“What’s in a name?” In the event of a business sale, it can cause potential buyers to pass on the opportunity without serious consideration of the financials. Tom Brady and Sons may have spent twenty years building a reputation as the premier widget distributor in New England. While Tom hasn’t been active in the business for several years, customers still ask to speak to him or one of the sons when they have a concern. What will those customers think when Reliable Distribution takes over?
What is your company's image to the outside world? This is much deeper than the slogan on the side of your truck or the mission statement in your lobby. What do others with whom you interact think of your business? Think of Macy’s vs Neiman Marcus or Target vs. Wal-Mart – all four of these stores are in the same business – retail. They all sell clothes. But I am willing to bet they are all clearly different in your mind. You probably have a very different expectation of the product and service you will encounter in those stores.
Fax machines, camera film, pay telephones, VCRs, CD players…the list of great products that are no longer part of our lives is extensive. For each of these products, there are companies that evolved and survived and some that simply faded away. 3M began as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. The original enterprise was very successful in mining, now 3M is synonymous with post-it notes and innovation.
As your doctor will tell you, everything in moderation is OK. However, when there is too much of one thing, even the things that are good for you, problems can occur. Too much revenue from one or a small handful of customers can be too much of a good thing.
At inception an owner puts together a team of people to help the business move forward. Hiring is based on the company’s needs but also on what the business can afford at the time. Over time the business has success, growing from $1m in revenue to $5m and then to $10m. The company has different needs and different resources. The owner’s original team may no longer be optimal. A larger and more complex enterprise needs a more effective management team. It is no longer acceptable for the owner to be involved in every decision and have managers execute on the owner’s wishes.
What stops someone else from competing with you? Unless you are in the liquor store industry with limited licenses granted by the town fathers or have long term contracts with your customers, this question is a critical for most buyers.
Being a leader in your field is not only a feather in your cap, but also a key tool in the sale of your business. Buyers want to buy a company they can brag about to their friends, their spouse and their former colleagues. They want a company that is a leader in their market.
At Beacon Equity, we spend a lot of time and marketing dollars to make potential clients and their advisors aware of the importance of having a qualified business intermediary involved in the purchase or sale of a business. Inc., Magazine recently published an article outlining important points regarding the selection of the right broker for each situation. We wholeheartedly agree that buyers and sellers should carefully select the right broker for their situation. We welcome an opportunity to discuss a potential business purchase or sale with you to see if Beacon is the right broker to accomplish your goal. We hope you enjoy this article.
The article below discusses Groupon’s rejection of Google’s $6 billion buyout offer and the subsequent choice by Google to compete directly with Groupon rather than pursue a purchase.
Business owners deal with this question daily. It can be the question asked when a significant account is landed and there is now a need to figure out how to deliver. It can be the question asked in exasperation when a series of unfortunate events happen in rapid succession.