The Successful Sale of Tampa’s Largest Fishing Retail Center

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The Successful Sale of Tampa’s Largest Fishing Retail Center

Once upon a time in sunny Tampa, Florida, two brothers, Jack and Ryan (not their real names), inherited their father’s legacy—a large and bustling fishing retail center that was a staple in the local community. This business wasn’t just a store; it was a gathering place for fishing enthusiasts and a testament to their father’s lifelong passion and hard work. The brothers were deeply committed, often working long hours and managing every aspect of operations themselves.

The brothers were referred to Legacy M&A Advisor by another client who has sold their business. We were delighted to meet, especially this was a true legacy Business in Tampa and one we knew well.We began with an interview and our “Start with the Heart” approach to understanding the business owner’s real need.

It would’ve been easy to push to take the listing, especially since they were both tired and worn out. I’m very much ready to be free of the business. But we knew we had to explore and understand more. We had to be sure we were doing the right thing. So we explored and we try to learn as much as we could.

Early Challenges

Despite their hard work, the brothers faced significant challenges when they considered selling the business. Their operations, while profitable, were complex and confusing to outsiders. For instance, their record-keeping was unclear, especially concerning their sporadic online sales which peaked during Christmas with special promotions. It was evident that potential buyers might be deterred by the disorganized nature of the business.

Legacy Tampa’s Intervention

When Legacy Venture Group’s Tampa Business Brokers first met with Jack and Ryan, it was clear that while the brothers were excellent at running a store, preparing for a sale was a different ballgame. Our team introduced them to our Value Driver Program, which focuses on identifying and enhancing the aspects of a business that truly increase its value.

Over the next 18 months, the brothers implemented significant changes with our guidance. They elevated four key employees to managerial roles, each overseeing a crucial part of the business: front-of-house operations, purchasing, repairs and inventory, and, crucially, online sales.

Strategic Improvements

To bolster their online presence, the brothers partnered with a marketing company specializing in digital promotion. This move not only increased their online sales but also led to more consistent repeat business from satisfied customers. Furthermore, they hired a fractional CFO and worked with a reputable accounting firm to streamline their financial records, making the business much more transparent and appealing to potential buyers.

Enhancing Financial Health and Attracting Buyers

These strategic changes had a profound impact on the financial standing of the business, significantly increasing its valuation. An important milestone was achieved when the business was prequalified for an SBA loan. This prequalification was pivotal as it expanded the pool of potential buyers, making the business accessible to those who could afford to buy it with just 10% to 20% down.

Moreover, because we were able to include the real estate in the deal, individual investors found the option of spreading payments over 25 years for both the business and the real estate highly attractive. This arrangement not only made the business more appealing but also met the stringent guidelines of SBA requirements, showcasing the brothers’ strategic foresight and our meticulous planning.

;A Successful Exit

When it was time to put the business on the market, Legacy Venture Group’s Tampa Business Broker team did not just look for any buyer. We targeted strategic buyers and private equity groups who could understand the value of the revamped operations. Surprisingly, the business caught the attention of an entrepreneur from an entirely different industry who was impressed by the streamlined operations and clear financials.

Legacy Preserved

The sale was a resounding success. Both Jack and Ryan were able to retire comfortably, knowing they had enhanced and preserved the business legacy their father had left them. The new owner continued to grow the business, respecting its heritage and community role.

Throughout this journey, Legacy Tampa Business Brokers were by their side, helping to identify areas for improvement, facilitating changes, and finally, ensuring a smooth and profitable sale. This story not only highlights the importance of preparation and professional guidance when selling a business but also illustrates how a well-thought-out strategy can transform a legacy into a continued promise.
This tale from Tampa serves as a beacon to business owners everywhere, showing that with the right help and a willingness to adapt, you can transition your business to new hands while securing your financial future and honoring the past.

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