You Can Handle The Truth – About Selling Your Company

The first thing I’m consistently told by my readers, when we meet in person or speak on the phone, is they respect the honesty and tell it like it is attitude in my writing. I take that as a badge of honour. So thank you. The truth and cutting to the chase is and always has been important for any successful business owner. I respect you by offering the truth and I expect to receive it back. Trust is earned over time and we slowly develop an honest relationship. I think you do want it and you can handle it. One of the tools you used to build your successful business was and still is a strong BS meter. At a high level, you have likely not moved forward with plans to sell your business because of at least one of the following:

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know.
  2. The information you’ve been given is wrong or at the very least misleading.
  3. You don’t know where to go for good answers in the first place.

The conversation usually continues with a variety of questions about our experience, credibility and relatable stories of other owners we are working with. (Nothing identifiable is ever said and names are NEVER used). At the same time it is important to make sure you have as much time as you need to tell us your story. If we haven’t offered at least 2 or 3 suggestions on how you can increase the value of your company in the first conversation then we are having a bad day. Sorry we will make up for it next time. The questions we are typically asked are as follows:

  1. How much is my company worth?
  2. How long will it take to transition out?
  3. Who might buy my company?
  4. How long does it take to get my company ready for sale or transition?
  5. How do I protect my people?
  6. What size companies do we work with?
  7. Will we meet with the Owners’ spouse or children or partners and reiterate our conversation?
  8. How do we charge for our work?

The post question conversation usually goes something like this. Wow I didn’t know what was involved in selling my company. I knew some of the ways my business could be made more valuable but had no idea there were so many more opportunities. I’m surprised at what a difference a little work pre-sale could make in the selling price/transition terms and how that translates into cash in my jeans. So when you’re ready to hear the truth about selling your business and have a pair of fresh eyes or two look at your company, call me or any other trusted advisor. I like making new friends and setting people straight. What you don’t want is someone telling you what they think you want to hear. You can handle the truth, I know you can. Written by: Eric Gilboord

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