So you want to sell your SaaS? The dos and donts when Selling Your SaaS with Lowell Ricklefs of Traction Advising

Traction Advising is a mergers and acquisitions company that bases its operations on credibility, experience, trust, and results. It works with B2B SaaS companies in Europe and North America to facilitate the success of their transactions. Lowell Ricklefs is experienced in buying and selling over 30 businesses. He talks to Geordie about his journey.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Importance of executing roles based on your skill set
  • The two core categories that Traction Advising works with
  • Why founders sell their companies
  • Why selling smaller companies can be difficult
  • How to maximize the number of potential clients you meet at a conference
  • What sets Traction Advising away from its competitors?
  • Why private equity and buyers are crucial in the business world
  • Factors to consider before finding a co-founder

In this episode…

Lowell’s professional background is admirable. First, he has an operating background and worked in local engineering and computer science industries. He also helped various mid-market and fortune 500 companies to scale before exiting. He co-founded a healthcare FinTech company before acquiring many companies during that phase of his life.

At some point, he realized he wasn’t getting sufficient satisfaction. He figured there was more to selling companies than what he was doing then. This triggered a change in their approach. Listen to the podcast for more details about his discovery.

Lowell understands how challenging starting and managing a company can be. To ease some of these challenges, his company helps other businesses research their buyers before creating a confidential data presentation. They also do outreach and hold fireside chats with business founders. Lowell and his team also help companies to negotiate with potential investors.

Worth mentioning is that Traction Advising doesn’t hold fundraisers. Lowell says the company works with two key categories, which you can learn from the podcast. Are you wondering why Lowell, an experienced founder, didn’t consider establishing another SaaS company? He says he lacked original ideas to manage the company.

While he had been a co-founder previously, he only relied on his co-founder’s ideas to manage the company. Instead, he chose to represent small SaaS companies in a better way to do it than what investment banks were doing.

Lowell and his team consider various factors before working with a business. He says they consider the business’ actual revenue, growth rate, customer concentration, and net retention. They also weigh their options to determine their chances of selling the company based on the founder’s expectations.

What does Traction Advising do to help companies scale or reach their goals? While Lowell says they hardly advise companies anymore, he mentions some best practices he believes in. He says that founders should believe they have an excellent solution that someone in the world needs, yet they’ve never heard of it. Lowell also offers some crucial insights founders can benefit from.

Get all the details from the podcast. Lowell says conferences are another core way of scaling up a business fast. By attending conferences, founders can meet potential buyers. However, they have to display their businesses in front of prospective buyers. Traction Advising prefers vertical niches.

According to Lowell, selling horizontal products can be tricky because, besides competing against large players, you must raise lots of money. An example of a business that is hard to sell would be one in the advertising technology industry. Unlike when such businesses were popular, the modern-day buyer is skeptical. Find out why from the podcast.

What are some of the factors that accelerate a company’s success? Lowell says a company with an exceptional founder would be more successful than one with multiple co-founders. Buyers are also interested in companies with capital efficiency. Bootstrapped companies also attract more buyers.

Finding a qualified co-founder can be difficult, but Lowell has some insights to ease the task. Get his sentiments from the podcast. Traction Advising understands SaaS products can have a shelf life, with older companies becoming less popular than new ones. Lowell says Traction tracks your code to determine the type of code a company uses and establish its authenticity. Sometimes they may be forced to rewrite the entire code to modernize the business. However, Lowell quickly mentions that competing with big companies with lots of money can be hard, especially for startups and small companies. Lowell concludes the podcast by giving founders considering an exit some critical tips. Get these crucial tips from the podcast.