The Beatles on their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album (An album still rated the best of all time in Great Britain over fifty years after its release: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/beatles-sgt-pepper-britain-favorite-album-737487/) composed a lyric that has always resonated with me, “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends”. I have had the privilege of collaborating with and meeting many great people in my life from all walks of life (Business, Law, Education, Government, Non-Profits, Music, Athletics, etc.). Every single one of them readily acknowledges that they would not be where they were in life, if not for the contributions of others. The contributions likely started early in their lives with parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, coaches, and others steering them in the right direction. Progressing from childhood into adulthood, the positive influencers traditionally grow to include spouses, extended family, friends, and professional colleagues. I encourage everyone who is reading this article to take a moment to appreciate, and if inclined thank those who helped you get where you are today. You can never say “Thank You and I Appreciate You” enough to the people in your life.
Annually, IBA hosts a Collaborative Partner Event to thank the professionals who in the last year helped us achieve success as a business brokerage firm serving the entrepreneurial communities of Washington & Oregon. It is one of the ways we show gratitude for the effort, time, expertise, and skill they contributed on behalf of our clients and firm. The photos included provide a small window into the fellowship shared this year. We are so happy to be back in a world where large gatherings are once again possible. An example of something that should be appreciated, but wasn’t until after the world was shut down in 2020.
I could, but will not, take the time to name everyone who attended this year’s event. However, I thought I would highlight some of the professions that regularly contribute to successful, business sale transactions:
Attorneys – IBA is adept at negotiating the business terms of transactions and getting buyers & sellers to “YES’. However, we are not the ones to address trailing liability. We are very thankful for the dealmaking attorneys in our world who seek “win-win” outcomes when negotiating purchase & sale agreements.
CPA’s – Accountants play many potential roles in M&A transactions. They confirm/contribute to company pricing; facilitate due diligence; and mitigate taxes. The difference between a good and great deal is often achieved based on the knowledge & skill of a CPA in what a client nets from a transaction rather than grosses.
Bankers – In my approximately thirty years as a mergers & acquisitions intermediary, I have yet to find a seller who wants less cash at closing, or for that matter a buyer who wants to contribute more cash to a deal. Frequently, the party who brings the most gold for an acquisition to closing is a banker. Buyer personal capital injection contributions are commonly only 10 – 25% in IBA facilitated deals. Credit approval and underwriting policies vary greatly among lending institutions. Knowing who to work with and who will get loans funded is commonly one of the most valued elements of knowledge possessed by a business broker representing a company for sale.
Wealth Advisors – Over 70% of IBA’s clients annually are involved in retirement sales. Sale proceeds are commonly used to facilitate golden years in comfort with dignity. They are also used for legacy creation and philanthropy. Finding the right party to manage a financial estate is a decision that should be made with caution and research. IBA is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the top wealth management firms in the Pacific Northwest on the transition of business assets to passively managed assets.
Real Estate Professionals – All IBA brokers hold real estate licenses in one or more states. We possess the knowledge, experience, and skill to sell commercial real estate in comprehensive asset packages along with privately held companies and family businesses. Many clients value our ability to facilitate both transactions with one lead intermediary cognizant of all moving pieces and issues. IBA does not represent residential or commercial real estate for sale when there is not a business component. We are blessed to have a significant Rolodex of real estate professionals to refer who can help buyers relocating to the Pacific Northwest buy homes, downsizing clients sell residences, business owners move from leased to owned buildings, and entrepreneurs relocate and expand operations by leasing locations.
Specialists – The specialty professionals in IBA’s Rolodex of resources are as diverse as the flowers in the Bellevue Botanical Garden (https://bellevuebotanical.org/), a beautiful respite for clearing minds near our corporate headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. Did I mention, we were honored to have the mayor of Bellevue, Lynne Robinson (A former entrepreneur herself), honor us with attendance at our Collaborative Partner Event? We are blessed to have a mayor in Bellevue who supports the small business community.
Professional specialists we regularly engage with in our transactions include insurance brokers (Health, Life, & Business); environmental assessment & remediation experts; merchant service providers; real estate & equipment appraisers; outsourced CFO’s, CMO’s, and CIO’s; Payroll, Benefits, and Human Resources Administrators; and a spectrum of other consultants, advisors, and professionals.
As a corporation, IBA welcomes the opportunity to share our network of resources with the entrepreneurial community. We encourage clients, non-clients, and collaborative partners to reach out to us for help problem solving through any needs. If we cannot directly help, we generally can send people in the right direction. We also welcome the opportunity to provide recommendations of business brokers in areas not served by IBA. Need a business broker in Chattanooga, Tennessee we recommend Erin Gilliam at the Power of Pluck (https://www.powerofpluck.com/), an example of the reach of our network into small and large communities across the United States.
In closing, I wish I could share a video of everyone at our last event singing, “I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends” together. Unfortunately, that video does not exist. However, I will share a beautiful one with John & Ringo joined by many of their friends in the music industry singing a song that conveys a sense of community that we all should aspire to create in our profession. https://youtu.be/xOuxVDgV6CY?si=7OotQmLGo7gJ4cxc
IBA, the Pacific Northwest's premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, legal, and accounting communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses. IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.