Archive for April 2022

Buying and Selling a Business

Since a number of folks have asked me via email: yes, I am OK and would someday like to get back to active long-form blogging (I still make a foray into twitter now and again).  However, things have been a bit crazy here.  A number of business owners over the last 2 years have approached me to buy their business and help with their retirement.  In several cases the request was humbling, as they turned down offers from other companies believing my company would best take care of their employees, customers, and partners.

The net effect of all this is that, without really intending to, my business that was perfectly large enough for me at about $13mm revenue 18 months ago will have $80mm in revenue this year.  As you can imagine, I have been busy.  It is one thing to make sure one's company is keeping its promises to employees, partners, and customers when it is small enough that the owner knows everything going on.  It has been a real learning experience, one I hope to write about in depth, learning to do this with a much larger company.  Not to mention overcoming the fear and culture clashes inherent in mergers (though it could have been harder -- not one penny of these acquisitions was justified on consolidation so we have done no layoffs or the like -- in fact we are hiring like crazy in certain functional areas).

There is always a lot of interest in buying and selling businesses.  My series from way back in 2004 still generates a lot of email.

I would dearly love to get all that I have learned since that series committed to electrons, but for now I will leave you with a new podcast from my friend Walt Lipski.  Walt helped get me into this business 20 years ago and was deeply involved in 2 of the 3 acquisitions we have made over the past months.  He has a ton of experience in middle-market business M&A and in generational transfers.  He also is a stand up guy, and probably the only investment-banking type I have seen walk away from a lucrative fee when he didn't feel good about the deal.