With over 12 years of dedicated experience in a specialized field, Charter BTA is among the most experienced transition advisory firms in the Pacific Northwest.Learn more about Charter BTA
I engaged Steve Hopkins help to design a transition plan to sell my construction business back in 2016. I have owned my business for 45 years and was ready to find my way to retirement. Steve helped us devise and implement a very unique 5-year plan that both helped me sell the business but also helped my partner find his way to buy the business. I found Steve always willing to help mentor us and guide us on a path to a successful transition. I found Steve to be a very ethical and caring person unlike many other business consultants I have encountered. It was easy to trust Steve to always be on my side throughout the process. Steve enjoys his work and I am sure anyone considering working with him will have a positive experience.
Barry Bray Construction Company
I hired Steve to help me sell my business under pretty dire circumstances. The Covidpandemic was still in full swing, I had a tight timeline, and I had already tried and failedto sell my small business twice before contacting Steve. I was exhausted and burnedout when I reached out to him but was immediately relieved after our first phone call--Icould tell that I was in good hands. Steve was compassionate, thoughtful, andconfident. His experience and knowledge helped ease my fatigue and I found hisadvice and guidance to be extremely helpful through the entire process. He wasavailable to me when I needed him, and gave me guidelines and structure for the selling process. I would recommend Steve to anyone thinking about selling their business and would absolutely hire him again in the future.
When I was introduced to the president and co-founder, she exclaimed, “I didn't know someone like you existed!” After 30 years building a successful business, it was time for transition. Their primary mission was to assure that their loyal employees could finish their careers and fund their retirements. The company was fairly small for an ESOP but it did best fulfill the primary mission. The tax benefits alone made it a good deal, but secure retirements for loyal employees was the clincher.
We were referred to the 78-year-old founder of a 40-year-old company recovering from embezzlement and near-bankruptcy. My job was to guide them through a successful transition and secure the seller’s retirement. The owner initially thought the combined skill sets of two employees would be the solution. He ultimately agreed that his ship needed a captain (not two). We identified a 46-year-old, 20-year employee and structured a down payment with a three-year earn-out, ensuring a smooth transition with the seller participating in the growth-in-value during the transition period.
We were referred to a couple of hard-working 40 -year-olds, best friends since high school, with 50/50 ownership and seven years in business. One was focused on growth, the other owned two fishing boats in Alaska, which split his attention come June/July. I recommended one buy out the other. He feared it would damage their friendship. I predicted they would be better friends. We structured a re-org buyout and crafted a one-page Business Plan with a focus on capital structure and financial reporting. We’ve seen double-digit growth going on five years. The friendship survives and thrives.
When we engaged, the three owners were early to mid-forties. In 20 years of operation, they had far surpassed their original vision. They are cutting edge contractors and attract the best in the business. Their primary concern was continuity and de-risking. We crafted long-term strategies for retention and rewards for key persons, and preparing next-gen management. They restated the Operating Agreement, and set up protections for their individual estates. Next step is implementing an ESOP to grant ownership to employees, ensuring financial security for their families.
We were referred to a 51-year-old owner who had developed a breakthrough methodology to cut costs of HazMat disposal. He was brilliant in operations and customer retention, but needed help with business admin and market penetration. “Owner centricity” was his bottleneck. His methodology delivered dramatic cost savings making his company a Strategic Buy. The solution was finding a larger competitor with the infrastructure already in place to market and distribute his special process. The deal included a substantial down payment, a three-year stay-bonus, annual installments, with the owner participating in the growth in value.