FREE TRAINING: 3 Keys to Sell Your Business with Confidence

Don’t Make Your Business a Parking Lot for Your Investor’s Money

“I need $1,500,000 to open a new distribution center in North Carolina. It's a homerun idea, but how much equity will I have to give up raising that much?” Johnny (not his real name) and I have been good friends for seven years. We see each other socially several times a year, and once every 5 or 6 months we sit down to a serious conversation about his growing and vibrant medical supply business. “If I ever sell this Read More

Your Financial Dialysis Machine

Cindy (not her real name) has a good thing going. Her business is growing at a steady pace, and she’s been able to pocket around $500,000 a year the past several years. I recently met with Cindy and her husband to discuss her interest in selling. “I just became a grandmother. My daughter and her husband are going to need more of my time than I can give if I’m still running the company. I’d like to sell it now and Read More

The Deal vs. Life Goals

“They called out of the blue and offered $23 million for my company,” Elizabeth (not her real name) said as we started our meeting. “I’ve only been in business four years, I didn’t think I’d get to this point so soon,” she said, “The way we are growing, if we hold on for few more years, we might get to $50 million. That has a nice ring to it. But hey, I don’t want to look at gift horse in the mouth. What are my Read More

The “Can’t Let It Go” Syndrome

“Everybody knows it’s time he should sell, but he can’t seem to let it go.” Bruce (not his real name) is the head of marketing for a company owned by Philip (not his real name). Bruce called for my advice on structuring an employee-led buyout. He admitted it was a long shot even though Philip is in his late-70s. It seems Philip has heretofore not been willing to even entertain the idea of selling. But Bruce and his Read More

Incompetent or Fraudulent? Sometimes It’s Hard to Tell.

“He says he can get $5 million for my company, but in the spirit of due diligence, I wanted a second opinion.” Bennett (not his real name) had asked me to meet him at Starbucks at the suggestion of a mutual friend who thought he might be rushing too fast to sell his company. Bennett told me he launched his company in 2012, “We started with a basic idea, got a few breaks along the way and made a little bit of money.” Read More

How to Know the Broker Really is on Your Side

“I call you for help selling my business, but you tell me I shouldn’t sell it now. What kind of business broker does that?” Ricardo (not his real name) retained me to help him evaluate an unsolicited offer recently received from one of his top suppliers. During our first call, he said, “I am not looking to sell the company, we’re growing, I love what we’re doing for our customers, and the team I have around me is Read More

The Confusing Logic of the Wisdom of Overpaying

When he walked into Starbucks with a big red notebook under his arm, I figured the meeting might not go as planned. I had worked with Robert (not his real name) for almost four months. We had met through a mutual friend who knew Robert and his wife were looking to leave corporate life and buy a business they could run together. Robert had contacted me to see if I had any companies he might be interested in buying. I Read More

The Right Buyer?

“We make pretty good money here but it’s time for me to sell. But understand this, if a buyer won’t commit to preserve my culture, I’m not interested at any price.” I met Mason (not his real name) at a luncheon in Clarksville sponsored by a local ministry with which we were both involved. I wasn’t there soliciting business and he was not there to talk about selling his. But as we casually talked over lunch, he asked Read More

An Empty Basket Case

Image of an empty basketA couple years ago my wife Emily and I were preparing for a covered-dish dinner with friends from church.  As she was pulling the casserole out of the oven, she said, “Can you bring me the Longaberger basket in the cabinet above the refrigerator?” I pulled the basket out, thinking the last time I had seen it was about the same time last year. She carefully placed the hot casserole dish into Read More

Be Ready Even If You Aren’t Ready

“I’ve got to get out of Dodge before it’s too late.” Joey (not his real name) had already met with his financial advisor to plan for allocation of the money he would receive when he sold his company. The Letter of Intent was signed three weeks earlier, and the buyer had started due diligence. Everything looked like we were on track to a successful closing in seven to eight weeks. “We have a problem,” I said to Joey, Read More