Let me tell you what motivates me to help you build a BIZ to sell

Build itWhether exiting or selling your business is even on your mind is not really the question. Plainly, every owner eventually transitions their business. The significant question is: Have you created a business that is attractive and valuable enough that someone else even wants to buy it much less pay you big bucks for it?

Business value doesn’t come from just selling more or increasing revenue, it comes from being able to find, hire and keep the right employees who make decisions as good or better than you would make, it’s about knowing who your ideal target customers are so you can create a marketing strategy and messaging that resonates, stands above the “noise” of the marketplace and gets heard and understood because it is clear, easy to understand, memorable and repeatable.  It’s about having systems that allow your business to run on auto-pilot whether you are there or not. And it’s about Cash-Is-King – having positive cash flow.

Here are some sobering thoughts: [source: Exit Planning Institute]

One: 70-80% of all small businesses are not saleable for the terms and/or timeline the owner wants because it won’t pass the due diligence test. One of those tests is whether the business is dependent upon a single person or a small group of people – lack of systematization. No sophisticated buyer is going to even want to purchase a business like that.

Two: 80 to 90% of an owner’s financial wealth is locked-up in their businesses.

Three: 63% of the business owners indicated they needed the income from the business to support their lifestyle.

Four: 56% of the business owners indicated they needed to harvest the value of their business to support their lifestyle post-transition.

Let me tell you what motivates me to help you build a BIZ to sell.             

I’ve owned and operated a small business for over 35 years and I’ve sold two multi-million-dollar businesses that were sold on timelines and terms I didn’t want.

In 2003 I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and treated at Mayo for 5 years.

During these 5 years, I learned that my cancer was likely caused by my exposure to petrochemicals – a product extremely prevalent in my auto dealership.

I had two young teenage children at the time and I had to make a choice, keep my dealership and risk a reoccurrence of my cancer or sell and live to see my kids graduate and maybe even marry.

I sold it in 2008.  Not the peak economic time to sell.

Then three years ago, my brother got terminal cancer. Before he died, he asked for my help selling his office equipment business.  His dream was to sell for $5.5 million when he decided to sell at retirement.

The problem: He thought he had plenty of time to build his business to thrive without him, after all, he was still in his 50’s.

We ended up selling for a far cry from his desired amount.

Those two lessons motivated me to work with small business owners to build their business to thrive as well without them as with them.

Small to medium-sized businesses are the heart and soul of America.

When I sold my new car/truck dealership, I employed 82 people.

Like you, I never missed a payroll.

And like you, we provided access to great health care for them and their spouse and kids.

Our employees purchased homes, autos, recreational vehicles, groceries, took vacations, and their kids got to go to better schools all because we sold products and services that people wanted and needed.

When businesses like yours succeed (and eventually successfully transition to a new owner) the world becomes a much better place. Not just because of the money, we put back into circulation, but when we run a principle-centered BIZ, we affect the community as a whole.

Together, it’s businesses like yours that build the middle class.

It’s because of what you do, children get to go home tonight to a warm meal and sleep in a warm bed.  And tomorrow they get to wake up and go to a good school.

We don’t want to help you grow your business just because of you alone. We know what you do with your money. We know the legacy you are leaving matters to a whole community by creating jobs that matter and communities of co-workers that are truly meaningful.

Here’s to the success of your marketing and selling messaging, the systems that help your business run on auto-pilot and the empowered workforce that all allows you to focus on the real success of your business and the legacy you leave.

God Bless you and all you do.

If the owner IS the business, it’s worth nothing.
If the owner runs the business, it may be worth something.
If the business is totally independent of the owner and he or she can take 4-week vacations whenever they want, THEN it is worth money
.

P.S. After the execution of our program, you may not want to sell because it will be running so smoothly on virtual auto-pilot generating more cash then you thought possible.

P.S.S. Even if you’re not planning on selling, building your company to Sell It is building a company that is built to own.

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What It Takes to Say “No”

Most people do too much. Their lives are cluttered with unnecessary stuff and a confusing, burdensome array of choices. They waste themselves responding to the urgent while ignoring the important. They’re busy, but not all that effective. They’re burning calories they don’t need to.

In contrast, highly effective people think differently and are focused and calm. They concentrate on only the most important, and on the one thing that really matters.

So, instead of throwing more effort at whatever situation or problem you face, consider first, what you can discontinue.

The key to getting more with less is more about stopping than starting, it’s about knowing what to quit doing, what to say no to.

Create white space in your schedule, in your mind and in your life as a whole. It’s about emptying your days of those things that don’t justify your time and effort because the return on investment is so poor.

Imagine taking some of this new white space you’ve created by uncluttering your life and investing it in those things that really matter and count the most, work best, and bring the greatest rewards getting you 5,10, 15, 20 or even 100 times improvements.

The first thing you need to do is create white space in your life. Eliminate the deadwood.

The only place to get the time to create this white space, in the beginning, is from your Quadrant III and Quadrant IV activities.

To work in Quadrant II requires you to be proactive because Quadrants I and III work on you. To say “yes” to the important Quadrant II priorities, you have to learn to say “no” to other things.

Most people would say that the reason they are not as effective as they should or could be is a lack of discipline. On the surface, this sounds reasonable but if you give it deeper thought, the real problem is that their priorities have not become deeply ingrained in their hearts and minds. They haven’t internalized Habit 2 – Begin With The End In Mind.

A lot of people recognize the value of Quadrant II activities, whether they identify them as such or not. And they attempt to give priority to those activities and integrate them into their daily lives through self-discipline but without a principle center and personal mission statement and guiding principles, they don’t have the necessary foundation to sustain their efforts.

A Quadrant II focus is a worldview that grows out of being principle-centered.

It’s almost impossible to say “No” to the unnecessary urgency of the whirlwind, the popularity of the Quadrant III or the pleasure of escape of the Quadrant IV if you don’t have a bigger “yes” burning inside.

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7 Habits of Highly Effective People

7 Habits of Highly Effective People are broken down into two categories and are sequential.

Private Victories which always precedes Public Victories.

Private Victory Habits:

  1. Be Proactive – the Principle of Self-Awareness, Personal Vision, and Responsibility.    Being proactive is more than just taking initiative. It is recognizing that you are responsible for your own choices and have the freedom to choose based on principles and values rather than moods and conditions.

2. Begin with the End in Mind – the Principle of Leadership, Vision, Purpose, and Mission. We first create a mental VISION for the finished project. We always have a clear PURPOSE in mind. Identify and commit to the principles, relationships, and purposes that matter most.

3. Put 1st Things 1st – the Principle of Managing Time and Priorities Around Roles and Goals. This habit is about organizing and executing around our most important priorities not by the urgent agendas and forces surrounding us.  This teaches you how and what to FOCUS on and Fix Next. You will KNOW what to say ‘Yes’ to and what to say ‘No’ to with confidence.

Public Victory Habits:

4. Think Win-Win (or No Deal) – the Principle of Seeking Mutual Benefit. Thinking win-win is a frame of mind and heart that seeks mutual benefit and mutual respect in all interactions. It’s thinking in terms of abundance and opportunity rather than scarcity and adversarial competition.  SERVITUDE HEART

5. Seek First to Understand then to Be Understood – the Principle of Empathetic Communication. When we listen with the intent to understand, rather than simply to reply, we begin true communication and relationship building.   Opportunities to speak openly and be understood come much more naturally and easily. Seeking to understand takes consideration; seeking to be understood takes courage. Effectiveness lies in the balancing or blending of the two.

6. Synergize – the Principle of Creative Cooperation. This is the 3rd Alternative – not my way, not your way, but a third way that is better than either of us would come up with on our own. It’s the fruit of respecting, valuing and even celebrating the differences. It’s the creative cooperation of 1 + 1 = 3, 11, 111…

7. Sharpen the Saw – the Principle of Continuous Improvement. Sharpening the saw is about constantly renewing ourselves in the four basic areas of life: physical, social/emotional, mental and spiritual.

The first three Habits can be summarized in a very simple four-word expression: Make and keep promises. (Note: it isn’t just about honoring a commitment, it’s also about having the courage of character to make a commitment because you know you’ll honor it). 

The next three habits can be summarized: Involve people in the problem and work out the solution together. 

You will never master these habits, but by simply working on them on a daily basis, you will set yourself up for the success highly effective people enjoy.

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Primary Greatness

Harvard Business professor Amy Cuddy spent 15 years studying how business leaders can make a good first impression. She distilled her research into two questions people subconsciously ask when meeting someone.

Can I trust this person?

Can I respect this person? 

Primary Greatness is who you really are – your character, your integrity, your deepest motives and desires. It is achieved by those who have a mission and a purpose to serve that is higher than themselves, a lasting contribution to make.

Primary Greatness is principle-centered; God-centered; based on a Biblical worldview and is where your private victories come from.

Private Victories is a result of exercising your primary greatness and always precedes Public Victories.  Work on character first. Personality will naturally follow.

Shallow, immature people work on personality. They are constantly “selling” themselves to others.  To focus on personality before character is to grow the leaves without the roots.

Secondary Greatness is what the world acknowledges – popularity, title, position, fame, fortune, honors, possessions.

Three ‘C’s of Primary Greatness:

Competence: Demonstrates authority. Can I respect this person?

Character: Demonstrates integrity. Can I trust this person?

Communication: Demonstrates clarity of competence and character so people listen and want to follow your advice.  You can have character strength but lack effective communication skills – and that will effectively negate competence & character.

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