May 2018 Newsletter

Early last month, there was a good piece in the Orlando Business Journal about the recent M&A activity in Central Florida and the complexities that go into those types of transactions.

More insightful, though, than the various structures and unique terms a given deal may include was the psychological toll that the sale of a business can take on its owners — especially when those folks are the people (or are related to the people) who started the business.  For many business owners, their identity, time, and much of their wealth and livelihood is tied up in their business.

The Conway Center for Family Business estimates that the average lifespan of a family-owned business is 24 years. For most of us, that represents roughly a third of our lifetime. So it’s no wonder that the idea of transitioning out of it comes with a boatload of stress. From worrying about your beloved employees to you and your family’s financial and personal future, there’s a lot of emotion involved.

It doesn’t help matters that the due diligence process is often arduous and chalk-full of scrutiny. So why go through the process at all? Why not pass it on to the next generation? Well, according to Bloomberg Business Week only 40% of U.S. family-owned businesses are passed on to the second generation. For third-generation, it’s a meager 13% — and those numbers are trending down. Meanwhile, the number of folks reaching retirement is at an all-time high. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 10,000 baby boomers retire every day; many of them are business owners.

So, if the most common method of business-succession of the past is trending down while more owners than ever are looking to move towards retirement, what gives? Private Equity and strategic competitors seeking consolidation are becoming the new norms for business owners looking to move on to the next chapter of their lives. One stark proof point: deal activity in U.S.

Private Equity hit new highs in 2017 in both deal count and deal value, and Pitch Book believes a new record could be hit in 2018. Due to low-interest rates and an influx of money into PE funds, there’s more capital than ever that needs to be put to work. How does that affect business owners? Higher valuations! Monetarily, it’s one of the best times ever to be the captain of a profitable private business with your eyes on the exit door.

That doesn’t erase the fact that the sale process comes with the aforementioned challenges. But like all great outcomes, the obstacles are there to be overcome and if you’re working with an experienced team of advisors, it can make the journey much more palatable (and profitable).

 

If you or anyone you know is considering raising growth capital or selling/buying a business, please let us know. We’d love to chat.

 


Portfolio company that just closed out its seed round

 

Rentivity.com

Rentivity, a Florida based real estate technology company, successfully completed a fundraising round with NewGate Capital Partners of an undisclosed amount. Rentivity is launching the first end-to-end digital marketplace for single-family home rentals. Their solution integrates and supports all users (owners, landlords, property managers, tenants, vendors, etc.) in a single, mobile friendly, platform. Rentivity will save time and money for both renters and property owners while providing detailed reporting and a digital audit trail of all transactions.

 

You can visit them and stay up-to-date on their full market launch at rentivity.com.

 


 

Machine-Part Manufacturing Company for Sale

 

Image result for Machine-Part Manufacturing

 

NewGate Capital Partners has recently listed for sale a manufacturing company that is focused on producing machine parts for envelope, plastic bag, and notebook manufacturers. The Company was founded in 2005 and currently employs 11 people.

It is headquartered outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a 10,000 square foot facility and mostly serves clients throughout Pennsylvania. Their niche-focus is a competitive advantage that has resulted in year-over-year sales growth of 13%. They finished the 2017 calendar year with just over $2 million in sales and an adjusted EBITDA of $600k and are expecting similar or better results for 2018.

 

The owner is currently looking to retire but has management in place that can take over post-transition.

The sale of the business includes the land and manufacturing facility.

 


 

 

 

So You Want to be in Business, Be an Owner, Master of your Own Destiny?

I love the way my partner, Steve, goes about explaining this.

 

Chicken or the Egg

So you want to be in business, be an owner, master of your own destiny?

The age old question in the title might be worth thinking about. Should you do a start-up with an egg or should you buy some chickens? A silly analogy?  Maybe not.

Many people dream of starting a venture. I’ve helped several hundred wanna- be- entrepreneurs work through this process. Many come in with the egg in hand, delicate, carefully guarded and full of promise. Perhaps they’ve decorated the egg to make it look more attractive and more advanced than other eggs. Convinced that their egg is unique yet they really aren’t quite sure what it will be when it hatches.  They rarely consider that it may not hatch at all. After a time of incubation where you’ve kept it warm and looked at it all hours of the night maybe even added a few more colors to it, it hatches.

You have a chick! They are furry, loud and ready to be fed. It was a chicken after all and you are very proud of this new creature, you probably give it a name even though you can’t tell whether it’s male or female (which is very difficult in young chicks). A few days later you realize that you’ll need another egg or have to buy another chicken to mate with yours or your precious egg, after lots of feed and care, will have provided you with 1-chicken dinner and be gone. Your great idea didn’t produce much and you really were never in business.

Of course you are smarter than that so you had several eggs or a partner who also had an egg that was compatible with your egg, Hmm, more about that another time. The point or question is: Did you save time or resources by starting with the egg versus buying some chickens. Both actions will get you to the same place. You thought the egg route would be simpler and cheaper. Let’s explore that.

 

Steve Ivey

Partner

NewGate Capital

You’ve Got the WHO. Now WHAT?

Last Thursday, I said your success as a startup founder depends a lot on you being crystal clear on WHOM you (your product and service) serve. Let’s allocate 40% weight to this.

So you say, “Allan, I’ve got the WHO down pat. I can picture her. I know her pains. I can feel her frustrations with this problem. I’ve seen and heard her curse aloud as she struggles with this problem. She’s starving for a solution that works – or one that sucks less than is currently available. Now what?”

Good question. I thought you’d never ask.

The next big piece (another 40 percent-er) you need to figure out is the WHAT you offer to your WHO.

As an entrepreneur, you’re wired to start and focus almost exclusively on the WHAT – your product, service, website, widget, whatever. We see this every day:

My product will revolutionize the industry.”

It’s the best thing since the iPhone

It’s a Facebook killer.

Big mistake. Don’t do that.

Start with WHO. Then follow with WHAT. Don’t believe me? See what Seth Godin says here about first starting with a tribe. Got that? Great.

So WHAT do you offer your WHO? Is your product and service a dream-come-true solution to your WHO? Does your WHAT make a meaningful difference to your WHO? Will the dog, as we say in the industry, eat the dog food?

The classic mistake to avoid here as you build your WHAT is keeping it under wraps – in beta or stealth mode – forever while you tinker away and burn your investors’ cash.

Once you have a version 0.1 of your product and service that works decently, launch AND charge for it. Free lunch is for losers.

Then keep your ears to the ground and observe your WHO as they interact with your WHAT. Take in every feedback as data and move on to version 1.0 of your WHAT.