Amerivest Group


Here is My New Dilemma

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Dilemma or is it spelled dilema? Looks strange with two ‘M’s and yes my spell check confirms the two ‘M’ version. What is a dilemma you may ask?

Webster defines dilemma as:

Humble me now has a real dilemma. My SEO ‘genius’ asks me to write two blogs per week: But first – what is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? You have developed a wonderful website and now is the time to make sure that people searching for the products or services, that you provide, come across your site. Surely you can always buy ads and use the PPC (pay per click) option, however I strongly urge you to use an SEO specialist to ensure that your website appears at the top of the list without the costly PPC solution. There are many good ones available, cost is affordable, and it is the best way to get the maximum returns from your website, namely sales, and great leads.

Dada – the light just came on ……

The biggest dilemma facing a business owner is “when is the right time to sell my business?”

And the simple answer is ………… the right time to sell your business is different for each and every business owner as no two situations are alike.

Sorry that I am not able to give you the instant solution to your dilemma, but the good news is that there is one very clear way to avoid all the many pitfalls that I fell into when I sold my company.

Be proactive – in a previous blog ‘Covering all the Bases’ I highlighted the terrible ‘D’s – all the common reactions that trigger your decision as opposed to the very best one – which is to be sure you have a well-defined and well-thought out EXIT STRATEGY.

Most business owners only get to sell a business once in their lifetime and accordingly do not have the knowledge and experience to have an excellent exit strategy in place. The best money you can spend is to have a team of trusted experienced advisors on board to assist you. This team must include an attorney, one who specializes in business sales, and mergers and acquisitions, a CPA to ensure that your financial records are in tip-top shape, and a trusted business broker. It is most important to have key family members involved as you will usually require their approval and support when you decide to execute your exit strategy to sell your business.

With an exit strategy in hand you will have all the tools you require as to resolve your dilemma

“when is the right time to sell my business”

Please feel free to call at any time (561)239-0068 and take a moment to read my previous two blogs that deal with this matter.

Wish you all the very best,

Frank Rubin President/Broker

Amerivest Group - A Member of Business Brokers South Florida


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To secure success when you are ready to sell your business, there are no shortcuts as you must be sure to cover all the bases.

Unfortunately, most business owners do not develop an exit strategy and the consideration to sell is usually triggered by the terrible ‘Ds’:

And unlike a good boy scout “you are not prepared to march along”. Ever play baseball? Did you try to reach home plate by passing first base or any of the bases?

Frank Rubin President/Broker


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The concept of being prepared emotionally never entered my mind and did I ever mess up!

At age seven (1948), I began working every Saturday morning at my Dad’s business which he founded in 1927 and by the age of fifteen I worked there every summer vacation from school.

I was fortunate to have a Dad who provided me with an excellent education (MBA from Columbia University 1962) and secured an excellent job offer from the Ford Motor Company. My Dad upped the ante and offered me $5k more and I joined him – oh my.

In 1974 after a great deal of trauma my Dad, who was then seventy-one years old, agreed to sell me the business and he stayed on to help me out, that was the idea, and did it ever create stress for me as it was always his baby. My academic training was to run a large organization and I ignored all his advice and choose to do everything differently only adding to the friction between us. I did manage to grow the business from my starting point of one million dollars to hit a peak of 50 million before the proverbial s—t hit the fan.

By 1990, after running the business for over twenty-five years I decided it was time to get out as I was really burned out.

Being the smart guy that I thought I was I concluded that a strategic buyer would be the best possible buyer and of course I did not need a middleman (broker) to muddy up the transaction. That’s where the fun began. The guy running the Canadian operation of this US public company, my targeted buyer, was a superb salesman and really knew little about how to handle these types of transactions and cocky me, of course, made a point of telling him so.

Well two years later after he unsuccessfully attempted to purchase all my competitors, to teach me a lesson, he had no choice but to deal with me, and he did his best to convince his US bosses to make it as difficult and unpleasant as possible for me.

LESSON 1 – When you are ready to sell your business, which will probably be one of the most emotional experience of your business career, be sure to have a level-minded intermediary, a business broker, specializing in these types of transactions to guide you through the process and help you control your emotions so as not to mess up the deal as I almost did. Although my Dad had passed, I felt so very guilty parting with his baby, further adding to my emotional stress.

LESSON 2 – Emotional preparation is even more critical than preparing your business for sale. I made no plans what I was going to do with my life after giving up my business, and I had no control of how the buyer was going to handle my long-term employees for whom I had failed to include any protection, and lastly how was I going to invest the proceeds. Well, big lesson learned as I messed up on all accounts.

The Moral of My Story - Now you can see why I finally choose to acquire a Business Brokerage firm in 2001 and work with sellers to ensure that they do not make the same terrible errors that I did.

So, when you ask yourself “is now the time to sell my business’ please feel free to call upon me and don’t be shocked if I end up telling you that perhaps this is not the right time for you. My goal in life today is not beholden to the almighty buck, but to help others achieve what I believe will be in their best interest even of it isn’t in mine.

Frank Rubin President/Broker


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There are many options you can explore:

A. Hire a professional business appraiser

B. Ask your CPA

C. Find out how much your friend received when he(she) sold their business

D. Hire an investment banker

E. Look at the P/E (Price Earnings Ratio) of the stock market

And of course, last but certainly not least

F. Contact Amerivest Group – a member of the Florida Business Brokers.

A. Professional business appraisers offer a very valuable service for:

B. CPA’s unfortunately are sometimes motivated by not wanting to lose a valuable client and do not necessarily know the current local market conditions

C. The price of every business transaction is influenced by the following quantitative factors: And these qualitative factors must always be taken into consideration:
D. Investment Bankers are specialists in large size transactions (revenues typically $50 million+). There will be a significant upfront retainer fee requirement which sometimes can be offset from the commission due when and if they are successful in selling a business

E. Selling a public company is vastly different from selling a private one where typically the risks are much greater and accordingly the typical selling price is based on multiples much lower than those for publicly traded companies

F. The Amerivest approach is a different one when you want to sell a business in Florida.

We offer a free seller confidential consultation and then you will receive an MPSP (Most Probable Sale Price) presentation which will clearly explain our approach to suggesting an asking price for your business.

With your assistance we do a recasting of your financial statements to show the highest possible bottom line which we call the SDE (seller’s discretionary earnings). SDE is often referred to as: TOB (total owner’s benefit); SDC (seller’s discretionary cash); or SDCF (seller’s discretionary cash flow).

Another term you will frequently hear is EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation & amortization). We use SDE which is defined as EBITDA + owner’s compensation + non-recurring expenses + unnecessary expenses + expensed capitalized expenditures, or as otherwise stated, the net cash available to the owner including salary, perquisites, discretionary expenses, interest, depreciation, amortization and non-recurring expenses.

Please continue reading below to see an example of a recasting ……………………

And then we search our multiple databases to find multiples that were used on comparable sales

Again, please continue reading below ……………………...

Lastly, we adjust this multiple to reflect the qualitative factors as shown below

To arrive at:

We welcome the opportunity, at your convenience, to work with you to determine how much the market will currently pay for the sale of your business – complimentary and most important CONFIDENTIALLY

Call Amerivest Group today (561) 988-9335

Frank Rubin President/Broker


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We look forward to working with you in finding a suitable buyer for your business. You, as the seller, are an integral part of the total marketing program. We would like to offer a few recommendations that will help in our marketing efforts.

First, it would be helpful if you took a good look at your business from the perspective of a buyer. Try to put yourself in the place of a potential purchaser of the business. What would you do to make it more attractive or saleable?

Obviously, the financial records of your business are critical to the sale, but how the physical features appear are also important. First impressions really count! If a potential buyer doesn’t like the appearance of your business, the rest of it may never get a chance. Here’s what you can do to maximize the potential of your business:

Our goal in the sale of your business is to maximize the net proceeds that you will get from its sale and to make the sale in a reasonable amount of time. Everything that we can do together will contribute to that effort. Please call us if you have any questions about any of the items listed above.

When you ready to sell your business, we are here to serve you (561) 988-9335.

Frank Rubin President/Broker


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Start by Visiting our Business Opportunity Link on our Website:
Here you will find over 3,500 Florida Business for Sale.

Registered Buyer Program:
Whether you choose a specific listing and or ask an Amerivest Associate to guide you through the initial selection process it is always best to participate in our ‘Registered Buyer Program’. By enrolling in this strictly confidential program, we will be best able to find opportunities that meet your requirements. Furthermore, should there be none available today you will receive immediate notification of all new listings that match your buying criteria as they come onto the market.

Resume and Net Worth Financial Statement:
As most Sellers will insist that you provide them with a personal resume and proof of your ability to fund the acquisition of their business before they allow us to disclose more information about their business, we strongly suggested that you provide us with this information at the outset.

Furthermore, should there be financing either by the Seller or through a Small Business Administration (SBA) backed loan, or licensing requirements, or an assignment of a lease for the business’ premises, you may be required to authorize a personal credit report and provide tax returns for SBA financed transactions.

Confidential Disclosure Agreement:
Next step will be to have you complete and forward back to us a signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA) which is always required before we can provide you more detailed information. Please remember that confidentiality is critical to both the Seller and the Buyer and that you should never disclose the availability of a business to anyone other than your most trusted advisors. When we do arrange for you to do a ‘drive by’ of a retail opportunity please be sure to behave as a customer and never reveal your interest in acquiring the business.

Depending on the circumstances we will arrange for either an initial phone conversation or a meeting with the seller of the business. Please be sure to prepare your list of further information that you require to arrive at a decision regarding the purchase of the business.

Asset and Purchase Agreement:
Once you are satisfied that this is the opportunity that you wish to acquire we will assist you in preparing an offer in the form of an ‘Asset Purchase and Sale Contract’. We always suggest that you use attorneys and accountants who are familiar with small business transactions to guide you as well (we can recommend some to you if you so desire).

Due Diligence:
Due diligence can only commence once you have an approved Asset and Purchase Agreement. This is your opportunity to verify that the financial information that the Seller provided is accurate and to obtain all the detailed information you require to proceed with the transaction.

SBA Loan:
Simultaneously, if the business can qualify for an SBA backed loan, we can provide you with a recommended list of vendors who will assist you with your application

Count on us to always be available to assist along the way until the successful conclusion of the transaction.

On-Going Support:
Feel free to call at any time (561) 988-9335 and we will do our utmost to assist you always.

Frank Rubin President/Broker

Please Note:
Most Sellers will insist that you provide them with a personal resume and proof of your ability to fund the acquisition of their business before they allow us to disclose more information about their business. Should there be financing either by the Seller or through a Small Business Administration (SBA) backed loan, or licensing requirements, or an assignment of a lease for the business’ premises, you may be required to authorize a personal credit report.


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The financial information that we prepare for potential buyers is the major component of how your business is going to be valued and will greatly affect the ultimate sale price and net proceeds that you will receive. Taking care to be accurate, complete, and well organized with your financial information will help to maximize the sale price of the business.

The steps involved in preparing your financial information will include: 1. gathering the needed documents; 2. analyzing the information that we will use; 3. ‘recasting’ your balance sheet and profit & loss statements; 4. and assembling the information for presentation. These are detailed as follows:

1. In the next phase of the process, we will ask you to give us your corporate tax returns for the last three years and an up-to-date profit & loss statement for the current year.

2. Analyzing the financial information will include looking for discrepancies in the meaning of the numbers and comparing your numbers to industry averages.

3. ‘Recasting your financials’ firstly involves calculating your EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization). Next, we look for non-recurring expenses and with locating ‘discretionary’ expenses that you have utilized to reduce your taxable income. These items are commonly referred to as ‘add backs’.

4. The last step involves assembling this information into a form that will present your business in its best light. The presentation of financial information is the culmination of this process.

We also need to discuss the issue of “un-reported income” Some business owners have made a past decision to withhold a portion of their income to avoid taxes. Even though this is an illegal activity, we do recognize that it happens more often than most people realize. It’s usually seen in businesses that deal with a lot of cash and don’t provide their customers with a receipt or use a cash register to record purchases. When we recast your financials, we will clearly indicate our source of data: tax return, profit & loss statement, part year or annualized, proforma, and owner to prove. Buyers are far more comfortable with the first two categories.

The last thing we wish to discuss is the confidentiality of your business’s financial information. While working with prospective buyers, we will give them increasingly detailed information depending on the stage of the sales process. Basic financial information (like annual gross revenue and total owner’s benefit) will be offered early in the process. As we continue to qualify the buyer’s ability to purchase and evaluate the buyer’s intent, we will provide more information. Early in the sales process we will require the buyer to sign a confidentiality agreement that limits the distribution of this information to the buyer and his/her advisors (accountants, attorneys, etc.). We will take every precaution to protect the distribution of financial and general information concerning your business.

If you have any questions concerning the use and handling of your business’ financial information, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are business brokers south Florida.

Frank Rubin President/Broker


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It is extremely important to anticipate and prepare all the pertinent information about your business if you truly intend to sell your business. Once an agreement has been signed and is subject to confirmation of the facts presented based on the preliminary financial information that was provided to a prospective Buyer, the Buyer will now hire both an attorney and accountant to help ensure that all the information is indeed accurate. This process is known as the Due Diligence.

So, you, the Seller, if your goal is really to “sell my business” it is important to be fully prepared. The following is a typical list that the Buyer and his/her advisors will want to have readily available and not only will you need to produce this information, you will also need to be available to spend time with them explaining in detail all the following:

So, you can see there is a lot of work required to sell a business. Some sellers question the need to produce Balance Sheets and lists of Account Receivables and Payables, and Fixed Assets and future Capital Expenditures (Capex). All of this is required to estimate the Working Capital that will be required to operate the business, for the Buyer will need capital not only to pay you but also to support the ongoing financial needs of the enterprise.

Hope this has been helpful!

Frank Rubin President/Broker

Seeking Florida Businesses for Sale

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A Broker’s relationships with the people he deals with are governed by two broad factors. The first factor is statutory law. For example, the State of Florida defines a “Transaction Broker” as being obligated to be honest and fair with all parties involved. The Broker plays a non-adversarial role with the intention of bringing both parties to a fair and mutually satisfactory transaction with no dishonesty to either side. In other words, the Broker wants to have a win-win situation. The Broker does not try to create an adversarial atmosphere or achieve a lopsided victory over either the Buyer or the Seller. Such intentions usually doom the transaction to failure.

The second factor governs how a Broker interacts with the people he deals with. This is known as the ‘Human Factor.’ In a word, it is trust. A more sophisticated expression we use is “Reciprocal Mutual Allegiance,” or “RMA”. Both parties each give up a little something to obtain the trust of the other party’s participation. For example, in the sale of a business, the way this is expressed is in a written contractual agreement, more commonly known as an “Exclusive Right to Sell Contract” or a “Listing Agreement”. In such an agreement, the Broker agrees to apply his time, effort, and knowledge to guide and to help Sellers sell their businesses. Sellers agree to exclusively commit the marketing and destiny of the sale of their businesses to the Broker. Any and all inquires during that time frame, specified on the agreement, must be directed to the Listing Broker.

Prospective Buyers often decry that the brokerage community seems more committed to their Seller relationships than to their Buyer relationships. Buyers must understand that this is in part due to the RMA factor that exists between Sellers and Brokers. The Broker feels protected and comforted by the RMA with its contractual commitment to the Seller, while the Seller also reciprocates that feeling – a true example of a Reciprocal Mutual Allegiance.

Prospective Buyers, seeking a Florida business for sale,on the other hand, are often not willing to give such allegiance, and consequently do not receive it in return. It is hard to expect allegiance from prospective Buyers when they feel free to roam directly to other Sellers, or Brokers who advertise listings. Accordingly Brokers often do not give Buyers the attention they deserve. Is this in part due to their lack of allegiance to a single Broker?

An astute, dedicated and committed Buyer will want the same type of relationship with a Broker that a Seller has when they have committed their listing. A serious Buyer’s first step should be to interview Brokers and select one to enter into an RMA with and not chase down any sale advertisements for businesses. A formal Reciprocal Mutual Allegiance can range from a verbal or handshake understanding, that both parties feel they can trust and rely on, to a written ‘Exclusive Right to Buy Contract,’ comparable to the “Exclusive Right to Sell Contract” listing agreements Sellers enter into with their Broker.

Any Buyer who sincerely wants to succeed in their business quest and wants to be treated like a true Client instead of just any customer, should seriously consider creating a formal Reciprocal Mutual Allegiance with Florida business brokers. Are you ready to be an RMA Buyer?

Do you really want to see Florida businesses for sale?

We are a Florida Business Broker

Check out how we can be of assistance to you

And register into our automated buyers’ system

Wish you much continued success in all your endeavors.

Frank Rubin President/Broker


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To sell your business is a major decision! You have devoted your time, money and energy to building, running and operating your business. It may well represent your life’s work. You may be deciding that now is the right time to sell, and you want the very best professional guidance you can get. This is when working in tandem with a professional business broker can make the difference between just getting rid of the business and selling it for the very best price and terms!

The following are some of the most common questions asked by sellers. The responses are based on both experience and knowledge. If you have any question that we have not covered, please don’t hesitate to ask us.

What Can Business Brokers Do – And What Can’t They Do?

Business Brokers are the professionals who will facilitate the successful sale of your business. It is important that you understand just what a professional business broker can do, as well as what they can’t. As your business broker we can help you decide on how to price your business and how to structure the sale so that it makes sense for everyone – you and the buyer. We can find the right buyer for your business and work with you and the buyer in negotiating and coordinating every step of the way until the transaction is successfully completed. We will also help the buyer with all of the details of the business buying process. A business broker is not, however, a magician who can sell an overpriced business. Most businesses are saleable if priced and structured properly. You should understand that only the marketplace can determine what a business will sell for. The amount of the down payment you are willing to accept along with the terms of the seller financing can greatly influence not only the ultimate selling price, but also the success of the sale itself.

How Long Will It Take To Sell My Business?

It generally takes an average of six to eight months to sell most businesses. Keep in mind that an average is just that. Some businesses will take longer to sell, while others will sell in a shorter period of time. The sooner we have all of the information needed to begin the marketing process, the shorter the time period should be. It’s also important that the business be priced properly from the start. Some sellers, operating under the premise that they can always come down in price, overprice their business. This theory often ‘backfires’ because buyers often will refuse to look at an overpriced business.

Why Is Seller Financing So Important To The Sale Of My Business?

It has been shown that the amount of down payment may be the key ingredient to a quick sale. The lower the down payment, (generally 65% of the asking price or less), the shorter the time needed to a successful sale. A reasonable down payment also tells a potential buyer that the seller has confidence in the business’s ability to make the payments.

Surveys have shown that sellers, who ask for all cash, receive, on average, only 70 percent of their asking price, while sellers who accept terms receiver on average 86 percent of their asking price. That’s a difference of 16 percent! In many cases, businesses that are listed for all cash just don’t sell. With reasonable terms, however, the chances of selling increase dramatically and the time period from listing to sale greatly decreases. Most sellers are unaware of how much interest they can receiver by financing the sale of their business, thereby, increasing their net proceeds. And, again, it tells the buyer that the seller is confident that the business can, indeed, pay for itself.

What Happens When There Is A Buyer and I Am Ready To Sell My Business?

When a buyer is sufficiently interested in your business, we will help in the preparation of an offer or proposal. This offer or proposal may have one or more contingencies. Usually they involve a detailed review of your financial records and may also include a review of your lease arrangements or property ownership documents, operating procedures, or other pertinent details of the business. We will present the buyer’s offer or proposal to you for you consideration. You may accept the offer, or you may make a counter proposal. You should understand, however, that if you don’t accept the buyer’s proposal, the buyer can withdraw at any time.

We will submit all offers to you for your consideration. At first review, you may not be pleased with a particular offer; however, it is important to look at it carefully. It may be lacking in some areas, but it might also have some pluses to consider. There is an old adage that says “the first offer is generally the best one the seller will receive.” This does not mean that you should accept the first, or any offer – just that all offers should be looked at carefully.

When you and the buyer are in agreement, we will work with both of you to satisfy and remove any contingencies in the offer. It is important that you cooperate fully in this process. You don’t want the buyer to think you’re hiding anything. The buyer may, at this point, bring in outside professionals to help them review the information. When all of the conditions have been met, final papers will be drawn and signed. Once the closing has been completed, money will be distributed and the new owner will take possession of the business. As your business broker, we will work with you throughout the entire sales process.

What Can I Do To Help Sell My Florida Business?

You can cooperate fully with all professionals that you may be using. A buyer will want up-to-date financial information. If you use accountants, work with them on making current information available. If you ware using attorneys, make sure they are familiar with the business closing process. You might also ask if their schedule will allow them to participate in the closing on very short notice. Times\ is of the essence in any business transaction. The failure to close on schedule permits the buyer to reconsider or makes changes to the original proposal.

And, finally, your team of advisors must all be working towards the common goal of selling you business for the best price and terms available in the marketplace and closing the sale as quickly as possible! Remember that as your professional business broker, we are on your side. Only by working closely with us can we best handle your business interests.

Frank Rubin President/Broker


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Are you considering selling a business Florida?

Business brokers, like real estate brokers, bring the buyers and sellers of businesses together. More business owners nationally choose to use a broker than to sell a business themselves, but some business owners do handle sales on their own. Brokers work on commission (usually 10-12% of the sale price) and are under contract with the seller. This means that the broker represents the seller’s interests and benefits most by getting the highest possible sales price – something to remember when you’re buying a business.

To locate a broker, ask your attorney, accountant, banker or other advisor for a referral. You can also find them through Google or Bing searches on the internet. Try to use a broker who specializes in business sales – in other words, avoid someone who does it part-time while selling real estate. Whether you’re a seller or a buyer, look for a broker who asks a lot of questions. If you’re selling, this means that the broker is looking for information to help you come up with a fair price for your company. If you’re buying, it means that he/she wants to find out what you want and how much money you have to spend.

Here are some things a good broker can do for you:

Match buyers and sellers

If you’re a seller, a broker can do the first phase of evaluation of buyers and only bring qualified buyers to you. If you’re looking to buy a business, a good broker will ask you lots of questions and know exactly what you’re looking for. He or she may even be able to help you decide what kind of business might be best for you to purchase, given your resources, abilities, and interests.

Come up with a fair market value when selling a business

If you’re selling or buying you want a broker who has a strong knowledge of current market conditions. The broker can best give you an idea of what the market is currently paying for comparable business and where needed arrange for a formal business appraisal.

Facilitate the negotiating process

Since selling a business is at least as emotionally charged as selling a home, you’ll benefit greatly from a go-between who can handle all aspects of the transaction while keeping each party cool. A broker can speak more candidly to each party involved in the transaction that they could manage on their own.

Shield you from publicity

A good broker will be discrete about the sale of your business. Employees may get nervous if they learn that a business is for sale. Suppliers and creditors may also want to stop doing business with you if word gets out that you are selling.

Untangle red tape for you when you sell your Florida business

An experienced broker will know the most efficient way to acquire all the necessary permits and licenses and will know how to locate financing and a reputable escrow company. This helps to eliminate many potential risks to you.

Frank Rubin President/Broker