A Christmas Story

Rich-Biz’s 7 Gifts to Me … Plus Sale of My Business at Peak Value

Your Payoff: Enjoy Peak Sale Value


Here are two proven guiding principles when it comes to selling your business.

A few months ago, we were pleased to receive a phone call from a former client, Dave Reid. Rich-Biz Brokers & Advisors, LLC (R-B) is credited by him as having performed remarkably in preparing and executing the sale of his business at peak value. Perhaps the highest form of compliment was the purpose of his call … to introduce our company to his friend, Bob Howard, who wants to move forward with the sale of his construction business.

Dave filled us in on his conversations with Bob regarding what to expect in working with R-B. In short, he emphasized that our approach to selling any business is a process … not an event. Success is grounded in a series of conscious actions specifically designed to prepare the business to sell at peak sale value.

Bob Howard agreed to meet with us for a free initial consultation. The objective for this meeting was to jointly determine with Bob that he was truly ready to sell and to accept in broad terms what the preparation and sale pathway entails. Together, we discussed the process as including four considerations … emotions, optics, organization and operations. Our conversation went along these lines of questions and answers.

Emotions: You will find that a number of emotional issues will surface … some prior to the sale of your business and some that will occur after you have left the closing table. In our work helping business owners through the sale process, we’ve encountered the following … perhaps some or all you will identify with.

  • Why do I want to sell the business?
  • What will “life-after-business-ownership” be like?

Optics: As the old saying goes, ““You only get one chance to make a first impression . . “.” That certainly holds true in the sale of your business … so capitalize on a potential buyer’s first impressions. Start with an objective view of how your business looks inside and out to a prospective buyer … to borrow from the world of residential real estate, be sure you project an attractive image of curb appeal. Some things to assess:

Organization: Beyond the optics, potential buyers will want to drill down to evaluate the workings of your company … how it is run and who are the key players.


  • Are your books and records accurate, verifiable and up-to-date?
  • What will “life-after-business-ownership” be like?
  • Do your production and administrative systems maximize the efficiency, effectiveness and profitability of the company. hip” be like?

Bob was impressed with this initial session that helped synthesize his thinking about selling his business. Likewise, we agreed that he was genuinely committed to moving forward and accepted his request to engage R-B as his resource to deliver the advice, guidance and ultimate sale of the business at peak value.

Bob understood that he must maintain an attitude of realistic expectations. The value of any company is “in the eyes of the beholder”. That means what a qualified buyer is willing to pay, not what the seller would like to walk away with from the closing table.

To support realistic expectations, a third-party valuation by a professional valuation expert will be initiated to create an objective value or range in value based on evidence of the financial health of the company and its being a viable entity without you, the current owner, on board.

As a next step, Bob was briefed that the R-B preparation will be based on solid answers to questions regarding the six major drivers of business value.

  1. Company Organization
  2. Books and Records
  3. Systems
  4. Policies and Procedures
  5. Personnel and Clientele
  6. Marketing and Sale

R-B went to work to prepare the company for sale through a wide-spread local network and national contacts … plus act as the initial point of contact for inquiries and screen prospect introductions.

Now it’s mid-December, and Bob is surprised by a special delivery this Holiday Season. As he opened the package, he was delighted the series of gifts were fully in keeping with the R-B promise to ensure rock-hard assurances regarding the six major drivers of business value to prospective buyers.

Gift #1

Company Organization: Guiding Principle … The more valuable the current owner(s) are to the company, the less valuable the company is to the prospective new proprietor. This company is not dependent on the presence of the current owners. The leadership structure, staff culture/personality and open communication channels among workers to each other and management are admirable.

Gift #2

Books and Records: Financial records are complete, accurate and up-to-date. Likewise, personnel records are fully documented and compliant with federal, state and local employment requirements. Licensing and other legal issues are in-sync with industry, professional and legal regulations.

Gift #3

Systems – Repeatable, Efficient Processes in Place: State-of-the-art systems are in place and implemented as management tools to run the business efficiently and profitably. Anticipate that the systems will:

  • Improve top-line performance
  • Meet customer expectations
  • Develop consistent results
  • Engage employees with guidance, direction and expected results
  • Reduce costs and improve profits

Gift #4

Policies and Procedures: Appropriate personnel, supervisory and safety issues are proactively addressed.in written, up-to-date, compliant policies and procedures for all the following, and available for staff review:

  • Human Resources
  • Operations
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Communications

Gift #5

Personnel and Clientele: There appears to be little or no concern about key employees leaving the company after the sale. There is written documentation that supports a solid record of how employees are on-boarded, groomed for advancement and managed to motivate employee engagement … all of which offers comfort that there is likely to be continuity in staffing. Documentation includes:

  • Staffing procedures – acquisition through termination
  • Personnel development, training, career path development
  • Management nurturing, motivating and enhancing employee engagement
  • Supervision and evaluation by management to recognize strengths and improve performance

Gift #6

Marketing and Sales: Marketing support is in place to drive superior sales performance. There is a clear line between marketing and sales with the former in place to support business development efforts. Sales goals are backed by marketing as follows:

  • Stated marketing strategy
  • Written marketing plans for current and ensuing 2 years
  • Specific target outcomes for marketing campaigns
  • Evaluation of marketing efforts vs. sales results

Unexpected Gift #7

R-B communicated to the buyer opportunities to enhance revenue, streamline operations and improve the company’s bottom-line. As attractive as the above analysis is, there are opportunities for creative “tweaking” to further enhance the asset value of the business.

And the final gift was the in-person presentation to Bob of a qualified buyer willing to accept the full asking price for the business. The tipping point to the decision … unassailable evidence that the business operates with smoothness, accuracy, clarity, efficiency, quality and profitability.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Bob!

*The names have been changed to protect confidentiality.