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Entrepreneur’s M&A Journal Episode 42—Interview With Deedra Determan


Jim and Deedra talk about Deedra’s exciting M&A journey.  With her news and journalism background, she takes you on her exciting journey through making the decision to leave television and starting a web-site for moms and selling that site to a local agency.  Learn about Deedra’s great decisions and where she thinks should might have done a little better.


Main Questions Asked:

  • Were you still working for the television group when you started your new company?
  • You started your company in what year and sold in what year?
  • When you started your business did you have an exit in mind?
  • Was there some moment or particular issue that made you say you wanted to sell?
  • Did Griffin Communications come at you out of the blue and make an offer?
  • As you look back on it, did you guys throw in the towel too early?
  • How did you reach a determination of the right deal structure?
  • How long did the closing process take?
  • What do you look back at and say what did you do right and what do you wish you could do over again?
  • What advice do you have for fellow entrepreneurs to gain an advantage in selling your business?


Key Points made:

  • I had left there and started the  I overlapped for about 3 months. (2:48)
  • I started the company in 2008 and sold it in 2010. (3:05)
  • I did not have an exit in mind, I just wanted to be able to see my kids more, make some money and control my time. (3:50)
  • Yes, working 12 hours days made me want to sell or find another solution for my company.  We had flexibility, but we had so much work and it got to where it was bigger than us. (4:30)
  • Griffin Communications called us and said they were interested in buying us. (5:12)
  • We didn’t have marketing dollars so we hustled the PR angle. (5:52)
  • I knew something needed to change and at the time we didn’t really want to put our house up as collateral for a loan. (7:00)
  • We negotiated a great deal to work for 2 years with the buyer. (7:20)
  • Everyone thinks an entrepreneur are sitting on the beach sipping cocktails, but the good ones are working hard. (8:20)
  • I never throw a number first, their number may be higher than your number. (9:22)
  • If you don’t ask for more, you never know what that breaking point is. (9:48)
  • It only took about 45 days to close.  They are a privately owned company, so it moves faster. (10:25)
  • We created the right partnerships with the media. (11:29)
  • We did a lot of trial and error an example is our pricing not being right on our ads, selling to cheap and giving them the moon. (12:38)
  • We got smarter as we went along. (12:48)
  • I hate to say we made a mistake, it is a learning curve.(13:10)
  • The hard thing was when we worked for the company, we were no longer calling the shots. (13:30)
  • Selling means you’re giving up control. (14:10)
  • Know the valuation and do the research on your company. (23:01)

Resources Mentioned: – Money Saving Moms – Education for Entrepreneurs – MAJournal5 – Special 30 day free trial.

Riches and Niches –

Lee Cockerell – Former Executive Vice President of Operations for Walt Disney World

Michael Levine – Levine Communications

Griffin Communications –


Thank you for listening! Please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and if you enjoyed this interview, leave a 5 star rating and review!


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Tennessee Valley Group

Jim Cumbee established Tennessee Valley Group to help business owners fulfill their dreams for life after business ownership. It’s a mission that his 30+ year career history had prepared him well for—in addition to being an attorney, transition mediator and business broker, Jim has been a buyer, seller, and entrepreneur. His broad range of experience gives him unique insight into how business buyers and sellers can achieve their goals.

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