Negotiations & Advocacy
Negotiations and Deal Structure
Suppose you already have a deal underway but are stuck on price, deal structure, terms, earn-outs, working capital, inventory, next steps, finance, or even at the purchase agreement stage. In that case, you might need a Business Negotiator or an Advocate. Someone who has seen creative ways to past objections and gets stuck deals moving again.
Often when two parties can’t seem to come to terms on a business transaction and all hope seems lost, they could benefit from the impartial support of a Mediator or a dedicated Advocate, as one side feels overwhelmed or under-represented.
A third-party professional, who can remain impartial, can help facilitate an agreement, between the two parties and who can offer alternative solutions, they may not have seen yet. And who you call can often determine the outcome of the negotiation.
A Mediator remains impartial and lets the parties work it out.
An Advocate is artillery that can change the course of a battle.
At what point do I need an Advocate in my corner?
Ideally in the beginning, at the strategy stage.
There are so many moving parts in a business sale, so many steps to complete, so many items to address and consider that its best, to get expert help, right in the beginning.
If you are further down the path and have a deal underway, you will most likely be aware of the emotional roller-coaster that you’re on. It can be a blast or you can get blasted. Expectations kill deals and so do surprises. A good advocate will manage these time-bombs and a million other things.
If your deal is about to crater, it’s still worth a call.
You never know how a third party can see a way through or can put you in touch with another professional who can see a way through, and salvage the energy, time, money and emotion, already spent on a deal.
What is Deal Fatigue and why does it matter?
With any transaction that involves many years of your life’s work, you have an emotional investment in the business, that no-one else has.
Your Lawyer, Accountant, Financial Planner, your Mangers, the Buyer, even your expert neighbour or friend, doesn’t have the same amount of skin in the game, as the seller. And it can leave you isolated and exhausted, especially if you are keeping the deal private – which you should be.
Many sellers get burnt out, not just from the deal and the stress it causes, but also from running the business at the same time. A deal can take 2-12 months to complete and that’s after finding the right buyer.
This is where a battle-hardened advocate can ease the load and smooth the path, with experience, expertise and the knowledge of what you might likely expect as you come towards the closing day.
We often bond closely with our clients as we become the voice of stability and reassurance. It’s not a role we ever expected but it is one to be relished, because entrepreneurs deserve as much support as anyone, especially, when it comes to their final pay-day, after many years of stress, sweat and risk.
If it is not managed, Deal Fatigue is a deal killer because it clouds judgement and allows unchecked emotion to bubble to the surface, jeopardizing, what could have been a clean closed deal.
I have been approached by a buyer and I'm unsure what to do next?
Great news, but now you need some professional help.
Before you sign or agree to anything (even verbally or by text), check with your Lawyer. You need professional help in these matters and nows not the time to wing it or trust a buyer’s word. Most buyers are genuine and have the very best intentions, but occasionally we come across some dirt-bags that are fishing, poaching, even misrepresenting themselves and of course, there are the tire-kickers. Millions of them.
The next steps are to determine the buyer’s authenticity and to examine your goals, independently of the buyer. And then move forward with a plan to establish the fair market value and an equitable agreement.
We recommend you don’t take this project on alone, because it might be the difference of many hundreds of thousands of dollars, in your favour or the buyers. It’s worth a complimentary exploratory call, they’re free.
What industries do you specialise in?
We specialise in BC small businesses with an estimated value of $1 to $20 million.
Our mid-market focus is based on local and international experience and the likelihood of success.
We have worked with many industries including:
- Accommodation – Tourist & Hotel
- Auto Related Businesses
- Commercial Real Estate
- Education Services
- Entertainment & Recreation
- Financial Services
- Food & Beverage
- Health Care/Social Assistance
- Print and Media
- Real Estate Rental & Leasing
- Retail Trade
- Technical Services