Navigating Mergers & Acquisitions Without Taking ‘Too Long’Navigating Mergers & Acquisitions Without Taking ‘Too Long’
Mergers and acquisitions don’t have to be complicated, says an expert who divulges tips on a simpler sales process.
October 9, 2023
Selling a business, no matter what kind, can prove to be convoluted. The process, Tim Muller, president of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm MartinWolf Associates, says that channel partner managers, owners and leaders looking to sell their businesses must consider sales best practices if they wish for a fruitful exit.
And with a lagging economy becoming more of an actuality, selling said business could become even more tricky. Mueller says he has the secret sauce and plans to give out that recipe at Channel Futures Leadership Summit 2023 in a session called “Preparing for the Sale of Your Agent Tech Advisor Business.”
Held at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Oct. 30-Nov. 2, we set out to understand what attendees might gain from joining the session. We sat down with Mueller to find out how he plans to prepare agents and tech advisors for the sale of their biggest asset — their firm.
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He says there are 10 steps that one must take before doing so, expressly, if one wishes to relish success in selling that agency. We learned about a few of those measures.
Channel Futures: What should agents consider when preparing to sell their business?
MartinWolf/ITx’s Tim Mueller
Tim Mueller: Across-the-board finances are the most important thing to keep in check as you start to look toward mergers and acquisitions. Having sound finances will allow firms to move through questions quickly. The pace at which they give answers will affect the time the deal is on the table.
The longer the deal is on the table, the less likely it is to close.
CF: Can you share some measures agents and advisors should take when readying to sell?
TM: While we strongly advise using IT ExchangeNet – [a partnership with Channel Futures] – to explore the world of M&A, the information during this session will be helpful to those who are five, 10, and even 15 years from selling. In any business, there are two options. Option one is to fail; option two is to sell, partner or merge.
CF: Who should attend your session?
TM: Those with a clear mindset as you form your goals for a transaction. Are you looking to maximize the sale price? Do you want an investor that will allow you to stay involved and uphold your core business values? Knowing your needs will allow you to reach buyers who fit your criteria. And those who are keen to learn should attend.
As the seller, you will still need to negotiate, so this remains critical. Be prepared to ask questions of your trusted advisors. Many times, M&A advisors pay for themselves. The process that advisors run works like an auction, putting bids against each other and shielding the seller from a hard “no” that will get delivered to unwanted offers.
Channel Futures has a partnership with ITX, a Martinwolf company, that offers an M&A marketplace facilitating the sale of IT-enabled businesses. Learn about it here.
Meantime, Mueller is moderating another session – Ready, Set, Go: The 10 Most Important Elements of Your Business – at Channel Futures Leadership Summit.
“I’ll guide attendees through assessment techniques used by private equity firms, strategic buyers, advisors and other investors alongside the M&A professionals from IT ExchangeNet,” said Mueller.
Mueller, much like other executives at MartinWolf, learned the ropes of M&A by selling his own business. Mueller sold Phylogy, an Inc. 500 Silicon Valley tech startup, and Vantage One Communications, before coming over to help other tech founders explore M&A with IT ExchangeNet.
“Founders will have the opportunity to measure their businesses through these criteria: financials, meaning your profitability, cash flow, debt levels, operations, which includes your company’s efficiency rate, productivity, and customer satisfaction,” Mueller said about the “10 Most Important Elements” session.
According to Mueller, there are other elements to consider, like sales pipelines, lead generation and conversion rates. Also important is how one markets that business and the strategy that accompanies it.
“Innovation is another big one, meaning your culture of innovation, new product development process, and the success rate of new products also play a critical role,” Mueller told Channel Futures.
Attendees can expect to get a number of questions answered in the session, such as:
What are the timetables for getting a deal done? How do different types of buyers behave?
What can advisors do that independent sellers cannot do?
Where can I add value to my business in terms of customer concentration?
How do buyers behave as interest rates increase?
Where can I pursue innovation in my business?
What does an M&A process look like?
Following the session, Mueller said that M&A professionals would be available to meet one-on-one to discuss their findings and dive deeper into their businesses.
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