Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory

A Neumann & Associates, LLC

December 9, 2014

No Motivation – No Deal

By Joseph Eneldas


As the year draws to an end, it is interesting to review our investor inquiries and deal flow in 2014 in order to identify some of the contributing factors that left some business sellers, as well as investors, without a deal. Most significantly, one factor is the outstanding one: motivation – or better, the lack thereof.

There is no question that in these times of ever-increasing desire for instant gratification, a lot of folks simply do not set sufficient time aside to properly position themselves for a deal – on both the buy and sell sides!  “History has shown over the past thirty years,” says Achim Neumann, President, A Neumann & Associates, New Jersey, “that it takes, on average, a year to sell a business, and a little bit more on the buy-side to find the right business. There are no short cuts.”

The number of buy side folks, induced by the simplicity of clicking the “More Information” button on a variety of business brokerage websites, and then never following through with their request, is staggering. Whereas such percentage has hovered around thirty percent ten years back, now the number of people requesting more investment information, but then not following through, is rapidly approaching seventy-five percent.

How does this trend relate to motivation?  It can certainly be argued that such buy-side folks never had a sincere interest to pursue a transaction.  More alarmingly, an even higher percentage of would-be investors are neither willing to sign a standard non-disclosure agreement or to provide any information to demonstrate their capacity to execute a deal.  One can almost come to the conclusion that in these times of “everything is free on the web,” investors expect detailed information about specific mid-sized business to be open and accessible to even the most casual observer.  (Unwilling to reinforce this perception, our firm will never release information without the proper documents from the buy side.)  No motivation, no deal!

How does the sell side fare?  Not much better, unfortunately.  “With the economy improving,” says Steve Wrubleski, Managing Director, Southern New Jersey, “we are being approached by an increasing number of sellers/business owners who are very much challenged to communicate the true reason for their desire to sell.”  Indeed, the goal of a business owner in his/her mid-forties to “retire” carries very little credibility with buyers on Main Street (possibly in Silicon Valley, though).

More often, it is being tired of the day-to-day business, financial woes, or some other short-term issue that has the business owner approach us to seek a sale.  But does this truly constitute an appropriate motivation?

As soon as the financial challenges subside, or a long overdue vacation has brought back some “healthy distance” from the business, the business owner’s world looks much brighter, and a sale of the business has declined substantially in priority – until the next short term challenge arises.  Does that make for a motivated seller?  Of course not, and so the same applies: no motivation, no deal!

Ultimately, many factors are easily quantifiable in a business transfer: valuations, cash flows, market share, personnel quality and growth prospects.  Very often, business people on the buy and sell side have a surprisingly similar assessment of such factors.

However, of the non-quantifiable factors, such as chemistry between buyer and seller, synergy among merged businesses, etc., it is the lack of motivation that more often than not will prohibit the final execution of a deal.

It’s simply true: no motivation, no deal!

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 appreciate your diligent approach to screening buyers and sellers as well as the high quality CIM that you produce.”

Andrey O, Investor

“Finally enjoying retirement after recently selling my business using the services of A Neumann & Associates. Joe Oddo provided the conduit to a successful transaction. Joe knew when to inject input and when to simply listen and allow the buyers to vent, step back and regroup. The outcome met our expectations and got us to the finish line, which included my staying with the company six months in order for the buyers to get their footing and keep our workforce in the loop. He helped at every step by providing his expert guidance & resources. Thank you!”

Emily Parker Myers, Co-Owner - Myers McRae

“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
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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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