Exit Strategies Insights

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

Sell a Business Insights

Building Value Means Building Leaders

It’s the New Year, that time when many business owners make a fresh resolve to develop their business. For some, that means updating equipment and driving sales. But others will focus on something more personal and possibly more pivotal: developing their leaders. GF Data shows that a solid management team will increase the valuation multiple. For smaller businesses, the quality of your management team can be an even bigger factor, influencing whether your business sells …

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M&A Advisor Tip: Earnouts Break Valuation Deadlocks

Earnouts are often used to bridge a valuation gap between a buyer and a seller. It’s a compromise, of sorts, to break a purchase-price deadlock when the seller wants more than the buyer is willing (or able) to pay. In an earnout, a portion of the purchase price is paid out later, based on the company’s financial performance over time. Earnouts typically last from 1 to 3 years, subject to negotiation. Some earnouts include acceleration …

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‘No Shop’ Protects Buyer Investment in M&A

A no shop provision is an important part of M&A transactions. Also known as an exclusivity clause, a no shop clause prohibits the seller from sharing information or negotiating with other would-be buyers for a specified time frame. Prior to this, the seller is negotiating with several buyers. The goal is to entertain multiple offers and figure out which buyer will ultimately provide the best deal for the seller. Once the seller has identified their …

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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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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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Nine Warning Signs Your Buyer Can’t Close the Deal

The proof is in the pudding. It ain’t over ’til it’s over. Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched. Pick your cliché. Just because someone makes an offer to buy your business doesn’t mean they will close the deal. As a seller, you need to look at more than dollar signs on a purchase offer. Make sure your advisors are researching and asking questions to figure out which buyers are for real, and which ones …

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Failing to Plan Your Exit is Planning to Fail

Ben Franklin is credited with saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” And Warren Buffet once said, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” These sayings are great reminders for business owners looking to exit. For most business owners, their company represents the lion’s share of their net worth. It also represents their life’s work and a legacy worth protecting. Getting their exit …

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Opportunity Zones: a Compelling Tax-Advantaged Investment for Business Sellers

Cashing in on the sale of your business is the final reward for many years of dedication and hard work. Then your CPA tells you how much you will owe in taxes. It’s a shock, but there’s a relatively new reinvestment opportunity that may help trim your tax bill … In April 2018, The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) designated Opportunity Zones in 18 States. The Tax Cuts and …

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