A Letter From Our Founder, Mackey McNeill, CPA, PFS, IAR
I am sitting at a small conference room table with a long-term client, Sam Smith, CEO of Smith Manufacturing. We’re discussing his recent business valuation, succession, and prospective buyers. He is the largest player in his niche market. His current profits exceed seven figures. His business valuation, three times his profit. Comparing today’s conversation to our first meeting, my heart smiles.
I met Sam 10 years after he became the CEO. He was in his twenties when his Dad turned the keys to the business over to him. In the first few years, things were steady. The tailspin began slowly at first, then accelerating as sales steadily declined month by month. In response, Sam cut costs, but he could not cut fast enough to keep his head above water.
When we met, he was deeply underwater. The feelings of defeat were written across his face and his slumped shoulders.
Sam was caught in a macroeconomic shift causing his bread and butter customers to close their doors on a regular basis. As we talked, Sam came to see that for his company to survive and thrive, he would have to summon his courage, change his mindset and create a new business model.
Some years earlier, I had faced my own crisis. Not as dire as the one Sam was in when we met, but one big enough to ignite the courage to change. Like Sam, I was in my twenties when I stepped into the world as an entrepreneur. I was broke, so I bootstrapped my start-up with sweat equity.
On the surface, everything was rosy. But I had a secret. One I wanted no one to know. At year-end, when I looked at my financials, I felt an intense feeling of defeat, not unlike Sam. Not only was my bottom-line anemic, it in no way reflected the sacrifices I made each day to build and grow the business.
My playbook then was: Work hard, grow sales, and the bottom line will follow. But it wasn’t working. Over the next several years, piece by piece, I created a new playbook. A playbook with one overarching idea:
Every day is a day to feel and be prosperous.
I used this playbook first on my own business, Mackey Advisors. In the new playbook, each year I began by reaffirming my intention and setting a net income target. The remaining goals were then built to achieve the intended results. I ran the company with a set of key metrics, relevant historical reporting, and simple methods to forecast the next three to six months.
Along the way, I generously funded my retirement, bought and remodeled my own building, lowered my work hours by 25–50 percent and increased the value of the business three-fold. I was thrilled, excited, and at peace with myself like I had never been with my old playbook.
It was this same new playbook that helped Sam and Smith Manufacturing move from the edge of bankruptcy to the seven-figure bottom line. To a company that would end at generation two, to a family business planning a strategic and profitable succession.
From its humble beginnings, the playbook is now called Prosper, a Financial Operating System™. Today, successful business owners use Prosper to plan and exceed their goals. And, we’re so confident in it, that we offer a guarantee.
If you’re struggling to take your business to the next level or are facing the kind of challenge that Sam Smith faced so many years ago, my financial playbook may be perfect for you.