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In the past 18 years, Gateway has helped a vast number of business owners pass on their legacy of success from one entrepreneur to another. Today, we want to share a former client’s story. Mark was more than happy to share his experience so that you can gain valuable insight about the selling process. Whether you are planning to sell your business now, in five years, or in the distant future, this article will deliver insights about what to expect and what it is like to work with the Gateway team.
When I Realized it Was Time to Sell My Business
Mark grew up in England on a farm with his father. After graduating college with a Geology major, he moved to the United States at the age of 22 with only $100 in his pocket. Mark got a job as a logger for an oil company, where he traveled all over the world to different oil sites. The Amazon jungle was one of his favorite trips. Through the oil company, he gained valuable management experience as a supervisor. After getting married, he eventually settled down and decided to start a business of his own. Mark owned and operated a landscaping business for 26 years. His company specialized in residential and commercial maintenance, and construction. Services included lawn maintenance, seasonal color, and installing underground irrigation systems, hardscapes and lightscapes. He grew his company to generate millions of dollars in revenue per year. He brought a partner onboard to support the growing business. In 2012, at the age of 62, Mark lost his only son in a tragic car accident. Wanting to be there for his wife, and having no one to take over his business, he decided that it was time to sell it.
Working with the Gateway Team
At first, Mark listed his business with another broker. A year passed and the broker made no progress. Mark was never contacted about interested buyers. He was left discouraged after the listing agreement had expired with no chance of a sale in sight. Months later, one of our Gateway Brokers reached out to him. Mark was very impressed with Gateway and their team of brokers compared to the other firm he dealt with. “The other Brokers didn’t seem so interested in me or my business. They just weren’t involved or committed to selling my business. The Gateway team was very proactive. We had good rapport, and when I met with them for the first time, I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, I can work with them. They are a group I can trust.’”
Gateway was focused on finding the right buyers to purchase the business. They listened to his needs, such as what type of buyers he thought would fit best with his employees and customers. Mark said that the team was very responsive to his calls. They also communicated very well and had a sense of humor, which was very important to Mark when it came to working with a broker. Even when things got tough during the process, they could find the humor in the situation and move forward with a solution. A number of obstacles popped up during the closing process with Mark’s difficult partner. The Gateway team was very diplomatic, skilled at removing obstacles, and supportive throughout the highs and lows of the entire selling process.
Gateway introduced several buyers; some with prior experience in the landscaping industry and some without. The search continued until a potential buyer with a similar customer base was found. His intent was to cross-market services between the two companys’ client bases. They did not have direct hands-on experience in landscaping, but it was a synergistic match. A few years prior to the sale, Mark hired an operations manager so that a future new owner could have a strong operator and a customer liaison in place. The business was finally sold within a year of listing with Gateway. The landscaping company that Mark spent 26 of his life building is still operating and profitable to this day. Looking back, Mark wishes he would have found Gateway in 2012. He felt he had wasted time trying to sell his business himself, then wasted one more year listing his business with another brokerage firm. Mark was very pleased with the aggressive way Gateway worked as a team to sell his business.