For sale: Boomers’ businesses — but for how much?
“What if I started a business doing (fill in the blank)?”
In the beginning it was just you — and maybe a partner or two. The business ran on blood, sweat and tears, with some heart and soul thrown in for good measure — and a chunk of your personal financial resources, too.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that when the time comes to sell the business and retire, some baby boomers just aren’t prepared.
They may not have a full understanding of their company’s actual value. Or perhaps their inability to let go undermines the sale.
“The emotional investment is why it’s so difficult for most people to sell their businesses,” said Paul Chambliss, vice president of Front Range Business Inc., a Boulder-based brokerage firm that facilitates selling owner-operated businesses. Chambliss has helped hundreds of owners sell their businesses and has seen successful outcomes as well as monumental failures.
Take, for instance, the owner of a long-established plumbing company who came into FRB’s offices ready to sell. Chambliss and his team’s valuation produced a figure that was half of what the