Author and former Inc Magazine editor at large Bo Burlingham says there is more than money at stake during a business owner’s exit.
He delivered a luncheon address at the M&A Source spring conference in Dallas Tuesday. He revisited research done for his book Finish Big. The book explores the exits of owners ranging from the good to the bad, from the joyful to the ugly.
His interviews with owners across the country identified phases:
Although you can work through the phases at a different pace, owners who pay attention to what is next and who they really are, tend to have more fulfilling and successful exits.
Often overlooked is the reality that after the closing, everything will be different. He relayed how one owner came to realize that he should have been more forthcoming to his staff about the sale and his intentions.
When they learned of it, they felt betrayed. Despite making out well in the sale, this realization haunted the owner even years after the transaction.
"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."
Business Transition Snippets
Here are a few observations we culled from sources we regularly review that relate to business transitions.
What to expect in the LOI exclusivity period
A question that often emerges when reviewing proposals for acquisition with owners is the exclusivity period.
Growth through acquisition isn't just for the big companies
Growth through acquisition Is a valid strategy for businesses in the lower mid-market as well as the mid-market.
The exit decision- timing and issues
When should a business owner start thinking about planning their exit? Early! This is a high-stakes decision and should not be first contemplated when it is imminent.
April PEG investments
It is interesting to watch trends in private equity investments. In general, they reflect confidence in the value of making things. Transactions give insights on the broader acquisition environment, p
M&A among top priorities of CEOs
CEOs in wide range of sectors are optimistic about the current business environment and significant segment listed mergers and acquisitions among their top priorities.
Preparing next gen leadership for transition
Advance preparation can be helpful in creating a smooth transition in ownership, particularly for manufacturers owned by Boomer founders seeking retirement.
Acquisition trend continues with sale of NH company
Evidence continues to mount that companies are buying other companies to grow, and that does not necessarily solely involve mega mergers or equate into a dismantling of founder-run operations.
MarketPulse survey sheds light on buying trends
A theme emerged in the most recent MarketPulse survey of intermediaries in the lower mid-market: companies continue to expand through acquisition, to gain market share and to add qualified personnel.
Good Options for Owners: ESOP versus Third Party Sale
Taking the ESOP route is not an all or nothing approach to business ownership transition.
Precision Machining Company
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.
Green Product Company
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.
Water Purification Company and Young Buyers
Owners decided they wanted to retire. They also wanted to be fair to the staff who had been loyal to them. Could the company be sold, the staff retained and the facility remain in use?
Magnetics Company with High Profile Customers
(T)he manufacturer would need to focus on growing EBITDA to capture interest from major strategic buyers and achieve a higher multiple of earnings.