I asked ChatGPT to help me analyze this real Hawaii-based solar installation business.

How do you think it did?

Spoiler alert: ChatGPT decides to make an offer below asking!



- Asking Price: $5,500,000 (excluding real estate).

- Revenue: $8,200,000.

- Cash Flow (Earnings): $1,540,000.

- Earnings Multiple: Approximately 3.57x.

- Notable Details: High growth industry, pre-qualified for SBA loan, expanding market in Hawaii, real estate available for additional $450,000, strong sales growth, and high owner profits. The business has a scalable model and a strong market presence with high-quality energy consulting and installation services.

Questions to ask on an initial discovery call:

1. Detailed Financials: Request comprehensive financial statements for the past few years to understand revenue, expenses, and profit trends.

2. Clientele and Contracts: Inquire about the current clientele base, long-term contracts, and the nature of ongoing projects.

3. Operational Processes: Ask about daily operations, the role of the current owner, staff structure, and any unique operational challenges.

4. Market Position and Competition: Seek information about their market position, competition, and how they differentiate themselves.

5. Regulatory Compliance: Understand any regulatory requirements specific to solar power installation in Hawaii.

6. Future Growth Plans: Discuss potential growth opportunities and expansion plans.

7. Real Estate Details: Clarify terms of the real estate purchase and lease agreement.

8. Reason for Selling: Understand why the owner is selling the business, which can provide insights into potential challenges.

9. Transition Support: Ask about the support offered during the transition period and any ongoing assistance post-sale.

If I were to structure an offer for the Hawaii Solar Power Installer business, based on the provided information, here's how I would approach it:

1. Would I Make an Offer?

Yes, considering the business's strong financials, growth potential, and the high demand for renewable energy in Hawaii.

2. Offer Structure:

- Offer Price: Given the asking price of $5.5 million and strong financials (cash flow of $1.54 million), an offer close to the asking price is reasonable. However, I would consider offering slightly less, around $5 million, to allow room for negotiation.

- Real Estate: I would include the real estate in the offer, valued at $450,000, given its strategic importance to the business. The total offer would thus be $5.45 million.

- Financing: I would aim to secure an SBA loan, leveraging the business's pre-qualification. A down payment of 10-20% ($545,000 to $1.09 million) would be typical for SBA loans. The rest would be financed through the loan.

- Earn out: I might propose an earnout arrangement to align part of the payment with the business's future performance, reducing initial outlay and sharing risk.

- Due Diligence Clause: The offer would be contingent upon a thorough due diligence process, confirming the financials, legal standing, and operational health of the business.

- Transition Assistance: I would request a transition period where the current owner assists with the handover to ensure continuity and stability.

- License Holding Agreement: If I don’t have the necessary licenses, I would include a clause for the current owner to remain as the license holder for a specified period.

Each component of this offer is crafted to balance risk, secure financing, and ensure a smooth transition. It's crucial to engage with financial advisors and legal experts to tailor the offer to the specifics of this business and personal financial considerations.