FREE TRAINING: 3 Keys to Sell Your Business with Confidence

Negotiate or Auction?

“It is a match made in heaven. I’ve known for years they’d want to buy my company eventually. Should I negotiate just with them or take my company to market and bring in other bidders, you know, get an auction going?” Though having just celebrated his 73rd birthday, Tom (not his real name) was still going strong. The company he founded in 1982 was generating strong cash flow, and there was nothing on the horizon to Read More

Just an LOI?

“Hell’s bells, Jim, it’s just a non-binding LOI, please get him to sign it and let’s get on with this thing.” Bart (not his real name) was unhappy with me.  My first clue was this call came in at 6:30am. “You told me our LOI was going to be signed three days ago, what’s the hold-up? I have bankers and investors waiting to hear.” I explained to Bart that my client liked the deal and that I was 90% certain he intended Read More

Can You Handle the Truth?

“I could easily sell to private equity. I get their calls all the time.” Before I met Charlie (not his real name), I had been told by his wealth advisor that he was a brilliant mechanical engineer who was ready to sell his company. I was one of several intermediaries Charlie was interviewing for the assignment. “This is my one shot to fund the retirement I want,” he told me, “I damn well better get a good Read More

More Difficult Than the Difficult Decision

Toby (not his real name) is not short on confidence. When we met for coffee with a mutual friend, he told me everything about how to sell a business, even though he has never sold a business. Toby is the CEO of a successful manufacturing company. Though not a shareholder in the company, the owner has given Toby full control. To his credit, Toby acts and thinks like the owner. “The founder hired me in 2015 because he Read More

Too Much Want To

Randy (not his real name) really wants to buy a business. I think he wants it too much. Randy called me on the recommendation of a mutual friend. The company Randy wants to buy is owned by a guy who is 72 and ready to retire. Let’s call the owner Michael. Michael’s business distributes a product that Randy’s current employer manufactures.  Randy tells me he knows the market for this product and has many solid ideas Read More

Selling a Family Business – Problems Likely Around the Corner

When Bob (not his real name) called me, I could tell he was tired. He wanted to sell his family business, but he didn’t know how to find the right buyer and make sure he got a fair value for his life’s work. Bob started his business in 1981 and built it into a thriving niche manufacturer of plumbing components. But at age 74, Bob was ready to sell his business and spend more time with his ailing wife. The business Read More

The Downside of Customer Loyalty When Selling a Business

Dr. Good (not his real name) was not happy with my feedback. “You mean to tell me that because my longtime patients are so loyal to me that I can’t sell this practice? What do I do, just close the doors and walk away?” Dr. Good’s practice is a niche of a niche of a niche, and resultantly, he has patients from all around the United States coming to his Nashville clinic. His patient calendar is filled eight months in Read More

The Big Bad Wolf … Beware or Befriend?

We all know the story of the cunning and threatening Big Bad Wolf. He is roaming about, ready to pounce on his helpless victim. Some version of this story has been told in countless fairy tales, and it never fails to raise our anxiety level. Many business owners live with the same fairy-tale concerns about their competitors. Once you’ve gone toe-to-toe with a competitor over a period of time, you find yourself Read More

FOMO is a Bad Motivation to Sell Your Business

“If I don’t sell now, do I really miss the window?” At the age of 62, Karl (not his real name) tells me he is ready to sell his Nashville business. He said he regularly gets calls and emails from brokers/bankers saying, “We have a buyer for your company.”  Smart enough to know that line is only a come-on to engage a conversation, Karl said he doesn’t spend time with any of those outreach efforts. However, he told me Read More

Beware the Falling Chain Saw

A guy in my neighborhood had a huge elm tree split during a recent thunderstorm. A broken limb leaned perilously close to his garage, so he had to deal with it quickly to avert disaster. Had that happened to me, my first (and only) instinct would have been to call a tree removal service. But not my neighbor. The morning after the storm, I watched him lean a big ladder against the main tree trunk while using his Read More