1. Gary, where did you grow up?
“The Jersey Shore” – Little Silver, NJ.
2. Where did you study for college?
Seton Hall University – South Orange, NJ.
3. What was the first job you had out of college? What was the most important lesson you learned there that has stuck with you for your entire professional career? Upon graduating Seton Hall in 1985, I joined my family’s graphics business in Red Bank, NJ. I had the pleasure of working for and with my father for over 25 years. We had a great team of dedicated and talented employees that enabled us to provide superlative services to our diversified clientèle. The most important lesson that I learned during that time was that customer service had to be the center of everything that was done. The entrepreneur never says “no” to a client request, rather they figure out a way to say “yes”. To this day, I always want to know exactly what the primary objective of my client is and then we can (hopefully) work towards meeting their needs.
4. What drew you to working with A Neumann and Associates? Upon transitioning out of the graphics business in 2010, I was extremely fortunate to join forces with Achim and his growing firm. As a small business owner for over 25 years, I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me the ability to remain entrepreneurial and pursue a field that serviced other small businesses while tapping into my marketing communications background. I have learned so much from Achim and our experiences together since 2010 and feel very fortunate to truly love what I do every day.
5. What counties and states do you represent? My primary region covers all of New Jersey north of Ocean County. As Vice President of the firm, I also work very closely with our Managing Directors in other regions that cover NY, CT and PA.
6. What do you feel makes your region unique compared to others? The primary feature that makes this region unique is the concentration of population. As most know, there are more people situated between Philadelphia and New York City than anywhere else in the country. This concentration includes an enormous amount of service related businesses as well as larger Fortune 500 firms that require support. With massive population comes great diversity – as a result, we are fortunate to represent a wide spectrum of companies and industries and anyone looking to buy a business in New Jersey or sell a business in New Jersey.
7. What do you find is the biggest challenge in your region compared to others? Traffic…. No, probably the biggest challenge (for all our regions) is to “truly get the attention” of the business owner. The information that we provide relative to a proper business valuation in New Jersey and the correct way to sell a business in New Jersey is extremely valuable to every owner. Getting the dedicated time and having them actually concentrate on it is always the hardest task.
8. What do you find is the biggest advantage working in your region compared to others? My personal advantage is that I feel I am completely “in tune” with the NJ small business owner – the demands, the pace, the flow, the emotions and the character. I have been in their shoes. I know what it means to make a payroll and what it means to work with demanding clients and loyal employees. I think this connection allows me to “speak their language” and honestly communicate in a way that directly cuts through everything – goals are defined and problems are solved.
9. What do you think is the most underrated opportunity in the NJ region? Most small business owners simply do not have the time to understand how they can or will exit from their company. Because of all the demands placed upon them, either they underestimate their own worth or fail to properly prepare for an exit that is certainly within their reach. A successful and viable company is a very attractive investment, but only the informed owner will be able to capitalize on that important opportunity. This goes back to our major challenge – getting their attention and providing the information they need. If we succeed in that regard, they will ultimately execute a proper exit and we will be rewarded for our service.
10. What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had working in your region? A few years back, there was a gentleman who had a successful family business and the underlying real estate. Unfortunately, he became ill and wanted to quickly exit both and provide significant liquidity for his family. Utilizing our process and network to its fullest, we were able to close a transaction within 5 months and meet his needs. Having the ability to do that for someone is quite rewarding and gratifying.
11. Best advice for someone considering selling a business in New Jersey? Come to A Neumann & Associates and prepare ahead of time. Adopt a mindset of tracking your true value and marketability well in advance of your planned exit (at least 3 to 5 years). By working with trusted professionals, you can indeed affect a positive exit strategy, protect your employees and maximize the financial return in the process. Become informed about proper business valuation and the transfer process and you will be empowered to “solve this particular problem” when the time comes.
12. Best advice for someone considering buying a business in New Jersey? Same answer….come to A Neumann & Associates – we have the best and most diverse portfolio of viable businesses for sale in New Jersey and the entire region. All of our offerings are well vetted and provide tremendous growth opportunity for the investor.