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Family Businesses – Resilience and Legacy

A recent white paper by Deloitte explores strengths intrinsic to family business that may give these enterprises a relative advantage during this unusual year. Interestingly, the subject of business culture is once again comes into focus. “Alongside the millions of healthcare professionals and volunteers, some family businesses are being branded as ‘heroes’ by their local and national communities in the current crisis,” the paper states. “This often comes down to the family values that have been instilled for generations across the business, in family members and employees, and then ultimately imparted to customers. It is these inherent values and solid organizational purpose that can secure loyalty far beyond the crisis.”

The paper also points out that this may be the perfect time to elevate the involvement of the next generation in your business’ succession plan. The up-and-coming entrepreneurs of the family may be “readily available “extra pair of hands” in a time when resources are either scarce or not available, as well as a valuable sounding board or source of fresh ideas.” Digital natives, they might also be poised to lead new and innovative efforts during a time when digital interfacing with clients and vendors is increasingly vital. “Not only does this give the next generation a chance to prove themselves, but their active engagement in the business at this time could be the difference between success or failure.

While resilience and core values are often inherent in family businesses, family tensions may also be built in. Generational differences in vision or priorities can be tricky to navigate. The current crisis has led many older business owners to weigh risks to their health and safety alongside normal cost-benefit considerations of doing business.  If you find yourself in this position, it may well be that now is the right time to officially pass the baton to your next-in-line.

Even when the sale is to a trusted family member who has grown up with the business, selling a family business can amplify all of the tensions that go along with running one. You may discover that the sale could be very disruptive for you personally.  All too often, people fail to recognize the emotional and mental stress that comes along with selling a business.  Many owners begin the selling process only to discover that they are not emotionally ready to do so.  While everyone wants to be unemotional in making their business decisions, this is not always the case.

For help navigating the challenges that come with this opportunity, contact us!

See the Deloitte infographic below for insights. Deloitte will be publishing a series of articles on this subject in the coming weeks. If this feels close to home, stay tuned!

Changing Careers and Forging Ahead

A popular article on LinkedIn this week addresses career change.  Personal growth sometimes requires new challenges. “There often comes a point in your career where it’s time to re-evaluate. Things change. You change,” writes  business podcaster Jessi Hempel.  “How do you screw up the courage to leave the safety and security of the subject you’ve mastered and start something new?” To examine this question, Hempel interviews Robin Arzon. Arzon left a secure career as a lawyer to affirm and cultivate a new version of herself: an athlete, who is now the head of fitness programming for Peleton.

Your path may take different turns, but Hempel is right–we change! Maybe you’re ready to be your own boss and embark on a career as an entrepreneur. We can help you find a business that resonates with your passions and values. Maybe you’ve been at the helm of a business for a long time and you’re ready for something new. We can help sell your business to the right buyer and set you up for your next adventure.

Here are some highlights from the interview, featuring some great insights and advice from Arzon.

On figuring out what you want to do: Intellectual folks often find that it’s simple to just dig in. But that doesn’t mean that [the work is] actually aligning with our values, with our goals, and with the happiness quotient.”

On beginning to think of herself as an athlete: ” I had to really recreate myself and start to write a different story once I realized that I was curious about what this running thing was.”

On leaving a predictable career path: “I bet on myself, and I still believe that I’m my greatest investment.”

On figuring out how to turn her fitness love into a career: “I wanted to somehow marry the business acumen that I had acquired as a lawyer with something that was forward-thinking and modern, marrying technology and entertainment. And I wanted to insert myself in that story, not telling other people’s stories, but telling my own.”

On how to tell if you’re on the right career path: “it’s just a quarterly, seasonal gut check: what am I doing? Where am I going? Have I been uncomfortable enough recently? And if the answer is no, I’m not on the right path.”

On moving forward: “In every area of our lives, we’re doing this delicate dance between tension and resistance that often creates momentum, and release from that tension so we can actually get things done.”

On building resiliency: “Willpower is a muscle. I believe that resiliency is like a muscle. The more that we visit those opportunities, the greater prepared we are for the next one.”

If any of this is sparking inspiration for you, contact us for experienced support as you take your next steps!

Seller Financing: It Makes Dollars and Sense

When contemplating the sale of a business, an important option to consider is seller financing.  Many potential buyers don’t have the necessary capital or lender resources to pay cash.  Even if they do, they are often reluctant to put such a hefty sum of cash into what, for them, is a new and untried venture.

Why the hesitation?  The typical buyer feels that, if the business is really all that it’s “advertised” to be, it should pay for itself.  Buyers often interpret the seller’s insistence on all cash as a lack of confidence – in the business, in the buyer’s chances to succeed, or both.

The buyer’s interpretation has some basis in fact.  The primary reason sellers shy away from offering terms is their fear that the buyer will be unsuccessful.  If the buyer should cease payments – for any reason – the seller would be forced either to take back the business or forfeit the balance of the note.

The seller who operates under the influence of this fear should take a hard look at the upside of seller financing.  Statistics show that sellers receive a significantly higher purchase price if they decide to accept terms.  On average, a seller who sells for all cash receives approximately 70 percent of the asking price.  This adds up to approximately 16 percent difference on a business listed for $150,000, meaning that the seller who is willing to accept terms will receive approximately $24,000 more than the seller who is asking for all cash.

Even with these compelling reasons to accept terms, sellers may still be reluctant.  Selling a business can be perceived as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit the cash jackpot.  Therefore, it is important to note that seller financing has advantages that, in many instances, far outweigh the immediate satisfaction of cash-in-hand.

  •  Seller financing greatly increases the chances that the business will sell.
  • The seller offering terms will command a much higher price.
  • The interest on a seller-financed deal will add significantly to the actual selling price. (For example, a seller carry-back note at eight percent carried over nine years will double the amount carried.  Over a nine-year period, $100,000 at eight percent will result in the seller receiving $200,000.)
  • With interest rates currently the lowest in years, sellers can get a much higher rate from a buyer than they can get from any financial institution.
  • The tax consequences of accepting terms can be much more advantageous than those of an all-cash sale.
  • Financing the sale helps assure the success of both the sale and the business, since the buyer will perceive the offer of terms as a vote of confidence.

There are no guarantees that the buyer will be successful in operating the business.  However, it is well to note that, in most transactions, buyers are putting a substantial amount of personal cash on the line – in many cases, their entire capital.  Although this investment doesn’t insure success, it does mean that the buyer will work hard to support such a commitment.

There are many ways to structure the seller-financed sale that make sense for both buyer and seller. Creative financing is an area where your business broker professional can be of help. We can recommend a variety of payment plans that, in many cases, can mean the difference between a successful transaction and one that is not. Serious sellers owe it to themselves to consider financing the sale. By lending a helping hand to buyers, they will, in most cases, be helping themselves as well.

Contact us to learn more about selling your business, or to learn about opportunities to buy a business in New Mexico.

Who Might Buy Your Business?

When selling a business, you’ll want to consider the different buyer scenarios you’re presented carefully.  The buyer pool for most organizations can be very diverse, and different kinds of buyers pose different implications. It’s important to develop an understanding of the parties’ backgrounds and their intent to buy. Of course, will help you find the right fit, but it never hurts to be prepared. These are five of the more common types of prospective buyer profiles you may encounter.

  1. Individual Buyer

    These are individual buyers who aren’t affiliated with an external organization. This scenario can be advantageous for several reasons. For one, these parties have fewer strings attached, making them easier to work with than an existing business. They also typically have years of experience in their field. However, nearly 48% of small business buyers are also first-time buyers, according to this Market Pulse report. As a result, they may require additional training and assistance from the current business owner through the transition.

  2. Business Competitor

    Existing companies often buy out their competitors, which allows them to expand in their industry. This could be an excellent opportunity for a business owner looking to sell with little-to-no involvement following the transaction. These potential buyers usually already have an understanding of your general operations, so it takes much less time to get them up to speed. If you do pursue this arrangement, you will want to retain business broker services as many unique challenges can arise.

  3. Synergistic Buyer

    Synergistic parties are another type of buyer looking to expand their current operations. These buyers aren’t direct competitors, but more so companies in-line with your industry. They are interested in similar businesses that would be complementary to what they currently offer. A major plus of working with a synergistic buyer is that they are often more willing to pay a higher purchase price than other groups that need more financial backing. A possible disadvantage in this arrangement is that they typically don’t have the need to retain a lot of the seller’s current personnel, so downsizing is common.

  4. Financial Buyer

    Financial buyers are interested in the return they can receive by investing in a business. You may want to consider this arrangement if you are looking to maintain some involvement with your organization but do not have the capabilities, funds, or interests to continue serving as the business owner. You want to work with a business intermediary through these transactions, as they require a high level of detailed planning.

  5. Family Member

    Many small business owners choose to sell to a family member. Often, their successor is already involved with their operations and has received a great deal of training. Having this familiarity is of great benefit to a potential buyer, plus they can rely on their family member for support as time goes on. If this sounds ideal to you, our recommendation is to prepare this person as much as possible to minimize disruptions. If they aren’t ready for the responsibility, your business can suffer.

An experienced broker can help match you with the right buyer based on your personal needs. If you’re ready to sell, contact us for more information!

What Are Buyers Looking for in a Company?

It has often been said that valuing companies is an art, not a science. When a buyer considers the purchase of a company, three main things are almost always considered when arriving at an offering price.

Quality of the Earnings

Some accountants and intermediaries are very aggressive when adding back, for example, what might be considered one-time or non-recurring expenses. A non-recurring expense could include costs like meeting some new governmental guidelines, paying for a major lawsuit, or adding a new roof on the factory.

The argument is made that a non-recurring expense is a one-time drain on the “real” earnings of the company. Unfortunately, a non-recurring expense is almost an oxymoron. Almost every business has a non-recurring expense every year. By adding back these one-time expenses, the accountant or business appraiser is not allowing for the extraordinary expense (or expenses) that come up almost every year. These add-backs can inflate the earnings, resulting in a failure to reflect the real earning power of the business.

Sustainability of Earnings

The new owner is concerned that the business will sustain the earnings after the acquisition. In other words, the acquirer doesn’t want to buy the business if it is at the height of its earning power; or if the last few years of earnings have reflected a one-time contract, etc. Will the business continue to grow at the same rate it has in the past?

Verification of Information

Is the information provided by the selling company accurate, timely, and is all of it being made available? A buyer wants to make sure that there are no skeletons in the closet. How about potential litigation, environmental issues, product returns or uncollectible receivables? The above areas, if handled professionally and communicated accurately, can greatly assist in creating a favorable impression. In addition, they may also lead to a higher price and a quicker closing.

LET IT GO? SHOULD YOU SELL YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS?

When the variable of family is added to the equation of selling a business, the situation can get rather messy.  Family usually complicates everything and businesses are, of course, no exception.  Ken McCracken’s recent article “Family business: to sell or not to sell?” 6 questions to help you make the right decision,” seeks to decode the complexities so often associated with family businesses.

Consider the Market 

The foundation of determining whether or not now is the right time to sell must begin with market forces.  Determining how much your business is worth is a key variable in any decision to sell.

The best way to determine the worth of your business is to have an outside party, such as a business broker, evaluate your business.  What you believe your business to be worth and what the market dictates could be very different.  You may discover that your business does not have the value that you hoped for.  If this is the situation, then selling simply may not be an option.

What is Next for You?

Tied to knowing your market value is understanding what you will do next after you sell your business.  For example, do you have a family member who can run the business without you?  What will you and any family members who work for the business do after the sale goes through?  You may discover that the sale could be very disruptive for you personally.  All too often, people fail to recognize the emotional and mental stress that comes along with selling a business.  Many owners begin the selling process only to discover that they are not emotionally ready to do so.  While everyone wants to be unemotional in making their business decisions, this is not always the case.

Due Diligence

You will also need to deal with the issue of due diligence.  Working with a business broker is an excellent way to handle the due diligence process.  Business brokers usually vet prospective buyers ahead of time, which can save you a great deal of aggravation and wasted time.

McCracken believes business owners should investigate how the prospective buyer handled previous acquisitions.  Specifically, McCracken believes that business owners should look to how well the prospective buyer honored previous commitments, as doing so is an indicator of how trustworthy a buyer may be.

Planning for Negotiations

Finally, McCraken believes it is essential to know who will oversee negotiations.  It is key to note that many deals that could have otherwise been successful, fall apart due to poor negotiations.  A business broker can be invaluable in negotiations.  After all, who wouldn’t want someone with dozens, or even hundreds, of successful transactions advising them?

Selling a family business can be emotionally charged and can cause significant life changes for not just you, but for members of your family as well.  Often, family businesses were built up over a lifetime or even over generations, which can make the decision to sell quite emotionally charged. Contact us for help navigating the challenges that come with this opportunity.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Preparing Your Business to Sell

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is increasingly seen as something that companies of all sizes need to be aware of, so let’s take a closer look at a few of the finer points.

There are 4 basic pillars in CSR: the community, the environment, the marketplace and the workplace.  The community pillar of CSR refers to your company’s contribution to the local community; this contribution can take a variety of forms ranging from financial support to personal involvement. There are 4 basic pillars in CSR: the community, the environment, the marketplace and the workplace.  The community pillar of CSR refers to your company’s contribution to the local community; this contribution can take a variety of forms ranging from financial support to personal involvement. Millenials are especially interested in using their growing purchasing power to support companies that share their values.  According to Forbes, “75% of Millennials consider it fairly or very important that brands give back to society instead of just making a profit.” They  care that brands practice authenticity, local sourcing, ethical production, a great shopping experience, and giving back to society.

The second pillar of CSR is the environment.  The simple fact is that people around the world are becoming much more environmentally aware.  You can be quite certain that a percentage of your customers and/or clients have environmental concerns.

Increasingly, consumers want to know that the companies that they are purchasing from have good environmental practices.  There are many ways that businesses can show that they are environmentally aware.  They range from recycling and using low-emission and high-mileage vehicles whenever possible to adopting packaging and containers that are environmentally friendly.

The third pillar of CSR is the marketplace.  Proper corporate social responsibility includes the responsible utilization of advertising, public relations, and ethical business conduct.  Another key element in the marketplace pillar is adopting fair treatment policies towards suppliers and vendors, contractors and shareholders.  In other words, the marketplace aspect of CSR means rejecting exploitative business practices in favor of fairer and more equitable business practices.

The final pillar of CSR concerns the workplace.  In the workplace pillar, CSR encourages the implementation of fair and equitable treatment of employees, as well as observing workplace safety protocols and embracing equal opportunity employment and labor standards. We’ve written before about fostering a culture of employee engagement. Research shows that employee engagement tends to rise in response to a strong connection to a business’ vision and mission.

Adopting CSR practices in today’s business climate is a prudent decision, as it serves to increase both shareholder and investor interest, while simultaneously encouraging a company’s value.  Likewise, embracing CSR practices can make it easier to attract a buyer and that party may be willing to pay a higher selling price. CSR helps you to create and share a compelling narrative about your business. These stories are powerful vectors of brand awareness and loyalty.  It helps you to focus on what your stand for and reinforcing people’s association between you and those values.

Typically, buyers want a business that has many of the attributes supported by the four pillars of CSR.  Buyers want businesses that enjoy a high level of customer loyalty and have good overall relations with the local community.  Additionally, buyers want businesses that have quality relationships with their suppliers and vendors as well as loyal and dependable employees.

Sellers must realize that buyers want products, goods and services that are in line with the current trends of the marketplace and have an eye towards future trends.  Finally, buyers want as little “baggage” as possible.  You can be certain that buyers don’t want to find any skeletons lurking about in the company closet.  The proper utilization of CSR can address all of these concerns and, in the process, make your business more attractive to a potential buyer.

Multiples, Demystified

Multiples are tricky things to figure out when you’re valuing a business for sale. Lots of opinions are floating around, most stemming from imperfect information. Uncle Bob’s golf buddy sold his widget store for a million bucks based on a multiple of five! Such “buddy wisdom” can lead you astray. Unrealistic expectations can result in a price point that the market simply won’t support. Your business languishes with little to no buyer activity.

First Things First

So, what is a multiple to begin with? Basically, a multiple is a number by which you multiply the economic benefit enjoyed by the owner of a business. With large businesses, this benefit is frequently expressed as EBITDA, an acronym for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. While EBITDA makes sense in the M&A realm, where businesses generating $10 million or more in annual sales are exchanging hands, EBITDA isn’t always the best fit with for small businesses. Besides the difference in sheer size, the owners’ group frequently doesn’t play an active, hands-on role in the operation of these larger businesses. Think passive investors.

In contrast, Main Street businesses are frequently helmed by an owner/operator. It’s also relatively common for the owner/operator to run some personal expenses through the business. These could include their personal health and life insurance, the lease expense for a personal vehicle, which they don’t plan to convey with the sale of their business, or the cell phone plan for their family. After all, such practices are one of the benefits of being a small business owner. In essence, SDE (Sellers Discretionary Earnings, also known as Cash Flow) is EBITDA with a few adjustments, including owner’s compensation and personal, discretionary expenses.

There’s more to SDE than this, but that’s it in a nutshell. While multiples can also be applied to the business’ Gross Revenue, SDE shows how much income a new owner will have to live on and pay off pay debt service incurred by taking out a loan to secure the purchase. When done right, SDE is a buyer’s potential Return on Investment for a given business.

Multiples in Action

How is the multiple determined and used, besides Uncle Bob’s questionable tips? Let’s take a simplified example.

You would like to sell your small to medium-sized business, Widgets R Us. What price should you ask?

Ideally, there’s a lot of market data to inform this decision. In the field of comparable widget stores that have sold (based on sector, size, revenue, location, etc.) what is the average sales price? Say it’s $300,000.

Now, what’s the average SDE of those widget businesses that have sold? Say that is $100,000.

The multiple is the result of dividing the average price by the average SDE. In this case, $300,000/$100,000 = 3.

Let’s further say your business’ average SDE over the last three years comes out to $130,000 because your sales team is good at selling widgets. Nice! The price for your business would be $130,000 x 3 = $390,000.

Ze Plot Thickens

That is a pared down example. In real life, the process can be complicated by the quality (or lack thereof) of the financials, market trends, client concentration, how dependent the business is on you, and a host of other factors.

Keeping with the same example above, let’s say that you’re the genius behind your business’ eye-popping widget sales. Over the years, you’ve cultivated relationships with key clients who refuse to deal with anyone else at your widget shop. How does this effect the transferable value of your business? You’ll need to wrestle with such questions.

But Wait, There’s More…

Also keep in mind that multiples, no matter how fact-based, are not the end-all, be-all. A sophisticated buyer will also take into consideration the income they’ll be earning, after debt service, based on their down payment. This is known on as the Internal Rate of Return. An experienced broker can work with you to understand and interpret all this information. You can drastically help this process by having well organized, professionally-prepared financial records. At a minimum, we like to analyze the most recent three years of P&Ls, tax returns and a current balance sheet to get a clear picture of the performance of your business. Buyers want to study these in-depth, often bringing in their CPA or financial advisor, to understand what they’re potentially getting into!

If there isn’t a lot of useful data to go on, there are some tricks of the trade that are based on way more experience than Uncle Bob’s sample size of one or two stories. Brokers have access to information that isn’t available to the general public. They frequently have experience selling businesses similar to yours. The best sales data aggregates the actual sales price of businesses provided by financial institutions and certified business appraisers. They check and double-check the information that goes into making up the SDE number.

Onward!

It’s well worth your while to consult a knowledgeable expert to make sure you’re valuing your business at an optimal price to both sell the business and maximize your achievable profits.

Is Your Business Ready to Sell?

“Even if you build a business with zero intention of selling it for a big payday, and even if you never do actually sell, you should still build your business as if you are going to sell it someday. Building a business with this mindset will make the entire operation run more efficiently—you’ll be able to see how your business is trending overall, maintain a cleaner financial picture, and implement better standard operating procedures,” writes Gregory Elfrink in this Foundr article.

It’s never too soon to prepare. There are all kinds of reasons to sell a business – retirement, cashing in on ROI, moving on to the Next Big Thing. Whatever your reason, you’ll want to maximize your profit. This requires preparation and forward thinking, and we can help.

Here are some areas to consider to make sure your business is sellable.

Money Talks

Buyers want to know they’ll be getting a business that will allow them to make money. The best way to prove your business fits that ticket is to have great financials. This means

  • Records over at least 3 years if possible
  • Strong (and, ideally, improving) cash flow, Seller Discretionary Earnings, and gross revenue
  • Well organized, professional documentation

Buyers understandably balk at weird numbers. If you have missing information or sloppy bookkeeping, they wonder what might be wrong or hidden. Consistent, professionally prepared P&Ls and taxes tell the most compelling story.

Value Proposition

Competitive advantage increases the value of your business. “If your competitors can’t match your differentiation without investing time, money and effort, buyers will pay more to have your edge,” writes Kevin Daum for Inc.

Standing out can be easier within a niche. “To maximize the value of your business, you are better off focusing on one or two areas that your business can do really well.  It’s much easier to duplicate your process with others this way, and it also increases the quality of the work you do as you can train and hire specialists as opposed to generalists,” says Shawn Sparks in this ThinkAdviser piece.

Onward and Upward?

Growth potential is another big factor. Do you have ideas to offer a buyer about how he or she might grow the business? Maybe there are untapped markets? Unexplored marketing channels? Tech-paved pathways to scale?

Identity Crisis

The success of the business can’t be wrapped up in your knowledge, relationships, charisma, etc.  A seller may support new ownership for a transition period, but make sure you have clear, accessible documentation on all operating procedures. If you have experienced managers on your team who can take the reins, all the better. A well-trained staff who will stay with the new owner is also helpful.

A (terribly burdensome!) way to vet your business’ ability to function without you is to take a vacation for a while. See where your systems snag in your absence and respond accordingly—rested and tan.

Distribute Your Eggs Over Enough Proverbial Baskets

Diversity in your client base and supply is important.  Customer concentration is a red flag to potential buyers. A company with more than 15 percent of its revenue dependent on one client is vulnerable. That client might leave shortly after you sell your business. A buyer will recognize this attrition risk. Follow these tips to minimize concentration trap for the potential buyer and better position your business to sell at a premium value. 

Likewise, multiple suppliers for all your products are important. According to Elfrink, this adds value in the following ways:

  • Profit Margin Increase: [Foundr has] had ecommerce sellers say flat out that they increased their profit margins by double percentage points simply by finding a different product supplier that gave them a much better deal.
  • Avoid Shutdowns: What happens if you only have one factory making your product and that factory suddenly goes out of business? You’re out of luck. You need backups for emergencies like this. Without a good supplier, you are effectively out of business.
  • Avoid Suppliers Getting Leverage on You: The supplier knows that without a product, you have nothing to sell, and they may try to increase their price over time, thinking that you will just accept the price hike. Having multiple suppliers will greatly increase your ability to negotiate for better terms.

Recurring Revenue

High-volume, reoccurring revenue indicates stable, ongoing success. Customer renewal saves on acquisition, indicates a satisfying product or service, and provide a bankable model, according to “exit guru” John Warrillow. “If you currently eat what you kill, find a way to make your product or service renewable and addictive,” he suggests.

Timing

So many factors are involved in determining if the time is right to sell your business. What are the prevailing market conditions? How are your financials trending? Do you have everything in ready, in ideal order to maximize your profit? A business broker can help identify and answer all the questions you should be asking.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you’d like to learn more or sell a business, contact us! We can help you assess all these criteria and perform a valution to determine the right price to bring your business to market.

4 Ways to Eliminate Customer Concentration and Build Confidence with Prospective Buyers

If you are preparing your business for sale, you need to start to think like a buyer. Customer concentration is a red flag to potential buyers. A company with more than 15 percent of its revenue dependent on one client is vulnerable. That client might leave shortly after you sell your business. A buyer will recognize this risk.  Follow these tips to minimize risk for the potential buyer and better position your business to sell at a premium value:

Remove the Client Trap

A lot of business owners fall into this trap. It’s easier to please and upsell existing clients than it is to look for new business. Start looking for “like clients.”  A good client is like a map to new clients. Identify key components—such as size, problems, or needs—and seek out new customers who fit the profile.

Ask for Referrals

Happy clients are happy to refer you to others. If you don’t ask for referrals, you won’t get them.  Stop by or give your best customers a courtesy call. Let them know you are looking to grow your business and ask if they know of any other business that could utilize your services. If not now, ask them to keep you in mind.  In some cases, businesses offer a referral fee. This may or may not work for you, but it’s an option to reward the referring party.

Seal the Deal in Writing

When you have a customer or client who is a significant portion of revenue, get the deal in writing. Spell out the duration of the agreement between the customer and your business. Although contracts can be nullified post-transaction, at least the contract minimizes the risk of them leaving and gives the new owner some peace of mind.

Remove Sole Dependency

With key accounts, the customer often becomes dependent on you.  Start to transition the responsibility of client relations and management to another team member now, even if you aren’t looking to sell right away. The customer needs to transfer their confidence from you to the business. This will add even more assurance to the prospective buyer.