With the amount of growth happening in Nashville, TN, the Viking M&A team is pleased to have Rich Kurkowski on board. Rich was born and raised in Chicago, IL, and he began his career as an accountant with Deloitte before attending law school. He spent the next 10 years working in tax law for two of Chicago’s largest law firms and then transitioned to in-house counsel at Abbott Laboratories, a Fortune 500 company. During his tenure as a tax attorney, Rich participated in due diligence and contract review for deals spanning from $20 million to over $1 billion. This experience is only the beginning of the value he brings to the M&A space.
Rich eventually left the world of tax law to pursue his entrepreneurial interests. “I became bored with Corporate America; I was uninspired. The world of entrepreneurs is so much more. It’s not just transactional. People put everything on the line to make something work.” He went on to start and run multiple companies, and along the way, he had his share of successes and challenges. Rich knows what it’s like to sit in the owner’s seat sweating it out to pay rent, and he knows what it’s like to see a business take off and grow in value.
One of Rich’s many successes was a commercial cleaning business in Illinois. He successfully sold the business in 2021 and moved to Franklin, TN, with his wife and their two daughters. Why Tennessee? “I was still drawn to the entrepreneur world, and I wanted to move somewhere that is vibrant and growing,” explains Rich. “Nashville rose to the top, mainly because it is such a great place for entrepreneurs. There is so much momentum and energy here.”
Once settled in Franklin, Rich leaned into his passion for the world of entrepreneurship and became a Professional EOS Implementer. “In this role, I help entrepreneurs get more of what they want from their businesses. I ask what they had imagined for themselves when they started their business, and then I help them evaluate whether that’s actually what they’re getting out of it. Most owners say no, they’re not. Whether it has to do with money or time or flexibility, I can help identify next steps based on an owner’s particular goals.”
With that passion and those skills, the step into M&A with the Viking team has been a very natural one. Rich first met Kyle Kerrigan, Managing Partner, at a networking event. Kyle invited Rich to join the Viking team because he recognized that Viking’s clients would be well-served by Rich’s experience and his passion for helping entrepreneurs maximize the value of their businesses.
“When I sold my business in Illinois, I used a local business broker,” Rich recalls. “Once the Letter of Intent was signed, though, the broker was pretty much out of the picture. I was on my own to navigate meetings with the buyer and their representation. But, we do things differently here. As an Advisor, I help facilitate all discussions between buyer and seller, providing feedback & advice to my clients on how to prepare for and approach those conversations. At Viking, we stay involved all the way through closing and even the post-closing transition.”
Why Viking is Here
Selling a business can be the biggest decision in a person’s life. Like all of our advisors across the Southeast, the Viking business advisors in Nashville, TN, are experienced professionals who are here for the long term. We have no interest in rushing our clients through a sale or purchase.
Each of our Nashville area clients has a dedicated business advisor in Nashville, along with a team of analysts and marketing professionals providing support through the entire selling process. We also recognize that it often takes different perspectives and ideas to ensure the best result for a client, and that is why Rich has a high-caliber team behind him.
Advice If You Are Thinking Of Selling A Business
Rich reminds business owners that the best time to sell a business is when it is doing well. When your financials are moving upward, the team working for you is cohesive and strong, and sales are flourishing, this is extremely attractive to buyers. That is how you want to represent yourself and your business. However, Rich emphasizes that you need to prepare in advance – which is why Viking Advisors work with clients far before they intend to exit.
Like all of Viking’s divisions, our business advisors in Nashville, TN, engage with potential clients early on in the sales process and remain engaged until the timing is right for the client. Every business is different, and so are the needs of the business owner, especially when forming an exit strategy. Our advisors understand that selling a business is not an isolated event. Rather, it is a process that deserves careful planning, communication, and execution.
Advice If You Are Thinking Of Buying A Business
If you are thinking of buying a business in Nashville, TN, Rich affirms that now is a very good time. “There is such a large amount of in-migration to the Nashville area. As people keep coming, demand increases, and more money is injected into the local economy, it is a great time to buy a business in Nashville.”
Finally, when considering business, always ensure that you obtain the appropriate amount of information about the company and that the information is accurate. Among other things, that is one area that our business advisors in Nashville can help with. Viking actually pre-qualifies businesses through SBA lenders, so the buyers we work with can have confidence in their purchase.
If you are considering business advisors in Nashville, TN, contact Viking today for a confidential consultation or business valuation at no cost, no strings attached.