The Good News and Bad News of Selling Your Business in a Post-Corona World.
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Did COVID Kill Your Business, or Was It DOA?

“Revenue was stable, though our margins were always thin. We didn’t expect to make great money when we opened the store, but we loved what we were doing. That was before COVID, it killed our business.” Beatrice (not her real name) was introduced to me through her accountant. She asked me to do a valuation on her Nashville business, and tell her what I could do to help her sell it.  Once I saw the financials, I Read More

You Own Your Company, But Do You Own Your Future?

“What does my growth plan have to do with it, Jim? I’m making a million bucks a year, who wouldn’t want to buy my company?” Nathan (not his real name) was rather annoyed at me. He had called me about selling his Nashville company. We discussed valuation, potential buyers, how the process would work, and what he might do to enhance the value of his company. It was the last part that he didn’t like. It seems Read More

Being Your Own Boss is Overrated, You Might Be a Bad Boss

“After thinking about this for a long time, I’m ready to get serious about buying a business.” During a recent phone call, Brian (not his real name) told me he has read my blog for over two years and had been inspired to consider life as an entrepreneur. “I’ve never intended to inspire anyone toward life as an entrepreneur,” I told Brian. “In fact, it’s a very hard life in many ways. I just try to help Read More

Why Are So Many Business Owners Afraid of the G– Word?

Wilson (not his real name) took over management of the company from his father, who founded it in 1978. Over the five years Wilson has been in charge, company revenue has doubled. The company is well known in the community, and Wilson is a respected business leader, much like his father was. Wilson has not retained me to sell his company. At the age of 48, he has no interest in slowing down, much less selling. But Read More

When is the Bird in the Hand Worth It?

“Do you think we will ever get this deal done? Maybe I should pull back and wait another year or two to sell the company. I could sell it for more, right?” Rhonda (not her real name) is frustrated, and for good reason. The buyer had scheduled closing for April 30, and things were moving along nicely until the pandemic hit. The buyer’s due diligence team flew back to their home office on March 12, and nothing has Read More

Preparing a Board Presentation, Even If You Don’t Have a Board?

“That might be the most insightful thing I’ve heard during this awful pandemic.” Mason (not his real name) and I were recently discussing his interest in making an acquisition. He is not a client; he isn’t looking to sell his Nashville business any time soon. We met four years ago during a men’s Bible conference at the church we both attend. We meet every so often at the church coffee shop to talk about life and Read More

Turnaround Investing in a Crisis

“I wasn’t happy about my company being sold, but as CEO, it was my job to see that our shareholders got the best deal possible. We did that, so it was time to find a new career. It appears my timing was impeccable.” Dave (not his real name) is a close friend from business school. We were in each other’s weddings, and although we live in different states, we stay in touch via Facebook (a great way to share pictures Read More

This Just Sucks, But …

"I’m tired of getting emails telling me these are unprecedented times. I know that already! I’m looking for that email telling me when this will be over and what life will look like on the other side." Bobby (not his real name) was calling to tell me he had to postpone selling his business. He was so frustrated and disappointed. I felt sorry for him. Frustration is the lifeblood of this pandemic. I have clients Read More

Business Owner’s Straitjacket

IMPORTANT INTRO: I wrote the following story in 2016. A couple of weeks ago, I checked in with the client (Justin) to see how he was doing in the midst of this health crisis. At the end of the story, I’ll update you on the current status of his situation. “I just came from my financial planner’s office and it seems I'm in deep trouble. I don't think I can sell my business now.” Justin (not his real name) and I were Read More

Walking a Tightrope Blindfolded

"We were on track for our best Q1 ever, but two weeks ago, it came to a screeching halt. Do you think we should continue with our plan to sell the business this year?” Vince (not his real name) retained me six weeks ago to sell his company. He wanted to have the deal done by the end of the year so he and his wife could relocate to Arkansas to be closer to their children and grandchildren. For the first time in my Read More