Note: Confidentiality is critical when selling a business, so I deliberately withhold some details in my reports even though it makes them less interesting. Sorry, I do wish I could say more. In addition, I also change some of the facts to obscure the company’s identity. So if you have an “Aha” moment and think you know who I’m talking about – you probably don’t.
Graeme Plant and I got an early start on our business tour of the southwest, taking off at 6:00 am in my single-engine Cessna. Together we cover the west coast for M&A firm the Woodbridge Group. I enjoy flying over the southwest even though much of it seems rather barren from the air. I’ve learned that some of that barren terrain is really quite beautiful and complex when appreciated from the ground. I’ve also learned much of it is truly barren, which is why I always keep two small backpacks with survival gear in the plane should I have to unexpectedly land somewhere.
We landed in Kingman
We then flew on to
The business owner we met with was very successful, but at first I didn’t believe much he was saying. He said he didn’t actually do anything. I’m used to self-deprecating owners who say that, but of course it turns out they actually do quite a bit and generally work hard. He finally got us to believe that, truly, he didn’t do anything. This is a first for me. The elusive business that you can own AND manage by doing nothing does exist. I believe him now, but I bet I will never see another one like this.
After the meeting we flew to
The next meeting the next morning was with the owner of an electronics company. We all decided (including the owner) that we needed to wait a bit and see how he continued to perform in this economy. Unfortunately for everyone, sometimes the best route is to wait it out and sell when the trend is flat or up.
We had one final meeting near
We rented a car and drove to a neighboring city for the last meeting. I was impressed with some of the companies we meet during the trip, but this company seems to have it all. A solid, technical company with a highly credentialed staff and a reputation that has provided them with a recession resistant backlog. I can’t wait to help this company through the process of selling.
After the meeting we said goodbye to Larry, and we took off out of