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Episode 068: How to Maximize The Value of Your Firm (Top Replay)

Welcome again to the 2021 End of Summer Podcast Series – where I’m taking a fresh look at the 7 most downloaded podcast episodes over the past year!  

How to Maximize the Value of Your Firm

This series ties into a greater overall theme of issues and opportunities I continue to see express themselves in leadership teams throughout the industry and across the country, and in both smaller and larger firms. 

Today’s episode is one I continue to get a lot of positive feedback from – Episode 29 with Tracey Eaves, an experienced, very smart, and extremely well-spoken valuation expert with Zweig Group. 


“No matter how great we are today or how good we’ve been in the past, if the same forces and the same energies are not going to be there moving forward, neither will be the value.”

–Peter C. Atherton, P.E.  


As I relistened to this episode, several things stood out:  

1 – We Need to Learn to Leverage 

Understanding the financial side of what we do is something we’re just not taught. 

Many of us can go years individually and as a leadership team not really knowing or fully understanding the implications and the opportunities of our numbers. 

Our financials are not complicated – they’re just foreign to us.  And when we do take the time to understand them – learning how to process and analyze and ultimately leverage our numbers, can be both empowering and fruitful.

That said, one of the “fuzziest” aspects of our financial dealings is the “valuation” process. In relistening to this past episode, I was again impressed by Tracey’s knowledge and ability to clearly articulate and explain this process and all the factors that are considered. 


2 – Valuation is About the Future 

No matter how great we are today or how good we’ve been in the past, if the same forces and the same energies are not going to be there moving forward, neither will be the value. 

Even our “strategic value” to an outside investor will be discounted if the prospects for future success are not reasonably assured. 


3 – Investments, Strategies, and Harmony

Our investments, our investment strategies, and our health and cohesion as a leadership team forms much of our value.

If we’re not actively investing in our future success – we’re less likely to achieve it – and certainly very few people will write a check based on just hope! 

But it’s not only our willingness to actively invest in our future – it’s about our specific investment strategies.

  • How specifically will we work to diversify our internal business development capabilities?
  • How specifically will we work to diversify our client base in terms of market sector, client type, discipline, and geographic focus? … and in which areas will it be best to niche? – All together, what I call “clarifying our matrix”.
  • How specifically will we invest in the development of our people both technically and in terms of greater management and leadership capabilities?… and how will we invest in ourselves and as a leadership team? – many of whom are quite frankly just tired… and getting less engaged themselves… which is something I personally experienced.

 

And, in the face of all this, as Tracey explains, getting along as a leadership team – something that unfortunately doesn’t always happen – provides real, tangible value. 

Our cohesiveness and harmony as a leadership team – our ability to continuously support and bring out the best in each other matters. Equally important is getting – and staying – on the same page in terms of mission, vision, and values and in terms of growth and the means to achieve and sustain it.  


4 – No Free Lunch 

No matter what our ultimate exit plan is as leaders or as a leadership team – to be a successful legacy firm or to be a coveted acquisition target – we, in leadership today, need to be doing the same things! – and they’re not always easy or have an immediate ROI. 

If we want successful internal ownership succession, we need to strategically invest in a future that great people want to stick around for and be a part of.  

If we want someone to pay us a large sum of money to be an important or strategic part of their future, we better be able to show more than just an “indication” we can deliver moving forward.

Our numbers, our investments, and the cohesiveness and harmony of our team tell a story – a story that gets quantified in the valuation process… and with all those we want to have as part of our future. 

So, as you relisten – or listen to this episode for the first time – think about the story your numbers, your investments, and your leadership team is telling… and, more importantly, what story you want them to tell moving forward. 

We can create the future of our choosing and better knowing our numbers is a great next step.  


“Our cohesiveness and harmony as a leadership team – our ability to continuously support and bring out the best in each other matters.  Equally important is getting – and staying – on the same page in terms of mission, vision, and values and in terms of growth and the means to achieve and sustain it.”

–Peter C. Atherton, P.E.  


Thanks for listening to the AEC Leadership Today Podcast!

I sincerely hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Be sure to check out Pete’s contact information and the other resources provided throughout the ActionsProve website designed to help you and your firm grow and prosper in the 21st century.  And, if you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share the podcast with your friends and colleagues. We look forward to seeing you in the next episode!


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Peter C. Atherton, P.E. is an AEC industry insider having spent more than 20 years as a successful professional civil engineer, principal, major owner, and member of the board of directors for high-achieving firms.  Pete is now the President and Founder of ActionsProve, LLC, author of Reversing Burnout. How to Immediately Engage Top Talent and Grow! A Blueprint for Professionals and Business Owners, and the creator of the I.M.P.A.C.T. process. Pete works with AEC firms and leaders to grow and advance their success through modern and new era focused strategic planning and implementation, executive coaching, leadership and management development, performance-based employee engagement, and corporate impact design.

Trace the steps to preventing and reversing burnout in you and your team.

Trace the steps to preventing and reversing burnout in you and your team.

Episode 068: How to Maximize The Value of Your Firm (Top Replay)