Quick Calder Q&A with Advisor Shane Kissack

Shane Kissack, Calder Capital & Small Business Deal Advisors M&A Advisor

Why did you become a business broker?

Ten years ago I was building my own small businesses – several of them – simultaneously.  The work I did expanding those enterprises culminated in positive exit experiences when I sold two of the businesses a few years later.  Although I used a business broker for one of the transactions, I discovered that my background and knowledge were accretive to managing the process myself with the buyer and our respective attorneys for the second sale. 

Following the sales of my businesses, I remained in an advisory role to the new ownership developing business plans, growth plans, budgets, succession plans, and even exit plans. 

From there I was enlisted to lend my skills to an economic development enterprise, managing real estate development projects and guiding developers and companies through incentive programs in conjunction with local government and state partners.  Tasked with attraction, retention, and expansion of these businesses, I developed a keen understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that growth affords.

What has resulted, is a career in business brokerage – the intersection of my acumen for business strategy and my personal experience. 

What kinds of businesses do you like to work with?

I enjoy working with independent business owners because I’ve been in their position.  I am very comfortable with businesses in the $800,000 – $10MM valuation range.  For me, it is not about the industry, but rather the ownership structure that determines the right fit.  Independent and family-owned businesses are in every industry.  Whether the business is a brick-and-mortar retail franchise, a hospitality business, a manufacturer, or a company that provides services to the residential and commercial construction industry, we are able to add tremendous value to the entire sales process by bringing multiple qualified buyers and managing the details – which is exactly how it should be.

Why did you join Calder Capital?

I joined Calder Capital in 2020 to launch the Chicago office.  The firm started in Michigan seven years ago, growing organically to expand into Indiana and Illinois – a natural path around the lake.  The blend of enthusiasm, attentiveness, and technology is an anomaly in the M&A space. Continued investments in new technology and proprietary data are balanced with an emphasis on delivering an outstanding customer experience.  After all, the primary characteristics of a successful M&A transaction where I focus (businesses valued between $800,00 and $10MM) are financial and emotional.

Calder Capital has assembled a team of experts in their fields – former bankers, analysts, CPAs, and business owners and sellers.  I appreciate that we have an established platform to ensure clients have access to every area of expertise they may need, even if that includes something as complex as retirement and pension obligations in a valuation model.  We are, in fact, a collection of resources who bring differing strengths and experience to the table.

One of the most unique and compelling aspects of Calder Capital, for me, is the Small Business Deal Advisors structure.  As a firm, we recognize that not all transactions require the full-service approach and accompanying fee that Calder Capital commands.  For many clients, we are able to effectuate transactions at a lesser fee structure while retaining the personalized, relationship-driven approach that has made us successful from the beginning.  As a business owner nearly a decade ago, I wasn’t aware of a single platform business broker that developed a structure like this.  I paid full success fees to my business broker nearly a decade ago, and now I get to tell other owners who may benefit:  there is a lower cost option out there.

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Shane Kissack is a principal at our Chicago Metro office and can be reached here.

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