Things To Do Before Getting Into Deal-Making
Pete Moore is the Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Dream Architect at Integrity Square (ISQ). The leading boutique financial advisory firm and an early-stage investor in the HALO sector. He started the HALO Sector, HALO Movement and Podcast - HALO Talks.
Since founding ISQ in 2010, the firm has played an active advisory role in 100+ mergers & acquisitions, private placement, and advisory assignments across North America, Europe, and Asia. He and his team have also invested in passionate entrepreneurs at Switch Playground, HigherDOSE, XTEND, Greco Fitness, Promotion Vault, and The Athlete Book. He is also the author of the recently released book “Time To Win Again.”
As a kid, Pete never dreamed his career path would turn out quite this way, but he did have early exposure to the internal workings of a business. His father’s career, as the CEO of a beverage equipment company, gave him a chance to explore a new potential passion. He’d go into the office with his father, exploring all the pieces of the company from the manufacturing plant to watching his father do the daily inventory.
He remembers making his first deal at age eight by selling free shells from Sanibel Island to his elementary school friends. He’d add googly eyes and sell them at lunch to his elementary school friends. He had an early understanding of a good profit margin.
Pete thought when he grew up he’d be a general manager or CEO of a small business. All that changed when he got to business school. He discovered there’s an investment banking operation that focuses on advising older people in building generational wealth. From humble ambition as a child to his amazing success now, Pete is a great example of the path to becoming a deal-maker.
What Is Wellness To A Deal-Maker
Pete found his first niche in wellness, but it wasn’t an obvious choice for him. He struggled with the idea of what “wellness” is. He said the idea of pitching someone “wellness” felt like a mic drop at the Comedy Cellar down in the East Village.
Then he stumbled upon the origin of wellness and something clicked in him. The origin of wellness comes from Halbert L. Dunn, M.D. He was the leading figure in establishing a national vital statistics system in the United States and is known as the "father of the wellness movement".
Dunn distinguished between good health—not being ill—and what he termed high-level wellness, which he defined as "a condition of change in which the individual moves forward, climbing toward a higher potential of functioning". His ideas led to his book, High Level Wellness, published in 1961.
For Pete, the idea of just being “okay” or “not sick” isn’t enough. He wants everyone to strive to feel amazing. In the wellness industry, he found that same drive. When your values align it’s easier to find and create deals with others who share and understand your values.
Getting All The Answers
You might be surprised to realize that typically, deals are in the preparation phase for at least two to three months before the deal occurs. That time is spent collecting all the due diligence, answering all questions, and making all parties hyper-aware of the details of both the company and the deal.
Many entrepreneurs get caught up in the returns and scale of a deal, ignoring the preparations one needs to get out of the way before meeting a buyer. Those wrapped up in “the unit economics” and may need to be reminded of the nuances of the deal. Unit economics, in simple words, are the direct costs and revenues associated with a business model on a per-unit basis. A unit refers to any quantifiable item that creates value for a business. If we’re talking about a retail store, its unit economics is the amount of revenue it’s able to generate every month from each single customer.
But Pete does a beautiful job of explaining that investors are searching for the simplicity of the model. They want to know why it works and then to see the growth plan. Then, you move on the valuation vs the realistic value of the deal.
These are all important elements but not everything there is to the deal. To truly prepare, the deal-maker needs their client to answer all the questions a buyer might ask in advance. Collect those answers before meeting and see if the story checks out. This helps with alignment between client and deal-maker.
Preparing For The Deal
As the business owner, there are things you need to know to avoid working with strangers that know nothing about your business and ending up in bad deals or deals that don’t go anywhere. These are the steps Pete and Corey laid out to prepare for the deal:
- Know the real timeline. It’s tempting to say you want to sell or complete the deal in a month or two but it takes time to fully prepare for a deal. Have a realistic timeline in mind. Communicate with everyone involved about any hurdles that might slow that timeline.
- Know exactly what you want. Are you comfortable with major changes in your company after the deal, personnel changes, brand changes, etc? Do you want certain foundational elements retained? Or do you not mind change, you’re just looking for the best way out? There are many ways a deal can go. Make sure you know the outcome that will truly make you happy.
- Make sure you have everything clean, clear and simple. Complicating your business plan with buzzwords or far off growth plans won’t help close a deal. Keep it simple. Make sure that the back end is clean. Know how to clearly explain your business. Can you sum it up in the elevator pitch?
Pete and Corey explore all these concepts before diving into the future of deal-making, how to run a business like a pro-sport team, and his latest book. This episode is packed with honest talk from two pro-deal-makers.
Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.
If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!