The Sunbelt Business Brokers Network is an international leader in mediation for the purchase and sale of businesses. In 2017, Estuardo Trujillo led the company’s expansion into Guatemala as the principal managing partner. For over 26 years, Trujillo has occupied the roles of Affiliate President, General Manager, Global M&A Project Advisor, and Transition Manager for ExxonMobil. Trujillo is also a founder and major stakeholder of start-ups and businesses in Guatemala, including call centers, medical services, and professional development practices.
Despite being the go-to firm for businesses looking to buy or sell, Sunbelt Guatemala wanted to add an additional service to their arsenal—value building. By offering value building consulting, Trujillo and his team could provide a more robust service to business owners. In addition to their M&A services, helping business owners build value would enable Sunbelt Guatemala to differentiate itself from its competitors.
Sunbelt Guatemala’s primary revenue was made through transactions when helping business owners buy or sell companies. Because of this, income was sometimes unpredictable. Trujillo was interested in adding a recurring revenue stream and establishing a system for ongoing consulting. However, Trujillo needed a platform that provided all of the required content and coaching tools to support this new initiative.
To become the firm of choice in Guatemala, Trujillo knew it was vital to add a trusted technological partner to complement their services. This platform needed to be a proven value-building tool to enhance Sunbelt’s advisory for transactional clients. In addition, they needed access to a wealth of resources and coaching mechanisms that would enable them to provide continuous consulting and fuel a new revenue source.
In the two short years since its implementation, Sunbelt Guatemala has successfully integrated The Value Builder System™ into their current processes. Trujillo uses The Value Builder System™ as an empowering tool to “help business owners take control of their lives.”
When working with new clients, the first step is typically a valuation and a deep dive into all business financials. Within this process, Trujillo has been able to incorporate The Value Builder Questionnaire—an online assessment that provides a report on the business’s strengths and weaknesses. Upon completion, business owners receive a quantifiable score on how their company performs based on the 8 Key Drivers of Company Value. Being given both a detailed financial valuation and their Value Builder score, owners get a fuller picture of their business’s current value. By combining their existing processes with the Value Builder Questionnaire, business owners can see a clearer path to a successful exit.
One example stands out for Trujillo. Before using The Value Builder System™, a business owner receives, on average, an offer for 3.5x EBITDA. With the help of The Value Builder System™, they receive, on average, an offer for 6.5x EBITDA. When selling businesses, Trujillo relies on The Value Builder System™ to demonstrate how companies can successfully increase their value and see a more significant sale than anticipated.
Using The Value Builder System™ has also been critical in Trujillos’s lead generation strategy. Sunbelt began hosting webinars for business owners and used content provided by The Value Builder System™. With out-of-the-box articles, whitepapers, videos, podcasts, and templates, Trujillo has a wealth of resources that can be used as webinar topics or serve as supplemental content. When planning webinars, Trujillo no longer has to start from scratch now that he has a tremendous amount of content in his back pocket.
Webinars have proven to be an extremely effective method to generate interest when compared to previous in-person workshops. In the past, Sunbelt did in-person sessions twice a month and averaged 15 to 20 new leads. Since implementing webinars, the average number of registrants is 130, with roughly 70 attendees. It would take three months to get the same number of leads as previous in-person sessions, which they can now generate in just one month. With The Value Builder System™ providing the foundation of the webinar content, Sunbelt has found a cost-effective and sustainable lead-generating strategy. If they continue down this path, Sunbelt is on pace for a 300% increase in leads.
Having already experienced success with The Value Builder System™, Trujillo continues to look for creative ways to utilize the platform. Trujillo plans to increase monthly retainer fees with The Value Builder System™ now blended into his advisory service. With many business owners growing their businesses and successfully exiting, Trujillo is confident that clients will be more than willing to pay for the additional cost.
With The Value Builder System™ now in his toolkit, Trujillo can confidently say that Sunbelt Guatemala provides a one-stop-shop for growing, selling, or buying businesses. Trujillo has been so impressed with the impact of The Value Builder System™ that he makes it a priority to ensure that all new business owners use the platform. When discussing why he believes it is such a powerful tool, Trujillo said, “The Value Builder System™ helps businesses grow. If it is not the right time to sell it, you can keep it or bring in a new CEO, but it ultimately better positions you to have a successful business.”
Trujillo continues to advocate for The Value Builder System™ internally at Sunbelt and finds ways to incorporate its use with other advisors. With a strong foundation in helping business owners, Trujillo and Sunbelt Guatemala are well on their way to expanding their foothold into the rest of South America.
In 1996, David and Noela Tscheinig started All About Bakery Equipment, selling refurbished equipment to bakeries. The Tscheinigs targeted independent.
Steve Conwell is the owner and CEO of Final Ascent, a business consulting firm that specializes in exit planning. Conwell.