Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Seven Reasons to Sell Your Business

Business Owners are a special breed! They are independent people who want to be in charge, to make decisions. They love what they are doing – work is fun. Work is satisfying. Their work defines who they are.

As long as things are going well the thought of moving on and selling their business is foreign to them.
But a time will come to sell and move on. As a business owner you need to recognize that your world is going to change. You need to anticipate those changes and be prepared to sell your business. The goal is to ‘go out on top;’ to sell your business on your terms, on your timing.


YOU WILL CHANGE – You won’t have the energy to keep the company viable. You’ll no longer have the passion for the business.
Maybe you, your spouse or other family member will have health problems that will keep you from spending the time you need to run the business.
Or you might run out of ideas, finding that what used to work no longer gets the results you want.

YOUR BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT WILL CHANGE – Global competition, new technology or changing employee values are some factors that will demand new thinking. What got you here no longer works. Your company must reinvent itself to compete in the new world.
Change is essential and you may no longer be the person to lead the needed change.

YOU NEED TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE NEXT GENERATION – Not just family businesses. Any business ‘worth its salt’ needs to have people who have the passion and the ability to lead the business into the changing future.
The future of your business depends upon identifying people with potential, developing them and providing opportunities to grow into leadership roles.
If you fail to provide opportunities for your best people, the very ones you need the most, they will leave perhaps moving to work with your competition.

YOU WANT TO ‘GO OUT ON TOP’ - You have made an investment and built a strong viable business. Now you want to ‘harvest that investment’ by selling it and moving into a new phase of your life. This might happen anytime, independent of your age.

YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUITY TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS - Perhaps, when your business is ‘at the top of its mark,’ a prospective buyer will want to buy it, making an offer the just too good to pass up.
But if you are not prepared to sell and move on, you may pass up a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.

NOTE: Sometimes a buyer will want you to stay on for a short period to assure a smooth transition.
Others may want you to remain indefinitely and continue to manage the business.
The advantage, in either instance, is that you have withdrawn your investment and still have a role. Your challenge is to consider the opportunity carefully to confirm that this arrangement matches your long term personal plans.
In either instance you have only deferred your personal move to independence for a few years.

YOU WANT TO RELOCATE – Perhaps it’s time to move to a warmer climate – one where you don’t have to deal with winter and can play golf or enjoy some other outdoor hobbies year around.
Maybe you want to ‘follow the kids’ who have relocated so you can be near your grandchildren.

YOU HAVE A NEW PASSION – Maybe the business isn’t what you want to do anymore and you want to move on. You want to let go of this business and start a new venture.
Perhaps the business has changed and you are required to do many duties which leaves you with too little time to do what really matters to you; too many management responsibilities and not enough time to work on projects or too little time to see customers, etc.

Selling your business is not a ‘traditional retirement.’ It’s an opportunity for a transition and a new beginning.
The sale is an act of harvesting the investment that you spent years building. It’s moving into a new phase of life – one that gives you new purpose, new meaning and new opportunities.
Making a successful transition is a multi-year process that merges three elements: personal, company and financial.
Even though you don’t want to sell now it’s essential to start planning to assure success.

What are your perspectives on selling a business?
Have you sold a business? Describe the experience. What did you learn that you can pass on to others?
Are you pondering selling? What are your concerns?

Want to explore the subject? Check out my web site http://www.life-work-transitions.com/ or contact me at pkwendel@aol.com or 716 434 8688

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Someday you’ll leave your business – every business owner will.
Will you leave on your terms – when you want to or will you be pushed or carried out?

You have a range of choices.
You can ‘Die at your desk’ – you just keep working until the last ounce of energy leaves your body, and your heirs must pick up the pieces and close out the business.
Or you can just ‘Lock the door and walk away’ selling whatever you have left; plant, equipment and records often for pennies on the dollar. Minimal planning is needed to pull this one off!

Both of these oprions can enable you to ‘go out on top’ by selling the business when it has high value so you can harvest your investment and build a nest egg for the next phase of your life.
One transition option is an internal sale; you sell to your partners or management team. This option enables you to build an organization that is your legacy and gives you some input on who will carry your legacy forward. But you must select and develop your successors. And it may take several years for your buyers to complete the buyout.
Another transition option is an external sale to an outside third party. This can often be the most profitable because the buyers see a greater strategic value resulting from merging the two companies. Although finding the best buyer will take more time, completing the sale is usually faster than an internal sale.
The transition option you ultimately choose will depend on your answers to these questions:
• How can you maximize your return when you sell the business?
• Do you have potential buyers on staff; people who have the passion, skills, experience and financial resources to buy you out?
• Can you find external buyers who will pay you a premium?
• What do you want to do in the next phase of your life – after you sell your business?
• What is your time table – when do you want be free to move into your next phase?

Remember the old adage: Begin with the end in mind; What outcome do you want? Do you have an exit strategy to achieve that outcome?
My primary focus is helping business owners choose the future they want to create and guide them as the make the transition. It’s not retirement - an end; It’s a transition, beginning a new journey, one that can last decades.
In addition, if you intend an internal transfer, I can help you build the next generation of leaders/owners to carry your legacy forward.
Also, I can augment your team of legal and financial advisors to carry out your owner succession plan.
MY goal is to assist you in laying out your exit strategy well in advance of your needs with plenty of time to implement it in an effective, comprehensive manner.
I look forward to working with you to explore ways to help you lay out your exit strategy.

I invite you to visit my web site at: http://www.life-work-transitions.com/
Pete Wendel