If you aren’t familiar with the role of an “M&A advisor,” they are the people who help guide and assist business owners through the complexity of the mergers and acquisitions process. M&A advisors help navigate the sale or acquisition of a company and provide guidance throughout the financial and legal steps of a transaction. Finding the right M&A advisor to suit your needs can be a daunting task. In this blog, we’ll break down some of the key things to consider.
Consulting an M&A advisor before considering the purchase or sale of a company can greatly benefit an owner in understanding the process since there is a lot of information to absorb. Undoubtedly, no matter whether you are buying or selling a business, you want to find the right advisors to help you throughout the journey.
Deciding which M&A advisor is the right fit for you doesn’t have to be difficult. Before choosing an advisor there are some things you might want to consider. Here are five takeaways that will help make you feel confident you are selecting the right advisor for your company.
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First and foremost, the most important factor you will want to look for in an M&A advisor is that they are someone you can trust. You want to make sure the person you choose is someone that understands your business, culture, and goals for a transaction. You may want to ask yourself some of these questions before choosing:
- Can I trust this M&A advisor to lead me in the right direction?
- Do I feel comfortable asking them questions and seeking their advice?
- Do they have relevant experience?
Once you have fully laid out and answered these questions, now comes time for the decision-making. Trust is the foundation of all relationships, and it should be the same with your M&A advisor. It can sometimes be challenging to trust someone you don’t know, but that is why you should take the time to have several meetings and conversations with your advisor before making a formal decision.
During these discussions, you should be able to get a good idea of the advisor’s experience and ability to give you candid advice and counsel. M&A advisors specialize in guiding you through the intricacies of the merger and acquisition process.
2. Industry Experience
Another key factor in choosing the right M&A advisor is knowing how experienced they are in your specific industry. An experienced M&A advisor in your industry will be able to better understand what drives people to your business, the potential buyers in the market, and the elements that will lead to a potential transaction.
M&A advisors work with you to create value, which is why it is best to choose an advisor that has expertise in your area. Ask questions to better understand their background and experience in your industry, which will help you determine if this is the right person to advise you and your business moving forward.
You can ask them questions such as:
- What is your experience within my industry? Do you work with a lot of types of industries or do you specialize in my industry?
- How do you as an individual advisor differentiate yourself from others in the M&A market?
- Are you familiar with the location in which I work? Culture? How they operate and function?
- How many years have you been working in the industry?
Throughout this extensive process, you want to feel confident in all the decisions you make and that your M&A partner understands the nuances of your business and industry. An M&A advisor with adequate knowledge and familiarity within your industry will only help you in the long run.
They will be able to get you through any tough obstacles in the way. They will help you steer clear of any challenges that you may face down the road. If a conflict arises, your M&A advisor should be able to navigate accordingly and if a different path needs to be taken, they can feel confident in the direction they are leading you to.
The chemistry you develop between you and your M&A advisor will be extremely beneficial throughout this process. After your initial consultation with the M&A advisor, how are you feeling? Do you feel like they really understand your goals? Do they get you as a person? Can you work well with this individual?
Having an M&A advisor that understands your goals and your business is what is going to carry you through the merger and acquisition process. They will essentially be the ones who will negotiate and advocate for you all along the way. They will be representing you, so you want to make sure the M&A advisor has a clear vision and understanding of your business, who you are as a person and the goals you want to accomplish.
4. Transaction Experience
Beginning an M&A process can be overwhelming for a company and management team. As an owner, you have limited time and resources, and you want to make sure that you spend them effectively to build value and reach your growth goals.
An M&A team with a lot of deal-specific knowledge will create a structured process around your search, advising and guiding you every step of the way through every phase of the transaction. They will help assist you by navigating you through the process so you can maximize the value you have built in your company.
The key to a professional and successful relationship with an M&A advisor is transparency. Your M&A advisor should be straightforward because your success matters to them just as much as it does to you.
The mergers and acquisitions transaction process is time-consuming and it may take some time before you get to your desired result. Understand, there might be hurdles every step along the way. Do not be discouraged if the outcome wasn’t what you were expecting.
Agency owners should be open to the transaction process changing from time to time, but also be aware that M&A advisors are prepared to negotiate often-contested points like the purchase price or the earnout period.
Your M&A advisor should be candid with you at every step, suggest next steps moving forward, and be ready to take action again. Being transparent plays a huge role and is crucial for your business’s success.
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Lean on Clare Advisors for Guidance
Clare Advisors provides mergers and acquisitions and financial advisory services to privately held companies in the digital advertising, marketing, media and business services industries. The Company’s professionals have successfully completed over 30 Buy-side and Sell-side M&A transactions over the years, as well as advising dozens of business owners on issues including operational efficiency, corporate development, financial reporting, business valuation, fundraising and incentive compensation.
Our services include buy-side M&A, sell-side M&A, and financial advisory services. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a company, Clare Advisors is dedicated to working hand in hand with our clients to make the transaction as seamless as possible.
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