For Value, Seek Boundaries Not Burnout

Posted on May 22nd, 2016

Too often, I hear from business owners who “vacation” with their family, only to stay back in the hotel glued to a computer or phone while their spouse and kids have fun without them.

But working harder isn’t necessarily a good thing, at least not long-term. By setting boundaries and finding the right work-life balance, I’m able to bring more energy and focus to my work. It makes me a better leader to my employees and a better advisor to my clients.


A Good Time For Good Communication

Posted on May 21st, 2016

Our team at is going through a leadership transformation class with Initiative One. And one of the things we’ve learned is the value of impeccable communication, internally and externally.

We have to remember that most business sellers don’t know what they don’t know. We can’t take anything for granted because assumptions can lead to unpleasant surprises that stop us from getting to the closing table.

Here’s what impeccable communication looks like when selling your business:


Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

Posted on May 16th, 2016

We’re doing our strategic planning and talking about our brand at Cornerstone. As our facilitator pointed out, there are three ways to compete as a business: price, quality, and service. Good companies compete on one. Great companies choose two. But you can’t do all three on a sustainable basis.


Seller Financing Benefits Both Sides of Transaction

Posted on May 2nd, 2016

If you’re considering selling your business, don’t expect to walk away with all cash at close. This isn’t like selling a house. Most deals involve some sort of alternative financing. You may be asked to accept an earn out, roll over a portion of equity, or (most commonly) provide seller financing.

Even when the M&A market is strong and lenders are aggressively financing business acquisitions, seller financing is often still part of the deal structure. And when there’s a downturn or lenders tighten up, then seller financing is even more prevalent and important.


You Can Help The Stars Align So Business Will Sell

Posted on March 2nd, 2016

When it comes to selling your business, you hang some of those stars in the sky on your own, by building up sales, minimizing risk, and developing a strong leadership team. But other stars must line up on their own, due to market forces you can’t control.


How to Work With Sellers After You Buy Their Company

Posted on February 16th, 2016

When buying a company, one key factor in your success is the transition that happens immediately afterwards. You need time with the previous owner to understand how and why they operated the business the way they did. And you need their support to transition customer relationships. 


Selling A Small Business That Isn’t So Small: An Interview With Scott Bushkie

Posted on February 6th, 2016

If your business has $10 million in annual revenue, who do you turn to help sell your business? After all, you are still technically a small business but are worth more than many small business broker’s are used to handling. One place to turn is Cornerstone Business Services. The company specializes in selling companies with $2 million to $100 million in revenue or $500K to $10 million + in EBITDA. In 2015, the company was involved in 12 completed transactions.


Market Pulse Quarterly Report Shows 2015 Ended with Strong Sales of Businesses and Optimism is Growing for 2016

Posted on February 5th, 2016

The Small Business Administration had a record year, distributing more than $23.6 billion in loans in FY 2015. There was also significant private capital and traditional lending for the Main Street market in 2015 as 71% of Market Pulse study respondents who closed deals under $2MM in value reported that the businesses utilized financing other than SBA funds. The SBA record year, coupled with the traditional lending, demonstrates how incredibly active the Main Street market was in 2015


Plan for a Transition Period

Posted on January 24th, 2016

When a business owner says it’s time to sell, one of the first questions I ask is, “What’s your timeframe? When do you want to be out?” And the answer I hear most often is, “Yesterday.”

That is a problem. Most business owners underestimate the time it takes to sell and exit their business. It’s not like selling a house, and you don’t get to hand over the keys and walk away on closing day.


One For The Record Books

Posted on January 5th, 2016

As the new year begins, I want to comment on the M&A year behind us and the one ahead. As expected, the market was strong in 2015. Deal volume hit a new global record by early December, reaching $4.304 trillion, ahead of the previous record set in 2007.