Selling a Business or Buying a Business? Trust the #1 VR M&A Office

Buying a Business Exit Strategy - Selling a Business Selling a Business Successful Business Sales 

Lakes Business Group in Wisconsin, the Top Producing VR Office in 2019

Every year the annual VR Awards presentation is at their annual conference in Florida in early April.  Because of our national crisis and quarantine the event was cancelled, so today the awards were announced.  We are thrilled to report that, again, our office is the #1 Internationally Ranked VR Office for 2019!

Lakes Business Group has the best team in the field of sales, acquisitions, and valuations of middle market privately held businesses.  Our office is honored to receive this award for the sixth consecutive year.  It is with the leading of Tim Bullard and partner, Mark Smith, both former business owners who know first-hand the challenges that face a privately held business.  Since starting the business in 2008, this award winning team was built.

Joe Braier was recognized by winning the VR Mergers & Acquisitions Award.  This prestigious honor is based on the largest transaction in VR during the calendar year and combined mid-market leadership by an individual.  Joe has been a top advisor to companies locally, nationally, and internationally.  He has been recognized over 30 times through the VR Victory Awards program, making him one of the most decorated individuals in the VR organization.  His reputation for transparency, diligence, and negotiation skills are attributes that help lead the team at VR Lakes Business Group.

JoAnn Lombardi, President of VR Mergers & Acquisitions, stated,  “We could be no prouder than to present Joe Braier with the VR M&A Award. We have observed him grow to one of the leaders in the VR organization, always willing to help and assist others when asked. He is part of a team in Wisconsin that helps drive VR’s growth in the midmarket. Congratulations to Joe for all his hard work and dedication.”

The top ten producers were announced and as you can see why our office received the #1 ranked office as we have 5 of the top 10 VR Associates in 2019.  Congratulations to Joe Braier, Mark Smith, Michael Szmanda, Andrew Schmelzer and Larry Heck for this award!

VR Hall of Fame Inductee, Tim Bullard, Business Advisor, M&A

Tim Bullard - M&A AdivsorTim Bullard, CEO and President, is recognized for helping with the VR organization through his commitment, expertise and willing assistance by being inducted into the VR Hall of Fame.   In the VR organization, Tim is one of only two people to have been twice honored as the VR Most Valuable Intermediary of the year and is now in the Hall of Fame.  “Today we honor Tim and induct him in the VR Hall of Fame. His body of work inside the VR organization is without reproach. He has built a reputation for assisting clients, members of his local team, and those across the VR network. We look forward too many more years of working together, and enjoying a good laugh along the way”, stated Peter C. King, CEO of VR Business Brokers / Mergers & Acquisitions.

When you are looking to sell your business or acquire an add-on or become a business owner, look no further than Lakes Business Group, #1 Business Advisors.  Contact us through our website or call 262-347-2083


Successful Business Sales 

October 1, 2019

Lakes Business Group, Inc. help complete the acquisition of this restaurant chain in Illinois by a private investor.  Congratulations to our sales rep, Joe Braier , and to the new owners of this established business.

This business, with the real estate, was on the market for only 108 days before closing the deal!  With an established brand, great staff, stable earnings, low owner dependency, and several other positive attributes, this was an amazing opportunity for this buyer.

Some of the highlights of this business included:

    • Strong Brand Loyalty of Customer Base
    • Seasoned Management at each location
    • Ownership is semi-absentee – executive level.
    • Significant Historical Positive Cash Flow.
    • All Real Estate Locations were available for Purchase
    • Several Opportunities for Growth & Expansion
    • An incredible platform for any restaurant entrepreneur to build off a solid foundation
Joe Braier - Business Broker, CVA
Joe Braier

Manufacturing Business SOLD!

Sold Successful Business Sales 

A successful metal manufacturing business was successfully transferred to a new owner on August 1. The original owner started this business in 1993 and was ready to retire. The business was bought by a private investor.

The company operates over 15 CNC machines, a number of lathes and grinding machines with over 20 experienced employees.  The needed flexibility to deliver large production lots as well as smaller quantities on a timely basis for its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) customers helped the profitability of this business.

Operating in a 13,500 square foot building owned by the original seller. This real estate was not part of the acquisition.

There was much interest in this business as over 120 individuals inquired on this listing. The interested parties were private equity groups as well as private investors.

Congratulations goes to all the parties involved in this successful business transaction!

#1 Business Sales for 2018

Selling a Business Successful Business Sales 

The annual International VR Conference was held the end of April. Three of our team members were able to attend and receive their individual awards and the #1 VR Office Award.

For the fifth year in a row, the Lakes Business Group VR Office was number 1 in sales. We have maintained our ranking with the leadership we have and the team that has been assembled over the years.

Showing how special the team of people we have in the Lakes Business Group office, six of our team members were in the top ten sales representatives for 2018. They are:

# 1 Andy Schmelzer
# 2 Joe Braier
# 3 Larry Heck
# 4 Michael Szmanda
# 8 Mark Smith
#10 Tim Bullard

Below are three of our sales reps receiving their awards. From left to right: Joe Braier, Andy Schmelzer and Mark Smith.

Successful Business Deal Closings

Sold Successful Business Sales 

2019 has been a busy year so far with businesses changing hands. Our office had 6 closings in the past few weeks and we have three more set to close in the next couple weeks.

These are the business transactions that have recently closed:
#1426 – Bar/Restaurant/Banquet Facility $1,300,000
#1309 – RV Dealership $1,000,000
#1255 – Commercial Printing Business $615,000
#1343 – Supplier of Marine Accessories $400,000
#1337 – Electrical Contractor $395,000
#1383 – Boat Rental Business $360,000

These business deals have been in various industries.

With interest rates still reasonable this is a good time to sell or buy a business. Our award winning team is ready to assist with an exit strategy.

Transitioning after Selling your Business

Exit Strategy - Selling a Business lifestyle Selling a Business Successful Business Sales 
Our team at Lakes Business Group has helped hundreds of business owners through the process of selling their business.  It’s a big change for most of the business owners we work with, many have been contemplating it for a while and have future plans and others have just decided it’s time to move on.

Regardless of the reason, when a business owner decides to exit the business, the process can be an emotional time. Part of the transition is communicating with your employees and the emotions and stress that they may feel during the transition period.  Also, you and the new owner assessing how to tell the customers, suppliers and any other key people associated with the business.

From feelings of relief and excitement to disturbed, anger and concern about the future of the business as well as your future without the business as part of your life.   It is okay to take the time to mourn this loss.  You now have the time to slow down and consider the next step.

The article in tells of an owner who sold her company to pursue a dream of living abroad which gave her new perspectives. passport for travel overseas

“When I sold my company to Caliber Corporate Advisors, I spent two months pursuing my dream of raising my children overseas by living in Nicaragua and Costa Rica,” says Joy Schoffler, Founder of a FinTech focused PR firm, Leverage PR. “It was really amazing getting the time to read, paddle board, and just be.”

“Now that I am home and back in the swing of things, I am looking at everything in a new light. In addition to continuing to serve as a senior advisor at Leverage PR and on AARP’s and SXSW’s Accelerator advisory boards, I have gotten a chance to serve as an advisor to companies I’ve had a passion for over the years: Wealth Migrate and The Experience Firm. Having the time and energy to dedicate to companies I believe in is a really cool part of this phase,” adds Schoffler.


Need for an Exit Strategy

Of course there is always a percentage of business owners who regret their decision after it is sold.  If you are contemplating and exit strategy in the next 5 or so years, begin your plan now rather than waiting.  Planning now reduces the risk of regretting the sale.  If you need help in a future exit plan, reach out to our team of business advisors who can help with information that can help.

Reputable Recycling Center Business Sold

Sold Successful Business Sales 
Congratulations to Michael Szmanda for assisting in the sale of a highly reputable recycling center located in Northern Illinois.  Michael has been working with the seller since last March to find the find the right buyer and close the deal.

The seller was looking to retire and has kept the business well organized with a strong team in place.   Business Sold

Congratulations to the new buyer of this profitable turn-key business and to the seller as he looks to enjoy his retirement!


Acquisition of Manufacturing Company

Sold Successful Business Sales 
Congratulations to Larry Heck on the successful transaction of a niche plastic molder business in Wisconsin. Sell Your Business - have an exit plan

This plastic molder manufacturer has been in business for over 40 years producing an array of products for businesses and consumers.  with contracts in place for the larger accounts and a great customer distribution, this business was very well diversified and stable. There is plenty of additional room for growth in each of the two divisions.  Growing by adding new customers or products or by way of marketing and selling directly to end users.

Included in the sale of the business was over nine acres of land with facilities totaling over 74,000 square feet.

Congratulations to the new owner and to all involved in the sale!

Northern Illinois Wholesale Food Distributor Successful Transaction

Mergers & Acquisitions Sold Successful Business Sales 
An Illinois food distributor has been successfully transferred to a new owner.  The seller was ready to retire after operating the business for several years. The new owner has an incredible brand that is known for customer service and reliability. 

This company has a niche in providing a wide variety of ingredients throughout the bakery industry.  Man making pizza at profitable restaurant bar for sale

This wholesale food distributor was on the market for 5 months and had over 90 inquiries.  So congratulations to our sales rep, Joe Braier and to the new owner.  Also, best of luck to the seller in his retirement!

Successful Transfer of Business

Sold Successful Business Sales 
SOLD - successful business transactionCongratulations to Andy Schmelzer for assisting with a successful business transaction of a community based residential facility (CBRF). We also want to congratulate the new owner of this profitable, well run CBRF/Assisted Living operation in southeastern Wisconsin. And, finally to wish the sellers best of luck in their retirement!

This business opportunity was sold within six months of being signed with our office. In those six months, there have been over 50 inquiries. This business sale included the property.