InSight

Exit and Growth Strategies for Middle Market Businesses

Preparing to Win

By Jim Gerberman | May 20, 2013

USA FlagOur nation will soon observe Memorial Day – a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. First observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day is now celebrated on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971). As we commemorate those who have given their “last full measure of devotion and duty”, let’s also recognize and express our appreciation to all who have served and are serving to protect our country and our way of life.

As a business owner, one of the most difficult and emotional decisions you’ll make is the decision to sell all or part of your business. The process is complex, can be messy, and is certain to include some unexpected challenges. More likely than not, buyers will be better equipped and will be veterans of this process. You’ve got some catching up to do in preparing to win.

Consider the circumstances faced by General George Washington – Commander of the Continental Army, during the winter of 1777-1778. Having had limited success over the previous two years against the much larger and better equipped British forces, his army was poorly equipped, faced shortages in food and other critical supplies, and was being depleted through desertion and disease. A victorious conclusion to this quest for independence was far from certain.

Representing American interests while living in Europe, Benjamin Franklin understood that Washington’s army could benefit from having access to “hands-on” military experience and expertise. Amongst those that Franklin dispatched to America was Baron von Steuben – a Prussian officer with general staff experience, who joined Washington’s army during this winter at Valley Forge. Chartered by Washington to improve the army’s readiness and ability to fight and win, von Steuben developed and implemented a regimen that emphasized the “basics” of military drill and discipline. Under his watchful eye, he provided guidance and enabled the unit leaders to develop the key fundamental skills of marching in formation, maneuver in battle, rapid fire, and bayonet use. The “seeds” planted during the winter of 1777-1778 reaped a bountiful harvest during the battlefield engagements that were soon to follow.

Back to the question: “How do I best prepare in order to win?” In a fashion similar to the actions taken at Valley Forge, the business leader asking such a question should consider the benefit of involving those who have been in a similar situation and have successfully traversed the path that led to eventual success. You’ll want a team of advisors with relevant “hands-on” experience.

Most of our professionals at Corporate Finance Associates have had dozens of years of experience and multiple successes in operating and running businesses. Not only are we qualified deal-makers in facilitating transactions, but we’ve also been through the transaction process from the perspective of a business owner. We understand the challenges. We appreciate the value of teamwork and will help in building your team of trusted advisors that will prepare you to win.

Posted by Jim Gerberman.

Download the 10 Biggest Mistakes Sellers Make


One Response to “Preparing to Win”

  1. Sam Adams says:

    Jim, thanks for a great blog celebrating our veterans and our history. You’re right that being prepared to win is key to getting the best results from a business sale effort. One of the great strengths we have at Corporate Finance Associates is being able to reach across a big network of professionals with broad experience in different industries. Our ability to march and maneuver together as a team makes CFA the best choice for a business owner looking to sell.

Leave a Comment