Consider Seller’s Role in Business, Transition

Posted on January 24th, 2017

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.

As you think about negotiating for the seller’s time after a sale, think about their role in the business.  Do they have a strong, empowered management team? Or did the seller operate the business from a place of tight, centralized control?


Pro-business climate should spur M&A

Posted on January 10th, 2017

It’s about that time when I like to make some forecasts for the year ahead. I am happy to report that last year’s predictions were pretty much on target and the M&A marketplace continued to run strong throughout the year.

One thing I did not predict, however, was a Donald Trump presidency. We generally expect elections to create uncertainty, but the markets have responded in a positive manner. I believe the M&A marketplace will follow in kind with a productive and active year ahead.

Here’s what else I see coming.

By Scott Bushkie – CBI, M&A Advisor


What Buyers Want Under the Tree this Season

Posted on December 28th, 2016

Here’s hoping all your holiday gifts were well chosen and gratefully received. If you’re anything like me, you bought all your presents on Christmas Eve morning. There’s something about that final shopping day that puts me in the spirit.

Of course, that kind of last minute shopping might work for gifts, but not when it comes to buying a business. As you think about business growth, sit down with your team and figure out if acquisition could be the right strategy.

Here’s why several of our active buyers are searching the market right now.

By Scott Bushkie – CBI, M&A Advisor


Don’t let the 5 dismal D’s hobble your business

Posted on December 12th, 2016

No one likes to think about all the what-if scenarios in life. Most business owners have no plan for exiting their business at all, much less exiting in the face of conflict or tragedy. As you finalize your business goals for next year, make time to protect your business against the five dismal D’s.


Extraordinary multiples – fact or fiction?

Posted on November 28th, 2016

Your business owner friend is boasting about how they got a 10 multiple on the sale of their company. Fact or fiction? For most companies, this would be fiction. (Or, to give your friend the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it’s a multiple of net income rather than the more standard EBITDA.)


Seller’s remorse – and how to avoid it

Posted on November 15th, 2016

After selling businesses now for 18 years, there’s still one stumbling block that takes me by surprise and hits hard, and that’s seller’s remorse.

On average, I see it every two or three years – a seller goes through the whole process and then ultimately can’t pull the trigger. The last time it happened was April of 2015.


Why most librarians aren’t rich

Posted on October 31st, 2016

I recently came across a Warren Buffet quote that struck me: “If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.” Don’t I wish that were true. My mom was a teacher for 30 years, and she knew a lot about history.

When it comes to buying a business, past performance is important. As a buyer, you’ll typically look at the last three years of financials, with a particular focus on the trailing twelve months. But you can’t get so tied up in historical numbers that you forget to ask the right questions about future performance.



Put the plan in succession planning

Posted on October 17th, 2016

Succession planning is a real buzzword right now. With the large number of Boomers set to retire, everyone is talking about how to help them make it happen.  Unfortunately, many business owners are having these conversations far too late.

If business owners just did one thing, one thing that I believe would make their work more enjoyable and more profitable, it would be to set a succession plan from day one of starting or buying a company.


Some Sellers Value Time Over Money – Buyer Negotiation

Posted on August 23rd, 2016

I see business owners approach the sale of their business with one of two mentalities. It’s either maximize my value, or just get me out at a fair price.  There’s no right or wrong, but there are pros and cons to each approach.

We’re working with one seller, a younger business owner, who wants to run through the whole process and do everything he can to get the most out of his company.  I always say these sellers want to go to sleep at night knowing they didn’t leave any money on the table.


Business Owners Can’t Plan On Yesterday

Posted on August 18th, 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.