The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 1 year ago

How to Sell Your Industrial Business w/ Nick Jackson


After I go, what happens to my company? 

Every successful business owner eventually faces that question. In some cases, the succession plan seems obvious. In others, it's not at all clear. 

On this episode of the podcast, I invited Nick Jackson, Principal of the Mendota Group, which acquires small to medium-sized manufacturing, distribution and service businesses.

Nick and I talked about:

  1. The difference between a financial buyer, a strategic buyer, and an active investor
  2. A step-by-step process for finding an advisor when selling your company
  3. What happens after a deal gets closed

To ensure that you never miss an episode of The Manufacturing Show, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify, or here.

I would say that if they want to sellthe business the sooner they can get that team moreinto the daytoday of the business and expet and pull themselves out of it thebetter. It is because, when I show up at a Byer, I want to be confident thatthat's a stable, profitable good company, even if I pluck the celler out, welcome to the manufacturing executivepodcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that aredriving midsize manufacturers forward here. You'll discover new insights frompassionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share abouttheir successes and struggles and youill learn from BTO B sales andmarketing experts about how to apply actionable business developmentstrategies inside your business. Let's get into the show, welcome to another episode of theManufacturing Executive podcast. This show is being brought to you by oursponsor cadinus part solutions. I'm Joe Sullivan your host in a cofounder ofthe Industrial Marketing Agency, garrilla. Seventy six somewhere along the way any successfulbusiness owner will have a moment where the question pops into their head, whats? What's next for the company after me, many of the BB manufacturers that myfirm is consulted over the years or second or third generation, familyowned businesses and in those cases, sometimes the succession plan is prettyclear other times that path isn't as obvious, but regardless transitioningownership and leadership of a company isn't something that happens overnightand there are so many different ways to do it today. My guest is an expert onthis exact topic, so let me introduce Nick Jackson, Principl of the MendotaGroup. The BENDOTA group, based in Madison Wisconsin, acquires small tomedium sized manufacturing distribution and service businesses that are eithereither privately owned or subsidiaries or divisions of publicly own companies.The objective is to make acquisitions and enable management to significantlyenhance value through increased operating efficiency. Internal Growthand acquisition nick personally has a wide array of business experience thatincludes operations, finance and sales within the banking andtelecommunications industries. Prior to joining. The MINDOTA group Nic was partof an executive leadership team that launched a competitivetelecommunications company with networks throughout the Midwest. Hebrings his broad operations experience leading this fast pasted growth,focused organization to help make the companies in the MINDOTA groupportfolio successful nick welcome to the show, hey thanks. Thanks for havingme, you Bot my pleasure well, nick before we start digging through all theknowledge and experience you've got stored up there in your brain is aprivate equity guy. That's been working specifically in the industrial sectorfor years. Can you give us kind of a brief rundown of just how you got towhere you are today and what Mendota groups all about yeah? As you said inthe INTRO, we're all about buying or small manufacturing antrepreneurialmanufacturing companies, where owner of the company is looking to transitioninto a next phase of their life, and our objective is to get in there asactive investors and work with the management team to kind of take thatcompany to its next level, whether that get growing through acquisition orgrowing organically and most of the companies were looking at our companiesthat have been owned by the entrepreneur for quite some time. Theentrpreneur Beya founded the company and they're. Really, you knowsuccessful profitable companies, but the entrepreneur kind of achieved thelevel of a size that they were satisfied with, and so that entoproduerme Haf slowed down their growth. They kind of went into a little bit of awhat we call it a lifestyle business...

...and we really like those opportunities,because we believe that we can then take that great work that theentrepreneur did and kind of jump off. From that point to add more thought andstrategy around growth and the reason I got into the business is, as youmentioned in the Intro, I avanon some other high growth businesses and didstart up tosome other guys that I was parners with, and I just always reallyliked the challenges that come with trying to build a growth company, notjust the sales and marketing challenges. But how do you build up processes toscale and grow? How do you find people to that fit the DNA of a growth company?How do yo find tune strategy and keep people focused? So when I met mypartner, he was just starting off Tryin for his purchase. He was just startingoff. Looking at buying these small companies- and I had a background andhelping to build strategies and and put in place processes for growth and thetwo of US got together and said: Hey, we think we can really use each of ourskill, sets and experiences to find these entrepreneurial companies andtake them to that next, leve thit's great you and I were talking recentlyas we were kind of thinking about doing an episode together. Here you weretalking about different options for manufacturing ownership as they look attransitioning their business, and in particular, you touched on thedifference between a financial buyer, strategic buyer and an active investorwhich was kind of you know. It was interesting for me to hear about that.I think ouroraudience would benefit from you kind of unpacking thedifference between these different types of piantial buyers or investors,Yeah Yep. So anytime now you know again we're not talking about the sale of like a big public companythat we see in the newspaper we're talking about sale of companies that,let's say, are under a hundred million of revenue or under even fiftymillionare revenue, which is the world we live in. So when that person or acouple partners when they're thinking about selling you know there are somenatural options and they're the buckets you were just referring to so one. Theway I like to explain it is the first bucket would be what we andour industry call a strategic buyer. So this is somebody who it's Likelyecompany that exists in the industry already unprobably, knose of or couldeasily know of the company. That's selling that you know they may eitherbe competitors or they need do business with each other or they kind of crosspaths in channels or cross customers, and so this strategic buyer is acompany. That's in the industry, they're looking to grow throughacquisition. They have criterion around customers and products and talent thatthey're trying to achieve through acquisition and they would look to buythe company and you know either roll it up under the company under the parentcompany or run it separately. It kind of depends on the situation, but butagain it's more of somebody who's buying the company because they see astritegic advantage to staying in their Indus Iour t acquisition. So that's onebucket. The second bucket is what we generally refere to the financial buyer.So this would be people like us or others like a private equity fund orfunless sponsors or active investors like Curtis, and I- and these arepeople who are doing an acquisition strictly as an investment. So we don'thave a particular interest in the industry. We don't have. We don't own,a company that you know is in that space that the seller is in, butWe'ewe're looking for opportunities where we can deploy our capital. Justlike you know any other investment, and...

...we see a great opportunity to put thatcapital in Rall that business improve the value of it and someday, eventuallyexited witha, sale or otherwise to make a good return, our investment. So it'sit's more of a financial growth investment strategy and we're trying toget into that industry industry on our own and interestinglying off. I shouldjust say that guys, like us, private equity groups or active investors likeCurtisni, we can kind of actually play in both of those categories. So, forinstance, we have done seventeen transactions in the twenty years, we'vebeen in business and we're just about to do two more transactions, so we'reabout one a year. Well, there are to many of those transactions. They'vebeen that financial category where we're buying a company from scratch.It's a new industry to US WE'RE PUTTING I new capital and we're starting fromscratch, but there are other times where we've acted like a strategicmeaning. We already owned a company in his face, and then we found anacquisition that we thought was a great ad on to our company and so throughOurour existing investments in a company. We went and did an acquisitionas a strategic buyer, so he kind of play in both buckets, but that's howpeople genterally think taio great well what talk about a little bitabout the process, for you know, ownership at a manufacturing company asthey consider and then begin working with an outside investor o buyer. Whatdoes it look like to? You know, seek someone out and then actually start theprocess of maybe vetting an investor and beginning to work with them yeah.You know it's not a short process. If it's going to be done well and it'sgoing to be thorough and it's going to you know, produce an Ande result,that's beneficial to both the cellar and the buyer and the employees, andall that it takes time. So you know my advice to anybody. Thinking aboutselling is be prepared to kind of think through this process. You know in afairly you know, could be a year or more to prepare for it. You know motthere there's a lot of different ways it can go, but but the way we're usedto in a lot of people in our space are used to is the the seller. You know comes to theirpersonal decision of Hay, it's time for me to move on for whatever. That reason.Is that there's a meriod of reasons? People could say it's time to go, butonce I get to that point, they've worked with their family and theiradvisors and they say hey it's really time for me to consider an option. Thethe. The best way for them toproceed is to usually seek out an adviser that is going to help them getthrough this process. It is this is a very it's a complicated process. It'san emotional process becaus somebody selling their business, which is very,very you, know important. There's people and employees involved. There'sconfidential involve conpidentiality involved. So, in the end you know Ialways encourage sellers to really seek out somebody who is an active adviserand does these types of transactions on a regular basis, because they can bevery, very helpful in guiding that celler through the process, so thatstep one is fine, an advisor and those advisors. We can talk about thatseparately, but you know those people are called sometimes theyre refeer tothis investment banker. Sometimes the perfect partilos business broters, butyou know they're not that hard to find little bit of Google searching littlebit of working through your network. You know certainly on of your listers.I could help them with you know ideas, but there are. There are people outthere who are do a great job of working for the seller to assess not only thevalue of the business but also to market the business to the right kindsof buyers, which is real port o find of...

...find in adviter. The next step isreally for that adviser to work closely with the company and sometimes its cantake years, but it can also go quickly, but usually once they've they haveestablished. Your relationship with an advisor who understand you know, is agood fit for them. Then that advisor is going to spend time. Having done youknow, lots of these transactions they're going to spend time with theseller getting to know the business. What are your customers where's? Yourrevenue come from what are the challenges in your an Justbe? What kindof financial performance you have and it's that advisor, because they've donea lot of transactions, they can put themselves in the in the shoes of us asa byer and then they can give advice to the cellar to say: Look, you know yourcompany's a really Nice Company, but you know anybody. That's going to buy.T is probably going to ask these questions, and so, let's fix some ofthat stuff and address it, make sure we got good answers for that, so that whenwe go to the market you're going to get the best value because there isn't, youknow things that a seller, a byor finds in the course of trying to buy it. Sothey'll work with them. They'll do some analysis of financials they'll get toknow the business and they'll kind of clean up? Let's say anything that youknow could be improved. It's like fixing up the things in your housebefore you put it on the market. Just to tighten things up. Yeah good analogymakes sense yeah. So then, once the advisors done that and they're ready togo to market per se, that's when now that advisor will actually put togethera very professional document, s usually a bog or pedf that gets emailed out.It's got all kinds of information about the company. It's essentially amarketing piece to talk about the company on the industry, the employes,the financials, all the stuff that guys like us care about, and then thatadvisor also has a Roledax or network of guys like us, and so now thatadvisor is going into parketing mode and they're. Saying okay, I've got thisbusiness to sell. I got this great seller WHO's ready to sell. I know allthis information about the company which I put into this document and nowI'm going to go, find the types of buyers that are good fit for thisseller, who will who will take care of the business long term who will takecare of the employee to whatever and they would day through their process ofemails and networks and phone calls they find got guys like us, so we getcalled you know multi times a week, Hey I got this business. What do you thinkthey'll send US e information? It's still kind of confidential private. Wedon't know the name of the business if it's something that we're interested in,we sign a o non disclosure, gree men tink. It is for information. Now we'restarting to show up in the process and the adviser is working with us andtrying to vet, who is a legitimate interested party, then once they'vekind of narrowed that down to I don't know five to ten parties who aregenuinely interested in getting to know the business. That's when the advisorwill say: Okay for these people, you know who's interested they've, given uskind of an indication what they think of value might be. Let's get them inhere to meet the seller. The team see the facility. So at that point a shortlist of potential buyers are coming in they're, looking at the company they'relooking at the facibility they're learning, and then at that after thatprocess, it gets narrowed down to okay, who wants to put an offer in to?Actually you know: Petentialyfy the company, that's called a letter ofintent. So now, if we've made it to the point of that process, where we want tosubmit a letter of a tent to actually buy the company, we submitet theadvisor revews that with the seller, it's essentially just like looking atoffer on your house. He picks the one based on not only the value but how hemet us. He likes us. He doesn't like us, whatever he's manking picking a match,and then the seller will sign that...

...letter of a tent to say yes, I'd liketo get married to you or sell to you and at that point, there's usuallyabout a ninety day. Process of you know going to diligence, negotiatingagreements, all kinds of paperwork and stuff, but essentially the Birin esellers say we are going to work together, we're going to go throughninety days of f selling the company, and then you know, there's a day ofclothes and we exchange checks and we're often running great, really greatbreakdown. There I mean very clear step by step process. You should write anarticle about it. Well, the reason I say that- and thiswas my word to the wise my advice to all of your listenoe square- potentalsellers, a good advisor- they aren't necessarily cheap. They get paid basedon the value of the business. That's a negotiated rate, that's a separatetopic, but they have a cost and we've seen a lot of investor or a lot ofentrpreneurs who they look at that percentage and that a rate and they'relike man. That seems like a lot of money. I don't understand that seemsexpensive. I could sell this by myself. I know people and I'm just here to tell you having donethis many times. There is a ton of value in having somebody WHO's, aprofessional advisor in the middle, who is there for the purpose ofrepresenting the cellar and while the price tag may look expensive at thebeginning that when the process is over, it'll be much more professionally done,it'll be much less headache to the celler and I will guarantee him thatthen'Lt look back and say I'm glad I had that guy in the middle. So I justencourage everybody to you know I think most entrepreneurs think Oh, if I wantto sell my company I'll reach out to some people. I know that could bebuyers and get a sense for the value, and that's that may seem like the rightway to do it, but it will. It will not lead to good information and it's muchbetter to go through a process of that Ang or interviewing good advisors. Andthen let them go through that process, and so you know I always offerd apeople. Hey, I got. We've got advisors that we respect. We love doing businesswith thin. We think the really standup people that treat these transactionsvery well and I would encourage a seller to spend more time ininterviewing those people verus trying to find fies yeah. I think that's greatadvice, it's you know it's something! That's applicable in so many differentlevels of running a business right from your accounting, til, Youre marketingto finance like there are things yeah. You can do it yourself. You can figureit out, but the the more you lean on an expert to and bring in true experts tohandle it. You look back and say: okay, yeah. That was the right choice andthat CAS what more important decision than when you're transitioning yourbusiness to lean on an expert right, yeah, yeah, exactly yeah and- and youknow just I think it's a great point- no matter what the expertise is:Financial Marketing sales selling, a business- you know there's a lot ofpeople that can do the job, but there's still people and they got to fit withyou. They got ta fit with you as a seller. They got ta Fit with your styleas a company, and so you know it's important to afet that and take time tofind somebody. You think you can trust and who manches your style as a selth.We're going to take a thirty second breather here for a word from oursponsor cadinus part solutions. Let's talk real quick about getting specified.Are you a component manufacturer? Maybe you sell architectural products toparks or large facilities, engineers and architects need models of yourproducts to test fit in their designs. That's where cadinus comes in to helpyou create a dynamic, sharable, cad catalogue. You put on your website.Designers can preview the product from any angle and download it in the formatthey prefer. They get the data they...

...need for their design, and you get afresh lead to add to your marketing pipeline to get one of your productsturned into an online thred model for free use, the code executive at partSOLUTIONSCOM executive. Well, you talked about sort of what happensleading up to a sale. How about after a deal has closed? What's you know, inthe case of an active investor, O professional buyer like like VendotaGroup, where you actually are going to play a role and after the sale? Whatdoes that look like? What does the interaction engagement between YourOrganization and your acquisition actually look like yeah? So you know,as I said earlier, we're offending we're in that bucket of financial byer,typically, okay, but but even in that bucket of financial buyer, we lookdifferent or we believe we're different, because we're fairly acted, very activeinvestors and Curtis, and I we really enjoy not just doing the transactionand making aninvestment, but we actually take our role as an investorvery seriously. We really like to get them know the team, get them ov thebusiness and then hopefully get to a point where we can be even helpful withsome ideas and thoughts on where we're taking the business. So on the day weclose needing close the transaction funded there literally, we are going tostand up in front of all the employees with the cellar and make anannouncement to the employees, saying hey I've, SOLVD, the business, here'sthe new guys, the Vadota Group, n cats and Curdis Burges, and you know justkind of make an introduction and then we're literally going to walk aroundthat day with the cellar there and we're just going to spend time gettingto know people just shaking hands. Saying HIG and just letting people knowthat this isn't the Booki man, because for a lot of employees who are you know,sophisticated in business or whatever and they're just working on the shopfloor, they hear the cellar is you know most times they know the seller islikely getting ready to sell because the seller is getting to that age. Theymayno be showing up every day at the office. They may be getting propertydown in Phoenix or Florida. You know what I'm saying they, people are smart,they can see hey the owner of the companies, get ready for retirement andunless that owneris being real obvious to hey my son or daughters, taking itover or my other partner, unless that's real, transparent, those employees aregoing to start in the back of their mind, going man whens they going to selhow's that going to go. Will I have a job, it's nerve, racking for people whoare just employeed. So what we try to do on that first day is after weannounce e sale. We try to make it very clear people, because it's factful andits that nothing's really changed were. We are the new owners, but we boughtthe company because we value the company and because we wantet tocontinue for a long long time and so we're not the bogy man we're not justthe new guy buyers, we're real people from the Midwest. You know and andwe're going to be involved. The business and they'll see us around andbe UV names and families, and it's just keep it real we're just kind of movingforward. So that's kind of the first real baby step, and then you knowreally the first six months of our ownership. We do we try to do as littleas possible changing things. What we're trying to do is you know curtis and I W E kind ofsplit up our company, so one of us will be the point person and we'll try to beon site at the company. You know couple days a week for like six months,getting to no people spending time with the management team trying to learnmore about the customers trying to more learn more about the product. You knowgetting to know who are the key leaders...

...of the organization just trying to getsparter about the company so that, beyond that, six Ponts, when thecompany started to deal with things, then you know. Hopefully, we've got alittle more insight about company and the products and the customers that wecan offor insights that are helpful to their mangenty, so that there's thatlearning phase and then I have to the learning phase. Then we really start toyou know, come up with okay, what's going to be our strategy for growth, sousually that means the old. The prior owner is now moving into their nextphase of life: Retirement whatever and we're likely going to bring in a CEOsomebody who's at a different stage of their career who's, probably going tobe growth. Oriented WHOAS got experiencin other companies growingthem and well bring nap person in and they're going to be. The new co they'regoing to run the thing day today and then they're going to start to buildthe travegy for the future of where we're going to grow and just allthe things that normal business people do and then will at that point kind ofmove to the background. And while we won't be there, maybe a couple days aweek every week, we'll start to be there once a month. We spend timetalking to the CEO on a Ringa basis, but we'll meet with E engen teams onceo Mon at we talk about financials and key objectives, and now we get intomore of a rhythm of like a monthly manageer review, and you know that'skind of how we do it until we decide that it's time for us to pove on that'sgood. What's that life cycle usually like where you in are inside thecompany helpand grow them before you yourself, decideit's time to exit yeah,it's a good question. You know we always kind of tell people based on companies we've sold. We tendto own things for seven to ten years. At least you know we don't have a setday. We need to be out of it. We view every investment we make like any otherinvestment you would make. If, if we're in the business- and we feel like it'sgot room to grow and the team is really awesome and they've got a great grirlstrategy and we think that where the thing sits today, it can double againbecause they can grow it. We're going to stay in it because why? Why would Itake my investment out of that and try to find something else if we feel likewe've grown it and we've done as much as we can, and we can't do much moreand it's time for the next fire to come in and help and that's when welltypically, look to stuff, but you know, I would say you know growing a companycoming up with the strategy getting all the right people lined that stuffdoesn't happen overnight. So you know seven to ten years. Is A TYP ICO ier sure. So let's pretend I'm a I'm. Youknow the owner of a manufacturing company a I might be listening rightnow and I'm starting to look down the road three or five years, or maybe evena little further down the road. When you know thinking about what what itmight be time for me to transition out, what's kind of information, should I begathering now or starting to think about just you know, kind of lookingout onto the horizon a bit and other. You know specific resources, you'dpoint people to to just just lake an educate themselves and be prepared forwhen that day comes yeah. Good question again, I would go back tomy commen about advisor. I know a lot of sellers who have by the time webought the company. They had known the advisor they used for like five years.So if a SA, I would siggest to a seller that, if he's thinking aboutpotentially selling the company, even if it's three to five years from now I'even go through the process of leading some advisors now and getting some ofthose names, because there's a really there's a great chance that if he kindof focused on an advisor to potentially sell the company somewhere down theroad, what that advisor I'll want to do... for free spend time getting to know the businessand just getting to know that cellar over the course of a couple three yearsand it you know, might be just have coffee or have dinner or whatever, butthey cultivate a relationship and an understanding of the business and overtime they can give guidance to that seller. About Hey. Think of this gatherthat be prepared. You know three four years down the road, so many of theseadvisors will say: Look I'd, love to get to Kno Ya and get to know yourbusiness for three. Four years before you even signd a contract that saysyou're going to pay me. So I definitely push people that way things that theyshould get to be. Thinking about, I mean there's a lot, but the quickies. Iwould say that they definitely should spend some timemaking sure that their financial records are in order get a professionalaccounting for men there you know if they don't want to pay for an audit,they should at least be prepared paying for professionally compiled financialstatements. When guys like US show up. We want to know that we're not justlooking at a tach return that were actually looking at a footset offinancial statements that were prepared and reviewed by a professionalaccounting firm. You know it would be ideal if somebodycould, if they're going to sell their business, that they've got three yearsof professionally prepared financials. That's that's something to be thinkingabout. I think that they need to look at their management team and they needto really make sure that they've got a great management team in place and theyneed to use somebody outside to give them objective opinions about what is agood management team. Because again, the value of a business is going todrop. If, if the seller has to admit that when they leave a bunch ofinformation, leaves the business like Customr relationships or technteinformation, so that seller needs to know or they need to be able toconvince a buyer that the people that are in place are generally capable and professionalat continuing to ren the business and that not too many either. You know,customer relationships or operational issues are relying on the cellar beingthere, because, if that's a case, then the seller can't get away from thebusiness so making sure that team is really top notch and they're they'relocked into or theyre theyre brought into the loop of. What's going on withthe business and wear they're, headed with the strategy and how to handlecustomers, that's an important part to you know taking care of things like keyequipment purchases. You know you don't want to sell business, you got Ta Witan,THAT'S NOT GOO! That's basic stuff, most etrpreers know the value of goodequipment, and then you know the last thing is everybody who buys a company.They want to know that there's an opportunity for growth, and so there'stwo issues there. One is don't be a business that has just one or twocustomers that are sixt. Seventy. Eighty percent of your business. If youhave a lot of customer concentration, that's going to raize concerns forfiers, because we're going to say well what, if you leave a celler and thatcustomer goes well, I like to work in with Joe now I'm out of here, and thatcreates a risk for us, so they should do as much as they can to build asbroad of a customer base to show diversity for the future and that's ahealthy business practice anyway. But it's definitely healthy to convince abyer that there's not risk, and then you know, the other thing is to reallymake sure that they've got their head around the market they're in and thetypes of cocustomer potential. That's out there, it's not that they have tobe actively selling in those markets.

Ut they got to be able to explain to us.Why do you do business? Why do people you know buy from you what's importantabout you and how do we? You know double that into the future, so kind ofgetting their head around that valued proposition as you an ive Talkinou isyou know they gotto at least take a shot at trying to align that that's allgreat stuff. I mean and everything you just touched on. These sort of you knowquick fire. Here's th the stuff to get in order. I mean this is the stuff youjust want to be doing anyway. Right, like Thi IILI. I don't remember whosaid it, but I received some bit of advice along the way you know run yourbusiness at all times like you're, looking to sell your business, and youknow if you just think this way, having the right people in place, having yourpositioning straight. Who Do we help and how? What value do we create?What's that ow value proposition, like you said, having your financials in order andhaving good advisors to help you with that? stuffall of that stuff is justit's key to running a business anyway, then, hopefully, you know people,listen there think yeah yeah, we've gots got our stuff in order, but wedon't well it's probably regardless of where we are in our lifecycle. It'stime to start doing that right, you know well, yeah and and if you KDOn'tmind, l accentuate that point. Yeah, please this this concept of a lifestylebusiness that I've talked t ou about. It's, not a critical comment. It's justa factual comment and what we mean when we say lifestyle business is we'retalking about a business for the owner or owners have have become satisfiedwith the level that the business got to eaning. That business has grown to apoint where it's large enough and it's stable enough and it produces enoughincome or wealth for that owner that the owner has achieved their financial.You know objective, which, by the way, is an unbelievable accomplishment, andyou know all those entredeur should be. You know it should be commended forgetting there, but there's a natural point where, if you're in your s andyour you know your company's operating well, you got a couple key customers.Things are good you're, making good profit you're headed into you, got agood lifestyle that business now, it's very often that that owner is very satisfied with the situationand doesn't really. How do I want to say this doesn't really bring their management team into the decisionmaking of where is this business going to go because essentially they'resaying look. I've done great stuff with this business. My family's taking careof I got great employees, I pay him. Well, I don't care about girls, I'mgood, but what naturally happens then is if that seller steps back and says.Okay, how much of this day today decision, making or whatever is on me,he's Goin to quickly really her she's going to quickly realize that almostevery key decision, foranti decision whatever is running over his his deskand that his team is very limited in what they know or or that they'redirecting the company, and I would say that if they want to sell the businessthe sooner they can get that team more into the day to day of the business andexpe and pull themselves out of it the better. It is because, when I show upas a Byer, I want to be confident that that's a stable, profitable, goodcompany, even if I pluck the celler out and so that process of saying, can Ipluck myself out as a sellar. I would ask, I would tell the seller eitherthrough an advisor or trusted friend or something to really have somebody say:Are you really, you know able to pluck yourself out. Does this business? Is ita healthy, growing, standal business by...

...itself? And you know I've had manyconversations. I said this to you and if you ever have people that are inthat position and they want some ideas of you know what that means. I'V hadlots of conversations withoutrepreneurs, and you know it's very quick for anoutside set of fresh eyes to see where that isn't he's not prepared to puckhimself out and getting a couple of those eye openers. I think sometimesyou know like kims an Otprenour a couple. Three years kind of you know,update ther or prove that situation. I really love that piece of advice andit's something that I've thought about. My own company, too. You know H if Iwere to disappear, which I don't have any intention of that happening. Butwould this business go on without me and my business partner, John? You knowthe same thing like can the more you can remove yourself from being anecessary part of this company being successful and profitable and selfsustaining. You know you need to make it happen, so I reallylove that nugget well, I was going to just add one more peace there lot oftimes. Entrepreneurs are anxious about being open and honest with theiremployees or their keyleaders. Let', say they're, anxious about starting totalk about the sensitive topic of Hey. I might be Someong Tusmm, but again myadvice to them is, if you are' talking about it, butyou're at that stage, your life, where it's likely going to happen they'realready thinking about it, a so so don't think that they're not thinkingabout it because they are, and they might even be nervous about it and thesooner you bring a couple key employesin and you in a veryprofessional but discreet way, say hey. I am thinking about this process. It'sgoing to be a multiyear preparation, but I want you as a trusted leader ofthe organization, to elevate your role so that you can be a valued asset tothe business for when I eventually exict that not only is going to helpcreate that environment where the seller can pluck himself out, but it'salso going to diminish the concerns and worries of those key people becauseagain, in the back of their mind, they're thinking well Joe's going tosell the business one day. When is that happening? And do I have a job? So itreally is valued of a pick. A few of those people bring them into yourconfidence and work out a transition plan of what role they play in ther,ppossible yeah. That's really smart advice. I like it a lot yeah nick great conversation today this wasfantastic. I I learned a lot myself listening to this and I think anybodyany business owners out there manufacturing leaders who are you knowwhether their plans are right here on the horizon or or further down theroadthere's a lot they cal take from what you were able to share here soreally appreciate you, Cam Yeah, I'm glad I could help and always alwaysexcited to talk about what we do on a dayto day basis. Yeah Well Tal, telllisteners here where they can connect with you online. What's the best way toget in touch and and how they can learn a little more about mindota group aswell Yep our website, the Madota Groupcom, you can kind of see whatwe're up to and what what oure portfolio we have six companies today,so ca kind of see that I can be reached at Jackson, ate Mandota, Groupcom,vendodas fild me ND, Dotas, Jackson, atthem and Dotagroupcom, and they cansee my other contact information out there, also onlinked in under DickJackson, so yeah I'd, love to you know. If anybody wants to reach out and talkfurther happy to do ut, I I would encourage anybody listening to doexactly that, and you know Nicks got a lot of great resources like you. Talkdtalked about advisors and and his own knowledge, so it never hurts to juststart the conversation right. That's right! Well before we wrap it up, Iwant to say a big thank you once again to our sponsor cadinus part solutionsfor helping make this episode a reality...

...and nick thanks, Saton for being aguest on the show. Hey thanks for Havi me, Joe t's really was fun. You bettn!As for the rest of you, I hope to catch you on the next episode of theManufacturing Executive. You've been listening to themanufacturing executive podcast to ensure that you never missed an episodesubscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learnmore about industrial marketing and sale strategy, you'll find an everexpanding collection of articles, videos guides and tools specificallyfor btob manufacturers at Grilla. Seventy sixcom Asha warnn. Thank you somuch for listening until next time.

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