Landing the Plane: Your Exit via Valuation, Internal Transfer, Merger/Acquisition

Seminar Synopsis

Our all-new "Landing the Plane" seminar is a must for principals looking to maximize the value of their creative and digital firms by building towards a succession process... whether it happens or not. We are holding a 1-day intimate seminar in Atlanta, GA to help you plan an exit, whether that means a sale, an ownership transfer, or simply a better work/life balance. If you are ready to pick your head up and think about your particular future, consider joining us. Lunch, dinner, and all beverages (alcoholic and otherwise) are included.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022 9am-3:30pm, with optional networking and socializing events scheduled in the afternoon and evening


Monday Night Garage in Atlanta, GA


$2,200 per attendee. Use "earlybird" for $250 off by May 31.

Agenda (subject to change)

  • 09:00a Introduction and Introductions: When and why succession surfaces
  • 10:00a What Is Your Firm Worth? Valuation theory and application to your firm
  • 11:30a What Do Buyers Look For? And what do they actually care about?
  • 12:00p Lunch
  • 01:30p How Do You Market Yourself? Crafting your own firm's story when looking for a buyer
  • 02:00p How Do You Navigate a Deal? Dealing with that first offer
  • 02:30p When Should You Sell? Typical buyer and seller scenarios
  • 03:00p Unique Challenges of an Internal Transfer to an Employee
  • 03:30p Networking Behind-the-scenes brewery tour, with plenty of samples
  • 07:00p Dinner Private dining at local favorite Aziza


Not included, but suggested booking at Bellyard Hotel, within walking distance of dinner (and stumbling distance back). Note: Lunch, dinner, and all beverages (alcoholic and otherwise) are included.

A core belief that informs my advisory work with independent, expert marketing firms is this: firms fail or thrive based almost entirely on the quality of their business decisions. However creative you are, unless your business is run on sound principles you’re not going to be around long, and your actual and potential clients won’t benefit from your expertise.

A prime example of this challenge is the fact that very few firms succeed past the original owner group. While I have led 160+ equity transactions of all types, it’s still rare. Do you want to be one of the firms that maximizes your investment? Do you want to know how buying and selling works, where the buyers come from, how they evaluate a firm like yours, and what they’re willing to pay? And would you like to run your firm so that it’s far more likely that you’ll benefit from succession?

If so, this one-day intensive is for you. It’s our rarest (only once every few years) and most expensive (there are no other sources for this, specifically for smaller marketing firms) and it’s only for principals or employees who want to buy a firm, but you’ll be amazed at what you can learn in a solid day.

Every firm that attends is not for sale, and few of them will be, but you’ll learn as much from fellow attendees--their struggles and triumphs--as you do from the material.

We’ll talk about when and why you are most likely to begin thinking about this. Oddly enough, it’s not tied directly to your age but one particular financial obligation and two challenges that tend to wear principals out.

We’ll then put our science hats on and walk through valuation theory and application. You’ll learn about weighting, multiples, EBITDA adjustments, normalizing principal compensation, inverse multiples, equity vs. goodwill, client concentration penalties, and standard deviation. You’ll be able to play with the formulas and get a rough idea of your firm’s value.

Then we’ll put a buyer’s hat on and look at your firm like they will. What’s important and what isn’t. You’ll be surprised by a few things, like how unimportant (to them) your employee base is and how important other things are.

Then you’ll craft your own plan for dealing with that inevitable offer that will come your way. What do you tell them and when, and what’s should you do on your own before bringing a professional into the picture? We’ll describe the story (only in part financial) that you’ll craft to maximize the value of your firm.

A significant amount of time will reveal the major buyer/seller scenarios, like holding companies, equal mergers, acqui-hires, non-traditional buyers, strategic purchases, buying capacity, selling only the accounts, and of course the intricacies of transitioning the firm to one or more key employees.

Finally, the future is coming so quickly that we’d better start planning it now since it’ll be here sooner than the last future was.

I hope you can join us in Atlanta on Tuesday, June 28. Feel free to bring a significant other with you to join for dinner.

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