Adam Torres and Curt Maier discuss selling and buying businesses.
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International Business Associates is a Pacific Northwest regional M&A/Business Brokerage firm that represents Sellers in the sale of their businesses in the Lower Middle Market across all industries in manufacturing, services, and retail including franchises. In this episode, Adam Torres and Curt Maier, Vice President of Business Development at IBA, explore buying and selling businesses and the book Curt will be launching with Mission Matters.
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About Curt Maier
He is a Vetrepreneur (US Navy Veteran – Naval Nuclear Submarine Force) having spent twenty years at a FORTUNE 300 global industrial gas manufacturer in increasingly accountable management positions and thoroughly enjoying the past 19 years of small business ownership experience. My strength is in working with small business owners on turnaround management, leadership development and ownership transition strategies. I recently joined IBA (www.ibainc.com), the oldest business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, as their Vice President of Business Development. I had the pleasure of working collaboratively with IBA while previously the owner of my own franchised business brokerage firm (Murphy Business Northwest) and found them to be the pinnacle of the industry in terms of knowledge, experience, professional negotiations, and deal facilitation. I look forward to continuing to serve the entrepreneurial community, including military Veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian life as new small business owners. My business brokerage and franchise consulting services employ “best practices” developed through the years by IBA and myself.
International Business Associates, commonly known as IBA, was established in 1975 by a group of experienced business brokerage professionals who believed that they could provide better customer service, market knowledge, transactional experience, and professional representation while maintaining confidentiality than was currently available to the Pacific Northwest. On this foundation, IBA has grown into the regional leader in business sale transactions involving privately held companies & family owned businesses. Their regional leadership is found in the number of “middle market” transactions successfully facilitated annually, but is also recognized in terms of knowledge & professionalism by the legal, accounting, banking, real estate, and entrepreneurial communities.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to mission matters.com and click on Be Our Guest to Apply. All right, so today’s a special episode. We have Kurt Meyer on the line. He is Vice President of Business Development over at I B A, and I’m also proud to announce.
Kurt is a newest author in our upcoming business leaders book series, and also a member of our community. So, hey Kurt, I just wanna say welcome to the book and welcome to the community now. Good morning, Adam. Glad to be with you this morning. Oh man, Kurt. So we, we got a, we got a lot to cover here today.
We’ll be getting into the book just a little bit. I’ll tell the audience up front, we won’t go too far today because we will be bringing Kurt back on the line for a second part of this interview where we’ll do a deep dive into the book, but that’ll be after the book is live. But for today, we will start this interview the way that we start them all with our mission matters minute.
So, Kurt, we at Mission Matters, we amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives, and experts. That’s our mission. Kurt, what mission matters to you? Well, as a merger and acquisition advisor and business broker, what really matters to me is structuring a win-win relationship between the sellers that we represent and the buyers that we attract.
It’s really important because we’re not only looking out for the interests of our client, the seller, but we want it to be a pleasurable experience for that buyer as well, because at the end of the day, every business changes hands on average of every eight years. So we want that buyer to remember that po pleasurable experience to come back to us when it’s time to sell again.
Yeah, it’s a, it’s a great story and one that I’m happy to bring to to our audience and let, and we’ll go further into, of course, I b a and how you’re helping your your clients. But just to get us kicked off, I mean, how, how did all this get started? Like, tell us a little bit more about your background in business.
Well, I’m very blessed, Adam, to have three distinct careers. I started as a naval nuclear submarine officer for five years. Then I had a corporate career with a Fortune 300 industrial gas supplier, starting in sales, working my way up through business management to general management. And then after 20 years, I became an entrepreneur.
And in that time, in the last 20 years, I’ve owned and sold four of my own businesses. So I come to this this profession with a, a great deal of experience. Initially as a buyer of businesses, as a strategic buyer, so I was rolling up an industry in healthcare for air products and chemicals, and then when I became an entrepreneur after selling one of my own businesses, I reflected on what I wanted to do next.
And. The whole experience of selling my business was so pleasurable in terms of spending the time to value it to put together a book on the business to find a buyer to assist that buyer in financing the acquisition, transferring operating licenses, transferring the lease. I said, geez, that, that’s so much fun that I think there are a lot of people like me that need support in selling businesses.
So I knew there was a market for it. And then I also reflected on what happened when I left the large company and I tried to find the right business. And I know that there are a lot of sharp people out there that need help in finding, making sure that the business that they acquire is the right fit.
So I thought, geez representing sellers we’re representing Myers. That sounds like a, a neat thing to do, an important thing to do. And it enabled me to kind of enjoy the flexibility that I wanted in my life in terms of choosing how many clients and what types of clients I wanted, and again, to work both on the selling side and the buying side, which I think as a as a business intermediary that keeps you sharp.
I wanna stick in those early days a little bit longer and I’ll, and I’ll tell you why. So you had an accomplished corporate career and at some point you chose to, so I know you mentioned buying and selling four businesses, but let on that first business, like at some point you decided to move from corporate America, become an entrepreneur, purchase a business.
Like what was that transition like? Because I know there’s other individuals that are probably watching this right now, contemplating and thinking about, you know, what’s next for me? And they might be considering going that route. Yeah, Adam, you know, I classify myself as the reluctant entrepreneur. So what do I mean by reluctant?
I wasn’t born like my neighbor here in Bellevue, like Bill Gates. I mean, I was the typical corporate employee. Yeah, and I was an executor. I got things done. I followed the position description and accomplished my objectives, and it was difficult to make that transition and, and, mm-hmm. What really drove me to leaving a very comfortable corporate lifestyle was the need for flexibility and also a realization that, In all of my hard work, I was effectively making the shareholders very wealthy.
Yeah. But not necessarily myself. And so I wanted to ensure that, you know, my efforts were realized for my own personal gain and growth. Mm-hmm. And so, you know, it was, it was a little difficult to make that decision. And then, you know, when I was initially looking for that first opportunity, it, it was challenging to find something that I was comfortable pulling the trigger on, because again, in 20 years of a corporate career Yeah.
Very conservative risk averse. Mm-hmm. And everything I looked at had hair on it, you know, was concerned about this, that, and the other thing. And so that was the most difficult thing was, you know, coming to the realization that. You know, I’m, I’m going to have to choose something that is not absolutely perfect and have the faith and confidence that I can build it into a profitable and successful enterprise.
Hmm. Anything that you wish obviously the benefit of hindsight, right? You went through the process multiple times and presumably, you know, things went better and better over time, but anything on that first one that you wish you would’ve maybe done a little bit differently or you’re like, man, I wish I would’ve known that even with all my due diligence and everything I thought, I thought I knew, like I didn’t know this.
Anything that kind of stuck out to you there? Yes. I would say the, the number one thing that I’ve learned, and I hope the audience can take take this away, is that at the time I left, I didn’t realize there were professionals out there like me, that there are business brokers, intermediaries, there are franchise consultants there, there are a number of professionals that can assist.
People in that transition from their corporate career to small business ownership. And had I known that I would’ve engaged someone like myself who had been there, done that, had made the transition, understood how to make the right fit, you know, would be able to look at my profile as far as my strengths and weaknesses.
And make the right suggestions. Mm. So what I ended up doing, I was quite frankly, rather inefficient at the time. I would google, you know, businesses for sale. I would try to filter it by industry, et cetera, but I, I flailed around quite a bit by not having those professionals on my team ready to go.
Mm-hmm. And so I think it’s, it’s critical that when you make the The transition that you realize that you need some folks that you know, like and trust to help you, help guide you, help challenge you, help share, you know, their views on what might be appropriate for you or not. So number one takeaway is to use a professional in.
Assessing, you know, what the right opportunity is out there. Hmm. And similar question and still sticking with that first business. Would your answer be similar for what would you have done differently, or what would on that, on that first cell as well, or that first exit? Well, yes. You know, I had to tee it up because, and I’ll tell you what I’m, I’m a huge fan of using professionals, but you don’t know what you don’t know.
Right, exactly. You know, and I, and I think what happens is, you know, you spend 20 years in a corporate environment. Yeah. And, and you go up the different rungs and you have this confidence almost. Ordering on arrogance that you know everything, you know, you’re experienced, you’re running a quarter billion dollar business, et cetera.
But when you, as I just said, when you get out on your own and you’re buying on your own, it’s your money, you know your capital. It’s important to make sure that it’s the right decision. So in answer to your question about on the sell side, same thing. So. The first business that I sold, my first business was a franchise, and the buyer was basically unsolicited approached me about buying my business.
And so I didn’t think about hiring in intermediary, yeah, to do the work for me. Again, I thought, you know, I’m smart enough to figure this out. I can come up with the best price, I can negotiate the best deal. I can hold the hand of the buyer through the process. And so I did all that. Now, at the end of the day, I was satisfied with the, the price in terms of the deal, and it went very smooth and, and I think the buyer was completely satisfied.
However, I highly recommend that if you’re a business owner, that you consider using a professional that does this every day. Yeah, I mean, it’s their job to make sure that every I is dotted, every T is cost. You wanna leave? Nothing a chance when you sell your business, it’s a big deal. Yeah. I mean, it’s the biggest deal in any professional’s life when they sell their business.
I mean, most business owners at the end of the day, have built more equity in their business than they have in their home or in their portfolio. And so that exit, the sale of that business is just of a huge importance to set yourself up either for retirement or for investment in in another business or whatever direction you’re going in.
Yeah. So I, I would argue that you’re you were pretty sharp in that. I, I won’t say you got lucky, I’m sure, but I’m, I will say that I’m, I’m glad it went so well for you because I’ve heard many, many horror stories on the exit of a business for somebody that wasn’t working with with a professional.
But I, I won’t, I won’t take mine. I’ll I’ll ask you, so like, what are some of the common mistakes, you know, today’s topic, getting maximum value for your business when you’re selling it. What are some of the common mistakes that you find that, you know, business owners make when they’re, when they’re exiting a business or selling a business?
Sure. I would say the number one mistake is not planning well enough in advance. Mm-hmm. Too many times I think that thinking about your exit as an owner is the furthest thing from your mind. Yeah. There’s this feeling that everything is going well. And we’ll continue to, to do well, you know, forever.
Mm-hmm. I think there, there has to be a realization that you should always have the end in mind. It’s, it’s one of the COV seven habits. Right. And I live by it. I mean, I’m always thinking with the end in mind, you know? Mm-hmm. And so, you know, you’ve gotta be thinking that one day I’m gonna, I’m gonna be in a position to have to sell this business because I’m not gonna pass it along to any family member.
I have no family members in the business. Mm-hmm. And my employees may not be able to buy me out because you know, the price may be too high, et cetera. So you’ve gotta be thinking, you know, that I’m going to sell this one day. And with that in mind, You’ve got to be thinking, at least in my opinion, three years in advance, you’ve gotta start getting the wheels in motion three years in advance.
And why do I say that far in advance? Because when it comes time to sell, an intermediary like me is going to ask you for your last three years, tax returns, PNLs. We’re gonna wanna see what that track record is. You know, people, people are going to fund your business based on historicals, not on what the forecast is.
So, you know, the biggest mistake is, is not planning and then not making sure that you’re ready to sell when the time is right. Mm-hmm. And what I mean by ready to sell is make sure that those financials are clean, that they’re attractive to a buyer, that they’re understood. Make sure that if you’re spending in a discretionary manner in your business, you know, you’re writing off expenses that are not directly related to the business, make sure that they’re clearly noted so that they can be explained to the buyer when you determine what the seller’s discretionary earnings are.
So, you know, the planning aspect of it, getting the books and records clean and then. One of the most important things is to ensure that you have a succession plan. Hmm. Too many owners end up working in the business forever instead of transitioning to working on the business. Yeah. The business is going to be much more attractive to a buyer if they come in and they don’t have to replace.
Everything that that owner is doing, day one, yes. If they can come in and lean on either an employee or a management team that can get through the transition mm-hmm. And give them the support they need is very important. So the owner has to recognize that you can’t wait until the last second to develop that team.
Yeah. And can you give an example maybe of developing that team? So I guess on the simplest level, like do you have a CFO f doing it, doing some of the books, or are you doing it? That’s where my mind went, but can you give an example of like what that may entail? Yeah, I, I think that, you know, your example of, of having a C F O or someone in the financial.
Administrative arena that understands the books, records reporting, et cetera, is critical. But let me give you an example on the commercial end, you know, many owners have have built the business through their relationships with clients and mm-hmm. What they need to do over time is ensure that they have.
A sales team, whether it’s a sales manager, senior sales executives, depends upon the size and complexity of the business, obviously. Mm-hmm. But there has to be relationships that exist beyond the owner from a sales and client facing. Standpoint. Yeah. And that makes total sense. So if you’re thinking, okay, I’m gonna buy this business from this owner, they’re doing, you know, X, Y, Z and revenue, they’re doing all this, then the owner leaves, and then all of a sudden in your sales drought, you’re in trouble, aren’t you, Kurt?
Exactly. Exactly. And, and the one thing the owner does not want to happen is they, they. Don’t wanna have to come back into the business. Yeah. Once the business is sold, they wanna move on to their retirement or to the next phase of their professional career. You know, they don’t want the buyer to fail.
They really don’t. Even, even though they’ve been paid for the business, I. You know, the typical owner has pride in what he has built for good reason. And so the legacy should be important. Mm-hmm. You know, they wanna see that buyer continue to do well, of course. And, you know, a a a good owner will recognize perhaps what skills.
They lack that a new buyer can enhance the business with, you know, an owner might be coasting along and be quite content, you know, taking a lot of money out of the business but is not investing in continuous growth. And as we all know in business, you know, you either grow or you die. I mean, for sure, you know, the, the, the second you become content, then your competition sneaks up on you or you know, inattention to detail leads to profitability, decline or what have you.
So, you know, a new buyer hopefully will bring. A new sense of purpose and energy and excitement and perhaps some skills that you don’t have. I mean, I, I’m just thinking about, you know, the the, the world of social media and digital marketing and too many owners have been left behind, you know? Mm-hmm.
And have not made those investments. So, you know, just by a new buyer coming in with those skill sets, could take an existing business and take it to a whole nother level. It’s very exciting. And, and for the owner, they should be happy with that. You know, they’ve, they’ve exited at the price and terms that they needed, so they’re happy and they should be happy for their employees, for their clients, for their suppliers.
You know, it, it’s gotta be, as I said, in the, in the, out at the outset, it’s gotta be a feeling. Yeah. That’s what we’re, that’s what we’re aiming for. That’s the mission that matters to us. Hmm. I wanna go a little bit deeper into I b a. So, you know, you’ve been an entrepreneur as you, as you mentioned for a while, multiple purchase and sold businesses.
And at some point in your journey you decide, you know, you wanna help others be able to do what you were able to do successfully. And maybe tell us a little bit more about I b A and why you chose to join their team. Sure. Well, I b a is the oldest merger and acquisition business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest.
Hmm. So they’re a regional, privately held firm that was founded in Portland. The current owner assumed ownership in the year 2000 and moved the headquarters to Bellevue outside of Seattle. We have in addition to the headquarters in Bellevue, we have offices in Spokane, in Portland, and in Bend. And we have over a dozen brokers that have similar backgrounds to me.
You know, former business owners, professional salespeople, former attorneys, former franchisors, former franchisees. So a good variety of business people. We work in all industries in manufacturing services and retail. And we work in the lower middle market, meaning these are businesses that have enterprise values between a low of about a million bucks, up to 25 million with maybe 80% of our transactions between two and 6 million.
Hmm. And so what we do as a firm that differentiates ourself from other m and a firms is that we work on a hundred percent performance compensated basis, meaning we’re only paid a success fee when the deal is done at closing. Yeah. So what that means is we do our initial work, our business evaluation, free of charge.
There are no fees associated with the marketing of the business. There are no retainers required. Mm-hmm. So we’re telling the owner that we are the gun for hire. If you’re serious about selling your business, we’re gonna get it done in the next three to nine months, and we’re gonna get it done at the best price and terms for you.
Mm-hmm. And it’s gonna provide a win-win for the buyer and the seller. Yeah. And you asked, you know, how I got involved with I b A. So among the, the various business that I’ve owned, I own my own business brokerage firm for a number of years, and after five years of building the business, it was very successful.
Mm-hmm. One thing that I’ve learned in business is the best time to sell a business is when it’s doing well, when it’s profitable. Mm-hmm. So in at the end of 2016, my youngest daughter went off to college, so an emp empty nest for my wife and I. Mm-hmm. And it got me to thinking about my exit strategy.
So I told you that owners need to be thinking about the exit well in advance. Yeah. So I thought to myself, well, what’s my exit strategy? Mm-hmm. What am I gonna do if my kids don’t want to take this business over? And so for me, the likely scenario in a business brokerage firm, As far as an exit is to sell to one of your agents.
So I thought, okay, I’ve checked the box. I thought about the exit. The likely buyer would be one of my agents, and so I’m good to go. The more I thought about that, I asked my wife, I said, you know, business is doing really well. There’s some other things I wanna do in life. I want to visit my aging parents on the East coast, which I hadn’t done for 40 years, much.
Spending most of my my career on the West coast. Mm-hmm. I wanted to do some angel investing. And so ultimately I sold my business to my agent and I thought I was gone. I thought I was retired again. I was 59 years old. And and they pulled you back in, didn’t they, Kurt? Yeah. You got it. I mean, you know, 2017, you know, I transitioned my business.
I had my fun, I played my golf. Yeah. Made some investments and then, I had developed a relationship with I b A in a very professional manner. I had some buyers that purchased businesses that I b a represented. So I did a couple of deals with the owner, developed a nice professional relationship across the desk.
Mm-hmm. And then when I sold my business, it remained a personal relationship. And one day, you know, after a round of golf, I think I, I recall the moment well where b my friend Gregory Kosky reached out to me and he had that look in his eye, and I knew where he was going. I, I knew that he had something in his mind about a role for me with I b A and I said, don’t go there.
I’m done. And he said, and he said, yeah, I know. I know you’re done. I know you’re not gonna work for anybody anymore. I mean, that’s why you sold your business, right? Yeah. I mean, you were done doing the hard work. Of a business broker, recasting financial statements, you know, negotiating deals, the whole nine yards.
And so I wondered what he had in mind for me, and he said, I know what you like. You know you like to eat, drink, and play golf and schmooze. And I said, yeah, you got that right. And they know what you don’t like. Obviously you don’t like to work anymore. Yeah, you got that right. So what is it you want me to do?
And he said, well, you know, we have. You know, a number of brokers and you have relationships that you developed through the years. Mm-hmm. With referral sources, which for us are primarily financial advisors. Mm-hmm. CPA firms and attorneys. Just think about it. Where are owners gonna go when it’s time to sell a business?
They’re gonna turn to a trusted advisor and say, you know, can I retire? Do I have enough money to retire? Mm-hmm. You know, can I pay the taxes? Yeah. So they’re going to ask a trusted advisor as to where to go to sell the business, and it will come to us. Mm-hmm. And it’ll come through a personal relationship.
People deal with people they know alike and trust. So he knew that I had a good network and he also knew that I knew business brokerage cold. And so he said, I would like you to come on board in a business development capacity. Hmm. And you can decide if you wanna work 0, 20, 40, 60, 80 hours. It’s up to you.
You’re not an employee. You’re 10 99. You know, I’ll pay you appropriately based on the, the deals that you source, et cetera. And it was perfect. You know? Yeah. It really enabled me to remain mentally stimulated still in the game, you know, still around business owners and such. And so I, I did have one caveat for him.
I said, you know, that sounds like a great opportunity and I’d love to come on board. Your team and help you build it. But I’d like to also continue a focus I have on franchising, so, mm-hmm. Adam, we didn’t really talk about it, but that first business that I ended up buying was a franchise. Yeah. And I did so well with it that when I became a business broker, I became a franchisee again.
Hmm. So I was a franchisee for a major national brokerage firm. So franchising was very good to me, and I know that it’s a very good option for first time owners. Hmm. And so I said to him, I have a franchise broker’s license, and there’s only two states in the country that require licensing. To sell franchises.
Washington State is one, New York State is the other. So I said I wanna remain engaged in the franchise community because I believe that certain Meyers should be attracted to franchising for the right reason. And he had no problem with that. He said, Hey, look, we, we represent sellers. We’re focused on the selling side.
You know, buyers to us are a dime a dozen, you know? Yeah. We really need to find those good, profitable companies to sell. But you know, if you wanna work with buyers, be my guest. Yeah. And franchising is a great option for them, you know, have at it. And so he allowed me and has allowed me to not only.
Continue my work in franchising, but we have brought on a full-time resource in the firm to focus on buyers who have a preference for franchises over the purchase of existing businesses. So anyway, that’s how I got to I b A. It was based on a great, I love it. It’s a great. Story. It’s like you, you thought you were done and they got you back and it, and it makes sense because you have so much to offer and that that’s the way I see it.
And I’m, and, and that, that gentleman was genius cuz he knows once you get in there, like your, your heart is to help these business owners. You’ve been doing it for yourself, you’ve done it for others, and you wanna see people succeed. So you get a guy like you in this. See, and you can’t help it. I know. I know.
You over deliver and I know you work more than you’re supposed to in your supposed retirement. No, that’s correct. I I think that, you know, it’s ironic that everybody, you know, thinks about retirement as You know, the end all goal, and I can’t wait till I get to the finish line so I can kick back and relax.
But I think what we’re all realizing is that in addition to keeping yourself physically fit, you know, for your longevity, it’s more the mental stimulation. You know, yeah. It’s not, you know, sitting in front of a tube watching CNN or Fox News or the network of your choice. It’s really challenging, you know, your brain, you know, thinking about strategy and tactics, and quite frankly, a little stress thrown in there.
Yeah. You know, is, is not so bad either. You know, especially if you’re not looking for your next meal, you know, if you’re secure in your lifestyle and such. So yeah, it’s worked out to be, you know, quite a nice position and, and consequently we’ve grown the business. I joined I b a almost five years ago. We had about four brokers.
We’re now up to a dozen brokers. Amazing. You know, the pandemic period as well. Yeah. So, you know, the demographics are such that these baby boomers, older baby boomers, Are having no choice. Mm-hmm. But to sell their business, they don’t wanna wake up one day in bed and their spouse, you know, pushes them and, and they, they’ve passed and then all of a sudden the businesses were the zero.
Mm-hmm. Again, it gets back to being proactive. You know, think of the end in mind, you know, sell that business while it’s profitable so you can get the best place in terms and so that you can decide. Which buyer you want to sell to. I mean, that’s what I B A does. We create a competitive marketplace for each of our engagements, and we want to try to elicit multiple offers so that we can deliver them to the seller and give the seller the option of who they wanna sell the business to.
It could be a venture capital fund, it could be. Private equity fund, it could be a high net worth individual that, that can buy the business, you know, whatever the best fit is. You know, if the, if the owner is concerned about the employees, they might choose a buyer that they feel is gonna look out for their employees better than a.
Perhaps a private equity fund. So, you know, our job is to get the best price in terms on the table, get the deal done, and ensure that the I are dotted, ts are crossed, and that that seller goes off, you know, to his next chapter with a smile on his face and that the buyer is happy as well. Mm-hmm.
So some of the people that have watched this, this’ll be the first time they’re really seriously contemplating exiting a business for those individuals. Like, talk a little bit about the, maybe the team approach and the approach that I b a takes to, to getting it done. Yeah. So it is, it is a team. It does start with the broker.
Him or herself. So the broker is the quarterback, but the other team players that are involved are typically the C P A for the seller, for the owner. Mm-hmm. And an attorney for the owner. Now, that attorney needs to be somebody that’s well versed in business transactions, not necessarily, you know, the family estate.
Attorney or Right. An attorney, you know, that they know that is a divorce attorney or something. You know, it has to be specific to business transaction because both the seller and Meyer have to understand that, you know, the deal has to be fair for both. So you can’t be trying to pull the sheets over to your side at every opportunity.
You have to be reasonable. Mm-hmm. You know, when you’re the seller, you have to put yourself in the buyer’s position. You know, and think what? What does the Meyer want? What does he expect to see? And the same goes for the attorney on your side as well. So the team members would be the CPA and the attorney.
And probably the financial advisor for the owner. For the seller. Mm-hmm. To ensure that, you know, he’s on board with how the equity is gonna be transferred from the business to the personal portfolio to be managed for retirement or what have you. And there’ll be a tax professional involved here, here.
Either from the CPA firm or from one of our partners who specializes in all of the tax aspects of the transaction. Mm-hmm. Which is key because what’s really important in any kind of deal for the owner is not the price that we get. Mm-hmm. You know, or the terms. It’s really what are they putting in their pocket, what are they walking away with?
And part of the negotiation has to be. Things like the tax allocation of the various assets of the business so that, you know, it reflects favorably upon the owner. Okay. Recognizing that the buyer may wanna, again, you know, Set that negotiation up to where, you know, they can take advantage of it years later when they sell the business.
So the team approach has to be to bring in those experts that cover all aspects of the deal, and the business broker is the key to pulling them together. And keeping them focused, keeping them to a, to a strict timeline with milestones. Mm-hmm. And to try to remove any contingencies in the deal over time so that you have a very smooth and pleasant closing.
Hmm. It’s great. I mean, I love, I’m a big fan of process. I’m a big fan of if, especially if it’s the first time you’re doing something, like if this is the first time you’re selling a business, you haven’t done it before, like to go at it on your on your own and to think that you’re gonna get the maximum value or to.
Think that you know what you’re doing. I mean, I never wanna make one of my biggest transactions to be on my own when it’s the first time I’ve done it. That’s shocking. That’s scary. And I feel like a lot of business owners have the potential of leaving, you know, some money on the table and maybe not getting the right value that they should be getting, not just money wise.
But you brought up a good point, and when you talk about the succession side of. Things like making sure that their employees are taken care of and the people that help build that business, right? So there’s a lot of different layers of complexity to getting what you know, what you deem to be value, not just the the, you know, the cash and the equity side of things, but what you deem to be value and to get the right objective that you wanted to get.
Because the last thing and what I, when I was a financial advisor, Kurt, so years ago I can remember multiple people walking into my. Office with the check after the sale was done and they did it themselves. And I can remember thinking like, oh, what happened? And I, you know, they were still my clients so I’d hear, you know, after the fact about certain things that either happened that they expected or didn’t expect.
And it wasn’t always pretty, now that I look back and now that I know, cuz I didn’t really work with any business brokers when I was a financial advisor. So I didn’t know, like you said, you didn’t know when you sold that first business. I didn’t know when I was a financial advisor cause I hadn’t worked with him.
One. But now that I know and I’m on the other side of knowing, if I would encourage anybody that is watching this, you are also on the other side of knowing. So it, it makes sense to think about engaging with the profession, whether it’s i b a or somebody else. But get some help. Get some advice. Don’t, don’t make that one on your own.
Well, Kurt, I just have to say it has been a absolute pleasure having you on the show today. I know we, as I mentioned, we’re not gonna go far into the book today because we’re gonna bring you back on the show, but I’m happy to welcome you into the community Of course. And I just have to ask, I mean, what’s next?
I mean, what’s next for you? What’s next for your career? Well, I just wanna continue delivering value to both sellers and buyers. I am a veteran, and as such, I know that there are many transitioning veterans moving from active duty to civilian life, and sure, 80, 90% of ’em are going to have to get a job.
But there is a portion of that community that is very well positioned to become small business owners. They’ll do extremely well. Again, getting back to the execution aspect. Yes. You know, they know how to get it done. Hard workers sharp. Many of them have had years of managerial experience. So I wanna expose them to the entrepreneurial option that they should consider either the purchase of an existing business or a new franchise in addition to doing job interviews and such.
So what’s next for me is to just continue to deliver, you know, to folks who want to achieve the American Dream, small business ownership, and in particular, look out for those veterans who You know, really need our support. Yeah, it’s wonderful. And Kurt, if somebody’s watching this or listening to this and they wanna follow up and connect with you and your team over at I b A what’s the best way for them to do that?
Absolutely. Well, the best way is to reach out to me on LinkedIn. I have a LinkedIn profile. They can go to the IBA website, iba inc.com. I’ll be more than happy to talk to them whether they’re interested in selling a business or, or just. You know, continuing the discussion about preparing to sell a business for maximum value.
And likewise, a lot of people are experienced layoffs now in the tech industry, at least here in the Seattle area, and they’re considering their options and maybe don’t want to continue being a W2 employee forever. And they wanna explore small business ownership and I’d be happy to chat with them or meet with them.
Fantastic. And we’ll, we’ll put all that information in the show notes so that you know, our audience can just head right on over and connect with you and your team. And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or engaging in an episode, we’re all about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, and experts, and having them share.
Their mission, the reason behind their mission, really how they’re out there making a difference in the marketplace. If that’s the type of content that sounds interesting or fun or engaging to you, we welcome you hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up on the line, and we don’t want you to miss a thing.
And Kurt really has been a pleasure. Looking forward to the next time we get to do this. Okay, Adam, it’s a pleasure.