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How Not To Sell Your Business – Circa 1961

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM

A few weeks ago a colleague of mine gave me a reprint of an article that first appeared in the Harvard Business Review in the May/June issue from 1961. Now you might be wondering why I would be examining an article that is more than 50 years old and discussing it in 2014. Here’s why: The title of the article is “How NOT to Sell Your Company.”

I was intrigued by the title because I was wondering what M&A experts were advising business owners 53 years ago. I am surprised to report that the issues affecting business owners today are the same as they were in 1961. Avoiding common M&A mistakes never ends, it seems.

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Topics: selling a business, finding a buyer, selling your business, timing

Do You Need an M&A Advisor to Sell Your Business?

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 22, 2014 at 8:30 AM

The question arises with nearly every potential client we meet with: Why do I need an M&A advisor to sell my business? Can’t I just do it myself and save a significant amount of money in fees? How hard can it be to close a deal with a buyer? I negotiate contracts all the time with my clients and vendors.

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Topics: selling a business

Selling a Business and Timing – An Optimal Exit

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 20, 2014 at 8:30 AM

The statistics are pretty alarming if you are planning to sell your business in 10 years:

“With an estimated 76 million baby boomers in the pipeline turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day for the next 15 years, according to Pew Research Center, many businesses owned by people in their 60s will be changing hands. The 2011 U.S. Census reported there were 7.4 million small businesses — firms with 500 employees or less — in the country providing jobs for 113 million workers.”

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Topics: baby boomer business owners, selling a business, sellers market, becoming buyer ready

PwC and M&A Integration

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 17, 2014 at 8:30 AM

With my never-ending goal of finding relevant information for our faithful readers, I sat in on a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) webinar recently entitled “Successful M&A Integration: Looking Beyond the Here and Now.” As the title implies, the webinar focused on issues and challenges with successfully closing deals in today’s environment. And as with all of PwC’s webinars, research, and whitepapers, it was full of interesting analysis of successful dealmaking.

To obtain the data for their analysis, PwC surveyed senior management from Fortune 1000 companies that had closed at least one deal in the prior three years. They ended up with 106 respondents. Of this group, 46% were CEO, president, COO, CFO, EVP, and SVP, and the others were vice presidents.

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Topics: selling a business, finding a buyer

What is Driving M&A Activity in 2014?

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 15, 2014 at 8:30 AM

This is a question that merger and acquisition analysts are asking these days. As we have discussed, M&A activity in 2014 should reach levels not seen in quite some time. The real question on every business owner’s mind, though, should be: How long with this continue? If it is a seller’s market now, what about a year or two from now?

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Selling a Business: 10 Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 13, 2014 at 8:30 AM

We often hear and read about high tech deals and the tremendous valuations that these companies get while generating little profit in many cases. What is often assumed is that the owners of these high tech entities are extremely savvy dealmakers and that is why they are getting such tremendous deals for their companies.

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Topics: selling a business, exiting your business, selling your business, becoming buyer ready

An M&A Explosion

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 10, 2014 at 8:30 AM

By many expert predictions, we are sitting on the cusp of the next M&A up cycle. The numbers so far this year, based on a variety of sources, are all pointing to the same thing: The next 18-24 months could outpace the prior merger and acquisition spikes prior to the Great Recession.

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Topics: exiting your business, m&a activity, selling your business, sellers market

Growing a Business – 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 8, 2014 at 8:30 AM

I recently read an interesting article outlining five mistakes to avoid if you own a small business and want it to grow. It was on Inc.com, a great source of good information for business owners, and was written by an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs to use to ensure the growth and success of their businesses.

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Topics: growing a business, becoming buyer ready

Robert Shiller and Asset Bubble?

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

More and more economic analysts worldwide are sounding the early alarm that we may be heading for another potential economic crisis given the rapid increase in asset valuations during the past few years. Now, of course, given the massive contraction from 2007-2009, their caution could be an overreaction to events that many did not foresee occurring. Or they may be right.

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Topics: sellers market

Selling a Business – HR Hurdles

Posted by Carl Doerksen on October 3, 2014 at 8:30 AM

One of the biggest barriers you will encounter while in due diligence with any buyer is the topic of human resources and the need to clearly give the buyer confidence in the ongoing health of the organization. Let’s face it; people are the lifeblood of any business no matter what industry you are in or your size. Without skilled, well trained, knowledgeable associates, your business will be less than buyer ready.

But beyond just your people, your HR processes/procedures will also be closely examined. Based on our years of experience, this is one area that most lower middle-market business owners pay far too little attention to before sitting down and negotiating a deal with a buyer.

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Topics: due diligence, selling a business, human resources

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