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Main Street News October 2013



Advanced Registration Ends Today!

november2013-fall-conference-graphic-1If you haven’t yet registered for the 2013 IBBA Fall Conference, to be held November 18 – 23 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah in Savannah, Georgia, don’t miss your chance to sign up for new educational offerings and networking opportunities at the best possible price. Registration rates will increase after October 31!

Congratulations to Clyth MacLeod for being selected as a Lifetime Member of the IBBA, in honor of his dedication to the industry over the past 60 years and his contribution to the IBBA since joining in 1986.

Interested in contributing to your association? Volunteer positions are open on Conference Planning, Marketing, and Communications committee. If you are interesting in participating on an IBBA committee, please contact admin@ibba.org.


George Lanza, CBI, M&AMI, CSBA, MEA
2013 IBBA Chairman of the Board and Chief Governance Officer

Chairman’s Message

Ready. Set. GROW!

george-lanzaWell here we go! The next conference is upon us in a few weeks and the economy continues to gain momentum with Congress extending the budget and reopening the SBA for business. Here at Plethora, we have the largest pipeline of all time and we are hearing the same from many of our colleagues. Where do you stand as a professional in today’s competitive arena? Have you been sitting on the sidelines and are now ready to take charge? Are you ready to grow, both personally and professionally? What are you doing to advance in our industry and take advantage of the business avalanche being generated by the baby boomers? Tomorrow’s success starts today!

I am pleased to see so many of you are planning to attend the upcoming conference. Our registration numbers have surpassed those of the last few conferences! It is a sign of your commitment to grow and learn the newest and latest techniques to stay ahead of the game.

The IBBA Education and Conference Planning committees dedicate countless hours of time and research to bring you superb conferences. Their hard work and commitment is apparent in the schedule they have prepared for Savannah. With the educational courses, workshops, networking events and opportunities to collaborate with some of the greatest professionals in our industry, you will not be disappointed.

The new educational courses and unique workshops offered at the Fall Conference focus on hot and upcoming issues impacting our industry. How To Work with Visa Buyers and Selling New and Existing Franchise Opportunities are just two of the courses that will bring new outlooks for business brokers with brand new techniques you may not have considered before. The workshops such as So You Aren’t An Attorney: Beware of Legal Matters in Business Transactions and The Advantages of Owner Financing will provide you with the tools you will need to work through any deal.

The education, coupled with networking and collaboration, will help you achieve the growth that you and your firm need to take advantage of today’s environment. The success of our firm is largely due to attending IBBA conferences. The knowledge and experience we have gained has helped us through a few difficult transactions as well as to streamline our business practices. In addition, the networking and collaboration have helped us build contacts, in turn allowing us to close more deals.

We are very successful, we are involved and have very seldom missed a conference. Could there be a link? If you haven’t yet registered or are on the fence, I challenge you to make the commitment. You won’t be disappointed.

Register now for the 2013 IBBA Fall Conference, sign up for a few educational courses and plan your trip today!

We look forward to seeing you all in Savannah!


Steve Wain, CBI, M&AMI

Incoming Chairman’s Message

The Magic In Savannah

wainI don’t think any member of the IBBA would deny that the last few years have been hard. Not only on them but of course your association as well. I have a lot of respect for business brokers and intermediaries who have persevered through the hard times. They are still here, and they demonstrate the old saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Well, the IBBA is no different. Yes, we have had to live with difficulty, both from the effects of the recession as well as its direct impact on our operations. Your Board of Directors is focused on changing this, and we want you to be the beneficiary.

In 2013, we decided to put more effort into additional educational courses. We had five new courses in the spring and I’m happy to report that there will be another three new courses in Savannah between IBBA and M&A Source offerings. In all, the IBBA has the largest and most extensive course materials for business brokers and intermediaries in the world. Instructors teaching from their real world experience have crafted specific methods for you to learn and help ensure your continued success.

The new courses include:

  • Selling New and Existing Franchise Opportunities
  • ESP and CPR in Business Brokerage –you’ll have to take the course to see what that stands for!
  • Business Options for Foreign Investors: How to Work With Visa Buyers

The IBBA is changing. We are embarking on a course whereby you will start to see additional member benefits and offerings that will make your life easier, and most importantly will bring new business to your practice. We understand that each member has similar needs and wants from their professional association—to help make you better so you can be more successful. Your Board of Directors understands this need because like you, we too are business brokers and intermediaries who have the same needs.

In Savannah we hope to bring you important information about new initiatives and member benefits that you will be able to use in your practice. The benefits we are working on are not insignificant. More importantly, they are evolving and we would like you to be a part of defining these benefits.

What does that mean? As we shape some of these new benefits, new and additional offerings are going to also be considered. Do you have an opinion on what would help you to be more successful operationally? In Savannah, after a long hiatus we will once again begin to hold committee meetings on topics that will impact you. If you are not on a committee, consider joining one and attending the meeting in Savannah. You’ll have infinitely better odds of influencing not only what future benefits you’ll receive, but also meet some great people who could impact your future. Networking does work. Ask those who attend!

With the new courses, workshops, committee meetings, and discussion on new member benefits, Savannah is the place you need to be next month. If you haven’t registered, do so now as prices will be going up on November 1. Also, space in courses is limited and especially with new courses, which fill up fast. Space is also limited in workshops and there will be 16 workshops provided, including many new ones covering topics that are timely and crucial to our practices.

If you’ve not attended a conference in a while or have not taken a course or attended a workshop, now is the time to get reengaged! Come learn about things you’ve wanted to know but didn’t have the time for before, and learn about new initiatives and benefits being developed or offered to grow your practice.

Conferences are always a great time to meet friends and learn. Enjoy the beauty of Savannah, come see for yourself how we are changin, and why the IBBA is your partner to success.

See you next month.


Kay Ciesla
IBBA Director of Operations

Director of Operations’ Message

IBBA Adds LegalZoom as Member Benefit!

kay-cieslaSince 1983, the International Business Brokers Association has promoted members’ professional development and interests to maximize public awareness of the business brokering profession. The organization also exists to help its members operate their businesses more professionally and more profitably.

In order to do that, IBBA has many terrific member benefits that address these mission elements. A subgroup of these benefits also offer IBBA members a discount on the purchase of these business tools, such as:

  • Pratt’s Stats
  • ShareFile
  • Hoovers/First Research
  • BIZCOMPS

The newest member benefit offered at a discount exclusively to IBBA members is LegalZoom.

It is our hope that access to LegalZoom products will help make business brokering easier. IBBA members will now receive a 15% discount on several legal document services.

Our partnership will allow members to choose from a wide variety of legal document services, including corporate dissolutions; professionally drafted blank legal forms, including confidentiality agreements; professional tax and legal advice through its business legal plan; and more.

This newest benefit is available immediately through the Member Area of the IBBA website. We hope that you will take the time to see what they have to offer and access these legal resources in the daily course of doing business.

I am looking forward to meeting many of you in Savannah. If you ever have suggestions for other new member benefits we should consider, please feel free to contact me.


Pino Bacinello, CBI, M&AMI, CMEA, CSBA
IBBA Past Chairman

Past Chairman’s Message

pino-bacinelloGreetings,

Another year swiftly passed us by once again. My year as Past Chair is soon over and as I begin to think about the 2013 wind down (or should it be “wine down”), I cannot help but once again be thankful for so many things and to many people and for the opportunities we are given, the vision and intelligence to discover and recognize them and the will and ability to act on them.

In spite of what appears to be ongoing political wrangling and world conflicts, I believe 2013 has brought renewed hope to our economy in general; certainly to our profession and, I hope, to our association.

All of us have had to re align ourselves with the new “normal”. This meant change, and change is often unwelcomed by many. But without change there would be no life and no growth. This applies to business too. Continued renewal of our focus, processes and life style is paramount to growth whether it be personal or professional. At the IBBA, we also need to re assess and realign ourselves continuously in order to be in a position to provide value to you, our members and stake holders.

I therefore encourage each of you to reassess your own focus and alignment in life and business, and help us do the same by your participation.

You can do this by connecting with our Board Members or the President’s Council Committee members whose purpose is to represent you, the member and stake holder, within the IBBA Board and to advise them of your needs as a member of this great association of ours as to what will add more value to your membership and how the association can help you close more deals. At the same time, you can also bring forth ideas or request to participate by serving the association and making yourself available to various Committees and help make us better and deliver greater value. I also encourage you to ask not only what can the association do to enhance the value you receive, but also what can you do to enhance the value you provide to our professional community through the association.

We need you to help fulfill a higher and larger purpose by contributing to building a better profession and a better association. While institutional knowledge and traditions are essential, renewal and growth comes from new blood and cells. You can be a contributor to our collective success.

Let’s make it happen!


Kevin Dempsey, CBI, CMC, CMEA

M&A Source Chairman’s Message

kevin-dempseyAs we come to the end of 2013 and look ahead to 2014, I want to salute our management and the volunteer leadership of the M&A Source and IBBA. Having served on both organizations’ Boards this year, I can assure you that behind the scenes your fellow members are contributing countless hours to make your membership the great value it is. Please consider getting involved in 2014. I assure you, if you do get involved you will gain so much more from your membership. And as a bonus, active committee members earn five (5) credits each year to apply toward the recertification of their M&AMI and/or CBI credential.

This will be a busy few months for doing deals with the end of the year deadlines looming. At this month’s webinar, Creating Urgency by Monty Walker, he pointed out that a recent report by the Bureau of Economic Statistics shows that the age of businesses owners has increased dramatically. He suggested it is a good time to get out a targeted letter to business owners pointing out that now is the time to get on the market before too many decide at once that they must sell. In the next five to 10 years they will have to sell primarily due to age.

If you missed this webinar, check out the archive in the member area to listen to the presentation.

I also want to remind everyone to attend the IBBA and M&A Source conferences in Savannah. The Conference Planning and Education Committees of both organizations have been working hard to make your conference experience a great value. Check out the educational courses that will be offered by both groups. You will see courses that are designed to increase your knowledge and be more successful in this business.

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Savannah.


Scott Bushkie, CBI, M&AMI

Marketing Committee’s Update

bushkieThe fall conference and the holidays are fast approaching. I wanted to focus on giving you a present for the New Year; a way to not only get more clients but maybe even better clients. I don’t have all of the answers but you all do collectively, and that is what we have captured in the Market Pulse Reports. Please see the Q2 Report if you have not already reviewed it. As you can see, 64% of the very best new clients came by referral. This goes to show that we can spend thousands of dollars on marketing and getting our name out in the community, but if they don’t trust you there is a good chance they will not call you. However, if you get referred by a trusted source of theirs, you have a much better chance of landing that client. Of all the referral sources in the market place, past clients typically are number one (43% of all referrals) and accountants are number two (24%).

Therefore, I would recommend that we all maintain a relationship with our past clients. Make a phone call to see how the transition is going after the sale and make another call later to ask how the next chapter in their life is going. Hold a small holiday gathering once a year around Christmas or any other special holiday to thank them for their business. These are a few simple things we could do that do not take much time or money and could land you a few new clients that could keep you busy all of 2014, allow you to be more successful and make more money with less time and fewer headaches.

Please take the Q3 Survey as it continues to build the brand of IBBA and its members. It takes less than 10 minutes unless you sold three or more deals in the last quarter alone; then it might take 10-15 minutes. If you sold three companies in the last three months, you can afford to take a short break and share your successes with the rest of the IBBA! Even if you did not get a company sold last month, you can still participate and bring value to the survey. Thank you and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Fall Conference.


Joe Lindsey, CBI, M&AMI

Credentialing Committee’s Update

lindseyIt’s that time of year again – a time when the IBBA is promoting the Fall Conference. For our CBI members, the Fall Conference is the final opportunity this year to obtain recertification credits. Each recertification period is three years, and the following requirements must be met during that time:

  • Maintain an active membership in the IBBA
  • Pay an annual credential fee
  • Attend at least one IBBA conference
  • Complete 48 credit hours of education, association activities or completed business transactions:
    • 24 hours of credit must be garnered through educational experiences, such as IBBA or M&A Source courses, attendance at additional conferences, outside education courses or speaking or teaching at a conference.
    • The remaining hours may be gained through additional education, participating on an IBBA committee or board or a regional affiliate board or submitting a completed business transaction where the person who holds the CBI was the primary intermediary.

For recertification purposes, attendance at a conference is defined as registering for, and attending, a full conference. One day passes to attend only one day of the conference agenda do not meet the CBI or M&AMI recertification requirements.

The full conference requirement applies to the mandatory conference attendance during each three year recertification period and to each additional IBBA and M&A Source conference that are attended during each three year recertification period.

Joe Lindsey, CBI, M&AMI
CBI Credentialing Committee Chair
817-663-0001
JoeLindsey@DaileyResources.com

Maggie Nicholson
Education & Certification Manager
404-477-5821
mnicholson@ibba.org


Marcie Woolworth, CBI, FIBBA

Membership Committee’s Update

Knowledge, Experience, Results!

woolworthAs the fall season gets into full swing and we begin thinking and preparing for the soon-to-be holidays over the next couple of months, we can get excited about the upcoming Fall Conference in Savannah, Georgia!

As the Vice Chair of the Membership Committee, I want to take the time to extend a special welcome to our 97 new members this year! How exciting is that!? We are so thrilled to have you as part of the most prestigious and oldest organized Business Broker professional association in the world. Some of you were able to attend the Spring Conference in Anaheim, CA and we certainly hope that you are planning on attending the Fall Conference in Savannah, GA the week of November 18-23! What a great conference that is being planned!

The Spring Educational Summit will also be held in April 2014 in Orlando, FL. Remember KNOWLEDGE – EXPERIENCE – RESULTS with your CBI designation! For those who have been members of the IBBA for some time and haven’t gotten your CBI, please consider obtaining it. When you talk to your clients, both sellers and buyers, you are able to tell them about the professional organization you belong to and the credentials that you garner. The IBBA has a great influence in our industry and by being part of the IBBA we are investing in our future!

We all need to be involved in some way to continue the greatness of this Association. For those of you who are not yet involved, please go to the IBBA website (www.ibba.org). Once you have signed in, on the right-hand side you will see a link to the Membership Manual. On page 11 the Committees and their descriptions are listed. Please take the time to review these Committees and contact the Chair of the committee that interests you. You will be glad you did.

The Membership Committee will be sponsoring a New Member Orientation breakfast at the IBBA Conference in Savannah on Friday, November 22. If you are a new IBBA member within the past year or so, you will find this meeting very enlightening. Please watch the newsletter and upcoming schedule for more information. I am looking forward to seeing everyone at the Fall Conference in Savannah, GA the week of November 18-23, 2013!

As we continue to search for more valuable benefits, we would appreciate any input that you might like to share! Are there any benefits or services that you would like to see us add? Please email me at marcie@woolworthandcompany.com or call me at 970-663-9400 – I’d love to hear from you!

Wishing you great success and blessings all along the way!


Barry Berkowitz, Ph.D., CBI, M&AMI

2013 Affiliates Rewards Program

Barry-BerkowitzThe 2013 Affiliate Rewards Program is progressing nicely as we approach the 2013 IBBA Fall Conference in Savannah. Reward points are being accumulated by each of the Affiliates as their members register for attendance and courses at the Fall Conference, scheduled for November 18-23 in Savannah, Georgia. In addition, reward points are also earned for every Affiliate member that joins the IBBA. In 2012, Affiliates earned many free IBBA course registrations and conference registrations for their members. There was also a Grand Prize of complimentary conference and course fees awarded to one of the members of NEBBA, the winning Affiliate.

The accumulation of rewards points and the Race for the Grand Prize for 2013 is becoming a very interesting competition. The rankings as of October 9, 2013 are as follows:

race-to-the-grand-prize-october-2013

As can be seen, MBBI is still in the lead, with NEBBA surpassing CABB for second place. PBBA is close behind on their heels. The standings are still very volatile, especially since new points are being earned more rapidly as we approach the Fall Conference. In Savannah, we will post an update of the results at that time.

Remember that you can earn a significant number of points for every Affiliate member who joins the IBBA in 2013, right through the end of the year. That can certainly be a game changer. So, help your Affiliate and create more of a chance for you to be the Grand Prize Winner by urging your fellow Affiliate members to join the IBBA and participate.

If you have any questions about this Affiliate Rewards Program, please do not hesitate to contact Kay Ciesla, Director of Operations, at kciesla@ibba.org or contact me at Barry@BerkBiz.com.


Bob House

Sponsor Message: BizBuySell

Must-Haves to Be Found Online
Part 4: Social Media

bob-houseOver the last few months, we reviewed company websites and what to include for an effective web presence, as well as SEO essentials, and claiming online directories to help brokers get found online. This post’s goal is to provide an overview of using social media sites for SEO and establishing industry influence.

Why is Social Media Important to Your Business?

With 27% of internet time being spent on social networking sites in the US, and 55% of Americans between 45-54 claiming a social media profile, your clients are using social media and the right execution will establish your brand as an industry influencer. For many, it is time to rethink how social media is viewed. The industry has evolved far beyond early days of posting pictures of lunch and keeping tabs on distant acquaintances. It is now a channel to reach your target audience and build professional credibility within the platforms that your clients and peers are using.

Which Social Media Sites Should You Use?

New sites for social networking are being introduced all the time. The thought of building and maintaining a community within each can be daunting, and even if you have the resources to devote to them, they might not be the right fit for your goals. Identify what it is you are trying to achieve online and only pursue the platformsthat will help you do that.

Here are the dominant players, how they can be used professionally and how you can use the foundation from this series to optimize your online presence.

Blog

What to use it for: When hosted on your website, a blog can help drive traffic (and listings) to your site through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A blog will establish you as an industry expert while increasing engagement on your site. It is the spoke of the wheel that provides shareable content for all social media platforms.

How to optimize it: Conduct a keyword research and incorporate highly-searched keywords and phrases into your blog titles and create content around them to help bring those searchers to your site. As an example, if a popular search phrase is “Selling a business in San Francisco”, write a post titled “5 Tips to Sell a Business in San Francisco”. Your post will be indexed in the search results, appearing whenever that phrase is used in search queries.

What kind of content can you post? Discuss common stumbling blocks of the sales or buying process, write testimonials, interview successful clients and provide how-to articles for prospective buyers or sellers, or write about your experience, what you’ve learned or about new and interesting listings you’re representing. In keeping posts to around 500 words, you can produce content more regularly.

LinkedIn

What to use it for: LinkedIn research indicates that members are nearly 50% more likely to purchase from a company they engage with on LinkedIn. Complete your profile and join LinkedIn Groups for lead generation and industry credibility. Get in front of professional buyers and sellers by posting your two cents and starting informed discussions. There are 2,255 groups of Small Business Owners on LinkedIn today, so it is full of opportunity to become a trustworthy resource! Join a few of them and post regular discussions linking back to your site for a funnel of prospective clients.

How to optimize it: Fortunately, LinkedIn shows you exactly how optimized your profile or company page is. They’ll prompt you with new fields to fill out until you’re in top shape for their search results. LinkedIn’s search function responds well to keywords, so make sure your title, intro summary and experience all carry weight with geographic and industry related keywords. Building your network will help as well, so try a month of their premium service and connect with as many professionals or clients in your contact list as possible. The goal is to show 500+ connections, and the rank in search results will reflect your strength of community.

Tip: Try finding yourself in the search results and see where you rank. This will give you a starting off point to see which areas you can improve on and become the local authority in business brokerage.

What kind of content can you post? 75% of LinkedIn members use it to keep up on business news or research companies. Post your new blogs, relevant and informative industry articles, or open-ended questions to kickstart a discussion that you can facilitate. No matter what you hope to achieve through the use of social media-gain new leads, market your business listings, become an industry influencer or all of these – there are groups you can target to achieve it.

Twitter

What to use it for: Twitter is good for building brand awareness and bringing traffic back to your website. As the easiest platform to maintain, brief 140-character posts will help you engage with small business owners,industry peers, and local associations.

How to optimize it: Fill your bio with keywords, your location and a link to your website.

What kind of content can you post? If your goal is to become an influencer on Twitter, keep your posts on-topic and share relevant news. Again, post your blog articles, new listings as well as news. Re-tweet interesting content from your feed and mention other users you’d like to garner attention from.

Facebook

What to use it for: Create a separate professional or company page that you can build a community around. As the most popular platform in social networking, it can serve as an extended directory with the ability to help users discover your services on a local level. A Facebook presence will help you stay top-of-mind for forthcoming leads who might not be ready to sell or buy just yet, while also bringing value of SEO.

How to optimize it: Fill out your timeline with professional milestones, certification dates, or any other significant times in your professional career. Choose a page name that includes a geographic qualifier and includes your professional designation. For example, “Tom Smith – San Francisco Business Broker”, will help the search tool pick up your title and send interested users your way.

Include your address, contact information and website as well, which will help the new Graph Search identify your location and send more relevant fans to you. Most of all, keep it engaging and aesthetically appealing to help convert visits to “likes”.

What kind of content can you post? Share new listings, news articles, blog posts and a potpourri of interesting facts or pictures. Not every post has to be a home-run, but with a little upkeep you can keep a steady flow of updates coming to your community and a boost in organic visitors.

Google+

What to use it for: SEO. Early adopters of this platform are reaping the rewards of their posts being indexed in search engines. If you have a YouTube channel or Google Places for Business, your G+ account can also harbor them under one title and bring added benefit of keeping visitors in your community. This community and the number involved will improve SEO when done properly, as Google places importance on organic traffic, which G+ lends itself to. Here’s a great article on how to do that.

How to optimize it: Fill out your profile and post relevant content, frequently.

What kind of content can you post? All the usual suspects—blog posts, new listings, local news articles, local industry trends, or testimonials and quotes.

Building a social media presence to grow your business doesn’t require adoption of each platform. Rather, it calls for focus on the top one or two sites that you can easily maintain and will make sense for effectively reaching your audience. Perhaps the most convincing aspect of social media should be its ability to drive traffic back to your site, the hub of your professional brand and the showcase of your offering to prospective clients. Not all sites are equal in value, and not all of them are going to be right for what you’re trying to achieve. Select your top choices, implement a few of the suggestions above, and allow organic traffic to find your brand online.

Bob House is General Manager for BizBuySell.com – the Internet’s largest and most heavily trafficked businessfor-sale marketplace. Currently, approximately 45,000 businesses are listed for sale on BizBuySell and the site receives more than 910,000 monthly visits. BizBuySell also has one of the largest databases of recently sold businesses and a leading franchise directory.


Doug Robbins, FCBI, MCBC, M&AMI, CM&A, CSBA, CMEA

Member Spotlight

Be Quiet or I’ll Break Your Toe

doug-robbinsThere’s an old Chinese proverb: “He who speaks first loses.” Consequently, I always advise my clients to simply answer any questions put to them by the purchaser while avoiding offering any additional information or overtures during negotiations. Always allow the purchaser to speak first so that we can assess the proposals as they are given to us. It was for this reason that we developed the Robbinex NAP (No Asking Price) program.

I once had a client who had a large manufacturing business which operated in an approximately 125,000 square foot facility located near Toronto. At the beginning of our assessment, I noted that we had a son working in the business so we discussed the likelihood of the son taking over the business with the father. The father was adamant that the son was (to his mind at least) incapable of running the business; neither did he have any desire or motivation to run it. Also, the son lacked the financial capacity to even contemplate acquiring it.

With that information in hand, I went out to find a buyer and eventually found who had just sold his stock brokerage business for $2 million and wanted something in the manufacturing area. He flew up and I introduced him to our client and showed him around the business. He liked the business so he came back and gave us a proposal. I delivered the proposal to the client, and he responded to me a few days later.

“I have a problem,” he said. “I reviewed the proposal with my family and told them that I was ready to accept it when my son piped up and said that if that was all I wanted for the business, then he would buy it.”

I reminded the client that he had told me that his son had no money, so how was the son going to pay for it?

“My son has friends from some very wealthy families,” he explained. “And they have met and agreed to become my son’s partners.” He further instructed me to not lose the buyer from Boston, but to put him on hold for a week to 10 days in order to give his son and his friends an opportunity to put in a proposal.

I met with the three of them that afternoon. We toured the facility, reviewed the financial information and the business profile, after which they went away to do their research and to assess their interest in the business.

Later that week, two of the son’s friends came to see me at my office without the son. When I inquired as to the whereabouts of the son, I was told that the two friends didn’t really want to be in partnership with the son, but would rather buy the business themselves, at which point they presented me with an offer. The offer was for the same price as the fellow from Boston, except that the down payment was $100,000 higher and the note was $100,000 less.

While I was meeting with my client with the prepared documentation, another man named Tom called me and said that he also wanted to purchase the business and wanted to know if it was still for sale.

“As we speak, sir,” I told him, “it is for sale. We have two offers on the desk and within an hour it’ll be sold.”

There was another pause. “Hold on for just a second, please,” Tom said. I waited for about a minute. Tom came back on the line and asked: “Would you wait for 24 hours before you make your decision?”

“Why?”

“Well, I’d like to see the business and if it’s what I think it is, then I’d like to put in a proposal. Then you can weigh my offer against the other two.”

“That’d be fine,” I replied. “But, how are you going to get here?”

“We just chartered a jet. We’ll be up there tomorrow morning at eight o’clock.”

True to his word, he flew into the small community airport, along with five other people (his plant manager, an engineer, his accountant, sales manager and equipment appraiser). We picked them up at the airport and drove them to the business. We gave them the boardroom, they went through the facility, they split up into teams, and they eventually called us into the boardroom at around noon. At this point they made us an offer that was $500,000 higher than the other offers.

I heard the client take a deep breath to say “sold” and I stepped on his foot to stop him. “Excuse me, fellas,” I told Tom and his companions. “We’re going to have lunch. You’re going to have to do better if you want to make this transaction come together.”

The client, however, was yelling about his foot. “Sorry about that,” I told him. “I didn’t mean to step on your foot so hard.” By the time we had come back from lunch, the price had been raised $350,000.

Needless to say, I had one happy client even though I did have to take him to the hospital afterwards since it turned out that I had broken his small toe.


Clyth MacLeod, Lifetime CBI

News and Views

clyth-macleodMarket Report

September was a great month for business sales, reflecting the growing return of confidence in the economy. We have had solid sales in all sectors and businesses of all sizes.

That said, many buyers are cautious and emotionally shaken by the recent recession even if it has not impacted them directly. Most will want to verify sales and to include a due diligence clause in their sale and purchase agreement.

Marketing Businesses for Sale

If you are buying a business you will want to choose from multiple opportunities. If you are selling a business you will want it to have the widest exposure so as to attract the best buyer. Our marketing aims to satisfy both buyers and sellers with a multi-pronged strategy:

  • Print Advertising – While newspaper advertising is bringing in less and less response, ethnic newspapers are powerful with immigrant buyers fueling the SME business sales market. Some specialist and industry magazines can be effective too.
  • Internet – We are featuring all of our listings on eight business sales internet sites in New Zealand and overseas. These allow us to include color photos and profiles when appropriate for some businesses and are compatible with confidentiality.
  • Direct Mail and Email – We send out over 10,000 newsletters monthly to qualified buyers and professional advisors, plus email alerts on selected business opportunities.
  • Database Marketing – We have extensive databases helping us communicate with potential sellers.
  • Professional Team – With over 20 licensed salespeople and 50 years of experience specializing only in business sales, our team produces great results for both buyers and sellers.

Best of all, our marketing is free to business sellers—we do not expect them to pay for advertising.


Keith McLeod, Lifetime CBI

From the Editor’s Desk

keith-mcleodEach year we plan for our IBBA and M&A Source conferences. The policy has been to have two per year, and we attempt to oscillate between East and West Coast locations. Members planning to attend should be looking at the value we receive from them rather than just looking at our bank account to decide if we can attend or not. In a recent Axial article by Kristen Steagall, she suggests using a methodology to supplement our thinking. It is very clever and something we should implement.

Sources of Income

Here is a thought to increase next year’s income. Reflect on the past couple of years of your practice. Pull out your checkbook and examine sources of income. Consider adding an additional source for the upcoming year. Here are several possibilities in addition to your success fee:

  • Retainers for sellers
  • Retainers for buyers
  • Consulting
  • Appraisals
  • Exit planning
  • Monthly retainer on larger transactions
  • Break selling into parts and establish a fee for each part
  • Break the purchase process into parts and charge buyers a fee for each part.
  • Products: commercially published books, self-published books, audiocassette tapes, CDs, videotapes and albums
  • Speaking fees
  • Teaching fees
  • What other income sources would you suggest?

In November we have our Fall Conference in Savannah, Georgia. The ideas you will pick up and the contacts you will make will be another source of income for you . For example, veteran Jeff Jones shared a very profitable tip at an IBBA Conference years ago:

Offer two different rate choices. For example, in your listing agreement, offer (A) the prevailing rate in your market; or (B) one or two percent less if the seller pays you a retainer. Let the client make the choice. It is a nice way to ease into taking retainers.

Have you ever faced with an undesirable listing? Of course you have. The solution is to take two different agreements: one offering the rate choice of (A) or (B) above and the other offering a fee only listing. Pull out (B) and use the fee only listing.


Upcoming Events

Nov. 15-16 NEBBA Conference (North Andover, MA)
Nov. 18-23 IBBA Fall Conference (Savannah, GA)
Jun. 2-7 IBBA Spring Conference (Las Vegas, NV)

View upcoming events!


New IBBA Members for October

Gerald G. Brisson
Dean Burnette
George Charalambides
David Fasching
Paul B. Forsberg
Alex Frelier
John D. Fulton
Omar J. Garcia
Michael Goss
Mauricio Maurer
Howard Melton
Jeff Nager
Bill Patten
Mike Ryan
Ken Smith
Jim Turner