“Al, I wish I knew about you a year ago before I made my decision!”
I’m paraphrasing, but having heard this remark dozens of times each year causes me severe agita. For some reason smart business people who have used accountants, attorneys, consultants and advisors for everything from home and building construction to sale transactions still feel that transacting their single largest asset investment – their business – can be done on a handshake and a promise followed by a hasty, short form contract because the buyer and seller trust each other to do the right thing.
I’ve just completed yet another court case as an Expert Witness because a transaction went bad. It was not the seller’s fault nor was it the buyer’s fault but the cashflow of the transaction was NEVER going to work. There simply was not enough money flowing through the business to pay for it and still keep the buyer in a liquid position.
But neither Agency Consulting Group, Inc. nor any other advisor learned in the ways of insurance businesses were consulted because the buyer and seller were “like family” and trusted each other. So the proper safeguards were not installed and several years after the transaction the money “ran out”.
A simple Liquidity Audit (link to previous article on the subject guaranteeing payments to a selling Owner in April, 2017 issue), could have alerted Agency Consulting Group, Inc. and the Seller when the agency’s liquidity was declining and reaching a critical point. This would have been soon enough for the buyer to correct the situation before it became critical and a court case. As my dad always said, “Don’t be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish.” Instead of the small annual cost of the Liquidity Audit, both buyer and seller were subjected to serious financial harm and court costs.
The time to hire a consultant is far before a transaction, not in the final minutes to review what has been done. Hiring both an attorney and a real estate agent to help with the transaction of a property worth several hundred thousand dollars is normal. Why would anyone think they could transact a multi-million dollar transaction that will affect someone’s retirement and create a huge financial obligation on a buyer without similar help?
Neither Agency Consulting Group, Inc. nor other similar consultants are hidden assets. We are available to any agent to discuss their situation at minimal cost. We can help through the entire transaction process. Our valuation service includes a cashflow analysis for all transactions. We can also help by defining the financial needs of the buyer and seller, negotiating on behalf of one, the other or both parties and implementing successful transactions. We have access to funding for any size transaction with several sources. Lack of money is NOT a reason a transaction doesn’t occur.
Our history is our best advertising – WE HAVE NEVER HAD A TRANSACTION IN WHICH WE PARTICIPATED GO BAD AFTER THE FACT! This is not as difficult as it sounds because, as consultants to the industry instead of business brokers we will not force a transaction to occur just to make a fee. We will terminate any transaction (or step away from it if the participants refuse our advice) that will not meet the goals of both the buyer and the seller.
We have the best attorneys in the country working with us on behalf of our clients to assure the proper contracts are constructed. We have our own Enrolled Agent (tax specialist licensed to practice before the IRS). And we have almost 50 years of experience dealing with insurance agencies. Please call us (long) before you make a decision that will affect your life and asset value. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Our phone number is 800 779 2430.
Is this an advertisement? No. We have four or five friendly competitors who can do as good a job as we do and face the same frustrations of not being retained in time to avoid legal disasters. This is a plea to use a professional to help in any internal or external transaction, whether with family, friends or strangers to avoid the potential heartache (and drain to your pocketbook) caused when things don’t progress as expected.