Show Me The Way

Show Me The Way: How To Lead Your Business to a Successful Exit, presented by Spencer Fane LLP, is an outgrowth of David Seitter’s 2020 book “Quiet Plans – Exciting Results.” The podcast offers assistance, hope and direction to those business owners who have the goal of growing their business so they can achieve the best possible exit for their company. In one-on-one interviews with successful business owners who have been exactly where you are — dealing with the everyday challenges of owning and operating their business — they share their experiences on the way to their planned business exit. The show will often explore how acquiring business(es) or merger and acquisitions played a role in those exits, what ways to make those decisions and how to finalize the deals. www.davidseitter.com.

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Episodes

21 hours ago

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with JT Kraai from Exit Strategies 360, to discuss the personal process of selling a business, whether to retire after selling your business, and maintaining realistic expectations throughout the process.
Ep. 12 — The Personal Trainer for Your Business Exit with JT Kraai
Introducing JT Kraai and Exit Strategies 360
Dave begins by explaining why he asked JT to join him on the show, and then asks JT to introduce himself and give a little bit of background.
JT discusses his background, including multiple moves around the Western U.S.
He notes that regardless of where he is living, he is able to help coach clients through their business exit strategies.
He then explains why he began his company over 20 years ago.
Dave asks what his general business model looks like in helping people go through the process of selling their business.
JT begins by stating that he goes in without an agenda, but rather wants to educate and prepare people for what the process to sell a business is going to hold.
After prompting from Dave, JT goes into detail about his process with clients, including asking questions about reasoning, timing, etc.
He says that many times people come in without knowing what to ask, which he helps by walking them through the process of selling a business.
The Personal Process of Selling a Business
Dave asks how long it takes for him to complete this part of the process with a client.
JT says it’s fully dependent on the business owner and what steps they have already taken.
He then explains how some come in with all of the numbers ready to go, while others he helps gather the necessary info in order to properly value their business.
He mentions some variables that can drive certain styles of business sale, any other key factors that make a business unsellable until they are cleaned up.
Following further questions from Dave, JT says that he focuses on companies that are worth between $5 million to $100 million.
JT says that sales of businesses can take many different forms from partnership buyouts, to kids or key employees purchasing it, dissolutions, going to market, selling to competitors, etc.
Dave says this is why he calls JT a personal business trainer, because he helps guide people to get their business to the next level so they can engage in a succession plan that works for them.
JT agrees that it is very hands on, and that selling a business is a very emotional thing with lots of forethought put into it.
He discusses how different the timelines are depending on where people are at, as well as different deal structures that can help people get more money in their pocket through the sale of their business.
Dave asks JT for intriguing stories, either good or bad, that he has seen over his years of helping sell businesses.
JT first recalls a horror story about a client that ended up causing the deal to fall through.
He then discusses some things that he considers huge successes when helping people sell business.
He also mentions a phone call he got after helping someone sell their business and enter retirement.
Selling a Business and Retiring or Not
Dave follows this line of thinking about retirement and asks JT if he does any coaching for clients around what comes after selling their business.
JT says he does do a little bit of coaching, and then mentions another strategy that is becoming more and more common that he calls a “half step” towards retirement.
He discusses what this looks like and how it can help people transition, which Dave agrees with and responds to.
He then dives into the importance of managing the company culture during the transition phase.
Dave asks JT for his top key lessons for someone who is thinking about selling their business.
JT says that if he’s talking about clients, his biggest lesson is to ask the uncomfortable questions, and explains why.
He then continues by explaining how important it is to really know the numbers, and how it can end up with more money in your pocket.
Realistic Expectations of Selling a Business
Continuing along the same line of thinking, Dave questions JT how long people should expect between an LOI and sale of a business.
He notes that while many people say 90 days or less, it is often 4-5 months.
JT adds that if someone just walks in the door and needs help getting all the pieces together, to expect the whole process to take anywhere between 10-14 months.
Dave asks how JT deals with existing professionals that a company has been working with for years.
JT explains how he begins by asking questions, and when he pushes back on their answers versus when he lets them continue on unhindered.
He then mentions when he will recommend to bring in outside professionals.
 
To get a hold of JT Kraai he says to contact him via email, LinkedIn, or his website.
 
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com
 
Disclosure
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.

Tuesday Jan 24, 2023

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Stephen York, Exec VP of Stern Brothers Valuation Advisors, to discuss how businesses are valued, advice for people looking to buy or sell a business, and pontifications for the 2023 financial year.
Ep. 11 — How a Business Evaluator Values Businesses with Stephen York
Introducing Stephen York, Exec. VP at Stern Brothers Valuation Advisors
Dave asks Stephen to introduce himself and give a bit of the background, all the way back to the UK.
Stephen begins by noting that while he was born in Britain, he was raised in Kansas City.
He discusses his career starting at PWC, to being Controller for a publicly traded company, and then after the acquisition of that company began working for Sears in Chicago.
He talks about his time as Chief Accounting Officer of Sears, and what that job entailed.
From those experiences, he said he looks for jobs with companies that were looking to be acquired or acquiring other companies.
After deciding he could do more good assisting clients in the area of company valuation, Stephen says he joined Stern Brothers.
How a Business is Valued
Dave talks about his interactions asking clients what they think their business is worth, and then asks Stephen when people selling a business should contact a valuation advisor.
Stephen says business owners should become familiar with the standards and procedures evaluating their company, but often are caught up in the day-to-day of running their business.
This, he continues, leads to inconsistent accounting, which may lead to issues when due diligence teams give the company a valuation.
He notes that their job is to clean up financial statements so that any potential buyer will respect the financial statements, and have a good idea of what to expect if they were to buy the company.
Dave flips the question around and asks Stephen how he handles valuation when working with someone wanting to purchase a business.
He says their number one charge is to determine how long it will take for an investor to get their money back.
Stephen says they look at quality of earnings, sometimes alongside an outside CPA, examining tax exposure, weigh potential risks, discounted cash flows, etc.
He says lastly his team will examine different deal structures, and then discusses old deal structures that are coming back into favor again.
Buyer vs. Seller Business Valuations
Dave then asks what the work looks like when doing valuations for a lender.
Stephen says this typically involves three types of reports: valuation of stock or debt being sold, financial fairness opinion, or a solvency opinion.
He also discusses what each one of these reports look like, going into depth on the solvency opinion.
He adds that a lenders love tangible assets, but intangible assets such as IP also need to be valued and taken into consideration.
Dave questions what the client engagement timeframe looks like from a seller side versus buyer side.
Stephen says the seller side is usually about six months.
From the buyer side, he talks about how the due diligence process has changed, as it is mostly online now, which speeds the process up to 90-120 days.
Dave then asks Stephen about any interesting stories from business valuations that he has experienced over the years.
Stephen recalls a story from 2005 about raising funds from multiple investor rounds, noting how the company increased in value and cash flow over the following years.
The same company, he says, years later went through another investor fundraising round, ultimately increasing cashflow after again.
He says the owner lost control of the company over the course of those fundraises, but became incredibly wealthy even though he was no longer owner of the company.
He leads this conversation into how the best thing sellers can sell is future growth of a company, and why this is.
Advice and Projections for 2023 Financial Year
Dave asks Stephen about what attorneys do right or wrong when working with a business evaluator.
Stephen says the best thing to do is listen more to a business evaluator, rather than asking for what price they want the business to be valued at.
He adds that there is no email or note he can hide from a subpoena, unless invoking his own attorney, which results in skyrocketing costs.
He discusses how the economy also affects the perceived value of a business.
Dave pontificates about 2023 and asks Stephen what he predicts this new year will hold for mergers and acquisitions.
Stephen clues in on a few things such as the tax cuts and jobs act of 2017 will expire at the end of 2025, and discusses the ramifications of this.
He continues, noting that the baby boomer generation is dying off, and along with that comes very large transfers of wealth in the form of privately held investments.
He concludes that valuation multiples are down, and explains using some quick math to explain what this looks like today.
Dave follows this line of thinking by asking how inflation has changed valuations over the last year and a half.
Stephen says that inflation isn’t the primary driver, but rather the struggling supply chain.
He also describes the importance of environmental, social, and governance controls (ESG) in the purchasing decisions of buyers.
He continues by drawing conclusions of the swinging pendulum of the American economy, and how expectations of volatility play into valuations of businesses.
To conclude, Dave asks Stephen to give a few pieces of advice for someone interested in transitioning their business.
He begins by saying to hire an outside expert to review your financial statements and administration policies, and clean them up before going to sell.
He also says to consider how you title assets of the company, especially if you are leasing equipment.
He concludes by saying to not wait until you’re forced to sell, as that will drive down the price.
 
To get in contact with Stephen search for Stern Brothers Valuation Advisors, or email him at york@sternvb.com
 
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com
 
Disclosure
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.
 

Tuesday Jan 10, 2023

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Gerry Weinberg, CEO of Gerry Weinberg and Associates, to discuss the growth that happened through owning a business. Gerry also talks about the numerous things he discovered about himself and his family in the process of selling the business to his daughter.
Ep. 10 — Growth, Discovery, and Trusting the Plan with Gerry Weinberg
Introducing Gerry Weinberg, CEO Jerry Weinberg & Assoc.
Dave asks Gerry to introduce himself and give a bit of the background of starting his business.
Gerry recalls his history growing up in Saratoga Springs, his journey to college, and getting fired from his first job out of college.
After another twist, he discusses how he came to purchase a Sandler franchise, which has gone from about 30 stores to now being in over 30 countries around the world.
He then talks about how the training organization has grown and changed over the years.
Gerry adds that his daughter joined the business about 18 years ago, and now owns the business and operates as President.
Dave follows up by asking Gerry’s thought process of switching from working for other people to owning his own business.
Gerry realized he was an entrepreneur at heart, and talks about how he became very decisive, while also being a risk taker.
He notes that he is a big proponent of growth and being a lifelong learner, and how maintaining that mentality has helped him run the business.
Growth Through Business Ownership
Dave asks if there is a key to the huge success of Sandler Sales.
Gerry says that they help both companies and individuals grow.
He stresses the importance of learning how to ask the right questions, which requires being a good listener.
 
Dave asks Gerry how he has grown over the years by running the business.
Gerry says he is always learning, especially from the younger associates that they bring into the company or help train.
He also keeps the constant growth mindset by reading constantly, while ensuring that he is maintaining other aspects of life such as family.
Trust in Succession Planning
Dave switches gears and asks Gerry when he started thinking about a succession plan, and whether there was something that happened that caused him to start preparing an exit plan.
Gerry discusses his mindset behind the selling of the company, realizing that they had lifetime clients.
He continues by retelling the story of how his daughter came into the company, and broached him about purchasing it from him.
After prompting from Dave, Gerry discusses how selling of a business to a family member is different from the traditional sale of a business.
Dave then asks what the “aha!” moments are that Gerry might have learned some lessons from by going through that process.
Gerry says that he learned that he is a salesperson and his daughter is all about people.
He says that in selling a business, trust is important, and he knew he could trust his daughter.
He continues by noting how the trust is necessary in order to ultimately relinquish control of the company.
Dave continues along the same line of thinking, asking what lessons he took away by selling his business.
Gerry says that if you decide to sell, you need to do so quickly, and what happens if you don’t.
He notes that you have to have a plan of what you want to do once you sell your business.
 
In order to get in contact with Gerry, you can reach him at 248-231-7890 or at Gerry.weinberg@sandler.com
 
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com
 
Disclosure
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.
 

Tuesday Dec 27, 2022

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Mike Waters, CEO of Continental Disc Corporation, to discuss the process of selling a business, and lessons learned by going through that process. Mike dives into how getting your employees involved in the deal might be one of the best decisions you make in the process.
Ep. 9 — The Texas Managed Equity Acquisition with Mike Waters
Introducing Mike Waters, CEO Continental Disc Corp.
Dave asks Mike to regale the listeners with the story of his life back in east Texas.
Mike discusses his upbringing in Texas, noting that he graduated from Texas A&M’s College of Engineering program.
He says he was also a part of the Corp of Cadets, and mentions some of the lessons being a part of that program taught him.
He adds that after graduating he was recruited to be a part of Emerson Electric, and began working in different roles that dealt with process automation.
After prompting from Dave, Mike goes into more detail about his time at Texas A&M and the lessons he learned being a part of the Corps of Cadets.
Dave then asks Mike to speak about his current business, Continental Disc Corp.
He lists the four companies that comprise the larger business, all of which involve pressurization protection.
Mike then discusses his role at Continental Disc Corp, and when he was brought in after a purchase of the company in early 2021.
The Process of Selling a Business
Dave seeks to dig into Mike’s previous roles at businesses before his current one.
Mike recalls his history at Flow Management Devices, LLC, and CIRCOR Energy.
He notes how his connections from one company helped bring him into the next to help them prepare for and engage in the selling of Flow Management Devices, LLC
He talks about the process of sending out CIM, the IOIs they received, and how they narrowed it down through 16 Management Presentations to two strategic companies and one private equity company.
He talks about his accelerated due diligence process, selling the business in about a months time.
Mike then discusses his three pillars that they built the story around in order to get the best deal for their business
Continuing to capture market share
Opportunities around technology transfer
Unexploited global market
Dave asks Mike to share what he learned from that experience of being a partial owner and selling a company.
Mike recalls his time as CEO of SOR Controls Group, and the selling of that business.
He emphasizes the importance of telling the story of your company, implanting the upside of acquiring your business to any potential purchasers.
After prompting from Dave, Mike talks about the outside help he received in creating the pitchbook and packaging the message for consumption.
He notes that the pillars that underlined the strategic growth, that was done internally, adding that the people working those roles know best.
Lessons on How to Sell a Business
Dave asks what lessons he has taken from prior experiences that help him and his current company continue to march forward with their goals.
Mike says that he has a playbook that is driven by understanding the company mission, vision, and value.
He then runs through his mindset behind each of those, and relates them to different processes that support efficient operation.
After that, he notes, you can focus on how to deploy additional capital.
Dave asks Mike to run through any lessons he has either learned personally or vicariously through watching other deals.
Mike says oftentimes with large strategic industrial conglomerates, they often assume they can make a company more efficient, when that might not always be the case.
He notes to fully evaluate infrastructure and cost structure in the due diligence period so that you’re not having to change things after the deal goes through.
Lastly, he says to put in the time to build and tell the story rather than relying on potential purchasers of your business to put those pieces together themselves.
Mike then discusses how he and his team created their pitch when looking to sell Flow MD, and the myriad of advantages and benefits that came from using this tactic.
In order to learn more about Continental Disc Corporation go to www.contdisc.com or reach out to Mike at mwaters@contdisc.com
 
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com
 
Disclosure
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.

Tuesday Dec 13, 2022

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Jim Sorebo, Former President, CEO & Founder of Four Seasons Financial Group, to discuss how changing industry regulations led to the sale of his business. Jim reflects on his own personal challenges that brought him to that point, the process of selling the business, and advice for others looking to sell their business.
Ep. 8 — Changing Regulations Lead to Selling a Business with Jim Sorebo
Introducing Jim Sorebo, Chief Distribution Officer at iCover
Dave asks Jim to discuss a bit of his personal background.
He discusses his family and where he came from in Minnesota.
Jim then discusses how he and Dave met at a firm called Strategic Coach, where they learned from other entrepreneurs.
Dave then asks him to describe how he made the transition from Minnesota to Philladelphia, where Jim currently resides.
Jim discusses how he started his career in financial services, and after a few years started his own company called Four Seasons Financial Group, which is a wholesale insurance distribution company.
He adds that after doing that for 25 years, he sold that company to Highland Capital Brokerage, which is what brought him to the east coast.
He then discusses his history at some of those previously held positions, and how he looks to give back to the industry that has been so good to him and his family.
Overcoming Personal Challenges
Dave notes that Jim has had a number of personal challenges, and asks him if he would be comfortable discussing some of them.
Jim starts by noting that it is a great thing to discuss those challenges, rather than hold them inside and suffer in silence.
He then discusses a number of family health complications, deaths, and his own personal fight with cancer.
Dave says that in part because of those challenges, Jim became a public speaker to share his story, and asks him to discuss what that is like.
Jim says that as an insurance salesman, they are beneath it all, a storyteller.
He discusses some of the reactions he had to posting videos about his journey with cancer.
He was then invited to join Life Happens, to share his story and discuss the importance of life insurance.
The Process of Selling a Business
Dave then asks Jim what his thought process looked like when he realized it was time to sell his business.
Jim discusses how in 2017 there was a number of new regulations changes to his industry, and how it resulted in the loss of clients.
He notes that at that time, he started looking at selling the business more out of necessity than anything else.
Jim then dives into his mindset as a mid-sized company in the industry, how they were going to get squeezed out, and how that caused him to look at larger companies for acquisition.
He walks through his process of how he selected his eventual partner for acquisition, and what drew him towards selling the company to them.
Dave asks how he went about communicating the incoming changes to both his employees and his customers.
Jim says that he very openly and candidly discussed the whole process with his company during their weekly meetings.
He noted that part of the goal in selling the business was to find more opportunities for all of his employees.
With the clients, he notes that there was one longstanding that they approached before the deal went through, and the rest were after at the industry wide conference.
Dave then questions how long the process took between looking for buyers and the actual selling of the business.
Jim thinks back and says that they sold in November 2018, though they had started looking in Q4 of 2017.
He notes that there was a 3-5 month due diligence process to find the right purchaser, and once they decided on Highland, there was about another 6 months to close the deal.
Highlights and Advice for Selling a Business
Dave wonders what the highlights of selling his business were for Jim, and what were some of the goals he achieved because of the merger and acquisition process.
Jim saw this journey as another opportunity, and was excited to learn.
He says the exploratory nature means he learned a lot along the way, which helped make him a better business person.
Jim thinks about things he would have done differently, saying consulting more people who have already been through that process, and taking more time to go through the process.
He adds that business owners should be planning for their eventual exit now, rather than wait until your hand is forced.
Recognizing they had built something of incredible value was one of the goals Jim says they achieved, in addition to getting rid of their debt, and taking care of their employees.
Dave asks Jim what advice he would give for others who are looking to sell their business.
Jim says the first piece of advice is to gain as much knowledge about the process before you begin.
The second, he says, is to build the right team around you with legal, accounting, etc. to cover your blind spots, emphasizing the importance of deal structures and negotiations.
Lastly, Jim takes the opportunity to restate the importance of planning your exit strategy now.
Dave finishes by asking Jim what is next for him personally and professionally.
Jim says his first goal is being happy and doing things that makes him happy, mixing in some travel, and getting his golf handicap down to single digits.
Professionally, he says even though he is 65 he doesn’t plan to retire because he still gets excited about everything coming down the line, and about some other companies that are looking for his advice.
To find out more about Jim, or to hire him as a speaker, go to jimsorebo.com
 
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com
 
Disclosure
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.

Tuesday Nov 29, 2022

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Joe Haydu, Former President of Versaflex, to discuss the selling of his business, not once, but twice. He reflects on the growth and trajectory of the business, both sales of the business, and his personal growth over that same time.
Ep. 7 — The Double Acquisition with Joe Haydu
Introducing Joe Haydu, Former President of Versaflex
Dave asks Joe to discuss his background, and how he got into the business of Versaflex
Joe mentions how he wanted to be entrepreneurial rather than pursue higher education
He says after a few ventures, he found a group of people that he started a business with back in 1994
Dave then asks Joe to take a step back and discuss more about the specific technology and why their company was able to sell to places like Pace Warehouse (now Costco)
Joe runs through the history of the the company and their growth over time, listing a few of the large projects they worked on
He also talks about some of the struggles of business ownership, up to the point of selling the company
Selling the Business, Twice!
Dave asks Joe when it came to his and his partners’ attention that it might be time to sell the business.
Joe says that the time to sell really started at the beginning, noting that the group was in it to make money and sell the business
He then discusses how reality set in as the company started growing before they were able to sell, and how he and his partners handled that
Joe says about 2009, some of the other partners who were older started to think about their exit strategy
He notes that as they were looking around for potential buyers, they tried to find outside help but weren’t able to find a good match
He recalls around 2015-2016, a private equity company approached the group to purchase the company
Joe then discusses some of the details around what this purchase meant for the company and for him personally
Dave discusses how many people struggle with the process of selling their business, as it often gives them a sense of purpose.
Furthering on this, he notes how Joe also seemed to be struggling with this when they met, but then found a way to move forward.
Joe discusses how over the course of two sales and multiple acquisitions, the business grew and there were decisions that were personally painful for him to make
Dave asks how much Joe had a handle in the second selling of the business.
Joe discusses how he didn’t feel comfortable as President of the business, as it had grown and changed so much
He talks about how he stepped down from that position to a lower one, and then realized it was time for him to be thinking about his personal exit from the business
After running some calculations, and discussions with his wife, Joe talks about his exit through the business
Personal Growth and Advice
Dave says that he would be interested to know Joe back when he started the business, and compare that to who he is today, understanding that Joe grew a lot over that time.
Joe discusses how the last few years became emotionally wrenching for him, which is what helped him realize it was time to sell the business
He gives some advice, noting that it requires being truly honest with yourself and understanding what your situation and what you are trying to achieve
Joe lists a few other things to consider such as ambition and ego that come into play, as well as outside factors that you have no control over
 
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com
 
Disclosure
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.

Tuesday Nov 15, 2022

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Quentin McArthur, President of McQueeny Group, to discuss his process of moving from an employee to owner of a business, to later merging that business. They reflect on the good and bad, and give advice for others looking to grow a business through mergers.
Ep. 6 — Business Merger Advice with Quentin McArthur
Introducing Quentin McArthur, President of McQueeny Group
Dave asks Quentin to discuss his background, and how he ended up where he is now.
Quentin begins talking about how he ended up graduating from K-State, and how he fell into his career path. 
After taking a job thinking it would only do it a couple years, he realized how great he was at it and how much he enjoyed it.
He says that in 2014, he bought the company and renamed it to what it is known as today.
Quentin discusses the business, what they do, and why their sales people have a great technical knowledge base.
Dave sorts through Quentin’s history of moving from an employee, to owner of that one business, to then owner of a larger business entity, and asks about that newest company.
Quentin says they merged with Innovative Technical Solutions (ITS), and their sister company One Power, which operate in the same market space
He continues saying they are in the equipment and service industry for that are very niche, such as telecom and data centers.
Growing a Business Through Merging
Dave says that to grow a business you either do so by buying assets of a business, stocks, or through mergers, and asks Quentin why he chose merger rather than another path.
Quentin says that while he sees the end of his career in the not-so-distant future, he wanted to leave the company in a better place.
He discusses the conversations he had with the owners of the other businesses, who all agreed that merging the businesses was the best way to move forward.
He mentions why they thought this was the best path forward, and why they ultimately chose this path.
Dave asks how long the process took from beginning to end.
Quentin notes that while they were informally talking about it for 3-4 months, once they agreed to go ahead, it was about 6 more months.
Purchasing a Business Versus Merging
Dave asks how purchasing the McQueeny Group from its prior owners compares and contrasts with this merger process.
Quentin reflects back on his process of purchasing the business and said the most difficult part was that they had never done anything like that before.
He continues by noting that the merger was more difficult because it was much more like a marriage with compromises that needed to be made.
Dave relates to some others he has helped through the merger process, and then asks Quentin whether making compromises was the hardest part, or if it was something else.
Quentin says that once they all lived under the same roof, he realized the integration pieces and compromises that had to be made were definitely the hardest part.
Dave flips around the thinking and asks what some of the positives have been from the merger.
Quentin notes that they have recognized a lot of synergies working together, and the benefits of working with similar industries has helped.
He continues by saying the ability to share contacts and leads has helped the company experience some great headwinds.
He adds that personally he feels like he helped move his company into a better position for the employees that stayed, as well as diversifying the business risks.
Dave asks Quentin how he felt and dealt with the “deal fatigue” that is common during these types of processes, and what advice he has for others who might be experiencing the same.
Quentin explains his process getting through the thoughts of wishing each day was the last day of the merger process.
He relates it to building an addition onto your house, understanding that it is difficult, but that you will greatly appreciate the fruits of your labor once it is all done.
He reflects and shares some wisdom about laying out a blueprint for the actual merger process, as well as who has what roles and responsibilities.
Dave gives advice about doing proper due diligence prior to making any kind of business deals.
Reflections and Advice for Mergers
Dave focuses on the future and asks Quentin his views on the future of the business.
He discusses the future growth of the business through geographical additions.
He notes that they have had a couple of options for growth through acquisition, but everyone agreed that it was best to get fully comfortable first before going through that process again.
 
Dave asks what advice he has for others who might be looking to grow a business through merger or acquisition.
Quentin’s advice is to ask yourself why you are running the business, whether that is to grow your personal wealth, or if the organization comes first.
He then explains his reasoning behind that question, and how that can dictate your process and experience.
To reach out to Quentin McArthur, go out to their website: https://www.mcqueenygroup.com/
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com 
 
Disclosure
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.

Tuesday Nov 01, 2022

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Col. Jeff Crooks to discuss his career as a business intermediary. They dig into how his role helps both buyers and sellers, how expectations have changed over the course of his career, and some of the crazy things business owners have put in their books.
Ep. 5 — Business Intermediaries with Col. Jeff Crooks
Introducing Colonel Jeff Crooks
Dave begins by asking Col. Crooks to talk about how much his military background comes into play in his day to day job, and to discuss Apex Business Advisors.
Col. Crooks discusses how his military background guides his interactions with clients, and briefly mentions his time in the service.
He then talks about his history with Apex, and what types of businesses they help consult.
What is a Business Intermediary?
Dave then asks for more details about his role as a business intermediary, and what kills the ability to close a deal.
Col. Crooks shares the three things most likely to destroy the ability to close a deal are time, attorneys, and CPAs.
He notes that in his role as a business intermediary, engagements can vary depending on whether you are a buyer or seller, and goes into detail about what each of those sides looks like from his perspective.
He adds that while they handle any industry, certain industries are harder to sell.
Dave questions what aspects help a deal close or reach a conclusion.
Col. Crooks says that communication is the biggest piece that can help deals progress.
He continues by discussing how getting help early from advisors, specifically for your accountants and attorneys that may have never handled transactions like this before.
Differences Between Business Buyers and Business Sellers
Dave wonders what the key issues or points that Col. Crooks would try to get across to Dave as a seller.
He says that details about what the business does well versus what it could improve upon are very important, and explains why.
Col. Crooks adds that having an appraisal done is also an important step of the process, to figure out who the best buyer is going to be for your business.
Dave then flips it around and asks what the key points are for people that are looking to purchase a business.
Col. Crooks discusses some of the differences between an unprepared buyer versus a prepared buyer.
He continues by noting why deals are always found on the buyer side and not the seller side.
Dave then asks about some personal anecdotes such as surprises that have come about during his time as a business advisor, and his career in the military.
Col. Crooks discusses a few of the interesting items he has found, especially when it comes to the financial aspect of the business.
He then discusses his military career, including his rise through the ranks and different stations where he served.
Dave asks how clients typically find Col. Crooks or Apex Business Advisors.
Col. Crooks mentions their website www.kcapex.com and through a number of advertisements.
He says that in negotiations with buyers, a lot of them end up being referrals as they realize they need help in narrowing their purchasing scope.
Changing Industry, Clients, and Financing for Purchases
Dave leads this into asking how over the course of his career as a business advisor, how the industry has changed, how clients have changed, and how financing has changed over that timeframe
He responds by mentioning how though his role has largely stayed the same, he has learned from years in the industry to predict issues before they arise.
Col. Crooks then discusses how expectations from clients changed over the years compared to what they used to be.
He also talks about how the financing changes depending on the size of the sale in question, noting differences between sales under $5MM, between $5-10MM, and over $10MM.
Dave follows this up by asking what the main reason is that a deal might fall through, as well as digging down into how many clients Apex might work with at any given time.
Col. Crooks says that time is the biggest enemy, and lists out a number of scenarios as to what can go wrong.
He adds that Apex as a firm is working with about 100 different clients, and that 40 of them could close anytime from next week to the next six months.
Dave then asks about timeframes for the quickest and longest times that deals have taken, in what states they operate, and what is next for Col. Crooks professionally and personally.
Col. Crooks notes that the quickest time was 20 minutes for a deal to close, though that was a ‘right place right time’ circumstance, and that the longest time was over 5 years to get a deal to close.
He adds that they operate in every state, and that he has personally closed deals in 37 states.
Col. Crooks concludes by saying that he enjoys his work and plans to continue doing that while also focusing on spending quality time with family.
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com 
DisclosureThis podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.

Tuesday Oct 18, 2022

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Matt Slawson to discuss his journey of moving from consultant, to employee, to owner of a business. They also talk about tips on how to grow a business, either organically or through acquisitions, and what is really involved in the buying or selling a business
Ep. 4 — Welcome to the 180: From Selling to Buying the Company with Matt Slawson 
Matt Slawson’s Background 
Dave opens by giving a bit of background on guest Matt Slawson, and then asks him to add some additional color.
Matt discusses his shift from civil engineering to computer science, and yet still spent 90% of his career in the construction space.
He talks about his previous role at a concrete contractor, and his switch to a generic role at Paradise Asphalt.
Dave notes how Matt also does a bit of consulting for construction companies, and asks whether the consulting helps the business or the other way around.
Matt says that it’s a bit of both, noting that he takes lessons from clients and applies it to his own business, and lessons from his own business that he takes into consulting.
He continues by saying that he has helped people grow their business, and helped others successfully exit their business as well.
From Consultant to Employee to Owner
Dave asks for more of Matt’s history with Paradise Asphalt.
Matt regales the last few years and his history with Paradise.
He then talks about the experience of helping the owner take that company to market to sell, but notes that COVID caused many deals to be put on hold.
He opens up to the discussion about how purchasing the business himself had never occurred to him.
Dave clarifies that Matt moved from consultant, to employee, to owner of that very business, and questions how that transition also shifted his viewpoint on the company.
Matt walks through how his mindset shifted through that process, and the different things he was looking at from each perspective.
Dave asks how he held himself accountable to take care of the things he found from when he was consulting for the business.
Matt then discusses how the information changed depending on his positions changed, and once he was acting as general manager, he really had all of the information.
Tips on How to Grow a Business
Dave asks Matt if now as the owner he is looking to grow the business, or looking to acquire more businesses.
Matt talks high-level about the company saying that there are different ways a company can approach growth.
He notes that while organic growth is great, in the current market people should not be overlooking growth through acquisition.
He says that he is always looking at what can help Paradise grow the best, and from time to time that may include acquisition.
Dave notes that Matt has helped with a number of acquisitions and asks for Matt’s top three pieces of advice he would give others who are looking at buying or selling businesses.
Matt says an important thing to keep in mind is that building a company for a successful exit is different than building a great lifestyle business, and details how those businesses look different.
He then tells a story of when ego got in the way of a deal closing, and the owner hung onto the business for too long.
He then begins discussing his top three tips, which are:Start earlier than you think
Know what your number is, and stick to it – don’t get greedy
Find a guide or trusted advisor
Dave says that he wishes he had spoken to Matt before writing his book, Quiet Plans Exciting Results, and relates a few stories including one about the Oregon Trail.
The Process of Buying or Selling a Business
Dave then asks Matt to speak about ‘deal fatigue’ and how he deals with it.
Matt goes into his personal experience with deal fatigue, and how even someone experienced in the art of negotiating will still go through it.
He says that often times he sees it happening in the later stages of the deals once accountants and lawyers get involved.
Matt then relays a personal story of once someone is “tipped over,” and what that looks like on certain people.
Dave says that he looks at deals very linearly, and then has Matt describe how he views the deal process, without using legal talk.
Matt describes how he thinks most people view the process, and then notes that in his mind there are additional pieces on the beginning and end of that typical process.
He then details those additional steps, including the importance of transitioning finances to the company culture.
Dave asks if Matt notices differences between someone that is a strategic buyer of a business, versus someone who is actually in the industry.
He notes that there are pretty stark differences, stating that the strategic buyers tend to be very numbers and financially driven.
After additional prompting from Dave, Matt talks about how private equity companies will hold businesses for only a couple years before turning them around for sale.
 
To find out more about Matt Slawson visit www.paradiseasphalt.com or reach out to him on LinkedIn.
 
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com 
 
Disclosure
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.

Tuesday Oct 04, 2022

Welcome to the "Show Me The Way" podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Joe Suhor to discuss his experience of laying out plans on his kitchen table, through his journey of acquiring over 80 businesses, and ultimately his sale of that business.
Ep. 3 — From Kitchen Table Acquisition Plans to Selling the Business with Joe Suhor
Who is Joe Suhor? 
Dave opens by introducing Joe Suhor, and discusses his funeral home business, Wilbert Funeral Services. Dave asks Joe to talk about his background and his experience in his career.
Joe discusses his experience working in Kansas City, and how he was offered to buy the business shortly after.
Joe says he saw an opportunity with his company then dives into the pressures that come along with owning a business and how he overcame those.
Dave asks Joe what the strategies were for tackling this project.
Joe says he called experts in the industry for advice and learned a lot working through this process to help him be successful.
Joe said he had to work to turn the operation around, but note that the company had to grow through acquisitions first.
Dave mentions a quote from Joe in his book, Quiet Plans Exciting Results, in which Joe says “the team will carry you a long way with your company.” Dave asks what he was looking for in establishing his team.
Joe recalls searching through connections in Kansas City, and brought together an advisory board of business people, attorneys, executives, etc. 
He added that his company tried to promote from within, and for many years, it was successful by having a strong training program.
Wilbert Funeral Services and the Funeral Industry
Dave asks about his experience expanding his business in the funeral home industry.
Joe said his business owned 45 manufacturing plants, and with that you go to national meetings and conferences.
At those conferences, he recalls meeting other executives and CEO’s in the industry, building relationships, and receiving advice and guidance that helped him succeed. 
Dave asks Joe what aspects in doing acquisitions bring him joy.
Joe says the smaller operations acquired had no idea about selling the company. 
He notes that because he knew the family, there was a lot of trust and guidance involved to make everything work. 
Joe then describes his experience giving classes at the organization to teach others how to acquire a business.
Dave asks Joe how Wilbert is involved in working with other companies in the funeral industry.
Joe details the many things Wilbert does in the funeral industry involving caskets, fluids, etc.
Joe says that while he did not plan for the company to be where it is now, you have to be willing to change the plan to move forward.
The Process of Selling a Successful Business
After 80 acquisitions, Dave asks Joe to reflect and share the public announcement about his company.
Joe shares his journey through the sale of Wilbert Funeral Services.
Dave and Joe discuss the pressures associated with running and growing a business, and how success pushes you forward.
Dave asks Joe what advice he can give to those who are going through succession planning or will be going through it soon.
Joe begins by noting that if you plan it properly, it is not such a big jump. 
He then continues discussing some specifics of the deal, his involvement in the company, and what he is planning to do upon completion of the same.
Dave asks what advice he would give to people going into business or working to grow a business.
Joe states planning for the unexpected will help a business survive. 
He also encourages people to surround yourself with great people that challenge you and foster growth.
Dave asks Joe about his experience working with elected professionals, and how he has helped them throughout the years.
Joe says he started years ago with President Reagan, and has also worked with a friend to start the organization LHT (Legacy, Honor, Trust), which specializes in high profile funerals. 
The organization also buries all policemen, firemen, and EMT’s that die in the line of duty free to the families throughout the United States and Canada.
 
Dave closes out the show by sharing where to learn more about Wilbert Funeral Services and information about Joe at www.wilbert.com. 
 
To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com 
 
Disclosure
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.

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