C-Suite Network™

Capital Mergers & Acquisition Negotiating

Merger and Acquisition Consulting Firms

Merger and Acquisition Consulting

Merger and Acquisition (M&A) consulting firms specialize in facilitating the sale of businesses by providing professional guidance and support throughout the entire process. Here’s how an M&A consulting firm can help you sell your business:

  1. Valuation: M&A consultants can help you determine the fair market value of your business by conducting a thorough valuation analysis. This involves assessing your company’s financial performance, assets, liabilities, market position, growth potential, and industry trends to arrive at an accurate valuation.
  2. Preparation: M&A consultants assist in preparing your business for sale by identifying areas of improvement, addressing any operational or financial weaknesses, and optimizing your company’s value proposition to attract potential buyers.
  3. Market Research: M&A consultants conduct comprehensive market research to identify potential buyers who may be interested in acquiring your business. This includes strategic buyers, financial investors, private equity firms, and other entities within your industry or related sectors.
  4. Marketing Strategy: M&A consultants develop a customized marketing strategy to promote your business to potential buyers. This may include preparing marketing materials such as confidential information memorandums (CIMs), teaser documents, and presentations highlighting the key strengths and opportunities of your business.
  5. Confidentiality Management: M&A consultants maintain strict confidentiality throughout the sale process to protect sensitive information about your business. They implement confidentiality agreements (NDAs) and manage the dissemination of information to qualified buyers in a secure and controlled manner.
  6. Negotiation Support: M&A consultants serve as your advocate during negotiations with potential buyers, helping you secure the best possible terms and conditions for the sale of your business. They leverage their expertise in deal structuring, valuation, and negotiation tactics to achieve favorable outcomes.
  7. Due Diligence Management: M&A consultants coordinate the due diligence process, which involves providing prospective buyers with access to relevant documents and information about your business. They ensure that due diligence is conducted efficiently and thoroughly to mitigate risks and address any concerns raised by buyers including gap analysis.
  8. Deal Structuring: M&A consultants assist in structuring the deal to optimize tax efficiency, minimize legal risks, and maximize value for both parties. This may involve negotiating the terms of the sale agreement, including purchase price, payment terms, earn-outs, and other deal considerations.
  9. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: M&A consultants work closely with legal advisors to ensure that the sale of your business complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards. They help navigate complex legal issues and regulatory requirements to facilitate a smooth and legally sound transaction.
  10. Transaction Management: M&A consultants oversee the entire transaction process from start to finish, managing timelines, coordinating activities between parties, and ensuring that all necessary steps are completed to successfully close the deal.
  11. Post-Sale Transition: M&A consultants provide support during the post-sale transition phase, helping you navigate the integration process if applicable and addressing any issues that may arise after the sale of your business.

Overall, M&A consulting firms play a critical role in helping business owners navigate the complexities of selling their companies, guiding them through every stage of the process to achieve a successful and profitable transaction.

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Selling A Business by Industry: Doctors Office | Pharmacy | MDE | Revenue Cycle Management

Merger and Acquisition Lawyer

A Merger and Acquisition (M&A) lawyer plays a crucial role in facilitating the sale of your business by providing legal expertise and guidance throughout the transaction process. Here’s how an M&A lawyer can help you sell your business:

  1. Structuring the Transaction: M&A lawyers assist in structuring the sale transaction to achieve your objectives and maximize value. They help determine the most suitable deal structure, whether it’s a stock sale, asset sale, merger, or other form of transaction, taking into account tax implications, liability considerations, and other relevant factors.
  2. Drafting and Negotiating Transaction Documents: M&A lawyers prepare and negotiate the various legal documents required for the sale, including the purchase agreement, sale agreement, confidentiality agreements, letters of intent, and other ancillary agreements. They ensure that the terms of the deal are accurately reflected in the legal documents and advocate for your interests during negotiations with the buyer.
  3. Due Diligence Management: M&A lawyers coordinate the due diligence process, working closely with you and your advisors to gather and organize the necessary documents and information requested by the buyer. They review due diligence requests, address any legal issues or concerns raised by the buyer, and help ensure that due diligence is conducted efficiently and thoroughly.
  4. Legal Compliance and Regulatory Matters: M&A lawyers ensure that the sale of your business complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards. They advise you on legal and regulatory requirements related to the transaction, such as securities laws, antitrust regulations, employment laws, environmental regulations, and contractual obligations.
  5. Risk Management and Mitigation: M&A lawyers identify potential legal risks and liabilities associated with the sale of your business and help develop strategies to mitigate these risks. They conduct legal due diligence on your behalf to uncover any legal issues that may impact the transaction and advise you on how to address them effectively.
  6. Negotiation Support: M&A lawyers serve as your legal advocate during negotiations with the buyer, helping you negotiate the terms of the sale agreement, purchase price, representations and warranties, indemnification provisions, and other key deal terms. They leverage their expertise in negotiation tactics and deal structuring to achieve favorable outcomes on your behalf.
  7. Closing the Deal: M&A lawyers guide you through the closing process, ensuring that all legal requirements are met, and the transaction is completed smoothly and efficiently. They coordinate the execution of closing documents, facilitate the transfer of ownership and assets, and help resolve any last-minute issues or concerns that may arise.
  8. Post-Closing Matters: M&A lawyers assist with post-closing matters, such as the transfer of licenses, permits, contracts, and other assets, as well as the resolution of any remaining contingencies or obligations. They help ensure that you fulfill your post-closing obligations under the sale agreement and that the transition of ownership is completed successfully.

Overall, an experienced M&A lawyer can provide invaluable legal advice and support throughout the sale process, helping you navigate complex legal issues, minimize risks, and achieve a successful and legally sound transaction.

Hiring a M&A Firm Checklist

Hiring the right Merger and Acquisition (M&A) consultant is crucial for small business owners looking to sell or get acquired. Here’s a checklist to consider when hiring an M&A consultant:

  1. Experience and Expertise: Look for an M&A consultant with significant experience and expertise in mergers, acquisitions, and business sales, particularly within your industry or niche.
  2. Reputation and Track Record: Research the consultant’s reputation and track record of successful transactions. Seek references and testimonials from past clients to gauge their satisfaction with the consultant’s services.
  3. Industry Knowledge: Choose a consultant who has a deep understanding of your industry, market dynamics, and competitive landscape. Industry-specific knowledge can be invaluable in identifying potential buyers and maximizing value.
  4. Services Offered: Determine the range of services offered by the consultant, including valuation, marketing, negotiation, due diligence, and transaction management. Ensure that their services align with your needs and objectives.
  5. Customized Approach: Look for a consultant who offers a customized approach tailored to your specific circumstances and goals. Avoid one-size-fits-all solutions and seek personalized advice and strategies.
  6. Network and Connections: Assess the consultant’s network of contacts and connections within the industry, including potential buyers, investors, lenders, and other stakeholders. A robust network can help facilitate the transaction process and identify suitable opportunities.
  7. Communication and Transparency: Choose a consultant who communicates openly and transparently, keeping you informed at every stage of the process. Clear communication is essential for building trust and maintaining a positive relationship.
  8. Fee Structure: Understand the consultant’s fee structure, including upfront fees, retainer fees, success fees, and any additional costs or expenses. Ensure that the fees are reasonable and competitive relative to the value of the services provided.
  9. References and Testimonials: Request references and testimonials from past clients to assess the consultant’s reputation, reliability, and professionalism. Contacting references directly can provide valuable insights into their experience working with the consultant.
  10. Credentials and Certifications: Verify the consultant’s credentials, certifications, and affiliations with professional organizations such as the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), or M&A Advisor.
  11. Confidentiality and Discretion: Ensure that the consultant prioritizes confidentiality and discretion throughout the transaction process, especially when disclosing sensitive information about your business to potential buyers.
  12. Conflict of Interest: Clarify any potential conflicts of interest that may arise, such as representing both buyers and sellers simultaneously or having relationships with competing businesses. Ensure that the consultant acts in your best interests at all times.
  13. Compatibility and Chemistry: Assess the compatibility and chemistry between you and the consultant. A strong working relationship built on trust, respect, and mutual understanding is essential for a successful partnership.
  14. Timeline and Deadlines: Discuss the expected timeline and deadlines for the transaction process, including key milestones such as marketing, due diligence, negotiation, and closing. Ensure that the consultant can meet your timeline requirements and deadlines.
  15. Exit Strategy Planning: Inquire about the consultant’s approach to exit strategy planning and succession planning, particularly if you’re looking to sell your business. A strategic advisor can help you prepare your business for sale and maximize its value.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough due diligence, you can select an M&A consultant who is well-equipped to guide you through the sale or acquisition process and help you achieve your goals.

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Selling A Business by Industry:  Revenue Cycle Management | Water Treatment | Medical Equipment | Insurance | Facility Service Provider


Mergers & Acquisition Negotiating Negotiations

Business Broker Near Me

There are several ways to sell your business or hire a business broker to sell my business, and we are going to review a few in this article and provide checklists and action steps to help you navigate one of the happiest times of your BUSINESS CAREER.

For Sale Buy Owner
Hire A Business Broker
Strategic Acquisition or Bolt-on
Wrk With a Buy Side Firm
Sell to a Smart Money Buyer

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Sell your Business Own Your Own

Selling a business by the owner, often referred to as “for sale by owner” (FSBO), can present several challenges and risks that might make it less appealing compared to using professional services such as business brokers, M&A advisors, or investment bankers. Here are key reasons why selling your business on your own might not be the best approach: (it is best to have a friend that has had a successful exit to come along side you with this journey if you choose it it the right path for yo)

1. Lack of Market Knowledge

  • Challenge: Owners may not have a comprehensive understanding of the current market conditions, including the appropriate valuation for their business and the best marketing strategies to reach potential buyers.
  • Risk: This could result in undervaluing the business or failing to find a buyer altogether.

2. Limited Access to Buyers

  • Challenge: Owners typically have a limited network of potential buyers, which can significantly reduce the chances of finding the right buyer for their business.
  • Risk: This limited exposure may extend the time it takes to sell the business or may result in not selling at all.

3. Negotiation Challenges

  • Challenge: Business owners are often emotionally attached to their businesses, which can make objective negotiation difficult.
  • Risk: Emotional involvement may lead to poor negotiation outcomes, such as accepting lower offers or terms that are not in the owner’s best interest.

4. Complexity of the Sales Process

  • Challenge: The process of selling a business involves various complex steps, including business valuation, preparation of a detailed information memorandum, due diligence, and legal documentation.
  • Risk: Mistakes in any of these areas can derail the sale process, lead to legal liabilities, or result in financial losses.

5. Time and Effort

  • Challenge: Selling a business is time-consuming and can distract the owner from running the business, potentially affecting its performance and value.
  • Risk: The business may suffer during the sales process, decreasing its attractiveness to buyers and potentially reducing the sale price.

6. Confidentiality Issues

  • Challenge: Maintaining confidentiality during the sales process is crucial to prevent negative reactions from employees, customers, suppliers, and competitors.
  • Risk: Owners may struggle to market the business effectively while also keeping the sale confidential, risking premature disclosure that could harm the business.

7. Legal and Financial Pitfalls

  • Challenge: There are numerous legal and financial details involved in selling a business, requiring expertise in areas like contract law, taxation, and regulatory compliance.
  • Risk: Overlooking important details can lead to legal disputes, unexpected tax liabilities, or other costly issues after the sale.

8. Emotional Decision-Making

  • Challenge: Owners may make decisions based on their emotional attachment to the business rather than on what is financially or strategically best.
  • Risk: This can lead to rejecting suitable offers or holding out for unrealistic valuations.

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Business Broker

A business broker is a professional who assists in the buying and selling of businesses. The role of a business broker is multifaceted, encompassing elements of sales, marketing, finance, negotiation, and project management. They act as intermediaries between sellers and buyers of small to medium-sized businesses, facilitating transactions to ensure a smooth transfer of ownership. This role requires a combination of skills and knowledge to successfully navigate the complexities of business sales.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Valuation of Businesses: Assess and determine the value of a business based on its financial performance, assets, and market position.
  2. Marketing and Advertising: Develop and implement strategies to market businesses for sale, including preparing sales materials and listing businesses on relevant platforms.
  3. Buyer Qualification: Screen potential buyers to ensure they have the financial capacity and serious intent to purchase a business.
  4. Negotiation: Facilitate negotiations between buyers and sellers, acting as a mediator to resolve differences and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
  5. Due Diligence Coordination: Assist in the due diligence process, ensuring that buyers have access to necessary financial records and information to evaluate the business accurately.
  6. Closing Transactions: Coordinate the closing process, including ensuring that all legal and financial documents are prepared, signed, and filed appropriately.
  7. Consultation and Advice: Provide clients with advice on the sale process, including pricing strategies, market trends, and legal requirements.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Educational Background: While a specific degree is not always required, backgrounds in business, finance, or a related field can be beneficial.
  • Experience: Prior experience in business sales, finance, or a related field is valuable. Understanding of small business operations and financial principles is crucial.
  • Licensing and Certification: Requirements vary by location, but many regions require business brokers to have a real estate license. Additional certifications from professional associations, like the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), can enhance credibility.
  • Communication Skills: Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential for negotiating deals, marketing businesses, and advising clients.
  • Analytical Skills: Ability to analyze financial statements, market data, and business models to accurately value businesses and advise clients.
  • Ethical Standards: High ethical standards and integrity are critical, as brokers must handle confidential information and ensure fair dealings.

Hiring a Business Broker Check-list

Choosing the right business broker is essential, and it will be more than just the checklist…it will be a lot like dating. Finding the right one will not only help you get the EXIT COMPLETE but make your life/stress less.

Hiring a business broker check-list:

When listing your business for sale with a business broker, it’s crucial to ask the right questions to ensure they’re a good fit for your needs and to understand the process they will follow to sell your business. Here are 25 important questions to consider:

  1. Experience and Background
    • What is your experience in selling businesses similar to mine?
    • How long have you been a business broker?
  2. Credentials and Licensing
    • Do you have any professional certifications or licenses relevant to business brokerage?
    • Are you a member of any professional business broker associations?
  3. Sales Process
    • Can you walk me through your sales process from listing to closing?
    • How do you determine the valuation of a business?
  4. Marketing and Advertising
    • How will you market my business for sale?
    • What kind of advertising materials do you create, and can I see samples?
    • How do you maintain confidentiality while marketing the business?
  5. Buyer Qualification
    • How do you qualify potential buyers?
    • What steps do you take to ensure a buyer has the financial capacity to purchase my business?
  6. Communication and Reporting
    • How often will I receive updates on the sale process?
    • What kind of reporting can I expect to receive?
  7. Negotiation and Offers
    • How are offers presented and negotiated?
    • Will you assist in negotiating the terms of the sale?
  8. Fees and Contracts
    • What are your fees, and how are they structured?
    • Is there an exclusive listing period, and what happens if my business does not sell during that time?
    • Can I see a sample listing agreement?
  9. Closing Process
    • What is your role in the closing process?
    • Can you provide references from past clients?
  10. Post-Sale Support
    • What kind of support can I expect after the sale is completed?
  11. Success Rate and References
    • What is your success rate in selling businesses?
    • Can you provide references from past clients whose businesses you’ve sold?
  12. Market Analysis
    • How do you conduct market analysis for businesses like mine?
    • What current trends in my industry could affect the sale of my business?
  13. Buyer Network
    • Do you have a network of potential buyers for my type of business?
  14. Challenges and Solutions
    • What are the most common challenges in selling a business like mine, and how do you address them?
  15. Legal and Ethical Standards
    • How do you ensure compliance with legal and ethical standards in the sale process?
  16. Technology and Tools
    • What technology and tools do you use to facilitate the business sale process?
  17. Partnerships and Alliances
    • Do you work with other brokers or professionals to help sell the business?
  18. Exit Strategy Planning
    • Can you assist with exit strategy planning if I don’t have one in place?
  19. Confidentiality Agreement
    • How do you ensure that potential buyers sign a confidentiality agreement before receiving detailed information about my business?
  20. Post-Sale Non-Compete Agreements
    • Do you assist in negotiating post-sale non-compete agreements?
  21. Inventory and Asset Handling
    • How are inventory and other assets handled in the sale?
  22. Employee Retention
    • How do you handle communication with employees about the sale?
  23. Real Estate and Lease Agreements
    • How are real estate and lease agreements handled in the sale?
  24. After-Sale Transition
    • What support is available for the transition to the new owner?
  25. Feedback and Improvement
    • How do you handle feedback from sellers about the sales process?

Asking these questions can help you gauge the broker’s expertise, understand their process, and set the right expectations for the sale of your business.

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Strategic Acquisition or Bolt-on

A strategic acquisition or bolt-on acquisition refers to the purchase of a company by another company that is looking to strengthen its existing operations, expand its market reach, or acquire specific assets, technologies, or expertise. This type of acquisition is typically pursued by companies seeking to grow strategically and gain competitive advantages in their industry.

Strategic Acquisition

  • Definition: In a strategic acquisition, a larger company acquires a smaller company to gain access to new markets, products, technologies, or synergies that complement its existing business.
  • Purpose: The primary goal is to enhance the acquirer’s strategic position and long-term profitability, rather than just seeking immediate financial gain.

Bolt-on Acquisition

  • Definition: A bolt-on acquisition occurs when a company is acquired and then integrated into an existing division or subsidiary of the acquiring company. It’s often smaller in scale compared to the acquiring company’s size.
  • Purpose: The aim is to add specific capabilities or products, expand geographically, or achieve cost synergies, thereby strengthening the acquirer’s existing business units.

Why a Strategic or Bolt-on Acquisition Might Be Preferable to Selling Outright

  1. Synergy Realization: Acquisitions can create synergies that may not be achievable through organic growth alone, such as cost reductions, improved efficiency, or enhanced market presence.
  2. Expansion Opportunities: Through a strategic acquisition, companies can quickly enter new markets or segments, leveraging the acquired company’s existing customer base and distribution channels.
  3. Access to Technologies and Expertise: Acquiring a company with unique technologies, patents, or specialized expertise can provide a competitive edge and accelerate innovation within the acquiring company.
  4. Economies of Scale: Bolt-on acquisitions allow companies to achieve economies of scale by expanding their operations, which can lead to lower costs per unit and improved profitability.
  5. Risk Diversification: Acquiring businesses in different regions or sectors can help diversify risk, reducing the impact of industry-specific downturns on the overall business.
  6. Faster Growth: Strategic acquisitions can be a quicker pathway to growth compared to the slower process of building business capabilities from scratch.
  7. Enhanced Value: Companies may find that being part of a larger, more diverse organization enhances their value and provides stability, resources, and opportunities for growth that were not previously available.
  8. Continuity and Integration: Unlike selling outright, which might lead to significant changes or the dissolution of the original business, a bolt-on acquisition often maintains some level of continuity, and the acquired company can benefit from the resources and support of the larger entity.

For business owners, considering a strategic or bolt-on acquisition as an alternative to selling outright can be a way to ensure that their company continues to grow and thrive under the umbrella of a larger organization. This approach can also offer financial rewards, strategic advantages, and a way to safeguard the company’s legacy. It requires careful consideration of the strategic fit, cultural alignment, and long-term goals of both the acquiring and acquired companies.

Smart Money

“Smart money” refers to investments made by individuals or entities that possess expert knowledge and deep understanding of a particular industry or sector. These investors not only bring capital to a business but also valuable industry insights, experience, strategic relationships, and operational expertise that can significantly contribute to the growth and success of the company. Smart money investors are often contrasted with “passive investors” who provide capital but do not add any additional value in terms of industry knowledge or business acumen.

Benefits of Selling to Smart Money Investors:

  1. Industry Expertise: Smart money investors have a thorough understanding of the industry in which they invest, including the market dynamics, competitive landscape, regulatory environment, and emerging trends. This expertise can be invaluable in navigating challenges and seizing opportunities.
  2. Strategic Guidance: These investors can offer strategic guidance and mentorship to help the business scale, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance its market position.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Smart money investors often have extensive networks within the industry, including potential customers, partners, suppliers, and even future hires. Access to this network can open new doors and accelerate growth.
  4. Operational Support: Beyond financial investment, smart money can provide operational support in areas such as marketing, human resources, technology, and finance, leveraging their own resources and experience to improve business operations.
  5. Credibility and Reputation: Association with respected smart money investors can enhance the company’s credibility in the market, making it easier to attract additional investment, customers, and partners.

Selling to a Company with a Buy-Side Group Having an Affinity to Your Business:

A buy-side group that shows an affinity for your business implies that they are not just interested in the financial investment but also bring industry-specific knowledge, strategic interest, and a commitment to the long-term success of your business. Selling to such a group or company has several advantages:

  • Aligned Interests: These investors are more likely to understand the value proposition of your business and be aligned with your vision and goals, leading to a smoother partnership and shared objectives.
  • Strategic Growth: With their industry insight and strategic resources, these investors can help identify new growth avenues, optimize existing operations, and navigate market challenges effectively.
  • Higher Valuation: Investors with a strong understanding of your industry are better positioned to appreciate the true value of your business, potentially leading to a higher valuation at the time of sale.
  • Long-term Commitment: Such investors are typically interested in the long-term potential of the business rather than seeking quick returns, providing stability and continuity for the company, its employees, and customers.

In summary, selling to smart money investors or a company with a buy-side group that has an affinity for your business can offer significant benefits beyond mere financial investment. It can provide strategic advantages, operational support, and access to networks that are crucial for scaling the business and achieving long-term success.

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Accounting Mergers & Acquisition Negotiating

Business Valuation Calculator

Types of Business Valuations

Method Description
Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Future cash flows are discounted back to present value
Comparable Company Analysis Comparing valuation metrics with similar businesses
Market Capitalization Stock price multiplied by total number of shares
Book Value Net asset value from the balance sheet
Liquidation Value Value of assets if sold individually
Earnings Multiplier Earnings multiplied by an industry-specific factor
Replacement Cost Cost to replace all assets
Revenue Multiple Revenue multiplied by an industry-specific factor
Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio Market value per share divided by earnings per share

Why Business Valuations Are Important

  • Investor Confidence: A solid business valuation can instill confidence among investors, potentially leading to increased investment.
  • Strategic Planning: Understanding the value of a business helps in making informed decisions for future growth and restructuring.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: Accurate valuation is crucial for negotiating deals and understanding the fair market value of a business.
  • Succession Planning: Valuations are critical for understanding the value of the business for potential succession or sale.
  • Access to Funding: Lenders or investors often require a business valuation to assess the risk associated with the business.
  • Tax Purposes: Understanding the value of a business can be essential for various tax-related transactions and compliance.
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs): Valuation helps in setting the price for stock when offering stock options to employees.
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution: In legal cases like divorce or partnership disputes, a valuation can help in reaching a fair settlement.
  • Market Positioning: Knowing the value of the business relative to competitors provides insights into market positioning and competitive advantage.

Having an accurate business valuation is crucial for various aspects of managing, selling, or investing in a business. It provides a comprehensive view of a company’s health, growth potential, and overall viability can be as simple as a business valuation calculator in excel to as complex as a professional valuation by firm or expert!

Business valuation services near me?

If you are looking for an expert, C-Suite Network has some of the best! Visit:




Best Practices Economics Negotiating

How much should I pay myself?

How much should I pay myself?

When people go into business for themselves as a Sole Proprietor, they usually comingle the business’ funds. Meaning they are using Business funds for personal items and personal funds for business items. Sole Prop is the easiest way to start doing business, however, if you choose to setup a Corporation or an LLC, these habits need to change. You and the company are no longer the same. The two of you become 2 separate individuals. The company’s money is not your money, and your money is not the company’s money.
So, the question usually after setting up the Corporation or LLC is: How do I get the money out of the company? How much should I be paying myself? What can the company cover?
The Answer is: You take only what you need, to cover Food, Clothing, Shelter, Personal Entertainment, and Insurance. Let the company pick up the rest. The company should be covering things like, Business Trips, Cell Phones, Internet, Home office expenses, etc. You will never take vacations again. Vacations are not tax deductible, however, business trips are. You will need to make sure that everything is documented. I will discuss what your company should be covering in another article.
Now, usually in the 1st or 2nd years of operation, a business owner has no idea what the company is going to make, so they might take money out as an owner draw rather than a salary. However, around the 3-year mark, the IRS will figure that you have some idea as to how much the company will be making and require you to start taking some sort of salary out of the company.
In addition, if you want your company to cover health insurance, contribute to a qualified retirement plan such as an IRA or SoloK, you will need to be drawing a salary from the company. The contributions will be withdrawn by the payroll company out of each paycheck.
Now you might be thinking, if I need additional money from the company, how do I take it out. Well, if you have an “S” elected Corporation or LLC, you will receive distributions on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. This will add to your income but won’t be subject to withholdings or self-employment taxes. If your Corporation or LLC is taxed as a “C” elected company, you can either take a dividend which the Corporation has already paid the taxes and now you the individual will also pay taxes. This is commonly referred to as double taxation.
However, your company could loan the money to you personally, which is not considered taxable income. You would then pay the company back out of the wages you take. This can be used as an Asset Protection mechanism. The company, just like any other lender could place a lien against whatever asset you may be purchasing. This will protect the asset from any liability that might affect you personally. This does require a formal written promissory note between you and the company to perfect the process.

Branding Growth Negotiating

Why These 3 Experiential Marketing Strategies Work

We’ve discussed why experiential marketing attracts new consumers, increases brand loyalty, drives sales, and delivers attractive ROIs. Experiential marketing is one of the most successful strategies a marketing team can utilize. This strategy will likely increase in popularity as consumers are tired of being “sold to” by endless one-way communication. However, despite its successful track record, experiential marketing is also challenging to get right. In this post, we will explain three different experiential marketing types and their key takeaways.

Product Sampling

Product sampling is the strategy most of us know. Brands typically hire brand ambassadors, people who mimic the demographic of their target audience, to hand out samples or get consumers to try something. Typically, product sampling occurs at trade shows, concerts, festivals, fairs, sporting events, retail outlets, and even busy street corners using pop-up booths and lounges. However, it can also work in e-commerce too — for example, a company can throw in a free sample or two when a customer places an online order. Another benefit is gaining invaluable insights into what consumers think of your product, which you can share with your design team.

Instead of telling consumers how great your product tastes, smells, or feels, they can try it for themselves without any obligation to buy. Biore, a skincare company that makes bandage-like pore cleansing strips, hit the jackpot in 1997 when they were a sponsor at Lilith Faire, a nationwide concert tour featuring female artists. Lilith Fair attracted a mostly female audience between 18 and 34 — Biore’s exact target audience for the pore cleansing strips. Brand ambassadors walked around handing out free strips. The buzz and free press generated by photos of women rocking out a concert with white strips on their noses catapulted the new company into stardom, vastly exceeding its sales projections.

Key Takeaway for Product Sampling: Product sampling can be an exceptionally successful way to attract new customers, increase brand awareness and enhance loyalty when executed properly. (Learn more on our blog post, “What Does It Take to Create Effective Product Sampling Campaigns?). It’s essential to understand where your target audience is going to be.

Many brands make the “spray and pray” mistake — wasting time and money distributing free samples to consumers who have no need or interest in their products.

Product Showcases

Similar to product sampling, demonstrating how your product works, feels, and sounds is an excellent way to allow consumers to experience your brand. For example, we launched a product showcase for ISOPURE, a high-performance sports nutrition company, at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, CO. We built an inviting pop-up lounge with comfy couches and our skilled brand ambassadors invited consumers to create custom samples of ISOPURE’s sports drink products. The campaign worked because we chose the right place, time, and message for ISOPURE’s target audience!

With virtual and augmented reality technology, you don’t even need to have your product physically present. For example, Audi launched a highly successful virtual reality campaign where adults were reminded of how fun it was to create sand structures and then drive toy vehicles around them. Each participant built a course in a real sandbox, and then a depth-sensing camera scanned their creation. Next, participants donned a virtual reality headset and sat in a driving simulator that mimicked how the new Audi Q5 handled the bumps and jumps in the custom-built course, including realistic sound effects.

The initial VR experience launched at a premier Audi dealership in Norway and then went on the road to other locations. Norwegian Audi dealers reported a 57% increase in visitors during the tour, and the Q5 became Audi’s best-selling model in Norway.

Key Takeaway for Product Showcases: The product showcase must do more than display the product — it must generate buzz and provide an authentic, memorable experience that allows consumers to engage with your brand.

Consumers can spot a gimmick a mile away, so your engagement must feel authentic and have the right time, place, and message to connect with your target audience.

Brand Activation & Event Sponsorship

Another way to engage with your target audience is by sponsoring an event — a sporting, music, community, or charity event. However, event sponsorship no longer means simply paying to display your logo before and during the event. Whether you’re sponsoring an event or introducing a new brand or product, you want to make a splash and “wow” your target audience.

The annual SXSW festival in Austin, TX, is a veritable guidebook for how to sponsor events using experiential marketing. From parking-lot-roller skating rinks (VICE) to giant wave pools (TNT), photo and video opps sitting at Michael Scott’s from The Office desk and a Project Runway experience (Comcast NBCUniversal) and a garden with a 20’ tree bar (Amazon Prime Video), the multi-day festival is just teeming with innovative, exciting opportunities where brands engage consumers. SXSW is extremely popular because attendees get to experience fun, surprising, delightful activities beyond just watching music performances — activities that get a lot of free press coverage and get shared on social media, allowing brands to reach a much vaster audience than simply the event attendees.

Red Bull is the master at event sponsorship and always sponsors experiences and events that align with its extreme action/sports reputation. However, even brands that don’t immediately seem to correlate to an event can produce a successful experiential marketing sponsorship. For example, butter maker Land O’Lakes launched a highly successful activation at SXSW using references to Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer who discovered the Earth rotates the sun, not the other way around, making the sun the center of everything. Copernicus also had a reputation for being a truth-seeker, so Land O’Lakes capitalized on that angle. It promoted the idea that the company was seeking the truth about our food system and hosted several events and activities to match that theme.

However, brands must choose suitable events for sponsorship and activation. Not only should the brand and event “personalities” match or support one another, but they must also match in size and scope. A small company won’t likely see much ROI sponsoring a large event, and vice versa. For example, a massive company like Coca-Cola won’t get much exposure sponsoring a small community event. A smaller company will see a much better ROI sponsoring or activating at a niche event where its target audience will be, and participation costs are much lower.

Key Takeaway for Event Sponsorship & Brand Activation: Choose events that match your size, scope, and brand image for sponsorships and brand activations.

Get creative and find ways to engage your audience in surprising ways.

These are just three experiential marketing campaigns. Stay tuned because we’ll discuss more experiential marketing campaigns in our next post, including cause marketing, mobile tours, VIP hospitality, and special events.

Need some help with launching an experiential marketing program? Leverage our 25+ years of experience and expertise in creating impactful, successful programs.

Advice Capital Entrepreneurship Growth Investing Negotiating Negotiations

Get Funded: Overcome Rejection To Reach Success


The early stages of any entrepreneurial journey are fraught with excitement, anticipation, and a healthy dose of uncertainty and intense fear of failure.

You have a groundbreaking idea, a vision and a burning desire to turn that potential into a reality. But there’s one major catch. You need to raise money to fund your new venture and growth potential.

As you step onto the road to getting funded, you quickly realize that it’s not all smooth sailing. In fact at times, it doesn’t feel like sailing at all. It feels like you fell out of the boat without a life preserve and it’s a daily struggle just to keep your head above the water.

Welcome to the jungle of getting funded. Here’s some advice and condolences on the journey of overcoming the rejection of getting funded and some tips to get back in the boat and sail your way in the sunset of success.




Being Rejected by Investors Isn’t For the Faint of Heart, But it’s a Necessary Right of Passage

In the quest for funding, rejection becomes a familiar companion. You reach out to potential investors, eager to share your passion and the immense potential of your venture. You meticulously prepare your pitch deck, honing every slide, crafting each word with care into the depth of the midnight hours with blood shot eyes. Your heart races as you go to meet with your first investor, ready to make your case with eager and naïve anticipation.

But then, the dreaded words echo in your ears: “We’re sorry, but we’re not interested at this time.”

Rejection stings, like a sharp arrow piercing through your armor of confidence. It’s easy to feel disheartened, to question your abilities, and to doubt the very essence of your idea. You may even feel like giving up and going back to your dreaded day job.

But take heart, for rejection is not the end of your journey. It is merely a detour, a bump in the road that tests your resolve and fuels your determination. Many successful entrepreneurs have faced countless rejections before finding the right investor who believed in their vision. Remember – every rejection brings you closer to that pivotal “yes.”



Tips to Overcome the Sting of Rejection and to Get Funded

1. Reframe Rejection as Free and Valuable Feedback:

Instead of dwelling on rejection, embrace it as an opportunity for growth. Seek feedback from investors who turned you down. Listen attentively, absorb their insights, and use them to refine your pitch.

Constructive criticism is the compass that guides you towards improvement.


2. Build Relationships:

Funding is not just about the numbers; it’s about the people. Invest time in building relationships with potential investors. Attend industry events, network with like-minded individuals, and seek out mentors who can provide guidance. The power of a strong network should never be underestimated.

I’ve made my career out of building a large network of connections, and leveraging them to open doors I never knew where possible.

3. Showcase Traction and Milestones:

Investors want to see progress and tangible results. Demonstrate traction by highlighting key milestones you’ve achieved since your last pitch. This could be user growth, revenue generated, strategic partnerships forged, or product iterations. Concrete evidence of progress instills confidence in investors and makes your venture more attractive.

Don’t be shy about taking credit no matter how big or small the progress.


4. Clearly Articulate Your Unique Selling Proposition:

What sets your venture apart from the competition? What problem are you solving, and why is your solution superior? Craft a compelling narrative that conveys your unique selling proposition with clarity and conviction. Investors are drawn to stories that resonate and inspire. The difference between competition in any industry is the ability to articulate your brand story.

Test your pitch to as many people as you can and constantly remove any friction to irrelevant or vague slides and talking points.

To articulate your unique selling proposition make sure you can answer the following 9 questions specifically:

  1. What problem are you solving and
  2. How significant is the problem?
  3. How is your solution different or unique from anything else on the market?
  4. How will you generate revenue? What’s the business model?
  5. How have you proven the problem you are solving is real to the target audience?
  6. What is your financial outlook?
  7. What is your funding requirement?
  8. What will you do with the funds to grow the business?
  9. How will the experience of your founding team aid to the success of the launch?

Don’t forget to highlight and showcase the experience of your team!


5. Showcase the Team:

Investors invest in people as much as they invest in ideas. Highlight the expertise and experience of your team members. Showcase their accomplishments and demonstrate how their collective skills will drive the success of your venture.

A strong, cohesive team inspires confidence and reassures investors of your ability to execute.


6. Leverage Warm Introductions:

Cold emails and unsolicited pitches have their place, but warm introductions hold greater weight. Tap into your network to find connections who can vouch for your credibility and introduce you to potential investors.

A warm introduction opens doors that may otherwise remain closed.

7. Persistence and Resilience:

The road to funding is rarely a swift journey. It is paved with setbacks, disappointments, and unforeseen obstacles. But it is those who persist, who summon the strength to rise after each fall, that ultimately reach the destination.

Embrace resilience as your steadfast companion and let it propel you forward.




The road to getting funded is a winding path, often fraught with rejection and unforeseen challenges. But it is also a road of incredible opportunity, where determination,

The road to getting funded is a winding path, often fraught with rejection and unforeseen challenges. But it is also a road of incredible opportunity, where determination, resilience, and strategic thinking pave the way to success. As you navigate this journey, remember that every rejection is not a reflection of your worth or the potential of your idea. It is merely a stepping stone, a lesson in resilience, and an invitation to refine your approach.

Throughout your entrepreneurial voyage, it’s crucial to reframe rejection as valuable feedback. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and iterate. Seek insights from those who turned you down and use their perspectives to sharpen your pitch and enhance your offering.

Each rejection brings you one step closer to finding the right investor who shares your vision and understands the true potential of your venture.


Advice Negotiating Parenting

How Do You Discipline a Child That Doesn’t Listen? Tips from a Parenting Expert

As a parenting expert, one of the most common concerns that I hear from parents is how to discipline their children when they don’t listen. It can be frustrating and overwhelming to feel like you’re losing control, especially when you’ve tried different methods to get your child to follow your instructions. However, it’s important to recognize that controlling our children’s behavior isn’t the answer. Instead, we need to approach discipline with consideration and understanding of our children’s needs and capacities and skills for managing their emotions and responses.

Here are some tips on how to manage when your child doesn’t listen to what you say:

  • Have a solution-focused mindset: When approaching a meltdown, is there a specific time of day when your child is falling apart? Are they tired? Hungry? Need some closeness? you can begin to see positive changes in your child’s behavior when you support them to meet their needs and develop skills to regulate their emotions.
  • Address underlying issues: Sometimes, a child’s behavior is related to an underlying issue such as ADHD. If you suspect that your child may have ADHD, consult a healthcare professional for guidance.
  • Identify the root cause of “disrespectful” behavior: It’s important to address the underlying causes: Is your child feeling neglected or ignored? Are they struggling with a difficult situation at school? By addressing the root cause of their behavior, you can help your child develop better problem-solving skills and improve their behavior. To keep your own feelings in balance avoid thinking judgmentally and stay curious.
  • Approach the situation calmly: Yelling and losing your temper will only undermine your child’s self-confidence and lead to further behavior issues. Take a deep breath, apply the oxygen mask to you first, and approach the situation calmly and assertively when you’re ready.
  • Be flexible with your approach: Be open to trying new methods and approaches to see what works best for your child. Guidance approach to discipline is about supporting your kids to be the masters of their emotions and for them to learn how to be present to the outer voices in their world and speak up assertively for any conflicts occuring inside them so that they can meet their needs too.

Remember, disciplining your child is not about controlling their behavior, but about finding a balance between their desires and your expectations. Healthy and positive ways to discipline your child include setting clear expectations, catching them doing it right and acknowledging, highlighting and verifying that, and modeling the behavior you want to see. By approaching discipline with consideration and understanding, you can create a more positive and close relationship with your child.

So, are you struggling with a child who doesn’t listen to you? It can be frustrating for any parent, but there are ways to discipline your child without resorting to harsh punishment. The first step is to identify what works and what doesn’t. Observe your child’s behavior and see if there is a particular time of day when they are more receptive to problem solving. The rule of thumb is to listen to their side when they are resistant to your directions. Listening to them doesn’t mean you agree with their perspective, but, ignoring their perspective and repeating your own is guaranteed not to work.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some children may have underlying issues, such as ADHD, or an irritation in their nervous systems from an allergy to gluten or red dye or sugar or dairy, inflammation too can make it difficult for them to focus, think clearly, and follow instructions. If you suspect that your child may have an underlying condition, seek the advice of a healthcare professional who can provide proper diagnosis and treatment. Getting a neuropsych evaluation is always helpful!

When your child is being “disrespectful” it’s important to identify the root cause of their behavior and address it directly. Are they feeling neglected or ignored? Are they struggling with a difficult situation at school? By addressing the underlying cause of their behavior, you can help your child develop better problem-solving skills and that gives rise to feeling better and will improve their overall behavior.

Losing your temper and yelling at your child may seem like the only way to get their attention, but this can damage their self-esteem and lead to more behavioral problems. Not to mention, it can result in you feeling yucky about you! Instead, be assertive about meeting your needs and approach the situation with a clear mind.

Remember that discipline is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one child may not work for another, so be open to trying new approaches. Healthy and positive ways to discipline your child include setting clear expectations, providing acknowledgement, and modeling good behavior. Setting clear expectations helps your child understand what is expected of them and encourages them to meet those expectations. Acknowledgment can help build your child’s self-confidence as they learn to be more aware of their own traits and capacities. Modeling good behavior sets a positive example for your child to follow.

Disciplining a child who doesn’t listen requires a solution-focused approach. By observing what works, addressing underlying issues, and utilizing healthy and positive discipline methods, you can develop a positive relationship with your child and help them become confident and well-behaved individuals.

Love and blessings,


P.S. Looking for more weekly guidance? Join me in my private Facebook group for tips every Tuesday!



Advice Marketing Negotiating

Is Your Small Business Ready to Franchise? . . . A Checklist of Basic Considerations

Many owners of small to medium-sized businesses dream of turning their companies into franchises, and with good reason. Becoming a franchise could let your company expand rapidly into new regions, become a nationally recognized brand, increase your bottom line, and offer other meaningful returns.

But the reality is, not all companies are ready to transition and become franchises. Another reality is that a number of companies try to become franchises but fail in that attempt because they are not prepared.

With that said, what are some of the basic assets you should have in place before you try to franchise your business? Here is a checklist for you to review.

Do you have the following?

  • A proven business model – You should have a proven business model – preferably one that has been successful in multiple locations. If you do, you have a business model that can be replicated in different markets.
  • Strong profits and financial stability – If your company is not performing strongly, don’t expect a franchise structure to cure that problem. Your company should have a strong financial track record with positive cash flow and a healthy balance sheet. This will provide potential franchisees with confidence that they will succeed.
  • Brand recognition – A well differentiated brand is a big consideration. A strong brand is essential for a successful franchise system. Your company should have established brand recognition that can continue to expand.
  • A well-defined customer base – Do you know who your customers are and why they buy from you? If you don’t, you will have a difficult time supporting your franchises as they attract new customers and repeat business.
  • Excellent training – Work with a training development company and create excellent training programs before you start to sell franchises. When prospective franchise owners see that you will train them in all aspects of running your franchise, they will have greater confidence because they will see you are invested in their success.
  • Committed leadership and management teams – The company should have strong leaders who are committed to the success of the franchise system. These executives should have a clear vision for the future of the company and the franchise system.

And Remember, You Can’t Do It All!

Yes, you built your business, and nobody knows it as well as you do. But please be modest enough to accept the fact that you might not personally have all the knowledge that your new franchise will need to succeed. I would encourage you to bring in a franchise consultant – if not permanently, for at least long enough to get your new franchise off to a strong start. And build a top franchise management team that brings you all the legal, business, accounting, supply chain, marketing, and technology knowledge you need to be stronger than your competitors in the marketplace.

Getting the expertise you need can make your franchise a stunning success on the franchising landscape.

Evan Hackel, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Podcaster

As author, speaker and Evan Hackel has been instrumental in launching more than 20 businesses and has managed a portfolio of brands with systemwide sales of more than $5 billion. He is the creator of Ingaged Leadership, is author of the book Ingaging Leadership Meets the Younger Generation and is a thought leader in the fields of leadership and success.

Evan is the CEO of Ingage Consulting, Delta Payment Systems, and an advisor to The Learning Network (formerly Tortal Training). Reach Evan at ehackel@ingage.net, 781-820 7609 or visit www.evanhackelspeaks.com

Economics Entrepreneurship Growth Investing Negotiating Skills Wealth

The Top 10 Times Mark Cuban Called Out the Sleaziest Frauds on Shark Tank

Hearing the phrase “you’re such a con-artist!” coming from the lips of a potential investor during a live pitch is defiantly not a good look (especially when it happens on live TV broadcasting to millions of viewers).

It happened 10 times when Mark Cuban publicly called out scams when he smelled fish oil on ABC’s Shark Tank.



Sharktank is the place where people’s dreams can become a reality or a total nightmare…

The television program features some of the world’s most successful investors which include: Mark Cuban, Keavin O’leary, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, and Lori Greiner.

Since the show debuted in 2009, there have been some pretty memorable pitches. Here’s a video that shows some of the most savage shark tank moments on that were called out at total scams.

Mark Cuban goes head to head with these entrepreneurs, even questioning their ethics. Here’s the 10 times Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban calls out the sleaziest frauds on Shark Tank.


So awkward…







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