Structuring Earnouts

Steps to Selling your Business Part 33. One of the critical components of this last stretch in selling your business centers around structuring how the purchase price will be paid. This post will cover a common and crucial component of many Letters of Intent—the Earnout. Most business sales must deal with the differences between how […]

Stillwater Advises FreightWise, LLC in its Investment from Unigestion SA

FreightWise, LLC: Brentwood, TN based FreightWise LLC, a market leader in developing supply chain technologies and transportation management solutions that help shippers design, optimize, and execute best-in-class supply chains has received an investment from an investor group led by Unigestion SA. Stillwater Capital Corporation was the exclusive advisor to the FreightWise shareholders in the transaction. […]

Two Foundations of Good Negotiation

Steps to Selling your Business Part 32. At this point in the sale of your business, you will have one or several Letters of Intent from interested buyers. When we work with clients, we do a lot of heavy lifting in thinking, analysis, explaining, and positioning. We have found that buyers respond very well to […]

A View of the Finish Line

Steps to Selling your Business Part 31. Management visits are complete. You and your team of Advisors have stepped into the third and final phase in the sales process. Congratulations! Phase One – Preparation: you have provided your advisors with all the information needed to tell your business’s story. Phase Two – Market Outreach: all […]

Choosing Buyers for your Shortlist pt.2

In our last post we discussed creating your shortlist of buyers by eliminating prospects based on a lack of certainty of closing. Cutting those who aren’t as likely to close will save you a lot of otherwise wasted time.

The elimination process doesn’t end there. You will make further cuts as you apply the remaining three criteria: valuation, deal structure, and chemistry.

Choosing Buyers for your Shortlist

Steps to Selling your Business Part 29. Last week we discussed how we continue the process of cutting the list of potential buyers. In terms of a shortlist, there isn’t a precise target, quota, or arbitrary goal, for example naming a top three or reducing your pool of candidates by half. Remember, you will be […]

After the Dance

Steps to Selling your Business Part 28. Your Management Visits are over. You are sick of hotel boardroom coffee, dreaming in pre-scripted responses to questions about your run-rate analysis, and—if you’re like most—may feel a little exhausted, talked-out, and out of adrenaline.  These are signs of a robust and healthy round of Management Visits. After […]

The End-Goals of Management Visits

Steps to Selling your Business Part 27. Before we move on to the next step in selling your business, I want to take a moment to consider the end goals of Management Visits. The first is to thin out the pack of prospective buyers. After these meetings, the people you move forward with will be […]

Being Coachable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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 […]