Before I was a business broker helping clients sell their own company, I was a local small business owner looking to sell my own business.
At the time, I owned the number one rated Irrigation company in the state of Texas. I truly enjoyed running my previous company, but I felt it was time to make a change. I spent over 8 years in the home service industry and each year I found it wasn’t were I wanted to be.
So I decided to start the sales process of my company. I had no idea what I was doing so I did what every business owner does when they never sold a company, picked a random sales price I thought I would be happy with and list it on Craigslist for sale under the business section. This plan turned out to be a tremendous waste of time for many reasons. (1) While I was running my full time business, I had to address questions and inquiries from unqualified buyers, (2) my business was listed for less than half of my eventual sales price through my broker, (3) I had to continue renewing my ad, and (4) I didn’t even sell it. At the end of the day, I did all this work for nothing.
I then let about another year pass before I started considering selling my company again. I only considered it because my best friend started working with a Business Broker named Mike Feinman (now my managing partner). He owned his own small business he wanted to sell. Although, he never ended up listing his company because his business was not ready and his valuation was too low. He explained how Mike was upfront, honest, and didn’t charge him anything. Matter of fact, Mike was only going to get paid if he sold the company. I thought I had nothing to lose so I gave Mike a call.
After meeting with Mike, I learned I could sell my business for twice as much as I wanted, so I was not worried about the commission he was going to receive, heck, I told him if he can sell it for that price, I’d be happy to pay him 10% with a tip.
So after gathering some paperwork, answering questions, he listed my business in early January.
To this day, I am not sure how many inquiries Mike received on my business. He pre-screened all potential buyers and I spoke with maybe 5 or 6 pre-qualified buyers. By March we begun real talks with a serious buyer who ended up buying my business. The total process for me took about six months, longer than most businesses take to sell. My buyer conducted two due diligence processes, one for himself and one for the bank. We also had to negotiate the Letter of Intent and the Asset Purchase Agreement which were stressful times. Without Mike, I would have never been able to get through the process on my own. Some of the terms, lengths, negotiations, and other items I had absolutely no experience. He was there throughout the entire process as a business broker, a counselor/therapist for me, and most importantly as a friend.
By the end of May, we had everything worked out. It began to be a waiting game, but it eventually closed. I received my funds via wire-transfer and officially sold my business. I worked with the new buyer for 30 days and consulted with him afterwords. Now, the buyer is a good friend who is succeeding and doing things with my old company I didn’t know was possible. I learned a lot from him as he did me.
This experience selling my company had been tremendously valuable. I truly have been in the shoes of my clients.
It allows me to relate and share the feelings we go through during the process as a business owner who sold my company and now as a business broker who helps others sell their companies. It has become a passion for me. I get to help others sell their business for many great reasons, retiring, wanting to travel the world, take an invention to market, focus on a new business, etc.
I hope my experience will help you on your journey!