Entrepreneur Scott Ward has been on both sides of the negotiating table, both as a business buyer and a business seller. He will discuss better ways to work with prospective business sellers, to prepare a business to sell and other insights at the Sept. 24 meeting of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers.
The GABB, the state’s largest professional organization dedicated to buying and selling Georgia businesses and franchises, will meet at the auditorium of the Georgia Association of Realtors at 6065 Barfield Road, Sandy Springs, GA, 30328, and the meeting will last from 10:30 a.m. to noon preceded by a free light breakfast networking session at 9:45 a.m. The meeting will be sponsored by Kim Eells and Susan Kite, Senior Vice Presidents of SBA Business Development at Georgia Primary Bank.
Scott is a long time multistore franchisee of Winmark Corporation, the franchisor for brands Play It Again Sports, Plato’s Closet Once Upon A Child, Music Go Round and Style Encore. After 28 years as a franchisee, Scott recently sold his last Play It Again Sports location and will speak about his strategic five year plan he executed to enhance value, create potential buyers and market to sell for a premium. Scott worked with and without brokers during this process and from a small business owner’s perspective will provide us with tips and insights as to keeping the broker’s pipeline of prospects full.
Ward earned a grass roots MBA as a successful business owner for more than 20 years with proven ability to rapidly grow and profit despite enduring three recessions. He was a dedicated leader who mentored five employees to successfully own their own franchise businesses. He is especially skilled at gaining insight into stakeholders weaknesses and strengths through communication.
As the owner-operator of Play It Again Sports franchises, now publicly traded under Winmark Corporation, Ward maintained business growth through three recessions and contributed to the eventual stability of what is now one of the oldest and largest sporting goods entities in North America. He successfully sold his business for full valuation and continued to menter the new owner. Elected to the Winmark Corporation Franchise Advisory Council, he also was chosen chairman for seven years. He teaches speech writing, evaluation and idea generation for Toastmasters.
The GABB is the state’s largest and oldest association of professionals who specialize in brokering the purchase and sale of businesses and franchises. Broker members help owners determine the asking price of their business, create marketing plans and strategies for selling their business, identify and qualify buyers, and have the knowledge, experience and skills needed to help maintain the confidential nature of the process. The professionals of GABB relentlessly pursue professional development so they can provide superior, ethical services for all customers and clients. Affiliate members include bankers, lawyers, appraisers, insurers and other professionals who work closely with brokers to help owners and buyers get to the closing table.
For more information about GABB, please contact GABB President Dean Burnette at 912-247-3209 or email@example.com, or GABB Executive Director Diane Loupe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-374-3990.
Learn the skills you need to be a better business broker at the Oct. 29, 2019 Fall Conference of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers.
The morning program, which is intended exclusively for Georgia Business Brokers who are real estate licensees, is focused on various ethics topics specific to the business brokerage profession, such as maintaining confidentiality, working with tax returns, loan applications, handling financial statements, client loyalty, using forms created by the Georgia Association of Business Brokers, and other topics.
During the afternoon program, attendees will learn about common issues in the management of a business brokering practice, including handling escrow accounts, setting commissions, co-brokering, keeping records, branding and marketing, maintaining a database for marketing and tracking clients, and other issues.
Brokers will earn a total of six continuing education credits courses certified by the Georgia Real Estate Commission. The class will be held at the Georgia Association of Realtors Conference center at at 6065 Barfield Rd, Sandy Springs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided by Leigh Milton and Claudia Wilson of Center State Bank.
Registration for the conference will be $150, but GABB members can register for $99 if they register by Oct. 10. If you want to just take half a day of classes, that’s $85. Scroll to the bottom of the page to register.
GABB Code of Ethics and Ethical Concerns
Morning Session 9:00-12:00, 3 Continuing Education hours
Learning Objective: Attendees, all of whom are licensed real estate agents, will become familiar with the GABB code of ethics and how to handle various ethical concerns related to financial statements and other representations by clients.
Susan Kite, Senior Vice President, Government Guaranteed Lending at Georgia Primary Bank
Susan J. Kite has more than 30 years of experience in commercial and SBA lending. She began her career in Jacksonville, Florida, as Director of an SBA 504 lender, moving to Atlanta with Bank South in 1990. Susan has worked with several Atlanta banks including Crescent Bank, Brand Bank, and Renasant Bank before moving to Georgia Primary. She is skilled at SBA 7a Term loans, SBA 504 loans and SBA Express credit lines. She specializes in business acquisition lending. Susan has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Lender’s Quality Circle, a professional organization of SBA lenders in the Southeast. She also sits on the loan committee of Capital Partners Certified Development Company. Kite earned a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.
Lawrence Domenico, Managing Partner Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins LLP
Mr. Domenico joined Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins in 1990 and practices in the areas of estate planning and probate, commercial and business litigation, and general litigation. Mr. Domenico also has extensive experience as a business lawyer in assisting start-up and existing businesses. In addition, Mr. Domenico has broad experience in alternate forms of dispute resolution including arbitration and mediation. Mr. Domenico was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on April 29, 1963. Mr. Domenico received a B.A., cum laude, from the University of the South in 1985. He attended the University of Georgia School of Law where he received a J.D., cum laude, in 1988. Mr. Domenico is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honorary fraternities. He belongs to the Atlanta and American Bar Associations, the State Bar of Georgia, and the Defense Research Institute. Mr. Domenico is active in a number of civic organizations and is a member of the 1995 class of Leadership DeKalb and the Rotary Club of Dunwoody.
David Chambless, Business Broker, former President of the GABB Board, member of GABB’s Million Dollar Club., president of Abraxas Business Services. He has extensive experience in business development; finance; operations; sales; marketing; and international channel development and management. He has a Master of Business Administration in Finance degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. In 1982, he became a Certified Public Accountant.
1:00-4:00 p.m., 3 continuing education hours
Dean Burnette, Business Broker, President of the GABB Board, past member of GABB’s Multi-Million Dollar Club, Managing Broker of Best Business Brokers of Savannah. Mr. Burnette is a member of the Savannah Area Realtors – Real Estate Commercial Alliance (RCA), The Georgia Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors. He is a member of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, the Savannah CFO Council, Savannah Traffic Club, is a member and was the 2013-2014 President of the Savannah Small Business Chamber.
Jeff Merry, Business Broker, former President of the GABB Board, current GABB board member, platinum member of GABB’s Multi- Million Dollar Club, and founder and president of the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc.SM. As a Business Intermediary, Jeffery has been involved in more than 200 mergers and acquisitions that have ranged in acquisition price from $60,000.00 to more than $15,000,000.00. Jeffery specializes in serving the manufacturing, distribution, veterinary, service, and medical industries. Jeffery holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Mercer University, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Illinois, and a Juris Doctorate from Atlanta Law School. Jeffery is also a licensed real estate broker in Georgia and Florida. Further, he is an Adjunct Professor of strategic management, accounting, and finance in MBA programs.
Mike Ramatowski, Business Broker, current member and Past President of the GABB Board, member of GABB’s Million Dollar Club. CBI, owner of RamBizGroup LLC, works with business owners, sellers and candidates for merger by acquisition from manufacturing, distribution, and service businesses. He has owned and managed businesses that included a real estate master franchise, a property management networking company, and a service business. As COO of a banking conglomerate he managed brokerage operations, title companies, home and service warranty programs, and a relocation company. Mr. Ramatowski has served on the board of directors of 12 different organizations with diverse specialties including real estate brokerage, mortgage companies, title insurance, banking, health care, fitness center operations, and office supply operations, providing marketing and organizational growth expertise. He served as an Electronic Specialist in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service. He attended Cleveland State University and Baldwin Wallace College. He has earned the Certified Business Intermediary professional designation by the International Business Brokers Association.
Jon Roman, Business Broker, Treasurer of the GABB Board, member of GABB’s Multi-Million Dollar Club, and owner of Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Perimeter, an award-winning group of ten agents, a Franchise Director, an office manager and a marketing sales specialist. For nearly 18 years, prior to Transworld, Jon had helped entrepreneurs to obtain funding when acquiring, selling or franchising businesses. He established, acquired, operated and sold his own businesses for over 20 years. Mr. Roman is a former commercial banker with experience in a multitude of deals. Throughout his career, Jon financed mergers and acquisitions, business expansions, construction and development projects. He evaluated businesses, built and consolidated financial records and shared opinions regarding business plans, and/or exit strategies. Jon is a multi-million-dollar member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB) and is currently serving as a treasurer for GABB. Among other qualifications, Jon is a CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) since 2005.
This class has been organized by the Georgia Association of Business Brokers and the GREC certification is through the Capitus Real Estate Learning Center.
By C. David Chambless, president of Abraxas Business Services
Accountants routinely assist business owners to help accomplish the goal of minimizing taxes. But, to truly understand the value of the business and accurately project future cash flow, it is important to look beyond the tax returns to realize how the money is being spent.
The number of small business transitions continues to be strong for the first quarter of 2019, according to a leading market analysis. In fact, despite a small decline, small business transitions remain at historically high levels.
Looking at the Statistics
According to a recent BizBuySell article entitled, “Number of Small Businesses Changing Hands Dips Slightly, But Market Remains Ripe for Buyers and Sellers,” now is still very much the time for both buying and selling a business. It is true that the number of businesses sold in the first three months of 2019 dropped by 6.5% when compared to 2018. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that the number of completed transactions remains very strong. Likewise, inventory is increasing, with a 6.1% increase in listings in Q1 of 2019 when compared to the same period in 2018.
While the market is indeed strong, the BizBuySell article did note that some experts feel that there are signs that the market could become more challenging moving forward. In part, this is due to the prospect that interest rates and financing could become increasingly challenging and more expensive. These factors indicate that now is a smart time to both buy and sell a business.
Likewise, the financials of sold businesses in Q1 remains strong. In fact, the median revenue of sold businesses jumped 6.5% when compared to Q1 2018. Now, the median revenue stands at $540,000. However, cash flow continues to hover around the $100,000 for five years in a row.
What are the Top Regions?
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta ranked among the top ten markets in the top markets by closed small business transition, according sales reported on BizBuySell.com. The top markets were Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington. The Atlanta area ranked seventh, tied with the Washington, D.C. area, The top markets by median sale price are Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Denver-Aurora and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington.
A Consistently Strong Market
Overall, the experts at BizBuySell believe that the market remains very strong and active. They believe that the wave of retiring baby boomers looking to exit their businesses, historically low interest rates and the rise of the next generation of entrepreneurs are helping to fuel a great deal of activity.
According to Matt Coletta, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, M&A Business Advisors, “We are seeing more quality businesses coming on the market with good, clean books than I have seen in my 25+ years in the business.”
If you are considering buying or selling a business, then now is an excellent time to jump in. Working with a business broker is a great way to ensure that you find the right business for you at the right price.
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Selling your business can takes as much planning and careful consideration as starting it does. The Atlanta Small Business Network recently interviewed former GABB president Michael Ramatowski, Managing Partner at RamBizGroup Business Solutions, in the ASBN studios.
Considering the most common reason for selling a business is due to retirement, Michael says it’s important that a business owner get the most out of selling their business. He said that’s why members of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers make sure that business owners are getting the most out of their business and not leaving any equity on the table.
Michael also shared with ASBN exactly how much work goes into selling a business. Business brokers generally follow certain steps to determine the value of a business. He says for GABB specifically they will begin their process with a no-cost meeting with the business owner before they begin to work towards determining the price at which the business would sell for. From there they will be able to determine how they are going to fund it and whether or not the business is ready to be taken to market.