FREE TRAINING: 3 Keys to Sell Your Business with Confidence

A Love-Hate Relationship

  “I have a love-hate relationship with my retirement. I love not having to worry about employees, cranky customers, or fickle vendors. But I hate the absence of purpose in my life, the sense that I don’t have anything to do that matters to anyone.” Marvin (not his real name) has been a good friend for years. We went to law school together, were in each other’s weddings, and have traveled together with our families Read More

Do It Scared

Randy (not his real name) called a few weeks ago about his desire to buy a business. He told me he has a great job now, “But I’m not creating any long-term value for myself.” Randy knows how M&A works. The Nashville-based company where he is employed has made several recent acquisitions, and he has been actively involved in the due diligence process. He learned about one of my engagements through his uncle who Read More

How Growth Plan (not growth) Affects Valuation

“We are poised for significant growth. We have identified a competitor we’d like to acquire, they are about a third of our size, so it wouldn’t be a big stretch. I’d also like to hire at least one more senior-level sales person. We know we can close about 60% of our presentations and that will more than pay for the new hire and give us a nice margin.” Donna (not her real name) was obviously excited about the Read More

When Interest in Your Business is Only a Mirage

Vera (not her real name) sent me an email recently; I could tell she was excited. It seems a private equity (PE) firm is interested in buying her business and ready for her to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). It must be love. A bit of backstory. I met with Vera and her sister two years ago to discuss their interest in selling the business they took over from their father in 2004. The business has provided the Read More

More to Life Than ROI

I deviate this week from my usual practice of sharing a real conversation with a real business owner. Today, I’d like to share another kind of story that has important implications for any business owner. I was recently playing golf in a tournament raising money for a worthy local charity. I was delighted to hear the charity raised almost $100,000 in a single day. While on the golf course, I met one of the event Read More

Green May Not Be Greener

Jennifer (not her real name) wants to buy a business. She is 52 years old and was just reorganized out of her job at a well-known Nashville healthcare company. “I’m tired of not being my own boss, I want to be in control of my future,” she told me when I asked why she wanted to buy a business instead of finding another job in Nashville’s vibrant healthcare ecosystem. As Jennifer described her motivation, I couldn’t Read More

Sell With Confidence, Not Greed

Entrepreneurs really do say the darnedest things. Teddy (not his real name) is ready to sell his manufacturing business. In his mid-60s, he has run the company since taking it over when his dad passed away in 1993. Teddy’s brother is a minority shareholder, but as a pharmacist, he hasn’t had much to do in the business, leaving control and decision-making in Teddy’s hands. Teddy retained me to lead him through the Read More

Enterprise Value Includes Asset Value

“It doesn’t work that way. You don’t value a business then add asset values to it. The market value of your assets is embedded in your business’ valuation.” Henry (not his real name) was one disappointed guy. But our conversation didn’t start that way. We were talking about his interest in taking his business to market in early 2023. As we walked through his manufacturing plant, I surmised most of his equipment was Read More

I Have a Buyer (insert eye roll here)

“He said he had a buyer for my company, but he wouldn’t give me any details until I gave him my financials. I should have known he was just fishing.” Zoe (not her real name) reached out to me on the recommendation of her financial planner. A few weeks earlier she received an unsolicited call from a local business broker who told her he had a buyer for her company. The broker’s call came at an interesting time, as Read More

When Family Legacy is a Boat Anchor to Decision Making

She could barely hold back the tears. Wanda (not her real name) was telling me how her grandfather started the business after World War II. Her dad took it over in 1974 when her grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Wanda started in 2002, and her dad poured his heart and soul into training her to take over the company. Unfortunately, he had a rare heart disease and died in 2007. “I wasn’t ready to take Read More