Featured Client: Kensington Dental Care

"Ghirardo CPA has made a world of difference in both my business and personal life.  They have provided me the tools to work smarter, and plan smarter.  The yearly tax planning meetings are productive and organized.  I have been a dentist for about 17 years, and a sole proprietor for the last 14.  It's within these last three years of meeting Jerry and the Ghirardo team that I feel more in control of my future."

--Louie B. Mendoza, DDS Kensington Dental Care

At Ghirardo CPA, we pride ourselves on combining technical excellence with a passionate commitment to helping our clients achieve their goals. Let’s explore how we can be your partner in success. contact us

Buying (or Selling) a Business?

Make the most of opportunities in today’s economy! We are pleased to announce an upcoming seminar, hosted by the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce. This event will feature three experts in the field of business succession, including Ghirard CPA's Director of Business Consulting, Paul Breimayer, Al Statz, President of Sunbelt Business Advisors and John Connelly, Vice President, Small Business Lending of Circle Bank. The workshop will cover:

  • Why buy or sell a business in today's economy?
  • What is your business worth?
  • The top 10 steps to prepare your business for sale.
  • How to conduct a successful business acquisition.
  • How to finance your business acquisition.
  • Date: Thursday, March 18

    Time: 12—1:30 p.m.

    Location: Embassy Suites, San Rafael

    To receive a complimentary ticket, please call Paul Breimayer at 415-408-5021.

    Is this the recovery??

    “If this is the recovery, then I’m really in trouble”, a small business owner recently confided. Many small business owners can sympathize with that sentiment. While the stock market is up nearly 50% from March, unemployment is still growing and most importantly, sales are still down compared to last year. The good news is that you have made it this far; the bad news is that the recovery may be slow and uneven. If this sounds like your situation, it may be time to improve your current level of profitability and position your company for revenue growth, despite a challenging economy. Some of the following initiatives may be in order: Profitability Improvement: Evaluate the profitability of your business by customer, product, project, territory, salesperson, etc. to find out where you are making money and just as importantly, where you are not. This sometimes leads to benchmarking your pricing and product offering in comparison with the market. Oftentimes this work identifies pricing opportunities that lead to a quick boost in profit margins.

    Sales Management and Compensation: The profitability analysis can lead to a change in the size and/or composition of the sales force or sales compensation plans to ensure that your company has the right number of salespeople focused on where your company makes money.

    Business Development Plan: Finally, this work sets you up well for a more formal business development plan (especially if bank financing will be required to finance that business development effort). In today’s market, this effort requires a more systematic approach:

    Define your company’s target markets, current and desired customer profile, competitive strengths and weaknesses and unique selling proposition

    • Identify and prioritize business development strategies designed to leverage your strengths with your target market
    • Develop implementation timelines and resource requirements
    • Establish metrics and measure results

    How do you get all this done while still focusing on your business? Give us a call; we have experienced professionals ready to help. Contact Paul Breimayer, our Director of Business Consulting at 415-408-5021 for more information.

    Interest Free Loans?

    Sound too good to be true? Here's the real story....the Small Business Administration (SBA) is responding to the current economic recession with the recently announced ARC Loan Program. This loan program is designed to provide short term relief of up to $35,000 to small businesses facing an immediate financial hardship. Here are some of the other benefits:

    • No collateral required
    • No SBA loan fees
    • No payments for at least the first 12 months

    Sounds great...I would like a dozen of these!!

    Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. To begin with, each small business is limited to one ARC loan. To qualify you will also need the following:

    • Your business is suffering an immediate financial hardship (such as declining revenues or difficulty making loan or vendor payments)
    • Financial statements demonstrating that your business had a positive cash flow in 1 of the last 3 years
    • Cash flow projections for the next 2 years indicating that you will be able to meet your current and future loan payments
    • Your business is no more than 60 days past due on any loan

    ARC loans are not intended for start-ups, businesses that are already severely delinquent or businesses whose past performance/future cash flow indicate that the business is not viable.

    If you have any additional questions regarding the new ARC loan program or any of the many recent SBA loan program improvements, please contact your lender orour Director of Business Consulting, Paul Breimayer at Ghirardo CPA at 415-408-5021.

    What's Next for Your Business?

    Just recently we have seen signs that the economy may be stabilizing. The stock market is up over 20% from the low reached in mid-March, consumer confidence is on the rise and several major banks have reported stronger than expected first quarter results. We’re not out of the woods yet, but the signs are much more promising than they were just eight weeks ago. So what’s next for your business? First make sure you have the resources (especially cash flow and financing) to make it through the current recession. Now is the time to position your business for the recovery that will ultimately come. Other items to consider:

    1. Listen to your customers: what do they really want from you; are you providing it, could it be improved? What can you do to gain a larger portion of your customer’s business? Most business owners already have a pretty good grip on the answers to this, but as the owner/manager, customers and employees are not always telling you the way it really is. It’s a great time to approach this in a more systematic and unbiased manner...you could be very surprised at what you find!

    2. Anticipate the next market move: Develop your long-term product/service strategy by asking yourself a few simple questions. Who are your toughest competitors from a product or service innovation standpoint? What emerging needs are they fulfilling? How has the current recession changed these needs? Are changing demographics or the economy re-shaping your customer base? Many larger companies increase their spending on R&D and new product development during a recession to be better positioned to take advantage of the market recovery.

    3. Develop a plan: Where is your business really going? Where will it be in five years? Are you creating long-term value in your business that would someday be attractive to an outside investor? A downturn like this is a good time to pull together a strategic plan that will guide your business towards your longer-term goals after we emerge from the current economic recession.

    How do you get started with any of this? Our Director of Business Consulting, Paul Breimayer, has the experience of a CPA, CFO and division manager of a Fortune 500 company. Give him a call at 415-408-5021 for a free consultation or check out all of our consulting services on our website.

    Weather Proof Your Business

    Now that we have your attention, we would like to talk to you about liquidity and cash flow. In prior recessions, a business owner could pretty well predict how much their business would be impacted. Unfortunately, all bets are off with the current recession which has hit harder and is more far reaching than any other economic downturn in our lifetime. Nobody is quite sure how long and how deep the current recession will be and the next steps necessary to turn things around. If you’re a small business owner, the uncertain economy makes it difficult to predict what 2009 will bring. One thing for certain is that cash is king. You will need to make sure your company has the liquidity to weather this economic storm and, if possible, take advantage of acquisition opportunities at prices unimaginable 12 months ago.

    If you have a financial forecast, great. If you don’t have one, even though it may be difficult to build, it is more important than ever. In today’s market, you have to be able to answer the following questions:

    1. Based on your key revenue drivers and current pipeline, what is your best estimate of revenues over the next 12-18 months? With that, what is your forecasted net income and cash flow?
    2. What happens to net income and cash flow if you stress test your forecast under “best case” and “worse case” scenarios?
    3. What is your current break even point and how can that break even point be reduced?
    4. What strategies will you implement if revenues or net income fall below the monthly forecast?
    5. What are your peak cash flow needs over the next 12-24 months and how does that compare to your current bank financing?

    Whatever you do, don’t get caught short of cash in this market. Anticipate what may happen. Prepare today....don’t wait until your options are more limited. Consider hiring outside expertise to help make sure you are ready. Our Director of Business Consulting, Paul Breimayer, specializes in financial modeling, profitability analysis, cash flow improvement and helping small businesses obtain bank financing. He has an extensive background in running businesses in good times and in bad. Please do not hesitate to give him a call at 415-408-5021 if we assist you in any way.