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Chief Operating Officer
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Looking to Buy a Prosperous Business or Ready to Sell Your Own? Consider a Merger or Acquisition

True North Mergers & Acquisitions

October 23, 2023

Inflation and rising interest rates may have put the brakes on the $5.9 trillion buying and selling frenzy of 2021. But as this market shift continues, we may see more companies looking to exit, making it an ideal time to reconsider your M&A strategy.

Whether you're eyeing a successful business or considering selling your own, here are a few strategies to fine-tune your merger or acquisition game plan.

Be Proactive

Buyers: By preparing now, you can avoid getting caught up in a "deal frenzy" once the market shifts. Evaluate your prospective seller now. Learn about their reputation and habits, and consider their strengths and weaknesses. Have a solid valuation process in place and set a bottom line. This will help you maintain control during negotiations.

Sellers: Monitor market trends and adopt a strategy that can help you stand out in a lull. Focus on enhancing your product or service’s value proposition, strengthen customer relationships, optimize your cost structure to maintain profitability, and invest in targeted marketing to raise brand awareness. These proactive strategies will make your business more appealing to potential buyers.

Be Systematic

Buyers: M&A transactions involve much more than just agreeing on a price, so you must handle the entire process systematically. Create a clear and organized plan that outlines the procedures you will follow for every merger or acquisition deal. This process serves as a roadmap, ensuring that you cover all necessary aspects of the transaction, from due diligence to negotiations to post-merger integration.

Sellers: Sellers should also develop a structured process to guide them through a merger or acquisition transaction. Begin by creating a selling strategy that outlines your objectives, the ideal timing for the sale, and your target price. Next, assess your business's financial and operational readiness, verify compliance, and determine the fair market value of your business.

Define Your Unique Proposition

Buyers: What do you offer sellers beyond capital? It may be strategy, operational expertise, increased efficiency, cultural compatibility, or anything that benefits the seller’s business. Rather than focus solely on what you can get from the deal, focus on what you bring to the seller. This willingness to give may lead to a more attractive price or terms.

Sellers should adopt a similar approach. Define your value proposition by emphasizing your solid customer base, workforce culture, operational efficiencies, or anything that can benefit the buyer. In short, be open to collaboration to ensure a mutually beneficial outcome.

Be Transparent

Buyers: Maintaining secrecy is a strategic move, yet it rarely helps facilitate a smooth transaction. Openly sharing your interests and motivations helps build trust and foster a successful long-term relationship while also enabling you to identify compromises and solutions that create value for everyone involved.

Sellers: Sellers also stand to benefit from transparency. Provide context to buyers by discussing your motivations, goals, and challenges. Doing so will help buyers understand your perspective, align their offer with your objectives, and make the acquisition more appealing while reducing perceived risks.

Access Our Experience to Achieve Your Goals

Whether you want to set long-term goals, scale your business, or build an exit strategy, our experienced business advisors can help. With decades of experience and a track record of successful mergers, acquisitions, and growth, we have the expertise to ensure the long-term success of your business. Contact us today to get started!

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