5 Important Things You Need To Know About Successful Business Exits

6 min read

Successful Business Exits

Do you know the five things all successful business exits have in common?

Number five is jaw-droppingly brilliant.

But I’m getting ahead of myself

If you’re selling your business, make it your business to find out.

I didn’t and it almost cost me my everything.

Who could blame me? After all, I was that kid right out of school who started his EdTech with no money, experience, or team.

The first buyer who knocked on my door was a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. The buyer knew that I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and his offer showed it.

But not before he wined and dined me and promised me the sun, moon, and stars.

Every instinct I had told me to say ‘no’ to the buyer’s 7-figure offer.

The buyer was in shock, and I knew on the spot that I had to school myself in the world of mergers and acquisitions.

Where do you start and what do you do?

That’s exactly what I asked myself.

Success leaves clues. So does failure.

I made it my mission to speak to entrepreneurs who had successful business exits.

What about the entrepreneurs who didn’t have successful business exits?

I spoke with those entrepreneurs as well.

Knowing what not to do is often more important than knowing what to do.

Less than twenty-four months later, I said ‘yes’ to a 9-figure exit.

And yes, my 9-figure exit had the five traits successful business exits have.

What are these five traits?

Keep reading.

 

 

Successful Business Exits Are Successful Because Of The Right Exit Team

Exit Team Successful Business Exit

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. – H.E. Luccock

Successful business exits only happen when you build a stellar exit team.

A stellar exit team includes:

  • Investment banker
  • Strategic advisor
  • Accountants
  • Tax advisor
  • Mergers and acquisitions lawyer
  • Your management team
  • Existing Customers
  • Your personal advisor to help manage the team

Read more about assembling your exit team to crush it and win here.

Click here to learn how to dominate and win when you know how to choose an investment banker.

Is an exit team that important?

If you want to retire rich and happy, your exit team is the key to unlock your success and destiny.

What helped me go from a 7-figure to a 9-figure offer?

My exit team.

Once my exit team was in place, I got out of the way and let them do what they did best: dominate and win.

If you’ve done your job right, all your advisors are masters in their areas and set you up for success.

As a result of the exit team, we created an auction for the sale of my EdTech. We had more potential buyers than we could count, and best of all, the buyers knew it.

Successful business exits happen because of great exit teams.

Make it your business to create your A-Team so you too can dominate and win on your exit.

Successful Business Exits Happen Because Your Business Model Doesn’t Suck

Luck is not a business model – Anthony Bourdain

Does your business model suck?

If you answered ‘yes’ you’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs have a business model that sucks.

When I started my EdTech, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

And yes, my business model sucked until I did three things.

Three things changed my business model to have my EdTech dominate and win:

  1. Long term contracts
  2. A subscription service
  3. Revenue sharing

The result?

Buyers knocking down your door to buy your business.

Long term contracts and a subscription service provide predictability. Everyone knows when to expect revenue and how much.

Revenue sharing is the kingmaker that puts your business, and profits, into overdrive.

As appealing as revenue sharing sounds, convincing your client is another story. Easier said than done. But if you can, do it, and you’ll never look back.

Click here to read why your business model sucks and what you can about it.

Buyers are only too happy to pay a premium for certainty, longevity, and profits.

Know this and know this well.

Successful business exits happen because you have a business model that rocks.

Extraordinary Management Teams Create Extraordinary And Successful Business Exits

Management Team Successful Business Exits

Tend to the people, and they will tend to the business. – John Maxwell

Extraordinary management teams create extraordinary results and successful business exits.

Period.

End of story.

My EdTech started with a management team of three people: me, myself, and I worked out of my parents’ attic.

A humble beginning?

Yes.

Sustainable?

No.

As my EdTech evolved, I had two remarkable individuals as business partners.

My EdTech was successful.

But my EdTech’s success wasn’t enough for the first buyer.

Why not?

My EdTech didn’t run without myself and my business partners.

How do you go from a 7-figure off to a 9-figure offer?

Your company runs without you because you have an extraordinary management team.

Read ‘Why You’ll Be Happier And Richer When Your Company Runs Without You‘ for the specifics.

Buyers neither like surprises nor uncertainty.

A company that needs its founder to run is a disaster waiting to happen.

Do you say you’ll never leave your company when you sell?

Sounds great on paper.

Buyers know that once you have the money in the bank, you’ll be telling a different story. On an exotic beach.

Successful business exits happen only when your company runs without you.

Whether you sell, or not, you’ll get your life back when your company runs without you.

Know this and know this well.

A strong management team generates both happy customers and higher profits.

Spoiler Alert: Your Investment Banker’s BFF Is Your Future Buyer

Ask often, be content of little, reward always. – Nuno Oliveira

Spoiler alert.

Your investment banker’s BFF is your future buyer.

Yes, you read that right.

I’ll say it again for effect.

Your investment banker’s BFF is your future buyer.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for the investment banker who sold my EdTech.

At the same time, I knew that if my investment banker had to choose me or the buyer, the buyer wins. All day. Every day.

Are investment bankers out to get you?

No.

Understand that like you, investment bankers are in business to be in business.

My Rockstar entrepreneur, you’re a one-hit wonder for your investment banker.

Your future buyer will do many deals with your investment banker.

For the full scoop, read ‘The Surprising Truth About Investment Bankers That Can Make You Rich.’

Now what?

Turn the tables to your advantage.

A talented and skilled exit team helps keep you, and everyone else, honest.

Knowledge is power.

Ensure you never put your investment bankers in a situation where it’s a choice of you or a buyer.

Life’s complicated.

Why would selling your business be any different?

So, what do you do?

Align the interests of investment bankers and buyers.

Successful business exits happen when everyone’s interests are aligned.

How do you do this?

Keep reading.

How Do Successful Business Exits Happen? Incentivize Your Management Team And Investment Banker

Incentive Successful Business Exits

To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace. – Douglas Conant

Remember that ‘jaw-droppingly’ brilliant tip I mentioned at the start?

This is it. Pay attention.

Help enough people get what they want so you can get what you want.

When it comes to successful business exits, incentives are a game changer.

Want to retire rich and happy?

Of course you do.

Why would it be any different for your management team?

It’s not.

Let’s call it for what it is.

After your exit, your management team has visions of you riding off into the sunset. With money. Lots of money.

And while you took all the risk and built the company, it’s your team that runs your company when you’re gone.

With the blessings of your future buyer, incentivize your management team. Customize the incentives on a person-by-person basis. Have fun and get creative. Money, vacation time, public recognition, and job titles are great places to start.

Your management team will work with you and not against you when they know there’s something in it for them.

Ready for a tip that’s a game changer?

Over incentivize your investment banker.

How do you do this?

Prepare your company for sale.

With the numbers and diligence done, ask your investment banker for the top value of your company.

For every dollar over the top value, share a percentage with your investment banker. The investment banker success fee you’ve already negotiated is not part of this payment. This is why this is an incentive.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

And you have everything to gain.

Know this, and know this well.

Successful business exits happen when you help people get what they want. Especially your management team and investment banker.

Conclusion

All successful business exits have five things in common. Figure this out and you’re well on your way to retiring rich and happy.

The first offer to buy my EdTech was 7-figures. The next offer from a different buyer was 9-figures.

Easier said than done.

How did I do it?

My EdTech became my laboratory on my quest to master the art and science of selling a company.

I spent countless dollars and time to find out what didn’t work so I knew what would work.

The great news is that my heavy lifting is to your benefit.

What do you do and where do you start?

Take it one success principle at a time. Start with the first strategy. Learn the strategy, apply it, and master it.

Once you’re done, move on to the next strategy.

Before you know it, you’ve mastered all five strategies.

Congratulations, you’ve positioned yourself for success.

You can do it. I know you can.

Everything you need you already have within you, right now.

So what you are you waiting for?

Here’s to you and your success!

Your Biggest Raving Fan,

 

 

Jeffrey Feldberg

 

 

 

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- VIP access to free resources

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