"When you have faith, mountains get out of your way and it'll be amazing." - Shane Boudreau
Shane Boudreau is an entrepreneur, investor, and corporate dealmaker with decades of experience buying and selling businesses. Shane has enabled hundreds of deals...
"When you have faith, mountains get out of your way and it'll be amazing." - Shane Boudreau
Shane Boudreau is an entrepreneur, investor, and corporate dealmaker with decades of experience buying and selling businesses. Shane has enabled hundreds of deals helped to create over $21 billion in market value.
Having started his career in entrepreneurship and consulting, Shane has analyzed thousands of businesses. Shane has taken the skill set, and knowledge advising some of the world's largest corporations and now provides advisory M&A services as well as helping business owners with equity and debt financing.
VestIn Capital Group was started in 2020 to empower entrepreneurs and investors worldwide to realize a life they've always dreamed of and give them the tools to achieve it.
Entrepreneurs are guided on how to stage their companies for long-term success and maximize ROI.
Shane applies his experience to vet and stage companies for the highest multiple possible for the perspective sectors.
In addition to providing capital, VestIn capital provides a support structure for its partners for investments that span a wide range of industries and locations.
VestIn capital provides a support structure to its partners for investments, spanning a wide range of industries and locations.
VestIn Capital assists both entrepreneurs and investors on businesses up to $25 million in revenues.
The Deep Wealth Experience has you learn the 9-steps of preparation in 90-days. At the end of the 90-day,s you create a blueprint to help you optimize your business value. You also have the certainty of capturing the maximum value for your liquidity event.
This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth.
When it comes to your liquidity event, you have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. Enterprise value is created from preparation and not the event itself.
Learn how the Deep Wealth Experience helps you maximize enterprise value. Master the same strategies our founders used to increase their company value by 10X.
Access the same 9-step road map of preparation that paves the way for success. Enjoy the certainty that you'll capture the maximum value on your liquidity event.
Enjoy the interview!
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This podcast is brought to you by the Deep Wealth Experience. In the world of mergers and acquisitions, 90% of deals fail. Of the successful deals, business owners leave millions of dollars on the deal table.
Who are we, and how do we know? We're the 9-figure exit guys. We said "no" to a 7-figure offer. Two years later, we said "yes" to a 9-figure offer. In the process, we increased the value of our company by 10X.
During our liquidity event journey, we created a 9-step road map of preparation. It's the quality and depth of your preparation that increases your business value.
After our 9-figure liquidity event, we committed ourselves to help business owners dominate and win. The Deep Wealth Experience has you create a blueprint to optimize the value of your business.
Our solution is resilient, relentless, and gets results. Enjoy the certainty that you'll capture the maximum value on your liquidity event.
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This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth.
Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count.
But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later.
Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.
After all, how can you master something you've never done before?
Are you leaving millions on the table?
Learn how the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our 9-step roadmap helps you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.
Enjoy the interview!
Steve Wells: [00:00:05] I'm Steve Wells.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:00:06] And I'm Jeffrey Feldberg. Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast.
Steve Wells: [00:00:10] This podcast is brought to you by the Deep Wealth Experience. When it comes to your liquidity event or exit, do you know how to maximize the value of your business? You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. Most business owners believe that business value is determined during the liquidity event.
Unfortunately, most business owners are wrong. Your enterprise value is a direct result of the depth and quality of your preparation. Who are we and, how do we know? We're the 9-figure exit guys. We said "no" to a 7-figure offer. Two years later, we said "yes" to a 9-figure offer.
Despite having the same people, the same company, the same services, we increased our business value 10 times.
How did we do this? We spent millions of dollars and years of time to uncover strategies that level the playing field. The end result is the 12-week Deep Wealth Experience.
We've created a proprietary solution that is relentless, resilient, and gets results. Learn how to master the art and science of a liquidity event. We've leveraged the same strategies that took us from 7-figures to 9-figures.
The Deep Wealth Experience levels the playing field so you can dominate and win.
Book your free call today to find out if you have what it takes for the Deep Wealth Experience.
Visit www.deepwealth.com/success to book your free call.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:01:39] Welcome to episode 55 of the Sell My Business Podcast. Shane Boudreau is an entrepreneur investor and corporate dealmaker with decades of experience buying and selling businesses. Shane has enabled hundreds of deals helped to create over $21 billion in market value.
Having started his career in entrepreneurship and consulting, Shane has analyzed thousands of businesses, big and small across dozens of business sectors. Shane has taken the skill set and knowledge advising some of the world's largest corporations and now provides advisory M&A services as well as helping business owners with equity and debt financing.
VestIn Capital Group was started in 2020 to empower entrepreneurs and investors around the world to realize a life they've always dreamed of and give them the tools to achieve it. Entrepreneurs are guided on how to stage their companies for long-term success and maximize ROI. Shane applies his experience to vet and stage companies for the highest multiple possible for the perspective sectors.
In addition to providing capital, VestIn capital provides a support structure for its partners for investments which span a wide range of industries and locations. In addition to providing capital, VestIn capital provides a support structure to its partners for investments, which span a wide range of industries and locations. VestIn Capital assists both entrepreneurs and investors on businesses up to $25 million in revenues.
Shane welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. It's a true pleasure to have you with us today. And for our listeners, you're in for a real treat today. Shane is with VestIn Capital Group, and he's been on all sides of the table.
So, you're going to hear straight from the trenches, from an experienced buyer, from an experienced investor, from just a smart guy in terms of what he's looking for when he's looking to invest in a company or buying a company, where you're making mistakes, that you shouldn't, what you're doing that you should be doing, or perhaps that you're not doing all those things we're going to cover.
But Shane, before I get ahead of myself, why don't you tell us, how did you get involved with VestIn Capital Group? What's the story behind the story?
Shane Boudreau: [00:03:56] I created VestIn.io. We developed an algorithm that predicted the high and low swings to the US market. There was a machine-learning algorithm that would take all kinds of different fundamentals from companies and correlate where the tops and bottoms are on a sliding schedule.
So, usually, a company will either rise or drop 30%. Depending on the cycle, 6 to 18 months, and it finds out where those sweet spots are and lets you know when to get in and when to get out. From that we developed a VestIn Money Management Group and very shortly after creating that roughly around a hundred million dollars in AUM, it was acquired by another company.
That was my first real big jump into M&A. Before I sold four other companies. I've done pretty well but never had that scale.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:04:44] That's quite a story. So, from the technology side to the company side, too selling some companies. You've really wore all the hats in M&A and that's just a wonderful way of approaching things. And so why don't we start with this. So, I'm a business owner, Shane.
I've been doing it for quite some time. And I'm thinking about selling the company. Speak to me as a buyer who's looking at my company. When you look at the deals that you've done. And the experience that you have, what would be some of the top mistakes, what I call deal killers. Stop, don't pass, go. We're done. We're finished. What are some of those costly mistakes that business owners are making to kill a deal?
Shane Boudreau: [00:05:24] Probably the biggest one that I come across is staging. They continue running their company as they always have. Yes, it's profitable. They're making money as they're doing well, but from a buyer’s perspective, it needs to be something different than what everyone else is doing.
It needs to have that little edge to it. It needs to be propped up. Is everything put into account, whether it be the financials, the product, the people? Is everything lined up for a move or are you just going to be a legacy in there? So, when you purchase the company, do you have to have a CEO? Did they have to stay in there or the business owner?
Is it something that you have to negotiate for them to be on? And then do you resonate with the buyer?
So, from a buyer perspective, sometimes you go in there and the business is great. The price is great. They have good sales, good profitability, but the CEO or the founder is too entrenched in the company.
They're not ready for exit. They're just not staged for an exit. They have to be a part of it. So, then you either work with them for the next 10 years or five years or whatever the timeline is that you agree upon. And then you have to have that personal relationship with them. You have to trust them.
Are they working in your best interest? Are they working in their best interest? Is it just a salary that they have to take part of the negotiation and they're not going to put their full heart and soul into it? So, the companies I prefer to take over are ones that are ready to go. When the founder is away it still has an excellent team, it still has an excellent addressable market. And it still has the proper timing for the product.
During COVID everything has changed. Different industries are not the same, that they've always been. In the brick and mortar, especially ones that you would go every day, just down the street. You can't do anymore and you're not going to have the profitability and you're not going to have the infrastructure that was once there. If they have products coming in from overseas, China shipping has been halted.
One of my companies is an apparel company. A lot of it comes from the US but there are still certain things that come from overseas. You can't get it. The manufacturing is slowed down. The shipping times have all changed. To get the product to market is a logistical nightmare, to be honest with you at this time.
So, you have to look at what's happening.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:07:33] So, Shane what I'm hearing and it's interesting in our nine-step roadmap at Deep Wealth. Step number three is thinking about who your future buyer is going to be. And it doesn't matter if it's a strategic or a financial or some kind of hybrid or a PE that's coming into it. You've said something critical.
And for our listeners, I hope you picked up on that what Shane is saying, too many businesses don't run without their owners. And so from that perspective, Shane, let's clarify that. So, for a business that is not running without the owner, it sounds like one of two things is happening.
Either you're taking a pass on the business altogether and you'll find another business where it runs without the owner, or you're going to be putting in some kind of risk factor, which translates into a lower price for that business. Where are you on those points?
Shane Boudreau: [00:08:21] Historically, I have gone for the risk factor and it has not paid off well for me. Once they're no longer the founder, once they're no longer running that company, they don't own it. They're now an employee. They don't have the heart and soul. They don't have the same passion that they once had.
They're just sitting there because the contract says, from this time to that time, you have to sit there and you have to do your job. It doesn't work out in my experience, the person has to have that innate passion going into it and continue to do regardless of what the contract is, somebody who wants to be there for the next 20 years, even if there's only a three-year contract or a five-year contract, whatever it may be.
It's not worked out. You have to have someone who has set in place. And again, it's the staging set-in place, the company so that if they left, it doesn't matter, the company runs exactly how it's supposed to be, whether they're gone or whether they're there. And all they're doing is overseeing the operations, which is easy to bring somebody else in who knows how to do that.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:09:18] And so Shane, let me ask you this because I know when we work with business owners in the Deep Wealth Experience, I hear this all the time. Jeffrey, even when I sell the company, the business owner says I'm still involved. My heart and soul is still in it. I'm going to be hungry. And for the business owners out there who are thinking that here we have Shane, a very experienced investor and buyer, and Shane you're saying, hey, that's not the case.
Why is that business owner losing that fire in the belly once the deal is done, what's going on?
Shane Boudreau: [00:09:47] I think a lot of people that start businesses are doing it not for a legacy, not for a payout it's to build something. And when you're building something and you're making it great. As an owner, you don't answer to anyone, you answer to yourself. So, you wake up and you are moving throughout the day to optimize your opportunities and your business.
And once you're an employee, once you have to answer to somebody else that says, no, I don't want to do it like that because maybe the buyer has a little different angle they want on the business, whether it be to connect better with their portfolio, or market conditions have changed. But the founder, the owner of the business, doesn't see that. They have their passion project.
They'd been doing it for however many years and they're set in their ways. And to change that and have to answer to somebody who says, no, that's not how we're going to do it anymore. I now own the company. It changes the dynamic to the point where they lose that hunger. I've seen it happen overnight.
As soon as they cash that check. It's well, what's next? Am I going to go sit on a beach? Am I going to go buy a new house? Am I going to start a new company? Oh, wait, I can't. I got to go to work tomorrow. It's the cash in hand. As soon as they had the cash in hand, it is a different dynamic completely.
They don't see the business the way that they used to see it and you can go into it and they can say, oh no, this is my baby. I love it. This is the greatest thing ever. It changes the second you cash that check it is different.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:11:13] And so there you have it, all those business owners listening out there who are saying to the contrary, no, I'm going to have that fire in my belly. Shane is saying otherwise and the truth is, and Shane you said this, when a business runs without the owner, it gives you more confidence in the business. And it also leads to a higher value in that business. And Shane, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but let me ask you this. As a buyer of a company, as an investor in a company, would you rather pay more for a company that runs without the business owner, knowing that you have less risk and it's going to be business as usual or take on that risk?
You don't know if it's business as usual, but you're paying less for that business. Where are you on that?
Shane Boudreau: [00:11:53] Without question to pay more. I'd rather have a company that is turnkey. I don't have to touch it. I know that I can concentrate on my other companies if I need to. And it's going to do the exact same thing. Every month with a growth margin of whatever it is that I'm expecting from it, whatever the market allows.
And you don't have to think about it. It's something that you can just add your portfolio and yeah, you have to come in and fine-tune things. Of course, that's what anyone does, but it's easier to come in and fine-tune when it's already set up. It's already done. It's running. You don't have to worry about it.
The worst ones are the micromanagers. When you have an owner, that has to be, everything from the advertising to the product development, to the coding and you have so many with their hands in every little aspect of it, a lot of times the team does not know how to run when they don't have that person looking over their shoulder.
Or on the contrary, if that owner is then pulled back, they don't know what to do because it's like a child has been babied their entire life. They can't function. They can't function at their job. They can't do what they need to be doing in that position. So, then do you go out and you hire somebody else to do what these people have always been doing?
And then at the end of the day, you’re starting a new company then. You're not buying an existing company. You're not buying something that's already running. If you have to go in and clear everyone out or retrain them how to do the job.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:13:17] It's interesting. And for the business owners who are listening, I know one of your complaints as business owners is well, Jeffrey, you know, I got to go find the talent. Maybe I have to find a recruiter is going to cost me money, but you heard it from Shane and Shane is representative of what your future buyers thinking.
Spend the money, hire that team. It'll be a rounding error. Whatever you spend will be a rounding error relative to the increase in value that you're getting for your business, for your liquidity event and better yet, you may not even have a liquidity event if your business doesn't run without you. Just do it, have the business run without you.
You've heard it from Shane directly and Shane could not have said that any better. Shane, one of the mistakes that you've spoken about is what you call staging or at Deep Wealth what we call not having the business run without you. What would be another classic, but costly deal-killer mistake that you tend to see out there?
Shane Boudreau: [00:14:10] Selling a business that you love, your perspective of your company is your perspective. There is no one else that is going to see it, the exact same way that you do. So, you have to tailor that to the purchaser. You have to trailer it to whether you're going after an institutional investor, a private investor an angel group.
It doesn't matter.
However, you're presenting the company. It has to be for the buyer and not for yourself because, at the end of the day, no one cares what you think about it. They want you to love it. Of course, that's great. And good job. But all that matters to the buyer is what they think of it.
When they come in there is it personalized for you or is it set up like a company that they can come in and take it and there are no hiccups and it's good to go. You know, is it covered with family employees? Is it covered with pictures of your family and things that you love and care about and are the products developed for things that you love and care about?
And the presentation for things that you love and care about? Or is it for an individual who wants to make money or acquire something to add to their portfolio that's going to have that synergy with other things that they're working on? It's a tough angle to take, but you have to take yourself out of it.
To me, the biggest thing for a business owner that's selling is completely taking yourself out of it. Take out the emotion. It is a business. You are running a business. The whole point and purpose of it is to create value for somebody else, whether that financial or your product or whatever the case may be.
It has nothing to do with you in any business that you're in.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:15:42] This goes right into our roadmap. Step number three, about your future buyer, because for our listeners out there, what you're hearing Shane say so loud and clear, don't be selfish. Don't just think about you. In fact, don't think about you period. Tune in to what we call the Deep Wealth, our favorite radio station.
Everyone's favorite radio station, WII.FM. The What's In It For Me radio station, but from your buyer's perspective. So, don't think that you're the greatest company that can walk on water unless you are for the buyer. And so what Shane I'm hearing you say is ask yourself, what can I do for you as a buyer?
What can I do for you as an investor that's going to make a difference? What kind of problem do you have that I can solve? And this way I can start talking your language to hopefully give you the confidence in the business and the excitement of how tomorrow can be a better day with that business. What kind of difference does that make when you have that kind of mindset with a seller who is now looking at it from your perspective?
What tends to happen in that scenario versus the one who's all about me and me.
Shane Boudreau: [00:16:49] It becomes exponentially more profitable for the seller and for the buyer. It becomes an environment where the buyer can come in and they can see themselves in the company. They can see what the company can actually do for them without having blinders on. They don't have to worry about maybe I can use this company here.
Or maybe if I change this, it can work for me. If you present your company in a way that it is buyer, this is for you. This is the greatest thing you've ever seen. And this is the reason why it's going to resonate with them. You know, whether it be the financial or the strategic or whatever case it may be for that buyer, it's all going to be different, but you have to get them to get in emotional buy-in and once they have an emotional buy-in, they will need it.
And then when it comes down to the negotiations for it, you can leverage that. You can say, I know that you really want this business. I'm not really sure if I want to sell yet, and you can negotiate a much higher price. And I'm talking exponentially more. It's not just a little bit here and there. You can make a lot of money.
If you get yourself out of it, to where the company doesn't even have your name and it has nothing to do with you. It is just a transactional experience. Your product is the company and the buyer is your customer. And if you treat it like that, you will make a lot. of money.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:18:02] Shane, you said something very interesting. And I know depending on the circles, there's a lot of debate about this, but essentially what I've heard is you as a buyer, when you become excited about something when you become emotionally invested into a business.
That can often override the logic. While logically the company may be worth X, but because I'm emotionally bought into it, I'm going to pay X plus Y. Can you talk to us about how that happens and in terms of what a smart seller can do it to get a buyer emotionally excited and invested in the opportunity?
Shane Boudreau: [00:18:38] Do your homework. That's the optimal advice for when you're selling your company. When you go off to your buyer and you know who it is, or, the arena that they play in, there's going to be certain things that you can do, whether it be strategic or financial, and you can play to the strengths that they've worked on before.
So, you do your homework, look up the deals they've done before. Look at the companies that they own. Look at the things that they do in their day-to-day life, what is it that resonates with that person? And you can play to that. Not a hard system to do. You have to go in there and say, okay, this guy likes sports.
It's going to be somebody who's going to respond and react to a faster-moving environment versus this person who wants to sit back. They like golf. They like reading. They want a slower environment. So, the whole deal will take a little bit longer.
It's the psychology of you have somebody who's fast. You want. Quick hard facts put in their face immediately backed up by logic, more facts, hard-hitting. You know, do you have celebrities involved? Do you have massive sales? And then pull back again in more financial and you keep piquing their interest back and forth and back and forth.
And they'll buy-in at a much higher price. Whereas if you have somebody on the other side, who’s slower moving, you have to explain more, you have to withdraw more, make them come to you, make them have that need to have you as part of it. And again, the psychology will take over and they'll say, oh my gosh, I can't believe how great this is.
I want it because you're then speaking their language. And when you're speaking their language and you can get them to see your business, as part of their portfolio or something that they're running or whatever it is, profit that they're looking for, they will begin to sell you.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:20:17] That's amazing. And let me ask you this on the personal side, do you find yourself from time to time going down that rabbit hole when a seller has done his or her job really well?
Shane Boudreau: [00:20:28] I do. Actually, not too long ago. I was in a negotiation and there are playing off a lot of the strengths that I used. Thankfully, I was able to recognize that and counter it. It becomes a chess game. That’s really, what it comes down to. And you have to be able to read them and what they're going after.
Is it just a game for them, or they actually have that passion and they're actually trying to push the product because it's a benefit for you? A lot of times, it's a chess game, especially if they have a third party involved if it's the owner of the company, the founder of the company.
They're more invested emotionally in the company then, if somebody hires me, for example, I come in a lot of times and help companies stage and get ready and even work with the negotiations to get them top dollar or best price, depending on which side. I play both sides to make sure that it's optimal for both parties.
I've worked on deals where, it's been win-lose or lose-win, and it sucks. Nobody's happy. Nobody's going to go talk about how great the deal is. The company usually starts to die because the new founder or the new owner is pissed off at what happened. So, if you create an environment where it's a win-win, yes, the buyer gets a great price.
The seller gets great terms. Everyone's happy, even if there's not that contract says you're coming to work every day. They then have a passion. They want to create extra value. I've had them call years afterward. Hey, I just thought about this for a new product for the company, what do you think?
How about we try it? They still have that, that draw to it.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:21:51] I love it. And you shared some real gems of wisdom here for our listeners in terms of how they should be thinking. And again, to be a bit of a broken record here, like we're saying the Deep Wealth Experience, when it comes to your future buyer, roadmap, step number three, you've got to know your future buyer better than your future buyer knows him or herself.
And you heard it from Shane. Here's an experienced successful buyer and investor. Yet from time to time, he will be able to get emotionally invested in a business opportunity. He knows you shouldn't. But, being what we are just human psychology, he finds himself there. You can take that one to the bank as sellers listening to this podcast, some terrific advice for you to follow.
Shane, let me ask you this. We've been talking about some mistakes that business owners shouldn't make that can kill a deal. I would imagine though, that. opportunistically, there are probably some mistakes that aren't going to kill the deal, not great for the seller but are good for you as the buyer.
And that may mean you may see something that the seller doesn't see and hey, all is fair in business. And you're going to say thank you very much and keep that to yourself and look to get the deal done. What would be some of the common mistakes that sellers are making that cause them to leave money on the table for you?
Shane Boudreau: [00:23:08] Desperation in the seller causes the blood in the water for the sharks to come in and they can see that you are needy. You have to get out. Or something bad is going to happen in your life. Whether you need the capital whether it's, you're just burnt out and you're tired of what you're doing, whatever the case may be.
As soon as you have that, just that slight air of desperation, your valuation has just been cut and I've seen it be cut in half. Or everything's going well, the negotiations, the price is going up up, and then they have that little air desperation when it comes time to signing and the deal is then cut down.
Just beat up and you lose a lot of money. You have to go in there with the confidence. You have to go in there. And it's not the confidence that, oh, this is the greatest thing ever. It's confidence that I am selling you a phenomenal company. And this is an amazing opportunity for you. Not, oh my gosh, I got to get out.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:23:58] So, Shane, what I'm hearing you say, and this is some terrific insights for our listeners. Even if you have an incredibly desperate situation, you've got to have that poker face. And you've got to have that air of confidence where you can walk in Shane, this is the best company around. I can support it with data.
I can support it with facts. And if you're lucky enough to be able to buy this company wow, it's going to do wonders for you.
Shane Boudreau: [00:24:23] You have to take your emotion out of it. They're going to want a better price. You're going to want more money. It's going to go back and forth and you can't get that emotionally involved in it. It's business. They want the best possible business for the lowest price.
You want the best price for your business because you love it. And it's the greatest thing ever and all that kind of stuff. But as soon as you throw that emotional aspect and they can manipulate that like you can't imagine. They can make the price go, just drop. Terms, change everything across the board change.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:24:53] I would imagine, and one of the things that we tell our listeners and the people that are going through the Deep Wealth Experience, listen, your buyer, your future buyer is smart and sophisticated and experienced. And Shane I would imagine not necessarily you per se, but buyers in general, maybe one of the strategies is just to where the seller down. Timing and the energy and the requests back and forth that by the time you're getting to the end, there's just this mental fatigue. Let's just get it over with. So, what can I, as a seller, as a business owner, how do I protect myself from those kinds of strategies and tactics that a buyer may try and pull on me?
Shane Boudreau: [00:25:33] Don't play the game. As soon as you see that happening, withdraw. You don't need it that bad, where it's going to cause that much stress in your life. It is business. That's all it is. If they start playing games, I don't care if it's private equity. I don't care if it's a merger or an acquisition.
It doesn't matter. As soon as the other side starts playing games, I'm out. If you want to come back to me, it is on my terms and only my terms. And if you don't, have a great day,
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:25:58] And Shane is tough as you may be as a negotiator. You said something interesting, which I think is a wonderful business philosophy for everyone. You don't want a win-lose or lose-win, you want a win-win on both sides of the table, it's just better for everyone else. And that's just a terrific philosophy to have and to take into, as a mindset going into the deal.
But let me ask you this. So, we've talked about desperation as one mistake that can often really hurt a seller, but it's to the advantage of a buyer. As you look at your experience, as you look at your deals, what would be some other mistakes that don't kill the deal but can significantly hurt the seller.
Shane Boudreau: [00:26:36] Something that kills the deal, because I've come across it several times trying to present something that's not there. Trying to present something that is better than it actually is. And they might still be interested. They might still buy it, but you're going to get hit really hard when it comes down to the valuation of the company.
Don't hide things. It's going to come out and due diligence. Buyers, they're smart. They have people, they have due diligence experts that all they do is sit there and look at the most boring numbers you've ever seen in your life and figure out what's actually going in. Be honest, be upfront.
This is the situation. Whether it be good, bad, or indifferent, make sure that you share that with them because when they find it out and they will. I've fallen under this problem where, you know, you see something and it looks good and I've even invested in companies and come to find out the founder was lying pretty much. Just BS. And at the end of the day, even if they do purchase it, you're dead in the economy. People are not going to hire you again. They're going to make sure to share that with other people that they work with, and it's not worth hurting the buyer.
It's not worth hurting the company. It's not worth ruining the reputation. Just be honest, be upfront and everyone's going to win. Everyone's going to have a great day. Everyone's going to make a whole lot of money. As long as you can present it as it actually is. Of course, you want to present it as its perfect self, but you don't want to hide anything.
It was a recent deal that I did. That's why I'm talking on this it puts a bad taste in your mouth and, yeah. I still went in and still invested, but I can tell you, it was much less than it would have been. I would have gone in and probably acquired the entire thing. And because of just the little thing, they're hiding puts that seed of doubt in your mind.
What else are they hiding? What is happening that is making them get out now? Why is the timing for them pulling out now? Why is the deal or the structured different now than it was when you went into the deal?
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:28:26] Shane, it's so important. What you're talking about here, it's actually part of step number five, and that's the winning mindset. And as a seller, part of the winning mindset is understanding that the currency for a buyer, Shane, your currency, isn't money. You can always earn more money, not a big deal, but it's trust.
And if a seller has trust in you and you have trust in the seller now you have the foundation of what could be a wonderful deal. But if you don't have that trust and Shane, you said it yourself. If they're lying over here, what else are they lying to me on? If I can't trust them over here, can I trust them over there?
And I just such a big takeaway is trust is everything. And just put it all out there. Eventually, it all comes to light. Whatever you may think you're trying to hide is going to come back in and hurt you. And thank you, Shane, for sharing that.
Shane Boudreau: [00:29:17] The business owner, what they think they're trying to hide, or they're trying to slip it in slip into facts instead of just coming out and saying it a lot of times, it means nothing to the buyer.
It's a personal thing for them or it's, something that the established buyer has come up with before and they said, okay all we have to do is X, Y, and Z. And it's off the table. It's irrelevant. It means nothing. But as soon as the trust is gone, that's where you screw yourself.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:29:41] Interesting now, speaking of trust, what would be your wish list when it comes to due diligence and you are now in negotiations with a company you've signed the nondisclosure agreement. You've signed a letter of intent. Everyone is now contractually obligated. You're going down the path of a liquidity event for an investment or possibly a buyout.
What would you love to see a seller do for due diligence that they're not typically doing that would have you just smile and say, okay this business owner gets it. I like what this business owner has done. It gives me confidence. If they're doing it here, it's going to give me confidence within the company and the business itself.
What would that look like?
Shane Boudreau: [00:30:20] Kind of multifold. When you start up a company, usually you have a different set of financials that is forecasting out. And when you sell a company, you do the same thing, but it's not the same. It doesn't show growth. It doesn't show the new product that's coming in because you're getting rid of the company.
I like to see somebody that says, okay, we already have this product in development. This is where it's going to be. And this is the profitability that it's going to have.
This is the growth margins. And on top of that, I like to go in and actually talk to the individual employees and having a seller that already has that lined up, Hey, come in and talk to, our CFO, everything to the lowest employee on the totem pole.
And you can hear from them about the passion they have in the business and how it affects them and what they see for a future. It's all about the future when it comes to that. That is the best thing you can do because everyone can make a pretty picture. Everyone can make pretty financials just traditional financials, but they're not really thinking ahead.
It is just to get from A to B and that B is the sale and that's as a buyer, they only want to me to a buy it. It's not, hey, look what we're going to do for you and look where this company is going to go. Okay. I'm A, here's my presentation. Look, how pretty it is. Here are the financials. This is our growth over the last, five, 10 years and this is where it's going.
It doesn't go into these are the products we've been working on. This is how this is going to be implemented in the market. This is the timing for these products. Having all that set up prior is a huge value add. Massive value-add.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:31:52] Shane. I love what you're saying because that really ties into what we talk a lot about in the Deep Wealth Experience. It's our road step number two X-Factors. And you didn't quite say it this way, Shane, but what we say at Deep Wealth is have your financials, have your data. That's all nice and find you, you need that anyway, but you need to craft a narrative or a story that presents excitement and hope of what the potential is and Shane to your point.
Come clean. Hey Shane, we weren't able to do this particular initiative or we failed in this area because we didn't have your expertise or we didn't have your capital. Had we had that it would've been a different story, but if we can do that, if we can take your expertise in the capital, this is what it's going to look like.
Here are the projections. And to your point, that's something that gives you hope it gets you excited. And now you're looking at this business in a different light and for the business owners, how much more time and effort does it take? It doesn't take any more money for you to talk about that. It's right there.
But how often do we not do that to the detriment of both the buyer and the seller?
Shane Boudreau: [00:32:55] It's very rare that it's ever talked about. It becomes just factual information. This is what we're working at. This is the stage we're at, in development for the new product. This is where it's going to go. This is the demographic we're looking at, but they haven't gotten the stepfather and say, okay, but does that demographic want it?
And it's the same thing. When you create a product. Too many times. Oh my gosh. I can't tell you how many times I've come across this. A business owner creates the product because they like it. At the end of the day, it's irrelevant. All they care about is if they will like it.
And if it's going to be a value to them. So, you have to change your mindset. If I was going to buy this company, what would be something that would resonate? Why would I get excited about it? Why would customers get excited about it? Why would they see exponential growth and coming from it from a startup perspective where we can have that hockey stick again because we have a new vision because we have new capital because there are, people that have different experiences that we don't have people that have been in this industry before. And I've seen if you do X, Y, and Z, you're going to get phenomenal growth or you can keep doing what you're doing and just, have a marginal increase year over year. It's all pretty and fine.
How are you going to create that hockey stick again? How are you going to get those financials to shoot up realistically? Not just oh, look it. Yeah. You're going to get a thousand X here because of the new product.
No, that's not going to happen, but if you've actually gone out and you've talked to the customers and you've done the due diligence yourself as the business owner currently. Talk to the customers, find out what they want, how it's going to resonate with them, where do they buy? What is it that they're looking for?
Is it something that they want for a special tool on the coding that they want or whatever the case may be, whatever the product is? How are you going to create that excitement again, as though it's a brand-new startup, but hey, you also have this massive roadmap where you've already made it.
You've already made the money. It already has a sustainable environment. It already has a profitability margin. But now we're going to make it even better for you. And it's going to increase the value of the company. And it's going to increase the buyer's perspective of you as an individual because people just don't do it.
They don't want to share that. I'm not going to be in that's not how it works. If you can create a massive value. The more value you create for the buyer, the more money you're going to get.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:34:57] Oh, Shane that is preaching to the choir and words to the wise here at Deep Wealth. You are so on target with that. Shane, let me ask you this. As we begin to wrap things up, there's one question that I like to ask every guest on the Sell My Business Podcast. And the question is this. If you remember the movie Back to the Future, there was the DeLorean car, which had this magical ability.
You can go back into time, any time period that you wanted. Shane, I want you to imagine that tomorrow morning when you look outside, the DeLorean is waiting for you. The door is open and it's welcoming you and you can go back to any point in your life that you'd like to go back to Shane as a young child, or as a teenager, as a young man, or later on into adulthood.
What would you be telling yourself? What would be some lessons learned or some wisdom that you go back to the younger Shane back in time, back in history to tell yourself?
Shane Boudreau: [00:35:51] For me that's a great question. It's twofold. First off. I love my life. The stupid things that I did, the screw-ups I did when I was creating companies and selling too early or selling too late, made me who I am today. And it taught me lessons that you're never going to get in a book.
There's not a lot of people that have been through them. So, it's not like you can just read about them on blogs or anything like that. It's life experiences that you got knocked down and you had to get up and fight and. I wouldn't be who I was today without that. On the other side. Yeah. It'd be nice to have it easier.
Learning more about sharing the ideas, especially the tech companies. When I was early on, it was hush, hold it to my chest. I don't want to share it with anybody. Nobody cares about what you're doing and nobody wants to spend the time and the money to create your product. If you share it with people, you would be amazed how many people are going to say, Oh, that's awesome. Do you want some help? And it's free 90% of the time it's free. Hey, I'll help you with that. Or, hey, I know this guy, he's an investor or a, Hey, I know this gal she does whatever. And they help you to build a company that is a thousand-fold what it would be if you just went out alone and you're hiring your strategic employees and you're just using your network and you're not reaching out and sharing the cool things that you're doing. Because they are. And people are going to go, Oh, wow, that's amazing. How are you doing that? And they're going to get you to think about things, even if they can't help you.
They're going to get you to think about things that you never would have. They're going to ask questions, this spur, that aha moment that you go, oh my gosh. If I do this, I'm going to make something so amazing. I'm going to do this and I'm going to keep going the way I'm going because this is what I know.
And this is all I know. And I did that in the beginning. The first couple of companies that I built, I kept to myself, I thought they were the most innovative things in the history of the world, and I'm going to be a trillionaire and I didn't utilize all the things that are out there.
I didn't utilize all the brains, all the perspectives, all the financials. All these things out there that people have that they don't even know about. And it's not trying to use them. It's trying to get them excited about what you're doing and get that momentum and getting that collective conscious, wrapped around what it is that you're trying to create when you have that mountains move. You got to have the faith and mountains would just get out of your way and it'll be amazing. But if you sit back and you hold it to your chest and like I did in the beginning, oh no, somebody is going to steal it. If I share it, somebody's going to steal it.
No, they're not. All I can do is make it that much better. And it's better than you could ever imagine. That's where I'd be.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:38:24] Oh, that's a wonderful actually two wonderful stories and really some lessons from the trenches. Love it. I'm going to put this in the show notes for our listeners. If somebody wants to learn more about the VestIn Capital Group or how they can get in touch with you, where can they do this online?
What's the best place?
Shane Boudreau: [00:38:41] LinkedIn is probably the best place. VestinCapital.com is our website But I would say go to my LinkedIn, reach out to me. I'm happy to help. The VestIn Capital we just started recently. I sold my company my last one and kind of wanted to take it easy for a while. One of my investments wasn't doing so well at the beginning of COVID.
So, I came on as the CEO for that. Then I had a lot of friends that have really amazing successful companies that were dying and they didn't know what to do. And you get that tunnel vision when you're in it. In a dive in your company, you sit down and you hide yourself and you don't know what to do next.
You need to have the other perspective. And that's why I started VestIn Capital Group. I don't care what's happening in the economy. I don't care what's happening in the world. I guarantee you, there is a way to make money and there's opportunity that you would have never experienced had this not happened.
And so, I came in and started helping them, help people raise money. We raised around 20 million last year for private equity and another 500,000 for different nonprofits around the area. And it just turned into a company. As a buyer's perspective as well, I have a big group of family offices that I'm looking out for just amazing companies.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:39:50] Shane, that's incredible and spoken like a true entrepreneur who's worn many hats. Buyer, seller, investor, M&A, you cover it all. And you're just a wealth of resources. Well Shane, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to share your lessons, your insights, your wisdom with the Deep Wealth community.
Thank you so much. And please stay healthy and safe.
Shane Boudreau: [00:40:14] You as well, Jeffrey. Thank you much.