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Tips for Choosing an M&A Advisory Firm

by | December 16, 2018 | Industry Insights, M&A, Sell-side, Buy-side, Owner Considerations

Reading Time: 2 minutes

M&A advisors can add real value to a transaction. Here are a few tips to consider when choosing an M&A advisor to partner with as you begin to prepare for a sale.

Get Your Books in Order

Having your books in order can speed the sale along, and will instill confidence and trust in potential buyers. Small enterprises often struggle to maintain their books, especially as their business grows. So take some time to get to know your business’s numbers and control the books. Your financials send a clear message about how well the business is being run. Make sure that message is a positive one. The process of selling your business will have its ups and downs – do what you can beforehand to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. In the end, the prep you do now will only benefit you at the end of the process.

Know That M&A Firms Come in All Sizes

M&A firms may employ just a person or two, or dozens of experts. There’s a certain level of cache that comes from working with a large global firm, but that prestige is often offset by costs. Large firms are often less focused and specialized than smaller businesses. You may actually get more attention and better specialization from a smaller shop.

Larger firms tend to have significant resources and clout. They are highly adept at speeding the process and mining their contacts. Meanwhile, boutique firms are often more specialized in specific industries.

Consider interviewing several different firms. Ask for a specific plan for marketing and selling your business. Assess which firms understand your business and philosophy, then ask yourself which firm feels “right.” After all, you will be working with this company for many months.

Fees are going to play a major role in your decision, and in the deal. The key is to get the most out of the fees you pay—not to get fees that are the lowest in absolute terms. So weigh the fee structure against the value the firm promises, and then choose accordingly.

About Merit Investment Bank

Merit Investment Bank is a leading Boutique Investment Bank focused on serving middle market companies. We are a client-focused team of experienced entrepreneurs, operating executives, and investment bankers with expertise in a broad range of industries. Unlike traditional banks that focus on the transaction, we set our sights on the long-term goals of your company – and we provide the personalized service to assist you every step of the way. Our firm is known to provide strategic merger and acquisition investment guidance, corporate finance and consulting support services for boosting the growth of business.

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