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Preparation is Key to Finding an Optimal Buyer for Your Company

By Generational Equity

Preparation

So, you have finally reached the point where you are emotionally and financially ready to exit your business and/or find an investor to help you grow it. Once you have arrived there, you move forward but will most likely do so with a limited knowledge base on how to proceed and often follow the non-professional “process” outlined below, according to Axial:

Source: Why Advance Preparation Is Key to a Successful Deal

Unfortunately, the sad reality is that if you follow this outline you will most likely leave chips on the table and sell your business at a significant discount.

Why?

Because it lacks the preparation necessary in several key areas, since many business owners fail to realize the sale of a company, either wholly or partially, is a PROCESS not an EVENT.

First, preparation needs to start long before the NEED for a transition event occurs. Far too many business owners wait until one of the Big D’s raise their ugly head on the horizon before deciding an exit is needed (Death, Disability, Divorce, Disagreement among partners, Disinterest/Burnout, Decision to Grow/Need for Capital).

It’s likely that if you wait until you are facing one (or more) of these, you will simply take the first offer you get and spend very little time in phases 2-4 above. In doing so, you will move far too quickly to identify and move forward with the right buyer, instead taking an offer and deal structure that most likely benefits them, not you.

What We Recommend

It is far better to use a planned, coordinated professional process when exiting your business, one that includes a number of steps that are not outlined above. Here is what Axial suggests:

Source: Why Advance Preparation Is Key to a Successful Deal

As you can see, the professional succession planning process starts long before you need capital or an exit, and it begins by speaking with professional advisors who are experts in fields you will need input from. This will help create your skilled exit planning team, which could include:

  • An experienced M&A advisory firm (investment bank) 
  • An M&A attorney
  • A professional wealth manager to guide you post transaction

Creating this team in advance of entering the market (No. 6 = vet potential partners above) will allow you to do several things:

  • Determine your company’s current business enterprise value
  • Create strategies with your M&A advisor to grow and build your value
  • Get your financials in order and “recast
  • Ensure that your marketing documents are professional and accurate
  • Develop a wealth management plan to ensure your deal is structured to prepare you financially post event

As you can see from this list, these are all vital to ensure an optimal deal is closed in your favor. If you skip these steps, or even try to shorten them dramatically because you are in a fire sale, you will only hurt your financial future and legacy.

If you are interested in learning more, you need to attend a Generational Equity exit planning conference. These are complimentary, no-obligation meetings that are designed to help you understand the professional exit planning process. By attending you will gain knowledge that will help you preserve and protect your equity. If you would like more information, please give me a call at 972-232-1125 or cdoerksen@generational.com.

Some additional links you might find helpful:

P.S. – If you attend our conference, you will see that we use a 17-step process to close deals for our clients. We are even more thorough than the industry. That is probably why we were recognized as Investment Banking Firm of the Year in 2016.

By Carl Doerksen, Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.

© 2021 Generational Equity, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.
Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
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.
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Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
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Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
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Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
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Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
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Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
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Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
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.
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
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Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
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Shenille Engelhart, Owner – CLS Technology
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
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Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
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Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
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Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
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Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
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Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
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Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
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Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
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Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
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Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
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Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
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Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller