What is My Business Worth, and Why Do I Need to Know?

Do you know the value of your business? I mean, the real, sellable market value of your business. I’m guessing you don’t. In my daily work with small business owners, I never ceased to be amazed how many don’t know what their business is worth, and it’s often my un-pleasant task to deliver bad news to a business owner about the value of their business. I don’t suggest that you over-focus on your business value, but Read More

3 Things I Had to Unlearn After Harvard Business School

You would think that for what I paid, I would have learned the keys to business success while at Harvard Business School. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved my years at HBS …. rigorous academic training, great lifelong friends, excitement of global finance, and time with world-class business leaders. I wouldn’t trade my years at HBS for anything. But it sure was expensive, and when you pay a lot for something, you Read More

Three Ways to Know On the Spot if You’re Talking to a Capable Business Broker

Can you fog a mirror? If so, congratulations, you are legally qualified to call yourself a business broker in the state of Tennessee! That’s right, no license required and no training needed. To call yourself a business broker in Tennessee all you need is the ability to wake up and get out of bed. And we wonder why so many Tennessee business owners are frustrated when it’s time to sell their business? I was Read More

Beware the Door Broker

“Can you meet me tomorrow, 5:30AM at Starbucks in Hendersonville, I don’t want my employees to know anything about me selling the business.” Against my better judgment, I agree to the meeting. I’m an early riser, going to a 5:30AM meeting doesn’t bother me. But, I should have realized the clandestine urgency in his voice was an omen of something not good. After we got our coffee (I’m a Starbucks fan) we sat down Read More

Five Reasons I’m Ditching My iPad Mini and Going Back to iPad 3

I am in love with my iPad. We are inseparable. My iPad is my best friend (technologically speaking). But I had a technological mid-life crisis. I was looking for a sleeker, shinier, faster model. I ate the bitter fruit. My name is Jim, and I was unfaithful to my iPad. A few weeks ago I was reading one of my favorite bloggers, and he was wildly enthusiastic about his new iPad mini. This intrigued me (the Read More

A Breach of Confidentiality … Not as Bad as You Might Fear

“How can I keep people from finding out my business is for sale?’ is the most common question I get after, “what is my business worth?”   I’ve sold my own business so I fully appreciate how nerve-racking the process can be.  Like me, most business owners want the process kept top-secret until after the transaction closes.  Business owners are usually terrified that if word leaks out their business is for sale, Read More

How to Value Your Business in 3 Minutes (or less)

I see the carnage every day. Someone who wants to sell his/her business will call me after the business broker they hired hasn’t delivered. In almost every one of these calls, the business owner will tell me something like: “I paid the broker for an evaluation of my business, but now he’s telling me all the potential buyers think the valuation is too high.” If the business owner is still under a contract with Read More

Leaving Corporate Life to Buy a Business: The Opportunity Paradox

When he called, he got right to the point: “I want to buy a business.” I heard a sense of urgency in his voice. He went on to say “you have businesses to buy, you’re a business broker, right?” I get this call at least once a week, and after talking with scores (maybe hundreds) of would-be business buyers, I’ve realized I need a psychology degree to go along with my advanced business degree. More times than not, Read More

Seven Reasons To Hire A Professional Business Broker

There are only four ways a business owner will exit their business: They’ll close it They’ll give it away (most likely a son or daughter) They’ll die at their desk They’ll sell it One of every five businesses will change ownership every year. There are right and wrong ways to go through the process, and while using a professional business broker is not mandatory (I didn’t when I sold my Read More

The Dumb Things We Do, How Business is Like Golf

Golf is like business. Anyone can try, yet most never excel. Those who are good at it make it look easy. Success in golf or in business usually takes time and money. Both require that you think quickly under pressure, and it seems there’s always someone behind you who wants to get ahead. But golf is most like business because there are many ways to get in trouble. Number One Sometimes you just do dumb things, Read More