There are many places that a good Intermediary can add value (just check out this article: http://www.axial.net/forum/2-ways-investment-bankers-add-value-ma/ ) but one of the things that Intermediaries should be especially careful with is a Business Owner's time.
That leads me to what I call the "Casual Buyer". The Casual Buyer comes from all walks of life. Former private equity folks that didn't get the promotion they were looking for and decided to go out on their own. Wealthy individuals who made their money selling other businesses or just have some family money to 'play with, and unfunded sponsors to name a few.
The interesting thing is, these buyers can all be legitmate and good buyers. As a Business Owner, you need to be aware that not all buyers from the same 'categories' are the same. Even when they have cash. A good Intermediary will weed these folks out and not waste the Business Owner's time.
Not too long ago I was working on a deal where the buyer spent the majority of our first phone call telling me why the deal wasn't for them. If they invested the same amount of cash in their core operation they would make 8x return in 5 years. The business for sale was 'too far away'. They didn't have any direct experience in the field. They were asking about what kind of structure the business owner would take and the value he would take and were disappointed to hear the business had grown.
To me, buyers like this, who often view themselves as 'value' buyers are looking at a deal precisely because the 8x return they espouse to have is not actually available to them - otherwise they'd invest there. Ironically these 'value' buyers actually don't see the value that the Business Owner has built - which is why I call them "Casual Buyers". I do not let these Casual Buyers get anywhere near the Business Owners I represent.
Originally published on Axial Forum: http://www.axial.net/forum/get-top-valuation-business/