From the Publisher
“Have you ever dreamed of playing golf everyday with poker every evening, spending more time with your family and friends or putting the stresses of commuting and running a business behind you? How to Build a Business and Sell it for Millions is the book for you! This is the definitive work on starting, building and, if so desired, selling a business of any kind. It is a bible for entrepreneurs, CEOs and dreamers alike, even in this recession… Most assuredly, anyone who picks this book up will be captivated until the very end!”Sacramento Book Review
“Jack Garson delivers a lean and mean picture of what’s really going on when you read the headlines about the latest startup purchased for a mint. If you’re ready for something beyond ’sell sell sell’ and ‘think big’, read this guide and take the trip.”Baronmiller.com
“I highly recommend the essential and very readable book How to Build a Business and Sell It for Millions by Jack Garson, to anyone considering starting an entrepreneurial venture, is currently operating a business, or who is contemplating the sale of their company. The information found in this book is valuable at every stage of a company's life. At the same time, the advice provided by Jack Garson will ensure a successful start up even in today's difficult economy. Indeed, the techniques presented in this book will work especially well in a weak economy as the new business will be utilizing systems that will out distance the competition.
Read the excellent book on building and eventually selling a successful company How to Build a Business and Sell It for Millions by Jack Garson, and create the business of your dreams and sell it for millions of dollars. This book will start you on that wonderful and rewarding journey”Blog Business World Review
“As a TV producer, I know business. As a TV host, I know entertainment. This book is perfect in both areas. It’s incredibly informative and entertaining. Jack Garson makes Business: Possible.”—Marc Summers, president of Marc Summers Productions Inc. and host/executive producer of Unwrapped and Dinner: Impossible on the Food Network
“Anyone who aspires to achieve the American Dream will love How to Build a Business and Sell It for Millions. With the rare combination of a breezy style, solid expertise, and an encouraging tone, Jack Garson answers any question you could possibly have about starting a business and becoming a successful entrepreneur. Reading the book, you can’t wait to get started.”—Ronald Kessler, bestselling author of In the President’s Secret Service and The Season: Inside Palm Beach and America’s Richest Society
“As a veteran entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I wish I had this book years ago. The material in it is exactly what we try to tell folks who come to us for venture money. It clearly spells out the basics that every successful entrepreneur must master. Every would-be entrepreneur needs to curl up in bed with this book before starting a business. Jack Garson is smart, knowledgeable, experienced and explicit.”—Charles D. Snelling, entrepreneur and venture capitalist
“Jack Garson’s advice and experience is worth a fortune! I know, because he helped lead my company to success—and then I sold it, for much more than I ever imagined. Everyone who wants a better business must read his book.”—Walter Kennell, former owner of Soil Safe, which sold to an affiliate of Texas Pacific Group
Garson, a strategy and transaction consultant, tackles starting your own business in this information-laden, overly rosy guide for the would-be entrepreneur. He covers everything from creating the right executive team to marketing and branding before addressing the ins and outs of deal making, pricing the business, and getting to a close. Unfortunately, Garson's ambitions get the best of the book; he tries to pack in too much information and certain sections are tedious. Furthermore, despite attempting to be as comprehensive as possible, Garson rarely addresses the multitude of risks involved in running a privately held business. He makes the process sound relatively direct and easy; while he presents a few crash and burn stories, for the most part the entrepreneurs in his case studies take his advice and end up with success. While entertaining and informative, the book may mislead wannabe entrepreneurs into believing that selling a business for millions is not only possible but probable. (Mar.)
Read an Excerpt
Planning to Sell
Putting the Horse in Front of the Cart
America has hunkered down. People have cut back wherever they can. Folks are brown-bagging lunch—if they still have a job. They’re cutting their own lawns and one another’s hair. Families take in-home “staycations” instead of trips to Disneyland.
Your moment has arrived.
You may have always wanted to start your own company. You may have just gotten fired and have no other choice but to go into business for yourself. You may have a business that isn’t growing and needs fixing.
Building and selling your own business has always been one of the greatest paths to wealth. Now it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. This is the best time in decades to plunge in. As the economy revives there will be pent-up demand for what businesses have to sell. Better still, people with briefcases full of money will be clamoring to buy those businesses.
But it’s not enough to build your business now and worry about selling it later. From day one, you need to know what buyers want to buy and then create it. You shouldn’t knock yourself out for years building a business only to discover you can’t sell it. Planning to sell—from that very first day—is putting the horse in front of the cart.
The Coming Boom:
Making Your Fortune in Business
The next big thing in business is starting your own company, building it up, and selling it for a bundle. When real estate crumbled in the early 1990s, investors ultimately turned to technology companies and created the dot-com boom. When that boom went crash, investors renewed their love affair with real estate—and thus was born condomania. It felt like there were more construction cranes in Miami and Las Vegas than tourists. Now stocks and real estate have plunged once again. Battered investors are not about to fall madly in love with either of them for a while. Personally, I’d rule out comic books, baseball cards, and Beanie Babies, too.
Making money the old-fashioned way, by starting a business, growing it like crazy, and then cashing out, is about to come back into style.
If you’re wondering if the timing is right, consider this: At this writing we are in the worst recession since the Great Depression. Throughout history, though, some of the most successful businesses were created in the most difficult of times. General Electric was formed by Thomas Edison during the six-year recession called the Panic of 1873. Disney began business in the recession of 1923– 24. Hewlett-Packard was started at the end of the Great Depression. It only stands to reason that a company that succeeds in dire circumstances—when so many others fail—will thrive in normal times and excel in boom times.
Now consider the buyers of businesses. In recessions, they conserve cash and maybe even run out of it. Certainly they get cautious. So they slow down and even stop buying businesses. Coming out of a recession, they’re looking for steals. They start buying companies again—but just the best businesses and only at bargain prices. Buyers make a killing off those early deals. Then, pumped up by those lucrative returns, they broadcast their success to attract acclaim and investors. Thus the gold rush begins. Other buyers stampede onto the scene, looking to strike it rich buying companies.
The business sales in the next few years will bring on a mad dash of buyers and deals that get better and better for sellers. If you start now, you’ll be in a position to sell at an extraordinary time.
Planning to Sell
Planning to sell is all about building—from the very start—a business that people want to buy. The folks who purchase companies don’t want a business where every customer asks for you and you’re long gone. They certainly don’t want a business that, as harsh as it sounds, dies with you. They want an enduring institution, a reliable moneymaking machine that will grow and last.
Of course, you don’t need to build up your business or sell it. You can run your business so that it meets your everyday desires, whether that means golf every afternoon and poker every night or just enough money for Cheez-Its, lottery tickets, and cable television. They even have a name for that type of business—a “lifestyle business,” because it prioritizes your lifestyle over your company. You can run your business like a hobby. You can live a decent life as chief bottle washer and cook. You can even put a bullet in your business when you retire. Life is full of choices.
But to get all of the possible value out of your business—to increase the chance you’ll achieve enormous wealth—you need to build something that you can sell. You need to create something that buyers compete to buy.
Buyers look for a lot of things, but at the very top of the list are the following:
PROFITABILITY: A business that consistently makes money. Ideally your profits increase every year.
COMPETITIVE EDGE: A business that beats the competition. Face it: once you’re making money, you’ll attract rivals. Buyers want to make sure that competitors can’t duplicate your success or cut into your profits.
SCALABILITY: A business that can grow bigger. Buyers want to increase the size, revenues, and profits of your company. The decisions you make from the outset, from how you form your company, to the equipment you buy, to the brand you establish, all affect “scalability”—the future ability to grow your business. If you want to sell for big bucks, you need a company that can get big.
SUSTAINABILITY: A business that can make it through adversity. You may not have enough capital. You may not back up your computers. You may not even have employees who can do your job if you get sick. But if your company can’t withstand a few disasters, you’ll never be in a position to survive, much less sell. Buyers don’t want a company that tumbles like a house of cards in the first heavy breeze. They’re only going to pay a lot if you’ve built a company that can make it through tough times.
There’s more. There’s picking the right legal structure for your business, creating financial systems so you can manage your business, avoiding unnecessary risks, preparing good contracts, marketing, government relations—and more. There’s learning the way businesses are sold, how to assemble the deal team to sell your company, and how to negotiate the sale itself—and more.
Building a business, overcoming problems, and selling your company present countless challenges. But you don’t have to do it the hard way.
The Easy Hard Way
I’ve seen sweat on the foreheads of great business leaders struggling with momentous decisions. I’ve sat in thousands of boardrooms and business meetings where entrepreneurs agonized over issues that would determine the fate of their companies. I’ve seen their responses yield victories and defeats. In the lessons that follow, you’ll see and learn from their successes and failures.
With the guidance in this book you can learn how to build a business that sells. This is the insider’s guide to what works and what doesn’t—what you need and what you need to avoid. Selling a business can be hard. But it’s not hard to sell a good business.
Excerpted from How to Build a Business and Sell It for Millions by .
Copyright © 2010 by Jack Garson.
Published in March 2010 by St. Martin’s Press.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.