FREE TRAINING: 3 Keys to Sell Your Business with Confidence
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The Stiff Arm

“I blew it, didn’t I, Jim? I just pushed too hard.” I felt bad for Raymond (not his real name). He retained me about a year ago to sell his company and prepare his path toward retirement. He and his wife have already done post-sale planning. She is an art collector, and they have several European museums on their itinerary. Fortunately, Raymond’s company is on the radar of several large private equity-backed Read More

Don’t Make Your Business Your Piggyback

I met Wayne (not his real name) through an introduction from his financial planner. Wayne owns a successful business in Mississippi that he had taken over after his dad's death nine years ago. Long hours and employee management issues were taking a toll on him and resultantly, his family. In early 2020, he promised his wife he’d consider selling his business. Wayne started the process by asking his Memphis-based Read More

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