What I Do and Why I Do It
My elevator speech goes like this: “I consult with owners of privately held companies who know that they want to sell someday and who are wise enough to admit that they really don’t know what they are getting themselves into.”
The American entrepreneur forms the bedrock of our capitalistic system. Little businesses become big businesses and we are a country that owes its success to people willing to risk investing their money and energy to start and run successful companies. But when it comes time for an owner to exit her business by selling it, she enters a world with which she is totally unfamiliar. It can be very intimidating.
That’s where I come in. When I meet a business owner, my first step is to help him decide if this is the right time to sell his company. More often than not, this is a life decision rather than an economic one. “Is this really what you want to do now – or should you wait a little while laptop-couple.jpg ?”
If the owner decides to sell, then the next step is to decide how much is the business worth. Was the owner’s golfing buddy telling the truth when he said he got twenty times earnings when he sold his company? And what does twenty times really mean? Is it the earnings after he paid himself a million dollar salary or before? This could make a huge difference when you are talking twenty times. Was it this year’s earnings? Last year’s earnings? Next year’s earnings? How many drinks did the buddy have before you ran into him in the locker room?
Business owners have heard of Due Diligence, Letters of Intent, multiples, comps, strategic versus financial buyers, EBITDA, covenants, but what do these terms really mean? Owners know how to run companies but they seldom know how to sell them.
I have been in mergers and acquisitions for decades. If I haven’t seen it all, I’ve seen most of it. I value companies using the same tools a professional investor would use. I do not deal in comps because I distrust the authenticity of the earnings base used to figure the comp and the consistency with which the comps are computed. I do believe that buyers determine value using rational forecasts of the business, so that is what I utilize when owners ask me to estimate what I believe the business will fetch on the open market.
If, after all of this, the business owner still wants to sell her company I help compile the deal team. First, I bring forth candidates who I think would represent the company well as an intermediary/dealmaker or investment banker/broker. All of these terms describe people who perform essentially the same functions. It is also very important to h corner-office-man.jpg ire the right lawyer – a lawyer who specializes in M&A transactions. I am often helpful in bringing the right lawyer forward as well as accountants and other professionals as needed.
Most of the time I stay with the deal to monitor how it is going. The intermediary likes having me around because of my intimacy with the numbers and my relationship with the owners. Having been a dealmaker for a long time, I know how to behave. I help but I do not get in the way. My compensation is hourly based with no success fees or referral fees.
Selling your company is often the most important transaction in your life as a business owner. As I say in my elevator speech, if you’re wise enough to admit to you might not know the ins-and-outs of this complicated process, then I might be able to provide you with some important help along the way.
Ron Glickman, President
Ronald Glickman and Associates
Newport Beach, CA
Ronald Glickman and Associates, LLC (“RGA”) can help sellers value their companies, understand the process they are about to enter, and answer all their questions about what to expect and how to prepare. RGA can also help sellers hire their deal teams. We do this for a reasonable hourly fee and we charge no additional “success fees.”
Ron was a deal maker for decades and he has seen it all. Many past-sellers have told him, “I wish you were around when I sold my company. I could have sure used your help.”
RGA can also help buyers understand how best to seek out sellers, assist them in valuing the target companies, and advise them how to contact the companies and structure their deals.
The first visit with prospective clients is always complementary.
Check the RGA website above for more interesting articles.
“After a lot of years working very hard, I reached a point where it was time to explore the possibility of selling my company. We were successful and clearly would be an asset to any number of potential buyers. My questions were, how do I find the best possible candidate buyers? Assuming I do find them how do I approach them? What will they want to see and what is the best way to show it to them? How do I maximize value for me?
Looking back I clearly see that the outcome would have been very different without Ron Glickman. I certainly knew my business better than he did, but selling my company as successfully as he did was his business, not mine. More than anything it was his expertise that resulted in an outcome I never could have otherwise imagined.
If you are just beginning to think about selling your company, with more questions than answers, or if you are ready to go, do yourself a favor and call Ron. His knowledge, integrity, and honesty can be every bit as advantageous to you as it was for me.”
Bill Matthies, Founder
“BEST MONEY I EVER SPENT!!!”
Susan Ver Berg, Owner and CEO
“We initially brought Ron in to provide some high-level guidance on how to button up the company’s financials, but within a short period of time we’ve found Ron to be an indispensable member of our management team. Providing the insight and advice of a seasoned executive who has walked a similar path before, his guidance is extremely valuable. What was intended to be a short-term stint with our firm has blossomed into a long-term relationship where Ron is brought in to help us make the types of decisions that will ultimately get us to the company we one day aspire to be.”
Todd Henderson, Co-Founder
INK Studios Corporation
“I’m not sure I can say enough about how helpful Ron was for me. I feel confident that I would have been unable to complete the deal without him. I am incredibly grateful to him, as well as the deal being done.”