Whether you’re new to the profession of buying and selling businesses, or have limited experience as a business broker, this Aug. 17 GABB class will teach you the best practices to secure and manage listings for businesses for sale.
Securing and Managing Business-for-Sale Listings (GREC#73352) will also help you when you’re selling someone else’s listing, review marketing strategies, cover ethical issues, help you analyze the financials of businesses for sale, and teach you how to guide a client through meetings with prospective buyers, negotiations, financing and closing. The class will be taught by GABB’s Vice President Matt Wochele, CBI, founder of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc. and a Life Member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers’ Multi- Million Dollar Club.
This class is part of the GABB’s Board-Certified Broker credential program. Students who successfully attend all three hours of the class and pass the test will be eligible for credit through the Georgia Real Estate Commission. The class will be held both in person and online via Zoom, although the instructor is urging students to attend the class in person.
To encourage students to attend the class in person, the GABB will offer attendees several prizes including a one-year membership to the GABB and Starbucks giftcards. Only students who attend the class in person are eligible for these incentives.
The class (GREC #73352) will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the classroom of the Georgia Association of Realtors at 6065 Barfield Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. Per GREC rules, students who arrive promptly and stay for the entire class are eligible to earn three hours of continuing education credit through the Georgia Real Estate Commission and the GABB’s Real Estate School, GREC #8074. Students who prefer to attend via Zoom must remain on camera; the link will be sent after you register.
The class fee is $49 for GABB members, $75 for non-members, and $225 to register for the BCB program and one class. Note that the BCB program is only open to GABB members. Contact GABB Executive Director Diane Loupe at firstname.lastname@example.org or text her at 770-744-3639 for more information.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
After attending Bucknell University and St Joe’s University Matt Wochele started his professional career as a stockbroker in NJ in 1978. In 1981 he was transferred to Atlanta to head up the firm’s investment banking business in their Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Houston offices. After 18 years working with public companies, Mr. Wochele started Preferred Business Brokers, Inc. in 1996. He has sold more than 300 main street and lower middle market businesses in the past 25 years. Mr. Wochele is a Certified Business Intermediary, a Life Member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers’ Multi- Million Dollar Club, a GABB Phoenix Award recipient, a member of the International Business Brokers Association and is currently serving as Vice President of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers’ board.
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When buying a business, buyers usually must sign a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA, in order to review sensitive information about the business, including financial details, inventory, and legal matters. Legally,
Anyone who has not signed an NDA isn’t legally bound by it, attorney and GABB affiliate Stephen M. Levinson told the Georgia Association of Business Brokers on July 27.
To hear Steve’s presentation and the rest of the GABB meeting, click this link.
Here’s a PDF of Steve’s presentation: Levinson NDA presentation
Now in his 33rd year of consistent practice experience, Mr. Levinson handles matters in the areas of business law; business sales and acquisitions; business/contract disputes; construction disputes; and alternate dispute resolutions and has so-far closed approximately 1,500 business transactions. He has also previously lectured about business transactions before Georgia Agent/Broker Groups including lecturing before business brokers for state credit. Steve is also an experienced Mediator and Neutral since 2009 and the owner of Northside ADR.
Mr. Levinson received his B.S. in Political Science in 1983 from the University of Miami and SUNY Brockport and earned his law degree from Georgia State University in 1989. Steve was admitted to the Bar in February of 1989 and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit; the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia; the Georgia Supreme Court; the Georgia Court of Appeals; and the State Courts throughout Georgia.
Beyond his law practice, Steve is the founder, and for many years, host of a weekly Nar-Anon family-peer support group serving those who deal with the addiction issues of loved ones and is also the co-founder and host of the Annual Deane W. Evans Memorial Golf Tournament, raising money to award merit based college scholarships to deserving high school students and doing other charitable work in memory of Deane Evans.
Steve and his wife Alison (high school sweethearts) are 34-plus year residents of Cherokee County and now live in Holly Springs. They are the proud parents of two adult sons, Alex and Aaron. They are active in many charitable endeavors and are longtime supporters and promoters of the Cherokee County Secret Santa Program, Atlanta Harm Reduction, Atlanta Community Food Bank, The Fulton County Canine Cellmates Program, Caring Hands Community (Kingston, NY), The Zaban Couples Shelter, Georgia Overdose Prevention, Friends of the Forlorn and other worthy causes.
The GABB is Georgia’s largest and most respected association of professionals who help people buy and sell businesses and franchises. Our association includes business brokers, lenders, appraisers, attorneys, business consultants and others who help business owners and entrepreneurs in many ways. Please review our directory if you are seeking a business broker or other professional.
For more information about the GABB, contact GABB President Judy Mims at 404-918-3666 or email@example.com, or GABB Executive Director Diane Loupe at firstname.lastname@example.org or text her at 770-744-3639.
Commencing in 1992 when Jim Town sold his last business and affiliated with Prime Business Investments, Inc., one of the oldest business brokerages in Georgia at that time, his practice evolved from intermediary services to a primary focus on finding value to maximize net sale proceeds. In early 2003, Jim moved to the Florida Panhandle and formed Business Evaluation & Appraisal, Inc., as a Florida corporation, while continuing as an associate broker with Prime Business Investments in Atlanta until late 2014. Additionally, he conducted commercial real estate transactions through Commercial Property Investments in Georgia and Florida, which Jim formed in 1992.
Jim had been a member of the International Business Brokers Association (www.ibba.org) since 1997 and became a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) in mid-1998. He also qualified as an instructor for IBBA on several courses offered nationally, helped write three courses, and served on the Education Committee for 10 years focused primarily on the CBI testing and certification programs. In 2007, Jim’s service to the largest business intermediary organization in the world was recognized when he was appointed a “Fellow of the IBBA.” He was awarded the “Lifetime CBI” designation in 2014.
As a member of the Institute of Business Appraisers from 1996 to 2013, Jim completed the basic 8-day course and examinations, advanced courses and annual continuing education courses.
In addition to being the qualifying real estate broker for commercial real estate firms in Florida and Georgia, Jim also held a Florida Real Estate Instructor license and helped establish the pre-license sales and broker programs at the Florida Panhandle Technical College (Chipley, FL) in 2005.
He served in the U.S. Army and saw active duty as an Infantry officer in Europe and South Vietnam with assignments in Infantry
units and logistics. He was discharged as a Captain (1965 – 1968), and continued his career in the U.S. Army Reserve with
assignments in transportation units, logistics staff positions, brigade commander, and as chief of staff for a command of
about 12,000 soldiers and a budget of over $85 million per year. He retired as a Colonel (1965 – 1995).
He earned a B.A., in Marketing from Michigan State University in 1965; completed the Infantry Officer Basic Course and Airborne Schools, 1965; completed the Transportation Officer Advanced Course, 1974; studied at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1981; U.S. Army War College, 1986. He held a Commercial Pilot License with Instrument and Multi-engine Ratings.
Town was at the heart of several Washington County economic initiatives, notably assisting in the development and addition of Commercial Intent Overlays to the existing Future Land Use Maps to better prepare for economic development.
Town was also instrumental in the conception of the 79 Corridor Project, the collaborative effort by the City of Bonifay and Holmes and Washington counties to improve sewer and water services along Highway 79 and ignite opportunity to grow a commercial and industrial development corridor in the area. The project was the first of its kind in the state, earning it the 2019 Florida Economic Development Council Rural Economic Development Deal of the Year award.
Town served on several local boards over the years, including the Tri-County Airport Authority and Economic Development Commission. The Washington County Chamber of Commerce presented Town with the Ole Ellis Washington County Lifetime Community Leadership Award in 2018 as a nod to his decades of dedication to the county’s growth.
This week, friends and colleagues are remembering Town as one of the community’s most prolific economic development leaders.
“Jim Town was a remarkable man,” said Ted Everett, Washington County Economic Development Executive Director. “His love for Washington County was never in doubt. He worked tirelessly and for no personal gain to move our county forward.”
“One does not meet many people such as Jim Town in one’s life. He was an exceptional person, a tireless worker, and used his vast knowledge accumulated through his many years of the corporate world to help grow Washington County. He will be missed by many, and Washington County has lost a true friend and champion.”
Attorney Bob Hughes echoed that sentiment, adding that Town’s knowledge regarding the potential impacts of land use amendments was beyond compare.
“[Town] knew the County Comprehensive Plan with zoning as well as anyone,” said Hughes. He … went into the field and could tell you which parcels had improvements which matched the comp plan maps and which didn’t. He was an invaluable asset to county officials in the land planning, zoning, and comprehensive planning areas.”
“Besides all of that, he was truly a fine person and gentleman,” added Hughes. “He was a proud veteran of his U.S. Army service to his country; He is unquestionably someone who the region will miss. I will miss his expertise and his friendship.
1. Build a solid management team. A business with sales of $5 million or more needs a full complement of officers and directors. Such a team might include a COO, a CFO, a sales manager and, depending on the of type business, an IT director. It is also beneficial to create a Board of Directors with at least two outside members. This professionalization of management can remove the stigma of “the one man band.” Not only will this build a stronger company, it will increase the value to a possible acquirer. Smaller firms should also build a strong management team, and creating an outside advisory group is also a good idea.
2. Loyal employees. Happy and loyal employees make for a strong company. Top management should have non-compete and/or confidentiality agreements. Solid benefits plans for all employees should be in place. A company’s greatest asset is its employees and perhaps its biggest way to increase value.
3. Growth. Some smaller companies are kept small to maximize the owner’s benefits – the proverbial “cash cows.” However, if building value is the goal, then developing new products or services, building market share, expanding markets or opening new ones, is critical. This generally requires a financial investment, but building a strong growth rate also builds value.
4. Understanding your market. The value of a company may be contingent on its industry, its place in the industry and the direction of the industry itself. How big is the industry, is it headed up or down, who is the competition and how big is the company’s market share? Is it time to change direction or diversify?
5. Size counts. Companies with less than $5 million in sales and an EBITDA of less than $1 million can be perceived as small. Therefore, they may depend on continuing outside financing and lack the critical mass for both buying and selling power. These companies can be perceived as too small for acquisition or are penalized when it comes to value. However, over the past few years, corporate buyers and private equity firms have seen the advantages of purchasing smaller firms. Obviously, companies with $10 million or more in sales and an EBITDA of $1 million or more are considered to be solid and able to stand on their own.
6. Changing direction. Small companies can be very adept at changing course and implementing change. They have to be able to change and move quickly to take advantage of new markets, to fill voids in existing markets and even to add or change products or services.
7. Documentation. Business plans, financial plans and personnel plans should all be in writing and kept current. Terms of employment agreements should be spelled out and in writing. Business planning and company objectives, etc., should also be in writing and reviewed periodically. Contracts should be reviewed and maintained on a current basis.
8. Diversification. A major problem with many small companies is that their business is concentrated on one or two major customers or clients. Ideally, no customer or client should represent more than 10 percent of sales. Expanding to new markets, introducing new products, and finding new customers must be considered without deviating too far from the company’s core business.
9. Name and brand identity. Nothing beats the name Walt Disney, or Kleenex® or the soft drink called Coca-Cola® – they are household names. Small firms may not have the brand or name recognition of these companies, but they can work at it. This recognition is especially powerful in the consumer product area. But franchising has expanded this name or brand recognition to many different types of businesses.
10. Taking advantage of proprietary and other assets. Patents, brand names, copyrights, alliances, and joint ventures are all examples of not only proprietary assets, but, in many cases, valuable ones. Even equipment can be used in several different ways. Large landscape companies in cold climates put snow plows on their trucks, utilize their existing workforce and become a snow plowing company for their regular landscaping customers — office complexes, apartment and condo developments, etc.
11. “Lean and Mean.” Many companies lease their real estate needs, outsource their payroll, have their manufacturing done offshore, or have UPS handle all of their logistical needs. Since all non-core requirements are done by someone else, the company can focus its efforts on what they do best.
12. Do it now! The owners of small firms, even large ones, have an attitude that says, “I don’t have time now, I’ll do it tomorrow,” or “I’m too busy now putting out fires.” So the real challenges of building the business and value get sidetracked or put off indefinitely. Creating value is critical to the long-term (and short-term) success of the business.
Keep in mind that the best time to consider selling a business is when business is good, the business is running profitably, and many of the above “value-adders” are in place. By contacting your local professional intermediary you can explore which of the above will add the most value to your firm, so it will be ready to sell when you are.
The post 12 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Company appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.
We work closely with our clients to preserve the integrity of deals so that they have the best chance of a successful closing. An often-overlooked aspect of the process is understanding and embracing human psychology. In this article, we will explore some of the most common ways that psychology comes into play.
The Element of Time
It is critical that both buyers and sellers feel well prepared at every stage of the process. It is also essential that a certain momentum is established through every stage of the deal. When too many delays happen, this can start to derail deals.
Think about the Buyer and the Seller
For both parties, the buying or selling of a business is a life-changing event. For this reason, it is important that you invest the time to think about the point of view of the other people involved. No doubt, buying and selling can be stressful, so it’s important to take other people’s thoughts and feelings into account. You are not the only one who may be experiencing a little stress.
The Issue of Non-Active Partners
In some deals, non-active partners can pose challenges to finalizing deals. They often have different motivations than the seller who is in the role of running the business. In a situation where two sellers have divergent goals, it can pose a challenge to a deal. The best thing to do is to try to understand the point of view of each seller and help them both reach their respective goals.
Influencers and recommenders can have a powerful sway over both buyers and sellers. By influencers, this could mean accountants, lawyers, relatives, etc. In order for a deal to go through successfully, often these influencers must be identified and their viewpoints must be addressed. On a practical level, there are also other people involved that can interfere with a deal, such as landlords. It’s important to make sure that these individuals feel as though they will benefit from the success of the deal as well.
There are many moving parts needed to get to the finishing line. Human psychology plays a huge role in what decisions get made. It’s vitally important to take the time to consider what others involved in the deal might be thinking or doing. Your Business Broker or M&A Advisor will benefit you by getting to know all parties involved and taking the appropriate actions to ensure things are done to the satisfaction of all parties.
The post How Understanding Psychology Can Benefit Your Deals appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.