Private Equity, What Kind of Offers Are in Those Expensive Briefcases?

The room was full of men and women wearing expensive suits, carrying brand-name leather briefcases and purses. You could land from Mars and guess you were at a conference of private equity professionals. I was invited, along with about fifty other investment bankers/business brokers, to meet with dozens of private equity firms from around the country to brainstorm and network over pending and future deals. Over the Read More

Three Benefits of Exit Planning

You know the ins and outs of your business like the back of your hand. In fact, you might be one of your business’ most essential assets. If that is the case, you may not maximize your value when you exit. That’s why we encourage owners to plan for their exit long before they are ready to exit, and here’s why…. 1.   You identify your goals Creating an exit plan allows you to think about what you want out of the Read More

Why Mediation Works!

Mediation is a process where parties in a dispute mutually agree to talk in hopes of finding a solution to their dispute. The process requires an impartial and respected third-party to facilitate the discussion. This person is called a “mediator.” Having no stake in the outcome, the mediator can help each party understand the point of view of the other, and move the parties in the direction of an agreement. More Read More

It’s Just an LOI, Let’s Sign It and Move On

“Hell’s bells, Jim, it’s just a non-binding LOI, please get him to sign it and let’s get on with this thing.” Bart (not his real name) was unhappy with me. My first clue was this call came in at 6:30am. “You told me our LOI was going to be signed three days ago, what’s the hold-up? I have bankers and investors waiting to hear.” I explained to Bart that my client liked the deal he had on the table and that I was Read More

Don’t Be So Smart That You Kill the Goose That Lays Your Golden Eggs

I’ve never seen a strategy so brilliantly described. Bret (not his real name) was showing me a colorful graphic of how his business worked. The graphic showed six entities revolving around the core business he started about 20 years ago. “Yeah, I’m pretty proud of how it looks,” Bret said to me. “Everybody I show it to immediately gets what I do. You think I can get a 10X deal on my company?” As he nears 60, Bret Read More

Potential is a Terrible Way to Describe a Business You Want to Sell

Though happily married for almost 33 years, I have some memories of my experiences dating. I once had a friend say “I have somebody you should meet” to which I said, “well, tell me about her.” The response was “she has potential.” I politely declined. Potential is a terrible word to use when describing a potential date, and it’s a terrible word to describe why someone should buy your business. When a business Read More

Quasi-Shameless, Yet Highly Relevant Plug

“You are dead wrong if you think I’m gonna be laying in a hospital bed two months after I retire. Hell, I’m not gonna sell or retire.” Two months ago, John (not his real name) retained me to sell his electronics distribution business. He was one of those instinctively-good business owners, he just seemed to do a lot of things right.  Look no further than his financial statement for proof, annual revenue of $8 million Read More

Don’t Wait for the Vultures to Start Hovering

“Hey honey, come look at this, this is weird.” My wife, Emily (her real name), was looking out toward our backyard from the kitchen window. “This is unbelievable, kinda spooky” she said. I looked out to see vultures in my backyard. Big, black, scary-looking creatures. The fact that it was dusk made the scene even more ominous. I counted 21, there may have been more. From my vantage point, it looked like they were Read More

3 Reasons It’s Good to Have a Succession Plan, in Writing

As a business owner, you should start thinking about succession planning long before you actually need it. Said this way, when you need, it’s likely too late. What will be your business’s legacy? Who will take over for you? Will it still be the same company? Is selling an option for you? Writing down your answers will help you focus on the reality of the process. Going through this exercise before you are ready to Read More

The Non-Acquisition Acquisition

“I’ve found a company in Miami, they are a perfect fit for what we do and they are ready to sell, can you help us put the deal together?” So began my the phone call with Susan (not her real name). Just a few years after finishing graduate school, Susan started a market research firm, and over the past ten years has grown it into a national leader for her specialty, biomedical research. Her decision in 2005 to launch Read More