Enjoy: Life After

The purpose of exit planning is to… EXIT! Discussions of the ways people enjoy their post-ownership lives (or don’t). We include real-life stories shared by other business owners.

After the Exit: Second Acts

As part of my effort to add variety to the types of exit planning posts here, I will occasionally include “Second Act”, stories about business owners who have already left one career, and are now doing something else. The Second …
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After the Exit; "Nothing Will Change"

“Nothing will change.” It is almost de rigueur for an acquirer to include that in his or her opening comments to the incumbent staff of a just-purchased business. Sometimes it is the seller’s attempt at making folks feel better. “Don’t …
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A Transition to Exit Planning

It is time for a new direction. This marks my 400th posting to this site. I’ve enjoyed writing weekly about the daily issues and opportunities of business owners for almost ten years, but it is time for a change. Awake …
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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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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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Ageing Boomer Entrepreneurs: Fearful or Smart?

Do we become more cautious with age? Startups are usually associated with younger entrepreneurs. By the time they reach their 50s or 60s business owners tend to tackle fewer big new ideas. Those that do tend to be successful enough that they …
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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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Boomer Business Owners' Retirement Accelerates

Pepperdine University, in cooperation with the International Business Brokers Association and the M&A Source, publishes a quarterly Market Pulse Survey on the sale of small businesses in the United States. The most recent report, covering the fourth quarter of 2012, …
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The Brass Ring

A long, long time ago (I’ve actually ridden only one such in my lifetime) Carousels had a spring-loaded sleeve of brass rings protruding near the innermost (and least popular) track of horses. A bigger kid could lean out and yank …
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Hunting vs. Farming

At the family gathering, you are being introduced to a distant cousin you haven’t seen since childhood. The introduction usually includes your status as a business owner. “Do you remember little Cousin Bobby? He owns his own company now.” Or …
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Lifestyle or Legacy - Part 4

Last week a client told me “You are wrong. I have a lifestyle business that is ALSO a legacy business.” Sorry, but that doesn’t fly. He has built a good company, and continues to improve it. Be he is not driving …
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Lifestyle or Legacy - Part 3

Let’s turn to the Legacy Builders.They are the business owners who have achieved Lifestyle status (as defined in the last posting) but continue to work hard to build their businesses. Their objective is a company that does far more than …
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Lifestyle vs. Legacy - Part 2

Let’s define a lifestyle business. For our purposes, I’ll start with what it isn’t. It’s not the small retail store being run by someone who doesn’t need the money. A few years ago I was on a judging panel for a …
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Lifestyle vs. Legacy - Part 1

There are three types of business owners. The first, which encompasses the vast majority of small businesses, is the one who simply wants to make a living from running his or her business. They dream of the day that they …
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Hunters and Farmers

Several times monthly, I interview entrepreneurs who are considering membership in The Alternative Board® as a means to improve their business. Part of the process is asking each one what his or her core skills are – the things that …
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