ATLANTA– Lee Cuthbert, a Location Specialist for Georgia’s Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office, will speak about the impact of the film industry on Georgia’s economy at the July 26 meeting of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB).
GABB members represent owners of Georgia businesses and help them establish the sales price of their business, create marketing plans and strategies for the sale of their business, identify and qualify potential buyers, and work to protect the confidentiality of the entire process. The July 26 GABB meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Dunwoody, preceded by a light breakfast and networking session. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Ms. Cuthbert is a location specialist in the five-person Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office within the Georgia Department of Economic Development, which the state’s sales and marketing arm. Her office provides a number of services designed to attract new entertainment business investment to the state. As a location specialist, Lee is responsible for finding and showing appropriate locations for film, television, and commercial production. She also maintains the Department’s film tourism website TourGeorgiaFilm.com.
Lee is a graduate of Butler University in Indianapolis, and a 20-plus year resident of Atlanta.
The GABB is composed of professionals who work with owners of Georgia businesses. Many of today’s business buyers are individuals who have decided not to re-enter corporate America, but are ready to control their own destiny by purchasing and operating a Georgia business. The GABB’s monthly meeting is at the South Terraces Conference Center at 115 Perimeter Center Place, Atlanta. For more information about the GABB, contact GABB President Greg DeFoor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Diane Loupe at 404-374-3990.Read More
If you are seriously considering selling your company, you have no doubt considered using the services of an intermediary. You probably have wondered what you could expect from him or her. It works both ways. To do their job, which is selling your company; maximizing the selling price, terms and net proceeds; plus handling the details effectively; there are some things intermediaries will expect from you. By understanding these expectations, you will greatly improve the chances of a successful sale. Here are just a few:
• Next to continuing to run the business, working with your intermediary in helping to sell the company is a close second. It takes this kind of partnering to get the job done. You have to return all of his or her telephone calls promptly and be available to handle any other requests. You, other key executives, and primary advisors have to be readily available to your intermediary.
• Selling a company is a group effort that will involve you, key executives, and your financial and legal advisors all working in a coordinated manner with the intermediary. Beginning with the gathering of information, through the transaction closing, you need input about all aspects of the sale. Only they can provide the necessary information.
• Keep in mind that the selling process can take anywhere from six months to a year — or even a bit longer. An intermediary needs to know what is happening — and changing — within the company, the competition, customers, etc. The lines of communication must be kept open.
• The intermediary will need key management’s cooperation in preparation for the future visits from prospective acquirers. They will need to know just what is required, and expected, from such visits.
• You will rightfully expect the intermediary to develop a list of possible acquirers. You can help in several ways. First, you could offer the names of possible candidates who might be interested in acquiring your business. Second, supplying the intermediary with industry publications, magazines and directories will help in increasing the number of possible purchasers, and will help in educating the intermediary in the nature of your business.
• Keep your intermediary in the loop. Hopefully, at some point, a letter of intent will be signed and the deal turned over to the lawyers for the drafting of the final documents. Now is not the time to assume that the intermediary’s job is done. It may just be beginning as the details of financing are completed and final deal points are resolved. The intermediary knows the buyer, the seller, and what they really agreed on. You may be keeping the deal from falling apart by keeping the intermediary involved in the negotiations.
• Be open to all suggestions. You may feel that you only want one type of buyer to look at your business. For example, you may think that only a foreign company will pay you what you want for the company. Your intermediary may have some other prospects. Sometimes you have to be willing to change directions.
The time to call a business intermediary professional is when you are considering the sale of your company. He or she is a major member of your team. Selling a company can be a long-term proposition. Make sure you are willing to be involved in the process until the job is done. Maintain open communications with the intermediary. And, most of all – listen. He or she is the expert.Read More
One benefit of GABB membership is the ability to add your business for sale listings to the GABB website.
To do that, a GABB member has two options:
Option 1: Link an Existing BrokerWorks account, or
Option 2: Create a BrokerWorks Limited account just for viewing on GABB’s site. (Note! Option 2 will NOT display your listings or profile on the BizBuySell site. This option will, however, let you publish your listings to the GABB site.)
Step 1: The Broker should visit the following site to connect a profile to GABB:
Step 2: The broker should log in on the left (Existing) or right (New). (See graphic below)
- If you, the broker, have an existing BizBuySell BrokerWorks account, you should log into their BizBuySell account on the LEFT.
- If you do not have an existing BizBuySell BrokerWorks account, you should contact Diane Loupe at email@example.com to create a GABB profile for you. Please allow a few days, as she is a part-time employee.
- If you experience any problems, you may contact BizBuySell Client Services at (888) 777-9892.
Step 3-N NEW users without a BizBuySell BrokerWorks account: (Existing BrokerWorks Users skip to Step 3-E, below)
- The broker now completes a brief registration form.
- All fields are required unless otherwise noted.
- Once all fields have been completed, click ‘Complete Purchase’ button. Don’t worry, there is no charge for a BrokerWorks Limited account.
Step 4-N NEW users without a BizBuySell BrokerWorks account:
- You will now be given three choices
- If you have existing listings, click the first option
- To manage existing listings, click the second option
- To update your Broker profile, click the third option
Step 5-N NEW users without a BizBuySell BrokerWorks account:
- Once within BizBuySell’s BrokerWorks Dashboard, the broker can update their broker profile, add listings, update listings, etc.
- However, with this BrokerWorks Limited account, the listings and profile will only appear on the GABB web site.
- Additionally, to edit the broker profile or listings, you can simply log directly into the Biz BuySell web site, bizbuysell.com, to manage this information.
- If you experience any problems, you may contact BizBuySell Client Services at (888) 777-9892, or Diane Loupe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-374-3990.
PROCESS for EXISTING BrokerWorks Users, such as those who already have a BizBuySell account.
Step 3-E Existing BrokerWorks users:
- After login, the broker will be automatically connected to their BrokerWorks Dashboard.
- In the left navigation, choose Networking Tools then Listing Distribution.
Step 4-E Existing BrokerWorks users:
- Scroll down until you see GABB and select Manage.
Step 5-E Existing BrokerWorks users:
- Click on the “LOGIN NOW” button or the GABB Login link (in the Red Box in the upper right hand corner).
Step 6-E Existing BrokerWorks users: In the pop-up, log in with the GABB credentials provided by the GABB admin.
Note! If successfully connected after log in, the red box that had appeared in the upper right hand corner becomes green and says your account is now linked!
Step 7 : Updating your profile information!
- Go to Account Setting in the left navigation of BrokerWorks Dashboard and select “My Profile” to add a photo or other information for your Broker Profile.
- Go to My Listings in the left navigation of BrokerWorks Dashboard and select Add a Listing to begin adding listings to the directory.
Family-owned businesses do have some options when it comes time to sell. Selling the entire business may not be the best choice when there are no other family members involved. Here are some choices to be considered:
- Hire a CEO – This approach is a management exit strategy in which the owner retires, lives off the company’s dividends and possibly sells the company many years later.
- Transition ownership within the family – Keeping the business in the family is a noble endeavor, but the parent seldom liquefies his investment in the short-term, and the son or daughter may run the company into the ground.
- Recapitalization – By recapitalizing the company by increasing the debt to as much as 70 percent of the capitalization, the owner(s) is/are able to liquefy most of their investment now with the intent to pay down the debt and sell the company later on.
- Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) – Many types of companies such as construction, engineering, and architectural are difficult to sell to a third party, because the employees are the major asset. ESOPs are a useful vehicle in this regard, but are usually sold in stages over a time period as long as ten years.
- Third party sale – The process could take six months to a year to complete. This method should produce a high valuation, sometimes all cash at closing and often the ability of the owner to walk away right after the closing.
- Complete sale over time – The owner can sell a minority interest now with the balance sold after maybe five years. Such an approach allows the owner to liquefy some of his investment now, continue to run the company, and hopefully receive a higher valuation for the company years later.
- Management buy-outs (MBOs) – Selling to the owners’ key employee(s) is an easy transaction and a way to reward them for years of hard work. Often the owner does not maximize the selling price, and usually the owner participates in the financing.
- Initial public offering (IPO) – In today’s marketplace, a company should have revenues of $100+ million to become a viable candidate. IPOs receive the highest valuation, but management must remain to run the company.
Source: “Buying & Selling Companies,” a presentation by Russ Robb, Editor, M&A Today
It has always been the American Dream to be independent and in control of one’s own destiny. Owning your own business is the best way to meet that goal. Many people dream about owning their own business, but when it gets right down to it, they just can’t make that leap of faith that is necessary to actually own one’s own business. Business brokers know from their experience that out of fifteen or so people who inquire about buying a business, only one will become an owner of a business.
Today’s buyer is most likely from the corporate world and well-educated, but not experienced in the business-buying process. These buyers are very number-conscious and detail-oriented. They require supporting documents for almost everything and will either use outside advisors or will do the verification themselves, but verify they will. A person who is realistic and understands that he or she can’t buy a business with a profit of millions for $10 down is probably serious. They must be able to make decisions and not depend on outside parties to do it for them. They must also have the financial resources available, have an open mind, and understand that owning one’s own business means being the proverbial chief cook and bottle washer.
Today’s buyers are usually what might be termed “event” driven. This means that the desire to own their own business is coupled with a need or reason. Maybe they have been downsized out of a job, they don’t want to be transferred, they travel too much, they see no future in their current position, etc. Many people have the desire, but not the reason. Most people don’t have the courage to quit a job and the paycheck to venture out on their own.
There are the perennial lookers. Those people who dream about owning their own business, are constantly looking, but will never leave the job to fulfill the dream. In fact, perspective business buyers who have been looking for over six months would probably fit into this category.
Business brokers spend a lot of time interviewing buyers. Here are just a few of the questions they will ask. The answers they receive will determine whether or not the prospective buyer is serious and qualified.
- Why is the person considering buying a business?
- Has the person ever owned their own business?
- How long has the person been looking?
- Is the person currently employed?
- What kind of business is the person looking for?
- Is he or she flexible in the kind of business?
- What are the most important considerations?
- How much money is available?
- What is the person’s timeframe?
- Does the person’s experience match the type of business under consideration?
- Who else is involved in the purchase decision?
- Is the person’s spouse positive about owning a business?
There are other questions and considerations, but those cited above reveal the depth of a buyer interview. Business brokers want to work only with buyers who are serious about purchasing a business. They don’t want to show a business to anyone who is not qualified, which is simply a waste of their time and the seller’s time.