The Emotional Rollercoaster of Buying or Selling a Business

About the Episode

Whether you realize it or not, buying or selling a business is an emotional rollercoaster. Drew Bisping talks about this emotional journey from both sides of the table as a buyer and seller. He discusses the role that emotions play in the sales process and what you can do about it, the importance of using the right advisors, the very real impact that comes from deal fatigue, and why it is critical to be prepared and understand the impact a sale will have emotionally on yourself, your employees, and partners. 

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“Selling a company is like a rollercoaster on fire, with a whole bunch of good and bad. It’s just a crazy ride. You go through all the different dynamics, from financial to team dynamics to “what does this mean for the future?” – it’s just a roller coaster. Even if you’ve done it before, it’s a change moment.” 

Drew Bisping

In this Episode

3:35 How much growth has BluSky done through acquisitions?
5:56 Why is it important to know the emotional journey of an acquisition from the buy side?
7:10 What is it like selling a business?
8:20 What’s more emotional – selling a business or buying a business?
13:18 How is an ethics filter important when talking with potential acquisitions?
16:02 What is one of the biggest mistakes in the emotional journey of selling a company?
18:13 How often do emotions play an important role on the sell side? What role do emotions play?
20:20 How do emotions manifest themselves?
24:05 Why is it important for a seller to develop a plan after they sell their business?
26:43 Why is due diligence such a challenging and emotional period?
31:10 How much value does a QofE have in the acquisition process?
34:40 How can maintaining realistic expectations and being prepared emotionally help with the acquisition process and the post-close phase?
37:48 What role does preparation play in the due diligence process?
39:59 What role do emotions play in negotiating the letter of intent with a seller?
41:55 What is the importance of transparency and honesty when negotiating an M&A transaction?
46:10 What are the last two weeks of negotiations like?
56:04 When the LOI is signed, how close is the deal to actually reaching completion?

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Acronyms or Terms Used in This Episode

  • Q of E: quality of earnings report
  • LOI: letter of intent
  • Net Working Capital (NWC): A financial metric that represents the difference between a company’s current assets and its current liabilities. In the M&A world, net working capital is defined as accounts receivable plus inventory minus accounts payable and accrued liabilities. Net working capital is often included in the purchase price of a business.
  • Reps and Warranties: Stands for “Representations and Warranties.” Statements and guarantees by a buyer or seller of a business relating to the assets, liabilities, and contacts of the business that is being acquired or the business that is making the acquisition. Breaches of representations and warranties are addressed in the indemnification section of the purchase agreement. A percentage (usually 10%) of the purchase price is normally held back (known as a holdback) in an escrow account for 6 to 18 months following the closing to fund any indemnification claims. This amount is later released to the seller if no claims are made during this time period.

Meet Our Guest

Drew Bisping

Drew Bisping

CEO of BluSky Restoration Contractors LLC

Drew Bisping is the Chief Executive Officer of BluSky, a nationwide emergency restoration and renovation company. Drew is responsible for sales, operations, mergers, and acquisitions, helping BluSky grow through 14 acquisitions over the past five to six years and being sold three times to different PR firms. Drew is also a significant driver of employee culture and the BluSky customer experience.

Drew began his career in the construction industry more than 20 years ago with a bachelor’s degree in construction management from the University of Wisconsin Stout. He joined BluSky in 2007 and has led the company’s operations since 2011. He managed the opening of all of BluSky’s national locations and is currently heavily involved in the integration of acquisitions and new service offerings.

Location Location: Denver, Colorado
Website Website: www.goblusky.com

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