Business Broker Report 10: 3 Tips for Boomers Ready to Sell

Posted on Tue, Sep 17, 2013

retired man sailing

According to many Business Brokers and Mergers and Acquisitions Specialists, we're entering into a perfect storm created by baby boomers reaching retirement age and the country coming out of a recession. Boomer business owners who have wanted to retire, but have held their businesses off the market because of the recession, are now moving forward in increasing numbers.

Early in 2012, with the capital gains tax hike pending, tax considerations were the number one driver of business sales. But, according to a survey by Pepperdine University, the International Business Brokers Association and M&A Source, by the last quarter of 2012, baby boomer retirement had become the number one driver of small business sales.  In fact, according to (an online site hosting business buying and selling activity) the sale of small businesses increased 56% in the first quarter of 2013 over the first quarter of 2012.

OK. We get it. There’s going to be a lot of businesses on the market over the next few years. That being so, how do you make your business stand out from the crowd? How do you make it attractive to buyers so you can get the deal you need to get to help secure your retirement?

Here are 3 tips for getting your business in shape to sell:


1.     Enhance Your “Curb Appeal”

Studies have shown that a thorough detailing can add as much as 20% to the value of a used car. Whether it’s cleaning old debt off the books, getting rid of obsolete inventory, updating your IT infrastructure, or sprucing up your physical plant – updating and cleaning up your business before it goes on the market pays for itself many times over at the closing table. Buyers don’t want to buy a business that appears to have been neglected.  They don’t want to have to replace the phone system or deal with some uncollectable receivable on their first day of business. They want everything to be in place, bright and shiny and ready to help them realize their dreams.


2.     Start Letting Go of the Reins

Some business owners have trouble delegating – they keep their hands tight on the reins, make all the important decisions themselves and are the main point of contact with key customers.  That’s great as long as it works, but it’s not so great when it’s time to sell. Buyers will avoid or discount companies where all decision making and key customer relationships reside with the owner. If you don’t already have one, it’s important to create a strong second level of management before you put your company on the market. Start delegating decision making to your next-in-command. Transition key customer relationships to trusted managers. It may be painful for some owners to give up some control, but it will yield strong dividends at the sales table.


3.     Start a Relationship with an Experienced Business Broker or M&A Advisor

Even if you are not ready to sell today, it makes sense to meet with a qualified Business Broker or M&A Advisor. An experienced professional can advise you as to changes you need to make in your business to make it more attractive to buyers, educate you as to what you can expect during the process of selling, package your business to show it off in its best light to command the highest price, and guide you through potential pitfalls.


It can take a year or more to sell a business. To discuss your situation and start your personal planning, click on the link below, visit us at or call us at 240 290-5000. We’ll be happy to schedule a free initial consultation and complimentary business appraisal.


There’s never an up-front cost or obligation, and all communications will be held in the strictest confidence.


Schedule Your No-Fee Initial Consultation 




Tags: business brokers, M&A, Mergers and Acquisitions, IT, selling your business, Appraisal, business broker

Business Broker Report 7: 3 Signals That It's Time To Sell

Posted on Tue, May 14, 2013

Are you “burned out”? Tired of dealing with thefrustrated business owner same problems every day? Don’t have the  passion anymore that it takes to improve your business? Don’t want to risk making the big investment your company needs to grow? Wish you could spend more time with your family? Travel more?

You’re not alone. Most owners who sell their businesses are in their mid-40s to early 60’s. They’re tired of the stress of having it all on their shoulders, the long hours away from home and family. They’re not forced to sell because they’re too old to run their company; rather, they choose to sell because they want a different lifestyle. Click here to listen to stories from entrepreneurs who have chosen to sell their businesses.

Sellers are typically energetic and vigorous entrepreneurs who have built great companies, made good money and are ready to enjoy their lives and families while they are still healthy and able to do so. They want to spend more time with their children or grandchildren (who might have been shortchanged while they were devoted to building the business), travel the world, or even take on a new business challenge.

How do you know when it’s time to go? Here are 3 good indicators: 

  1. You Feel ‘Burned Out’
    It’s hard enough to wear all the hats you wear and keep your business firing on all cylinders when you’re motivated – it’s a nearly Herculean task when you’re not. It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s just that you don’t want to. The same problems day in and day out, the never-ending routine of collections, vendor issues and employee problems. It’s not challenging anymore. It’s not even fun. You’re in a rut. You need a change of pace.
  2. You Aren’t Willing To Make a Necessary Investment In Your Business
    You know what you need to do to take your company to the next level. And if you were younger, you would do it in a heartbeat. But now you’re not so sure. Getting your company to the next level would take a huge additional time commitment just when you were trying to scale back. It would require you to re-invest substantial assets when you were thinking about taking money off the table, reducing your exposure, securing your retirement or seeding a new venture.
  3. You’re Thinking There Must Be More To Life Than Work
    You’ve heard rumors about this and decided to investigate. Maybe you’ve dipped your toe in the water and taken a long trip to an exotic destination. It wasn’t so bad. You could do that again. Or you can take a few weeks to go wilderness camping with your son before he goes away to college. Or sail the Caribbean. Or pick up your old electric guitar and get the band back together. Or finally spend time at your dream vacation home you built ten years ago. Or play more golf.

Business brokers and mergers and acquisitions specialists know that the time to sell your business isn’t after you’ve neglected it, let it run down and its value has decreased -- the time to sell is when you’re at the top of your game and your business is performing well. And when you’re young enough and healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor and do the things that you have always wanted to do.

It can take a year or more to sell a business. To discuss your situation and start your personal planning, click on the link below, visit us at or call us at 888 468-1660. We’ll be happy to schedule a free initial consultation and complimentary business appraisal.

There’s never an up-front cost or obligation, and all communications will be held in the strictest confidence.

 Schedule Your No-Fee Initial Consultation

Tags: business brokers, Mergers and Acquisitions, selling your business, Appraisal