The Good News and Bad News of Selling Your Business in a Post-Corona World.
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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

Time to Ditch Your Investors?

“I have so many plans to grow my company, but my investors won’t let me do anything that jeopardizes their quarterly dividends.” Sarah (not her real name) didn’t strike me as a hard-charging entrepreneur, but in just four years, she had turned an idea into a seven-figure profit-producing machine. To launch her idea, Sarah needed capital which she raised from three individuals, each of whom bought 20% of the company. Read More

Left With Nothing But an Empty Bag

“After 15 years of work, I just wanted to leave something for my kids and grandkids. But it sounds like all I have is an empty bag.” Sandra (not her real name) was not in good health. We met at her house because getting to the office was difficult for her. But what she lacked in physical mobility, she more than made up for with mental mobility and attitude. Sandra had a big smile on her face when I walked in, and Read More

Stuck in Place

“I can’t afford to sell my business ... what am I going to do, work ‘til I die?” I hear this way too often. Here’s the scene, a business owner is ready to retire and calls me about selling their business. I’ll review three to five years of financial statements and tour the business. In the course of this I’ll learn about the company’s product/services, its customers and organization. It's not rocket science, it Read More

Beware the Guy With a Shotgun

“I get calls, emails and letters all the time from people telling me they want to buy my company, or that they represent someone who wants to buy my company. How can I know who’s for real or not? I’d like to sell my company, but I also have to keep running it and I can’t afford to waste time on somebody's wild goose chase.” Felix (not his real name) heard me speak at a recent conference and came up to me Read More

The Importance of Accountability When Selling to Key Employees

Rob and Randy have a successful 22-year business relationship. While they are not ready for retirement, they have asked me to help them plan to sell their professional services business in four to six years. Instead of selling their business in the open market where they’d likely be bought by a competitor, Rob and Randy want to sell to their three key employees. However, those employees don’t have the financial Read More

Lessons From the Last Decade That Will Affect This Decade

In recent days, you’ve likely seen a number of news reports reviewing highlights of the last decade. 2010 seems like yesterday to me, maybe because that was the year I started my business brokerage firm, Tennessee Valley Group. Although it’s a cliché, the past ten years have flown by for me. I’ve made many new friends while shepherding deals with total value of about $250 million. I've completed deals in Read More

Is Your Business Your 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. We sat down recently 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 live off the Read More