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Mergers, Acquisitions, and Succession: Tips for Preserving Your Legacy

When summer overtakes the doldrums of winter, the team at MNCLS spends off hours reminiscing over some of our fondest summertime memories. Trips to Valleyfair complete with ice cream cones and knocked-out naps on the car ride home, and weekends spent on Lake Superior came to mind.

Thinking about those weekends on Lake Superior’s beaches reminded us of the feeling of triumph that would come from building an immaculate sandcastle — undoubtedly the grandest one the beach would see all summer. At the end of a weekend, however, the fate of your sandcastle is on shaky ground. Will its foundation recede, leaving it to collapse back into the sand? (No way!) Will it stand tall for summers to come? (Hope so.) Will the friend you made over the weekend keep the promise to maintain the structure you spent so much time building? (Doubtful.)

This uncertainty, paired with the pain of leaving the yellow sand for home, made for many a melancholic car ride — but these feelings are not unique to childhood and sandcastles. In fact, this is a feeling that many business owners are likely all too familiar with. When it comes time to sell your business, relinquish some control, or name a successor, business owners may be reminded of the feelings of uncertainty and anxiety that came at summer’s end.

When we’re not reminiscing about summers of old, the team at MNCLS helps Minnesota business owners navigate mergers, acquisitions, and succession — ensuring that legacies are protected, exit strategies are planned, and best interests are looked after. In other words: we make sure the sandcastle stays standing. Below, we’ve outlined a few tips to help Minnesota businesses navigate mergers, acquisitions, and succession.

It’s a Once-In-a-Lifetime Occurrence, So Treat It Like One

Whether your legacy is being solidified via a merger, an acquisition, or through succession, one thing is for certain: This will likely be the last time you do this. We don’t mean to be bleak, and we’re not making a comment about how short life is. Rather, we’re calling attention to the fact that a single business is not likely to be involved in more than one of these transactions. Therefore, you should make sure all of your bases are covered!

Plan In Advance

Businesses can take years, decades, and lifetimes to build, and planning for transactions of this size will also take time. Therefore, business owners should take ample time to ensure that the business is in good standing before planning a merger, acquisition, or succession. MNCLS recommends that clients spend anywhere from three to five years on this process to prevent stones left unturned and t’s not crossed. As we have discussed in other articles, the process of succession can involve numerous promotions — and training new key personnel will take time. The more time you give yourself, the smoother these transactions will be.

Value Your Business

We’ve helped countless business owners navigate these transactions, so we can give you a ballpark idea of what your business is worth. However, we encourage all clients considering an acquisition to get their business expertly appraised to get every penny out of the business they’ve built. In the event that you’ve followed the above advice and have given yourself ample time, we can even help with “brand facelifts” which will help your business fetch a prettier penny.

Clean Up Loose Ends

From worker’s compensation to ongoing project liabilities, there are a near infinite number of loose ends which can accumulate over the lifespan of a business. Of all possible wrenches which can complicate a merger, acquisition, or succession, these variables can often be the biggest headache. In the event that your loose ends are more of a rat’s nest, MNCLS can help you clean up these kinks to make a clean exit. Perhaps most importantly, tying up these loose ends will leave your business better than when you found (or founded) it — preserving your legacy in the process.

Phone the Pros at MNCLS

Whether through merger, acquisition, or succession, transactions and hand-offs of this scale demand a high level of planning and preparation. Any of these processes can be challenging for business owners, but the anxieties of relinquishing partial or total control are eased when partnering with the skilled team at MNCLS.

At MNCLS, we’ve built businesses, experienced mergers, and witnessed successful successions in real time — and we’re the team you want when it comes to preserving your legacy. To get the most out of your investment and keep the castle standing, give MNCLS a call.

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