As many business owners can attest, it is very easy to get lost in the day to day operational details of a business. Payables, Receivables, Inventory, Cash Flow Management, Lead Generation, Human Resource management, etc. The list goes on. All of these things are critical to operating a successful business. However, while we should absolutely be sure to be diligent in managing these responsibilities and/or in delegating them to capable and competent managers and staff, we must also routinely evaluate these details against the mission we serve for our clients and customers.
I can and have been guilty of the same. Most of my days are spent on the phone or in a spreadsheet working through numbers and building scenario models for business transactions. When people ask what I do, I typically go into some explanation of the process by which I recast business financials, compile Business Value Calculation reports, and build transaction scenario models. This is an accurate reflection of what I personally do on a daily basis, but in the grand scheme of things, those business owners that are in the market for our services aren’t as much concerned about scenario modeling and financial recasting as they are about what it is we work toward accomplishing for our clients and customers by employing these tools and processes. At the end of the day, this is the most important message to deliver to the market.
WHAT WE DO:
The mission of Drake Business Services is to help provide liquidity to business owners by facilitating the planning, preparation and exchange of businesses between qualified buyers and motivated sellers.
HOW WE DO IT:
We accomplish this by helping business owners build a comprehensive business profile, including recast financial statements, business history, management and labor hierarchies, labor markets, product and service mix, operations, local, national and competitive market information, marketing and advertising strategy overview, mission critical facilities and equipment listing, pricing, potential deal structure scenarios, training and transition commitments, and more. With an understanding of the confidentiality requirements of the business’s sensitive information, we then work to generate leads by marketing a non-identifying, condensed general overview of the business to our existing buyer pool as well as on several other business marketing networks of which we are a part. As leads are received, we diligently qualify potential buyers to ensure that we have an executed non-disclosure agreement on file before any identifying or sensitive information about the business is shared. Once the necessary documentation is on file, we then share the profile via a monitored and encrypted “data room” with enhanced security features such as user activity logging, document watermarking, and restrictions for downloading and/or printing sensitive information. Once an offer is received and accepted, we work to facilitate the due diligence process between the buyer and seller and their respective advisors. Upon completion of the due diligence process, we work with each party’s legal counsel to coordinate the preparation and execution of the purchase agreement, as well as work to organize and secure the necessary documentation to ensure a smooth and complete closing.
WHO WE DO IT FOR:
- Business Owners ready to Retire: Many business owners have worked much of their life to build a successful organization and have come to a point in their lives where they are ready to retire. Sometimes much of their net worth is tied to their business, and this business value can be a big part of their retirement plans. In some cases there is an obvious heir apparent (a family member or key employee), and in some cases there is not. In either case there is a need to have experienced professionals involved in the planning and preparation for this transition.
- Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs are the sparks that ignite the fuel of the American economy. Many entrepreneurs have big ideas and are great about getting the right people involved in the right projects at the right time and are great leaders. In many cases, once an idea has come to fruition and their business concept has matured, the entrepreneur is hungry to act on their next big idea. Capitalizing on the sale of an existing business is often a part of their plans to invest in their next venture. On the other side of the coin, emerging entrepreneurs may be looking for a business to purchase that will provide a replacement to their income in their current job. If the business is in an area that they have expertise or are well connected they can often grow the business and provide additional income and to fund their future entrepreneurial endeavors.
- Investors: We maintain relationships with private equity firms that are targeting specific investment opportunities and are looking to deploy assets by acquiring business operations with the potential for a return on their investment. We also have relationships with individual investors that are interested in looking at investment opportunities meeting certain criteria.
- Operating Business Owners: We also work with business owners that are not necessarily ready to sell their business now, but would like to explore ideas on how to increase the value of their business. We are available on a consultative basis to help organize, prioritize and select projects that are critical to the achievement of these goals.
WHY WE DO IT:
Strength in American small business is a key driver of strength in the overall economy. By achieving our mission, we will have helped others achieve their goals whether that be liquidity for retirement, first time business ownership, investment capitalization, or business succession. We believe that by educating people about the benefits and opportunities for business ownership we will be providing a much needed service to the communities we serve, and will be helping to make them stronger.