Carol Johns has successfully attained the professional Accredited Business Planning Advisor designation (ABPA). Johns attended Accredited – Certified Business Planning Advisor training in Orlando in late 2013, and passed the required comprehensive credential exam. Johns is a certified business consultant for the Florida SBDC at USF – Saint Leo University.
This advanced training program is offered nationally by The Apogee Center for business consultants, financial advisors and economic development professionals. Johns was part of the fifth national class of professional advisors trained by The Apogee Center to assist rural and at-risk urban business owners and their communities with the coming wave of business owner retirements.
Apogee President, Odee Ingersoll said, “We are thrilled to have Carol as part of our latest graduating class of professional advisors. Carol’s participation demonstrates her long-term commitment to business owners and economic development in Saint Leo and the surrounding region.”
Nationally, up to 70% of existing business owners are expected to leave their business over the next 10 years or less; as many as 52% by 2017. ABPA and CBPA advisors provide comprehensive exit and succession planning services to small business owners who have been unable to afford these advanced services until now, in an effort to support communities and their economies. The ABPA-CBPA program is the only nationwide program of its kind to direct services to the small business owner and to the community they do business in.
“The numbers are almost too large to comprehend. Think about 50% to 70% of the businesses in your community right now. Now consider what your community looks like if half of those were to close in the next few years. That’s the magnitude of what communities are facing as early as 2017. Combined with much tighter lending requirements, less available financing and a lagging economy, it’s clear small business owners need help like never before,” Ingersoll said. “If this wave is not addressed aggressively in each community, it can start a downward spiral that will ripple outward and affect entire regions. But it can also be a great opportunity for owners and for younger entrepreneurs – with planning and action now, it can be a win-win situation. That’s why it’s so important to have someone like Carol available locally.” New software available exclusively to ABPA-CBPA professionals allow advisors to model various types of exit strategies, client goals and deal structures to offer owners the best possible opportunity for a business sale or transition.
Johns says “The program’s goal is not only to ensure the owner has the greatest number of opportunities to successfully sell or leave their business at maximum value, it also introduces the concept of NxGen Entrepreneurship© – using the purchase of an existing business as an alternative path to entrepreneurship for many would-be business owners. Developing a local buyer or successor keeps the existing businesses in place, contributing to their communities. It also provides an opportunity for new local wealth creation. This is an opportunity that many prospective entrepreneurs would never have had available outside of this program of service.”
In addition to her ability to provide professional exit and succession planning services, Johns will soon be able to provide businesses and communities with access to a new nationwide business creation, economic development and skills marketing platform called MyBizFind. The nationwide program will launch in the spring of 2014. It is designed to connect entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, people with marketable skills, service providers, buyers, sellers, communities and more – and allow users to search for and find business opportunities and assistance.
Johns is one of over 100 professionals from over 20 U.S. states and provinces including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to train to assist business owners with increasing their business’s value and preparing for a successful exit or family succession event.
The ABPA and CBPA training program is available nationwide to professionals from national SBDCs and to financial consultants including CPA’s, Financial Planners and Attorneys. It’s also available to college or university entrepreneurship programs, community staff, utility representatives and economic development professionals.