As a service provider, it is always important that clients have a good experience working together. I know I have done my job well when they come back, sometimes years later, to work together again. That is what happened in 2022.
Approximately five ago, I helped a client to buy a business. The transaction was a success and I was confident he had what it takes to do well. Last year, I received a phone call from this client. He had grown a wholesale distribution business to over $3M in annual revenue. The owner was now ready to retire and knew that Acuity Business Group could help him do that.
This business owner came prepared to sell. He had done his due diligence in a number of different ways. First, he interviewed other business brokers to see if there was someone else he wanted to work with. Ultimately he chose Acuity Business Group again, citing our “practice of setting realistic expectations and being reasonable throughout the valuation process” as key reasons to reengage.
Second, the owner had meticulous and accurate records about every aspect of the business and was ready to share that information. This made it easier for our team to put together a detailed overview of the business, price it accurately, and start to attract qualified buyers ready to make an offer.
Finally, the owner stepped back and let me handle as many aspects of the transaction as possible. He focused on the business while I answered inquiries, screened potential buyers, negotiated terms, and dealt with anything else that arose. By continuing to work hard during the sale process, he maintained strong revenue, inspiring buyer confidence.
As with all business for sale transactions, there were challenges. Revenues had been affected by the early months of Covid-19, and this was reflected in the financial records. However, the owner worked hard to rebound from those months and posted a significant increase in revenue in 2021 and onwards.
The business was listed for sale during the height of global and national supply chain issues. The owner quickly responded by increasing focus on customer pricing. The price increase was well accepted for a few reasons. There had not been any significant price increases since 2017, and customers were very aware of rising product transport and purchase costs. The business implemented and communicated the increases without any decrease in product demand.
Due to the overall economic climate, there were concerns that accessing financing would be a hurdle for buyers. In this transaction, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) played a significant role in financing the sale. BDC is a bank that specializes in helping Canadian entrepreneurs to access small business loans with competitive rates.
The end result
The business sold relatively quickly and the owner was able to retire. When asked about his experience, the owner said, “The listing process and buyer vetting went very smoothly, largely in part to Ken’s facilitations. He did a great job shielding me from tire kickers and poor-quality leads, allowing me to focus on my business. As with any major negotiations, there were a few surprises, but Ken remained flexible and ensured that everything was taken care of. My business sold more quickly than I had anticipated, and the entire process went much smoother than I thought was possible. Having worked with Ken on both sides of the process, I highly recommend him to anyone looking to sell their business. You can be assured he will be completely straightforward through the entire process and will work on your behalf until the deal is closed.”
Selling a business can feel overwhelming, but preparation and the right partners can help it go smoothly. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this client for a second time. My goal as your business broker is to ensure your experience is so good that you invite me to partner together when you decide to sell or grow! If you are thinking about selling your business this year, let’s talk.