One Thing I have Learned
Owning a business is not like having a job or making an investment in public stocks. Owning a business is deeply personal in multiple ways. Not only is ownership a source of income and financial support but it is a lifelong role. In some ways it is our place in society and most definitely in our community. In a way ownership of your business, over time becomes sacred.
Selling a business representing decades and even generations of involvement can be scary. As that closing day approaches sellers begin to face a form of their own mortality. The initial enthusiasm can give way to many self doubts.
As with an individual life, owning a business is linked to a powerful story…a story about you, your family, your customers and, of course, your staff. These are stories of hard work, sacrifice, risks, fortune & misfortune.
The one thing I have learned in the process of assisting owners transfer their business is that I need to engage at a higher level than a simple financial transaction. Selling / Transferring means something different to every person. Unless I know what that “different” is for THAT person I cannot fully help them.
The other thing I have learned
Buyers come in different “flavors” wanting to write different stories. As a result bringing the buyers and sellers together has almost as much to do with fit as it does with price. Finding a good fit is important.
There are two different types of transfers that can have significantly different results and tax implications
- Insider transactions involving:
- Children or other relative
- Key Employees
- Third party transactions involving:
- A local competitor / colleague
- A regional acquirer
- A national acquirer
- A publicly held company
Each has their own pros and cons. Each has their own idiosyncrasies and risks.
Enable my clients to find the best fit and price and transfer their business on their terms…so they can begin writing a new story for themselves and their family.