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Exiting Your Business: How To Successfully Sell To Buyers With Tim Rinaldi

BLP Rinaldi | Selling Your Business

BLP Rinaldi | Selling Your Business

 

Selling your business does not have to be a bad experience for business owners. Sometimes, it is just a way to transition on to better paths and even pass down the legacy of the business you have been trying to build. Helping source the best win-win deals for business owners looking to sell or exit their business is Associate Broker at Raincatcher, Tim Rinaldi. In this episode, Tim talks with host Bob Roark about his journey to working with Raincatcher and the transformative work they are doing among small business owners. Tackling the challenges involved in getting the businesses sold, he also shares his insights on the factors that drive the value of the business up or down, the mistakes business owners must avoid in selling, the ways to attract buyers into businesses for sale, and more.

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Exiting Your Business: How To Successfully Sell To Buyers With Tim Rinaldi

We’re doing an interview with Tim Rinaldi. He is an Associate Broker at Raincatcher. It’s a business brokerage and an M&A firm that partners with entrepreneurs and business owners to help source the best win-win deal for all parties. What’s rather interesting is Tim has a varied and interesting background. Tim, welcome to the show.

Thank you. It’s great to be here. I’m looking forward to it.

A lot of people have a rather traditional path. Your path is a little more winding. Let’s talk about your journey to this point.

I went to college with the plan of becoming a doctor. That was my plan for my whole life. I never strayed from it. I did well in school and the testing, so I enrolled at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. I figured I’d do ENT or maybe pediatrics. I got married in my second year in the program. In my third year, we found out that my wife was pregnant. I’m glad it happened. Obviously, I love my son, but it was also the first time that I took a step back and asked myself, “Do I want to be doing this for the rest of my life?”

I’m the type that once I have a goal in mind, I put my head down and I make sure I’m going to accomplish it. This was the first time that I asked myself, “Do I want to be still in school, a resident and an intern and whatnot?” I realized that it wasn’t a good fit for me. I grew up with my dad as a doctor. I wanted the prestige that comes with that but it wasn’t a fit. I withdrew from school. I got into business development work and sales. We moved to Boston. I joined a software company in the sales role and decided I should get my MBA. That’s when I came across Raincatcher and realized that this role is perfect for my aptitude, my interest and what I love to do.

You’ve said you’ve done some mission work as well.

That’s how I met my wife. In college, I led eight mission trips to Honduras. I also went to the Dominican Republic and a month in Kenya. That experience changed me and I learned that if I ever have an opportunity to impact the people around me, I love it so much. It’s the most passionate that I’d ever been in my life was when we decided to build a medical clinic in the mountain villages of Honduras. For a year, I had this goal that we were working towards and I love the mission. I realized that’s how I should be living my life.

I think about the very tapestry of your background. I was a pre-med kid when organic chemistry took out. I get the journey of how much biology can you stand and you think about you finish undergrad. You spend the next eight, ten or twelve years going further down the educational pipe. Between the business in Boston and the pre-med work and all the sciences, math, chemistry and all that goes on, then out impacting communities in your volunteering work, it speaks a lot about your penchant for helping because that’s what it seems like.

I would definitely say so. I’ve learned that my happiest moments are when I’m striving to do something for someone else. Anytime I catch myself reflecting on what’s happening to me, I’m usually feeling sorry for myself and trying to look for reasons to be frustrated. I try and put myself in a position to focus on others and to see how I can help others to be happier.

With that being said, down this journey, you found Raincatcher or Raincatcher found you. Let’s talk a little bit about that process.

My colleague, Jude David, is also here in Lafayette, Louisiana with me. He and his wife are the godparents for our youngest son. When he joined the company, I was asking him in small talk, “What are you doing now?” He had been a merger and acquisition attorney for his entire career and when he told me the work they’re doing and the impact they have on business owners, I immediately was like, “That sounds awesome. How can I do that?” It started with the conversation with him and Jason Thomas, the head of our brokerage team. The more I learned about it, the more I realized that combined my background in sales and marketing, but also the passion that they have for small business owners and impacting them, because in many cases selling their business is one of the biggest moments of their lives. They play an integral role in helping them to achieve a positive outcome. I love that I can have that impact on small business owners. I can be with them from the beginning of the process to help them understand not only what their business is worth, but what they can expect throughout this process.

We talked a bit about that as well. You said, other than your friend, there’s the process that you went through for Raincatcher and they’ve got a very specific culture that they promote. Right now, there are six or eight of you in Raincatcher with Marla and Jason. You’re adding a couple of more here in the near term. If you were going to describe to a business owner the top two or three things in the culture of Raincatcher that you think are important, what would they be?

The top two that I always think about, one is our passion. I mentioned the passion for impacting business owners. There were a lot of brokers out there that will tell business owners what they want to hear, “Your business is worth so much money.” They take them into their portfolio. If it sells, great. If not, they’ve brought on enough business owners, but they don’t need them all to sell. With Raincatcher, we strive to impact every business owner we work with. Sometimes that may mean difficult conversations about valuation expectations. We know for them to be happy throughout the sale, they have to have a good understanding of what they can expect.

The second thing is the constant improvement. One thing I love about the team and especially Jason and Marla’s leadership is we’re never satisfied. Even though there are many accomplishments that we can be proud of, they’re constantly changing the process. Every time something works well, we reflect on what did we do that led to that positive outcome. If there’s something that doesn’t go exactly how we planned, we immediately figure out how could we can prevent it from happening again. Even though everyone on the team works remotely, it enables us to be such a tight-knit team because we’re constantly trying to learn from each other and to figure out how we can provide the best service to our clients.

It's going to be the buyer who tells business owners exactly what their business is worth because they're the ones paying for it. Click To Tweet

In talking with Marla before, it’s not just an ad-hoc process. You schedule time weekly to do updates and here’s what’s working, here’s what’s not working and here’s what we’re seeing. The transmission of culture and knowledge is top down, bottom up from what I can tell.

They’re constantly looking to get our feedback since we’re at the ground level of working with business owners. We have meetings every day and every week to hear from us what we should be doing and what we can be doing better.

For the business owner that might say you’re a young fellow in the scheme of things, unlike me. If you get a question asked to you that you don’t know the answer to, you have a broad inventory of experience from the team, don’t you?

Absolutely. Marla has an extensive background both as a business owner but also in a specific practice of accounting and as a consultant. Jason has a brokerage experience but also commercial real estate. I mentioned Jude has worked for a decade as a merger and acquisitions attorney. My other colleagues, especially Brian and Keith, have been working as brokers for a long time. I feel like maybe we haven’t seen everything that’s happened but just about everything. We can talk from experience. I may get questions I haven’t come across yet, but that’s why it’s so great to have such a tight-knit team where I can immediately reach out to anyone and figure out what it is that we need to do for business owners at that time.

People perhaps under-appreciate that inventory of skillsets and experience. When you’re working with the business owner that’s looking to sell, what do you think is the most important thing or things that you can do that helps that business owner get to that point?

From the beginning, when I meet a new business owner and I speak with them and learn about them and their business, I take on the lens of a potential buyer to help them understand what it is about their business that will most appeal to potential buyers, but also what might be the reasons that would give them pause or hesitation. From there, we researched the market and other comparable sales to help them to understand what they could expect in terms of the evaluation range. Once we ultimately bring on a new client, it’s all about our process. We manage everything from that moment to ensure that they can focus all of their time on running their business so they can show that performance is still improving and that’s why buyers should want to join at this time. As we move forward in the process, we generate significant interests amongst buyers through our various avenues so that we have several buyers at the table. They understand, once we hit our deadline for submitting offers, they’re not the only one at the table. They need to submit a great offer to start with and be ready to get competitive from that point forward.

We talked a little bit about the reason I’m involved and I’m a multiple business owner as well. I think about business owners and they’re so busy in their business and doing what they do. Many of them have spent a great part of their lives building, growing and maintaining their business. When it comes time to sell, a lot of them don’t have the resources to go out and get a good idea other than talking to brother-in-law, talking to somebody down the street or read an article and go, “I’ve got an eight-time multiple like every other SaaS company on the planet.” That may or may not be true. When you’re talking to the buyer and you go through your process, you offer data to support your thought process.

BLP Rinaldi | Selling Your Business

Selling Your Business: The strategic buyer is willing to spend more than a financial buyer who’s simply focusing on getting a return on their investment.

 

We subscribe to multiple services so that we’re armed with all the data we need to give them as accurate an understanding as possible of their valuation expectations. Ultimately, it’s going to be the buyer who tells them exactly what their business is worth because they’re the ones paying for it. With enough data, we can give them a good understanding of what they can expect. Hopefully, it’s what they’re hoping for and they’re ready to move forward. In some cases, it’s not enough and at least they understand that. In other cases, maybe they realize, “I need a year or two years to get my business to where I need it to be.” If that’s the case, we’ve built out an extensive network of other people like yourself who can impact these business owners and provide services that they need before they’re ready to come back to us to sell their business.

To drill down a little bit, let’s talk about some of the challenges that are involved in getting the businesses sold. I frequently hear from other business owners, “It’s not what I thought it was going to be worth.” You hear a number of challenges that they have. How would you compare and contrast your process in Raincatcher and what maybe do you see from other competitors in the industry?

A good example is what a broker’s fees are. Are they paid a significant amount each month to where they’re incentivized, in some cases, not to sell the business because they’re always going to get paid when it’s on the market? We’re success-based and our incentive is exactly what the business owner wants to be, that we’re paid a commission when their business sells. It’s what the fee is. Some other brokers will give a low fee to attract more business, but the understanding is they’re also going to put it in a lot less work. They have a huge portfolio of businesses they’re trying to sell and they only need a small percentage to sell for them to be successful. We’re very selective about who we bring on as clients because we know we’re going to commit a lot of time and energy to get their business sold.

I think about it as a business owner, after you spent a great deal of time building the business, getting it running, hiring proper team members, staff and so on that you’re very much emotionally wrapped around the axle about your company. It’s been an observation that if a business owner gets involved in trying to sell a business by themselves, in many cases, they take their eye off the ball of running the business. By the time they find a potential buyer for their business, their numbers have started to wane because of inattention.

That’s one of the worst things that can happen to us during the process of the deal cycle. We’ve arranged several buyers who love the business and they get year-to-date financials and suddenly it’s trending down. That’s the worst thing that sellers could present to the buyers. The buyers want to see that the business is trending up. By hiring a broker who can handle all of these day-to-day steps required to work with these buyers, that lets the seller focus on their business. Ideally, it’s growing even more than we may expect. We can go back to the buyers and say, “Because of this, maybe you should have to increase your offer.”

You’re selling the trend. How much inattention can the business take before the price drops more than it costs to hire an advisor to come in and help them? One of the things that always strikes me is you have a fairly large inventory and awareness of buyers that are in the marketplace. Talk a little bit about the value that you bring to the table from that inventory.

We’ve got a database of several thousand potential buyer leads who have reached out to us because of one of our previous listings that they’re looking to learn more about. We know that they’re in the market for a business. We’ve segregated them by industry preference and size of business preference so that when we have new deals on the market, we know exactly who to go back to let them know. The other thing that we’re skilled at is working with our sellers to identify the potential strategic buyers so we can build out an extensive strategic list. At the moment we launched marketing, we’re contacting all of those individuals and groups directly. Oftentimes, it’s the strategic buyer who has the most to gain through the acquisition and thus they’re willing to spend more than what would be considered a financial buyer who’s simply focusing on getting a return on their investment.

E-Commerce businesses are great simply because the business owner can work from anywhere. Click To Tweet

Why don’t we dig into that a little bit? Compare and contrast the financial buyer to the strategic buyer.

There are a lot of private equity groups, which we love to work with, but they are much more black and white. I need to purchase it at this dollar amount so that I can grow it to this dollar amount and sell it or at least achieve that growth. If they can’t get at that dollar amount, it’s not worth their time. The strategic group is already in this space, whether they’re in a different location or in a slightly different vertical in which they can integrate this business into. For example, as a software company that’s selling a similar type of software, they can immediately go to their existing customer base with this new offering that they acquired. They’re able to increase the revenue significantly and achieve a significant return on their investment. They understand that. They’re willing to spend a little bit more than the other groups who don’t stand to gain as much from the acquisition.

Understanding that Raincatcher doesn’t specialize in any one particular industry nowadays, is there one industry where the business sells better or faster than another?

It’s hard to say exactly which industry is the best and it all varies from time to time. Generally speaking, software comes to mind quickly, niche manufacturing businesses. We’ve had a lot of success with property management. eCommerce businesses are great simply because the business owner can work from anywhere. You’re not tied to a specific location. Any business that can point to a significant percentage of recurring revenue because what a buyer wants to know is, “How much risk do I take when I acquire this business that the revenue and their earnings will drop?” When we can say how much recurring revenue there is and why the buyer doesn’t have to worry about losing that revenue, they may have a lot more confidence in acquiring that business.

What struck me as interesting is property management companies, which are recurring revenue stream with all the rental market. What do you see either in the property management space or the eCommerce space? What are the things that a business owner needs to think about their recurring revenue model?

To put it simply, it’s to develop as many possible revenue streams as possible that are recurring revenue. Buyers love to see the ways that this business is innovating. I’ve got a colleague that likes to talk about Warren Buffett’s quote on building a moat around the business so that competitors can’t get into them. The more different lines of business that they have that competitors can’t touch, that gives buyers more confidence in what they would be able to accomplish once they take over.

Let’s say that I’m a recurring revenue business owner. There are two of me, one of me has 150 clients and they’re all pretty much equal in revenue. In another, I’m a recurring revenue company and all of my businesses are with the Department of Defense. What would you think talking to either one of those business owners?

BLP Rinaldi | Selling Your Business

Selling Your Business: Business owners think about the dollar amount they want to get from their business. In many cases, they get that amount, but they’re still not excited about all of the other outcomes.

 

The more customers you have, the better. Simply because customer concentration is always a significant concern for buyers. If they’re able to see that one customer makes up more than 50% of the business, maybe they don’t immediately walk away, but it will be in the back of their mind, “What if that customer walks away? I will suddenly lose such a huge percentage of revenue.” If any business owners out there realize they have a significant portion of their business tied up to one or a few groups, seeking to diversify as much as possible will be appealing to buyers.

I think about the business owner that goes to the sales team and goes, “We’ve got this broad array of clients.” There’s not one predominant and says, “I want to go kill the elephant over here. I want to go get this one that we’ll double our revenues, but it’s now 50% of our client concentration.” I don’t think that helps them. They may get a little more to the bottom line, but I don’t think it improves the value of the company.

Every time buyers look at a potential acquisition, the first thing they ask themselves is, “What should I be worried about? Where’s the most risk?” If one customer can leave tomorrow and take away a huge percentage of the revenue, their major concern is why would they stay once the owner leaves? If we can’t say exactly why that is, many times they’ll walk away from the deal.

To that point further, I’m the business owner again. Let’s say that of the 150 clients, 130 of them I have a personal relationship with and I have one other salesman that has a relationship with twenty. Looking through the buyer’s eyes, how is that scene?

That’s why we use what’s called a saleability assessment to look at the eight major value drivers of a business, one of which is called the hub and spoke. It’s how much of the business is reliant on the owner and if there’s any one key employee that it’s overly dependent on. When we’re able to see that’s a concern, we have to figure out when the owner leaves, what’s going to happen? If our concern is a lot of the customers will leave as well, in many cases, we can’t bring them on as a client. If there’s a reason to justify it, we can bring them on as a client, but we have to be ready to explain that to every buyer who is interested in learning more.

That’s where the owner would have to stay on an earn-out and there are all the other factors. Thinking about the business owner, they think about, “Here’s my business. I’ve worked all my life. It’s shiny and pretty. It’s made my reputation in town.” They think about, “How much can I get for the business?” Invariably they get told it’s worth less than they were thinking. What do you think is going on for that business owner?

For some business owners, they haven’t done enough research. Others have done too much research because if you go online and you’re looking for answers to a question, no matter what that question is, you’re going to find a lot of different answers. That’s why it’s so important to reach out to someone who has experience in this space who can tell you not necessarily the exact dollar amount that it’s worth, but what range you can expect. Because it varies by industry and a lot of other criteria where after I talked to a business owner for 30 minutes, I can understand what the biggest selling points are, what the biggest risk factors are and how those could theoretically impact the evaluation for a buyer down the road.

The more customers you have, the better, because customer concentration is always a significant concern for buyers. Click To Tweet

To that end, in talking to Marla and Jason, you have in one way or another worked with hundreds of companies within Raincatcher. You have some unique tools. You touched on one of them, which was the saleability assessment, but there’s also another one that you have.

We have a couple. One is the pre-score assessment. One thing that not just us, but the industry at large has seen with business owners as many sell their business and aren’t happy with the outcome. There are a lot of different reasons that can happen, but in many cases, it’s because they haven’t taken enough time to reflect on how their life is going to change when they sell their business. What do they do with their time? What do they do when they don’t have people coming to them for their expertise? It’s not just about earning a certain paycheck or benefits. Much about their life is about to change. We work with a group called The Value Builder, who created the saleability assessment, but also the pre-score assessment to help business owners to start that reflection process before they even decide to sell their business as opposed to once that’s too late.

I think about the business owner that’s leaning into the wind. He’s busy driving a car. He’s charging around doing what he does. On the following Monday, he’s no longer that business owner. From my experience in talking to business owners, there’s not much emphasis or planning put into that day after you sold your business, the “What am I going to do next?” thought process.

It’s unfortunate. Business owners think about the dollar amount they want to get from their business. In many cases, they get that amount but they’re still not excited about all of the other outcomes. That’s why I mentioned earlier, we’re selective about who we bring on as clients. We want to be very confident that we ‘re going to provide an outstanding experience for each of our clients. In some cases, if we think there are other issues besides the valuation of their business and their customer concentration and everything else, maybe we’ll have a serious conversation or put them in front of exit planners to see, should we take more time before we sell your business?

That’s a nice segue into some of the factors that drive the value of the business up or down. What do you typically see?

It’s going back to the question of risk for potential buyers. Whether it’s owner dependent or customer concentration, those can drive the value down. One of the biggest ones is the performance of the business. If it’s trending down and there’s not a good explanation for it, that’s going to scare almost every buyer away. As far as trending up, it’s almost the opposite. It’s the business that’s increasing or an older business that’s very reliable and steady. There are opportunities to scale the business that the owner has chosen not to do for various reasons. We mentioned recurring revenue before, that’s a big one. A business that’s not overly dependent on its owner or any group of customers is a big one.

I think about the Baby Boomer owner. It may be that they say, “I’m getting to a certain age, I don’t want to add more money into the thing to grow it.” It may be that some of his sales systems are antiquated. There are any number of things where if you’re a strategic buyer or even a financial buyer goes in with the cash infusion, a little more energy, CRM system, updated marketing program that we can take and affect the growth curve. A lot of the business owners don’t necessarily look at it from the buyer’s eyes in those factors.

BLP Rinaldi | Selling Your Business

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

Buyers are going to ask themselves, what has it been doing until now? How much can I rely on it to continue that performance? What more can I do for it? Every question buyers ask is with those in mind, that they know they can be confident in continuing its level of performance but also improving with their background and expertise.

They’ve got to buy the future, I’m thinking. In looking at that, we already know that the factors that drive the value of the business are potentially down, revenues and earnings are declining. What are some of the mistakes that you see business owners make when they want to sell?

In many cases, it’s that they don’t plan ahead. They reach out to us because they’re ready to sell. I wished that they reached out to us a year ago so that we could start to get the business ready. In some cases, they can work with exit planners to make significant changes to their business. In other cases, it’s getting the financials in better orders so that we can present those financials to buyers. It’s planning ahead so that what we’re presenting to buyers is from a position of confidence as opposed to one that’s rushed, “We have to sell for this one reason. We can’t afford to wait any longer.” Buyers are going to see that and wonder what’s going on, “Maybe I don’t want to acquire this business,” or use that as leverage to talk down the price.

You could be growing your business doing what you do and have a health event, which forces you into a sale. If everybody knows that’s the case, that’s a leverage factor for the potential purchaser. Let’s say you’re sitting here with the business buyer that you’re working with or a business seller. If you could go back five years ago and offer advice to that same business seller, what do you think is the top one or two things you might tell them to do five years ago to make them more prepared for it now?

In many cases, it’s making decisions with a potential buyer of your business in mind. If you were looking to acquire a business in this industry, what would I want to see? How can they diversify their customer base? What changes can they make to their team? Go on a vacation for a month and see if your team can handle it without you. If it can’t, what do I need to change to build up my team around me so that it’s not so dependent on myself? That’s what I would say.

We often hear, “You should have good financials.” I’m thinking, “I should be taller.” That’s obvious. For a lot of the business owners, the utility of their financials is not understood well or it doesn’t give the levers that they need to pull. Is that what you see?

In many cases, the financials aren’t perfect, but they’re good. We have a colleague on our team who can recast them and make them look the way buyers want to see them. It’s a minority of companies that we come across where they’re in such a state of disarray that we couldn’t confidently talk to buyers at this moment because they’re going to request to see their financials and their taxes. That’s when we bring in outside groups to provide the extra work that’s needed to get their business ready to sell.

The best buyer isn't the one who pays the most but the one who's best fit and who's going to carry on the legacy business owners built. Click To Tweet

You’ve had some mileage with the firm and hitting the ground running. Are there any tricks that you’ve learned so far along the way that attracts the buyer’s interest into businesses for sale?

We’ve created a marketing package that I’m proud of. We worked with a graphic designer and a copywriter. When we bring our businesses to market, we get a lot of compliments from buyers because it’s an impressive package in which they’re not always going to decide to submit an offer, but it enables them to make quick decisions as far as whether or not they are interested in moving forward. The other thing we’ve done is we implement deadlines for each of our deals in the market. Whether it’s four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks from when we launch marketing, buyers are told you have to submit your first offer by this day.

It’s funny that there’s a flurry of activity in the days leading up to that deadline like it’s in school. They’ve given me all the questions they have and submitting their offers. I’m able to go back to them and say, “We’re working to narrow down the field. These are the questions we have for you.” These buyers are getting a sense that they’re not the only ones at the table and they understand that they’re going to need to be competitive to get to move forward with this potential acquisition opportunity.

I think about the emotional roller coaster of the business owner between the sale, they’ve got a hot buyer, if they cool off and something else. How do you help a business owner manage that emotional roller coaster?

A big part of my role is helping them to manage expectations that many of these deals, unfortunately, fall apart one, two, maybe three times until we find the right buyer. At the end of the day, it’s always going to be the best buyer that wins out because they’re the ones that were the easiest to work with. One thing I’ve appreciated since joining Raincatcher is for many of our business owners, the best buyer isn’t just the one who pays the most. It’s the one who is the best fit, who’s going to carry on the legacy that they’ve built. That’s what I love is if you tell me you need not the highest dollar amount, but you need to see X, Y and Z in a buyer, we’re going to have that discussion with every potential buyer that we come across. That’s one way we narrowed down the field to learn who’s going to be the best fit. It’s not as simple as what is the highest dollar amount that I see on a sheet of paper. Whenever I have these discussions with sellers, don’t get them overly excited because things can still happen. There is a reason to be excited to a certain extent. They should be proud of what they’ve built and that buyers are interested in it. We’re going to do what we need to do to find the best buyer for their business.

I was thinking as we were going along here and I failed to ask you how people can find you on social media. How do they find you?

You can always go to RainCatcher.com. We have our team page. You can learn more about myself and everyone else on our team. There’s the Raincatcher LinkedIn page. You can see my profile there. By all means, please connect with me and message me if you have any questions. I do enjoy working with small business owners and giving them advice. I have many more calls than we have clients. I don’t consider that waste of time. I like giving people the understanding that they need at this stage of their life. If there’s anything that we can help with, I do want to be there for business owners.

What’s the best piece of advice you think you ever got?

We’ve talked about my background that it certainly wasn’t a straightforward path that I hope for. I’ve had moments of thinking back. I gave up such a steady career path with good income as a doctor. I’ve had moments where I wasn’t sure if I was about to be fired from the software company during layoffs or what my next job would be. I’ve done a lot of reading about personal development and career development. One book that I like to think a lot about is So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. What he talks about is my instinct is to focus on myself and to think about what the company should be doing for me. What is my career path? Why have I not gotten this bonus or this promotion?

Instead, it’s what can I do for the company? How can I make this my craft and seek to get better each and every day? That’s one reason I appreciate Raincatcher so much is that it’s shared by the team. We have that dedication to constant improvement. Since I’ve shifted my mindset towards my personal growth and having a greater impact on the company, but also all of our clients, I get much more of enjoyment out of my work and my career because I see this improvement that I’m experiencing. I see the impact I’m having and it carries over to my family and friends as well. What can I do for those around me? How can I be a better husband, a better father and a better friend? It’s impacted my life. I’m definitely a better person as a result of it.

It sounds like, “How can I serve? It’s doing well by doing good.” If you look at the business owner and says, “I do have your best interest at heart.” There will be some times where it’s challenging and I’ll tell you that upfront. Sometimes this won’t be much fun, but we’re here to take in and act as a buffer and a sounding board. I’ve talked to a number of the people from Raincatcher and that’s a culture that permeates everybody that I’ve talked to within the organizations. For people out there that are considering selling a business in the near term or a little bit further down the road, I would urge you to reach out and have a dialogue. Give Tim a call and say, “Tim, talk to me about what you’re seeing, what are you hearing.”

The biggest mistake that you can make as a business owner is not reaching out because frankly preparing your business for potential sale because we’re all going to transition. We’ve got a 100% success rate on death so far, nobody survived. Your business is going to transition one way or another. Doing all the things that Tim and Raincatcher are suggesting are frankly good business, diversified contracts, de-risking the business, having duplication of tasks, written procedures and all the things that recurring revenue streams, all the things that add value. It’s plainly good business. Tim, is there anything you would like to close with or did we cover the waterfront?

We did. The one thing I thought of is in many cases I’m speaking with business owners who have been running their business for longer than I’ve been alive. That’s something that I appreciate. I understand that this has been their life’s work and they want to understand what it is that it’s worth and how they can find someone who can carry on the legacy they’ve built. We appreciate that opportunity. I enjoy being in a position to give people advice when it can help and when it makes sense for them and for us to find that buyer for them. It’s a great opportunity for me to work for business owners and to have that impact with them and to see their excitement throughout this process while they work with us.

Tim, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking time from the big city of Lafayette, Louisiana. Thank you so much for your time, Tim.

Thank you, Bob. I appreciate it.

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About Tim Rinaldi

BLP Rinaldi | Selling Your BusinessI’m an Associate Broker at Raincatcher and passionate about having an impact. On our team, this enables me to partner with entrepreneurs and business owners to achieve their goals in selling their businesses. With a background in sales, I have consistently surpassed my quotas through my ability to develop relationships and determination to put in the activity required to move the deals forward to closing. I actually first developed these interpersonal skills as a medical school student in my work with patients, though I decided to leave in my third year to pursue my entrepreneurial passions. After leading business development for a startup, I then moved to Boston and led the sales development team for a global software company.

I first realized my joy in impacting others while leading mission work in Honduras, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic as a college student in Tulane University’s Honors Program. I met my wife, Emily, through my mission work, and we now live back in Louisiana with our three sons, Luke, JJ, and Michael. I’m also pursuing an MBA with the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and enjoy spending my free time exercising, playing golf and basketball, watching my favorite sports teams, and traveling.

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