North Atlantic Business Advisors founder Mark Passacantando opened his 61 South Main St. business on June 1.
By Gillian Hixson
North Atlantic Business Advisors founder Mark Passacantando can hardly contain his excitement about his new West Hartford Center business, a firm he has founded based on the tenets of trust and strategic planning.
“This represents the culmination of more than 33 years in business,” Passacantando stated, holding up his hands and gazing around his office.
“It’s about a greater purpose and leaving a legacy,” Passacantando said. This understanding and view on life and work percolates into Passacantando’s business.
North Atlantic Business Advisors is a small consulting firm occupying two marketplaces, Passacantando explained. The business offers consulting, or “coaching” as Passacantando put it, for small and medium businesses as well as business brokerage.
“We facilitate the discussion of a transfer of ownership,” Passacantando said. “We are good listeners.”
Passacantando currently lives in Newington, returning to Connecticut from the Boston area to be closer to family.
Passacantando’s past experience is varied and extensive. He taught at Harvard University and still teaches at Boston University, and he has worked with the federal government, international governments, the military, and even not-for-profits such as the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. But, his founding of North Atlantic Business Advisors is different.
“I’m different. It’s not about the money,” Passacantando put simply. “My role is to bring all my experience and wisdom to help people.”
Passacantando emphasized North Atlantic’s avoidance of pressuring clients to make decisions about their business transition plans, but at the same time working with them to optimize a company’s worth. Owners are often so busy working to build their businesses that they fail to consider transition until it may be too late.
“We are giving them options and facilitating the discussion at the point they want to sell,” Passacantando said, “It’s all about delivering value.”
With his business, Passacantando works to help others. By being “subject matter experts,” North Atlantic Business Advisors can “take the guess work out and bing confidence and comfort to its clients,” Passacantando explained. Using the business’ “S3 StratExit Process,” a trademarked process used to understand and deliver information about each client’s value, each customer is given an approximately 30-page document outlining and explaining the potential of their business.
“Every business and situation is unique,” Passacantando said. Realizing that is a fundamental element of what he says also makes North Atlantic Business Advisors unique, with an approach unparalleled in the field. Passacantando offers a free, three-hour consultation to any interested business owner.
“It doesn’t hurt to have a conversation,” Passacantando stated.
Communicating information in a meaningful and understandable manner is something Passacantando identified as one of his strengths, a strength that can be traced back to his experiences teaching at Harvard and Boston University.
Even if a client walks away from a meeting at North Atlantic Business Advisors, Passacantando knows he has provided “useful content and meaningful education.”
In fact, a common mistake business owners make, according to Passacantando, is not having a conversation with an expert and not planning a transfer of ownership soon enough. “People wait too long and they face a monetary deficit,” Passacantando said. To receive the largest return for a business, Passacantando suggests planning a transfer of ownership three to five years before a business owner is ready to retire or transfer ownership.
“Communication is an art form,” Passacantando said. North Atlantic Business Advisors understands the fundamentality of treating each client with dignity and respect. “The focus is on the client and what they believe,” Passacantando explained. “That is the art of business.”
“There’s not many that do what we do,” Passacantando said, pointing out the limited competition in Connecticut. This is good, Passacantando explained, for North Atlantic Business Advisors provides a service that addresses a potentially unfulfilled need. However, Passacantando also indicated the challenges with individuals not knowing about the industry.
Though Connecticut in general lacks the consulting services North Atlantic Business Advisors offers, Passacantando chose to locate his business in West Hartford not only because of the close proximity to multiple highways, but because of the positive energy.
“The energy is much better here,” Passacantando said, “It’s growing. Things are happening.”
Passacantando said there is plenty of “negative news” about Hartford and Hartford county, referring to the “budget woes” and “real bumps in the road,” but he ultimately concluded small and medium businesses tend to be doing really well, calling them “anchors.”
“Not only are we surviving, we are thriving,” Passacantando enthusiastically said in regards to small- and medium-sized businesses in the area. “We are happy to be here in West Hartford.”
“We want to plant lots of seeds in West Hartford, and West Hartford has good soil,” Passacantando said.
Visit www.northatlanticba.com for more information.
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