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.
Where Influencer Marketing Is Successful
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
How To Boost Organic Visits To Your Website
Do you feel like your drowning in marketing strategies that everyone says work but even with your best effort to try a lot of them, you’re still not really making any headway? You’re not alone.
Attempting take on nearly everything you’re told works and giving equal time and investment to too many tasks will see you left ragged without the results to show for it. Digital marketing does need to provide an acceptable ROI, so we recommend putting in place a foundation of actions that always work to channel visitors to your website.
Targeted marketing does make sense however if we overdo it the strategy can actually reduce our sales funnel providing fewer prospects for the sales team. To boost visits to your website you want to avoid the trap of focusing just on your targeted audience.
Here is our ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing, or what we call the digital marketing foundation from which all other strategies are added and removed as and when required.
These marketing strategies are perfect for the start-up business and the time-poor among us.
A combination of targeted and far-reaching strategies mostly online i.e. digital marketing works as a solid foundation for businesses of any size. Remember all marketing is about filling the sales funnel so you want to do these tasks continuously.
You’ve got a website and it has a blog. Now it’s over to you to publish regular content on it. A daily post is ideal. Keep to a plan on the type of content you put on your blog. Make sure it’s not homogenised and thus will become too predictable and lose the interest of your visitors.
Make sure the blog content is high quality and a true reflection of your brand. different types of content relevant to your website visitors.
Blog Content Types
- Videos – share videos and provide commentary on why they interest you and are relevant to your blog visitors. Also, create your own videos, it’s fun however make sure they are professional and in a style that has a positive impact on the perception of your business.
- Articles – write or get written by copywriters articles on topics that work in well with your business and what it provides. Sharing knowledge, tips, and at some level educating your visitors will keep their interest even if they are not yet customers. Returning visitors to your blog will increase the page views of your website which is core measurement for marketing.
- News & Views – Standing out among your peers sharing your views on what’s going on in your industry can be risky but very rewarding when it’s done well. Become a subject matter expert and then be invited to participate in the creation of news items that end up on higher ranking websites. This strategy is sure to increase your website visitors.
A regular eNewsletter is an email marketing initiative that’s a must do for all businesses. It’s common knowledge that email marketing is a low cost and high return marketing and sales strategy.
Your newsletter with interesting content that includes links to your website is sure to deliver a spike in visits.
Plus you don’t have to spend hours creating the content for each newsletter as you’ve already got it on your blog so use it as the basis of each newsletter edition. You can also include a targeted message and special promotion in the newsletter for your email subscribers to improve engagement (opens and clicks).
Some say Facebook is the Internet and it can seem that way as you can do so much on that platform include run a business. However, there are a few other social media platforms that offer lots of opportunities too. With social media, you need to know what you want to achieve from it, as time spent on it can chew up a lot of time and resources which is not good for the time poor business owner.
Social Media Plan
Create a plan for each platform you which to have a business presence on, including LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and many more. In your plan, state your goals, time and investment. Stick to the plan, you can change it but it’s important to use it to keep you on track.
Share your blogs posts with your social media followers and also share news, videos that reside on other sites too. View the analytics of engagement to see how well received your posts are with your followers. This is trial and error, so don’t be disappointed when some posts are not getting the engagement you want. Be open to the feedback and change what you post and share to get a response from your followers.
Three fail-safe digital marketing strategies that should form the foundation of all other digital marketing. Commit time and investment to your blog, email marketing and social media presence and then add and remove shorter campaigns that may include SMM, or google advertising.
Everything You Need To Know About E-commerce Marketing
Ecommerce refers to any form of business transaction made online. One famous example is online shopping, defined as buying and selling of goods via the internet on any device. For many people, it has been their preferred way to shop because you won’t have to go to the store instead just get your mobile device and browse your social media sites for the things you want and have it delivered right at your door. Here are the things you need to know when you’re planning to start an ecommerce business.
Marketing is Vital
Marketing is one of the core aspects of any business that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are plenty of e-commerce businesses which have great products and beautiful websites that fail because they do not know how to market their product and they can’t attract people to the store. To prevent this, you should choose the right marketing campaigns and produce the perfect ecommerce copywriting. It is essential that you devise marketing campaigns on different channels which you can use to grow your store which will generate traffic and potential customers to your online store.
Integrate Social Media Sites
With over a million daily active users, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social applications around can help you connect with consumers, influencers, and brands. These social media applications remain a viable platform for social media and e-commerce marketing. Engage with your audience and followers by trying to run a contest or going behind the scenes to showcase your product development process. Add or upload photos of your products to give your followers a direct path to purchase, which is vital for increasing your online sales. When posting products online, try to provide the pieces of information like the cost and availability, and for clothes the available sizes, colors, and designs. Providing this info make it easy for your customer to get what they want.
Providing Customer Service Is High Priority
Look after your customers by providing a high level of customer service. By doing this, you’re setting your business up for success. Be fair and sincere with your customers to leave a lasting impression on them, and they will be more inclined to buy from your store again. Not all e-commerce entrepreneurs provide excellent customer service, but it’s as critical the way you treat your customers as you do with the way you handle your business. Personalize customer service interactions that will make your customers feel valued; tailor your responses to your customer’s issue so that they’ll know that you care about them and that you’re working to solve their problem.
Be Open to Mistakes
Mistakes always happen, and it’s still best to be transparent with your customers when you made a mistake instead of lying or sugar-coating it. Being honest and open with your customers lets them know that you’re a genuine business person and they’ll appreciate it when you keep them informed of any issues regarding their orders. One main problem which you’ll encounter when shipping your products to customers is late or lost deliveries. There are many reasons why a delivery could arrive later than expected, and the best way to reconcile for this is always to keep your customers in the loop.
Pick the Right Audience
Target your message to the right people to ensure that your marketing campaigns will be successful. It may take some time before you truly understand who your audience is, but you’ll likely have an idea from the products which you are selling. When you’ve gained more knowledge about your audience, you can refine your campaigns to be more effective for your specific audience. Once someone becomes your customer, you should continue to engage them and nurture them. By doing this, you’ll have successful customers that you can use for testimonials and case studies, you’ll receive glowing reviews about your product, and you’ll have the power of word-of-mouth marketing behind you as you turn your customers into fans.
Aim For Good Reviews
Customer reviews are an honest review of your product and how it worked out for your customers. Reviews serve as a marketing tool for you because they include mentions of your product and frequently do the selling for you because people will think that when your product worked for your customers, then it might work for them too. Encourage your customers to leave reviews whenever you can on their experience from ordering to shipping, receiving and upon the usage of the product. You could also use customer testimonials to get the word out on how great your product is. Testimonials are primarily tailored review because they are typically produced from interviews where you can ask specific questions like the ease of the buying process, the level of customer support, and frictionless delivery and setup methods.
Pick Your Products Wisely
E-commerce business thrives when you sell high-quality products at an affordable price. Before you start, decide on the types of products you are going to sell and where you’ll be sourcing them from. Take some time to brainstorm some of your ideas and decide which product you believe is best for your ecommerce store. In choosing your product, check out potential competitors and see if they’re selling the product you would want. If they are, you know that your product will be marketable and what you will do next is to think about how to make your product inventory better than theirs. Lastly, decide which countries produce the most sense for you to source your products from. Some countries offer a relatively cheap product but the delivery time may take a little while, and some products will arrive faster, but the price tag will also be higher.
Global Market and Around-the-clock availability
A geographical area will always limit a physical store; it can serve, but an online store or any other type of e-commerce business has the whole world as its market. Another great benefit of trading online is that it is always open. Unrestricted by the working hours, the e-commerce business is a convenient and immediately available option that can serve customers 24/7/365.
Alex Lopez is a content writer who concentrates on SEO, content marketing, and travel tips. She mostly writes for Creative Working Playground SEO Copy writing. She likes to relax most of the day while reading her favorite books or she usually plays around with her dog. She also loves to explore the outdoors like the beach, falls, or forests.
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