Selling Your Business – Determining the Personal Needs of the Seller

The ‘value gap’ between sellers and buyers is often driven by the personal needs of the seller.

When I am identifying a value gap between buyer and seller, I often start by looking at the personal needs of the seller, rather than at the business.

That provides a goal-line for the business owner, a benchmark. In the private company marketplace we’ve found that so much relates to the personal needs of a company owner, and it isn’t always money related.

Part of it is financial, but part of it is lifestyle, part of it is philanthropic needs, part of it would be family needs.

So we encourage people to take the time to do a personal assessment of what sort of financial needs are required. We find so often that the business and personal financial picture is very muddled and intertwined.

Obviously the way a business owner pays himself and all of the personal benefits and tax advantages is likely to change after a sale transaction. After the sale, the company is more likely to be run by professional management in an arm’s length fashion.

There’s certainly a level of transparency and accountability that most business owners never face personally. The business is likely to be held to a whole different standard after the transaction.

So business owners need to pause and do an assessment of what they really truly need – which forces them to think about what life is going to look like after they sell the business.

One of our members had the owner of a private company agreeing to accept an offer from a private equity group at $90 million. Although the seller thought he would want to complete the transaction, during the due diligence process – prior to the closing – he changed his mind. The reason being he simply couldn’t let go of the personal satisfaction and he had no plans personally as to what he would do after the sale was completed.

Although he would have got more than he ever imagined in the way of financial value, it wasn’t what he was able to accept in the way of lifestyle. So this is why we say you should take the time to do this very thorough personal assessment before you begin the sale process.

So there’s an element of personal assessment and personal education around the entire process and how this could impact your taxes and all other things.

So much of it relates to things like your personal risk profile. By that we mean, how is somebody to know how much they’re likely to have available? It depends upon what sort of investments you’re comfortable with personally.

With a higher level of risk, there is going to be most likely a higher return but, these days, where yields on low risk investments are so very, very small, clearly it’s hard to know.

One is going to need to invest more in a low-risk, low-return environment. So it takes time not only to look at what you would like to accomplish personally, but to look at how you would generate the funds, how you would invest in what sort of returns, so much of it relates to risk factors.

Another factor is taxes. There are ways to complete a transaction where the tax is deferred. Very rarely would a business sell today for all cash. Almost always the seller of a private company will be asked to finance part of the sale price in the form of a seller note.

You have to look at all of these different options and alternatives, and that’s why financial modeling is needed.

Should You Start an Online Internet Business?

Every 50-100 years the business environment around the world transforms. Most currently living adults experienced the Industrial Revolution and the Second Industrial Revolution known by some as the Technological Revolution. With these transformations, the opportunities for business and entrepreneurship changes drastically. In the late 20th Century, what I call the Information Revolution started. What an average person could research, learn, and know started to explode exponentially. The Internet started to become the information highway; it was being introduced to every household in the developed world. Early in the development of the public Internet, people began to realize its marketing value. Virtual stores began popping up everywhere; people started buying everything online. All major wholesalers, retailers, and even “mom-n-pop-shops” went “virtual”. Shortly after the turn of the century, this “web” of information and business marketing flood flowed rapidly into nearly every country in the world, and in 2010, transformed into over 1.9 billion Internet users.

Over past three years, because of the worldwide economic meltdown, more and more people began searching for alternative incomes streams to sustain their lifestyles. This resulted in 1000′s of people turning to the Internet. The home based Internet business industry started to boom. An online business is very attractive for many reasons:

* Minimal to no overhead expense
* No inventory
* No payroll
* Ability to work from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection
* Ability to set own work schedule
* No more commuting or paying outrageous fuels prices to get to work
* No more boss(es)
* Income potential is limitless

There are currently an estimated 30,000,000 online home business owners; however, the successes of these businesses remain lopsided with less than 5% earning $100k per year or more. In fact, most online business owners are losing money instead of making it, and 97% of online businesses fail.

The reasons for such a low success rate is not failed opportunities, it is failed people. Too many people think that running an at home Internet business will be “easy money”, and they don’t look at it like a real business.

Think about. If a person desires to open a restaurant (or any other type of brick and mortar business), they would have to invest tons of money, conduct feasibility studies, acquire the property, buy equipment/furniture, hire and train staff, and market it. Then they would spend every waking moment applying the time, effort and energy needed to ensure success and obtain a return on the investment. This is all assuming they already have the expertise and business mentality to run their business.

Starting an online Internet business is different in that all that is really needed is a computer with internet connection, and the upfront investment is substantially less. But, everything else in running an online business is the same. An investment of money is required and at first, a commitment to devoting significant attention to the business’ success is an absolute must. Also, with the ever-changing Internet, constant education, research, and evaluations are required to stay on top of the industry.

This is where most online entrepreneurs fail. They don’t have the business mindset and commitment necessary to be successful. Additionally, they don’t have the know-how.

To make it much worse, those who are searching the Internet for online opportunities often fall prey to the many hyped-up Internet home business schemes and scams that flood the top of most search engines. Very talented people, with a great understanding of the buyer’s psychology and who have great writing skills are luring people to opt-in to their websites, join their programs, invest money, and then leave them unattended with nothing but less money in their bank accounts and a lot of frustration.

The good news is that NOT ALL business opportunities are schemes and scams. As a matter of fact, there are a handful of really good groups of people who are extremely successful and have already suffered all the pains of failure so that newcomers don’t have to. The trick is to find these groups. Who are they? How do we know if they are honest? Are their programs real or just more schemes?

To answer these questions, the online entrepreneur must conduct a thorough vetting of the opportunity that they are interested in. To do so, answer these basic questions:

* Are there real people that I can contact that are currently where I want to be someday? It is insane to join a group that you can’t personally talk to.
* Can the organization provide credible affidavits to support their income claims/testimonies? If you ask for this and they can’t provide, assume their claims are just “hype”.
* Is the organization transparent with what it is offering? Don’t get suckered into paying for anything until you know what it is that they are offering you.
* Does the organization encourage you to conduct vetting before joining them? A quality organization will give you the opportunity to research their validity before buying their product. Many times they will require an application first and this is o.k.; they want to vet you as well before their coaches invest time into you.
* Does their advertisement make claims that you will become rich very quickly? This is a clue that they will only take your money, send you a bunch of junk, and kick you to the curb; then blame you for your failure.
* Does the organization provide you with a thorough training program that will teach you every step to success? This should include a detailed support program that includes mentors and coaches.

Now to answer the question in the title; “Should I Start and Online Internet Business?” First answer a few questions yourself. Write these down and answer them honestly:

* Am I unemployed, stuck in a dead end job, or fed up with working for the “other guy”?
* Am I earning the income that I deserve and that my family deserves?
* What are my goals, dreams, and desires?
* If I have a deathbed experience at the end of my life, what will I look back and say? I wish I had…? I wish I spent more time…? I wish…?
* Can I seriously commit to starting a business and seeing it through to the end? (if this answer is a “no” or “maybe”, DON’T start a new business)
* What would I do if I could earn $30k, $60k, $100k, or more every month? Who would I spend more time with? Who could I help? Where would I live?
* Can I find the resources needed to get my business started? (a poorly funded start-up business takes 10 times the effort to succeed)

You’ll notice that some of these are very personal questions. The reason they are there is to help you evaluate yourself. Do you really have an entrepreneur spark that allows you to see past your current circumstances? That is very important because, if you don’t, you should not waste your time and money chasing an unrealistic dream. Running your own business is simply not for you. However, if you answer these questions positively, you may have what it takes.

The Internet is DEFINITELY filled with opportunities that can provide a serious entrepreneur with an amazing lifestyle. It’s right at our fingertips (literally) and it is not hard. If you think you have what it takes to start an online Internet business, do your research and due diligence and get started…the timing is perfect right now.

If you read this article and can share how it helped you make your decision, please write and let us know…we’d love to hear from you.

Starting A Quail Business From Your Hobby

Many quail hobbyist eventually want to start a quail business. They may be doing very well with their hobby, sold a few eggs and chicks and now think that starting a quail business would be easy.

What they have to realize is that there is so much more involved in actually starting and sustaining a bona fide quail business. Selling a few eggs and chicks doesn’t make a business. You should only think about starting a quail business after putting in the effort required to see if a real market exists.

It really depends on what you’re looking for. If all that matters are making a few extra bucks from your quail and consider that a business. Just stick a quail for sale sign out in front of your place. There is a good chance you will make a few bucks. Just make sure you know who you’re selling to.

However, if you want to start a quail business to try and make good money out of it. There is so much more involved other than putting up a sign.

The first thing I would recommend (US only) is to find out if any zoning laws would prevent you from starting a business in your area. This usually just takes one phone call and doesn’t cost anything to ask. You certainly don’t want to see your investment of time and money come crashing down because you neglected to make a 10 minute phone call.

Next would be to decide on mapping out a marketing campaign. This will have need to be very strategically planned, because at this point the idea is to find out if there is a market. If you start getting phone calls be sure to ask them how they found out about you and record it. This way you will know where you market is and what area to hit hard when your real marketing campaigns start.

You are probably thinking, why should I run a marketing campaign when I don’t have a product yet? Here is the simple and the most understandable reason for your question. To save money. Let’s say you go out and purchase 1000 eggs, the equipment to hatch them with and provide the food required to get your quail to the age of laying eggs. You did this without market research, So currently you have quite a bit of money invested plus the fact, that if everything goes right you also have probably around 6000 eggs to sell. You wait until now to start marketing. You haven’t any idea where your market is, or even it there is a market. Everyday your investment is turning more and more into a lose until you decide to hatch the eggs yourself, more cost or eat them, which would save you a little money on food.

Seem to me that it makes more sense to find your market without an investment first than possibly waste money needlessly. If someone calls to place an order wouldn’t it be better to tell them you don’t have any at this time, give them an idea when you expect to and try to get an order.

This article just barely touches the surface of starting a quail business and all that is required. Your business will have to be legal, deal with the FDA, know what the NPIP is, understand cash flow and learn shipping regulations. I will touch on some of these in other quail business articles.