Category Archives: General Planning

Define Your Goals Before You Sell

The first and most important steps to take before selling your business are A) analyzing your own goals for wanting to complete a transaction; and B) deciding on the right type of deal to aim for. These steps are crucial because they will define how you prepare for the transaction and how to best structure your company for a successful sale. Generally, business owners in the middle market have one of two entirely different
reasons for wanting to sell. The first is the more obvious in a country Read More [...]

How to Find an M&A Adviser without a Conflict of Interest

For over 15 years, I advised clients as a lawyer in complex business transactions. My key advice was consistent, no matter the particulars of the business relationship: Make sure everyone’s incentives are aligned. Following this basic rule is the best way to avoid conflicts of interest while hiring an M&A adviser to sell your company. There are many different types of advisers and a host of issues to consider when hiring one, but if you create a relationship that aligns your incentives with Read More [...]

Why Hire an Intermediary to Sell Your Business?

The first question many business owners have when they are ready to pursue a transaction involving their company is whether they should engage the help of an intermediary or do it themselves. I am a deal professional, so I am clearly biased toward advising owners that intermediaries are worthwhile investments and can assist in creating value in a transaction. However, you can go it alone. Many deals are done in the middle market without an intermediary. But, just like you wouldn’t represent Read More [...]

How To Find a Buyer for Your Business

Are you ready to sell your business? OK! But before you cash out, you’ll need to find potential buyers. Middle market companies should generally be marketed to two broad groups of potential buyers: financial buyers and strategic buyers. Know your targets Financial buyers tend to be professional investors that don’t have deep operational experience. These buyers, mostly private equity firms, family offices, and the like, tend to seek companies that have existing management teams that Read More [...]

Institutionalize Your Business Before You Sell It

The more you institutionalize your company, the more value it will have in a transaction. Middle market companies often suffer from the effects of transitioning from an entrepreneurial activity to a more formalized business operation. The more you can accelerate this transition prior to a deal, the more value you will drive to your business in a transaction. This transition generally occurs as a company hits
 revenues of $10 million or so, but can often last well
 up into the $100 million Read More [...]

What is a Deal?

For those of us in the merger and acquisition or “deal” business, buying and selling companies is second nature. We live through transaction after transaction, buying and selling companies as routinely as middle market businesses provide their own products or services. But, in most cases, the people involved in the middle market companies we buy and sell go through the merger and acquisition process only one time. Most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t know what to expect from a sale Read More [...]

FAQs on Selling Your Business

A business owner’s exit strategy is an often-overlooked aspect of his or her business plan. As a sell side mergers and acquisitions specialist with Chapman Associates, I constantly field questions from middle market entrepreneurs and business owners on all aspects of selling a business. The following is my response to some common questions from those interested in eventually selling their companies. 1. How do I determine if it’s a good time to sell? There are two answers to that. If Read More [...]

Trick or Treat? Why Selling Your Company Doesn’t Have to Be Scary!

In this season of witches, ghosts and candy corn, it's a good time to look at the things in your life that cause trepidation and fear. If you are the long time owner of a small or middle market business, then heading into the year end starting to think of how 2015 might be the year to sell your company most likely isn't something you relish thinking about. Most likely, the sweaty palms and racing pulse isn't being caused by the gremlins and ghoulies coming up the walkway. One of the things Read More [...]

Selling Your Business The Smart Way on MSNBC

I was recently interviewed on MSNBC's Your Business with JJ Ramberg.   They were nice enough to have me on the show to talk about the things you need to do to start planning for the sale of your business. The key bullet points: 1.  Invest in people and processes 2.  Focus on what you do best, outsource the rest 3.  Create recurring revenue streams 4.  Get your house in order Watch the rest here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY5eAi9LZLE Read More [...]

Five Steps to Retire and Sell Your Business

I was recently asked to record a podcast on planning for the sale of your business with Andy Asher of bloomerboomer.com.  The host asked me to discuss ways to best prepare for a sale of your company and to get the highest value from a potential transaction. You can listen to the podcast here:   Much of the content is based on my recent article for the same website:  5 Things to Consider if You Plan to Retire From and Sell Your Business in 5 Years. Read More [...]