Meet The Team – Frank Arcoleo: Central Pennsylvania and Central New YorkPublished November 20, 2015 | By Achim Neumann, PresidentFrank, where did you grow up? I grew up in New Orleans and lived there until I was 28. New Orleans is a unique city. It’s Southern in a sense, but is more like a European city, given the Spanish and French influence.Where did you study for college? Although I had a hunger to see the world, I stayed pretty close to home by going to college at Tulane. I did live on-campus, though, so I had the best of both worlds. I was on my own all week but could use the car and see my friends on weekends! I did get to travel, and I spent my Junior year at the University of Southampton in England.What was the first job you had out of college? What was the most important lesson you learned there that has stuck with you for your entire professional career? I graduated with a liberal arts degree, which qualified me to do – well, nothing. But I had worked summers doing bookkeeping/rudimentary accounting, so I got a job at a small landfill/clearing contractor as their bookkeeper/admin guy. That gave me the best possible view into the struggles of being a small business entrepreneur – the long days, the stress, and the leadership. As a result, I’ve always appreciated what it takes to be a small business owner. It’s not easy!What drew you to working with A Neumann and Associates? After starting out doing bookkeeping at the contractor, I ultimately got my CPA certificate, a Wharton MBA, and worked in Manhattan for KPMG and other firms as a management consultant, eventually going on my own in 1999. I met Achim through a fellow Wharton Club member and quickly learned that ANA would allow me to apply my consulting skills, but aimed at business transition. I would remain independent in many ways, but with a team of professionals behind me and alongside. The best of both worlds!What counties and states do you represent? I am the Managing Director for Central Pennsylvania (Lancaster, Dauphin, Cumberland, York, and Lebanon counties) and for Central New York (counties surrounding Rochester, Syracuse, Corning, Binghamton, etc.). I am also assisting in covering the Maryland regions as we recruit Managing Directors for those territories.What do you feel makes your region unique compared to others? (tax benefits, special laws, etc) While there are some large firms in my region, the vast majority of employment is through small business – many of them in the $1 million to $50 million revenue range, which is the “sweet spot” for providing our services for people looking to sell a business in Pennsylvania, sell a business in Pennsylvania and offering business valuations in Pennsylvania. It is thoroughly a small business economy.What do you find is the biggest challenge in your region compared to others? While the region is heavily weighted to small business, it is also heavily weighted towards family business. In my region, our biggest competitors are not other M&A advisors in Pennsylvania. Instead, our biggest competitors are the kids – the sons and daughters of today’s business owners.What do you find is the biggest advantage working in your regions compared to others? A Neumann & Associates is clearly the strongest and most professional organization serving our client base in my region. There are larger firms, but they tend to focus on clients with more revenues. Most of the firms in our market space are sole practitioners or very small groups. They don’t have the bench strength, the strong processes, or the back-office organization that we do.What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had working in your regions? Knowing that I’ve served my clients well. I’ve had lots of people come to me not really understanding what their businesses were worth, how to go about assessing and adding to that value, and how to harvest the value that they had created to fund their retirement and their legacy. In a short period, I have helped these people put a plan in place that addresses all these issues. They’re very thankful for that.Best advice for someone considering selling a business in Pennsylvania or selling a business in New York? Start planning early by getting a business valuation in Pennsylvania or business valuation in New York now. If the valuation is promising, then we can craft an exit strategy that captures the value and provides for a smooth transition. If the valuation isn’t enough, we’ll have enough time for you to increase the value to what it needs to be. If you wait till the last minute, you may be sorry.Best advice for someone considering buying a business in Pennsylvania or buying a business in New York? There are a lot of really good businesses that have weathered the recession (and slow recovery) and come out stronger and more profitable than ever. And because of the recession, there is a backlog of baby boomer business owners who are interested in retiring soon. Keep looking as more and more opportunities become available!