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Research Survey Aims to Demystify M&A Advisory Fees

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Every day, businesses are bought and sold with advice and guidance from investment banks who specialize in merger and acquisition transactions. The majority of these businesses fall into the middle market with revenues of between $5 million to $500 million. Investment banks that focus on the middle market go out and find qualified buyers and negotiate the deal, including the lengthy due diligence process that is required before a deal can close.

For their services, expertise, and seller contacts, these M&A advisory firms earn a handsome fee, which is often tied to the success of the deal. Scaled percentage ‘success fees’ align the investment banker’s interests with those of the client that is selling the business: If the advisor is able to negotiate a higher total deal value for the sale of the business, they will be rewarded with a higher success fee. How these success fees are structured, the terms, and timeline for when fees are paid out can have a big impact on the financial outcome of an M&A transaction.

Choosing an M&A advisor is one of the most important financial decisions a business owner will ever make. Understanding how M&A advisory fees work, the different ways they can be structured, and how fees vary between different advisory firms is critically important when engaging with an investment bank.

Addressing a Need for Greater Fee Transparency

Up until quite recently, reliable data and industry benchmarks on M&A advisory fees have been surprisingly hard to track down. The lack of information on M&A fees can sometimes cause tensions between sellers and advisors when negotiating fees. Business owners who want to sell their company want to pay reasonable fees for expert advice, but without publicly available, credible information on M&A fee structures and terms, how can they make educated decisions about what is being charged and why?

In an effort to obtain a broad geographic perspective and greater transparency into M&A fees worldwide, Firmex has partnered with middle market M&A education site Divestopedia for the third consecutive year to launch its 2018 survey of M&A advisory fees. They are currently seeking responses from professionals that work in the investment banking and M&A industry across the globe.

The survey results will appear in the 2018-19 M&A Fee Guide published later this year. This comprehensive report provides insights into average M&A fees by region and major city, deal flow and minimum transaction value, success fee structures & fee percentage by deal size, and the forms of purchase price included in success fee calculation. While a number of M&A firms have accumulated internal data on fee structures and ranges, this annual report is the first of its kind to provide a comparative view among many firms across the M&A middle market globally.

Take the Survey, Get a Copy of the Report

If you’re involved in mid-market M&A transactions, please take a few minutes to complete the short online survey: https://www.firmex.com/2018-19-fee-survey/.

All survey participants who share their insights will receive a complimentary copy of the research report as soon as it is published.

A Deeper Well of Understanding

Lack of transparency makes it hard for business owners to determine whether the fees they are being asked to pay when hiring an investment banker are fair and appropriate. It also makes it hard for M&A professionals to explain and justify their fees to potential clients without supporting evidence.

For M&A professionals, sharing the report with prospective clients can provide supporting evidence for the fees and structure that are being proposed. It also helps advisory firms ensure that the fees they are charging are in step with over investment banks in a commoditized market, and are in line with the expectations of their clients. For business owners, this report offers an invaluable tool in negotiating fees and terms for investment banking engagements.

Last year, over 470 investment bankers shared their insights for the annual report. One of the key findings in the 2017 M&A Fee Guide was that success fees for M&A transactions of the same size vary significantly across regions and major city centers. Given these differences, M&A advisors and business owners can’t rely solely on national averages when evaluating fees.

Firmex and Divestopedia have now been collecting data on M&A fees for several years, which means they have a wealth of data to identify market trends, such as whether average fees for merger and acquisition transactions have increased, decreased or stayed the same.

The survey is open through to September and the 2018-18 M&A Fee Guide will be published in fall 2018.

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Marketing

5 Powerful Digital Marketing Tools For 2020

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The dawn of the next decade is around the corner, and by now you probably know about how vital digital marketing is to the success of your business. Software developers know it, which is why there are currently thousands of different marketing tools to choose from. They’re present in sectors such as SEO, content, social media, email and more.

Building a collection of effective digital marketing tools can help you leverage their potential to greatly enhance your marketing efforts and learn more about your customers. To help you choose the right solutions, here are 5 powerful digital marketing tools for 2020.

SnatchBot

Snatchbot allows you to develop custom chatbots to deliver unique and relevant content to your audience through a wide variety of interactions. Bots can be developed for any platform and used to answer questions or deliver updates. Perhaps best of all, you don’t need to know a thing about programming to use the software.

Power BI

Power BI is an analytics tool that allows you to obtain valuable insights regarding the performance of just about any process that goes on in your business. This Microsoft-developed platform generates custom, interactive reports based on the data you want to see, including how well your marketing campaigns are performing and the profit they render.

With Microsoft’s AI integrated into the software, it can automatically prepare, analyze and present relevant data based on your input. That said, it’s not the only one of its kind on the market. This marketing dashboard comparison on The Ecommerce Manager can help you identify the best solution based on the needs of your business.

SocialPilot

While important, keeping up with your audience on social media can be a time-consuming process. Tools such as SocialPilot aim to make things easier by allowing you to manage mentions, schedule posts and engage with prospects across different networks from a single platform.

Campaign Monitor

Even in 2020, email marketing has incredible ROI potential and should remain a key component of any company’s digital marketing strategy. Campaign Monitor offers a versatile set of tools that will help you make the most out of every email you send. This includes a template generator and the ability to create your own custom email templates.

There’s also the visual journey designer, which helps you put together more timely emails that’ll engage your audience and drive conversions. Campaign Monitor’s smart segments help you put together targeted elements that are tailored to your customers’ interests, and with the simple drag-and-drop interface, anyone can pull it off.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs serves as an “all-in-one” solution for your SEO operations. The software contains a plethora of features, including a powerful keyword research tool with the largest keyword database in the industry. There are also a variety of analytics features and some are unique to Ahrefs, such as the ability to see how your pages ranked for any keyword over time.

Consider implementing these tools in your digital marketing strategy for 2020. In doing so, you can be rest-assured that your marketing efforts will help you reach your goals for the year ahead.

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Marketing

How to attract new patients to your practice (and how to keep the ones you have)

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One of the biggest struggles healthcare providers and dentists are facing in 2019 is attracting new patients to their practice. Physicians could be attending to the same patients for years without leaving room for growth.

Everyone needs a doctor, dentist, or other specialist, but how can you be sure your service is reaching the right people? As medical technology continues to advance, there are countless ways to market your practice to prospective patients.

1. Increase online traffic for your practice 

When looking for a PCP or other healthcare provider, the first thing someone will do is conduct a simple Google search. You want your practice to be one of the top results of that search, while also complemented by good reviews from patients. Other ways to increase your practice’s online presence include social media plugs, blogs, and journals.

Share informational content related to your practice. Writing and publishing articles on blogs and other educational websites is a way to let others know you are informed about the industry you work in. Create backlinks for everything you publish that leads to your clinic’s website. Readers can find your practice this way, by stumbling across your work on a blog or journal and then being directed to your clinic.

When publishing content online, the goal is to have your message reach as many people as possible. Keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) allow readers to find your content easily through relevant and commonly used words. Keywords can be filtered by subject (ie. health, business, travel) and can be the deciding factor of whether someone finds your content or scrolls passed it.

2. Strengthen your referral marketing techniques

Patients will see a doctor who they trust will give them the proper care they need. If your patient refers your clinic to others, you are building patient loyalty while also attracting more to your practice (without having to spend money!). Referral marketing can happen through various mediums: word of mouth, online reviews, and surveys. Giving your patients incentives to review your practice can make a difference in whether prospective patients decide to make an appointment.

Remember that top reviews is one of the first items people see when they search for a business. You want to ensure that your reviews are positive and invites others who are looking for care. Convince long term patients to review your clinic online as these patients will most likely have effective and beneficial content to share.

3. Use a referral management system

Referral management systems have become an essential tool for healthcare clinics. They provide a platform for doctors and physicians to connect and provide specialized care for their patients. Many clinics receive new patients through referrals from PCPs,and adding your practice to a referral database will increase referrals from other physicians.

A referral management system with a built-in provider database is very advantageous to any healthcare practice; it eliminates the extra time it takes for doctors to research specialists for their patients. Having a referral program with both dental and other healthcare providers will greatly benefit your patients by providing them with a diverse amount of resources, beneficial for various patient cases.

Adding your practice to an online database also builds your online presence and increases the opportunity for incoming referrals from other clinics. Grow your practice and patient numbers through networking with other providers.

4. Convert to a digital practice

Converting to a digital practice will create an accessible and organized clinic. Waiting lists for appointments today can be weeks long. Allow patients to fill out health and consent forms online, prior to appointments. This will reduce waiting periods and allow you to see more patients per day.

Connect with other physicians through eConsultation platforms to speed up the process of scheduling appointments. Research shows that delayed patient care may result in unfinished cases. Consequently, patients lose a sense of urgency if they are not seen right away which may damage their health. Case collaboration in real time through instant messaging or video calling is more efficient than faxing papers or waiting for emails so you can complete more cases.

Going digital will save you from hours of mundane administrative work that comes with your practice. Using electronic medical records (EMRs) provide a secure organized means of storing patient information. Management tools for healthcare providers are available with EMR integration features so your practice is available to you on any device, wherever you are. Creating an accessible practice will benefit both you and your patients as time sensitive tasks can be completed outside of the office as well.

5. Interact on social media 

The most common way for people to find businesses is through social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are well known platforms and your clinic should actively engage on. Build your followers and post relevant content to your practice: articles, promotions, case studies.

What types of posts goes on each account?

Twitter 

You can interact with your followers through twitter by sending out polls. Gather feedback from patients and other clinics on services, new technology, and other aspects of your practice. By engaging with your followers in this way, your patients sense that your practice’s primary focus is on their healthcare and satisfaction. Connect with other practices as well and build a network (and increase referrals!).

Facebook

Facebook has hundreds of healthcare related groups which you should join; share information about your practice, the services you provide, technology you use, ad build connections with other specialists in your area. Facebook users are more responsive to still images rather than animations; use this platform as an opportunity to share testimonials from patients.

Instagram

Instagram mainly focuses on photos; insta-users are going to skip passed long, wordly posts. Engage your Instagram followers through photos of your medical team, patients, and tell a story through your posts. Since the platform is more light-hearted, common posts include memes and gifs which can be funny and relatable for your followers.

Optimize the resources available to you and revolutionize the way you run your practice. Bring new patients to your clinic through these methods and keep your schedule filled while attending to more people than before.

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Where Influencer Marketing Is Successful

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Not that long ago, if your business had a sizeable marketing budget, it would engage a celebrity use and share their experience your product or service with their followers on their blog or social media.

Nowadays, with influencer marketing, it doesn’t take an actor, sportsperson or movie star with thousands if not millions of followers to reach a broad audience.

Relatable Influencers

Businesses can use an ‘average person’ influencer. Not all influencers are indeed celebrities, and they’re in high demand and get paid handsomely for social media activity like sending an Instagram post. Many businesses prefer endorsement from more relatable people.

Younger people, in particular, are less impressed with celebrities and ‘fake’ endorsement and choose to follower people they can relate to personally, and this has been great for Instagram and also good for business.

Instagram Growth

Did you see it coming, Instagram leading other platforms in the number of users and annual growth percentage? Twitter is looking less attractive with just less than 330 million users while Instagram has broken through the billion user mark, an achievement secured in a year ago in June 2018. The question on everyone’s lips is when it will surpass Facebook?

If the statistics are anything to go by, you wouldn’t bet against this platform’s continued success. The proof is in the statistics, of course. By the numbers, influencer marketing statistics presents critical supporting data in an infographic.

The popularity of Instagram is evidence of the success of engagement via sharing images and a few words of recommendation.

Key Statistics

In the infographic, some of the key statistics are:

  • Nearly 50% of users rely on influencer referrals or recommendations for their purchases
  • Not all influencers need millions of followers the so-called ‘micro influencers’ with 100K or less are attractive to marketers, and it’s the largest influencer group on Instagram.
  • No surprises here, the industries using this marketing the most are lifestyle, beauty and fashion.

Other sectors with a high representation of influencers are health, food, travel and can you believe it – DIY. Who would have thought the do-it-yourself sector would outperform entertainment and technology among other notable groups.

How Can Businesses Get Better Results?

It’s all very well hearing about how well your competitors are doing with their influencer marketing campaigns, but how can your business do better with it?

Quality Content

Believe it or not, like all other marketing strategies, the quality of your content will determine your success and this might be disheartening to know, as your business might struggle to generate interesting content.

Well, even the most tedious businesses in sectors like tax, accounting and law are driven by people. With ingenuity, marketers and outreach agencies will create sharable content for influencers as that’s what they’re good at and your internal team can focus on sharing tips on what your business does best.

If you’re in the business sector influencer marketing is not less popular than the groups mentioned above, e.g. lifestyle and fashion so you’ll want to be selective with who you choose as your influencer.

Choosing Influencers

One of the biggest challenges for marketers irrespective of the sector is how to select the most appropriate influencer. The reason is the whole strategy is new, and it appeals to young people, so it stands to reason most influencers are young and many are teens. Engage a marketing agency with expertise in creating influencer marketing campaigns.

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