Your Business’ Market Readiness Simplified: Our assessment is more than a valuation tool. It lets you see your business through investors' eyes. Yes, they have better than 20/20 vision.
Introducing CoPilot™ by Class VI Partners. With CoPilot, you gain a clear-eyed assessment of how your company is doing versus your peers – and what might be damaging value.
The seven wonders of your business world revealed through our CoPilotTM market readiness assessment.
See how our CoPilotTM assessment tool works.
Answer a few questions
Okay, more than a few (120 to be exact – don’t worry, it’s multiple choice and only takes about 30 minutes, even for “C” students…).
See how you stack up
Our patent-pending algorithm will tell you how your company’s valuation would likely compare to your peers, and it will identify critical risks you need to address prior to talking with investors or buyers.
CoPilot MarketReadyTM Score
The CoPilot MarketValue Score tells you whether your company would likely be valued higher, lower, or about the same as comparable companies.
CoPilot MarketValue RatingTM
The CoPilot MarketReady Rating tells you whether you are ready to take your company to market to sell.
See your prioritized issues of risks
CoPilot’s algorithm delivers a prioritized list of issues and risks for you to address – some you might have expected, and likely some that are surprises.
Set a plan, get to work
For each issue on your list, there are several potential solutions to utilize, so you can get started right away.
It’s better than a business valuation tool. What CoPilot’s market readiness assessment delivers:
What others have to say about CoPilot
The CoPilot Assessment was used at our Q2 planning session. If I had to point to my favorite part of the assessment, it is that the CoPilot assessment communicates key business strengths and risks in a way that can be understood by a chief executive or entrepreneur. There is a temptation for M&A to get too financial heavy which is not as valuable for most entrepreneurs. This one allowed us to take a more strategic look from this perspective.”
CoPilot User, Anonymous
I have recommended CoPilot to my members so they can see their business through the lens of an investor. Not always positive, sometimes surprising, but always helpful. My members are able to use CoPilot to not only improve their business, but, when the time comes, to better prepare for an eventual sale. It gives me as a Chair better insight into how I can help them.”
Don Myers, Vistage Chair
Frequently asked questions
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Even if you are not looking to sell your business for several years, we recommend our clients take steps to prepare their business ahead of time – in nearly every case, this foresight pays off in a big way during the ultimate sale.
Understandably, many active entrepreneurs view their company through “business owner goggles” versus “investor goggles”. This is why we have developed CoPilot and Pathfinder. The sooner you start to prepare yourself and your company for maximized value in the eyes of an investor, the less time, money, and energy you will have to spend when you are ready to go to market.
You will end up with much more money, much less suffering, and you will never feel like you were taken advantage of if you are educated, prepared, and knowledgeable. You are about to engage in a game with professionals on the other side — don’t wait to start your training.
Not at all. While CoPilot will help companies positioning to sell in the future, CoPilot will also help any company identify invisible risks, develop plans to address those risks, and in the process make the company healthier, allowing its owners to rest easier.
As an entrepreneur, you have been conducting negotiations with suppliers, customers, and distributors for years or, in some cases, decades. Yet, selling your company is likely the most important and complex deal you will ever close. Consequently, the value that can be left on the table and the time and money that can be wasted without the support of an experienced M&A team can be substantial.
Depending on your deal size, a business broker may be an appropriate option if your deal size is expected to be less than $10 million. For companies with an expected value above $10 million, we recommend engaging with an investment banker to maximize your value. The fees associated with a deal team of investment bankers, attorneys, and accountants can seem exorbitant at first glance. However, we have yet to hear a client express that the value of their deal team didn’t pay for itself by the end of the process (often times many times over). Just as your surgeon, pilot, or plumber could tell you, some things in life are worth going with the pros!
The CoPilot Assessment Report comes with its own instructions on what both the CoPilot MarketValue™ and the CoPilot MarketReady™ scores mean, as well as how to use the prioritized list of business risks CoPilot’s proprietary algorithm generates.
CoPilot is not a canned or generic valuation tool. Our core belief is that valuation tools that do not ask detailed, follow-up questions are dangerous and give a business owner a false sense of certainty. Business valuation is really not this simple.
CoPilot was designed not to give an arbitrary valuation based on some simple inputs, but rather provide a deep-dive into the different risk factors that could impact a company’s value or marketability. It will also help business owners develop plans to address specific risks, thereby increasing company value.
Your CoPilot MarketValue™ Score represents how a company’s value would compare to its peers, and is based on specific questions related to valuation only. The MarketReady™ Readout is an indicator of whether a company is ready to go to market to sell — i.e., does the business have risks or issues that would get in the way of getting a deal done or materially interfere with a transaction?
CoPilot will allow a business owner to see what might be “invisible” today and provide an objective “investor’s view” of his or her company. When inherent risks are revealed in their business and a game plan is developed to address and resolve those risks, it provides a business owner peace-of-mind and the company will be more valuable — sometimes millions of dollars more valuable.
A one-off process can be great for a business owner, but without a competitive process to produce several offers, they will not know for sure if they were able to maximize the value of their company.
We have worked in one-off deal scenarios before and while it doesn’t give you the benefit of time to prepare or market context, having an investment bank involved can literally be worth millions. If you are approached with a one-off offer, we recommend the first thing you should do is call a reputable investment banker and start the conversation around the buyer and their interest, and examine what works best for you from there.
Conversely, a banker-led process means your business will be prepared in advance to endure the rigors of due diligence, and you will have talked with, and ideally received bids from, several interested buyers. Having this level and diversity of interest means you have several options in case your initial option as a buyer falls through. It also means those buyers are going to be putting their best foot forward, just as you would with a potential customer if you knew the process to get that customer was competitive. By having these options, your odds of getting a deal done increase significantly, and your valuation will almost certainly be higher than if you were to simply go down the path with one bidder.
Comparable peers for most companies represent companies in their revenue size range — our intent is to start to refine comparable peers by industry in a future release.
No. CoPilot is designed to be self-explanatory and useful to CEOs and owners regardless of background.
Not in most cases. While some questions ask about basic financial metrics, they are high-level and should not require a CFO or Controller to answer.
Yes. Every CoPilot Assessment and its corresponding Report are secure. Without user permission, CoPilot does not use any individual company’s information other than on an aggregated basis to perform aggregated analytics, trending, benchmarking and analysis.
In addition, company names will not appear on the CoPilot Assessment Report so there is little risk of someone inadvertently associating a report with any specific business.
CoPilot developed its proprietary patent-pending algorithm to both score a user’s Assessment based on question answer scoring, weighted questions, and prioritized risks. Not every question is equally important, and not every risk is equally impactful on valuation. This algorithm is based on years of experience buying, selling, operating, and advising companies in the private capital markets, as well as thousands of conversations with professional investors.
Any CoPilot user needing additional help reviewing their CoPilot Assessment Report or developing a specific plan to address risks in preparation of a transaction should reach out to [email protected]. However, please know there is no obligation to do so.
Yes. We are working on enhancements and tools CoPilot users will be able to utilize to help them better operate their companies. These enhancements will include benchmarking tools, financial analytics tools, prioritization tools and exercises, a CoPilot “Personal Readiness” Assessment, and key performance indicators.
In addition, we will be constantly producing content we think will be valuable for our national organization partners and their members.
While CoPilot can help non-profits identify certain organizational risks, several elements of the platform will not be applicable for non-profits. However, CoPilot would be valuable for a non-profit looking for an external assessment to reveal critical aspects of their organization.
CoPilot is not offering private licensing currently. We will continue to think about how to best support a licensing plan but are focused on making CoPilot a great application and aide to business owners first. Please check back soon for updates!
CoPilot is based on over 70 years of combined operations and industry experience. The principals at CoPilot have run organizations ranging from $2 million to over $1 billion in revenues and have completed well over 100 transactions.
CoPilot has also been reviewed by several investors, providing product viability as well as a confirmation of the results produced by our proprietary algorithm. It is important to understand that CoPilot is meant to be a directional tool – directing business owners to specific risks in their business and helping them prioritize what to work on first.
Many business assessment tools in the market lack the detailed approach necessary to provide business owners with the comprehensive risks and strategic plan to truly impact the valuation of their company. In addition, many online tools derive revenue from licensing to third-party consultants or other service providers seeking to use the tool to obtain a consulting engagement.
CoPilot does not license its application or customer data and does not provide referrals to any outside service providers. CoPilot is designed to be a comprehensive assessment that business owners and CEOs can use on their own, with guidance on what to do to start to increase value. The highly customized strategic plan CoPilot curates is designed to be self-driven rather than pushed to a consultant looking to generate additional fees.
In summary, CoPilot differentiates itself by offering the following and more:
- Provides detailed analysis of business risks that impact value
- Uses an algorithm based on hundreds of actual transactions
- Provides detailed suggestions on how to address risks
- Prioritizes the risks owners should focus on first
- Compares a user’s company to its peers
- Identifies key risks that would kill a potential deal
- Helps you put your plan into action
- Uses a patent-pending algorithm to weight your individual risks
What CoPilot WON’T do:
- Ask for detailed, private financial statements
- Use generic industry valuation multiple formulas
- Send leads to unaffiliated third parties
- Bombard your inbox with frivolous offers or third-party product