20 in 100 or 1 in 100?

The attached Venn diagram depicts the reality of business sales in the United States.

I was recently reading a solicitation for a seminar “The secrets of Exit and Succession Planning.” It stated, “Of all the businesses that go on the market for sale each year in the U.S., only about 20% actually sell.” The pitch . . . attend and we will “. . . explain the reasons why and also outline strategies for insuring that your business or your client’s business will be in the fortunate 20% when the time comes to sell.”

Ranking buyers by the multiples they are willing to pay from most to least, one starts with 1) strategic buyers, 2) private equity buyers, 3) private parties/friends and family. Private equity buyers say they only buy 1 out of 100 companies they consider; AND, they bemoan the poor quality of the information packages they receive from intermediaries.

“Secrets” and “Fortune” have nothing to do with whether your business will sell and to whom. Hidden mysteries and soothsayers? . . . You may pick-up some useful “generic” insights; BUT, attending that seminar is NOT a solution to the challenge you face.

Are you ready to have an honest conversation, create an implementable strategy and do the hard work necessary to make your business economically attractive to the best buyers?

We are.

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