American Fortune Mergers and Acquisitions CEO, Brian Mazar, Shares Three Key Pieces of Advice for Selling a Business.

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Brian Mazar, CEO of American Fortune Mergers and Acquisitions, shares three key pieces of advice to navigate some pitfalls that can occur when people decide to sell a business. Planning ahead is Mazar’s number one suggestion.

Amercan Fortune CEO, Brian Mazar

The ride so far has been both frustrating and exhilerating. I think I have seen it all.

After spending over fourteen years in the mergers and acquisitions services industry, Brian Mazar, CEO of American Fortune Mergers and acquisitions has seen it all. From effortless business transactions with savvy and prepared business owners who thought they knew how to sell a business, to the well-meaning owner that unsuccessfully attempted to sell a business on their own without attorneys, accountants, business brokers or even a business valuation. “The ride so far has been both frustrating and exhilarating,” chuckles Mazar, “I think I’ve seen it all.”

But for Mazar, ‘seeing it all’ is not enough. He wants to share what he’s learned from some repetitive situations he’s had to navigate. “Hopefully it will help a few owners avoid some rather large pitfalls,” Mazar optimistically suggests. He proceeds to illustrate three situations he’s seen many times and offers his advice for avoiding these when preparing to sell a business.

One frequent situation involves formal partnerships created between friends or within a marriage when a business concept originates. “I have seen this be both a disaster and a miraculous success.” According to Mazar, what helps most in the long-term with this arrangement is understanding everybody’s business roles and boundaries. “Put this in writing,” Mazar urges. “It is nothing personal, but we are all human beings. At some point, there will be disagreements and there needs to be a document or agreement all parties can refer to successfully work through issues.”

Creating or selling a business with limited buyer pools can also be tricky. These are businesses that, due to their industry or their specialty, are legally required to sell to others within that same profession. Medical facilities, legal or accounting firms, trade businesses such as electrical or engineering are examples. “I had a client in a specialized field that was required to sell their business to someone within the same field. His corporate attorney disagreed with this requirement, citing a loophole. Based on this loophole, we marketed the company to a broader audience which attracted many with no previous experience or licensing credentials. Much of the owner’s energy and time was spent catering to the interest of these parties, but ultimately, these various investors didn’t want to risk their investment dollar owning a business based on a challengeable loophole and they walked away.” This was a valuable lesson for Mazar, who now strongly advises sellers to avoid marketing to people outside of the limited buyer pools. “The likelihood of a deal happening with these investors is slim and the time you spend on their interest can add-up quickly.”

Being emotionally prepared to sell a business is another area Mazar has strong opinions about. “If I were to give a single piece of advice to owners considering selling a business, it would be to identify and address any emotional attachment to their company…now.” Mazar bases his opinion on the countless deals he has presided over that came to screeching halts when the owner couldn’t part with the company. Common fears among owners include the loss of their identity, their fear of being bored, loss of work “family,” just to name a few. “The problem is many proud owners won’t acknowledge these very normal concerns until the 11th hour, when the contract is set to be signed. They think these emotional attachments won’t happen to them,” shares Mazar. To avoid this scenario, Mazar suggests working with an Industrial Psychologist long-before selling. These professionals specialize in the psychology of the workplace and can be instrumental in assisting with hiring decisions, corporate environment issues, training programs and ownership transitions. For those skeptical of his suggestion, Mazar justifies it by stating “it can actually be an impressive selling point. A business acknowledging and dealing with changes-to-come is far more attractive than one that is not.”

American Fortune Mergers and Acquisitions, LLC is a nation-wide firm that provides growth-to-exit planning, mergers and acquisitions services and business valuation services for businesses with revenues between $3 million and $100 million. American Fortune was founded by industry veteran Brian S. Mazar who developed a unique process that is sell-side driven. This process makes American Fortune different from most merger & acquisitions advisors.

Advisors at American Fortune are not business brokers, they do not represent both sides of a deal and they refuse to follow industry standards just “because.” Their results are different too. Those who learn how to sell a business through American Fortune receive better terms, higher selling prices and a true advocate when they sell a business. Due to this, American Fortune successfully sells their businesses at an average of 98% of the listed price.

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