Mergers & Acquisitions

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When you are planning to sell your business, one thing you need to consider is the type of customer you have. Does your business have one-time, repeat, or recurring customers? You may be surprised to know that the type of customer you have can have a dramatic impact on the value of your business. One-Time Customers As the name implies, one-time customers are those who find your business, make a purchase, and are never heard from again. One-time customers have no loyalty to your business. Further, it takes a lot of money to acquire a customer, and getting one in...

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Yes, this is absolutely true. Most acquisitions fail. Data is scarce on the success rate of acquisitions -- approximately 70% to 90% of acquisitions fail to meet expectations. Most acquisitions destroy value for the acquirer. But this is missing the point. The real question is not about the “success rate.” The question is about the alternatives. What are the alternatives to business acquisitions? How does growth by acquisition compare to these alternatives? The alternative to growth by acquisition is internal or organic growth. What is the failure rate of organic growth? For example, what percentage of Google's new products reach...

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This is a complex issue, and several factors and variables must be taken into consideration to properly assess the impact a change in employment rates may have on the value of your business. Factors and considerations to keep in mind: High unemployment rates mean more people are unemployed and are potentially looking to buy a small business. This is a significant factor in the sale of small businesses. If you have a small business, a high unemployment rate means there are many more buyers in the marketplace who may be willing to buy a job (i.e., your business). The majority...

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In the complex world of buying and selling a business, coming to an agreement on the proper price for a business can be difficult. An earnout is one element that may be a factor, but it is a complex element. Earnouts are difficult to administer and are prone to litigation. You should give careful consideration to an earnout before you agree to one. What is an Earnout? An earnout is a useful tool in mergers & acquisitions and is commonly used by businesses in a variety of industries. An earnout is an arrangement where the buyer pays the seller additional...

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Even a document labeled “letter of intent” (LOI) may be enforced by a court of law as a binding, enforceable agreement if the court determines that the parties intended the document in question to be a binding agreement at the time it is signed. Are You Kidding Me? No. And when a business owner is threatened with the potential loss of a company as a result of an adverse court ruling, they do not view the matter as a joke. First and foremost, business owners thinking about selling a business -- and prospective buyers interested in purchasing a business --...

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Let’s discuss the three general options you have: SBA Financing: We recommend getting your business pre-approved for an SBA loan if your business is worth less than $5 million. Yes, that means “your business” -- and not the buyer -- pre-approved for a loan. The most popular loan for purchasing a business is the 7(a) loan. This loan requires a 20% down payment. However, if you structure the sale properly, you can reduce this requirement to 10%. This requires that you take action. Once your business has been pre-approved, you may also have the buyer pre-approved as well. However, don’t...

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In general, you should avoid switching accounting systems if you are in the process of selling a business. Although there are some exceptions (which we will discuss later), the majority of the time we recommend staying with your current accounting system if you’re planning to sell in the near future. QuickBooks is currently the most popular accounting system for small businesses, but that is slowly changing with the introduction of more modern, streamlined cloud-based systems. Switching to a new accounting system is a major project and should only be undertaken with proper professional assistance. While software companies claim they can...

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