How can we build a road for young people right into the speedway of our economy? The answer lies in the most important driver not only of our regional economy but also the biggest driver of America's net new job growth: small business ownership. We can make it happen by making capital available to young professionals with five or ten years of experience.

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Sharon Heaton featured in Baltimore Sun Op-Ed

Many millennials are in the “gig” economy, working freelance to pay the bills, loaded up with student debt. sb LiftOff CEO, Sharon Heaton presents a solution to these millennial woes, a solution not being promoted at business schools today — why not help the young buy a cash generating small business? Writes Heaton, “viable small businesses represent a bridge for a young person to walk right into America's Main Street economy.”

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Facing the Anxiety of Selling Your Business

Are the complexities of selling your business and the uncertainty that follows causing you to defer the process? If so, you’re not alone. Selling your company will result in many life changes – that’s just reality. To lift off to your next goal in life, follow the steps of business owners who have successfully sold their business.

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2018 Deal Flow

We are seeing tremendous deal flow in 2018 with activity predicted to surpass last year. But is this the best time for you to sell your company?

Let’s look at what the data suggests about your prospects for selling now.

According to the National Center for the Middle Market, revenue growth in the lower middle markets has been consistent since 2015 with only a slight dip in growth between the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2017. Since 2015, deal flow has remained steady with a modest dip in the first half of 2016 but then a quick climb in the second half.

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A Seller’s Year

2018 is sizing up to be a very strong year for sellers of privately-held businesses. According to Deloitte’s recent M&A Trends Report, expectations are high for an uptick in deal activity in the new year. About sixty-eight percent (68%) of executives at US corporations and seventy-six percent (76%) of leaders at US private equity firms believe deal flow will increase in the next twelve (12) months.

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Eighty percent of businesses will not sell...

Why? Because owners fail to take the critical steps required to ensure that their business is transferable.

In fact, most owners do not even know what their company is worth. So many owners fall for the EBITDA myth that makes its way around golf courses and dinner parties – that you can know the value of a business by taking earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and multiplying it by 5. It might turn out that way. Then again that calculation could be way off.

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Will you be able to sell your business when you want to or will your business flat line as you prepare to sell?

Whether you have a satisfying liquidity event when you sell or not rests on if you have built a business that can be transferred successfully.

Many owners we speak with are very proud of the fact that they personally know all of their customers, are best friends with their vendors and are so busy that they could not dream of taking a 2-week vacation. They are shocked when we tell them that they are doing a great job creating income but may not be creating any enduring value.

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Pay It Forward This Thanksgiving

It's starting to get cold and for many of us that means getting out a warm coat. But there are families and children in our community who are hungry and cold. At this time of the year when Americans traditionally give thanks, we at sb LiftOff are grateful to launch our Corporate Responsibility Program...and give to Cornerstones.

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State of Owner Readiness

sb LiftOff is sponsoring an innovative survey of business owners in the National Capitol Area to examine the “State of Owner Readiness.” This is a critically important piece of research because national surveys have shown that only 20 to 30% of businesses that go on the market actually sell.

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A record number of small business owners are selling their companies

Trendlines show record sales of small businesses in 2016, with no signs of abating this year. The article reports a total of nearly 8,000 closed transactions of small business sales tracked on BizBuySell, the highest number since that company first began tracking the data in 2007. The Washington Post report points to high valuations as well as the fact that many baby boomers are anxious to “exit stage left” and move on to their next goal in life..

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Market Pulse Q4 2016 Survey Results

This report provides key metrics on the market conditions for businesses being sold in Main Street (values $0-$2MM) and the lower middle market (values $2MM- $50MM). This national survey was conducted to provide a valuable resource to business owners and their advisors thinking about transitions. The IBBA and M&A Source have produced this Market Pulse Survey with the support of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project and the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management.

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Steps Small Business Owners Can Take For Retirement

Kristin Nelson, Head of Private Business Owner Solutions at Bank of the West, talks to about how business owners can chart a safe course toward their ideal succession plan. Nelson discusses what steps you need to take for a smooth transition so you can successfully monetize your business.

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Deloitte Global Economic Outlook: Q2 2016

Deliotte's Global Economic Outlook examines the volatility in 2016. The writers say uncertainty around several key factors are influencing the global economy. These include worries about the depth of China’s slowdown and the Chinese policy response, the rapid fall in oil prices and the impact on energy company finances, the sustainability of the US recovery, and the potential for a reversion to deflation in Europe. The uncertainty, says Deloitte, persists even if extreme volatility has abated.

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Q1 2016 Market Pulse Survey

International Business Brokers Associations

The quarterly Market Pulse Survey published by the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), M& A Source and the Pepperdine Private Capital Market Project found that retirement is the number one reason that sellers go to market, but the type of buyer varies with business size as does the approach for ensuring a successful transaction.

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Are You Hoping To Sell Your Business? Get Ready Now

Millennial founders of the NY-based RocketHub, one of the first US crowdfunding platforms, were acquired for $15 million. Their success story reminds us what it takes to get a business positioned for successful sale. It takes a plan that creates exit options — something every baby boomer business owner needs.

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10 M&A trends for the middle markets

An improving economy and the retirement plans of baby boomers are two of the driving forces behind merger and acquisition activity lately, according to a recent Citizens Commercial Banking survey. This Fortune article examines 10 trends driving bullish M&A activity in the middle market.

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Due Diligence: Successful Business Transitions

sb LiftOff helps you achieve a deeper understanding of how various types of buyers might see your business so you know what to expect. With a goal of increasing buyer competition, sb LiftOff develops a compelling narrative for your company that peeks buyer interest and expands the buyer pool. LiftOff’s professionals have extensive experience keeping deals on track from initial NDA through due diligence to closing.

Value Enhancement

As skilled value enhancement advisors we can pinpoint key building blocks to grow business value. Together with owners we tackle such value drivers as strength of management, risk management, accuracy of financials, compliance, and overall transferability. Our value enhancement engagements focus on the most strategic changes that kick off the biggest bang for the buck over the shortest period of time.

Secrets to a Successful Sale

sbLiftOff believes a careful process and a close partnership between Seller and M&A advisor is critical to achieving a successful transaction. Decades of experience have led us to conclude that our three part process delivers best value for Sellers. Our process and the secrets to a successful sale are in this short info-movie!