FREE TRAINING: 3 Keys to Sell Your Business with Confidence

Don’t Be So Smart That You Kill the Goose That Lays Your Golden Eggs

I’ve never seen a strategy so brilliantly described. Bret (not his real name) was showing me a colorful graphic of how his business worked. The graphic showed six entities revolving around the core business he started about 20 years ago. “Yeah, I’m pretty proud of how it looks,” Bret said to me. “Everybody I show it to immediately gets what I do. You think I can get a 10X deal on my company?” As he nears 60, Bret is Read More

Don’t Wait for the Vultures to Start Hovering

“Hey honey, come look at this, this is weird.” My wife, Emily (her real name), was looking out toward our backyard from the kitchen window. “This is unbelievable, kinda spooky” she said. I looked out to see vultures in my backyard. Big, black, scary-looking creatures. The fact that it was dusk made the scene even more ominous. I counted 21, there may have been more. From my vantage point, it looked like they were Read More

The Non-Acquisition Acquisition

“I’ve found a company in Miami, they are a perfect fit for what we do and they are ready to sell, can you help us put the deal together?” So began my the phone call with Susan (not her real name). Just a few years after finishing graduate school, Susan started a market research firm, and over the past ten years has grown it into a national leader for her specialty, biomedical research. Her decision in 2005 to launch Read More

Peas, broccoli and partnerships …. things I really hate.

“We’ve been in business together for 23 years, and now I want to sell but he doesn’t have the money to buy my share, and he’s not ready to exit. What do I do?” I gave Marvin (not his real name) a simple but un-welcomed answer, “There’s little you can do, just wait.” Of course, lawyers will point out the partnership agreement should have included a buy-sell agreement. But here’s the reality, many partners don’t have Read More

When Buying a Good Business, Don’t be Good Deal Focused

A few years ago I was retained to sell a profitable business in Kentucky. The owner was ready to retire, but fully committed to helping the buyer make a smooth transition. The 50-year-old business had a positive reputation in the community, a loyal customer base, and a great location. I located a prospective buyer through a referral from a banker. Once I showed this prospect my client's business, he was soon engaged Read More

Growing Your Value Through Less Doing and More Listening

“Growth is an easy concept to understand,” he told me. “All you have to do is sell more of your existing products to new customers, or get new products to sell to your existing customers.” Allen (not his real name) had not gone to business school. He had not gone to college. I’m not sure he ever graduated from high school. But Allen was one of the smartest men I ever met. Though he had no formal business education, Read More

Does Your Company’s Culture Actually Add Value?

“You know, I’ve intentionally built a positive culture here, but it’ll fall apart if I sell to the wrong buyer. This company is my family’s legacy, I have to protect the culture when I sell it.” Todd (not his real name) was ready to sell the company he inherited from his father twenty years ago. Todd and I had a lot in common. His faith was an important component of his life, and he openly shared it with his Read More

The Cash Flow Purchase

“I'll be ready to sell in three or four years, and he's the only guy I trust to buy it. Problem is, he doesn't have enough money, what do I do?” Gabe (not his real name) owned an impressive assemblage of businesses, one of which was a hobbyist magazine that served a loyal subscriber base. Gabe had a deep commitment to the magazine’s readership and felt his long-time editor was the right guy to handle the magazine’s Read More

What Works for Navy Seals Might Kill Your Business

Navy Seals know a thing or two about building productive teams. A key principle of their productivity is the “buddy system”. But what works for our Navy Seals can cause problems in a business setting. Mike (not his real name) and I had been buddies for about ten years. Close friends. He graduated from pharmacy school the same year I graduated from law school. Though we were taking different career paths, we wanted Read More

The Paradox That Blocks Escape From Corporate Prison

“I’m tired of my corporate job at ______, I want to be an entrepreneur, be my own boss, how do I buy a business?” I get this question about once a week. The ensuing conversation often feels more like a counseling session than a business conversation. In most cases, the individual doesn't really want to be an entrepreneur; they are unhappy with their job and just want to fantasize about doing something different. I Read More