Selling your business is the biggest financial decision a person can make. It takes a lot of planning to make sure everything goes right and business owner receives what his or her company is worth. Educating business owners and professionals about the selling process was the goal behind Tuesday’s Mergers and Acquisitions Forum held at the Bridgewood Resort Hotel and Conference Center in Neenah.
More than 175 people attended the forum, which featured keynote speaker Vince Shiely of Lubar & Company, a panel discussion and educational breakout sessions.
Shiely’s keynote presentation focused on how people can change their lives with 10 simple ideas. During his career, Shiely worked with businesses around the world and identified a common mistake made not only locally, but on a worldwide scale.
“The power of a business is the ability to bring resources together and focus on something great,” he says. “One thing businesses have in common all over the world is they lose focus. They start with things like new products that they think are good ideas and lose track of the reality that there are bad ideas, and the organization loses focus on what it was intended to do.”
It’s no secret that employees strive for happiness within their job and Shiely reveals a simple trick that helps raise morale of employees across all industries.
“You have to be genuine. When you walk out on the manufacturing floor with a genuine smile on your face, your employees will react from that,” he says. “When you are talking to an employee, don’t look past them and figure out who you are going to talk to next. You must engage with them.”
Shiely also focused on the idea of how far a single compliment can go with employees.
“Sometimes, it’s not about the pay. Employees want to be complimented,” he says. “People like to be told they are doing well, and you need to look around and look at those within your company and tell them they are doing a great job.”
Following Shiely’s keynote presentation, a panel discussion focused on the idea of how to successfully handle a business merger or acquisition. The panel consisted of Anthony Cavalco, president and CEO of TruVenture; Michael Daniels, president and CEO of Nicolet National Bank; Steve Elias, president of BAYCOM Inc.; and Corey Vanderpoel, managing director and owner of Taureau Group. Ann Hanna of the Taureau Group served as the panel facilitator.
During the discussion, a single word was mentioned during multiple questions: relationships.
“When you are going through a merger or acquisition, you need to build relationships not only with the sellers and buyers, but with the employees as well,” Cavalco says. “You must be present when the announcement is made.”
As the discussion went on, Vanderpoel focused on the importance of transparency.
“Transparency is important for all mergers and/or acquisitions,” he says. You need to get all the skeletons out of the closets, which is not a fun thing to do. But it is a vital part of the overall process.”
The Mergers and Acquisitions Forum was presented by Insight Publications, in partnership with Taureau Group; Nicolet National Bank; M3 Company and Godfrey Kahn.