A Moon Shot Idea Will Dramatically Improve Your Business Valuation

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

In 1962, President John Kennedy challenged the nation to put a man on the moon within eight years. It was a crazy, yet exciting idea. But given the intellect, ingenuity, and courage of the men and women in our space program, we delivered on JFK’s compelling vision in just seven years. That feat remains to this day one of mankind’s greatest accomplishments.

The phrase “moon shot” has since become synonymous with an idea that is mesmerizing yet seemingly impossible. If an idea is characterized as a “moon shot”, it is fraught with enormous risks, yet potential that is hard to calculate. You don’t know, if successful, how the “moon shot” idea would pay off, but you know it would redefine everything.

Do you have a “moon shot” idea for your business? I don’t mean a growth goal or even a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). I mean an idea that would redefine your business if you had the resources and courage to get after it. An idea that could as likely fail as succeed, but if successful, would put you in the Hall of Fame of business successes.

Every time I accept an engagement to sell a business, I encourage the business owner to develop a “moon shot” plan for his/her business. I frequently hear this in response, “If I’m going to sell my business, why do I need to have a big plan for after I’m no longer in control?” Or sometimes I hear a business owner ask, “Why do I need a crazy idea if I know I don’t have the resources to pull it off?”

The answer to these questions is rooted in the reality of why someone buys a business, be it a corner retail shop or a massive technology company; the buyer is thinking about the future and what the business can become. Think of it this way, what the business is today is nice, but what the business can be tomorrow is what intrinsically motivates most buyers.

When selling a business, we write a marketing package that, of course includes the basics, such as financial history, organization, and how the product/service is produced and delivered. But our marketing packages will also include a deep dive into the company’s growth prospects.

If your dive deep growth story includes a “moon shot” idea, and you are talking with buyers who have the resources to execute on that idea, you are likely (almost guaranteed) to sell your business for a higher premium.

JIM CUMBEE is President of Tennessee Valley Group, Inc. a retainer-based business brokerage and transition mediation firm in Franklin, TN. Cumbee is an attorney and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has a wide range of corporate and entrepreneurial experiences that make him one of the most sought-after business transition advisors in the state of Tennessee. The names and fact patterns above have been changed to preserve the parties’ identities.

 

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Tennessee Valley Group

Jim Cumbee established Tennessee Valley Group to help business owners fulfill their dreams for life after business ownership. It’s a mission that his 30+ year career history had prepared him well for—in addition to being an attorney, transition mediator and business broker, Jim has been a buyer, seller, and entrepreneur. His broad range of experience gives him unique insight into how business buyers and sellers can achieve their goals.

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