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Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Best Practices

The Best Practices will provide tips for answering Application questions to tell your family’s story most effectively. Use these Best Practices to better understand the submission and judging processes. Please note that all information submitted to the Family Business Center of Loyola University Chicago's Quinlan School of Business will remain confidential. 

How to write a winning application

Helpful tips for specific application questions

Use this information to answer specific Application questions. Please only address the highlights that pertain to your business and provide relevant insight into the company's operations. When answering your application questions, please provide succinct answers and stick to the 600 word limit suggested. All sensitive information will be kept confidential by those involved with the judging process.

  1. Some of the key issues that you should address in Question 1 include, but are not limited to:

    a.  Clear description of the business

    b.  History and evolution of the company

    c.  Industries your company serves

    d.  Your primary products and services and how your company positions itself within the marketplace

    e.  Market size

    f.   Scope of the business (domestic, international, both)

    g.  Family involvement

    h.  Rankings (if applicable)

    i.   Growth in employees over the past year/years

  2. Some of the key issues that you should address in Question 5 include, but are not limited to:

    a.  Briefly discuss any succession plans that you have in place and the methodology of decision-making that went behind determining the successor

    b.  Identify the succession plan of the company owner as they plan to pass the business to the next generation 

    c.  Discuss any preparation assistance the company is providing to successors

    d.  Identify any outside resources you have used to aid with this process

    • Do you have an advisory board or any other key advisors aiding in the process?
    • Who are you engaging in the transfer of wealth process and what role do they play?

    e.  Provide a 3-5 year growth plan and any relation that is has to succession of the business

  3. Some of the key issues that you should address in Question 9 include, but are not limited to:

    a. Provide a performance picture of the following financial information:

    • Sales
    • Revenue
    • Margins
    • Profitability
    • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
    • Stockholders' equity
    • Liabilities and debt
    • Capital intensity of the business
    • Comparison to other competitors in the industry/marketplace

    b.  Discuss what drives numbers up or down (input prices, raw materials) and how you manage these resources

    c.  Identify where past growth has come from

    d.  Identify future growth opportunities and obstacles to growth and how they're being managed

    e.  PLEASE NOTE: It is helpful to relate the most previous financial statements to previous years and address any gains or losses in terms of percentages. This information remains confidential.

    f.  Provide a year-end summary for revenue and net profit/loss if any explanation is needed.

  4. For any company who is reapplying for the 2015 Illinois Family Business of the Year Award (i.e., submitted an Application between 2012-2014): It is important that you provide updated financial information for the judging process. This will ensure an adequate assessment of your Application.

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Quinlan School of Business · 820 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
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