Throughout my career at Parsec, I have had the opportunity to join our founder, Bart Boyer, at several client appreciation dinners. During these events, Bart would famously review the current economic environment and discuss how to build long-term generational wealth. Without fail, he always reminded clients that “there are only two ways to build wealth:
It is easy for a business owner to view the value of his or her business subjectively close to the point of sale because of the owner’s interconnected feelings and experiences with the business. This close association can breed significant biases within the owner, which may affect negotiations to sell the business. The valuation, terms of the transaction, employees and ongoing reputation of the business are some of the areas where a biased seller can struggle with letting go and entering a new phase of being a former owner.
A business starts with a skill, a dream, and a whole lot of hard work and sacrifice. Add some luck (some might say) and it flourishes, supporting the families of its owners and employees while making a difference in the lives of its clients, customers, and community. Thus, selling that business can be hard.
“Most business owners have no idea how emotionally fraught the process can be,” says Greg James, CFP®, a partner at Parsec Financial. “Clients approach us with a wide range of feelings, from excitement to fear and reluctance, but they all want to know what their business might be worth and if they’ll be able to retire comfortably after the sale. Understandably, it’s difficult for a business owner to look at the value of his or her company through an objective lens. That’s where we come in.”