Twice a year we attend a deal expo with private equity groups and strategic buyers. It is part of a conference presented by The M&A Source, a professional association of intermediaries who work to bring mid-market buyers and sellers together. I have the honor of being chairman this year.
Why mention this?
It is part of our commitment to continuing education. Conferences have sessions and courses specific to our work. We build deep connections that can be leveraged on behalf of clients. Connections made at this event broaden our list of people who will take our calls, answer our questions, help when possible. It is part of why we can be effective for clients.
If you watch the attached video, it will give you a sense of how it works and why. As Kyle Madden of KLH Capital put it: “The guys and folks we want to do business with are in this room.”
Although selling a company may be your and our ultimate goal, one key benefit for this session is meeting other people interested in growing companies within the mid-market. This group is actively engaged in preserving and growing businesses that create jobs in our economy.
Mega companies often are cutting or consolidating. Smaller, mid-market enterprises with good products and systems are creating jobs. Small business is an engine for the economy.
Allstate/USA Today does an annual survey on the mood of small business owners. It found resilience and optimism with 90% believing the benefits of ownership outweighs the challenges. Also, 79% feel their businesses have grown and will continue to do so. With many entrepreneurs reaching retirement age, these businesses are often best transitioned using M&A sales processes of the type we use.
Most of our clients have companies that fit within the designation, “lower mid-market.” Doug Tatum, in his book “No Man’s Land,” discusses companies that need to grow in order to thrive, with a heavy focus on systems and organization. He notes that growth can be achieved through the organic path, gradually improving and adjusting. Another valid option is to achieve growth through acquisition of another company. Citizen Bank’s survey of M&A activity found that many plan to do just that in 2017 and beyond.
When thinking of selling or buying, credentials and involvement of the advisor and intermediary mean something.
M&AMI, for example, stands for M&A Master Intermediary. It is earned through sales success AND extensive education. CM&AP, Certified Merger and Acquisition Professional, means the advisor has completed a five day graduate level program at Coles College at Kennesaw State. CEPA means the advisor has exit planning credentials. CBI means the intermediary is a certified intermediary, completing a rigorous education program.
When hiring an M&A advisor, check out their involvements. Our clients have found that it makes a difference.
"The entire process went smoothly and professionally. The BTS team kept me fully informed at every step. They worked hard and were effective in bringing the deal home."
"Skip and I continue to be grateful for all you have done to make the sale of Pure Flow come to fruition."
"BTS’s level of expertise in the process and close attention to detail enabled us to successfully navigate the deal."
"These types of transactions are often long and complicated and I doubt it could have been successfully completed without your close ongoing involvement."
"The outside objective point of view that you have brought us has been invaluable as we prepare for the rapid growth."
"John then found the right buyer and coordinated a seamless transition—he doesn’t miss a single detail."
"John immediately identified our strengths and experiences and discussed a business that ultimately was more in line with our goals."
"The BTS team came in, evaluated everything in a professional and thankfully non-threatening manner."
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Initially, liquidation was a serious consideration. It would offer a quick exit but would hurt loyal employees and disrupt the customers who had come to rely on its quality production.
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Our client owners could dig in for the long haul…However, this would take five years or more. Owners simply lacked the horsepower to do it.
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