Are you preparing for a business exit?
You’ve done something extraordinary that sets you apart from most entrepreneurs.
But here’s the thing.
There are seven brutal truths nobody either talks about or admits when it comes to a business exit.
What are these truths about a business exit and how do I know?
I started my EdTech, Embanet, like that kid right out of school with no money, experience or team.
Grit, passion, and the desire to make a difference got me through daily failure.
Thirteen years later and I was an “overnight” success when I had a 9-figure exit.
Easier said than done.
My first offer was poor on the financial side and rich on the learning. It was from this experience that I dedicated myself to master the art and science of a business exit.
It was exhilarating to disrupt my industry with a business model that didn’t suck.
Despite my wins, there are things I learned after the fact.
The sky is the limit if I could only go back in time and tell myself what to do and not do for my business exit.
Let my lessons-learned be your gain as you read and prosper.
What are these seven brutal truths that nobody talks about when you have your business exit?
Keep reading to find out.
If You Want To Win Big Open Up Your Wallet And Schedule
Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing – Vince Lombardi
If you want to win big with your business exit, open up your wallet and schedule.
I’ve lost track of the number of entrepreneurs who tell me that they woke up one day and had an unsolicited offer. You hear the offer is lucrative and the business exit is over-the-top.
What you’ll never hear is how much money the entrepreneur left on the table from taking the easy path.
Experienced buyers count on you making mistakes when selling your business.
Your mistakes line the buyer’s pocket.
When I began the process of preparing my business exit and sale, so-called experts told me two things.
First, the business exit process isn’t expensive.
Second, the business exit process won’t take me away from my business.
As usual, the so-called experts are wrong.
You have one chance to get it right for your business exit.
Think back to the time you started your business and worked late into the evening and on weekends.
Chances are you still burn the midnight oil.
You’ve taken risks and made sacrifices most people aren’t willing to make.
This is why you’re an entrepreneur.
Know this and know this well about your business exit.
Preparing your company for sale takes both an extraordinary amount of time and money.
And it’s worth every minute and dollar.
Spend the money and make the time when it comes to your business exit.
Accept Now That Everyone Is Looking Out From Themselves, Including Your Team
If money go before, all ways do lie open – William Shakespeare
When planning your business exit, accept the fact that people look out for themselves.
Yes, even your team will put their needs in front of yours.
Before you start playing the victim card, think about this for a moment.
At the end of the day, you’ll retire rich and happy from your business exit.
Good for you.
But what about everyone else?
And that’s the point.
The truth is, you’re no different.
You, my dear reader, start your business to make a life for yourself.
You solved painful problems affecting many people and received payment for removing pain.
You’ve had your kick at the can.
Make your business exit more than being about you.
Create cash incentives for key people involved in your business exit. From your key team members to your investment banker to your advisors.
Do yourself a favor and let your future buyer know about the incentives for your team.
Let your business exit be a win-win from the start and enable you to transform lives for the better.
Know That Every Buyer Counts On You Making Mistakes With Your Business Exit
It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes – Warren Buffett
Before your business exit, talk to anyone and everyone who went down the same path before you.
Other peoples’ mistakes are your gain.
Knowing what not to do is often more important than knowing what to do.
The first offer I received to buy my business and for my business exit was from a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Your future buyer is smart, experienced, sophisticated and cunning.
Every wonder why most business owners sell their business from an unsolicited offer?
The buyer has sought you out, and you don’t spend the time or money preparing your business exit.
If things go well for the buyer, you’ll even agree to deal only with the buyer.
Say goodbye to an auction for your business, an over-the-top virtual data room, and a prepared exit team.
At the same time, say hello to a lower valuation and less money in your pocket.
Pay the price now in the form of money and time spent on preparing your company for sale, and you’ll profit later.
Skip the preparation for your business exit, and you’ll pay the price later. Big time.
Check out my article ‘Do You Know The 7 Mistakes When Selling Your Business Every Buyer Wants You To Make?‘
When it comes to your business exit, do everything to avoid making costly mistakes.
Always Remember That Taxes Are More Than You Think
The only thing worse than paying income tax is not paying income tax – Donald Macleod
Before you start your business exit journey, know that taxes are more than you think.
Don’t be the fool rushing in to finish your business exit to find out afterward that taxes took most of your money.
It happens more than you think.
In the perfect world, entrepreneurs would find a great tax advisor from day one.
Life isn’t perfect.
Get yourself a great tax advisor now.
Can a tax advisor save you money on taxes?
An absolute yes.
Lots of money.
But there’s a catch.
Tax planning takes time.
Not days, weeks, or months.
An effective tax plan will take years to be effective.
Whatever money spent on an effective tax plan is a rounding error compared to the savings you’ll reap.
Play the long game in anticipation of your business exit and start your tax planning. Today.
The Best Kept Secret: Your Investment Banker’s BFF Is Your Buyer, Not You
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest – Benjamin Franklin
Do you know the best-kept secret in the merger and acquisition industry?
Your investment banker’s loyalty is to your buyer, not you.
You read that right.
Let me say it again.
Your investment banker’s loyalty is to your buyer, not you.
How can this be?
To your investment banker, you’re a one-hit-wonder.
Your buyer will do many transactions with your investment banker.
In other words, your buyer is the golden goose to your investment banker.
Will your investment banker put you in harm’s way?
But if push comes to shove, investment bankers will choose your buyer over you.
Now that you know the best-kept secret, what can you do when it comes to your business exit?
Hire an advisor to the advisor.
Your advisor is independent and is loyal to you. There’s a good chance your advisor to the advisor is another investment banker.
The smart money is on entrepreneurs who keep their advisor in the background.
Your advisor to the advisors will pick up deal nuances everyone else misses.
Remember, your lawyer, accounts and other advisors focus on getting the deal done.
Your advisor to the advisors focuses on getting the RIGHT deal done.
When it comes to your business exit, find and hire your advisor to the advisors.
Do You Know The One Question To Ask Before Your Business Exit? (You Should)
Life is full of questions. Idiots are full of answers – Socrates
Before you embark on your business exit, you better ask the one and only question that’s a game changer.
Do you know this question?
Once you do your business exit, there’s no going back.
What’s this one question?
It’s two words that will forever change your life.
And the question is:
Picture it. You’ve sold your company for a king’s ransom. You have more money and time than you ever imagined.
You travel the world in luxury. Every toy you’ve ever dreamed of you’ve bought. You drive that fancy car and live in a castle.
You’re sitting on the beach whose name you forget because beaches all look the same after a while.
Bored out of your mind.
If you don’t have a compelling answer, stop.
Stop whatever you’re doing.
It’s not the time for your business exit.
Anthony Robbins says it best, “Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”
Ever wonder why ultra-successful people keep on doing what they do?
Now you know.
If you don’t have something fulfilling to do after your business exit, it’s not your time.
Read more about the question of questions here.
When Given The Choice Of Being Lucky Or Smart, Choose Both
Hard work is the key, but luck plays a part – Neil Diamond
As you embark upon your business exit, know that you need to be both smart and lucky.
I’ll always remember my strategy business professor who said, “the harder I work the luckier I get.”
There’s no shame in lady luck helping you with your business exit.
You can’t plan for it or do a thing about it, but when opportunity knocks, you better open the door.
A quick story.
My business exit happened two weeks before the housing financial crisis.
Was I prepared for my business exit?
You better believe I was.
Had my deal process started thirty days later, there would have been no deal.
Being smart is great.
But being smart and lucky is the best.
How can be both smart and lucky?
The only thing you can do is to prepare yourself, your team, and business.
The rest is luck.
And when it comes to your business exit, know that your journey needs a lot of preparation and a sprinkling of luck.
When luck arrives, smile and accept it with gratitude.
Your business exit is a game changer.
But only if you do it right.
When it comes to your business exit, you have one shot, and you better make it count.
The secret to ultimate success is knowing both what to do and not do.
To achieve my 9-figure exit, I dedicated myself to learn the ins-and-outs of selling a business.
There were too many phone calls, meetings, and plane rides to count in the process.
But it was worth it.
My business exit journey had me learn the secrets that nobody talked about it.
And for a good reason.
A business exit is a high stakes game, and the players play to win, at all costs.
To master the art and science of a business exit, I went to the most prestigious school around.
The School of Hard Knocks.
Even with my knowledge and experience, I made costly mistakes with my business exit.
But you don’t have to.
Prosper from my in-the-trenches experience and heavy lifting.
Everything you need to be successful with you already have within you. Right now.
What do you do?
Start with my first truth and stay with it until you master it. When you’re done, move on to the next.
Rinse and repeat until you’ve mastered all seven.
You can do it. I know you can.
So what are you waiting for?
Here’s to you and your success!
Your BIGGEST Raving Fan,