Entries by Don Ross

Hard Times: Great Opportunities

The effects of the Covid -19 Pandemic have been real and apparent.  GDP in the first quarter declined by 4.8% according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and economists are predicting the American economy to contract by as much as 30% in fiscal year 2020.  Brutal. So what is there to get excited about? Opportunities […]

A Lease Can Make or Break a Business Deal

The transferability of a commercial property lease can have a direct impact on the potential sale of a brick and mortar business enterprise. Most commercial leases contain restrictions on the tenant’s power to freely transfer or assign the interest in a lease. These restrictions are necessary for the protection of the landlord, providing assurance that […]

First Steps to Buying a Business

I work with a lot of sellers and buyers of small to medium sized businesses in the North San Francisco Bay Area. Most potential buyers do not succeed in buying a business, largely because they lack a systematic approach. A few weeks ago a high-net-worth individual asked for my advice on acquiring a business, and […]

Six Reasons NOT to Skim

Pulling unreported cash receipts out of a business is indefensible and unwise under any circumstances, but particularly if the owner expects to exit in the next 3-5 years. All of us during our childhood were offered the parental edict: “Don’t do it, you are only hurting yourself.” So “why”, you may ask . . . now […]

The Zen Art of Cooperative Negotiation

The common image of an M&A negotiation between a buyer and a seller is that of a rugby scrum: two masses of interlocked muscled bodies scheming and bulldozing their collective strengths in opposing directions in an effort to secure the prize without compromise and ultimately yield one winner and one loser. In contrast, what I call […]

Defending Your Price

A critical component in any business transaction, whether it be a simple sale of a used car or a complex transfer of ownership of a business, is usually PRICE. The art of “the deal” is dependent upon the two parties arriving at a price they can both live with.  In both cases, each party must […]

The Significance of Disclosure in a Business Transaction

Full disclosure by buyer and seller is a vital component in any successful business sale/purchase transaction.  In a small business transaction, buyer and seller disclosure statements are customarily exchanged and reviewed before or during the due diligence process. Hopefully there are no significant surprises at that point and the transaction proceeds smoothly. When the buyer […]

Marketing a Business: The Need for Confidentiality

Maintaining confidentiality during the M&A sale process is a critical factor in successful business transactions.  At the onset, during the marketing phase of a business sale, you are walking a tightrope between those you want to inform and those you don’t.  Confidential information is shared only with qualified buyers who have evidenced professional and financial […]

A Pyrrhic Victory

A Pyrrhic Victory is defined as a victory that is offset by staggering losses, to the extent that the victor incurs losses that are equal to or greater than those of the adversary.  Its origin dates back to Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus (now part of present day Greece) who defeated Roman armies at Asculum […]

Avoid Seller Let Down

The “Let Down” is commonly a reflexive response to imminent success of a stated objective. Recently, in an NBA playoff series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets , Houston defied the odds by winning the last three games to take the series 4 games to 3.  The pivotal game was game 6 […]