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An M&A Wake-Up Call

By Generational Equity

Generational Owner

It is amazing how life events can cause a business owner to re-think, reevaluate, and reexamine his/her life and future. We meet entrepreneurs regularly at our exit planning conferences who are attending because of a recent “wake-up call” that caused them to stop, reflect, and decide that maybe now is a good time to start the M&A process.

Mike Aman, one of our clients and the owner of One Source Communications, was one such fellow. You can hear his personal wake-up call here:

My Wake-Up Call – Mike Aman

As you learned by watching the video, several life-changing events occurred that caused Mike and his wife to step back and realize that if something tragic were to happen to him, major changes would need to be made – changes that if not planned for could have a dramatic impact on the business, his family, and his financial legacy.

The key word Mike used is “plan.” He intuitively realized (with some helpful prodding from his wife) that without planning, the final M&A event could be far less satisfying than what he would have achieved with some basic exit planning guidelines.

So, he attended one of our M&A conferences and learned a great deal about how to find an optimal buyer. His situation wasn’t that much different than many of our clients: too young to fully retire, with lots of plans to grow the company, and a need for capital to make the plans come to life. In fact, his story is very similar to another one of our clients, David Kerr:

The Benefits of a Partial Sale – David Kerr

Again, the key to both of these stories is one word: planning.

As the old saying goes, if you have no idea where you are going, any road will get you there.

Although sometimes spontaneity is great in life, it is not conducive to exit planning, especially if you want to close a deal with an optimal buyer, which both Mike and David did.

The best advice we can give business owners regarding this is two-fold:

  1. Get started early as possible in the creation of your exit strategies
  2. Hire a qualified, experienced M&A advisory firm

In reality, these two points go hand in hand. Hiring an M&A firm early will allow them to provide you with professional advice in two key areas:

  1. How to create and develop a “buyer ready” business
  2. Which buyers to specifically approach with your acquisition opportunity

Again, these ideas are vital in combination. If you start early in the exit process, you will have time to implement your advisor’s ideas on how to enhance both the attractiveness of your company to buyers and which buyers to ultimately approach based on your personal motivations and financial goals.

Both David and Mike, as is true with all of our clients, had unique needs and motivations driving their process. Our strength as a company is that we have dealmakers with the experience necessary and who take the time to clearly understand our clients and their needs.  

So, if you are at a point in your life where the concept of developing an exit plan is at the front of your mind, or if you are simply interested in learning more today to use in the future for your business, then attending one of our complimentary, no-obligation conferences is a great idea.

We hold these throughout the country and Canada because we are firmly convinced that one of the major issues facing our economy is the lack of exit planning by the vast majority of business owners today.

To learn more, follow these links:

By Carl Doerksen, Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.

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