IN THIS ISSUE: Remembering Tom West, “What a Flight It’s Been” Letter from the 2022 IBBA Chair. Plus, Marketing Opportunities for Business Intermediaries, Best Practices in Specialization, Establishing Realistic Asking Prices, Working with Brokers, Legislative Updates, and more!
Main Street News January 2013
Don’t Forget to Renew Your Membership for 2013 and Take the Q4 Market Pulse Survey!
There’s still time to renew your 2013 membership! To renew your membership, you may visit IBBA website, mail in a check, or call (888) 686-4222. All checks should be mailed to: IBBA, 3525 Piedmont Rd NE, Building 5, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30305.
Please also take five to seven minutes to complete the Market Pulse Survey and help the IBBA get recognized on a national scale. Your participation will not only enhance the quality of the results but will also allow you to access valuable insight into the current marketplace environment. The survey closes tomorrow, so please complete it by then!
Thank you for your continued support!
Save the Date for the 2013 Spring Conference
Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2013 IBBA and M&A Source Spring Conference being held in Anaheim, California June 10th through the 15th, at the Hilton Anaheim. Your IBBA board members are committed to providing you with new educational courses, along with the courses you’ll need to gain your certification, engaging workshops, networking opportunities and much more.
Please plan to join us in Anaheim to Get Knowledge, Gain Experience and Ride the Wave to Success!
George Lanza, CBI, M&AMI, CSBA, MEA
IBBA members, colleagues, and friends:
Here we go into 2013 with renewed energy and, according to many industry reports, this year promises to be full of activity—the sellers that wanted to take advantage of the old taxation did, and the ones that decided to hold off have come to the realization that the changes are not so bad…yet.
The fact remains that the baby boomers are not getting any younger, and, according to Business Week Magazine, they own over 65% of all businesses in America.
It is time for all of us to get into the market, line up our resources, and work smart and hard focusing on the most desirable industries. We need to be checking trade magazines, researching the web to identify hot selling sectors in your market and understanding who is buying. The information is out there.
Many of us have built large pipelines of undecided sellers, and they are not getting any younger; so it is our mission to convey to them the advantages of selling today.
On the IBBA front, we have assembled new and seasoned professional warriors to give us the best of their experience, developing eight new and relevant courses in 2013 to sharpen our skills for the new market. Course titles will be released shortly as they take shape, and I can assure you they will be relevant and timely. In addition, we are also working on new workshops that will be showcased at the upcoming conference.
Our association management company, Meeting Expectations, in conjunction with the marketing and membership committees, is working on a series of benefits to offset your dues. It is our goal to make sure that you cannot afford not to be a member of the IBBA.
Colleagues, friends –I have been a member of the IBBA for over ten years and our firm is very successful, but I do not consider ourselves exceptionally smart. However, we surround ourselves with the best of the best, and we have found them at the IBBA and M&A Source Conferences.
I am excited and privileged to be serving as your 2013 IBBA Chair, and I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim, CA to learn from one another.
George Lanza, CBI, M&AMI, CSBA, MEA
2013 IBBA Chair
Karl Kirsch, CAE
IBBA – M&A Source
Executive Director’s Message
“I love Deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
This is a great quote by Douglas Adams, the famed author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It reminds me that it is never too late to get ahead in your planning. Planning is important because it leads to action. And action leads to progress. And progress leads to achievement of goals.
These are good thoughts anytime, but particularly at the start of a new year. For me, a new year has always been a time of personal and professional renewal and optimism. For many of us who are members of our professional association, it is also the start of a new program year and a chance to work with new board members.
It’s going to be a banner year for IBBA in the areas of education, networking, and benefits. Please consider these three simple resolutions that will improve your IBBA member experience and just may improve your year:
Resolution 1) Join IBBA on LinkedIn. IBBA on LinkedIn is a great electronic networking benefit and a good resource for any member. Participation is not limited to members only, so if you meet someone there, be sure and encourage them to get involved in IBBA with a membership.
Resolution 2) Use the members-only resources on the IBBA website. There are a variety of benefits that can help you build your business or do business more efficiently. And if you use these services anyway, you are saving real money over what you would pay to use them as a non-member.
We also plan on on-boarding additional benefits for IBBA members. If you have ideas for benefits that you think we should add, I would love to hear from you.
Resolution 3) Block the weeks of June 10-15, 2013 and November 18-23, 2013 on your calendar today! I would like to see all of you make a firm resolution to attend both the IBBA Spring and Fall Conferences this year. We are returning to the two-conferences per year model in 2013. The education agendas will be terrific with many new courses and special educational workshops and panels.
As for networking and just plain fun, remember that the spring event will be in Anaheim, CA and the fall event will be in Savannah, GA. Anaheim is home of Disney and lots of things to do for both adults and your inner child. And if you have never been to Savannah, GA, you are in for a real surprise. In Savannah, our hotel will be located directly on the river-walk. Savannah is home to the sights and sounds of a great coastal, historic, and some even say haunted city. Hauntingly beautiful and fun, that’s what I say. It is one of my favorite walking-around cities.
The simple act of putting the dates on your calendar now will increase the probability of you attending these premier educational events, and attending these events will make you have an even more successful year.
It is a real pleasure to serve as your Executive Director. Thank you for the opportunity. I look forward to seeing you at our meetings, on LinkedIn, and wherever else we can get together this year.
Kevin Dempsey, CBI, CMC, CMEA
2013 M&A Source Chairman
M&A Source Chairman’s Message
Why You Should Be A Member Of The M&A Source!
Have you ever noticed how sellers tend to want to talk to you during the first quarter after they finish their tax year, and they have a sense of where they ended up with their revenue and profit? The past two years of the first quarter have been outstanding for my firm. This year is shaping up to be another fast start.
This is when we increase our marketing. Giving out information has always been a successful way to engage with potential sellers. One way to do this is to send out industry information to targeted companies that position you as the expert in their industry.
As a benefit to M&A Source members, we have industry reports provided by our Tools of the Trade vendors who offer discounts on their services. Remember, sellers like to work with intermediaries that understand their business. As an M&A Source member, you may access valuable industry reports to help get an appointment with a prospect or prepare for a visit with a prospect. Click here to see our list of Tools of the Trade service providers.
Here’s wishing you a prosperous New Year!
Andrew Cagnetta, CBI, BCI
Member Spotlight: Andrew Cagnetta
I have been a business broker for 18 years, and the decision was basically someone else’s idea. I was a business buyer moving to Florida from New Jersey (the definition of a “damn Yankee”), and I wound up visiting Transworld. In a subsequent meeting at a networking function with the agent at Transworld, it was conceived that I should join as an agent.
After two years on the street doing deals, I decided to buy the brokerage (and make less money!). Since I purchased Transworld in 1997, we have been putting together a great team of business brokerage professionals and growing the company through acquisition and organic methods. Two years ago, we partnered with United Franchise Group and rebranded their existing business brokerage/franchise consulting company to Transworld Business Advisors and have continued to grow exponentially and leverage each company’s strengths.
I’ve been a member of the IBBA since 1999, and I am proud to have served on the board and am further honored to have been Chairman in 2009. I still serve as Government Relations Committee Chair, and we have tracked progress and worked with others on issues such as the M&A licensing issue and SBA lending rules and regulations.
What I have really enjoyed at the IBBA is teaching classes and workshops at our conferences over the years. The best part of this work and attendance at the conferences is the long lasting relationships that you can make with fellow business brokers from around the world. Best practices are freely shared at our conferences, and it literally changed many of the ways we do business. If you do not attend conferences and take classes…you are truly missing out!
If I could give our fellow members any advice it would be a few basic tenants of being successful in this industry. First, you have to get educated, and the IBBA is the best way to learn quickly the lessons from the best in the industry.
Secondly, you must give back to the business brokerage industry through volunteering and serving at the IBBA, and hopefully, you can also serve on the local business brokerage level. I have served on the board of the Business Brokers of Florida for many years and have a great relationship with many of my “competitors”.
Most importantly, you should give back to your community through volunteering and serving local charities and causes. It will help you become a trusted advisor in your community, and that is what it takes to be chosen by a business owner to sell their business. Charities need more than just money; they need expertise and human resources. Being business savvy is innate to our industry and many charities need your advice, sales ability, and guidance.
I will leave you with this one thought and message. Our industry will either embrace co-brokerage and practice it, own it, master it, and corner the market on it….or someone/something else will. There will be an eventual marketplace that trades small businesses like a stock exchange, and I hope and pray that our industry is an integral part of it.
If you don’t agree with me, I hope to see you at the next conference. We can argue over a beer as we share our industry knowledge and opinion (isn’t that information co-brokerage??).
(Andy has an annual fundraising dinner – www.andyspastadinner.com)
Suzanne De Lucia, CBI, FIBBA
Member Spotlight: Suzanne De Lucia
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family in which my father owned and operated about 20 businesses in varying industries. I got the classic “dinner table education” and learned the pragmatic side of business. However, I was encouraged to find a corporate career and got an engineering degree, but felt like a square peg in a round hole. When I started looking at businesses to buy, I realized that there was a huge opportunity in the business brokerage profession. I really enjoy working with people who are not afraid to take calculated risk, and I love seeing what can be accomplished using the variables of time, money, energy, ideas and people. The profession has really evolved since those days. I certainly could have shortcut the learning curve had I known about IBBA in my first few years in business.
In my career of a business broker, I’m very proud that I’ve not only been a survivor, but have thrived through the ups and downs of my tenure in the profession. It makes me feel really good when I hear someone compliment our firm for its experience, professionalism and above all, its integrity. Plus, I get to live in a really great place and don’t have to worry that I’ll lose my job or get transferred.
Looking to the future, I’m very optimistic about the coming year and think it holds great potential. I believe there’s been huge pent-up demand, and people have finally accepted a status quo vantage point and are ready to do business. I’m ready to have a great year and just need to remember to say no when appropriate so that I can achieve the balance of career and lifestyle that’s so important.
If I were to give any advice to other brokers or intermediaries in the industry, it would be to work hard but still have a life, be ethical, and make sure you know your stuff and success will always follow.
Speaking generally about the business brokerage profession, one thing that has always been interesting to me is that the percentage of women in our profession has virtually not changed throughout my tenure. I can think of virtually no other white collar career that is sub 10% female. While speaking in generalities, I believe the communications and relationship building skill sets many women possess make them naturals for our business.
I’ve also included a whimsical photo of “Doing Business the Boulder Way”, as Boulder is a cycling Mecca. I may be the only broker in IBBA who has driven, bussed, walked, ran, biked, skied and snow-shoed to work.
Doug Robbins, FCBI, MCBC, M&AMI, CM&A, CSBA, CMEA
Conference Chair’s Update
Spring IBBA Conference, Call for Volunteers
Although the issues commonly known as the fiscal cliff have been deferred for piecemeal resolution at various future dates, there now seems to be a “guarded optimism” among the business community that we will finally see positive growth in the economy over the next year. Consequently, the 2013 IBBA Spring Conference from June 10th through 15th in Anaheim, California will be focusing on this guarded optimism and how IBBA members can identify and capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead.
I have accepted the role of Agenda Chair for this event and am looking for volunteers to form a conference committee to assist and guide the IBBA in developing curriculum.
As a member of this committee, you will advise the IBBA on the:
- Selection of keynote speaker(s)
- Selection of workshop topics & speakers
- Trade show promotion
- Sponsor recruitment
- Evening and networking events
- Advertising and promotion of the conference
As a member of the IBBA, this is a great opportunity to give something back to the brokerage community: your opinion and connections. Have you attended other industry events and seen particularly good presenters or topics offered? Are there topics you need information on that no one is covering? Do you simply want to be more involved in the IBBA conference but don’t have a lot of free time on your hands?
Well then, the IBBA Spring Conference Committee may be just the job for you! I anticipate that the time obligation will be a maximum of 4 to 5 hours per month for the next six months, and I expect everyone who helps will make a tremendously positive impact on the quality of the attendee’s experiences.
So, if you have time and an opinion to spare, I hope you will contact me at [email protected] to lend your assistance. Your contributions will make a difference and, with the conference just a few months away, time is of the essence!
Steve Wain, CBI, M&AMI
IBBA Technology Committee Chair
Technology Committee’s Update
2013 – We’ve Turned A Corner
2012 was a very interesting year. We went through a tumultuous election, dealt with an ineffective congress, and lived through what looks like standard worldwide political turmoil. The IBBA and M&A Source also lived through its own turmoil, and unlike our legislators in Washington, took some brave and measured initiatives to help members achieve their future goals.
2013 represents the first full year with our new IBBA and M&A Source executive management team. Karl Kirsch, our new Executive Director, and his competent staff at the IBBA and M&A Source’s new headquarters office in Atlanta are dedicated to helping us improve our member value proposition, enhance our educational offerings, and help further the association’s stature in the business marketplace.
There are a lot of volunteers who give endless amounts of their time to assist us. In 2013, consider helping your association. Your input is crucial, as the ultimate goal of your association is to do what is necessary to make you a better broker or intermediary, and most importantly, enhance the financial return you receive in your practice.
In 2013, we will be looking to achieve great improvements in a number of areas. These include the launching of our new websites that will provide enhanced communication to sellers, buyers, private equity groups, and potential new members. Jeff Rausch, in charge of IT at IBBA’s offices in Atlanta, and Lynne Weil, our Director of Operations, as well as a much larger support group are working to complete the complex job of converting our old systems into our new MemberSuiteTM system, and setting up our new websites. Further, our websites will be providing new ‘members-only benefits’ that will:
- Enhance your ability to obtain critical information
- Register for conferences and educational courses
- Keep track of certification details
- Gain access to industry related information
- Interface with core brokerage vendors, and more
At our conferences, Scott Bushkie and the Marketing Committee will once again be doing more video recording of members. After our new websites go-live this quarter, these videos (the ones recorded in San Antonio as well as new ones) will adorn our home page and promote both the association and the specific member to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. If you attend our conferences, you too can become a part of that ‘free marketing’.
If you’ve been putting off getting your certification, been hesitant about renewing your certification, or don’t understand the process, reach out to Joe Lindsey and the Credentialing Committee, as well as Maggie Nicholson, our Education and Certification Manager in Atlanta, to gain more insight. As the name of the IBBA and M&A Source make further progress in the marketplace, so too will the CBI (and M&AMI) designation – make sure you have yours!
This year also promises to be a significant year for our conferences. We will be going back to two conferences as well as the educational summits. A core of new courses will be coming both in June (in Anaheim, CA), and in November (in Savannah, GA). Cress Diglio, our Vice Chair of Education, as well as Janet Nykaza, our Director of Course Development, are working with others on new courses, existing course revisions, and e-learning and online courses. This will give you many more avenues for continued education.
There’s even more going on that we will cover in the months to come. With the ‘righting of the ship’ in 2012 (thanks Pino Bacinello and Chet Walden), we are pointed northward, and the verve that is now in the air and working its way through our board, committees, and volunteers is sure to bring you greater success this year and beyond.
Lastly, a special thank you goes out to Keith McLeod, who almost single-handedly helped revive a slightly moribund communications engine, and has committed once again in 2013 to ensuring that newsworthy articles, member communication, and announcements of interest are being delivered electronically to your desktop month after month. Thanks Keith!
I look forward to seeing you all in Anaheim.
Marcie Woolworth, CBI, FIBBA
Membership Committee Chair
Membership Committee’s Update
The New Year is set before us like an unwritten volume – all its pages blank. May we write on each day’s page things that at the end of the year we will look back and rejoice rather than regret!
First, let me thank you for your continued membership and support. I’d also like to thank those who have already paid their 2013 dues.
Benefits, resources, and discounts will soon be found on the new and revised website! Since we have essentially started from scratch, our hope is that these benefits, resources, and discounts will be very meaningful to each of our members. An Orientation and Member Benefits Manual, something like the “ABCs of the IBBA” is planned for this coming year.
The new billing, renewal notifications, and payment options are being implemented by ME which we hope will benefit the entire membership from here on out. We are excited to have consistency and commitment in maintaining the membership with IBBA.
As time continues on, we know that you will see even more value in your IBBA membership. I am always interested in hearing your comments and concerns and hope you will feel free to contact me.
Wishing you and your loved ones a VERY blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous 2013! Remember, the secret to success is never to give up!
Joe D. Lindsey, CBI, M&AMI
Credentialing Committee Chair
Credentialing Committee’s Update
Being a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) is one of the best things you can do for your business broker career. The CBI is highly regarded within the business broker community, and it is recognized worldwide. So, if you don’t have one, let me encourage you to make the investment in yourself and your career as a professional business broker.
If you already hold the CBI certification, then you know that you have to meet certain requirements during your three year recertification period. There are three categories from which you can earn your 48 credits:
- Educational Experiences
- Association Activities
- Business Transactions
During calendar year 2013, the IBBA will present multiple opportunities for you to earn your CBI or recertification credits:
- IBBA Spring CBI Summit, April 14 – 17 in Atlanta, GA
- IBBA Conference for Professional Development, June 10 – 15 in Anaheim, CA
- IBBA Conference for Professional Development, November 18 – 23 in Savannah, GA
The M&A Source will also hold two conferences this year. Those conferences will be held June 10 – 15 in Anaheim, CA and November 18 – 23 in Savannah, GA. You can earn recertification credits by attending those conferences and taking advantage of the education courses that will be offered.
Mark your calendars and save those dates. Plan now to take advantage of the opportunities that will come your way this year!
Clyth MacLeod, Lifetime CBI
News and Views
Welcome to 2013. 2012 finished strong—our business sales revenue was up 26% on the previous year. We believe this is more a reflection of the hard work of our experienced team of professionals than any great improvement in the market. We are still desperately short of listings of good businesses for sale, i.e. those with proven profits or genuine potential. We have a large database of qualified buyers.
Marketing Attracts Prospects, Brokers Sell Businesses
Ours is a simple business. List, appraise, market, and sell businesses. Simple, but not easy. Our multipronged marketing program aims to expose opportunities to the maximum number of prospective buyers.
- Print advertising (e.g. daily newspapers) is declining in effectiveness, while costs are rising, but still play an important part in our marketing mix. However, ethnic newspapers (Mandarin Pages, Korea Town, and Indian Outlook) do produce a large response from the important immigrant market.
- Internet is the first port of call for a high percentage of buyers. We feature all our listings on nine specialist business sales sites.
- Direct mail: Our monthly newsletter and email alerts go out to a large number of professional advisors and qualified buyers as well as targeted mailings to certain industry sectors.
- Database marketing: with over 10,000 investors in our database this is a constant focus.
Please note all our marketing of businesses listed with us is at our expense, i.e. FREE to the client.
New Year Resolutions
At this time of the year, we always labor over our business plans, goals, and budgets for the coming year – and consistently overshoot or undershoot our targets. NO more. What will be, will be. We cannot control the economy (only our attitude to it) and the experts are consistently wrong with their forecasts.
So our total strategic plan for 2013 is to “sell businesses”. That’s it, that’s what we do. And our New Year resolutions are nil. Our track record of keeping them is about the same as that of most people. Poor! So a relaxed start for the year. No complex plans. No setting up for failure. “Simplify” is the catch phrase for 2013.
Keith McLeod, CBI
IBBA Newsletter Editor
From the Editor’s Desk
Strategize for 2013
Once again relying on my mentor, Alan Weiss, here are some suggestions for 2013:
- Access bigger clients
- Develop a support system to bounce ideas off of and get feedback
- Ask yourself:
- How well are you able to raise the bar?
- What do you want to accomplish?
- How do I improve myself? Create new baggage and carry the right stuff into the future
- How do you differentiate yourself?
- What is your primary skill set, what do you do well, and how can you sell it?
- What are you doing to speak in front of clients? Writing articles? Blogging?
- What do you do to create personal momentum?
- Fire bad clients and limit contact with negative people
- Hang out with people who have what you want
- Think of the third sale first
- Have a destination in mind in a client conversation
- Develop passive income
- Develop new products for existing clients
- Remember that speed is as important as content
- “I’ve looked at four critical issues and I’d like to put them in front of you. You can deal with these yourselves or I can help you with these …”
- Describe your value in five words
- Be excited in what you do
Independence, OH – December 7, 2022 – The International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the world’s largest trade association for the business brokerage industry, is pleased to announce the individuals selected to receive this year’s Certified Business Intermediary® (CBI) Scholarships for 2023. “The IBBA scholarships are a great way for us to help support newer intermediaries […]
Independence, OH – October 4, 2022 –The International Business Brokers Association® (IBBA) is pleased to announce the four individuals elected by membership to serve on its board of governors for the January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2025 term: The Board also unanimously approved current board member, Pino Bacinello, CBI of Pacific Mergers and Acquisitions, […]