Pew Research Center estimates there are 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day. There are more than 4 million businesses in America owned by baby boomers, 根据Axial, 65-75% of these businesses will be “on the market” over the next 5 to 10 years. 你能说过剩吗? I’ve heard many comments like “trillions of dollars will change hands in the next 10-20 years.” But I’m not buying that hype for I believe most of these baby boomer-owned business will not be sold, 它们要么关闭，要么直接送人.
Not a week goes by that I don’t get a call from a business owner who is ready to sell his/her business and start retirement. Within 60 seconds, I can identify two of the three reasons the business is not likely to sell.
Business valuation is a mystery to most business owners, but what they 想要 因为他们的生意不是. Most retiring business owners have derived the “value” of their business relative to how much they 想要 for retirement. 所以，事情是这样的…….. the business owner calls a professional and honest business broker/M&A advisor who explains how business values are determined. The business owner then applies those standards to his/her business and realizes their business is worth less than what they need for retirement. 在这一点上, the business owner will drop the idea of selling and instead recommitment to “toughing it out for a couple more years”, or the business owner will shop around for a business broker who will tell them what they 想要 to hear.
猜猜会发生什么? 没有什么. The contingency-hungry business broker does a few things the first couple of months, 但当蟋蟀的鸣叫消失时, the broker’s attention gets diverted to the next shiny nickel leaving the business owner languishing in limbo. After waiting for “the market to turn around” (the most common broker excuse), the business owner pulls the listing and the broker goes away.
The second reason most retiring baby boomer business owners will not be able to sell their business is because it has a flaw(s) that renders is essentially unsellable. The most common flaws are poor financial records, 客户集中, or swings in revenue which render the future too unpredictable. 这些缺陷都不应该是致命的, they can be fixed with sufficient time and focus, but if the retiring business owner is ready now and/or has to sell now, 他/她没有时间的优势. 这家公司很可能卖不出去.
对不起,报告, but way too many businesses are put on the market for sale, 没有进行适当的营销. It’s like watching a QB pass from the one-yard line in the closing seconds of the Super Bowl….you watch it happen, shake your head and think “it didn’t have to go down like that.”
Poorly trained or incompetent business brokers are usually the culprit. 让我们面对现实吧, it’s easy to talk a good game about having access to buyers, 你过去做过的交易, 等. But most business brokers simply post their client’s business for sale on publicly-accessible websites, 然后等着有人打电话来. Sometimes that strategy works, especially if it’s a properly-priced good business. But professional proactive marketing will always bring a faster sale for more money. 总是.
出售企业并不神秘. Before you retain an intermediary to market your business for sale, it’s fair to ask them to specifically lay out what they will do to market your business. If they can’t get past the basics of posting on websites, look for another intermediary.
It’s sad that so many baby boomer business owners will not be able to sell their business to fund the retirement they 想要 (or need). However, it’s good news that all of the three problems described here are solvable. It takes time, energy, and it might even take some money. But being proactive now to sell your business in three to four years will pay off in more ways than you might ever imagine.
吉姆Cumbee established 田纳西河谷集团 to help business owners fulfill their dreams for life after business ownership. It’s a mission that his 30+ year career history had prepared him well for—in addition to being an attorney, 转换中介和业务代理, 吉姆是一个买家, 卖方, 和企业家. His broad range of experience gives him unique insight into how business buyers and 卖方s can achieve their goals.