The Ideal Exit
Most successful business owners are good people. Caring people. I've worked with thousands of them. Jerks tend to implode, eventually. Traits of care, honesty and integrity aid the business owner in surviving and succeeding over the long haul, so most who "make it" are "good folks," as we say in the South.
Yes, most successful business owners are also driven to achieve material and financial success, but such is not the extent of who they are. They care about the people around them, such as their employees. They contribute to charitable causes.
When the time comes for business owners to sell their businesses, they worry a lot about the impact it will have on their employees. In most cases, I've found the owner's "ideal exit" would have many of the following elements:
The amazing thing is, all off these are achievable for many business owner-sellers. Certainly, at least, when the business is stable and earning $1 million per year or more in annual profit. The buyers of businesses this size or greater are many, and most want the established management team to remain and continue to run the company. The biggest barrier to making this happen for a business owner is - aside from finding the right M&A firm that has the knowledge, skill and staff to run the processes and put this type of deal - convincing him or her that it IS possible. That he/she can maximize the sale price AND secure these additional elements. The keys to making it happen are:
Buyers want to do business with good people. Buyers who trust that the person or persons whom they are buying out will pay more. Buyers who see that the selling owner cares about more than just money, such as the employees, view the seller as trustworthy. Of character. And this is why going for more than just money can result in an ideal sale. That is, a maximized sale price PLUS so much more. Everyone wins: the seller, buyer, employees and the community.
For more on this topic, go to AcquisitionAdvisors.com. Sign up for the free e-newsletter The Quiet Exit. It provides advice on how business owners can go about selling quietly, professionally, for absolute maximum.
Copyright © 2010 by D.L. Perkins, LLC. All rights reserved under International and Pan American Copyright Conventions. Reproduction, in any form, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission from an officer of D.L. Perkins, LLC. Issn. No. 1556-2026. Vol. 6, No. 2
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