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SMALL BUSINESS : Seminar to Advise Owners on Profiting From Sale of Firm

June 04, 1993|Susan Christian / Times staff writer

Businesses are like houses. You want them to provide a nice environment for you now, and at the same time you need them to be a good investment should you sell in the future.

A daylong seminar, sponsored by the UC Irvine Graduate School of Management's Accelerate Technology program, will give business owners advice on how to make a profit on a future sale. Titled "Building and Selling Entrepreneurial Firms," the June 15 seminar will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine.

A joint effort between UCI and the U.S. Small Business Administration, Accelerate Technology offers free counseling and other services to high-growth businesses.

Speakers at the seminar will include executives with the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche and with the Geneva Cos., an Irvine-based financial services company that specializes in mergers and acquisitions.

Donald Kent, president of the company's Geneva Marketing Services subsidiary, previewed some of the tips that will be covered at the seminar:

* Build a solid management staff that can run the company without its original owner.

* Diversify your client base; prospective buyers will want companies that don't have a disproportionate amount of business in the hands of one customer.

* Don't limit your selling possibilities by region or industry. "Typically, the seller looks around his own industry or locale," Kent said. "But a buyer might come from across the country."

* Project future earnings for the business rather than relying on financial history. "The buyer is buying the company's future earnings capacity, not what it's earned in the past," Kent said.

Admission to the seminar is $195, which covers two people and includes breakfast and lunch. For information, call (800) 243-6382.

Free Job Training: Small companies seldom have the wherewithal or staff to conduct the kind of job retraining programs that larger companies routinely offer. But beginning this summer, small businesses can enroll their employees in free classes funded by the California Employment Training Program.

Jointly sponsored by the Orange County Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Minority Business Council of Orange County, the courses will be taught at the United Education Institute in Santa Ana. The first of the nine-week programs begins June 15.

Four courses will be offered: supervisor and management skills, office automation skills, business communications and customer service, and quality management.

Bruce Brown, spokesman for the Orange County chamber, said that the yearlong state grant for the program will provide training for 350 employees. "The goal is to keep people productive and skilled," he said.

For information about the program, call the United Education Institute at (800) 487-7777.

Contacts for Owners: The Orange County chamber also has its hand in the upcoming Small Business Expo at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. On June 24, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., small business owners looking for contract work can meet with representatives from about 75 large companies and governmental agencies. Expected participants include Rockwell International, McDonnell Douglas, Bank of America, the California Procurement Office and the U.S. General Services Administration.

Admission is $25. For information, call the Orange County chamber at (714) 634-2900.

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