Being Coachable HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 26. There is one thing we require of our seller clients during the week of management visits: We ask them to be extremely coachable. It can be demanding (and possibly a little humbling), but I believe being coachable is a necessary component of creating the best outcome as you […]

How Not to Derail a Management Visit HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 25. Sellers can, at times, inadvertently sabotage their own progress during a management visit. Our team is skilled at managing any problems that may arise and work diligently to ensure our clients are successful. Below I outline four common missteps and how Advisors at Stillwater manage these.  MISSTEP ONE: […]

Management Visits are Critical HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 24. The management visit – the meeting between you and the shortlist of qualified buyers – is the highlight of the Market Outreach phase. A lot is riding on your success here. If you have done it properly, you should have confidence in every name on that shortlist of […]

Narrowing the Field pt.2 HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 23. In my last post, I outlined our first step in cutting the extensive list of interested candidates down to a list of the highest-quality potential buyers through a request for a written Expression of Interest (EOI).  The EOI request quickly removes bargain hunters, value investors, and tire kickers from […]

Narrowing the Field pt.1 HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 22. The Market Outreach Phase is an energizing time in the sale process. Lots of time has been spent researching and reaching out to a robust list of prospects. As I’ve discussed earlier, this is no small feat, so what needs to be done next might seem counterintuitive.  Here’s what […]

Removing Obstacles HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 21. Removing any obstacles that stand between you and the sale of your company is a key job for your M&A Advisors. Dealing with obstacles is a systematic process for a skilled team: Identify an obstacle Deploy the best strategic response to properly position it Anticipate future obstacles Prepare […]

Bring Your “A” Game HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 20. Getting the attention of prospective buyers isn’t easy. Once we have the ear of decision-makers, we have a small window of time to pique their interest.  We’re careful not to waste those moments; we have our “A” Game ready to deploy while that window is open. So, what […]

Trust is Everything HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 19. Trust underpins the entire process of selling your business. Finding buyers that you can trust is our job as your Advisor; however, the buyer must trust both you and your Advisors as well.  On the subject of trust, we have two responsibilities:    1: We must communicate trustworthiness to our […]

Protecting Your Name HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 18. We can’t say this too strongly – you never want word of your company’s sale to be public knowledge – this is a private affair. Public knowledge of the sale can wreak havoc on the health of your business, attract vultures, and even interfere with getting the price […]

Making Initial Contact HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 17. We’ve previously discussed the Sale Book as being one of the end products in the Preparatory Phase. The Sale Book contains everything a potential buyer needs to know to decide if they are interested in your company or not. In essence, it’s your advertisement.  Although we may approach ten different companies with […]

Who Are You Talking To? HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 16. Previously, we introduced the task of developing and personalizing an initial list of potential buyers for your company. It’s not easy to do this well, and doing so is a mark of a great M&A Advisory team at work. Stillwater’s attention to detail on your custom-built buyer list […]

Keep Your Sales in Focus HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 15. When you start formally working with Stillwater to sell your company, there is something we ask you to do right away that will have significant consequences for you, particularly when you move into the Market Outreach stage. Keep your focus on your sales. We’re talking about making strong […]

Setting the Pace for a Sale HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 14. “How long does a sale process take?” an interviewer recently asked me. I answered, “that depends on how far back you want to put the starting line.”  So far in this series, we have focused our attention on the initial steps and work (Preparation) within the three-stage process […]

Identifying the Perfect Buyer HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 13. As you complete the preparation stage, momentum will begin to build and you will feel a sense of acceleration as you strain towards the finish line. It is time to showcase your business in the marketplace. Who do we show it to? Going to market is one of […]

The Story We Will Tell HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 12. So far in this series, we have looked in detail at the extensive preparation you must undertake with your M&A Advisors to get ready to sell your business. This is not easy work, and you may find yourself fatigued and tempted to rush things at this stage in […]

What’s Your Downside? The Truth About Honesty HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 11. When you tell your company’s story to prospective buyers, make sure you are not hiding anything. This is simple enough advice; most of us have had enough life experience to know that honesty truly is the best policy. There are checks, safeguards, and penalties in place against outright […]

The Magic of Multiple Bids – No Regret Selling HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 10. When new clients sit down with us for the first time, they have often already received an offer or have a particular buyer in mind. Having a single prospective buyer in mind makes the sale process look easy. Perhaps the buyer has already suggested a number, which sounds […]

Are You Stealing From Yourself? HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 9. An old friend once said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. It was a single sentence that immediately became part of my arsenal of practical wisdom. My friend is an accountant; at one point, he bought another accountant’s practice. This accountant had been struggling financially for 20 […]

Canadian, Eh? HELLO WORLD

Photo by Sebastiaan Stam on Unsplash

Steps to Selling your Business Part 8. If you have been reading this series so far, you know the importance that Stillwater places on understanding your business’s story when it comes to optimizing conditions for its sale. This understanding comes from observing the details and data points in your numbers and from examining your history […]

Mapping Your Trajectory HELLO WORLD

Steps to Selling your Business Part 7. A wise colleague once told me that investors look at lines, not dots. Almost too simple as maxims go, but it has proved worthwhile. I try to keep this word picture in front of me when interacting with potential buyers. Lines, not dots. Lines, not dots, means you […]