Perfect Pairing in Pennsylvania
Nathan Niles entered the professional world with an MBA from Harvard Business School. From there, the companies he worked for varied, from audit strategies to financial planning to nursing homes to dental practices. One thing remained the same – he kept himself in a senior position. He had also owned and operated two companies over the span of his career before starting his search again. One of his businesses advised other owners and helped them to
turn their business around. The other was in the healthcare industry, negotiating sales and helping business owners choose the right direction for them.
Before starting to work with The Firm, Niles had already signed over 15 NDAs and reviewed 20+ companies trying to find the right fit. He went into the process knowing exactly what he was looking for in a business. The perfect company would be local (in Pennsylvania); have a positive, steady, cash flow; have a great positive reputation; and have a diverse client base. Being so specific can lead to some hurdles with finding the correct company, as Niles quickly found out, weeding through dozens of businesses to find the best fit.
“I also wanted to go into something I could understand,” stated Niles. “It didn’t have to be something I had done before.” Niles did review a couple of different opportunities with The Firm before landing on Clifton, Weiss, and Associates. This company seemed like a great fit from the start. The business was well-founded, being around nearly 30 years, had a great reputation and relationship with clients, a strong team in place, and a solid profit year-over-year. After recognizing that this company was the perfect fit, the process went smoothly moving forward, from meetings with the seller, putting an offer in place, and proceeding to the closing table.
Niles had plenty of experience previously with businesses whose success thrived on client relationships as well. The fit was natural from both sides. A big focus getting to the closing table was ensuring that SBA financing could be secured
with this deal. This engineering firm for public and private communication networks was not an asset-heavy business. When speaking with Niles, he surprisingly stated that, “the financing was fairly easy to secure.” One thing that both the bank and the buyer wanted to see was that, “there was some skin in the game for the seller after the sale.” This was a huge piece of getting both the buyer and the bank on board. With the true value of the business lying with the relationships built over 30 years, having the proper introduction and transition into the company was paramount to Niles’ success.
The buyer and seller were able to finalize the sale in October 2019, and Niles got straight to work. To help the transition period, he has decided to be, for the time being, “pretty hands on. I am attending the trade shows, I like going to the meetings internally and meet with clients as well, when needed.” This has allowed Niles to easily integrate himself into the thriving company. Clients and employees have both taken to the new presence, which lends to the idea of
continued success for Niles and everyone else at the company. In short, “everything is going well.” When asked what advice Niles would give to a new buyer, he stated that, “I was pretty selective. I didn’t just jump at the first thing
I saw. Also have the right professionals to back you up.”
Going into the process of finding a business with a team of trusted advisors saved quite a bit of time for Niles in the long run.
“Being prepared is key if you are looking to purchase a business.” The future of CWA is bright with new growth measures already taking place. According to Niles, a new engineer and an auto-CAD technician have recently been brought on board, and they continue to look for a couple of new team members to expand their team. A new system is being implemented to help modernize the business and help with practice management. There is also a CRM sales system coming into play soon – it is all about keeping the business moving forward.
On further growth and expansion, Niles said that they will “continue working organically for now, but it may make sense to buy another similar business in the future.”
Based on his history, we have likely not seen the last of Nathan Niles.