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Buying or Selling A Business? Seven Key Points to Consider

Buying or selling a business is one of the most important decisions that most people ever make. Before jumping in, there are several points that should be taken into consideration. Let's take a moment to examine some of the key points involved in buying or selling a business. Factor #1 - What are You Selling? Whether buying or selling a business it is important to ask a few simple questions. What is for sale? What is not included with the buyer's investment? Does the sale price include any real estate? Are vital assets, such as machinery, included in the sale price? Factor # 2 - What are the Range of Assets? It is very important to understand the range of assets that are included with a business. What is proprietary? Are there formulations, patents and software involved? These types of assets are often the core of the business and will be essential for its long-term success. Factor # 3 - Evaluating Assets for Profitability Not all assets are created equally. If assets … [Read more...]

Dynamics of a Family Owned Business

The simple fact is that family businesses are different. After all, a family business means working with family and all the good and bad that comes with it. While an estimated 80% to 90% of all businesses are family owned, relatively few are properly planning for what happens when it comes time to sell a business. According to one study, a whopping 72% of family businesses lack a developed succession plan which is, of course, a recipe for confusion and potentially disaster. Additionally, there are many complicating factors, for example, studies indicate that 40% to 60% of owners of family businesses want the business to remain in the family, but only 40% of businesses are passed to a second generation and a mere 10% are passed down to a third generation. Let's turn our attention to a few of the key points that family business owners should consider when selling a business to other parties. Confidentiality should be placed at the top of your “to do” list. When it comes to … [Read more...]

Three Common Errors When Selling Your Company

The old saying that “there is no replacement for experience” is a truism that has stood the test of time. The simple fact is that a lack of experience or expertise can dismantle your deal. Consider the following scenario – a business owner nearing retirement owns a multi-location operation that is doing several million in annual sales. He interviews a well-respected and experienced Business Broker and is impressed. However, the business owner's niece has recently received her MBA and has told her uncle that she can handle the sale of his business and in the process, save him a bundle. On paper, everything sounds fine, but as it turns out the lack of experience or expertise gives this business owner less than optimal results. Let's take a look at a few problems that recently arose with our nameless, but successful, business owner and his well-meaning and smart, but inexperienced niece. Error #1 No Confidentiality Agreements One problem is that the business owner and his … [Read more...]

How Much Is Enough When Selling Your Company

Not everyone wants to sell a business when they feel as though they have to sell. Life changes, such as divorce or illness, can trigger the sale of a business. Everything from declining business revenue to partnership problems and more can send business owners scrambling for the exit sign. However, selling your company isn't always an option, especially for small businesses. In this article, we will take a closer look at just such a situation. The business under consideration is a successful distribution business, which is also a classic example of a value-enhanced business. The two owners each draw several hundred thousand from the business each year to go along with a range of other benefits. If hypothetically, the business was to sell for $2 million dollars, each of the owners would receive approximately $1 million. Of course, this sounds like a sizable amount. So, what is the problem? When one stops to factor in such variables as taxes, closing expenses and debt, that $1 … [Read more...]

Looking To Sell a Business

A recent article posted on BizJournals.com entitled “Top 5 rules on preparing your company for sale” explains how the best time to begin preparing your business for sale is right now. The article highlights these main rules to follow: Start auditing your financial statements now as these will be required by the purchaser. Keep appropriate, complete corporate books and records so everything is ready to be presented to a buyer when the time comes. Obtain a professional business valuation of your company so you can use this as a roadmap for growing your company and ultimately maximizing the exit price. Use the business valuation of your company to determine what assets are superfluous and will not be valued. This can also help you make future decisions with your business strategy. Start the process now for finding a second in command who could easily replace the founder of the company. This will be very valuable to the future buyer after the sale is made. Starting to … [Read more...]

Top Four Statistics You Need to Know About Ownership Transition

If you own a business, then ownership transition should definitely be a central topic in your planning. A few years ago, MassMutual Life Insurance Company conducted a very interesting and thought-provoking survey of family-owned businesses. Obviously, family-owned businesses have their own unique needs and challenges. The MassMutual Life Insurance Company survey certainly underscored this fact. While the survey was conducted a few years ago, the information it contained is more relevant and actionable than ever. Let's take a closer look at some of the key conclusions and discoveries. Founder Control One of the most important findings of the survey was that a full 80% of family-owned businesses are still controlled by the founders. The survey also discovered that 90% of family-run businesses intend to stay family-owned in the future. Lack of Leadership Plans Leadership is another area of great interest. Strikingly, approximately 30% of family-owned businesses will in fact … [Read more...]

Reasons to Sell a Business

The reasons to sell a business can be divided into two main categories. The first is a sale that is planned almost from the beginning or by an owner who knows that selling is or should be a planned event. The second is exactly the opposite – unplanned; the sale is motivated by a specific event such as health, divorce, partnership disputes, business crises, etc. However, in between the two major reasons, are a host of unpredictable reasons. A seller may not even be thinking of selling when he or she is approached by an individual, group or another company, and an attractive offer is made. The owner of a business may die, and the heirs have no interest in operating it. A company may bring in new management who decides to sell off a division or two; or maybe even decides that selling the entire business is in the best interests of everyone. A major competitor may enter the market, forcing an owner to elect to sell a business. And the competition may not just be another company. The … [Read more...]

Keys to Improving the Value of Your Company

The first key is to have your accountant take a look at your accounting procedures and make recommendations on how to improve them. He or she may also help in preparing financial projections for the coming year(s). Getting your company's financial house in order is very important in establishing the value of your firm (business valuation). The second key is to review the reputation, image, and marketing materials of your company. Certainly, the quality of your product or service is paramount, but how your firm presents itself to customers, clients, suppliers, etc. – and the outside world – is also very important. The appearance of your facilities and customer services – beginning with how people are treated on the telephone or in the waiting/reception area – are the kind of first impressions that are critical in dealing with your customers or clients. Don't forget about the company's Web site; in many cases, it is the initial introduction or "first impression" of your company. Now … [Read more...]

Three Signs You May Be Experiencing Burnout

Burnout is a strange phenomenon in that often a business owner doesn’t know that he or she is experiencing it until it is too late.  Owners who feel beleaguered and over stressed frequently want to sell a business and move on. However, buyers are not so eager to accept burnout as a believable reason for why an owner wants to sell a business. It is the responsibility of every business owner to be on guard against potential burnout.  After all, it is better to “cash in” than to “burnout”.  In this article, we will examine a few of the key warning signs that you may be on the verge of burning out. Sign 1: Loss of Interest in Owning Your Business Once upon a time, you were likely excited about your business. But if those days are long gone, then it might be time to move on. Owning a business is hard work and eventually over a long period of time, it can take a toll. If you find each day to be boring, then it is probably time to sell, move on and start a new chapter in your … [Read more...]

The Significance of a Representation Agreement When Selling Your Company

Representation agreements are very common when it comes to selling a business. In order to sell a business using a Business Broker, a representation agreement is almost always required. In this article, we will explore this essential agreement and why it is so critical. Signing a representation agreement legally authorizes the sale of a business and outlines the terms and conditions. The fact is that signing a representation agreement serves to represent the end of ownership, which for many business owners, means heading into new territory. Quite often owning a business is more than “owning a business,” as the business represented a dream and/or a way of life. Walking away from the dream or lifestyle represents a significant change. For many owners this is the end of a dream. It is not uncommon for many business owners to have started a business from “scratch,” and it is also only human to feel at least somewhat attached to the creation. Phrased another way, walking away from a … [Read more...]

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Matt Coletta, CBB, CBI, is a Certified Business Broker and a Certified Business Intermediary with over 25 years of experience in successfully representing Business Sellers and Buyers in various industries. Matt is a Los Angeles Business Broker and represents Business Owners and Businesses for Sale throughout Southern California including: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, West Los Angeles, City of Industry, Downtown Los Angele, Gardena, Whittier, San Gabriel, Upland, South Bay, Torrance, Newport Beach, Irvine, Brea, Anaheim, Long Beach, San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, Chatsworth, Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood, Northridge, Van Nuys, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Sun Valley, Valencia, Santa Clarita, Palmdale, Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and other cities in the greater Southern California area.