Where Does Smart State Fit?
Category: Mergers and Acquisition
Entertaining and Real-World Description of This
Walt's Unique Perspective: Walt chuckles at the Pink Floyd lyric... "Ten years has got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun..." wwwrrrllll, wwwrrrlll, wwwrrrlll.
Having personally talked the talk and walked the walk, Walt completely understands what is involved in making "it" a sale or merger happen.
A seasoned multi-company entrepreuer who founded, grew, ran and then sold a business, Walt knows what it is like to spend 21 years at the helm. Much of what Walt delivers is from first hand "combat" experience.
Before the final sale, Walt almost realized the "entrepreneur's dream" = Selling to a public company for a large multiple because you are positioned as a strategic acquisition" Walt had the letter of intent, a deal had been hammered out and approved by the board of West Marine. That was March 9th, 2000 >> shortly there after the dot.com bubble burst and the deal was called off.
At that point, Walt dove back into the business, weathered 911 as all business owner did, and settled into working on his business. Knowing the one primary Strategic buyer was gone, Walt began grooming his business it to be bought by someone who wanted to own a company or as a merger target.
August 6, 2006, the business was sold. No, the multiple was not as sweet, but the business was ready and in a position to be handed over. When the phone rang, Walt had the business positioned, he knew how things would play out and he executed to make the deal happen.
Walt understands the one thing that has the most impact on you getting greatest return and maximum value is you being in the "driver's seat". The one factor that puts you in the driver's seat with regard to value maximization and deal positioning is TIME, time to anticipate and set up for the best deal. Time is the key factor, time predicting, positioning and executing as opposed to reacting.
Walt does not come from the deal side, or the finance side. Walt comes from the Captain's seat, he know the feel of the helm, the state of the seas, the signs from the sky's. He has navigated and made the crossing. He is seasoned and understand the perspective of the business owner.
Acquisition: Are you thinking you will be acquired or the acquirer? How you position your company and how you build your team for these events is key.
Merger: Are you going to be doing the gobbling or are you going to be gobbled?
Sale: Or do you think just selling it is a good path.
What all these have in common is, the stronger your company is the better position you will find yourself in. What is your plan? What are you thinking? Are you thinking, positioning.
Luck: Walt subscribes to these two statements about luck:
1. "Luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation..." Picked this up from Chaz Henry - a dude who sold his software co to Nortel back in the day pre bubble burst says walt.
2. Luck: "The residue of desire." John Madden.
You need to be prepared well in advance
The minimum window of time one needs to be in position to get a good deal is 24 months, 36 months is the reality... most business owners start inside the 36 month window... this is a classic mistake.
Time and timing. To do anything well you have to have the time to prepare. If you desire something you have to have time.
You will hear Walt use this questions, over over... "What has the biggest impact on Valuation, what is the biggest factor in the equation? What has the biggest impact on getting it right?
We can throw money at an issue in an effort to "compress time", but the reality is, real change and adjustments that result in value increases take time.
Kind of like saving, invest now in the strength of your business and it will compound. Wait and muck along and you will be caught out of synch, out of the loop, out of position and your ultimate valuation will suffer.
Do we or do we not fit?: Once a deal is in the works, after you have been approached by a buyer, or after you realize, too late, that you have to sell. We can not and do not want to help. If you are trying to find a buyer, structure a deal, we can not help. If you are trying to finance a deal, we can not help... That's when you bring in the "deal guys,", the other experts, the attorneys, the CPAs, the Charles Shook of Trestle, the Michael Jacobs of Jacob's Capital, the Jeff Snells of Enlign the Bo Dempsters of Poyner and Spruill.
We help prior to the deal, we can work with you and your advisors to help understand where you need to be positioned 18, 36, 48 months out and then help you get there, that is our sweet spot... sorry, at wbco, we are not the "Deal Guys.". We are the experts to help you prepare for the best deal.
What position we play if we fit: We groom you and your company for ultimate transition. We help with real time organizational clarity and alignment. We get that in place now so you are positioned for the future, so you are ready.
What heavy lifting do we do for you in this category? We will press you based on your timeline to make it happen. Unlike consultants who tell you what to do, we are coaches and implementers, we are on the field with you, blowing the whistle, running the drills, helping your get the best from your team. We teach and train so you and your team can maximize forward.
Fact: No matter what your time horizon, the sooner you get us in the more money you will make now and when you sell.
Other reference Notes:
Multiples and types of deals... John Deni from San Antonio has a great ..
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