Sell Your Business Your Way: Getting Out, Getting Rich, and Getting on with Your Life

Overview

"Your business is your baby. It has your DNA all over it. It has more of you in it than anything you have ever done in your life." — Rick Rickertsen

Whether you built it from the ground up or acquired it and then made it your own, your company is a reflection of your vision, hard work, business savvy, and resiliency. Now that you’re thinking of walking away, you’ll need all those qualities to see you through the deal.

But you’ll also need some frank advice and real strategy to ...

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Overview

"Your business is your baby. It has your DNA all over it. It has more of you in it than anything you have ever done in your life." — Rick Rickertsen

Whether you built it from the ground up or acquired it and then made it your own, your company is a reflection of your vision, hard work, business savvy, and resiliency. Now that you’re thinking of walking away, you’ll need all those qualities to see you through the deal.

But you’ll also need some frank advice and real strategy to knowing if you’re doing the right thing — and to maximize your profit. Sell Your Business Your Way walks you through the entire selling process. Rick Rickertsen presents the many different ways to structure and finance a sale, and gives you step-by-step guidance to help you:

Decide what your goals are, and if it’s really time to get out.

Prepare for the sale as far in advance as possible.

Separate business from family, and do what’s best for both.

Assemble a team of advisers.

Determine how much your business is worth.

Approach and attract the right buyers.

Structure and close the deal.

And with Rickertsen’s sage investing and tax tips, you’ll learn how to make the most of the payoff. There is also crucial information for family owned businesses, of which only about one-third will make a successful ownership transition to the next generation.

Sell Your Business Your Way features a treasure trove of sample documents, adaptable forms, and — whether you plan to hire one consultant or dozens — a resource listing of hundreds of business brokers, valuation firms, accountants, investment firms, debt-financing sources, and much more.

Selling your business means navigating new and potentially dangerous territory. With the right information and resources, the journey will be not only safe but also exhilarating — and hugely rewarding."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The book is quite down-to-earth in anticipating the emotional stress that comes with being under an acquirer's scrutiny, and wisely advises sellers to calm themselves before letting a small demand or issue from a serious buyer gum up the works. In all, a useful guide.”

-David Gumpert, Businessweek.com

“The book is down-to-earth in anticipating the emotional stress that comes with being under an acquirer's scrutiny... A useful guide."

-David Gumpert, Businessweek.com

David Gumpert
The book is quite down-to-earth in anticipating the emotional stress that comes with being under an acquirer's scrutiny.. In all, a useful guide.
BusinessWeek
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
A Guide To 'Getting Out'
In the next few years, up to 40 percent of the CEOs of family-owned businesses will retire. In many cases, these entrepreneurs will part with a business built from their own blood, sweat and sacrifice, which brings in a host of emotional issues that can play havoc on business and financial decisions. And, unlike the huge conglomerates, small-business owners won't be able to rely on teams of lawyers, accountants and others to handle the details. They not only will need to determine the most effective exit strategy, but also to make the deal, manage the windfall and figure out what they're doing with the rest of their lives.

A Step-by-Step Strategy
In Sell Your Business Your Way: Getting Out, Getting Rich and Getting On With Your Life, the authors walk the reader through the business-selling process, offering plenty of examples and support along the way. They also offer tips on how to accomplish this without losing track of the day-to-day concerns of running a business.

The book devotes one chapter to each of 10 sales stages identified by the authors. For example, in Chapter 1, "A Moment of Truth," they establish the importance of having a plan for an event that they say defines the value of the business owner's current and future life. And in Chapter 2, the authors review key objectives a seller might hope to achieve with a sale. These include a large financial payoff, the desire for employees to be treated fairly in the sale and considerations that allow the original owner to stay involved in the business.

The authors then suggest that before a buyer can be found, sellers must be clear on what they're selling. In Chapter 3, "First Get Your House in Order," they recommend using professional management, tight financial statements and credible earning predictions to find the right buyer and make the right deal. Before any deal can be made, however, the issue of legacy must be addressed, say the authors.

In Chapter 4, "Take Care of Your Other Children," they note that while many small-business owners plan to leave their businesses to their children, most will not. Because family issues and expectations are emotional, complicated and can even be detrimental to the business, they say it's important to address them long before making a decision to sell.

In Chapter 5, "Build Your Dream Team (But Remember, It's Your Dream)," the authors stress the importance of assembling a competent team to look after the owner's interests. This should include accountants, lawyers, bankers, investment professionals and wealth managers, they say.

They follow this recommendation in Chapter 6, "Valuation," with an overview of ways to assess the worth of a business in addition to determinations based on cash flow. They suggest that while this is a difficult process, it can be valuable if it addresses industry trends, basic multiples for growth, prospects and other potential income/cost factors.

Finding the Buyer, Making the Deal
The book's next two sections are devoted to the buyer (Chapter 7, "Bring in the Right Buyer") and getting what you want (Chapter 8, "Nail Down the Deal"). The authors explain how to determine the type of buyer who might be most appropriate: strategic, such as a competitor or supplier, or financial, such as a buyer looking only for an investment. They then explain how important it is to stand firm on expectations, to prepare for full disclosure and to have the right team in place, not only for initial discussions but for what could easily become a lengthy process.

The book's two final chapters address post-sale issues. In Chapter 9, "Make the Most of Your Money," the authors offer suggestions for handling funds generated from the sale, from both investment and tax perspectives. The book's last chapter, "And Now, for Your Next Act ...," addresses personal actions to consider after the close. Here, the authors recommend that readers take the time and space to "do nothing" and, when that's over, attempt to rediscover dreams that were put on hold to build the business.

Why We Like This Book
Though all of this information is available elsewhere, it's not often found in a single source like this. The comprehensive, step-by-step approach of the book makes it a valuable aid to anyone considering or involved with a business sale. Some of the book's most practical aspects are its sample checklists, legal forms and many resource pages, including lists of valuation firms, investment bankers, buyer brokers and more. Copyright © 2007 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814408964
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Rickertsen is a Managing Partner at Pine Creek Partners, a private equity firm. He was previously Partner and COO at Thayer Capital, and Chairman of the Board at SAGA Systems. He sits on several Boards of Directors, and is the author of Buyout: The Insider’s Guide to Buying Your Own Company.

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Table of Contents

"Foreword by Michael Lewis ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

1.

A Moment of Truth

Looking in the Mirror

1

2.

What Do You Want?

Be Clear About Your Goals

14

3.

First, Get Your House in Order

Prepare for the Sale Years in Advance

43

4.

Take Care of Your Other Children

Family Is Family, Business Is Business

70

5.

Build Your Dream Team (But Remember, It's Your Dream)

Competence and Chemistry—and a Freebie from an Investment Banker!

94

6.

Valuation

How Much Is Your Business Worth?

109

7.

Bring in the Right Buyer

Market the Company to Achieve Your Goals

126

8.

Nail Down the Deal

Drive to a Sale Without Taking Your Eyes off Your Day Job

141

9.

Make the Most of Your Money

Investing Wisely and Avoiding the Tax Man

161

10.

And Now, for Your Next Act . . .

You're a Millionaire, Now What?

182

Appendix A: Get It in Writing

Documents for the Deal

195

Appendix B: Resources

245

Index

297"

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