Exit Strategies Insights

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

Exit Planning Insights

The Four P’s of Selling a Business

Marketers sometimes talk about the four p’s (product, placement, price, promotion) of marketing. Known as the “marketing mix,” the emphasis a company puts in each area can have a direct impact on sales and profits. And while selling a business is not like selling a product, we can use this idea to think about how certain factors impact a company’s value and sale readiness. The right mix will make your company more desirable to buyers …

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M&A Advisor Tip: Drive Cash to the Bottom Line

We all like to save money on our taxes. But hiding personal expenses in your tax return can do more harm than good. Most businesses are purchased as a multiple of cash flow (roughly EBITDA less capital expenditure needs, less increases in working capital as the company grows). If buyers and lenders can’t find your personal expenses in the financials or if the adjustments are so severe they border on tax evasion, they’ll be suspicious …

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M&A Advisor Tip: When the Kids Don’t Want the Business

Many business owners are surprised to find out their kids don’t want to take over. Maybe the kids never wanted it. Or maybe they changed their mind after working in the business for a while. Either way, some business owners get caught having to make quick decisions about transferring their company to a third party. Our advice: Talk to an M&A advisor, EVEN IF you plan to sell to your kids. It can take years …

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M&A Advisor Tip: What Does It Feel Like When You Sell?

“Immense satisfaction tinged with loss.” That’s how one business owner described selling his business. After putting years of hard work into building a business, many owners have a hard time letting go. Emotions run high, and those emotions can lead to some regrettable decisions. As advisors, part of our role is to help you make sound choices when it comes to selling your business. We can help you sort through your emotions and your goals …

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5 Ways to Make Your Business More Sellable, Right Now

It was time. After 30 years running their small 25-employee company, Frank and Martha were ready to retire to the Oregon Coast. To their surprise, after a 12-month listing with a business broker, there were just a few interested parties and no offers. Instead of enjoying retirement, Frank and Martha are now a year older and no closer to retirement. For them, preparing to sell was an after-thought. Regretfully, this scenario plays out often. Many …

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How Key Employees Factor into a Business Sale

One of the negotiations we get involved with as M&A advisors is retention of key employees. Nearly every private business in every industry has a few “indispensable” employees. Before taking a company to market, we work with clients to evaluate key-person dependence and develop strategies for retaining key employees. This article offers help in identifying key employees in your business. On one hand, having key employees is a selling feature of a business. But, when …

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Secrets to Business Valuation – a Lesson from Curly

Remember that scene from the 1991 movie City Slickers where Curly (Jack Palance) shares the secret to life with Mitch (Billy Crystal) shortly before he dies? Curly holds up his index finger and says to Mitch that the secret to life is to figure out his one thing and then stay with it. Channeling Curly today, I will share with you the three things that determine the value of any operating company, with rare exception. …

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Corporate Social Responsibility in Mergers and Acquisitions

Like it or not, and irrespective of our personal political ideologies, corporate social responsibility has gained in popularity in the past decade. In this article, we’ll discuss what Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is and what it means for private business owners from an exit strategy perspective. The Four Pillars of CSR CSR is often thought of as having four pillars: the community, the environment, the marketplace and the workplace. Community. This pillar refers to the …

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Consider Your Options When Selling a Business with Real Estate

We often get asked how owning a facility (versus leasing one) affects the sale of a company, so I dug through our 17 years of business sale transactions involving seller-owned real estate to look for patterns. And the archives didn’t disappoint. I found five common deal scenarios that shed light on this question. But first, here’s the short answer. Owning your real property is likely to increase the demand, transferability and selling price of your …

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Why Business Owners Should Prepare to Sell Now

  Reason 1:  Concentration of Wealth A typical business owner has 70-80% of their wealth tied up in their business. That’s a lot of eggs to carry in one basket. On top of that, private businesses are less liquid and more risky than stocks, bonds and real estate investments. Fortunately owners can control the value and sell-ability of their businesses. Now, whether they exercise that control is another matter! Reason 2: Many Sales Are Unplanned …

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