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A Breach of Confidentiality … Not as Bad as You Might Fear

“How can I keep people from finding out my business is for sale?’ is the most common question I get after, “what is my business worth?”   I’ve sold my own business so I fully appreciate how nerve-racking the process can be.  Like me, most business owners want the process kept top-secret until after the transaction closes.  Business owners are usually terrified that if word leaks out their business is for sale, Read More

How to Value Your Business in 3 Minutes (or less)

I see the carnage every day. Someone who wants to sell his/her business will call me after the business broker they hired hasn’t delivered. In almost every one of these calls, the business owner will tell me something like: “I paid the broker for an evaluation of my business, but now he’s telling me all the potential buyers think the valuation is too high.” If the business owner is still under a contract with Read More

Leaving Corporate Life to Buy a Business: The Opportunity Paradox

When he called, he got right to the point: “I want to buy a business.” I heard a sense of urgency in his voice. He went on to say “you have businesses to buy, you’re a business broker, right?” I get this call at least once a week, and after talking with scores (maybe hundreds) of would-be business buyers, I’ve realized I need a psychology degree to go along with my advanced business degree. More times than not, Read More

Seven Reasons To Hire A Professional Business Broker

There are only four ways a business owner will exit their business: They’ll close it They’ll give it away (most likely a son or daughter) They’ll die at their desk They’ll sell it One of every five businesses will change ownership every year. There are right and wrong ways to go through the process, and while using a professional business broker is not mandatory (I didn’t when I sold my Read More

The Dumb Things We Do, How Business is Like Golf

Golf is like business. Anyone can try, yet most never excel. Those who are good at it make it look easy. Success in golf or in business usually takes time and money. Both require that you think quickly under pressure, and it seems there’s always someone behind you who wants to get ahead. But golf is most like business because there are many ways to get in trouble. Number One Sometimes you just do dumb things, Read More

When Is It Time To Sell My Business?

Just about every hard working American knows someone who owns, or who has once owned, their own business. Most of us know small business owners more intimately, as they work on the streets where we shop, they live in our neighborhoods. Their houses aren’t at the top of Mulholland Drive or Park Avenue. They are one of us, and we all admire them, because they are taking a risk we never felt we could. They stay up late, Read More

When Is It Time To Quit My Corporate Job and Purchase My Own Business?

Every year, business journals and financial magazines come out with statistics informing an overworked American public how many of them collectively hate their corporate jobs. While most of us just want a decent paycheck, good health benefits, and the opportunity to retire at a reasonable age, some people cannot tolerate their own loathing for the everyday 9 to 5 effort of working for someone else, and they launch Read More

Revealed, The Secrets of Business Valuation

It’s no fun to tell a songwriter his song is bad.  Telling a novelist her novel won’t sell takes nerves of steel.  Telling a new Mom her newborn is not the cutest child in the nursery, well that’s just downright dangerous!  Telling a business owner what his business is really worth is no way to make a friend, much less gain a client. Over two decades of buying and selling businesses, I have observed that most Read More

Four Warning Signs You Aren’t Ready to Buy a Business (“it takes one to know one”)

Business brokers always hear from people who say they are interested in buying a business. We love these calls, after all, we get paid when someone buys a business, so access to willing business buyers is a good thing, right? Well, not really, because most of the time these conversations are an utter waste of time. This doesn’t mean the person expressing interest in buying a business isn’t serious about buying a Read More

Productive Home Office = Home Office Success

When you are starting a small business, you want to have a place that you can work. Setting up a place in your home where you can be productive takes some planning and intentionality, and can make a big difference in your ability to get your business off of the ground. What should every home office have? Computer. This is an essential item for any office, but most especially if you have a small business. This is Read More