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Why Companies Don’t Sell

Posted By Caber Hill Advisors, Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Did you know that only 20% of businesses listed for sale actually sell? In other words, this means that four out of every five businesses don’t sell; as a business owner, if you can understand why certain companies don’t sell then you can position yourself to avoid the common mistakes that so many owners make, and become one of the 20% that succeed when selling their business.

Data on small business transactions can be difficult to obtain, so while there are thousands of articles that provide a step-by-step guide on “how to sell your business”, very few provide any relevant detail about the actions and characteristics that produce success; however, one excellent source exists. Each quarter, the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project, run by professors at the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business, releases a report assessing the market conditions for small business transactions. In one of their 2013 reports, they listed five common reasons that companies don’t sell and are subsequently taken off the market (“%” indicates percentage of survey respondents who gave this answer):

1.) Seller’s Unrealistic Expectations (33%)
2.) Lack of Buyer Preparation (15%)
3.) Poor Seller Preparation (11%)
4.) Unreasonable Non-Financial Demands (9%)
5.) Personality Conflicts (9%)

The study also surveyed M&A professionals about the biggest mistakes made by sellers that ultimately hurt their chance of successfully completing a deal. The top three answers were:

1.) Unrealistic Expectations (50%)
2.) Declining Business Sales (16%)
3.) Poor Financial Records (15%)

As the two lists suggest, the seller has control over the majority of items that can cause a deal to fail.

Let’s examine a few in depth.

Unrealistic Expectations, Unreasonable Demands, and Poor Preparation

Transactions require agreement on a broad number of items, from price to deal and legal terms to a general sense of trust that each side develops in the other. An owner who has unrealistic expectations of the acceptable price and terms or who makes unreasonable demands during the negotiation will find it very difficult to reach agreement with a buyer.

It should be obvious why unrealistic pricing expectations can kill deals, yet this prevails as the most common offense. We have written several articles in the past about the dangers of improperly pricing a business for sale, but unfortunately most owners enter the process without an accurate understanding of their company’s fair market value. But it doesn’t end with price, as disagreements over deal terms can be equally as detrimental to your success. To succeed, you need to understand the usual and customary terms that apply to companies within the painting industry.

Why do so many owners make these mistakes? It’s really just a lack of preparation. Most don’t want to pay for a professional valuation, and many would rather try to sell the company on their own than hire a business broker. The “fortunate” among this group end up selling, but it takes two to three years rather
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than the customary six to nine months, and most of them accept a price that is below fair market value. In order to succeed (i.e. actually close a transaction at fair market value in a reasonable period of time), owners must be cognizant of these critical items. How? The easiest and most affordable way is to hire a business broker with expertise in the painting industry.

Declining Business Sales
Growing businesses will always be more attractive than businesses in decline. Bar none. This is not to say that a declining business cannot be sold, but the likelihood of closing correlates directly with the sales trends. Buyers may price the decline into their valuation; however, if the decline continues or accelerates during the period between acceptance of an offer and closing, many will walk away.

Fair market value for a declining business is obviously less than it is for one that is stable. Many times, based on the lower price, buyers will show initial interest but will end up backing out of the transaction prior to closing as the overall weakness of the business becomes more apparent during due diligence and scares them off. Finally, it’s harder to obtain financing for declining businesses, so even if you clear all other hurdles you are still at the mercy of a lender who is likely to be risk averse.

Poor Financial Records
Financial performance drives valuations, and poor financial records can derail a deal in numerous ways. A buyer may only look at general financial data prior to making an offer, but during due diligence they may dig deeper. If the scarcity or complete absence of financial records complicates or prolongs their due diligence, they may use it as an excuse to pull out of the deal.

Companies with clean financial records are easier to sell because the owners do not run many personal expenses through the business, and therefore there are not any disputes over cash flow and net income. The harder a buyer has to work to understand and verify “add backs”, the more skeptical they become. This skepticism can lead them to rethink the purchase price and, in the most extreme cases, can cause them to call off the deal.

Poor financial records create the perception of a risky transaction. Risk has an inverse relationship with both valuation and closing success rates. Buyers pay less for riskier acquisitions, if they decide to purchase at all. The expenses associated with cleaning up your financials pale in comparison to the financial gains you receive when you sell.

Successful transactions result in a win/win. A seller receives a good price for the business and is allowed to transition out, while a buyer makes a confident investment and is excited about the future. In order to accomplish this, owners need to be cognizant of their company’s actual fair market value and the general standards for acquisitions in their industry. Few, if any, can do this alone; in fact, those who fare the best tend to surround themselves with experts who do most of the work for them.

We do not, at any point, suggest that a seller should accept a price that is less than fair market value, or deal terms that are abnormal for their industry or unreasonably impede their goals for the future. In fact, we pride ourselves in generating above average returns for the majority of our clients. All we are saying is that owners need to align their expectations with reality. It sounds simple, but if it were as easy as it sounds then the material for this article would not exist.

Peter Holton

Tags:  Caber Hill  Why Companies Don't Sell 

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5 Quotes To Live And Work By

Posted By Estimate Rocket, Thursday, May 19, 2016

5 Quotes to Live & Work By

Part 1

May 13th, 2016

Kayla Suhm

Logical Engine, Estimate Rocket



Whether it’s a saying from a grandmother, a quote from someone famous, or just a “rule of thumb”, words resonate with us and have a big impact on the way we live and work.

The following are quotes for life and business that have inspired and stuck with the Logical Engine team.


 “The only things that are scarce . . . are the things that are difficult, and the only things that are valuable are the things that are scarce. When we intentionally seek out the difficult tasks, we're much more likely to actually create value.” - Seth Godin


Many people choose the easy path by doing the same thing as everyone else. They offer the same products and services, use the same methods, and fix the same problems. It’s possible to make a living this way, but you can make a bigger difference by choosing to solve the problems that few others are solving. You have the potential to learn more and create more value if you choose to do the things that others avoid.



‘When a problem arises, take ownership of it, no matter what is is. Only once a solution is found, is it time to discuss whose fault it was and how that will be resolved.’


Having the strength to not play the ‘blame game’ is important in life and business. It doesn’t matter if it was an employee or a customer that made the mistake. Handling the situation at hand first shows that you’re willing to take responsibility and find a solution even if it’s not your fault. ‘Throwing someone under the bus’  will just cause frustration and may even lose you customers, employees, or friends.



“You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.” - Author Unknown


It’s important to stay current and be aware of things changing around you. New information and technology is constantly becoming available. Embracing new ways of doing things helps peoples evolve and adapt to the world around them, and the same is true for businesses. Connecting with people through email and social media makes it easier for you to reach out to customers. Scheduling and accounting software make it easier to handle your time and money. Make sure you do your research, though. “New” doesn’t necessarily mean “The best thing for you”.



“The golden rule for every businessman is this: Put yourself in your customer’s place.” - Orison Swett Marden


Good customer service is hard to come by, but a small change in the way you think of your customers can make a big difference. By imagining that you’re in their situation, you can provide a better experience. We’ve all heard stories about uncaring customer service reps who just want to get you off of the phone. Show your customers that you care about them and what they have to say. They’ll be thrilled!



“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein


Everyone is good at something, but nobody is good at everything. It may be tempting to try to do everything yourself, and sometimes it may actually be necessary. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is essential, and delegating tasks to people who may be more skilled in a certain area will save you time, money, and stress.




This is just the beginning! We’re always finding new words that inspire us. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated and hear more words of wisdom from the Logical Engine team.


What are some of your favorite quotes?

Let us know in the comments below, or share them with us on Facebook & Twitter

We’d love to hear them! 

Tags:  estimate rocket  quotes 

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National Painting Week! - May 22-30

Posted By The Sherwin-Williams Company, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week is an annual celebration dedicated to protecting and beautifying the things and places we love – in our own homes and in the communities in which we live. 

Participating and promoting Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week is a great way to showcase your expertise and enhance your position as a strong community partner.

There are many ways you and your team can get involved with National Painting Week.

  • Consider volunteering time and joining forces with a local Sherwin-Williams store on a community project. Sherwin-Williams provides the paint and tools for these projects, and store employees and contractors help with the labor. Examples of projects include schools, city landmarks and youth, senior and community centers.
  • Another option is to start your own community projects as a way to support an organization that inspires you.
  • National Painting Week is also a great opportunity for  to promote your work and business, whether or not you participate in a community project. Consider celebrating with Sherwin-Williams by offering a promotion in honor of Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week. 

 Don’t forget to visit Sherwin-Williams social media sites to share National Painting Week social media posts, infographics and more to attract attention to your work and business.

 To learn more, contact your local Sherwin-Williams store or rep, email or visit


  • How can I get involved?

To join an exciting store project, reach out to with your contractor name, city/state and number of interested volunteers To start your own project, reach out to with your contractor name, city/state, general overview of project (include the WHO, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and WHAT is being painted) To share National Painting Week content across social media channels or website, visit Sherwin-Williams social media sites and share posts. You can also create your own posts and share with your network on behalf of National Painting week, possibly offering a promotion or other advice such as painting tips to your customers. Be sure to tag @SherwinWilliams and #SWPaintWeek.

  • When is National Painting Week?

National Painting Week runs from May 22-30, in line with the National Painting Week sale at Sherwin-Williams stores; community projects happen throughout the month of May.

This year, as part of Sherwin-Williams 150th anniversary celebration, similar painting projects will be taking place throughout the world during 2016.


  • Sherwin-Williams already provides me with paint for other charitable projects. How is this different? 

National Painting Week is a national Sherwin-Williams initiative. Consider completing a charitable project during the month of May and on behalf of National Painting Week to help you to market the good you are doing in your community and amplify your message. 


  • I want to participate in a community project, how much time is involved?

Every project is different; there is no minimum or maximum time required for volunteers and is determined on a case-by-case basis

Tags:  National Painting Week  Sherwin Williams 

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Going Paper-Less: 9 Ways to Stop Wasting Paper On and Off the Jobsite

Posted By Estimate Rocket, Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Going Paper-Less: 9 Ways to Stop Wasting Paper On and Off the Jobsite
Kayla Suhm
Customer Success Specialist--Estimate Rocket

Running a business is tough. Storing files, piles of receipts, and stacks of forms ensure your office and life are completely cluttered. Add to that making sure customers are happy and your business is being profitable, and even an organized business owner will have a headache. 

One way of getting your business organized and running smoothly is by using less paper. It’s as easy as using a few apps and folders on your device. Bonus: It’s good for the environment!

Technology as a tool for your business is convenient and helps you stay organized. It also shows customers that your company is current and cares about evolving. Imagine you’re a homeowner that needs some drywall hung. Would you hire the contractor with a hand crank drill or a power drill? 

Okay...But Where Do I Start?
Starting is the hardest part! Once you’ve made the decision to use less paper, there are simple things you can do to make sure everything stays neat and tidy.

  • Scan it! Scan and file documents into folders on your device, then shred the physical
    copy if appropriate. There are even portable scanners like Doxie Go.
  • Generate Reports into a PDF You’ll have access to them instantly and can sort them
    into folders. 
  • Download a PDF of User Manuals You can read them on your phone, tablet, or
  • Use Google Docs to organize your documents. Set up shared folders so everyone on
    your team has access to what they need.
  • Try an Online Fax Provider like Nextiva . They’ll email you incoming faxes so they don’t
    end up on your desk.
  • Take a Picture of important receipts with your phone and upload them into a searchable
  • Write on Paperless Post-its Use a team chat service like Slack or “to do” apps like Trello or Evernote so everyone is on the same page.
  • Opt for an Email Blast to prospective customers and followups to existing customers instead of traditional mail.
  • Get on Social Media Facebook and Twitter are great tools to keep you connected and
    advertise to your customers.

 Use Estimate Rocket to keep all your information on a contracting job in one editable, easy to access, paperless place. Organize projects, send email estimates, invoices, work orders, and receipts, and stay connected with your customers.

When you have a paperless system in place, finding important documents is as easy as typing a keyword into the search bar. So spend less time looking through mounds of paperwork and more time getting things done!

Tags:  estimate rocket  going paperless 

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