When is the right time to exit your business?

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secure the optimal deal.

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Hi, did you know that even if your revenues and profits are growing, market activity can force your value to drop? To receive the optimal value for your company it’s vital that you time your sale to perfection – when business is strong and the M&A market is primed for some incredible deals.

Steve Schreiber

Steve Schreiber,

Chief Business Development Officer

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The
Test

Do you know how to secure the optimal deal for your business at exit?

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If you were to exit your business tomorrow, do you have the knowledge to secure the optimal deal? Would you be ready?

Take just 5 minutes out of your day to complete our business test and find out.

Putting aside market conditions, when would be the optimal time to sell your business?

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To receive the optimal value for your company, it’s vital that you time your sale wisely – ideally during a strong growth period. When talking to buyers, you will need to show them historical financial documents and then five years of projections. The higher the numbers in your base year, the higher your projections will be. However, even if your revenues and profits are growing, market activity can impact valuations, so to maximize your value it is essential you also consider market conditions to identify the right time to sell.

You have received an offer from a buyer to purchase your company. It’s the first one on the table and the number looks attractive. What should your next move be in order to maximize your value?

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The simplest way to maximize your exit value is to offer your company to a wider market of buyers. In order to receive the optimal deal for your business it’s wise to keep your options open, as increased competition for your business can enhance your valuation as interested buyers battle to make you the best deal. As we like to say, “One buyer is no buyer”.

Based on your knowledge and experiences in business, which of the following buyer types do you think would be most likely to offer you the best deal?

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Also known as synergistic buyers, strategic buyers look for synergies between their company and yours, in order to maximize profit that could not be achieved by one company alone. Along with financial buyers, who are able to offer you a full or partial sale, strategic buyers possess the capital to offer you an optimal deal.

There are lots of reasons why business owners choose to enlist the help of an M&A professional when selling their companies. But without one, how might a ‘DIY’ sale affect your exit value?

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Without professional guidance it could take you up to 1000 hours to prepare your business for buyer scrutiny. Meanwhile, as your focus on day-to-day operations suffers, you risk damaging your profits and worse still your sales price. By selling your business yourself you also risk significantly undervaluing your company and also selling to the wrong buyer at a reduced price.

Money can be left on the deal table for a number of reasons, including not having the right knowledge or the right buyer at the time of exit. What is the percentage of sellers who are estimated to sell their business for less than its potential worth?

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Astonishingly, 75% of business owners who do not use professional M&A advisors leave money on the table at exit for reasons including choosing the wrong buyer, undervaluing their business or exiting at the wrong time.

Packaging your selling documents can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s vital you do it right. What should you not do when creating your documentation for buyers?

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As long as you can demonstrate how any issues can be solved, being honest about your company’s weaknesses actually strengthens your credibility with potential buyers. No business is perfect and if buyers realize you are hiding your problems they may begin to question the validity of other areas of your sales proposal. Accuracy and honesty should be your main priorities when crafting your sales proposal.

As a business owner it is inevitable that one day you will have to think about moving on and selling. What is the very first step you must take when you decide to sell your company?

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Ensuring you receive a professional valuation could be the difference between obtaining the optimal deal or settling for less than you deserve. Before you move forward with the exit process, a thorough evaluation of your business should be your top priority. A valuation plays a pivotal role in the selling process as it not only protects you from undervaluing your business, but it also sets the foundation from which you can structure and negotiate a successful deal.

What might you agree to do for the buyer after the sale of your business that could improve your deal structure/valuation the most?

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If you are willing to stick around for a while and help your buyer with the transition, you are more likely to enhance both your valuation and deal structure. In fact, most buyers expect you to stay on for the transition period and could lower their offer or pull out altogether if you’re unwilling to assist. By signing a consulting or employment agreement you’re more likely to secure the optimal deal.

What are three key factors for determining whether it’s the right time to sell your business?

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If you have capital gains tax rates, interest rates and buyer activity in your favor, you could obtain a higher valuation and retain more cash at closing. Many business owners believe that their personal circumstances and the position of their company will influence when to sell, but ultimately it’s the market, determined by buyer activity, that decides if and when the time is right.

Do you realize how revenue can affect your ability to sell your company for the optimal deal? From the following options, choose which best describes your annual sales level and find out how the current market is affecting your ability to sell.

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In the current market, salable companies are usually in line with a revenue of over $1m. At Generational Equity, we specialize in preparing businesses in the middle market with a revenue of $1- $100m and beyond for sale. Having already generated nearly $7 Billion of wealth for our clients, those that choose to align with our advisors receive invaluable knowledge and guidance on how to maximize their value and most importantly obtain an optimal deal at exit.

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Your results…

You clearly know what to expect when it comes to exiting your business, but to achieve the optimal deal your next move should be to seek further guidance from M&A professionals. The M&A process is complex, so even the most seasoned business owners can benefit from professional advice when it comes to selling their biggest asset.

There are some areas of your knowledge on selling a business that you should refine before you take your company to market. If you want to secure the optimal deal, you will need to know the M&A process inside and out. It’s also wise to bear in mind that while you may not be equipped with the knowledge just yet, your business might actually be ready to sell.

Business owners typically are experts at running their company, but not when it comes to selling it. So even if you’re not quite prepared with the right knowledge, there are professionals out there whose job it is to educate you on the exit process and guide you to a successful sale. Even if you haven’t thought about your sale just yet, the more prepared you are for exit, whether this year or five years from now, the better the deal you’ll achieve.


Learn more at a complimentary executive conference

Whether or not you’ve started thinking about your exit strategy, every business owner needs to be familiar with the exit process and there couldn’t be a better time than now to find out more at our complimentary executive conference.

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We were represented by Michael Goss with Generational. The due diligence was grueling and exhausting, but Michael propped us up and kept us motivated throughout the process. Debi and I continued to ask each other how we could possibly make it through this process without the assistance of Michael. Michael's professionalism and knowledge is absolutely amazing, and we are so blessed to have had him by our side as we made our future dreams come true.
Bob and Debi Lee, Owners of BL Technology, Inc and BL Tl Services, LLC
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
After attending a conference with GE, I decided that the value they bring would be worth the expense and as soon as I started working with them, I realized that was the right decision. When we started to get LOIs, Fred Zweifel took the lead on the communication and supported negotiations throughout the process, which got tricky as we moved forward. I learned that it can be common for companies to make a great offer then work to erode that price with their discoveries, but Fred and the GE team kept that from happening.
Caroline Connelly, CEO, OptoTest
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Through the sale process, Generational brought in several interested buyers and we closed in about 6 months. I am so glad I accepted that invitation to the conference and could not be happier with the whole process. The team at Generational coupled with their knowledge and guidance was so valuable that in the end, I know I could never have done this on my own!
JoAnn Ellis, Owner of Fondren 5 Star Kennels
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
We had the pleasure of working with Mr. Ahmad Behjati Managing Director, M&A, for Generational Equity during our acquisition of Papa's Dodge in late 2021. Generational Equity and Mr. Behjati represented and marketed Papa’s Dodge. As our primary contact, Mr. Behjati was professional in every facet of this acquisition process, conveying valuable advice most times and assisting us in every step of the process.
Rick Greene of Dobbs Equity Partners LLC
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Thanks to you, the entire GE team and especially Michael Goss for driving a great valuation, coaching me and driving the process across the finish line. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support GE going forward. P.S. Given my experience with GE I felt comfortable enough to sign up with Generation Wealth Advisors!
Tom Currier, Former President & CEO, Rackmount Solutions
The professionals at Generational Equity then helped develop a roadmap for enhancing the value of the firm and an evaluation report. This was completed by June 14, 2021. We then developed the Confidential Information Memorandum and put Taylor Studios, Inc. on the market by July.
Generational Equity’s professional staff helped me every step of the way. Their network and professionals are the only reason I sold my company this quickly. For me this is a once in a lifetime sale and I was unfamiliar with the process. I was able to lean on them with questions and concerns.
Betty L. Brennan, President, Taylor Studios
T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.
Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.
Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done for us. Not only did you take care of all the aspects of the sale but took extra care to make sure we knew what it looked like every step of the way. I will definitely recommend your company to anyone that is in a position to or looking to exit their business.
Shane and Johanna Kline, Owners of Vision Upfitters
The most important contribution I think Ahmad made was with his personality and work ethic. He is sincere, efficient, and very hard working. He was available to me at all times, whether it was for specific detail of the negotiation or just to talk through the bigger picture. He listened, advised, and recommended, but never forced his idea or opinions. In the time we worked together, he became a valued colleague and also a friend.
Salvo Stoch, Founder and CEO of Sleeping Partners
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
I decided to attend the conference and hopefully receive some guidance on how to structure an exit plan of my business. Upon arriving at the conference, I was so impressed with the presentation given by Generational Equity that I set a future appointment that week to discuss the possibility of selling my business with their Senior Managing Director David Robinson.
JoAnn Ellis, Owner of Fondren 5 Star Kennels
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.
Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.
Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!
Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.
Pete L.