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When you need to get things done, doing business in your local area can be convenient and practical, particularly when you need to meet with someone face-to-face, like when you need to see a doctor, take your car to the mechanic, or get your clothes dry-cleaned, for example. But think about this: If you’re a business owner who is trying sell your business while doing your best to run your operation at the same time, meeting face-to-face with a business broker may not be convenient or practical.
Morgan & Westfield knows what it takes to sell your business wherever you are, but they also won’t get in your way with unnecessary face-to-face meetings, and when you’re busy, that’s a good thing.
Many unexpected events can happen during the process of selling a business. For Diane Robbins, one of them was having a prospective buyer within four short days of listing her Miracle Method franchise in Ludlow, Massachusetts for sale on the market.
The “short” of this story is this first prospective buyer ended up being the new owner of Diane’s business, which specializes in resurfacing and refinishing countertops, bathtubs and tiles, allowing customers to significantly save on the costs of replacing them.
As fate would have it, the buyer was a customer who had his bathtub resurfaced 12 years ago.
“He loves his tub, and that's where he knew when he was looking for a business that this was the right direction, that it was a nice small business that he could get into, that the product was reliable,” Diane said.
The “long” of this story is that a considerable span of time passed between the first contact with the buyer and the close of the transaction. Within that duration, Diane experienced emotional highs and lows.
“It took one year for this whole process with the same buyer [who contacted us] within four days. We went through an emotional roller coaster,” Diane said.
As ready as they might be for their PuroClean franchise’s sale mentally and financially, Ed and Sonia Ketchoyian soon found out that preparation is multifaceted and that there is one aspect in selling that they were not ready to handle—their emotions.
“This is more than just a business transaction, so there are certain emotions that came to play at the end that I wasn't quite expecting,” Ed said of their business, which specializes in emergency restoration services for residential and commercial properties damaged by flood, fire, and mold.
Having run the business for over eight years, Ed explained that an owner is bound to have strong feelings when exiting a business he has put a lot of time and effort into for years, regardless of how the business has been doing.
“Once you get into a business as an owner, your emotions become involved because it's just the nature of small business ownership. You end up putting a lot of yourself into it,” Ed said.
Breaking the news of the sale to the employees became especially tough for Ed because he could not reveal that they will be working for a new owner until they were certain that the deal will push through.
“That was difficult. We were working with the owner for months and we couldn't reveal anything that was going on... [until] we were absolutely certain the deal was going to happen,” Ed recalled.
Less than a week before the closing date, the couple told their employees, who did not receive the news positively. Ed and Sonia had to assuage their fears and reassure them that the new owner did not want to change anything and that they were not going to lose their jobs.
“Everybody was very surprised. ‘Shocked’ is a strong word but they really had no idea that we were in the process of selling… Change, in general, is not a welcome thing,” Ed said.
What happens when your passion for your small business turns into exhaustion? For Philip “Phil” Nader, selling his business was the solution.
Because of the success of his first Simple Computer Repair franchise in Michigan and his interest in electronic repair and technology, Phil jumped at the opportunity to buy a second location in Ohio when the franchisor offered it to him in 2016.
“My intention was to invest in the business and not be the owner-operator there,” Phil explained.
He added that the former owner had initially agreed to stay and manage the business. The tables, however, turned when the manager-owner left the store due to health reasons and pursued other ventures.
As a result, Phil was faced with the challenge of being an absentee owner of the Ohio location, traveling over a hundred miles from Michigan weekly to check on its operations.
“It was getting too overwhelming and too stressful, and I made the decision to put it up for sale,” Phil recalled.
Because running two businesses—no matter how similar—at different locations became an aggravating and frustrating situation for Phil, he admitted that selling the Ohio franchise was an “easy choice” even though he might not get back his original investment in the business.
“…The only bad part of it is that I didn't get what I paid for out of it, but that was okay with me because it was something that would put so much stress and disrupted my life,” Phil said.
When Matt Wakelin decided to relocate and move back to upstate New York, he definitely knew that his decision would entail letting go of his business in Maumee, Ohio.
For one, Treasure Chest Foods, LLC — a home delivery service of high-quality meats and seafood — is 600 miles away from his new home. That would mean traveling such long distance, back and forth, just to be able to keep his company up and running.
Having no experience in selling businesses, he decided to start looking into ways to get some help in putting his business up for sale. After all, his company was then very profitable and doing well, thus he was confident that attracting buyers would not be much of a challenge.
To his dismay, things didn't turn out as easy as he thought they would be. After working with several business brokers and spending a hefty amount of money for two years, the number of responses he received regarding the sale wasn’t very promising.
Every morning, partners Kirk Barnett and Dennis Adkins stood witness to the success of their former bakery/restaurant, Dulce, as tables were filled one by one and the queue of people at the cashier gradually reached the door.
For the partners who were used to starting each day with a full house, business is good and life is as sweet as Dulce’s handmade pastries. So when it came time to sell their well-loved Santa Fe-based restaurant in 2016, their line of thinking was, “Who wouldn’t want to buy this business?”
Although the business was enjoying steady revenue growth since its inception in 2010, Kirk and Dennis soon realized that not everybody shared their dream of running a successful restaurant. Locals might be eager to whet their appetites with Dulce’s artisan bread and award-winning quiche, but most of them were not eager to purchase and operate the restaurant themselves.
“This whole process took longer than we had thought… I think what we realized is that not everybody wants to do this for a living firstly in a town like Santa Fe,” Kirk recalled.
The former owners found out that there was more to selling a business than putting a profitable, established restaurant in the market.
“We just learned that it takes a lot of patience and a lot of starts and stops to go through this process,” Kirk said.
For a business owner looking to sell a business, learning as much about the sales process would probably be one of the first few steps that he might take in preparation for the sale. Consequently, researching about buyers’ experiences and expectations when buying a business such as the one he owns may not be one of the priorities of a business seller.
To shed light on what the experience is like to be on the other end of the spectrum of buying a business, Mike Rabinovich shares his story on buying the successful Miracle Method franchise in Portland, Oregon.
Oftentimes when selling a business, not everything will go exactly as the seller planned. A lot can go wrong along the way, and many factors can stall the sale process. However, that is not the case when Dr. Harry Freedman decided to sell his quick oil change franchise. From the minute he contacted Morgan & Westfield until a deal was finally closed, everything was smooth sailing. “I thought it went fairly smooth. If it wasn't for Morgan & Westfield, trying to deal with lawyers and business transfers can be quite costly, quite time consuming,” Harry explained when asked if he encountered any unexpected bumps on the road during the sale process. Aside from Morgan & Westfield’s help, Harry’s preparedness and cooperation were major contributing factors to the success of the sale.
When Jeremy Wells decided to put his business on the market, he was facing a lot of challenges. “It was a difficult year for me,” Jeremy admitted. The business was slower than in the previous years. Jeremy was dealing with health issues with some family members. He was selling his business while managing other companies that he owned. He was running the business that was for sale while meeting with prospective buyers. “It's very challenging to try to begin the process of selling the company when you're right in the middle of running your company ... It's a bit like trying to design a new part of your ship while you're sailing,” Jeremy said. Jeremy could have waited a year or more for the situation to get better before selling his business, but he realized, “Once you’re already engaged in that process, it’s really difficult to make that mental shift to go back.” And so Jeremy Wells went ahead with the sale of his creative arts service firm.
Originally purchased 32 years ago, Dan and Ginger Ness’s business is the fourth oldest Miracle Method franchise across the country. It is also one of the most profitable, being among the top 5 Miracle Method franchises in terms of production level and earning an estimated $1 million or more annually in the past several years. For the first few years, Dan was hands-on and performed a lot of the work himself. “I did all the labor. In the beginning, I was the only technician until we hired our first technician. It was all up to me. I learned how to do everything and never stopped,” Dan recounted. Despite having a successful million-dollar business, the Nesses decided to sell their company when Dan developed health problems. The couple then started looking for a broker who could sell their business.
When the previous owner-turned-manager left the business due to health reasons, Phil Nader had to run two stores that are 100 miles apart. This became a challenge as he had to leave his family every week and neglect managing the Michigan store while running the branch in Ohio.
On this episode of Deal Talk, former owner of Simple Computer Repair in Maumee, Ohio, shares his experience working with Morgan & Westfield, talks about how he’s able to sell his business hassle-free and getting the results he wanted from the beginning.
Are you contemplating selling your business or creating an exit strategy?
It could be tempting to jump into the process of selling your business without hiring professional advisors such as a lawyer or an accountant to avoid paying professional fees. Our guest, however, explains why having access to professional advice and guidance from experts who have broad experience in the legal and financial aspects of the sale process can be tremendously beneficial in successfully closing a deal.
On this episode, lawyer and business advisor Dan Cotter shares useful insights that you can use to prepare yourself for the legal side of closing a successful, mutually beneficial deal.
As no two business experiences are the same, no two sellers have also the same views on whom they would sell their business to. In this edition of “Deal Talk,” our guest, Diane Robbins who is a former owner of a Miracle Method franchise, decided to put her faith in the first interested buyer of her business. Did it pay off? Aside from sharing her experience in selling her business with host Jeff Allen, she also gives advice to business owners who are planning or in the process of selling their company.
What does life after retirement look like?
Emery Orosz, Morgan & Westfield’s Senior VP for Franchise Resales, has done it all — he has worked in corporate America for three decades, retired at 48, built and sold three houses, sold his own business and moved to a foreign country. After years of enjoying his life post-retirement, he got bored and went back to work doing what he loved.
What can we learn from Emery’s risk-taking attitude that made him and his spouse embrace retirement and the series of adventure and changes that came along with it?
If you’re selling your business for retirement without any clear plan on how you will spend the next years of your life, listen to this episode with our guest, Emery Orosz, to find out what’s waiting for you on the next phase of your life.
Morgan & Westfield is not your typical business broker. While traditional business brokers and business brokerage firms have always patterned their business model after that of real estate brokers, we at Morgan & Westfield deviate from this norm by operating like professionals, such as accounting and law firms.
We’ve optimized the sale process to give business sellers quality services for a fraction of the fees that your average business broker will charge. How do we do this?
First, we have a large backend support team that allows us to become more focused and run our processes more efficiently.
Second, we save time and resources by letting business owners physically show their business to the buyer. By cutting this step from our process, we have adjusted and reduced our fees accordingly.
Third, unlike traditional full-service business brokers, we offer our services on an a la carte basis. Our clients can choose which of our services they need and pay only for those services.
In addition, we also offer our assistance to business owners who may be contemplating the sale of their business in the future by providing valuation and customized exit planning services aimed at increasing the value of their business.
At Morgan & Westfield, we only have our clients’ best interests in mind; we strive to give business sellers only the best services, assistance and guidance while providing significant savings.
On Deal Talk, we often hear from former business owners who have sold their companies or professionals who are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs sell their business or increase their bottom line. In this edition, however, we are flipping the coin to see the other side and look at the business sale process from the perspective of a person who has bought a business.
Mike Rabinovich is the new owner of the Miracle Method franchise in Portland, Oregon, which he purchased from one of Morgan & Westfield’s clients Dan Ness. In his conversation with Deal Talk host Jeff Allen, Mike talks about what made him decide to choose a Miracle Method franchise as well as the challenges he faced during the sale process. He also talks about his plans for the future growth of his new business and gives sound advice for business buyers and new business owners.
Practically every business owns intellectual property (IP)—from logos to websites to advertising slogans, and you may be surprised to find out that your business possesses much more intellectual property than that. However, do you know exactly how much you do possess? Is it legally protected? On this edition of “Deal Talk,” Jeff Allen visits with Beverly Berneman, Intellectual Property Partner at Golan & Christie LLP in Chicago. Ms. Berneman will talk about the various types of IP businesses may own and why you need to account for it. She’ll also discuss how identifying AND protecting all your IP can actually lift the value of your company, and that’s particularly important if you plan to sell your business down the line.
A large portion of baby boomers are business owners because the scarcity of jobs when they entered the workforce drove them to create their own jobs and become entreprenuers. As many of these baby boomers are retiring and exiting their company, the need for information about selling businesses, particularly in planning and preparing for the sale, is becoming increasingly prevalent.
John Dini is an exit strategy coach and president of MPN Inc, which aims to help business owners, mostly baby boomeres, in transitioning from their business. In his conversation with Deal Talk host Jeff Allen, John discusses why it is important for business owners to have a plan first before putting their business up for sale. Aside from talking about the questions that need to be addressed before the sale, he also provides tips to help business owners prepare for the transition from business ownership.
Professional coaches have becoming increasingly important in recent years, and businesses of all sizes understand why: They help make good leaders better leaders of their teams and companies. Interestingly, however, one of the most important impacts a business coach can have is in an organization’s valuation. Dr. Janine Nicole-Desai, founding business coach of Outside Partner, talks about how a business coach can help increase bottom line statistics and your company’s value, and points to research to back it up. Dr. Desai also discusses at length who in a business can benefit most, as well as common issues that can be improved through the use of a professional coach.
Different buyers have different intentions when it comes to pursuing your business as a purchase target. Whether those intentions are strategic or financial could have a definite impact on the outcome for you and your team. Mark Johnston is the President of Telementrix, an M&A strategic planning firm. In his discussion with Jeff Allen, Mr. Johnston wi ll talk about the difference between the strategic and financial mindset. You’ll learn how much buyers may already know about your business before you’ve even had the chance to meet. You’ll also come to understand the 2 or 3 most common factors that may prevent the successful sale of your company once those buyers have had a closer look at your operation.