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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

Everything You Need To Know About E-commerce Marketing

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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.

Also read: The Importance of Marketing for the Success of a Business

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.

Author bio:

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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Marketing

Is Now The Time For A Business Rebrand?

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Is it time to rebrand your business? You might think that a rebrand is going to be expensive and largely unnecessary. It’s possible that you also suspect it will hurt your sales. However, if you rebrand at the right time it can have startling benefits. So, let’s look at some of the signs that you need to think about rebranding and the factors that you must consider.

Your Current Brand Isn’t Working

This is probably the most typical reason for a rebrand. Your current brand profile isn’t working for you and this can be for a variety reasons. For instance, it’s possible that your brand is not sending a clear message about what your services are or what you can offer to customers.

If you’re confused with what you do, and that’s emulated in your marketing, imagine how your customers and targeted audience feel. The time is now, to find out if you’ve got it wrong.

Seek To Understand

Ask the hard questions from your customers, and supporters, to get replies that help you change direction with your products or service or tweak your brand. It’s tough going through this process of essentially ‘letting down the guard’ i.e. showing a bit of vulnerability, but while some response, will be just critical and unhelpful, you only need a few replies that provide real insight into the perception of your current business and brand, to get you on the right track to success. 🙂

Reputation Damage

Or, you might find that your reputation has been damaged. A brand could be damaged due to an online cyber attack, scandal, low-quality products or service or any number of issues.

Anything that has impacted sales and causes a dip in your business profits may lead to a need for rebranding. With a rebranding, you can address what went wrong and hopefully correct the situation.

Wrong Marketing Strategy

Perhaps you have been struggling to connect with your customers? If you see a low level of engagement, particularly online with depleting website visitors to your blog, and in social media, it’s probable that there is an issue with the marketing content, and it’s relevance with the audience in the channel you’re using but it’s not always the reason.

Logo Brand Ugly

Often, though it really just is your current brand and the fact that it’s failing to resonate with your targeted audience. Therefore, there’s not a lot to lose by adding a fresh lick of paint to it. This is the fun part, as you get to start over with a logo that’s more you. Act quickly too, to stop customers from forgetting your business completely.

Leadership Change

It’s also possible that you need to rebrand to compensate for a change in your business model. This could be a change in the leadership or management of your business. It might also be a fundamental change in what you will be offering customers and clients.

Obviously, if the products or services you are selling are changing your images needs to evolve as well. Some businesses and companies choose to wipe the slate clean when they reveal a new product line. Others will make simple, small changes that will still show clients the key ways the brand is moving forward.

An Overshadow

Perhaps your company has been known for one particular product or service which is now overshadowing everything else. The issue here is that all your other services and solutions are forgotten completely. Even if sales for that first product are through the roof, a rebrand will still be necessary.

Factors To Consider

You do need to make sure that there is a plan in place for how you are going to complete your rebrand. This is not something that you can do without careful thought and consideration. Look at what areas of marketing will be impacted and how it will reshape your business model as a whole.

Furthermore, be aware that customers and clients will want to communicate with your business during the rebranding. They will be eager to learn about the direction that your business is now heading in and essentially, what it means for them. Keep things simple, straightforward and make sure your business is completely accessible during this time.

We hope you find this advice helpful when determining whether your business needs a rebrand.

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Marketing

Fail Safe Digital Marketing To Generate Leads

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Are you achieving your digital marketing goals? If you are, well done but a word of warning – keep going. Success can be our enemy, insofar as it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you’ve done enough.

With achievement, comes a boost in confidence which is welcomed however it can also let complacency in.

How often have you celebrated a job well-done only to experience a drop in results just a few weeks on?

As marketers, we have all been there, so rather than seeking out someone else to blame, we need to look at what we’re doing and change it. 

Dropping the ball on the marketing activity, i.e. doing less of it or eliminately some strategies altogether, is a disaster waiting to happen. Before long, the business leads, in the pipeline, dry up and you’re left wondering why and how did it all go wrong so quickly?

Here are a couple fail safe marketing strategies that are the ‘must-dos’ to keep the business leads flowing.

Content

‘Content is king’ for SEO, generating leads, and fostering advocacy for your business and brand.

Unique relevant articles that show your expertise and inspire readers to share with their followers in social media, should be your top marketing strategy. Read this article to get more insight: Content marketing must-dos in 2019.

There are many third party niche blogs that publish unique content from contributors.  In the content is a backlink to a relevant page on a similar topic on the contributor’s site. It’s easy to see how this works for you – the contributor.  Your site gets more traffic via the backlink.  Commit to this ‘must-do’ strategy.  Outreach agencies understand this strategy really well and as Wendy Piersall says:

Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.

Content marketing steps

  1. Write unique content for your blog every week or more regularly.
  2. Share your content with your profiles on social media
  3. Write or engage a copywriter to write high quality articles for third party publishing blogs
  4. Make sure the 3rd party blog shares the article with their social followers

Take steps 1 – 4 and repeat year in, year out. There is never a time for letting up on content generation and sharing.

Email

How many email newsletters have you sent to your email list so far this year? Many marketers and small business owners start out strong with the best intentions.

However the monthly newsletter turns into quarterly or maybe just one or two a year. This is okay if your business is doing another type of email marketing. Notifying your email subscribers of company updates, or new product or service releases is email marketing too.

There is no one size fits all so your business really has full scope to design an email marketing plan that works for all parties.

Back to the newsletter. If you’re struggling to know what to put in your newsletters, and that’s why you started out strong and then they dried up here is a tip.

Newsletter content

The foundation of your newsletters can be your blog content. It is the perfect fit. So here is what you do to design your newsletters. In your email newsletter template:

  1. Add in the personalised salutation e.g. Hello (first name)
  2. Introduction – complete this section last, i.e. after you have all your content selected and in the template.
  3. Select blog posts that are on your blog.
  4. For each blog post; in your email template, add an image (one that is good for social sharing), title and a couple of unique sentences and a link to read more so your email subscribers can click to read the article in full on your website.
  5. Add in other information that your email subscribers will enjoy. It can be snippets of what you have found online. Be sure to also add in the links so your readers can visit those sites too.
  6. Now you’re ready to complete the introduction. Make it a quick summary of what’s in the newsletter.

It’s really that easy and with these two marketing initiatives you have the foundation from which to add more specific marketing like: Social Media advertising, and also offline marketing initiatives too.

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