I almost waited too long.  It was 1995 and I knew the vending business was falling apart.  I knew that we were losing manufacturing customers at an alarming rate.  I knew that we no longer could service government contracts because there was just no way for us to give an honest count and make money.

But still, I kept at it and I almost missed the opportunity to get out with my shirt on.  When a reasonable buyer appeared two years earlier, I told them to go away.  I was insulted by the due diligence process and there was no one in my sphere to help me through it.  I almost lost the opportunity and I almost ended up going bankrupt.

This is something I don’t want to happen to you.  There are times that both you and I wait too long before we take action.  Sometimes, it can cause so much pain that you wished you were dead.  This is what happens when your industry or your life gets disrupted and you wait too long to take action.

I was lucky.

In my case I was lucky.  The buyer who I told to go away came back.  This time I knew the drill and when things got tough in due diligence I was ready for them.  I had gotten all of my ducks in a row and I knew when pushback was going to appear and what it would look like.

This time I hired a broker to help me.  There were some good and bad things about this.  The good was I had someone to get between me and the buyer.  This allowed me to not get too emotional when they said bad things about me or my company.  The bad was the broker would only get a big pay day if the deal went through and he had a favorite buyer he kept trying to get me to consider.

I was clear about what I wanted my broker to do.  He did it well and earned his fee.  At the same time, it would have been very useful for me to have an independent person who was paid or had their income impacted by whether I sold my business or not.  

Last week I told you about the role of the transitionist in the sales cycle.  If you didn’t read last week’s newsletter you can find the text here in my blog.  It really was the missing piece.  A transitionist who was trained in both financial transitions and exit planning could have helped me understand how close I was to disaster.  

If you want to hear more about this story, click here, we’ll set a time for us to talk about your situation and how you can avoid a disaster in your life.

A times article I want you to read

While I was poking around the NY Times yesterday I came across an article I thought was right on point.  I would love to have you read it and let me know what you think.  

When Mom and Pop Can’t Sell the Farm (or in This Case, the Theme Park) via When Mom and Pop Can’t Sell the Farm (or in This Case, the Theme Park) – The New York Times

If you’re looking for a financial planner….

I found another article which I thought was great.  This one is how to find a great financial advisor.  As it turns out, I punch all of the buttons they recommend.  

Before You Pay for Financial Advice, Read This Guide via Before You Pay for Financial Advice, Read This Guide – The New York Times




Topics: business exit planning

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