are likely cash flow accretive and profitable on a four-wall basis,” said Cowen & Co. in a note published Tuesday. “If this is conducted thoughtfully, store pruning/closing can drive a better overall brand experience, free up capital investment for more productive stores, and improve resource allocation.”

With over 25 years’ experience consulting with industry-leading companies, we understand the challenges facing entrepreneurs with generating and protecting income. Whether you’re looking to improve your profitability, build your brand through a business transaction or capital raise, Talley is the consulting and financial services firm dedicated to strategic business solutions that deliver meaningful results.

Yahoo Inc. announced Monday it will shakeup its board after completing its $4.8 billion deal with Verizon Communications Inc., and several longtime directors, including CEO Marissa Mayer and co-founder David Filo, will step down as directors. After the sale of its core internet business, the company will also change its name to Altaba Inc., according to a regulatory filing by Yahoo.

All those changes depend on whether Yahoo can actually close the sale: The Verizon-Yahoo deal has become less certain after a second breach of one billion accounts was disclosed last month. The highly publicized breaches have caused Verizon to weigh their options, including potentially paying less than the agreed-upon $4.8 billion.

The pending deal marks a dramatic fall for Yahoo, one of the best known names of the internet boom in the late ‘90s. Prior to the dot-com collapse in 2000, Yahoo, then valued at over $100 billion, was in a position to buy a fledgling Google for $1 million but passed on the opportunity. After declining over the next decade, Yahoo famously turned down a buyout offer from Microsoft for an attractive $45 billion in 2008. Yahoo’s market value is currently close to $40 billion, with a large portion of that value propped up  byits 15% stake in Chinese company Alibaba, a company worth close to $241 billion.

Yahoo remains a major force online, but has struggled with an identity crisis and has fell behind rivals in its ability to ‘monetize’ its audience through advertising that is linked to customers’ browsing and other online activities. 

The Verizon deal is the first major step toward unwinding Yahoo. Next up is a trove of about 3,000 non-core patents, which Yahoo is selling in a separate auction that is expected to fetch upwards of $1 billion. 

Talley & Company understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs with generating and protecting income. Whether you’re looking to improve your profitability, build your brand through a business transaction or capital raise, Talley & Company is the consulting and financial services firm dedicated to strategic business solutions that deliver meaningful results.


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