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Before You Buy — Recognizing Small Business Value Drivers

By The BizBuySell Team

Small Business Value Goes Beyond the Financials

When it comes to determining small business value, one of the most common question buyers ask is, ‘If I buy this business, how much money can I make?’ Yet, it’s important to look beyond the financial records when determining small business value. Oftentimes, financial records can be inaccurate or incomplete. Furthermore, they are intended to help minimize taxes, not show how well the business is doing.

Beyond the financials, here are some key value drivers to consider when buying a small business:

1. The Business Has Been Providing a Steady Income for Several Years
A business that has been operating for at least 3-5 years is worth recognizing. This means the owner has been able to make some sort of living, plus pay business expenses, rent, vendors, and employee payroll.

It also means gross sales are providing enough cash flow to keep the business running smoothly. Sales drive value. This is because the real bottom line of earnings (seller’s discretionary earnings or SDE) comes out of the top line of earnings (gross sales).

A general rule of thumb for a small business that has been operating for at least three years and earns less than one million dollars in gross sales is that the owner’s benefit (SDE) could be anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of gross sales. Once a business earns over one million in gross sales, the owner’s benefit (SDE) goes down to 10 percent or less.

2. There is Potential to Grow and Expand the Business
A business is more valuable if there is potential to grow post-sale. When evaluating a business, 30 percent of your focus should be on what the owner has done and 70 percent should be what you could do with the business.

For example, it would be hard to scale if the owner is the backbone of the company as the business relies heavily on one person. For you to scale that business, you may need to put in a lot of upfront work to create process and systems to ensure it runs smoothly in your absence.

Other initial filters include:

  • A strong company brand — A business with a great reputation is more valuable than one that has been damaged by a crisis or poor service. A strong brand within the industry will be more scalable.
  • Market position — A business that is well positioned from its competitors has a better chance of a strong market position. These companies have products and services that are well differentiated within the marketplace.
  • Quality employees — A strong business has trustworthy and highly skilled employees. Those who remain with the company long term could impact the quality of the business.
  • Business revenue model — A recurring revenue model could provide steady sales throughout the year versus ones that only make sales seasonally.
  • Strong and loyal customer base — An established customer base is more valuable as they are most likely to stay put after the business has sold.

3. Running the Business Works With Your Desired Lifestyle
Purchasing a business is an emotional decision as much as a financial one. If you don’t like the business or it doesn’t work with your lifestyle, then it will never be a good fit no matter how valuable the business is.

Questions to ask include:

  • Do I have the skills to manage the business?
  • Is it in a location that I want?
  • How often do I need to be physically present at the location?
  • Will I need to travel often to meet buyers and suppliers?
  • Do I prefer a wholesale or retail business?
  • Is it the size I want (e.g. managing a lot of employees)?

Take the Time to Understand Small Business Value Drivers

Understanding the value a small business can offer for your income and lifestyle is paramount in determining what to look for when making a purchase. Once you’ve assessed the initial filters, take time to go visit the business and investigate further. You never know; the next business you visit could be a winner.

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4 Financing Mistakes New Business Owners Make

By BizBuySell

There are so many components that make up the launch of a new business that sometimes the most important part gets lost in the shuffle: financing.

To help set new entrepreneurs up for success, we’ve outlined four common mistakes that are made when the search for business or franchise funding begins:

  1. Not Cleaning Up Your Personal Credit
    When you’re applying for loans or new business credit lines, your credit score will be taken into consideration by lenders. If you haven’t demonstrated sound budgeting in the past, it’ll be all the more difficult for you to prove your capabilities. Be sure to pay all of your monthly bills on time and minimize inquiries to your credit report in advance of applying for funds.
  2. Not Doing Your Homework
    Many new business owners underestimate the amount of capital they’ll need to launch their venture and, by default, short-change themselves. Don’t let that happen to you. Be realistic about the equipment you’ll need; the cost of rent (or purchase of land); payroll; marketing and of course, an emergency cushion for unexpected expenses. It’s better to overestimate the amount you’ll need and have an extra reserve to draw from than to have less and require additional funding down the road.
  3. Not Using An Experienced Provider
    Financial firms and banks that offer deals that are too-good-to-be-true are often doing so out of desperation – and that’s never a good sign. Gimmicks can be a mask for deeper issues such as inexperience or poor customer service ratings. When searching for a service provider to help you facilitate funding, make sure they have a favorable Better Business Bureau rating and a respectable number of clients and transactions to prove their worth.
  4. Not Researching All of Your Options
    There are many new entrepreneurs that mistakenly think loans are their only option, and if they don’t qualify for them, they might as well pack up shop and go home. In reality, there are a variety of alternative funding methods that may be used with or independently of a loan. These could include, but are not limited to: retirement-fund financing (Rollovers for Business Start-ups); unsecured loans and portfolio loans. Be sure you’ve exhausted every option before you give up – chances are the right firm will be able to get you funded.

Most of all, remember to ask for help when you need it. There are professionals ready and waiting to help you through this most exciting time in your life.

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Build Docks on Lake Lanier!

If you have any questions or would like more details on buying this business, please contact us at: phone: (770) 977-7334 or  email:

Established, respected business on Lake Lanier, Georgia’s largest lake and popular recreation destination. Top real estate market for lake homes and lots.

What can be better than owning a Business that brings so much recreational pleasure to thousands? This 37 year old Business is “flooded with Business that it must turn away.” The Owner wants to retire and let a younger Owner take it from $1.0 million(estimate for 2018) to $3.0 million and beyond.

The Business is the following:

1. Manufacturer of floating and fixed docks.
2. Dealer for Econolift boat lifts, EZ Dock and PWC lifts, forms and floats.

  • The Business has between 1,000 – 2,500 customers. Repeat customers use the Business for upgrades and repairs.
  • This Company builds “fixed docks” while it’s competitors do not.
  • There are 8 employees plus the Owner.

Fixed Assets Include the following:

  2. 2000 ISU NPR NPR
  3. 1997 FORD F350
  7. 2002 PRO-PFC207E – 6′ WIDE TRAILER
  10. 1984 HOME – PILE DRIVER
  11. 1950 HOME – SINGLE AXLE


  • 2.8 ACRES
  • 40′ x 60′ FRONT BUILDING( 20 X 40 AS OFFICE; 40 X 40 AS WAREHOUSE)

Detailed Information

  • Inventory: Included in asking price
  • Real Estate: OwnedIncluded in asking price
  • Building SF: N/A
  • Competition: This is the only Dock Building Business that builds “fixed docks.”
  • Growth & Expansion: Unlimited.  The monthly newspaper flyer brings in new Business constantly. There is substantial repeat and word of mouth Business.
  • Support & Training: Owner will include 4 weeks in price. Additional assistance available by mutual consent.
  • Reason for Selling: Retirement.

Financial Details

  • Asking Price: $930,000
  • Cash Flow: $132,230
  • Gross Revenue: $1,360,798
  • FF&E: N/A
  • Inventory: N/A
  • Real Estate: $580,000
  • Established: 1981

Contact Bottom Line Management, Inc.

If you have any questions or would like more details on buying this business, please contact us at:

phone: (770) 977-7334

Or simply complete the online form below and we will contact you shortly:

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Loren Marc Schmerler, President of BLM Interviewed on Atlanta Business RadioX

Atlanta Business RadioX Interview

Spotlighting the City’s Best Businesses And The People Who Lead Them!

On Wednesday June 13th, 2018, Bottom Line Management, Inc. President, Loren Marc Schmerler was interviewed by Atlanta BusinessRadioX. Loren shares his experiences within the Business Brokerage Industry and provides useful business buying and selling tips.

Listen to the Interview

Photos from the Radio Show

About Atlanta Business RadioX

Amplifying The Voice Of Business Business RadioX ® Studio Partners from across the Network are Amplifying The Voice of Business by sharing unscripted conversations from local business leaders serving their market, their community, and their profession.

Contact BLM for any of your Business Buying or Selling Needs

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Should You Sign a NDA when Buying a Business?

Loren Marc Schmerler, CPC, APC and President/Founder of Bottom Line Management, Inc. and an expert Business Broker/Business Intermediary says,

“Recently, I came across this article “Should You Sign a NDA when Buying a Business?” and from my more then 30 years experience in the Business Brokerage Industry, to protect my Sellers and Buyers I have always insisted upon using NDA documents.”

Article from GlobalBX and Biz, George Massalas

There are some steps in the business for sale process that benefit both the seller and you, the buyer. These steps protect the seller from “time-wasting” buyers, and the buyer from acquiring lemons. One of the most important questions when buying a business is “Can I see your financial statements?” Numbers provide vital information to help you decide if you should buy a business. Even if a seller has placed the business on the market, he or she remains reluctant to share highly confidential and sensitive records to any potential buyer. If the seller thinks you are a credible prospective buyer, he or she will let you sign a business non-disclosure agreement before the company’s proprietary information will be opened to you.

What is a Non Disclosure Agreement?
This is a standard legal agreement presented by the seller to the buyer to protect the former’s business if a potential sales deal falls through. This agreement gives both parties room for an open and honest atmosphere that may lead to a successful transfer of ownership of the business. The NDA is solely for the purpose of selling and buying a business, respectively.

The potential buyer cannot talk about the business to anyone, except to the parties included in the NDA, use gathered information, steal customers and employees of the business, nor use the information for commercial advantage. The seller can control the flow of information and protect its confidentiality.

What are the Benefits of a NDA to the Seller?
The seller avoids sharing operating and financial data with any potential buyer. Without a NDA, anyone, particularly a competitor, may use the information such as pricing, strategies and projections, employees’ data, etc. to his or her benefit. The seller does not want private business information to fall into the hands of those who may cause damage to the company.

With some level of comfort, the seller, after ascertaining that you have the financial capability to make the purchase, will show you the records after you sign the business confidentiality agreement. If, for some reason, you violated this agreement, the seller is entitled to relief, claims and damages for lost profit and harm incurred by the business.

What are the Benefits of a NDA to the Buyer?
By signing the NDA, you can study the business – review what has happened to the business, why it happened and what the future holds for it. Through the financial and company records, you can make a realistic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the business in both quantitative and qualitative terms. You can also determine if the seller’s asking price for the business is reasonable.

If you feel that the seller is not forthright in supplying the information you need, you may terminate efforts to buy the business or move forward at your own risk. The seller may be hiding information that should ring warning bells about the viability of the business.

What is included in the Business NDA?

  • the name, nature and location of the business.
  • how long the NDA will be in effect – usually several years.
  • the parties to the agreement – aside from the buyer, the advisers – the business appraiser, accountant, lawyer or
  • consultant – are usually parties to this agreement although typically only the buyer signs the agreement.
  • what information should not be disclosed – trade secrets; business strategies and plans; contact information of
  • employees, customers and suppliers; financial statements; cash flow records; contracts and agreements with
  • employees, creditors, financial institutions, and suppliers; liabilities; and other important data.
  • where and when the information will be supplied or where due diligence will be conducted. The schedule and
  • venue, usually for a number of weeks in the seller’s business office, should be specified. All documents usually stay
  • in the seller’s office, and neither you nor your advisers can take these documents with you.

The NDA is a legally binding contract between the seller and the potential buyer. The buyer who refuses to sign the NDA is considered a difficult or non-serious purchaser. It is best for the seller to avoid these “buyers”. In the same vein, the seller has to be forthcoming. Not providing information may result in failure to sell the business. If you are serious about buying a business, you need be ready to sign a NDA.

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Full Service Interior & Experiential Design Firm for Sale

Own a one-of-a-kind company with an extraordinary client list.

Business Description

Company Abstract

XYZ is a creative design firm that works in the corporate, healthcare and hospitality markets. Located in the hub of the south, XYZ has strategic partnerships with the leading architecture, general contractors and interior design firms in the Southeast. These strategic alliances have opened doors to long-term relationships with the largest corporations in the Southeast, some with durations of 20+ years across two ownership entities and multiple XYZ sales/design professionals.

Creative … Innovative … Design … Fabrication … Installation … from ideation to implementation, XYZ’s creative team works with the well known high, profile brands on projects using fine art, branded displays and interior signage to create an environment that activates their clients’ brands, inspires their customers and motivates their employees.

What makes this business exciting is the creativity of design, the constant development of new ideas for clients, and the participation of the development of the Southeast’s future. We develop the clients’ brand strategies into a dimensional space – and we do it in a way that is unique to the Southeast market. We have been called the “GC” of the art and design community by those that need to get things done. We combine our in-house capabilities with a talented team of fabrication and install partners to deliver design value that activates the client’s brand.

Headquartered in the Southeast, the XYZ’s facilities combine office and production space in a single location to enable collaboration and teamwork to deliver for the customer. The team works with interior designs, facility managers, GC project managers and directly with clients to provide custom framing, signage, fine art, picture framing, interior display, graphic design, printed wall murals, custom window films, project management, photography, scanning, archiving, installation, and other related solutions. The Company’s creative concepts, flawless execution, fine art portfolio, talented designers, dedicated customer service, and an experienced production team have positioned it as a recognized industry leader.

Color, graphic design, photography or other imagery, and a variety of materials are all used to develop creative solutions to “dress” the vertical spaces of interior locations. XYZ implements designs that reflect, complement or enhance their clients’ respective brands … these projects Accent, Renew or Transform interior spaces … and the final installations are considered to be works of art.

The dynamism in the Southeast continues to provide tremendous growth opportunities. Combine that with the comprehensive approach that XYZ brings to the market, there is little competition to deliver a solution as a single-source provider for art, branding and interior signage across the Southeast. With investment funding for growth, the other major metro areas are ripe for expansion with the integrated approach that XYZ provides.

Detailed Information

  • Real Estate: LeasedBuilding SF:14,800
  • Lease Expiration: N/AEmployees:15 FT; 2 PT
  • Furniture, Fixtures, & Equipment (FF&E):Included in asking price
  • Facilities:14,800 sq. ft. of office and warehouse space.
  • Competition: This is a one-of-a-kind company. It’s Client List is extraordinary.
  • Growth & Expansion: Additional growth can be obtained with increased sales efforts.
  • Support & Training: Owner will provide 4 weeks for asking price. More assistance can be obtained at additional cost.
  • Reason for Selling: Other business interests.

Financial Details

  • Asking Price: $1,950,000
  • Cash Flow: N/A
  • Gross Revenue: $3,600,000
  • EBITDA: $597,000
  • FF&E: $73,000
  • Inventory: N/A
  • Lease Rate: N/A /SF
  • Established: 1964

Contact Bottom Line Management, Inc.

If you have any questions or would like more details on buying this business, please contact us at:

phone: (770) 977-7334

Or simply complete the online form below and we will contact you shortly:

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Why Businesses Do Not Sell

Loren Marc Schmerler, CPC, APC and President/Founder of Bottom Line Management, Inc. and an expert Business Broker/Business Intermediary says,

“Recently, I came across the article “Why Businesses Do Not Sell” by Michael Fekkes, M&AMI, CBI, CEPA and from my more then 30 years experience in the Business Brokerage Industry feel that Michael makes many valid points and wanted to share this thoughtful article. Michael’s insights are valuable in every respect.”

Why Businesses Do Not Sell
By: Michael Fekkes, M&AMI, CBI, CEPA

It would be nice to live in a world where every business-for-sale was sold at top dollar. While there is no such thing as a perfect business free from all defects, there are a number of problems that can hinder a sale that could be remedied, if given enough time. This article lists ten of the reasons which are often cited as contributing factors in an unsuccessful sale or a completed deal for less than potential value. Business intermediaries need to be up-front with their seller clients, educating them on the challenges faced, and the likely impact that one or more of these issues will have on completing a successful transaction.


a. Valuation/Listing Price:

Arguably, the price a business is listed at is one of the critical elements to a successful sale. An owner’s emotional attachment to their business, coupled with an inexperienced business intermediary’s desire to obtain the listing and please the seller, can be a recipe for disaster. Overpricing a business will deter knowledgeable buyers from establishing communications. Additionally, it will be extremely difficult to defend the valuation when a business has been priced unrealistically. The typical outcome is that the listing will languish in the marketplace and recovery becomes more difficult. Once on the market for months on end at the wrong price, the process in re-pricing and re-listing creates a whole new set of challenges, the least of which is maintaining credibility.

b. Unrealistic Terms and/or Structure

Deal structure, asset allocation and tax management must be addressed proactively and early in the process. Often the Buyer and Seller place all of the focus on the sale price at the expense of the ‘net after-tax results’ of a business transaction. In most cases, a seller could achieve a deal that provides a greater economic benefit when an experienced Tax Attorney/CPA assists with structuring the transaction. In addition to structure there are a number of other issues that could be problematic, including:

Seller insists on all cash at closing and is inflexible in negotiating other terms
The buyer’s unwillingness to sign a personal guarantee
The lack of consensus on the Asset Allocation
Seller insisting on only selling stock (typically with a C-Corp)
Inability to negotiate equitable seller financing, an earn-out, or terms for the non-compete


For a successful sale to occur, a business owner must have the right team of advisors in place. An experienced mergers & acquisitions intermediary will play the most critical role – from the business valuation to negotiating the terms, conditions, and price of the sale as well as everything in between (confidential marketing, buyer qualification, etc). Aside from the M&A advisor, a business attorney who specializes in business transactions is critical. Once again, “who specializes in business transactions.” Any professional who has been in the industry for more than a year will be able to point to a transaction that has failed because the lawyer that was chosen did not have the specialized expertise in handling business transactions. Additionally, a competent CPA who is knowledgeable about structuring business transactions will be the third key role. While a business owner’s current legal and tax advisors may have the best of intentions in assisting their client with the business sale, if they are not experienced with mergers and acquisitions it would be highly recommended to evaluate alternatives. In some cases, there is one shot when an offer has been received and it is therefore imperative not to attempt to make a deal that is out of reach and impossible to complete.


The majority of buyers are seeking profitable businesses with year-over-year increasing revenue and profits. When a business has a less stellar track record with varied results or possibly declining revenue and/or profits, complications with the business sale are likely to occur. Not only will decreasing profits and revenue impact the availability of third party funding but it will have a material impact on the business valuation. While buyers traditionally purchase businesses based on anticipated future performance, they will value the business on its historical earnings with the major focus on the prior 12-36 months. For those businesses which have deteriorating financials, the seller should be able to articulate accurate reasons for the decline. Both the lender and the buyer will need to obtain a realistic understanding of the underperformance to assess the impact it is likely to have on future results. In cases where the seller is confident that the decline was an anomaly and is not likely to repeat itself, structuring a component of the purchase price in the form of an earn-out would probably be necessary. In other circumstances, when there are two or more years of declines, the buyer and lender will question “where is the bottom?” and what is the new normal. In this situation, a decrease in valuation will be inevitable. Cash flow is the driver behind business valuations and business acquisitions. The consistency and quality of revenue and income will be one of the key focal points when assessing an acquisition. It all relates to risk. Those businesses with dependable recurring revenue generated from contractual arrangements will generally be in greater demand than businesses who produce income based on a project based model.


One of the most critical components to a successful business sale is for the business to maintain accurate, detailed, and clean financial statements that match the filed tax returns. Not only will these financial statements be the basis for the business valuation but they will also be the criteria for whether the business will qualify for bank transaction funding. Too often the business is managed as purely a lifestyle business that is focused only on short term owner compensation, without regard to building long term value. In these cases, the owner has taken very liberal personal expenses that may not be able to be added back when deriving the adjusted earnings. Given the importance these documents represent, a business owner should ensure that the books are professionally managed and up to date. Records that are messy, incomplete, out-of-date or containing too many personal expenses will only give prospective buyers and lenders reasons to question the accuracy of the books. Last but not least, businesses that have a ‘cash component’ will need to report 100% of this income for it to be incorporated in the valuation.


Businesses that have a handful of customers that produce a large percentage of the company’s revenues, will probably have customer concentration issues, especially if one client represents greater than 10% of sales. It is important for a business owner to recognize that a business which lacks a broad and diverse base of customers possesses a higher degree of risk for a buyer as the loss of any one of these large clients could have a material impact on the future earnings. As a result, customer concentration will have an effect on the valuation, deal structure, and salability of the business. Vendor and industry concentration can also pose complications when selling a business. Specialization can be a competitive advantage for a business and assist in winning contracts. However, this same narrow industry focus could be a detriment if it is perceived that the business does possess a broad supply chain and ample options to source products and materials.


It is not uncommon for the owner to play a significant role in the operation and management of the business. This is particularly true with smaller enterprises. Where this situation can present a problem is when the owner is not only the face of the business but also deeply involved with all facets of the company – sales, marketing, operations, management, and financial. If there are no key employees and there are few written processes and procedures, the business lacks a dependable and repeatable work flow. When it becomes evident that the business cannot operate effectively without the owner’s hands on involvement and personal know-how, it becomes problematic. Of equal concern is the relationship the owner may have with the customers of the business. If the customer does business with the firm largely in part of the relationship with the owner, this situation will create customer retention concerns and possible transition problems when the business is being sold. In summary, buyers want a business that can operate independently from the current business owner.


It is not uncommon for a business owner to become complacent after running the company for an extended period of time. Becoming tired and lacking the previous ‘fire in the belly’ has a way of spilling over into the business fundamentals. The number of trade shows that the business participates in decreases, the travel and new customer sales calls that routinely took place on a daily basis in the early years, have been paired down. The investment spending on equipment upgrades, vehicle replacement or marketing programs have been cut back. Innovation has come to a grinding halt and the business is on auto pilot. The financials have luckily held steady but for how long? An owner who has become burnt out almost unavoidably transmits their lack of zeal and drive to their staff and clients in a number of subtle ways. The net result is the company’s performance slowly begins to deteriorate. Unfortunately, this situation can become even more pronounced when the owner finally makes the decision to sell the business and mentally checks out at the worst possible time. Transferring ownership can be viewed by some as a highly emotional process, and the decision to sell at the right time is often ignored until the issue is forced upon the owner (failing health, divorce, disability, etc.) and usually at a fraction of the former valuation.


Over the last two centuries there have been a number of industries that have developed and grown significantly. In this same time frame, many new industries have been created while others have become extinct. The future outlook for a given industry will have a direct impact on the valuation and marketability of the business during a sale. Businesses facing obsolescence or mired in a shrinking industry will face an uphill battle when it comes time to transitioning or selling the company. Maintaining a diverse offering of products and services that are relevant to the market, not just today, but also with an eye to the future, will enable a business owner to avoid this situation. Not only will this assist in mitigating the impact from declining sales but also demonstrate to a prospective buyer that the business has a clear path to grow in the future.


From loan application approval to transaction funding is a process in business transactions that can take six weeks or more, that is with an ‘experienced’ business acquisition financier. Many deals have fallen apart during this time frame because the buyer became aligned with the wrong financial institution. There is nothing worse, for all parties involved, to find out four weeks into the process that either the loan terms previously promised were not correct or worse, that the bank underwriter declined the loan.

In the field of business acquisitions, not all banks/lenders are the same. There are conventional loans, SBA backed loans, and there are lenders that provide cash-flow based financing and others that only provide asset based funding. One bank may turn down a borrower for an SBA 7a loan while another institution will readily accept it. Every lender has its own unique and frequently modified lending criteria. Therefore, buyers need to ensure they are working with the right lender from day one, or valuable time is wasted causing the deal to be compromised, or lost to another, better prepared candidate. Buyers should consult with the business intermediary representing the sale to determine which lenders have reviewed and/or pre-approved the transaction for funding. Obviously, buyers who are prequalified from the start and verify that the bank’s lending criteria conforms to the type of businesses they are evaluating, will be the best positioned for a successful acquisition.


For some businesses the saying “location, location, location” cannot be more important to the value of the company. Typically, this will pertain to retail businesses. If the physical location is of major importance, the business buyer will seek assurances that they can either purchase the real estate or be able to sign a long term lease. On the flip side, the business could be located in a part of town that has fallen on hard times or could be located on the owner’s personal property, both situations necessitating that the business be relocated. Also, some businesses are not easily relocatable without affecting the current customer base. All of these circumstances add another layer of complexity to the transaction.

Additionally, the type and size of facility can also have a material impact on the sale. If the facility is not large enough to provide the enterprise a sustained growth path, a buyer could become disinterested. Another situation could be the value of the property. If the current owner purchased the land/building a decade or two earlier and the financials or recast do not reflect a current FMV rent/lease payment, valuation problems will occur.

Business transactions involving the sale of commercial real estate can be hampered by the Environmental Site Assessments (ESA’s) – Phase 1 and Phase 2. Property that is contaminated can be very costly to clean up and will have an impact on the closing. When this situation arises, it will be important for the buyer and seller to have a clear understanding of the costs to resolve the issue, which party is responsible, and whether a price offset will be warranted.

Other complicating factors involving commercial real estate include zoning changes that require a property to be brought up to new codes, and clear definition of who bears responsibility and the cost of this process. Last but not least, the agreement by the landlord with either a lease assignment or offering a new lease at comparable rates.


Most small business owners have spent the majority of their life building their business. It is not uncommon for a business seller to become so emotionally attached to the company that they look past some rather glaring problems that a business intermediary, a lender, or prospective buyer will immediately recognize. It is natural for a seller to want to obtain the highest price possible for their business. There is so much bad information on the web related to multiples and business valuations that this should not come as a surprise. M&A Advisors need to be honest and direct in educating a business seller on the challenges faced in a potential sale, the range for a realistic transaction price, as well as creative terms and structuring options that might be utilized. Being a people pleaser and ignoring any potential problems will only provide the seller with unrealistic expectations. In the arena of business negotiations there are few if any “pleasant surprises.” Dealing with issues up front rather than late in the sales cycle process should be the golden rule.

Michael Fekkes is a Senior Broker at ENLIGN Business Brokers in Nashville, TN. Michael is a Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediary, Certified Business Intermediary [CBI], Certified Exit Planning Advisor [CEPA], Chairman of the International Business Brokers Association [IBBA] – Marketing Committee, as well as a former business owner.

Contact Bottom Line Management, Inc. for more helpful buying or selling tips.

phone: (770) 977-7334 or
Or simply complete the online form below and we will contact you shortly:

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Bottom Line Management, Inc. Celebrates 30th Anniversary

To celebrate its 30th anniversary Bottom Line Management, Inc. launches a contest offering one hour of complimentary consulting, valuation or brokerage advice to 30 lucky winners.

Since 1987 Bottom Line Management, Inc. (BLM), founded by Certified and Accredited Professional Consultant Loren Marc Schmerler, has helped business owners successfully buy, sell, or valuate their businesses. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, BLM is excited to launch its #30FOR30 campaign, offering 1 hour of complimentary consulting to the first 30 new or existing clients who respond.

Of the 30th anniversary, BLM founder Loren Marc Schmerler says, “For three decades, my philosophy has been: strive to educate my clients, be honest, never insult a person’s intelligence, always be ethical and honorable, and think outside the box to overcome impasses. I am grateful to my past and current clients for the privilege of providing consulting services, and I’m excited to offer complimentary consulting services to 30 new clients in celebration of this milestone anniversary.”

Sign up for the 1 hour complimentary consulting

About Bottom Line Management, Inc.
Bottom Line Management, Inc. (BLM), founded by Certified and Accredited Professional Consultant Loren Marc Schmerler, delivers ethical, professional and personalized business brokerage and consulting services based on in-depth knowledge of current market and industry conditions. With 30 years’ experience assisting clients with selling, buying and valuating businesses in more than 200 industries, BLM has proven its commitment to honesty, fairness, and integrity.

BLM founder Loren Mark Schmerler has served as Sam’s Club quarterly business consultant writer for the past 3 years, is a sought-after public speaker, has presented at conferences for INC. and Entrepreneur Magazines, and regularly teaches continuing education classes at dozens of colleges and universities. Bottom Line Management’s esteemed CEO Emeritus is Catherine Rogers.

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Top Ten Must-dos When Selling a Business

Are you ready to sell your business? Thinking about starting new adventures? Certain changes you may make now can help you increase your business value. Below are top 10 tips on how to prepare your business for sale from expert, Bottom Line Management, Inc. founder, Loren Marc Schmerler, a Certified Professional Consultant and Accredited Professional Consultant.

Top Ten Must-dos When Selling a Business

  1. Know why you want to sell your business. Make sure it’s a good reason and not just to dump your problems into someone else’s lap.
  2. Give some thought as to what you will do with your time after your business sells. Finding yourself with nothing to do can be very demoralizing.
  3. Make certain that your taxes are current. This includes sales taxes, unemployment taxes, payroll taxes, state income taxes and federal income taxes.
  4. Document all your policies, procedures and controls. Not only will this help during the transition period when you train the buyer, but this will make your business more appealing to the corporate buyer who is accustomed to formal documentation.
  5. If possible, develop and train a strong “second in command” who can fill in for you when necessary. The buyer might be hands-on or hands-off, and having a strong assistant provides flexibility. Many business sales are lost when there is no depth of management.
  6. Review each employee’s strengths and weaknesses and show when they were last reviewed and when they next need to be reviewed by the new owner. Not reviewing an employee on time can cause anxiety and diminish loyalty.
  7. Make sure your financial statements and tax returns are “bullet proof.” You do not want the transaction to fall apart when the buyer or buyer’s CPA finds discrepancies.
  8. Prepare a business and marketing plan that will help a new owner understand where the opportunities for growth exist. This plan should include an Executive Summary that explains why the business was started, how it progressed to its current status and what a new owner should do to take it to the next level.
  9. Select an asking price that is based on reality – not fantasy. Be able to justify it based on a multiple of Owner’s Discretionary Cash Flow. Bad reasons include “it’s what I want”, “this is what I have in it”, “this is what I owe the banks” “I have put blood, sweat and tears over x years into the business.”
  10. Be willing to be flexible on price, terms or both. Deal structure can make or break a transaction. When each party to the transaction is willing to bend, there is a higher probability of success.
Author’s note. After helping sellers and buyers for more than 30 years, I have found that honesty, integrity, full disclosure, patience and a willingness to consider various alternatives makes the probability of success for all parties very high.
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