Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory

A Neumann & Associates, LLC

December 9, 2018

Cash Flow Growth in Uncertain Times

By Jeremy Albelda


Without question, these are very uncertain times. With further tariffs pending in the China trade providing no clear picture for the macro-economic impact, the outcome of the Brexit negotiations unknown, a changed political environment after the fall’s mid-term election in Washington and a stock market showing signs of wavering with a Federal Bank not quite clear about further rate hikes, it will be difficult to predict business activities in 2019 in general – and for mergers & acquisitions in particular.

“Again and again, we have heard a continued ‘dampened optimism’ from business owners over the past three months, specifically, at our recent fully booked Princeton seminar, while at the same time, there is generally no clear prediction to the business challenges in 2019,” says Achim Neumann, President, A Neumann & Associates, LLC, a New Jersey based Mergers & Acquisitions advisory firm  “however, mid-sized business were always confronted with macro-economic challenges in the past and the better a business is prepared, the better are the opportunities to come out like a winner, generating cash flow growth in the process and be positioned for a business sale. Here are the top 4 suggestions from successful entrepreneurs we have heard repeatedly.”

Revisit the general business plan: there is no better time than in an up-cycle to thoroughly review the business plan. The focus should be on expanding campaigns to grow the top line and allocate resources accordingly, and to prune programs that will not result in growth.  If done properly, the cash flow impact will be neutral, but even if the cash flow requires investments, it’s in slower times that a business can foster its market position versus competitors. More importantly, if a business sale is contemplated in the mid term, a good business plan will provide the additional benefits of providing a clear growth path for the new owner and thus, making the business more attractive for an acquisition.

Strengthen customer relationships and acquire new clients in the sales process:  taking stock of the company’s strength, existing customer relationships need to be reinforced and new customers should be approached for growth. New ways of providing additional value-added to customers need to be explored in an ever changing competitive environment by reaching out to customers and exploring their needs. A good research effort can make a significant difference, in particular, considering the tremendous customer acquisition costs in today’s environment. A company’s marketing and sales can almost certainly be strengthened by joining networking events, business associations, exhibiting at regional trade shows or speaking at key events.

Reinforce the internet online marketing campaign: with the internet taking an ever more important aspect in every business’s marketing, the visual appeal of a web site, the depth of product/service content and information, the ease of handling order placements and a company’s responsiveness and follow-up to customer inquiries from the web, not only leaves a (potential) customer with a first impression but can also result in a ‘life-long’ customer relationship thereafter.  Relatively minor expenditures can make already have a significant web impact to most businesses.

Secure employees and review internal operations: whereas a decline in economic activities might suggest cutting employee wages and benefits as recently reported for GM, one should remember that competitors are looking exactly for such opportunities to poach the best performers. Reversely, retaining employees in hard times will translate to a lot of goodwill in good times. There is always room to streamline internal processes, to make a business more efficient and a reallocation of human resources might be a better solution than reducing staff (and to avoid the tremendous cost of re-hiring at a later point)

In sum, whereas the economy continues to grow nicely at this time with very few ‘dark clouds’ on the horizon, this will be a good time to review a company’s operations and to weight what actions are best to address the unknowns for the future. A well-prepared business is always best positioned for a sale, regardless of the economic cycle.

About A Neumann & Associates, LLC

A Neumann & Associates, LLC is a professional mergers & acquisitions and business brokerage firm having assisted business owners and buyers in the business valuation and business transfer process through its affiliations for the past 30 years. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, the company has senior trusted professionals with a deep knowledge based in multiple field offices along the East Coast and has performed hundreds of business valuations in its history. The firm’s competitive transaction fees are based on successfully completing transactions. For more information, please contact A Neumann & Associates at 732-872-6777 or

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Client Testimonials

“I had been in touch with Karin and Gary from A Neumann & Associates regarding some opportunities and was looking forward to meeting with them. Hence, when they organized a seminar in Princeton, NJ, I was quick to sign up. The seminar was very informative as the team walked the attendees through various scenarios and referenced real life buying/selling situations they had been through. The sessions by Gary, Karin and Achim were crisp and focused and brought clarity to potential seller and buyers. I strongly recommend the team and look forward to continue working with them.”

Gaurav Tyagi

“Thank you for your Event on "How to value, Sell, and Buy A Business for Maximum Profit" and the insight into ANA’s approach on what is involved in the Business Exit for sellers. Garys Hervieiou's "Business Valuation", Achim's "Deal structure" presentation and Karin’s "Preparing the Package" are real street knowledge shared. They answered attendees questions which makes it more interesting for learning from others. Great for small businesses like us. The presentations were totally worth our time and travel for the event to Princeton, NJ from Rockville MD. Ravi Bhutani, President, CIPS”

Ravi Bhutani

“Gary, this is to thank you for an excellent job done in selling our business. We could never have done it without your professional expertise, dedication and time put in without reservation to make it happen. We will gladly and highly recommend you to anybody in our position.  It was a pleasure to work with you.”

Pat Iammatteo, Owner

“Your vetting is simply outstanding, among the best I've seen from a broker.”

Eric H., Investor

“I recently contacted A. Neumann and Associates about getting a valuation of my business done. I spoke with Marc, who explained the process in detail. After meeting with Marc in order to get a clear understanding of my business, and what I was hoping to accomplish. His patience in answering all my questions and his knowledge of the proper way to market my business gave me great confidence that this is the firm I will be using to sell my business for max value. Working with Marc at A Neumann & Associates was very easy and professional. I did not know all that was going to be involved in selling my business but they helped me through the process. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. I highly recommend this firm to anybody who wants to sell now or down the road. Marc not only knows his stuff, but actually is a real nice guy.”

Double Diamond

“Used A Neumann & Associates to sale my business. could not imagine having done it with out the patience and experience Gary provided. Thanks Gary,”

Dennis Frazier

“Working with Marc and his company was a pleasure. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. Marc handled most of the interaction and he has one of the greatest demeanors. Again, it was a pleasure working with him and his firm.”

Douglas DiCeglio

“I recently completed an acquisition using A Neumann & Associates. Tony Valentino was very helpful and accessible during the entire process. They do a thorough job vetting both parties and got us to the finish line.”

Srini Mudambi

“Claus out of Florida helped us with the sale of our business. We had never done anything like this and him and his team walked us through the process from start to finish. We had some challenges through the process and Claus continued to show up even in the difficult conversations.”

Colby Harris, Co-Owner, Del Mar Designs

“Claus Madsen thoroughly helped us with selling our company. From the 1st introductory meeting explaining to us what was possible, to providing us with resources to assist with the sale. Claus was invaluable throughout the whole sales process. Claus was with us every step of the journey and always made himself available for any questions or issues that came up along the way. If you are interested in selling your business, I encourage you to reach out to Claus and the ANA team so that they can let you know what’s achievable. These guys will make it happen!”

Ron Harris, Co-Owner and Vice President, Del Mar Designs
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If you are considering selling your business, please contact us to learn more about our comprehensive service spectrum. Our experienced professionals will answer all your questions about selling a privately held business in complete confidentiality. Please fill out our contact form, or call us at 732-872-6777. We will contact you directly and will never identify ourselves to your employees.

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