Exit Strategies Insights

Industry insights, knowledge base and announcements for business owners and professional advisors

Acquire a Business Insights

Recent Changes to the SBA 7(a) Loan Program for Business Acquisition Financing

SBA 7(a) loans are a popular type of financing for small business acquisitions. These loans go up to $5,000,000 and can be used to buy a business, real estate or equipment.  Several changes to the SBA 7(a) program became effective in 2018 that are worth noting. Some of those changes include: Lower down payment.  Required down payment has been reduced from 25% of the purchase price to 10% of the project cost (project cost = …

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Current Market Multiples for Main Street Business Sales

Each quarter, The International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and M&A Source together with Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project and the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University publish a quarterly national survey of business brokers and M&A advisors called the Market Pulse Survey. Price multiples and other key metrics in the Main Street Market section of the Q3 2017 survey are presented below. Main Street businesses are defined as those with enterprise values …

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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 my reply was along the lines of the following. A simple five step plan that can help you target and …

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California Loan Guarantee Program: A viable financing option for small business acquisitions

Banks often use the Small Business Administration 7a program to guarantee acquisition loans for small businesses.  Because small business ventures face unique risks, most do not qualify for conventional bank financing.  In most states, the SBA program is the only option; however, here in California a less well known alternative called the California Loan Guarantee Program is also available. California’s program is not new. Our state has been offering loan guarantees since 1968.  It is administered …

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How to Apply for an SBA Loan

Thousands of small businesses receive funding for real estate, equipment, working capital and business acquisitions through loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA loan terms are very reasonable. Down payments range from 10%-35% depending on various factors. Interest rates are generally 2-3% above the prime lending rate. This low cost of capital has helped many to achieve the dream of business ownership. SBA offers two loan types: guaranteed and direct. Guaranteed loans involve …

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Show Me the Money: Financing Strategies for Small Business Acquisitions

Of the many considerations when purchasing a small business, one of the most important is how to finance it.  Even if you have all of the cash you need to buy a business, as a smart investor you will consider whether you are better off borrowing some of the money or bringing in an equity partner to spread the risk. Each source of business acquisition financing has its benefits and drawbacks. Before you identify a business that meets …

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Why Start-Up when you can Acquire a Business?

The successful start-up entrepreneur has been glamorized in the media through reality shows like Shark Tank and wide spread accounts of people that have become fabulously wealthy growing a business that started with a kernel of an idea. However it’s no secret that the rate of start-up failure is notoriously high, according to the bureau of labor statistics about 50% fail within the first five years. With odds like that it is no surprise that …

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The Best Financial Decision I Ever Made

In 2007 I found myself at a crossroads. After almost twenty years on a steady career path, I felt it was time for a change. The problem was that I didn’t know what I wanted to do next. I considered going into consulting, did the mandatory networking with old contacts, and even gave serious thought about doing a start-up. But I didn’t have that one great “do what you love” or “change the world” idea. …

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Recent Trends in the M&A Market

Pepperdine University, of Malibu, California, in conjunction with the International Business Brokers Association and M&A Source, publishes a quarterly Market Pulse Survey of business brokers that provides useful information concerning the market for Main Street ($0-$2M sales price) and lower middle market ($2-$50M sales price) businesses. Highlights from their most recent report for Q1 2016, include: 50% of all business sell Retirement is still the prime motivating factor for sellers followed by burnout. The strongest growth …

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Benefits of Buying an Established Small Business

So you want to be your own boss ― no superiors, no shareholders, and no board of directors. Consider the options ― you can work as an independent contractor, start your own company, or buy an existing business. Each option has benefits. If you analyze the risks-versus-rewards carefully, you’ll learn what many seasoned entrepreneurs have discovered … the scale tips in favor of purchasing an existing business. Admittedly, as an independent contractor (including sole practitioner professional …

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