Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Scott Yahraus, an expert in managing distressed businesses and litigation.
With over eight years of experience as a court-appointed Receiver, Scott has successfully managed over 120 businesses and navigated complex real estate cases. As the founder of Scott Yahraus & Associates, he assists families and business partners in resolving disputes and maximizing value from their distressed assets.
In this interview, Scott shares his unique approach to providing solutions for distressed businesses, the importance of understanding numbers in running a company, and how he helps trustees, conservators, and business owners navigate challenging times.
Join us as we delve into the insights and wisdom of a seasoned professional in the field of distressed asset management.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Scott Yahraus: Over the last 8 years I have built a practice of running businesses that are in deep distress and litigation. These cases are appointed through the courts and my title is Receiver. I have managed over 120 businesses in those 8 years.
There is plenty of real estate involved in my cases as well. I also take on cases that do not involve the court system. I was approached some time ago by attorneys in town that know me if I could help a disputing family through their complex web of their 35 year company and 80,000 sq. ft. of real estate.
The matriarch of the family had dementia and the generational step down was ruining the business. I said yes and through Scott Yahraus & Associates, we manage distressed assets for families and business partners with the focus on divorcing their relationship. Many of these cases now come through trustees for the family estate.
Overall guide and support trustees, conservators, and business owners on assignments involving distressed or troubled businesses and/or real estate. We are a diverse bunch with talented and experienced thought leaders who have managed and sold dozens of businesses and different types of real estate.
The cases that we are involved in span numerous industries and always exhibit beneficiaries who are stressed about the assets that they are poised to inherit and how to proceed or dispose of those assets. With stress comes anxiety. Individuals in stressful positions rarely make good business or economic decisions.
We support and complement the trustee, fiduciary, or business owner who is working with beneficiaries, the settlor, or business partner during these trying times. We provide objectivity about the assets and assist the trustee, fiduciary, or business owner in selling complex real estate or the family business with the goal of obtaining the most proceeds possible.
If you were in an elevator with Warren Buffet, how would you describe your company, your services or products? What makes your company different from others? What is your company’s biggest strength?
Scott Yahraus: We step in the shoes of the ownership to provide solutions and value to distressed business partners and family members. We rise above the in-fighting and with a level head make sound business decisions.
Often times we are asked to be the chairman of the board or managing member of an LLC to then take decision making out of the shareholders hands. We are unique because we add value that cannot be bought.
The value we add is gained from years of experience managing distressed businesses and real estate. The industries that we are involved in range from cosmetics to food to office buildings and everything in between.
What advice do you wish you received when you started your business journey and what do you intend on improving in the next quarter?
Scott Yahraus: The advice that I wished I received early on is that time is on my side. I was in such a hurry early on that I was unable to focus on anything with deep intention; everything was topical. Business and relationships take time to cultivate and grow.
It is unreasonable to think that success will come in 6 months or a year. Growing deep roots for your business and cultivating relationships is where the money is made. There are many days where I feel overwhelmed with all of the tasks that need to be accomplished or emails that need to be returned.
Over the next quarter I am going to continue to remind myself to stay steady and understand that there is no need to panic if I still have not crossed off everything on my to-do list. Just keeping a consistent pace is good enough.
Here is a two fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Scott Yahraus: I have an affinity for books that teach me about civilizations. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond is a book that I ready 20 years ago when it first came out and have revisited over the years.
The book begins with a question from a man named Yali from a poor island nation asking the author “why do your people have so much and my people have so little?” This begins the books exploration of what some societies have survived while others have failed through the course of history with the advent of technologies and how they were exploited.
When I was born in 1979, I had a 9% chance of being born in the United States and born as a male. This combination was purely coincidental and has provided me a great life. The book sheds light on the opportunities that we have merely by living in a certain type of society.
The book that I have gifted most is Zero to One by Peter Thiel because it is a business book that provides an important point for all business owners to consider which is, if you are going to be in business, be in a business that you can have a monopoly at and not have to compete with the masses.
It offers great insight and examples and is simple to complete in no time.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Scott Yahraus: The real challenge is ourselves. It is the voice inside all of us that sprinkles in doubt.
All of us are like computers which build up cache and corrupted files. It is our job to rid ourselves of this cache and work to improve our self-confidence and worth. We can do this through being better listeners, practicing meditation, and developing a self deprecating mentality.
When we lower our guard we become more attractive to those around us. When we meditate, we become more confident and others want to be around us. When we listen with clarity more opportunities present themselves to us.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Scott Yahraus: In my experience, every business wants to be great at sales and marketing. Very few businesses want to know their business’ numbers inside and out. Basic accounting skills and interpretation of figures is paramount to running a business and is wildly underestimated by business owners.
The second phase to this is when an owner knows his numbers; is he honest enough about his business to make hard decisions such as eliminating underperforming SKUs, letting go of wasted labor, or admitting that he needs help?
What does “success” in the year to come mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Scott Yahraus: Business success for me in 2023 would be to gain one new case per month and make an additional acquisition of an existing business.
For many years I have been helping others reposition their businesses and in the past few years I have been purchasing existing businesses that I can turn around and capture all of the upside in the equity.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Scott Yahraus for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Scott Yahraus or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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