Is this the year to become your own boss?

Last year, the financials of small businesses for sale reached record highs.  This enabled business sellers to ask for – and get – more money for their businesses than ever before. High prices may sound like a deterrent to those hoping to buy a business. However, it’s actually a win-win, according to the article, “Make This the Year You Finally Buy a Business,” published in All Business. In  short, buying a thriving business can be a shortcut to getting into entrepreneurship. Read more here: Make This the Year You Finally Buy a Business

Questions Business Owners Ask Me and the Answers I Give Them

As a Business Intermediary, these questions and answers within this article hit home for any perspective business owner thinking about selling in the short or long term timeframe. Here are some key points that I have used continuously throughout my career with my clients. I find that LISTENING, UNDERSTANDING AND EDCUCATION my clients goes a long way in my relationships and a successful selling process.

  • The price a Buyer offers you that you are willing to accept
  • Do not allow your business to be too dependent upon you
  • Stay focused and operate your business as if it will never sell
  • Have job descriptions, policy and procedure manuals

Never sell the business to a person or business you feel will not treat your employees, customers, and vendors properly

Please read full article: Questions Business Owners Ask Me And the Answers I Give Them

Opportunity Zones: the new frontier of economic development

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017 introduced Opportunity Zones. Simply put, Opportunity Zones open up a pathway for private investors to put money into economically-challenged communities through a variety of tax benefits for the capital invested and gained, conditional on meeting certain requirements. Opportunity Zones have caught the attention of mayors, economic development agencies, private investors, philanthropic foundations, and consultants. An article written by Dane Stangler and published in Forbes Magazine, states, “What will really fulfill the economic development promise of Opportunity Zones is an on-ground mechanism to enable investors to support local entrepreneurs.” Click here to learn about one such on-ground mechanism:  Turning Opportunity Zones Into Real Opportunities With Launch Pad

What value does a business broker bring to the table?

What value does a business broker bring to the table? John Foster discusses this and other topics on his weekly radio show Just The Facts.

Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wisconsin – 2019 US Cheese Expo

Creative Business Services/CBS-Global was represented by owner Michael Schwantes and M&A Advisor, Bob Wolter at the 2019 US Cheese Expo in Madison last week.  2019 is the third time we had a booth at the show and this year’s event was very well attended. We worked our booth on Wednesday and meet many Dairy individuals that were interested in learning more about our services and the help we can provide as a specialist in the industry.  Additionally, we connected with many, many acquaintances and friends we have gotten to know the last dozen years or so.

Thursday’s seminars and events were very informative and innovative.  What I thought was most exciting was the ongoing effort and stand-alone business the US Dairy Export Council is providing for Wisconsin’s cheesemakers.  The US Dairy Export Council is opening up new markets in Japan, North Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan the Mideast, Mexico and South America.

The US Dairy Export Council creates access to the above mentioned partners through culinary schools, Chefs Associations, and a pilot expansion program through their Cheese Retail Program increasing awareness and confidence in US Cheeses. They have commercial support through buyers and suppliers accessing shoppers and consumers in these markets.  In 2018 US Dairy Export Council introduced 321 new US cheeses in these markets.

In February 2019, the US Dairy Export Council attended the first annual Food Exposition in Dubai, which was a huge, huge success.  I meet with a couple of folks from DATCP that attended and they concurred, it was a great way to network and connect with the world’s consumers.

We were encouraged to attend the 2nd annual event in Dubai in February of 2020.

Factor for a Successful Closing

On John Foster’s radio program he discusses important factors to consider leading up to a successful business closing!  Listen to: Just the Facts

Important considerations when selling your business

Michael Schwantes of Creative Business Services / CBS-Global joined John Foster on his radio program, Just The Facts, on WOMT to discuss Important Considerations When Selling Your Business

What Kind of Buyers are You Most Likely to Meet?

Selling a business can be an exciting and rather lucrative time. But going through the sales process means embracing the notion that you’ll have to be very prepared for whatever might be thrown your way. A key aspect of preparing to sell your business is to know what types of buyers you’re likely to encounter.

It is only logical to anticipate the types of buyers you may be dealing with in advance. That will allow you to plan how you might potentially work with them. Remember that each buyer comes with his or her own unique desires and objectives.

The Business Competitor

Competitors buy each other all the time. Frequently, when a business is looking to sell, the owner or owners quickly turn to their competitors. Turning to one’s competitors when it comes time to sell makes a good deal of sense; after all, they are in the same business, understand the industry and are more likely to understand the value of what you are offering. With these prospective buyers, a great confidentiality agreement is, of course, a must.

Selling to Family Members

It is not at all uncommon for businesses to be sold to family members. These buyers are often very familiar with the business, the industry as a whole and understand what is involved in owning and operating the business in question.

Often, family members are prepared and groomed years in advance to take over the operation of a business. These are all pluses. But there are some potential pitfalls as well, such as family members not having enough cash to buy or not being fully prepared to run the business.

Foreign Buyers

Quite often, foreign buyers have the funds needed to buy an existing business. However, foreign buyers may face a range of difficulties including overcoming a language barrier and licensing issues.

Individual Buyers

Dealing with an individual buyer has many benefits. These buyers tend to be a little older, ranging in age from 40 to 60. For these buyers, owning a business is often a dream come true, and they frequently bring with them real-world corporate experience. Dealing with a single buyer can also help expedite the process as you will have fewer individuals to negotiate with.

Financial Buyers

Financial buyers are often the most complicated buyers to deal with, as they can come with a long list of demands. That stated, you should not dismiss financial buyers. But just remember that they want to buy your business strictly for financial reasons. That means they are not looking for a job or fulfilling a lifelong dream. For financial buyers, the key point is that your business is generating adequate revenue.

Synergistic Buyers

A synergistic buyer can be an excellent candidate. The reason that synergistic buyers can be such a good fit is that their business in some way complements yours. In other words, there is a synergy between the businesses. The main idea here is that by combining the two businesses they will reap a range of benefits, such as access to a new and very much aligned customer base.

Different types of buyers bring different types of issues to the table. The good news is that business brokers know what different types of buyers are likely to expect out of a deal.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.


Say Cheese! “Click”

Being a native of Wisconsin, I have grown up working on farms, building pole barns, cleaning stalls and milking cows. Being closer to the soil can really give you an appreciation for how products get to market, wrapped and on the shelf, especially when you represent an M&A firm. I specialize in industrial development and am closer to the market in lieu of the soil.

Wisconsin makes cheese and that’s who we are.  Creative Business Services/CBS-Global has been in great support of the cheese industry.  As local Wisconsin professionals, we have been bringing the right people together in the cheese industry helping companies grow and prosper in our communities. Our team has had many successful M&A acquisitions come together for the cheese industry for all the right reasons.

Long live cheese, beer, brats and football!  Let’s see what we can do together…

Read the full article: New North cheese makers shine in national contest

Seller be Prepared

The buyers in this market are trending to be very careful and diligent in their approach because the tell-tale signs of an economic slowdown are on the horizon.  I have seen much more scrutiny from banks and lenders in their underwriting and the process for financing a deal is becoming more demanding in mitigating any risk.  As a result, the buyers are looking for acquisitions of premium quality.

To the owners who want to sell their companies, it is strongly recommended to have a solid management team, other than the owner, that will stay on after the sale and is prevented from competing with the company, if they terminate their employment. Secondly, stability and predictability of revenue and cash flow, with low customer concentration.  Also, it’s important to have state of the art operating systems.

It has been my experience that most companies are not camera ready for the market place because it takes time, planning and commitment to prepare a business for sale. Before a company goes to market owners and their advisory teams must have plans to enhance all aspects of the company to maximize value.  It is also strongly recommended that the owners do not negotiate with potential buyers without the aid of a seasoned business broker and M&A attorney.  These buyers are typically much more experienced, sophisticated and knowledgeable about the sale process and implement highly experienced M&A attorneys and investment bankers of their own.  So, it’s critical that these owners level the playing field by being prepared with their own team of highly skilled professionals.