The Good News and Bad News of Selling Your Business in a Post-Corona World.
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Ask the Right Question First

“I am making great money, and I love what I’m doing. But with this economy, lord knows where it's going after the election. Maybe I should just sell now.” Randy (not his real name) called me on the advice of his Raymond James wealth advisor. Randy is getting weekly calls and emails from private equity buyers asking about his interest in selling. “I really hadn’t planned to sell until my youngest son finishes Read More

When Brand Value Isn’t Value

“I am not happy about your valuation, Jim. You seem to have ignored our brand value. My customers love us, and we get lots of great feedback on the story about us in Southern Living. All that goodwill has to count for something.” Roger (not his real name) has owned his business for 15 years, after spending the first part of his career at a prominent Nashville architectural firm. He told me he went into business Read More

Innovate, Renovate, or Reinvent, but Do Something!

“We’ve made a good living singing three to four nights a week for over 20 years. Rodeos, concert halls, colleges, and county fairs all across the United States. We’ve traveled overseas dozens of times, too. But now, we have no place to go, no place to sing, and no concert income.” Jay (not his real name) and his group have spent the last five months at home. His income from record sales and streaming continues, Read More

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