Many business owners are emotionally attached to their businesses, and it is easy to understand why. Typically, business owners invest not only a considerable amount of time and money into their business, but a good bit of themselves as well. Owning and operating a business often becomes part of one’s identity. However, the fact is that no one will work forever, as retirement eventually comes for almost every business owner. With this in mind, it is important to prepare for selling your business well in advance.
Brokerage professionals can take your knowledge regarding your business, and use it to help you frame your business in the best possible light. Your expertise in your business can also help a broker find ways to improve your business so that it is more attractive to potential buyers. With all of this in mind, let’s turn our attention to the key steps you should take when preparing to sell your business and transition into retirement.
Select Your Second-in-Command
Any savvy buyer will want to know that the business is well supported by a capable team. Buyers rightfully worry about having a smooth transition period, and nothing helps dispel those fears like having a proven and capable second-in-command standing by. When selecting this important individual, it is important that you pick someone that understands how your business works and is a proven asset to its operation.
Automate, Automate and Automate
Buyers can be intimidated by taking control of a business. Having a proven second-in-command ready to assist is one smart step. Automating as much as possible is yet another prudent move. In short, you want your prospective new buyer to feel more confident about buying and operating your business.
Make a “Smooth Transition” List
As the seller, you have the critically important job of removing buyers’ fears. When you boost their confidence that they can successfully run your business, you increase the odds that your sale will go smoothly. Making a smooth transition list, which includes all the steps that you can take to improve the odds of a buyer being successful, is a smart investment of your time and effort.
A good transition list will include information about how to work with key customers, employees and vendors. You want to ensure that your customers, employees, and vendors understand that a sale will take place, but also understand that the process will be smooth and trouble-free. Whether large or small, take any steps that you can to show buyers that the transition will be well-received.
The average business owner has, in fact, never sold a business before, and is unprepared for this very complex process. Since the process of buying or selling a business is a very complicated one, they should strongly consider working with an experienced Business Broker or M&A Advisor who can help guide them through the process. Brokerage professionals are experts at buying and selling businesses. They understand what both buyers and sellers want and need. As a result, they can help you take the necessary steps to get your business ready to be sold.
The post How to Sell and Successfully Launch Your Retirement appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.
There is a considerable difference between determining the value of a privately-held company and a publicly-held company. Topping the list of considerable differences is the fact that privately-held companies do not have audited financial statements. Let’s look at how the owners of privately held companies should proceed in establishing a reasonable price for their company.
An audited financial statement is a costly endeavor. In order to avoid the cost, many companies simply don’t go public. Of course, it should be noted that publicly held companies, as the name indicates, reveal much more about their finances than their privately held counterparts do. Privately held companies are often seen as being more mysterious whereas publicly held companies are considered more “open.”
Business owners looking to sell their business will, of course, want to address the fact that their company lacks the public information associated with publicly held companies. Providing prospective buyers with as much verified information about your business as possible is one of the fastest and easiest ways to overcome buyers’ concerns. A smart move for any business owner is to work closely with their accountant to go over the numbers and create an easy-to-understand presentation for prospective buyers. This should serve to allay many of their concerns.
Working with your accountant is only the first step in providing prospective buyers with the information they need to feel comfortable. The second step is to work with an outside appraiser or other expert who can determine the value of your business. After that, you’ll want to decide on what your market price will be, as well as your “wish price,” or the price that you would ideally want. Third, you must know your “rock bottom” lowest price. You, as the owner, need to have this information as it will greatly facilitate and streamline all negotiations.
When buyers are reviewing materials and working to determine what price they are willing to pay, they will look at a wide range of factors including:
- Product diversity
- The size of your customer base
- Potential competitors in the area
- Competitors on the horizon
- Potential disruptions to your business, such as supplier problems
- The stability of your earnings
- The stability of the market
- Need for capital
Different buyers may place differing levels of emphasis on certain areas, but you can be certain that the aforementioned areas will be examined with care. The process is undoubtedly rather complex. This complexity underscores the need for professional assistance.
Ultimately, the market will determine the sale price of your business. For business owners, the first and most important step is to work closely with professionals such as accountants, appraisers, Business Brokers and M&A Advisors to establish the price of your privately held business. You can count on brokerage professionals to properly organize the facts and numbers that support that price.
Fourteen members of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) were named to the 2021 Million Dollar Club for helping broker the sale of more than $86 million worth of small, medium and large businesses.
The GABB Million Dollar Club awards recognizes professional Business Brokers for successfully
closing business acquisition transactions totaling one million dollars or more. The GABB has the only accredited real estate school in Georgia that focuses on business brokerage.
The top producer for 2021 was Sarabjeet Kaur, a Business Broker and Realtor with Virtual Properties Realty.
“It’s an honor to be included among the industry’s top producing brokers this year,” said Sarabjeet Kaur. “I’m grateful to GABB for elevating the profession of business brokerage and for bringing so many successful like-minded individuals together. It’s a powerful organization, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Business brokers among the top five brokers with multi-million dollars in business sales for the year are Jeffery Merry, founder of the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc.; Matt Wochele, founder of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc.; J. Snypp, Vice President at Preferred Business Brokers, Inc; and Steve Josovitz, Senior Vice President at The Shumacher Group.
Other multi-million-dollar brokers were Lisa Young, Senior Business Advisor at Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta; Brian Judson, Senior Business Broker at Best Business Brokers (B3); Jon Merry, Senior Business Broker with the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc.; Pedro Ferreira, Business Advisor at Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta; Greg DeFoor, founder of DeFoor Business Services, Inc.; Rob Margeton, Business Broker and M&A Intermediary with Ryco Advisors, LLC; and Dean Burnette, founder of Best Business Brokers (B3).
Other million dollar honorees were Michael Horwitz, Business Broker and M&A Advisor with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta; and Brad Coffman, President and Managing Director of Valorem Business Brokers.
Mr. Snypp and Mr. Jon Merry were honored as Phoenix Members of the Million Dollar Club for
achieving more than a million dollars in sales for any ten years.
Mr. Judson, Mr. Ferreira, and Mr. Burnette were honored as Life Members of the Million Dollar Club for achieving more than a million dollars in sales for three consecutive years or any five years.
The Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) is the state’s only professional organization dedicated to buying and selling businesses and franchises. GABB broker members have represented thousands of business sellers and buyers, and the group has a dedicated membership of lenders, attorneys and other professionals to assist business buyers and sellers at every step of the process.
“The Georgia Association of Business Brokers is dedicated to improving the professionalism of our members through education, through the Board Certified Broker program, and through our Code of Ethics,” explains GABB President Judy Mims. “Our members have the opportunity to network with others in this field and in supporting professions, which ensures smoother transactions.”
The GABB’s website lists hundreds of businesses and franchises for sale throughout Georgia in a variety of fields, including automotive, business services, child care, cleaning, construction, electronics equipment, fitness, flooring, floral, food, gas stations, landscaping, manufacturing, medical, shipping, restaurants, retail, security, signs, and businesses related to the internet.
Find a professional business broker today at https://gabb.org/gabb-business-brokers/.
SARABJEET KAUR, a business broker and REALTOR® with Virtual Properties Realty, specializes in commercial properties, hotels, and convenience stores. She is a member of the Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of REALTORS® (NAMAR) and the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS®. She was 2019-2020 Million Dollar Club Gold Award winner with NAMAR; a Million Dollar Club Active Member 2019 and 2020 with Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS®; and a 2019-2020 All-Star Award winner with Virtual Properties Realty. She is a member of the Asian-American Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). She studied in Delhi, India, with certifications in IT and fashion designing. She earned her REALTOR’s license in 2017 and is a licensed Life Insurance agent in Georgia. She and her husband, Prakash Srivastava, and her teenage daughter live in Cumming, Georgia, where they are involved in social activities with Sewa International, a Hindu faith-based, humanitarian, non-profit service organization.
JEFFERY MERRY, Sr., M.B.A. J.D., past president of the GABB, has been the GABB’s top producer many times and has been a part of the Million Dollar Club since its inception in 1999. He is a GABB board member and will continue to be on the GABB board in 2022. Mr. Merry, owner and founder of the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc., is also a member of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and the Business Brokers of Florida Association. For more than three decades, his firm has specialized in serving the manufacturing, distribution, technology, service, veterinary and medical industries. As a business intermediary, Certified Exit Planner, and consultant, Mr. Merry has been involved in mergers and acquisitions that have ranged in acquisition price from $60,000 to more than $15 million. He is a member of the Advisory Board at the University of North Georgia and is a past adjunct instructor for their MBA program. Mr. Merry holds a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University in Macon, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois Edwardsville, and a Juris Doctor degree from Atlanta Law School. Mr. Merry is a licensed Real Estate Agent in several southeastern states, a Senior Business Analyst, and a member of the Exit Planning Institute. Mr. Merry and his wife, Mary, reside in Suwanee. He has five children and five grandchildren and enjoys traveling, reading, and riding his motorcycle.
MATT WOCHELE, CBI founded Preferred Business Brokers, Inc. in 1996 after a successful 17-year career in the investment banking industry. He is a Life Member of the GABB’s Million Dollar Club, Vice President of the GABB board, a GABB Phoenix Award recipient and a member of IBBA. As President and Managing Broker of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc., he has had the opportunity to be personally involved in hundreds of private business sales. The combined personal experience in the public sector with the private business sales has positioned the company to handle both the smaller main street business deals and the larger middle-market business acquisitions. Matt and his wife, Kathy, a professional artist, have five daughters and live in Sandy Springs.
J. SNYPP III, a former GABB board member and recent continuing education class instructor, lives in Dunwoody, grew up in Atlanta, and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in marketing. Mr. Snypp spent more than two decades in the office furniture business before becoming a business broker and has been with Preferred Business Brokers, Inc. for more than fifteen years, serving as Vice President and Associate Broker. He has found success selling businesses in a variety of industries, most recently selling a medical services company and a landscaping business. He is past president of the Dunwoody North Driving Club, a board member of the Dunwoody High School Gridiron Club, and chairman of the Wildcat Classic Golf Tournament which benefits the Dunwoody High School Football Team. He has also served on the board of the Dunwoody High School Tip-Off Club and the diaconate of his church. He is married and has two boys, ages eighteen and twenty-three. Therefore, when he is not selling businesses, he is usually trying to keep up with the boys or involved in some other family activity.
STEVEN JOSOVITZ is Senior Vice President of The Shumacher Group, having joined the firm in 1992. He heads up the company’s restaurant business brokerage division in addition to providing commercial retail and restaurant real estate site selection, sales, and lease negotiation expertise. A former restaurant owner and trained professional chef, Mr. Josovitz has an extensive background in restaurant and hotel management. He earned a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Florida International University in 1981 and has studied in Europe. As a 28-year GABB member, Mr. Josovitz is a Life Member and a past recipient of the Phoenix Award. He annually receives the GABB’s Multi-Million Dollar Club Award and Top Five Award for business and restaurant brokerage sales in Georgia.
LISA YOUNG is a Senior Business Advisor at Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta North. She is an alumna of Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, where she earned a BBA in Information Systems. Through her extensive background in real estate, entrepreneurship, and business consulting, Ms. Young brings a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise to her clients and is passionate about helping them achieve their goals. She maintains residences in both Canton and Greensboro so that she may better serve her clients. She is a Life Member of the GABB Multi-Million Dollar Club and has been a Transworld Business Advisors President’s Club member for the last four years. A proud “Gigi” of three grandchildren, Ms. Young enjoys hiking, swimming, boating, golf, and volunteer work with organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and her church.
BRIAN JUDSON has been a Senior Business Broker with Best Business Brokers (B3) since 2015. He has more than a dozen years in the business brokerage industry after thirty years in automotive service management. In 2021, he served on the boards of Buy Local Savannah and TEDx Savannah. He holds a leadership position in Gulfstream’s Student Leadership program mentoring high school students and is a member of the Savannah Traffic Club, the CFO Council of Savannah, and the Savannah Estate Planning Council. His recent community involvement includes chairing the Savannah Historic Review Board, serving on an investment panel for United Way, and being a Master Docent at the Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center for the Arts. Brian moved to Savannah in 2006 after more than thirty years in Santa Cruz, California. He and his wife, Liza, a Coordinator of Advising at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), have three children, two rescue mutts, and more art than they can hang at any one time.
JON MERRY, a senior business broker with the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc., has been in the Business Mergers and Acquisition Industry for more than fifteen years. He specializes in serving the manufacturing, distribution, service, medical, and healthcare industries. He has a keen understanding of the buying and selling process and is well versed in the industry, handling a wide range of deal-making activities for the firm and assisting with numerous M&A transactions. Since 2012, Mr. Merry has been recognized as one of the GABB’s top five brokers for closed M&A transactions and is a former GABB board member. In addition, he has been a Certified Machinery/Equipment Appraiser (CMEA) with the National Equipment Business Builders Institute (NEBB Institute) since 2000 and became a Master CMEA in 2014. As a CMEA, he is intensively trained in the legal requirements involving USPAP standards, as well as the methodology approach employed in establishing fair market value, orderly liquidation value, and forced liquidation value in any market condition. Mr. Merry is a member of IBBA and the International Society of Business Analysts (ISBA). A native of Georgia, Mr. Merry was a professional umpire for Minor League Baseball for eleven years. He and his wife, RaeLynda, and their two sons, Jacob and Joseph, live in Historic Dahlonega.
PEDRO FERREIRA is a Business Broker with Transworld Business Advisors. Mr. Ferreira has successfully sold businesses from several industries including technology, automotive, retail, hospitality, construction, distribution, beauty, and manufacturing. He is committed to creating win-win deals by listening to the needs of all the parties involved and providing the most comprehensive business sale process. Mr. Ferreira has volunteered as a PR Director with the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeast and has published business and economics articles in government and international media publications. He is currently on the advisory board of the Customer Experience Executive Education program at George Washington University and has served on the Food and Beverage Advisory Board of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Ferreira has volunteered as Assistant Director of Development at Peacebuilding Solutions and as an Artistic Associate for Pinch ‘N’ Ouch Theatre. He currently lives in Suwanee with his wife, Sara Bess, two children, Olivia and Leonardo, and their pet Yorkshire Terrier, Sampson.
GREG DeFOOR is a business broker, CPA, and Certified Fraud Examiner. He became a business broker in 2002 after working in public accounting followed by private industry experience as an accounting and financial executive in the healthcare and retail automotive industries. While in private industry, he was engaged in business transactions and decided to use that knowledge and experience to start his own firm. He has a unique blend of accounting, tax, corporate finance, business advisory and transaction experience to use for the benefit of his clients. He has an active Georgia real estate broker’s license. His firm, DeFoor Business Services, Inc., specializes in the sale of small and middle-market privately owned businesses in a diverse mix of industrial classifications. Mr. DeFoor is a past President and current board member of the GABB. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a concentration in accounting from Auburn University. He resides in Cobb County.
ROB MARGETON is co-owner of Ryco Advisors, LLC, a professional lower-middle market business brokerage firm serving Atlanta and the Southeast that specializes in selling owner-operated businesses with annual revenues between $3 million and $50 million. He has more than eighteen years of experience in financial services and as a business owner. Prior to co-founding Ryco Advisors, Mr. Margeton was a Managing Director at a New York middle-market financial restructuring firm and has worked on more than fifty transactions across a diverse set of industries. He also has extensive experience running and managing his own business. Together with his wife, Mr. Margeton acquired the flagship Fleet Clean location in 2013 and oversaw a successful sales process in 2018. During their tenure, they successfully grew revenues and EBITDA by 75% and 95%, respectively. They managed more than thirty employees and served more than 150 clients throughout Metro Atlanta, including many Fortune 500 companies. An Eagle Scout and a Certified M&A Professional, he is a member of M&A Source and the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS®. He and his family reside in Peachtree City.
DEAN BURNETTE is the founder of Best Business Brokers (B3) in Savannah. More than three decades of business ownership and management experience in various industries have given Mr. Burnette a wide range of experience and business knowledge. These experiences contribute to his abilities to help identify and qualify appropriate buyers, put together sales prospectuses, negotiate terms of a sale, and recognize the importance of confidentiality in these types of business transactions. He has been a member of the GABB Multi-Million Dollar Club many times. Mr. Burnette, a past president of GABB, is excited about the many opportunities that the current economic conditions and recent economic events have created in Georgia. He is a sponsor of the Georgia Logistics Summit; a past president of the Savannah Small Business Chamber; and a member of the Savannah Traffic Club, Savannah Real Estate Commercial Alliance, GAR, and NAR. Mr. Burnette also serves on the Education Advisory Committee for the Georgia Real Estate Commission and on the Board of Directors for Maritime Bethel Savannah. He is married and has two children and four terrific grandchildren.
MICHAEL HORWITZ is a Business Broker and M&A Advisor with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta North. He has been helping people buy and sell small and lower-middle market businesses for more than five years. His experience runs the gamut from senior management roles in Fortune 500 corporations to leadership positions with venture capital-backed high-tech enterprises. Mr. Horwitz also brings small business knowledge through his seven years of owning an independent bicycle shop. He has been in the North Atlanta area for more than twenty-five years now. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and received his undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University. After ten years in the workforce, he went on to receive his M.B.A. from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Horwitz is an avid cyclist, kayaker, and backpacker.
BRAD COFFMAN, CBI, CM&AP, CFC, BTS, is President and Managing Director of Valorem Business Brokers and has more than fifteen years of experience in starting and growing businesses. Mr. Coffman is an entrepreneur who was only twenty years old when he established his first startup company, which grew to a multi-million dollar entity with more than thirty employees within the first two years. Mr. Coffman’s diverse background as a founder and CEO of multiple businesses includes commercial real estate, commercial relocation services, mergers and acquisitions, restaurants, and more. He has won several awards and designations during his career in Florida and Georgia including but not limited to GABB Million Dollar Club Top Five, IBBA Members Excellence Award, and IBBA Chairman’s Circle Award. Mr. Coffman resides in Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife and two sons.
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BizBuySell’s Insight Report is filled with key statistics and information on a range of topics, including the labor shortage and hiring problems that many businesses currently face. Visit BizBuySell for more information about the findings that they recently reported for the third quarter of 2021. This website also offers an archive of past quarterly reports dating back to 2013.
The pandemic has “reshuffled the deck,” causing many to reassess their positions in corporate America. At this point in 2021, businesses are recovering, but the pandemic continues to play a role in business operations. 71% of business owners surveyed noted that they are facing higher costs than before the pandemic. Most respondents indicated that labor shortages have been having a significant impact on their businesses. There are issues both in hiring and retaining employees.
As the report explains, “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, retail spending in September increased 13.9% over the previous year. However, many businesses still struggle to attract or retain employees. In fact, 49% of owners say the labor shortage is impacting their business, while Business Brokers see it as the number one concern facing small businesses.”
Some of the problems related to the issue of labor shortage are not immediately obvious. As it has become common knowledge that employers are having trouble filling positions and are having to increase pay in order to attract new employees, existing employees are taking note. Since existing employees realize that new hires are being hired at higher wages, they are themselves often expecting raises. In turn, operational costs are going up for many businesses.
The fact is that the business owners are still selling and for a variety of reasons. BizBuySell’s statistics also indicate that of buyers who are planning to sell, 20% cite retirement as their main reason for selling, whereas 38% cite burnout as the primary reason.
According to the data collected by BizBuySell, transactions are up 17% over the last quarter, but are still 7% below pre-pandemic levels. However, it is expected that the number of transactions will grow to be well above their pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
Buyers and sellers alike should remember that the pandemic has changed business and will continue to do so in the near future. In short, the business landscape continues to evolve.
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