American Business Brokers - October 2020

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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’ & ‘Hidden Wealth’ Involved in the Sale of 800+ Businesses Advisor • Consultant • Speaker

Are You Buying or Selling a Business? WWW.TERRYMONROE.COM OCTOBER 2020


Why It’s the Best Time to Do So

Recently, I wrote an article about buying and selling businesses in the middle of a pandemic, and it was published in CEOWORLD Magazine. This is an abridged version of that article. As much as we don’t want to admit it, most everyone is guided more by their emotions than by logic. In many cases, when we’re convinced that we’re making a logical decision, we’re actually trying to justify emotion-based decisions. With that in mind, is now — in the middle of a pandemic — a good time to conduct business acquisitions? Or should we just hunker down and try to ride things out? The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our businesses and our lives for months now. However, it has also created several opportunities for buying and selling businesses. Even before the COVID-19 ravaged the globe, I was shouting from the mountaintops that the best time to buy businesses is today. Money will never again be this cheap and accessible. This also means it’s a good time to be a seller — because cheap money helps increase the value of companies. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, now is prime time for big decisions, because both parties win. Opportunity Knocks ... Two industries where the pandemic has created opportunity are hotels and restaurants. If you are the owner of one or several hotels, there is a good chance you may go broke, and the future probably doesn’t look too bright either. However, one business owner’s end is another’s beginning. I know someone who owns some hotels and is actively trying to acquire more hotels by either buying from or buying out his competitors. And why not?

option. By owing the seller some money, I have a partner who is invested in my success and will be there to answer my questions. If it is an all-cash deal, then expect to get a discount. Do your due diligence. And then do it again. Remember, nobody knows more about the business than the person who has owned it for years and now is trying to sell it to you.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to sell, do the following:

Money is cheap and the hotel concept is still good. It’s just going through a down cycle.

Prepare meticulously. Think of selling your business like selling your house. Make sure all your equipment works and get all your financial books and records in order to better help the buyer understand what they’re getting into. Be specific. Have a list of both the physical and intellectual assets you’re selling. The last thing you want is a misunderstanding of what is being sold. Get a valuation. Find out what the business is worth ahead of time. Most people know what their cars and homes are worth, but many business owners don’t have a clue what their businesses are worth — even though it’s most likely their most valuable asset! This pandemic is bad, but the world will keep turning and people are going to keep buying things. If you’re serious about staying in business, the last thing you want to do is look back on what you missed as a buyer. If you’re a seller, you don’t want to regret the piles of money you left on the table.

The same thing is happening in the restaurant industry. About 20% of restaurants open prior to the pandemic are now closed for good, but several competitors and startups are already taking their places — literally. They’re renting their old locations, and either expanding on an existing concept, or opening something new altogether. The most successful businesses have always been the ones that look toward the horizon. They invest for generations, not for just 5–10 years.

If you’re thinking of buying a business right now, do the following:

Be prepared to kiss a lot of frogs. You might have to go through 10, 20, or even 30 business opportunities before you find the right one. Acquire lots of information. You want lots of data. For starters, get your hands on past profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and asset inventories. The data will give you the best idea of what you’re getting into.

–Terry Monroe

Consider owner financing. Owner financing, whether it is whole or partial, is always a good




How to Successfully Run a Business With Your Spouse

A Few Tips to Get Through Each Day

Going into business with your family, especially with a spouse, can be extremely challenging — but it doesn’t have to be. Many couples can navigate working together and successfully manage a family business, all while strengthening their marriage! According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 53% of managers in family-run businesses share those duties with a spouse. So, more often than not, spouses are able to run a business together, despite the horror stories you might have heard! Running a successful business with your spouse takes a lot of consideration, however. If it’s something you’re considering, keep these tips in mind. Create healthy boundaries. Keep your work life and your home life separate. Don’t carry household conflicts — like forgetting to unload the dishwasher or a disagreement over parenting — into a work environment. A great way to maintain these boundaries is by setting work hours, in which you’re allowed to discuss business. During all other hours, business discussions should not be allowed to happen.

who holds which jobs so you can minimize the amount of opportunities for arguments when something doesn’t get done.

Create your own space. Even though you may work from home, that doesn’t mean you need to be in the same room or take breaks together. And while it might seem silly if you’re working in the same home, communicating through email will help you keep a record of your discussions. Remember the value of your relationship. At the end of the day, choose your marriage over your business anytime those two priorities come in conflict with one another. At the same time, bring the healthy traits of your marriage, like trust, respect, communication, and humility, into your business partnership. Building a business with your spouse is possible — if you’re willing to put in the work.

Fairly divide work duties. Make sure that both of you are taking on the amount of responsibility that you feel is fair. You both want to be clear on

Communicating With Elderly Loved Ones Who Can’t Speak


As people age, whether because of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, brain injuries, or impaired hearing, they and their loved ones may experience more and more difficulties communicating with one another. Sometimes, seniors even lose their ability to speak entirely. Fortunately, there are still methods that you can use to communicate with your elderly loved ones. Whatever your elderly loved one’s condition might be, one or a few of the following five strategies may work for communicating with them. Be respectful. Keep your loved one involved in the conversation, even if it seems like you’re just talking at them rather than with them. Be patient with them as they speak — they’ll appreciate it more than you might think.

Let them practice. Avoid finishing their sentences or speaking for your loved ones. Depending on the condition, continued practice could either partially or completely restore their speaking skills. It might be tedious at first, but conversing with them will get easier with time. Be patient. Don’t rush through your conversation with your loved ones. Make sure that you’re both on the same page in the conversation. Let them know when you’re switching conversation topics and confirm that they understand with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Always take time to listen to what they’re saying. Converse during physical contact. Conversing while holding your loved one’s hand, brushing their hair or applying lotion can make the interaction seem more natural. Let them know you’re going to touch them

before you do it, however. If they pull back, it’s probably best not to engage in physical contact with them. Play their favorite music. Playing some upbeat tunes or old favorites is a great way to indicate that you enjoy spending time with your elderly loved one. Music sometimes conveys emotion easier than words, and can make communication easier. Spending time with elderly loved ones when they need human contact the most shouldn’t feel like a chore. With these tips, you can make your time together worthwhile for them and for yourself.




Take a Break!

Can You Sell Your Business in the Middle of an Economic Recession? IF YOU MAKE THESE KEY CONSIDERATIONS, ABSOLUTELY!


It’s no secret that the pandemic has hit small businesses particularly hard. However, because a significant number of American small-business owners are 65 and older, the impact the coronavirus has had on small businesses has led many owners to question whether it’s worth holding on to their business, or simply selling and retiring. However, some business owners might worry that the economic recession might make it too difficult to sell their business. While this concern is understandable, there’s no reason to be worried. With the right help and mindset, you can sell your business for all it’s worth, no problem, right now. However, before you put your business on the block, you should make these three considerations. Do you understand why you want to sell? Your desire to sell your business might be more rooted in emotion than logic at first. Drill through the emotional reasons to get at the reality of the situation. Burnout, inability to expand, or a lack of a family succession plan, among others, are all understandable reasons for wanting to sell. Do you have a professional team to help you? Selling a business is stressful. Have a team of professionals guide you through the process, including at least an accountant, a mergers and acquisitions specialist, and an attorney. Some business owners might brag that they saved money by not hiring a professional team, but the reality is they probably left a lot of money on the table. Do you know what your business is worth? The last thing you want to do in a sale is leave money on the table. Luckily, in the age of the internet, it’s easy to discern what your business is probably worth. And, with the help of a professional who understands the industry, you can rest assured you’ll get the right price for your business — even in the middle of a pandemic.






For more tips on getting the most out of selling your business, be sure to check out my book, “Hidden Wealth: The Secret to Getting Top Dollar For Your Business.”







INSIDE 7824 Estero Blvd., 3rd Floor Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931 1 2 Why the Pandemic Might Be the Best Time to Buy or Sell a Business How to Successfully Run a Business With Your Spouse

Sudoku Solution

How to Communicate With Elderly Loved Ones Who Can’t Speak Considerations for Selling Your Business in a Recession


Take a Break


Join a Professional Association and See Your Business Grow

Networking and Mentorship Why reinvent the wheel when you can adapt it with a mentor? Associations connect you to leaders who have stood where you are standing and succeeded. You can learn a lot from their failures, wisdom, and guidance. You can also connect with peers in your position and bounce ideas off of them. You won’t have to worry about competitors “stealing” your processes, and you have an honest, go-to support team to help you refine them before presenting them to your team. Personal Development and Growth A business is only as good as the leader managing it, and all business leaders have room for improvement. An association can give you the tools to get there. And as you continue to learn, you’ll discover personal and professional areas that can be further refined. This personal development only makes you and your business stronger. Are you still not convinced you should join an association? Think of it this way: Your competitors could be growing through their involvement in an association while you remain stagnant. Push forward and connect with your peers today.

Business is competitive by nature. If competitors didn’t push our favorite brands to be better, they may not even exist. Our technology options would be limited without Apple’s ingenuity. Shipping options would be limited without UPS or FedEx. And access to our favorite athletic gear would be more limited if no one was pushing the top brands like Nike to innovate. Competition fuels our greatest inventions, but behind every great leader or business is a core network of like-minded people and innovators supporting them. Professional associations connect business leaders to fellow innovators in their industry without competition from local rivals. These organizations offer many benefits and little risk to business leaders looking to grow. If you haven’t yet joined a professional association, these three benefits just might get you to change your mind. Education and Resources Google is great for a quick answer, but when you need to learn something more nuanced, a simple internet search won’t cut it. Professional associations offer tailored, more in-depth help and resources like industry-specific training and webinars, how-to guides, and coaching. From peer advice and education to scholarly studies and reviews, associations act as a library of information for your industry.

You’re Not Alone Learn and Grow With a Professional Association




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