Prepping the Princess for the Party: Is Your Business Ready to Sell? Part Four

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Tapping the Broad Universe for Buyers

 

This week on “In Process: Conversations about Business in the 21st Century,” we continue with the next podcast in our series dedicated to the topic of preparing your business for sale. This series leads up to the physical event we are hosting at 5:30 p.m., on Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018, in Atlanta titled, "Prepping the Princess for the Party: Is Your Business Ready to Sell?"  

By many accounts, 2017 was a very successful year for transactions, especially for the community of merger-and-acquisition (M&A) professionals at large. The stars were very much aligned for very positive outcomes with multiple offers occurring for many transactions.

In terms of 2018, most M&A professionals see a continuation of this trend with people being in the market, being ready to sell their business, and, basically, having a series of willing buyers who are interested in this kind of opportunity. It seems, too, there's plenty of money looking for a home, even though we've seen some dips in the stock market recently. Overall, there are a lot of buyers, particularly private-equity firms, looking for good acquisitions that involve smart strategic deals.

In the fourth installment of our six-part podcast series, show hosts Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon speak with FOCUS Investment Banking’s George Shea, partner and IT team leader, and Manan Shah, managing partner and leader of the Government, Aerospace and Defense Group, about how to find the right buyer for a business in the broad universe of prospects. FOCUS Investment Banking is a national middle-market investment banking firm providing merger, acquisition, divestiture and corporate finance services.

“Private-equity groups have so much money right now that they're in danger of having to commit back to their limited partners,” said George. “That means they have to deploy it fairly quickly. We see this as a benefit to all sellers and certainly for investment bankers that represent them. There's a real opportunity for those private-equity groups to outbid strategics for the first time.”

It is critical for business owners to start educating themselves now about valuation and the underlying business considerations that buyers are typically looking for.

“Companies underestimate the need to keep on investing in a good team, a solid management team, along the way,” said Manan. “Often, when owners decide to sell their businesses―but haven't made those investments―they will have a tough time marketing their business or getting the right buyer.”

During the course of the podcast, entrepreneurs, business owners and C-level executives will learn about the:

  • Three categories of buyers along with challenges and opportunities for each
  • Elements that make a business sellable
  • Factors that make a business sellable
  • Factors that business owners should focus on to get ready for their exits
  • Key industries that buyers and investors are interested in now
  • Important role both internal and external research plays in attracting buyers

Learn more about the steps involved with retaining an investment bank’s services by streaming the conversation in its entirety in the player below, or download it to your mobile device via iTunes. Don’t miss a single episode, subscribe to our show “In Process Podcast” on iTunes to receive this episode as well as future episodes to your smartphone.

 

Prepping the Princess: Experts to Speak on What Makes a Business Attractive to Buyers

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With abundant capital, tax cuts and a very healthy merger-and-acquisition (M&A) environment, business owners are in a position to realize significant net cash proceeds from the sale of their businesses.

To help them be prepared for an exit, Trusted Counsel has united with FOCUS Investment BankingH+W | AprioNewport Board Group, Carabiner Communications and Wilmington Trust to present the second edition of “Prepping the Princess for the Party: Is Your Business Ready to Sell?” 

The event, which includes a panel discussion, will take place at 5:30 p.m., on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at The Buckhead Club in Atlanta. CEOs, Presidents, CFOs and Finance Managers for privately-held businesses interested in attending should visit www.preppingtheprincess.com to request an invitation. (If you happen to miss the deadline and are interested in attending a future panel discussion, kindly send us an email through the preppingtheprincess.com website).

According to a 2018 business trends study, more than 40 percent of current business owners are preparing to exit. Yet many are unprepared to sell:  

  • 58 percent have never had their company appraised;
  • 48 percent have no formal exit strategy;
  • 37 percent have no structures in place to shield cash proceeds

“Our first ‘Prepping the Princess’ event was extremely successful and business-exit topics continue to be among the most requested on our ‘In-Process’ podcast, so we felt as though it was the perfect time to bring back this popular event for Round 2,” said Evelyn Ashley, managing partner, Trusted Counsel. “Being prepared for a sale transaction not only gets you increased value from a purchase price perspective but also affects the time you spend in the process, which is rigorous. So, when you're prepared, the credibility with the buyer goes up that much more as well as increases the probability that you will have a successful transaction.”

Ashley added, “It pays huge dividends to get perspective from experienced legal, investment, accounting, advisory, branding, and wealth-management professionals who understand what sellers and buyers think about when going into a transaction.”

Attendees can expect to learn:

  • What makes a business attractive to a buyer?
  • What steps can be taken inside the business to make it more appealing for the sale;
  • How does branding factor into your plan for an exit?
  • How do you know your business is ready for the "Transaction Dance?"

Panelists will include Manan Shah, managing partner, FOCUS Investment Banking; Michael Levy, partner-in-charge, Transaction Advisory Services, H+W | Aprio; Doug Tatum, chairman of the board, Newport Board Group; Peter Baron, founder and principal, Carabiner Communications; Jonathan Fitzgerald, vice president and director of wealth and fiduciary planning in the Southeast, Wilmington Trust; and John Monahon, partner, Trusted Counsel. George Shea, a FOCUS partner and IT team leader, is slated to moderate the panel.

The fee to attend the event is $35, which will be donated to LaunchPad2x.com, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides mentoring and training for future CEOs. Subscribe to our show "In Process Podcast on iTunes to receive all of the episodes of the "Prepping the Princess for the Party: Is Your Business Ready to Sell? episodes as well as future episodes to your smartphone.

Prepping the Princess for the Party: Is Your Business Ready to Sell? Part Three

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How to Boost Brand Reputation Ahead of the Sale

This week on “In Process: Conversations about Business in the 21st Century,” we continue with the next podcast in our series dedicated to the topic of preparing your business for sale. This series leads up to the physical event we are hosting at 5:30 p.m., on Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018, in Atlanta titled, "Prepping the Princess for the Party: Is Your Business Ready to Sell?"  

When companies think about their brands, among the first things that come to mind are name, colors, logo design, and even a tag line. However, reputation is one of the most important―and most often overlooked―attributes for a brand. Brand reputation refers to how your company is viewed by others, whether it’s customers, prospects, partners or marketplace influencers such as media and analysts. Having a positive brand reputation means customers trust your company, and feel good about purchasing and recommending your products or services. Being able to demonstrate a strong and viable brand in the marketplace helps build value in the eyes of potentials buyers who might be interested in purchasing your company.

In the third installment of our six-part podcast series, show hosts Evelyn Ashley and John Monahon speak with Peter Baron, Carabiner Communications founder and principal, about what companies need to consider from a marketing and branding standpoint prior to a potential sale. Carabiner Communications is a top PR firm in Atlanta, specializing in marketing and lead generation.

“Companies often don't put enough strategic effort and muscle into creating visibility for their brand, whether it involves a rebrand or support to boost an existing reputation in the marketplace,” said Peter. “Another mistake we see is not investing enough in a particular marketing channel―for example, choosing to go 1-inch deep in 10 different marketing channels instead of going 6-inches deep in three of them that really matter. Determining where your customers actually are and prioritizing those communications avenues will help.”

Sellers are often so focused on the legal and tax consequences of a potential transaction that they often lose sight of proven marketing strategies and tactics―and even reduce budgets for these activities―that will help them increase the value of their companies.

During the course of the podcast, entrepreneurs, business owners and C-level executives will learn about the:

  • Concept of brand reputation as part of the sale
  • Considerations for rebranding
  • Elements of a good brand
  • Marketing strategies, tactics and assets involved with a rebrand
  • Right mix of content to satisfy prospects’ and customers’ information needs

Learn how to develop an integrated marketing campaign to build or boost brand reputation ahead of a sale by streaming the conversation in its entirety in the player below, or download it to your mobile device via iTunes. Don’t miss a single episode, subscribe to our show “In Process Podcast” on iTunes to receive this episode as well as future episodes to your smartphone.

“Prepping the Princess” is an invitation-only event for C-level executives and business owners. The event will provide substantive information on the key elements, which most every business should possess, to make it an attractive participant at the sale dance. For more information on the event and to request an invitation, please go to preppingtheprincess.com.