The Sign Businesses For Sale Blog

What Does the Road Ahead Look Like?

Each quarter, the Market Pulse Report issues a report revealing information about market conditions The report is supported by M&A Source and the International Business Brokers Association. The data that is analyzed is based on a comprehensive survey of business brokers and M&A advisors. The report focuses on Main Street businesses (with values up to $2MM) and the lower middle market (values between $2MM and $50MM.) 

The research is conducted and then the report is published each quarter to reflect the state of the industry. In this article, we will look at some of the key takeaways of the report and what it reveals about the path ahead for buyers and sellers.

Tracking the Labor Shortage 

For the second quarter, the report revealed a variety of interesting information. One massive data point from the report is that the labor shortage continues to be a significant variable for business owners. A staggering 92% of report respondents state that the labor shortage has negatively impacted their business with 54% stating that the shortage has had a “very negative impact” and 35% stating that the impact is “somewhat negative.”

Closing Times

The report further indicated that it is taking about seven months for a business to close. They noted that it takes about six months to a year to sell a well-priced business or a well benchmarked business. The report noted that approximately 60-120 days are spent in the due diligence or execution stage, once the letter of intent has been signed. 

The Strongest Industries

In terms of what kinds of businesses are selling, the report points to restaurants making a solid comeback. It is interesting to note that restaurants valued from less than $500K to $1 million are enjoying a particularly strong rebound. Business services, personal services, construction and manufacturing remain steady. 

In Summary 

The latest Market Pulse Report is pointing in several directions. Currently, three factors are impacting business owners, namely, the labor shortage, inflation, and supply chain issues. Many businesses have had no choice but to give large raises to employees, and others have been able to pass the costs on to consumers and buyers.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

Natee Meeplan/BigStock.com

The post What Does the Road Ahead Look Like? appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.

What Will Your Buyer Be Looking For?

The buyer loves your business; it’s just what he or she has been looking for.  He has reviewed your financial statements and has made an offer contingent on several items.  You’ve reviewed the offer and it looks fine, so what’s next?  The contingencies in the deal mean that the buyer or his or her advisors have some concerns.  In larger deals, this process might be called due diligence.  However, in the smaller business sale, the items of concern are usually spelled out as opposed to a general review of everything.  The reason for this is that larger businesses or companies have a lot more areas of concern than the typical smaller business.

Most contingencies concern the review of financial statements and/or business tax returns.  Others may involve lease issues, the seller staying on for a set period of time, or some very specific issue such as repaving the parking lot, if the landlord won’t or isn’t required to.

Unfortunately, some contingencies may be hiding other ones such as a list of fixtures and equipment included in the sale.  Sounds easy on the surface, but the seller forgot that two pieces of equipment currently not in use need repair or the walnut desk in the office belongs to Grandfather Smith and is not included.  Or, while reviewing the lease, the buyer discovers that the landlord requires that the business must close by 9:00 PM or some other restriction applies and was not disclosed. Deals have fallen apart over similar issues.

Most contingency problems can be resolved prior to the business being placed on the market.  The seller should do all of the following:

  • Check the status of all furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E).  Remove any that are not included in the sale or are inoperable if not in use –  or make repairs.
  •  Review any contract such as the lease, any equipment leases, and contracts that will be assumed by the buyer.  Make sure there aren’t “clinkers” in them. If there are, disclose them to a potential buyer out front – and be sure your business intermediary is also aware of them.
  • Be prepared to answer questions such as:
    • Are there any environmental, governmental or legal issues?
    • How long will you be willing to stay and work with a new buyer – at no cost?
    • Will the employees stay?
    • Why was last year the worst one in years?
    • Why was last year the best one in years?

The list could go on and on, but sellers need to be ready. Buyers don’t like surprises.  A business broker professional knows the process like a book and can be invaluable in preparing the business for the marketplace.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

DragosCondrea/BigStock.com

The post What Will Your Buyer Be Looking For? appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.

Storytelling and Its Role in Selling a Business

When it comes to selling a business, there is more to it than just relaying the facts. It’s also important to emphasize the story behind the business. Business brokers and M&A advisors are also storytellers, as they must convey to buyers the story behind the business and how it can ultimately be transformed. 

It is through storytelling that humans organize the information they have about the world. In short, storytelling is an exceptional way to learn lessons in life and a great way to frame information about a business to sellers. 

Telling Your Story

Everything begins with the financials, in short, the facts of the business. When a business broker or M&A advisor begins working with a seller, he or she will look to gather those details. Once that information has been gathered, it is possible to begin to create a story. That story can be presented in many ways, including through a confidential business review or confidential information memorandum.

While many, if not most, buyers and sellers may think that when it comes to business, they are cold and methodical like a reptile on the hunt, the truth is more complex. Human emotion always comes into play. It is no accident that well-crafted stories, with their power to motivate and guide, play a role in the art of buying and selling businesses.

Decisions are Guided by Emotion

If we want to make the best decisions, it is important to consider the role of emotions in our decision-making. “In order to have anything like a complete theory of human rationality, we have to understand what role emotion plays in it,” said scientist Herbert Simon who is an American Nobel Laureate. [1]

Good stories grab the imagination and enable people to expand their definition of what is and is not possible. When buyers are considering buying a business, it is important that they can picture themselves as being the hero that transforms that business and takes it to a new level. It is a story of evolution and reaching new heights while simultaneously achieving one’s own goals.

It is no accident that so many of today’s mass culture storytelling revolves around sequels. The notion that there is a “storytelling continuum” where a buyer can plug into something that already has a history can be a powerful motivating force. Most epic stories have the hero as part of some sort of continuum. In other words, the hero does not simply appear out of nothingness. It is the hero’s mission to transform the world, in some fashion, for the better.

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/05/09/how-your-emotions-influence-your-decisions/?sh=7bda49da3fda

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

joaoserafim/BigStock.com

The post Storytelling and Its Role in Selling a Business appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.