Specialist, connection saves $300K
I spent eight months working a deal that nearly tanked at the last minute. My client was selling a business that served the Michigan automotive industry, and we helped him secure a buyer.
The deal was so close to closing, and everyone felt so confident, that my client had already invited the “new owner” to come along on customer calls. (A huge mistake by the way, but that’s a topic for another time.)
The owner and I had several discussions with his CPA, and while he didn’t like the new allocations, he couldn’t give me a specific code or legal reason things should be allocated differently.
But then I remembered a gentleman I’d sat on a board with, for the International Business Broker’s Association. As tax specialists go, I would call him the specialist’s specialist.
I called him, and 20 minutes later I had my solution. He pointed me to two different sections of the tax code and gave me the exact wording I needed to properly allocate things, per the law. The buyer’s legal team quickly agreed that we were in the right, and we had our deal.
The takeaways are twofold. First, always work with specialists. You might have the best relationship in the world with your general practitioner, but if you need angioplasty, you go to a heart surgeon. Same goes for business.
Second, no matter what kind of service you need, be it roofing, home security, or M&A advice, there are typically advantages to working with someone who has credentials and pursues continuing education in their industry. (Take your doctor, for example. Do you want someone who’s done surgery the same way for 15 years, or do you want someone using the latest in surgical robotics?)
I saved my seller $300,000 because I had a business relationship with the right person. I’d taken conference classes from this particular tax specialist, but I didn’t really get to know him until we sat on a board together.
When I really needed help, not only did I have this man’s number in my phone, but he took my call and gave me valuable advice, on the spot, without deferring me to his appointment book.
I gave back to my industry association. And through that, I gained a connection willing to do me a favor and help me save a $3 million deal.
So I ask you, first: Are you working with specialists? And second: What are you doing to become one yourself?
By Scott Bushkie
With more than 20 years in the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) industry, Scott is a recognized leader in the field, providing exit strategies, business valuations, and M&A advisory services to business owners in the lower middle market. He has successfully executed sales to domestic and international buyers, private equity firms, family offices, and strategic buyers. Follow DealCoach on Linkedin
DealCoach is headquartered in Green Bay Wisconsin with an office in Milwaukee Wisconsin and helps customers find out how much their business is worth with online business valuations and advisory services. Our business valuations also known as an Estimate of Value (EOV), help prepare buyers and sellers for the sale. DealCoach also helps business owners grow value with a Business and Market Analysis and plan for retirement, estate & financial planning, benchmarking, and strategic planning. DealCoach servers and has provided business valuations for businesses located in the United States and Canada.
We are here to tell you what you need to hear in order to make a well-informed decision with most likely the largest financial transaction of your life. Our team has over two decades of M&A experience, and we have been completing Estimates of Value for our clients for over nine years.