Along with his seven siblings, Jimmy Span watched his father work hard every day at a steady job to provide for the family. As a result, he learned the value of consistency, staying the course, and avoiding risk. Meanwhile, he saw his dad’s brother approach the world quite differently. Jimmy’s uncle was a lifelong risk-taker who became a Navy fighter pilot and, later, a successful investor. Reflecting on their influence on his life, Jimmy says, “I’m kind of in the middle of my dad and my uncle as far as risk-taking goes.”
This blended influence has served Jimmy well. Before joining the Viking M&A team, Jimmy worked for more than 25 years in the technology and manufacturing sectors. He worked with large publicly traded engineering and technology companies, small privately owned businesses, and several government entities. During his time in Corporate America, Jimmy was a certified Project Management Professional and oversaw some of the largest projects in the geospatial industry. In addition, Jimmy worked closely with clients to streamline workflows, boost sales volume through channel development, and increase revenue while reducing operating costs.
This extensive and successful background in project management informs Jimmy’s approach to M&A engagements today. “I see my business engagements through a project management lens. We move from one milestone to the next to reach my clients’ goals.”
Jimmy left Corporate America to assist business owners in selling their businesses in 2010. He joined Viking Mergers & Acquisitions in 2022 to serve the entire Myrtle Beach, Grand Strand area of South Carolina as well as the Wilmington, North Carolina, market. Jimmy has served clients in many industries throughout his M&A career, including technology, manufacturing, transportation, construction, light industrial, professional services, automotive, and specialty retail.
As a Senior Advisor at Viking, Jimmy enjoys personal interaction with entrepreneurs and the small business community. “I have an appreciation for entrepreneurs and helping them through this process.” Like all of our advisors across the Southeast, Jimmy and our team of South Carolina business brokers are experienced professionals who are here for the long term. Selling a business can be the most significant decision in a person’s life, and we have no interest in rushing our clients through a sale or purchase.
South Carolina M&A Trends
Regarding current M&A market activity, Jimmy echoes what Viking President Jay Offerdahl has recently said: Viking is still seeing plenty of deal activity in the Carolinas and our other southeastern markets. We currently have more listings and buyer inquiries than ever before, and we are coming off the strongest year ever in terms of deals closed. Jimmy goes on to say that recent conversations with local SBA lenders in the Myrtle Beach area indicate they are still actively funding business acquisitions, even at higher interest rates.
Advice for Selling a Business in South Carolina
Jimmy’s best advice for South Carolina business owners considering selling is to plan for their exit. A wise first step in planning is to have a no-cost, no-obligation business valuation performed by a Viking business advisor to understand the fair market value their business would fetch on the open market. Using that, along with feedback from their accountant, they can estimate the net results from a future sale. The Viking advisor can also identify aspects of the business that they might improve to increase the overall business value.
Advice for Buying a South Carolina Business
Many factors go into deciding whether now is the right time to buy a business, and those can vary from buyer to buyer. Jimmy encourages buyers to identify a company that fits well with their background and skill set and where they can add value in the long run. “I’ve seen several examples of buyers who, perhaps frustrated in their search for such a company, wind up purchasing a business outside their comfort zone,” he says. “This can lead to a challenging experience as a new business owner.” Jimmy also urges buyers to take a long-term view rather than solely focus on the present environment. “There will always be changes outside the business owner’s control. Understanding that and incorporating risk management into their strategic plan will help mitigate future threats.”
Our coastal South Carolina business brokers and advisors serve business owners in the Grand Strand, from Little River to Pawleys Island and everywhere in between. If you are a business owner thinking about buying or selling and need advice, contact us today for a complimentary consultation or business valuation, no strings attached.