Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Helpful Tips

Below are some tips to help you answer specific application questions on your Illinois Family Business of the Year application. Remember to provide succinct answers and stick to the 500 word limit. All sensitive information will be kept confidential by those involved with the judging process.

  • Give a clear description of your business
  • Describe the history and evolution of your business
  • What industry/industries does your company serve?
  • What are your primary products/services?
  • How does your company positions itself within the marketplace?
  • What's your market size?
  • Describe the scope of the business (domestic, international, both)
  • What's the family's involvement?
  • Share with us any rankings (if applicable)
  • Describe the growth in employees over the past year/years
  • Briefly discuss any succession plans you have in place
  • What is the decision-making process for choosing a successor?
  • Describe the succession plan of the company owner; how does he/she plan to pass the business to the next generation?
  • Discuss any preparation or assistance provided to successors
  • Identify any outside resources you have used to aid with the succession process
  • Do you have an advisory board or any other key advisors aiding in the succession process?
  • Who are you engaging in the transfer of wealth; what role do they play?
  • Provide a 3-5 year growth plan; if applicable, explain how this plan relates to succession of the business
  • 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; and a comparison to other competitors in the industry/marketplace
  • Discuss what drives numbers up or down (input prices, raw materials) and how you manage these resources
  • Identify where past growth has come from
  • Identify future growth opportunities and obstacles; how they're being managed?
  • It is helpful to relate previous financial statements to previous years and address any gains or losses in terms of percentages.
  • Provide a year-end summary for revenue and net profit/loss if any explanation is needed
  • PLEASE NOTE: If your company submitted an application within the last three years, it is important that you provide updated financial information to our judges. This ensures an adequate assessment of your application.‌