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What Kind of Business Owner Are You?

By Generational Equity

Business Owner Choice

We often ask this question at our exit planning conferences because essentially there are two kinds:

  1. Business owners that PLAN to sell
  2. Business owners that HAVE to sell

What’s the difference? Potentially millions in the value of your company. Why? Because if you fall into the latter group you are usually being forced to sell because one of the Big Ds has reared its ugly head:

  • Death
  • Disability
  • Divorce
  • Disinterest (burnout)
  • Disagreement (among partners and/or family members)

Others that don’t start with “D” include age, illness, loss of a major client, loss of a critical supplier, key employee(s) leaving for the competition, recession, and dozens of other issues that you have little or no control over – how many businesses were lost in New Orleans due to hurricane Katrina in 2005 or in Japan due to the devastating tsunami 2011?

As with most major assets, a fire sale of a business due to unforeseen or unplanned issues can have a huge impact on a business owner’s financial future and potentially impact the legacy that one leaves behind.

We counsel the “plan to sell” method of business exits. Quite simply if you take the time to first build a buyer-ready business (and the steps to do that are outlined in our research paper on this topic) and do your homework and plan for a successful sale, you will optimize your investment.

Far too many business owners view their company as a job. Few actually step back and consider that just like an investment in the stock market, the ownership of a business is, first and foremost, an investment that needs to be nurtured, protected, grown, and eventually sold with an ROI (return on investment) in mind.

What is Your Number?

Have you ever calculated the ROI you need when you exit your company? Hypothetically, if over the years you have invested $1 million in capital into your company (not to mention the thousands of hours you have spent away from family and friends growing it), what is the return you would need to “pay” yourself adequately when you exit? Is it $2 million? $3 million?

Far too often we encounter business owners that have never done this calculation. Their view of business valuation is essentially “I will take whatever anyone will offer me.” Although this may work out, most often it leaves potentially millions of chips on the table, chips that you may not even be aware of.

Again, I ask you: What kind of business owner are you? Are you taking the time and putting in the effort to grow a financial legacy for yourself and your family OR are you, as we are often told, too darn busy working to even take time to think about planning an exit event?

If you are in this latter group (which studies show about 80% of business owners are in), then you need to attend a Generational Group exit planning seminar. By spending a few hours of your time with our M&A advisors, you will begin your path down a planned, well thought out, methodical exit rather than the opposite.

As a wise man once said: You can leave your business horizontally or vertically – you make the choice!

To learn more about our M&A seminars please visit the following links:

Or, feel free to call us at 972-232-1121 and ask to speak to one of our senior business advisors, or provide us with your contact information and we will reach out to you.

Even if you never attend one of our meetings, please take the time and plan your exit rather than have your exit plan your future.

By Carl Doerksen, Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.

© 2021 Generational Equity, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.
Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.
Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.
Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!
Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.
Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.
Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.
Pete L.
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.
Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.
Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.
Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.
Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”
Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.
Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.
Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.
Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.
Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Dear Chris and Andre, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help. Even though this process was not an easy one, it was comforting to know that I had a capable team standing beside me. You made me feel like we were almost your only client or at least the most important one. Thanks again, and I will recommend your service in the future.
Shenille Engelhart, Owner – CLS Technology
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!
Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.