Exit: Exit Options

Should you be targeting a specific segment of the buyer market? How can that be accomplished? What technical issues will you face with taxation, negotiation and contract structure? The specific and unique challenges of Family, Employee and Third-Party sales.

The Immortal Business Goes on Forever

Do you run an immortal business? I hope so. If you answered “no,” or even hesitated to be sure of your response, then you don’t think of your business as immortal. So when do you plan to shut it down? Most …
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Selling Your Business: Money isn't Everything

When I was a kid my mother said “Money isn’t everything” in response to every envious glance at another kid’s stuff. As I became successful enough to afford things for my children, I reversed the meaning. “Money isn’t everything” became …
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Selling to Employees: Is Your Exit Strategy Right in Front of You?

When I interview a prospective client for exit planning assistance, we usually explore selling to employees. The first reaction is always “That won’t work. They don’t have any money.” If you have a company with reasonable cash flow, a talented …
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What's in YOUR Nondisclosure Agreement?

A Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) has become one of the basic standard documents in every company’s wallet. Between the rising swell of Baby Boomer owners entertaining exit planning, and greater caution surrounding the legal issues of strategic partnering, an NDA is …
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Too Busy to Do Business

Another tax filing season has passed, and the entire US accounting profession comes up for air. Of course, thousands of businesses and individuals have filed for extensions, thereby postponing the pain of calculating their final numbers for anywhere from a …
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What is the Right Price?

Of all the misconceptions by business owners, the ones surrounding their company’s value are both the most common and often wildly inaccurate. I’ve been working for the last couple of months on the training videos for advisors in our new product, The ExitMap®. …
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Is Your Business in the "Neutral Zone?"

As Baby Boomers business owners approach retirement (the youngest of them turned 50 this year) they face a unique challenge. The market for small businesses is increasingly a buyer’s smorgasbord A shrinking middle-aged population, corporate competition for talent and less interest …
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Owners Live in Two Different Worlds

Business owners live in two different worlds. If you are a Baby Boomer, the title of this column might bring memories of any one of the many covers of the song by the same name. (Everyone from Nat King Cole to …
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Selling Your Business in a Buyer's Market

For almost ten years I’ve been writing and speaking about the issues facing Baby Boomer business owners as they begin a flood of small business sales. This recent article was syndicated in 16 trade and professional magazines. I reprint it …
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Money is Only Money

Last week I discussed the general parameters of the private equity market for small and midsized businesses. A rational look at the number of “funds” active in the market, measured against the number of legitimate candidates for investment or acquisition, …
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Investing in Your Own Business: Will It Pay Off?

A few months ago a business owner asked me to evaluate an acquisition offer for his small business. It was from a larger company headquartered in a different region of the country. They had a branch operation in his city, and wanted to expand …
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Key Man Policies May Not Cover a Buy/Sell Agreement

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a number of conversations with clients about key man insurance. Let me say at the outset that I don’t sell insurance, and have no financial stake in whether any client has coverage or …
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What is Your Company Worth? II

Last week we discussed how business owners frequently use hearsay or incomplete information to estimate the value of their companies. They give the number to their financial planner, or include it on a personal financial statement for their banker, neither of …
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The Gen X Business Buyer

Generation X’ers aren’t mini-Boomers. Raised in a rapidly growing economy by parents that approached child rearing as a competitive activity, they saw more, did more, and were given more than their parents could have dreamed of. I took my first …
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The X Factor

There are two sides to every business transaction, a buyer and a seller. For most of the last 50 years in America, the Baby Boomers have been the biggest buyers in history. They bought homes and cars to spur the …
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