Statistics say that around 70% of small business owners intend to eventually sell their business and use that money to fund retirement, lifestyle or next business. The scary fact is that somewhere around 90-95% of small businesses are “unsellable” in their current state, and so too many business owners have built a trap for themselves where they are never able to pull out and exit the business
That’s where Mike Finger comes in. Mike is the founder of Exit Oasis, a firm that specializes in helping business owners prepare their businesses to be more attractive to potential buyers. Mike is an expert in helping business owners extract themselves from the day-to-day operations of their companies. Mike has been there himself; after founding a business with his wife and growing it over the course of years, he was ready to make major changes in his life. But no buyer was interested in buying Mike out of the company he’d built, because he was too integral to its successful operation. Mike had to learn how to make his business more attractive and independent to make it more appealing to buyers, and now he teaches other business owners those same hard-won skills he learned.
For this episode of the Fueling Deals podcast, Mike and I discuss these important skills and the fact that the market does little to teach business owners how to exit. Mike shares strategies and tools that can help business owners turn their “unsellable” business into an irresistible one. Mike Finger is a true expert in developing exit strategies for business owners, and I hope you enjoy our informative and eye-opening conversation.
The Trap of Great Leadership
As Mike explains it, one of the biggest traps business owners can fall into is that the very same hard work, skills, long hours and dedication that can help them grow their business is the thing that makes the business less attractive to potential buyers. Think about it for a moment; can your business operate entirely without you? If you were to just stop going in, would your business continue to run at peak efficiency?
If a business cannot operate without its owner, why would another party be interested in buying that business from the owner? If the current owner is the business, there’s no real value to be found in the company after the deal is done. That’s the trap. The very things you’ve done for years to grow and strengthen your business are the things holding you back from being able to sell it. And, unfortunately, the market doesn’t do much to teach business owners how to extract themselves from the everyday operation of their business.
How to Ready Your Business for Sale
If you are hoping to sell your business, it’s important to begin making your business more attractive to potential buyers. You need to truly consider what your business is worth without you there to run it. Try to look at your business from an outside perspective. Where is the value your business can offer to a potential buyer? What advantages and drawbacks would a buyer find when evaluating the worth of your business? It isn’t just a matter of whether your business is profitable, it’s a question of whether a potential buyer would keep that profitability after buying you out.
Mike and his team at Exit Oasis are experts at helping business owners answer these complex questions, and they can help simplify the process of readying a business for sale. Having a guide to help you through the process can certainly make things easier by eliminating much of the complexity for you. They can show you how to document and illustrate the value of your company, and they can help you see potential pain points that might frighten buyers away. No matter how many deals you do over the course of your time as a business owner, selling your interest in the business may be the most important deal of all.
If you’d like to learn more about Mike Finger and Exit Oasis, please visit www.exitoasis.com where you can find free tools and resources as well as other valuable information on readying your business for sale. For more informative episodes of Fueling Deals like this one, please visit www.fuelingdeals.com.
Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.
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