10 Sep Distinguishing Yourself from the Pack
In last week’s webinar, we interviewed Jane Johnson to discuss the current state of exit planning and how business brokers can best attract and engage with business owners. She discussed some of the key lessons she has learned from the 100+ engagements she has conducted over the past ten years with a range of business owners as well as their advisors. She also covered her six-step framework for what owners should to prepare for their exit and how business brokers should help guide them through the process.
President of Business Transition Academy, Johnson is also a CPA, Certified Business Exit Consultant (CBEC), Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) and professional Family Business Advisor. In 2020, she received the Excellence in Exit Planning Achievement Award from Pinnacle Equity Solutions.
Reaching Out to Business Owners
Jane Johnson points out that many business owners are turned away by intermediaries due to the fact that the owners are not really ready to sell. This is a key point for Johnson, who believes that business brokers who reach out to business owners early and help them prepare for selling will definitely distinguish themselves from the crowd.
In Johnson’s view, business owners fail to successfully sell for a variety of reasons. They include sellers being unreasonable, not sure that they want to sell to an outsider, feeling fearful to sell because others, such as relatives or shareholders, will be unhappy, or the business is too owner dependent.
Throughout her career, Johnson has learned that most business owners are not ready to sell. At the same time, they don’t really understand what is involved in selling. As a result, she focuses on providing her clients with the education and tools that they need to begin the process of preparing their business to be sold.
Understanding Your Clients
Business brokers need to understand that the decision to sell can be a very emotional one. Over the years, business owners have put a great deal of money, time, sweat and even tears into the creation and growth of their business. As a result, they may have trouble determining, and accepting, a reasonable price for their business and they may also have difficulty in letting go. They need to think about not just the financials involved in selling, but also the emotional impact of doing so and real-world practical concerns as well.
Before any real serious contemplation of selling a business can take place, owners must first undertake an assessment to determine if they are actually ready to sell. In our next article, we’ll continue to explore the key ways that business brokers can help owners prepare to successfully sell their business.