American Business Brokers & Advisor Founder & President PROFESSIONAL INTERMEDIARY & MARKET MAKER FOR PRIVATELY HELD COMPANIES Author of ‘The Art of Buying and Selling a Convenience Store’ & ‘Selling with Certainty’ Involved in the Sale of 800+ Businesses Advisor • Consultant • Speaker
Why I Became a Business Broker
So YouWon’t Have to Lose Like I Did
“My business is not selling businesses; we provide information and insight for business owners so they knowwhat their options are going forward.”
I don’t know anybody who likes to lose, myself included. Even if it’s just a game, I don’t care. I hate to lose, and I especially hate to lose in business. Back when I first started out as a business owner, I wanted to be in the restaurant business. I thought running a national fast food franchise was an easy way to print money, and there was no way I could lose. So, in 1986 with no business education or experience, a partner (who was an attorney) and I decided to open a restaurant. I didn’t care what kind of restaurant it was, but my partner thought opening an Arby’s would be a good idea. With that, we began working toward buying an Arby’s. After talking with the Arby’s corporate offices, we were granted the privilege to purchase the franchise in Collinsville, IL. Collinsville was a bedroom community of St. Louis, and although it wasn’t our first choice of location, I had a friend who was in the hotel business who told me about a site where we could build that would eventually be right next to a new Super 8 and Holiday Inn. This looked like a no-brainer. Fast forward to 1987. Our Arby’s was open and doing okay, but not great. Traffic from the hotels didn’t improve sales as much as we had hoped. The store was barely breaking even. To make matters worse, my partner and I did not live in Collinsville, and we were unaware of the day-to-day operations. The restaurant cost about $1 million to build, interest rates on the loan were in the low double digits, and there wasn’t enough income from sales to put toward both the store and the debt. Our no-brainer had turned into the perfect storm. Every month, we had to pay out of pocket toward the store and the debt, but sometimes we still didn’t have enough. The bank eventually called us in, wanting to know what we were going to do. If we kept the restaurant open, we would lose less than if
we closed the unit and sold the property for pennies on the dollar — but we would still lose. The bank knew our situation, but they still wanted their money. So, they decided to move our loan to the workout department of the bank — not a good place to be. This ordeal continued for five years before the restaurant ever started being profitable. It was a terrible strain on my finances, and it almost broke me. My partner was supposedly too busy being an attorney to help, so it was left up to me to figure out what to do. I was exhausted dealing with creditors, bankers, and employees all alone. Who could I call for help? My accountant wasn’t going to help; he didn’t know how to run a business. The bank wasn’t going to help; all they wanted was their money. I had no idea what a business broker was at the time, but I told myself if I ever get out of this situation, I would do my best to help other people avoid the mistakes I had made. To this day, I can still remember what it felt like to be behind the eight ball. Now, after selling over 802 businesses and 33 years of experience working with bankers, accountants, and attorneys, I know what to do. That’s why I enjoy helping business owners. There’s no situation in the world of business ownership I haven’t either experienced or been involved with. My business is not selling businesses; we provide information and insight for business owners so they know what their options are going forward — so they don’t have to lose like I did all those years ago. My passion eventually led me to write “Selling With Certainty.” This book is the culmination of my knowledge of the business owner’s do’s and don’ts. I would feel privileged to share this book with you. Just go to TerryMonroeBooks.com to receive your free copy.
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