American Business Brokers - September 2023

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American Business Brokers & Advisors Founder & President MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS BUSINESS VALUATIONS




How Low Can It Go?

The Art of Bad Customer Service

to be abused, try calling a TV cable or utility company. The situation goes on and on.

Imagine yourself in need of a lightbulb. Nothing special but a lightbulb for the light above the sink in your bathroom. For some reason, when you went into the bathroom today, one of the three lightbulbs did not work. Being a prudent individual, you decide to replace it after removing the old lightbulb. Now, where I live, my choices are a Home Depot or Lowe’s to choose from, or I may have a Menards to go to, and if I am not in a hurry, I can order it on Amazon. I use this example of a lightbulb because if you have had to buy one lately, you know how confusing it can be trying to make sure you are getting the correct type of lightbulb to replace the one that just burned out. Chances are you will be alone in your search. No one will be there to help you figure out the correct type of lightbulb you need, and you will end up buying the wrong one, and it will not be the same shade of white as the others when you replace the one in your bathroom. My point is that there was no one to help you because the idea of customer service is at its lowest level, if not gone, from the world of retailing. The same situation occurs daily in the big box stores such as Target, and if you really want some abuse, you would go to Walmart where they used to have their associates (employees) wear smocks that said, “What can I help you with today?” — a true oxymoron about providing customer service. Oh, you may say that is why you shop online because there is no customer service in retail stores anymore. Really. Next time you are online at a retailer’s website and you need to find a phone number for customer service to talk to someone to help you, I don’t think you will find a phone number because they don’t want to talk to you. They want you to email them or, better yet, have an instant chat with an AI bot. If you really want

The level of good customer service in the retail and service businesses, such as restaurants, is at its lowest point ever. If you find someone to help you find that lightbulb I talked about, you would latch onto them and ask a multitude of questions because you know talking to a human being in such a situation is a golden moment. The same applies if you are a customer at a fast-food restaurant or casual dining restaurant. I am not going to belabor the idea as to how we got to this point because I would run out of space in this article. But I can tell you the good thing about the non-existent customer service we are all experiencing. Here is the good news. With customer service in my opinion having reached the lowest point you can think of, it has created an excellent opportunity to provide today’s customers with great customer service. We have set the customer service bar so low that the simple idea of acknowledging a customer in our stores is considered good customer service. It gets even better if an employee of a retail establishment or a restaurant asks us if they can help us, and they really do help us. The time to provide good customer service is now and it is easy, and we all know good customer service translates into more sales. Yes, you can tell me about the rewards program you have initiated with an app on your phone, and that is good, but it is not customer service. Customer service is communicating with the customer verbally: acknowledging people and engaging them in a conversation.

Think back to the last time where and when you had good customer service and how it made you feel. I bet you liked it and wanted to experience it again as a customer. Now, take those same thoughts and consider how you can provide the same type of feelings to your customers on a daily basis and what it would do to your sales and bottom-line profitability. If you are not providing your customers with the kind of service you would like to receive when you visit a store, then there is a good chance your competition will. Oh yes, one last word. Do not try to wiggle out of this conversation and say there are no good people out there who give good customer service anymore. Explain to me where those employees came from who work at Culver’s or Chick-fil-A. Fast-food is one of the toughest businesses there is to get employees who will give good customer service, yet these companies manage to pull it off every day. It has to start somewhere, and I was taught it always starts at the top, and when I owned and operated my restaurants and retail stores, I knew it started with ME! –Terry Monroe




Money Mastery: Mark Cuban’s Essential Guide to Financial Freedom

is unpredictable, so it’s essential to create a safety net if the unexpected were to happen.

Mark Cuban is one of the most well-known American businessmen of the past 20 years. He’s one of the stars of “Shark Tank,” owns the Dallas Mavericks, and has his hands in various other profitable ventures. Cuban is not shy about sharing the secrets to his success. Here you’ll find nine of his most valuable pieces of financial advice. 1. LIVE LIKE A STUDENT: When you were a student, you probably wanted to buy many things but couldn’t afford them. Now that you’re an adult with money to spend, don’t waste it on things you don’t really need.

4. PUT SAVINGS INTO AN SPX MUTUAL FUND: You want to keep your money where it will grow on its own. Investing in the S&P 500 will keep your money safe while bringing in additional interest. 5. INVEST UP TO 10% OF YOUR SAVINGS IN HIGH-RISK INVESTMENTS: Investing up to 10% of your savings in cryptocurrency or other high-risk ventures is okay. Do not expect a return on this investment, though. It’s better to assume it’s already gone than to expect you’ll strike it big. 6. BUY CONSUMABLES IN BULK AND ON SALE: You are going to use products like toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, and others daily. Buy as much as you can whenever these items go on sale so you don’t need to buy them at full price in the future. 7. NEGOTIATE USING CASH: Most people don’t mind selling their products or services for less if they know they’ll get cash immediately. 8. READ BOOKS: There’s always something new to learn that can help you become more profitable or financially aware. Read books that will inspire you. 9. BEING NICE EARNS A GOOD RESPONSE: People respond better to kindness than anything else. Be friendly to those around you, and you’ll be rewarded.

2. YOU SHOULDN’T USE CREDIT CARDS: Credit cards can be dangerous, as the ill use of one can quickly send you into debt.

3. SAVE SIX MONTHS’ WORTH OF INCOME: How long could you live off your savings if you lost your job today? The future


“That poor old couple. All they can afford is one meal for the two of them.”

food off the tray. There was one hamburger, one order of french fries, and one drink.

The little old couple walked slowly into McDonald’s that cold winter evening.

As the man began to eat his french fries, one young man stood and came over to the old couple’s table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple to eat. The old man replied that they were just fine. They were used to sharing everything. Then the crowd noticed that the little old lady hadn’t eaten a bite. She just sat there watching her husband eat and, occasionally, taking turns sipping the drink. Again, the young man came over and begged them to let

The little old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half. He placed one half in front of his wife. Then he carefully counted out the french fries, divided them into two piles, and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife. He took a sip of the drink; his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them. As the man began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the crowd began to get restless. Again, you could tell what they were thinking.

They looked out of place among the young families and young couples eating there that night. Some of the customers looked admiringly at them. You could tell what the admirers were thinking: “Look, there is a couple that has been through a lot together, probably for 60 years or more!” The little old man walked right up to the cash register, placed his order with no hesitation, and then paid for their meal. The couple took a table near the back wall and started taking




SUDOKU (SOLUTION ON PG. 4) Take a Break!

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him buy them something to eat. This time the lady explained that no, they were used to sharing everything together.

As the little old man finished eating and was wiping his face neatly with a napkin, the young man could stand it no longer. Again, he came over to their table and offered to buy some food. After being politely refused again, he finally asked a question of the little old lady.

“Ma’am, why aren’t you eating? You said that you share everything. What is it that you are waiting for?




She answered, “The teeth.”

–Terry Monroe








INSIDE 7824 Estero Blvd., 3rd Floor Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 1 2 How Low Can Bad Customer Service Go? Master Your Finances With Mark Cuban’s Golden Advice

Sudoku Solution

The Joy of Sharing

3 4

Thinking About Selling Your Business in 2023?

A Little Parable to Think About


over the country, plus they have been to Mexico and Canada and even have a big trip planned to Europe. He also says he has been playing lots of golf and has shaved five strokes off his golf game. He tells them that there is really only one thing he set out to do as a part of his retirement that he hasn’t been able to do, and that is to play with his grandchildren. When his friends ask why he says he hasn’t been able to do that, he replies that he doesn’t actually have any grandchildren. They ask him why not, and he says he doesn’t really know why he doesn’t have any grandchildren because he has three adult children who are all happily married and perfectly healthy. He then comes up with a plan to get some grandchildren. He calls his kids and their spouses over to his house on Thanksgiving Day. He has them all standing around the table when he says, “Before I say the blessing, I have one quick announcement: Today, I opened up a $100,000 trust fund in the name of my very first grandchild. Will you please bow your heads?” He said the blessing, and when he looked up, only he and his wife were standing there.

A guy goes to his retirement party. His friends are talking to him about his plans for retirement. He says he wants to travel more with his wife, play golf, and spend time with his grandchildren. They commend his plans.

They all get together about a year later and are talking about how he is enjoying his retirement. He says he and his wife have been traveling all

The moral? If you are ever going to get started, you ought to get started right now.




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