Essential Meeting Tips for Buyers & Sellers

The buyer-seller meeting is quite often a “make or break” meeting.  Your business broker or M&A Advisor will do everything possible to ensure that this meeting goes as well as possible.  It is vitally important to realize that rarely is there an offer before buyers and sellers actually meet.  The all-important offer usually comes directly after this all-important meeting.  As a result, you want to ensure that meetings are as positive and productive as possible. Buyers need to understand how the process of selling a business works and what is expected of them from the process.  Buyers also need to understand that following their broker’s advice will increase the chances of a successful outcome.  Sellers should be ready to be honest and forthcoming during the meeting.  They also want to be sure to not say or do anything that could come across as a strong-armed sales tactic.  Asking the Right Questions If you are a buyer … [Read more...]

The Main Street Lending Program

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 situation seems to change with each and every day.  The disruption and chaos that the pandemic has injected into both daily life and business is obvious.  Just as it is often difficult to keep track of the ebbs and flows of the pandemic, the same can be stated for keeping up to speed on the government’s response and what options exist to assist companies of all sizes.   In this article, we’ll turn our attention to an overlooked area of the government’s pandemic response and how businesses can use a whole new lending platform to navigate the choppy waters.  As the pandemic continues, you will want to be aware of the main street lending program, which is a whole new lending platform.  It was designed for businesses that were financially sound prior to the pandemic.  Authorized under the CARE Act, the main street lending program is quite attractive for an array of reasons.  Let’s take a … [Read more...]

Why Does Your Business Need Google Reviews?

In today’s business climate, reviews are the differentiator.  Years ago, people commonly asked for references when they were vetting a product or service.  But these days when people are searching for a local business to work with, they are likely to conduct research on their own and read online reviews.  Google reviews can give businesses a big credibility boost without having to spend a dime.  Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits. Increased Credibility & Trust According to statistics, approximately 91% of consumers read reviews to determine credibility of a local business.  In fact, 84% of consumers say the positive reviews have helped them gain trust.  Without the reviews, that level of trust would not have been established.  Needless to say, people trust Google.  The fact that these reviews are on a 3rd party website increases transparency.  These reviews have much higher value than testimonials posted on the … [Read more...]

Seller Financing: It Makes Dollars and Sense

An important component of selling a business is, frequently, seller financing.  Many potential buyers don’t have the necessary capital or lender resources to pay cash and, even if they do, they are often reluctant to put large sums of cash into what, for them, is a new and untried venture.  This is particularly true in the age of Covid-19 with an extra degree of uncertainty.  Seller financing has many advantages: Seller financing greatly increases the chances that the business will sell. The business will command a significantly higher price.  Industry statistics show that seller financing results in an average 30% higher price. The interest on a seller-financed deal can add substantially to the selling price. (For example, a seller carry-back note at eight percent carried over nine years will double the amount carried.  Over a nine-year period, $100,000 at eight percent will result in the seller receiving $200,000.) With interest rates currently the lowest in years, … [Read more...]

Negotiating the Price Gap Between Buyers and Sellers

Sellers generally prefer all-cash transactions; however, partial seller financing is often necessary in typical middle market company transactions.  Additionally, sellers who demand all-cash deals typically receive a lower purchase price than they do when providing some financing. Although buyers may be able to pay all-cash at closing, they often want to structure a deal where the seller has left some portion of the price on the table, either in the form of a note or an earnout.  Buyers view deferring some of the purchase price as providing leverage in the event that the owner has misrepresented the business.  An earnout is a mechanism to provide payment based on future performance.  Acquirers think there should be no problem with this type of payout if the business is as it is represented but the seller, who knows the business is sound under his or her management, will be concerned with the risk that the buyer will not be as successful in operating the business. Moreover, the … [Read more...]

Back to Business After the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 has clearly shown that not having a robust global system for dealing with disease and pandemics comes with a hefty price tag.  Despite our technological advances and the complexity of our society, disease can instantly change the course of history.  In the case of the Covid-19 economic crisis, the price tag will no doubt be in the trillions.  You cannot undo what has happened, but you can focus on what to do when the pandemic is over and life slowly returns to normal.  In his recent article, “How to Hit the Ground Running After the Pandemic,” author Geoffrey James explores what businesses need to do to jump start their operations once the pandemic is in the history books. We know that the pandemic will eventually end and we can be confident that the economy will eventually rebound.  Whenever that happens, business owners need to be ready to charge back in.   Almost everything about this economic downturn is unique.  Take, for example, the fact that the U.S. has just … [Read more...]

COVID-19 Advice for Hospitality Businesses

Clearly, some industries are taking a bigger hit from COVID-19 than others.  Any industry that requires a great deal of interaction with the public, or where people gather in large groups, are obviously having very tough times.  Movie theaters and restaurants, for example, have essentially gone dark.  Some restaurants are easing the bloodletting a bit by providing delivery, but in the vast majority of cases, revenue pales in comparison to what it was prior to the pandemic.  While there is no doubt that the hospitality industry is suffering right now, business owners should understand that there are concrete steps they can take now to improve their odds of surviving the pandemic.  In this article, we’ll explore a few of these key ideas. One of the areas every decision maker and business owner in the hospitality industry should be thinking about right now is staff.  During a recent industry roundtable discussion, John Howe, chairman of the … [Read more...]

Dealing with COVID-19’s Economic Impact: Planning and Communication are Key

At the top of the list that you should have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic is to be proactive.  Now is the time to think about how to best position your business after the economy has returned to something near normal.  Now is not the time for self-pity.  In fact, not preparing for the relaunch of the economy will cost you. In author David Finkel’s recent Inc. article “10 Things Every Small-Business Owner Needs to Do to Deal with the Impact of COVID-19 on Their Business,” he outlines 10 key steps business owners should take immediately.  Finkel has written 12 business books and is CEO of Maui Mastermind business coaching company. There is no way of knowing how long the COVID-19 fueled economic downturn will last, and that means time is of the essence.  Business owners, regardless of their particular sector, need to prepare as though the economy could relaunch tomorrow. Finkel’s 10 Things:  Take steps to protect your staff and customers from getting sick. Tell your … [Read more...]

How to Make Remote Teams Accountable

One of the many, many changes that COVID-19 has ushered in is the extreme uptick in people working remotely.  Social distancing has made working from home a necessity for millions.  The technology that is allowing remote working to take place has matured greatly in the last decade.  Today, it is possible for team members to work from virtually any location.  Of course, as with most technologies, there is a potential downside.  Accountability can become a significant challenge with remote workers.  Of course, the more remote workers you have at a given time, the greater the potential challenges will be.  Many businesses are struggling with the phenomenon of remote working, as it is something new for them.  Under normal circumstances, large numbers of employees working remotely simply wouldn’t happen.  In a recent article, “The Right Way to Keep Your Remote Team Accountable,” author Elise Keith, Co-Founder and CEO of Lucid … [Read more...]

Focus, Focus, Focus

There is one question at the forefront of the vast majority of businesses around the globe these days - "what steps do I need to take to stay in business until the COVID-19 pandemic is over or recedes?".   There is no doubt about it, this is the big question of the day.  The global economic structure hasn’t seen this much uncertainty since WWII, and some would argue that we’ve never seen this level of global economic disruption.  Knowing what steps you need to take to keep your business up and running is of paramount importance.  In short, business owners must be sure that their businesses are in good shape.  You should take every step possible to position yourself for when the economy is back up and running at full steam.  The current level of chaos and uncertainty will not last forever and, as a business owner, you need to focus on getting your house in good order. Now is not a time to take a vacation - even if going somewhere was possible.  Instead, you should be focused … [Read more...]