Updated: Feb 13
I’ve spoken in front of thousands of business owners; big and small.
When time permits I open up for Q & A and often I get asked the same question “I’m running a x business… how do I grow my business if I am the business?” The answer I typically provide silences the room.
“You can’t” I say… “If all you’re doing is trading your time for dollars you’ll find it exceptionally difficult to scale”.
“You can however become more efficient, take on new clients and increase your billable hours but ultimately you will hit a wall.”
The room typically remains quiet as many of the small business owners sit alone with their thoughts contemplating their own businesses.
I then follow up with “step back for a moment with me and look at your business from a buyer’s perspective – Would YOU buy your business?”
The answer for most small business owners is “No” or some version of a low cash upfront, long-term payout model.
Some of the initial thoughts that cross a buyer’s mind (my mind) when initially assessing a business are:
WHERE IS THE UPSIDE?
In other words, what else can someone do with what is already there?
Few people buy businesses or invest in companies just to maintain the status quo – where’s the upside potential?
If it’s a mortgage brokerage or insurance agency – can you introduce new products to the distribution channel to increase revenues?
If it’s an engineering firm – is there intellectual property or existing strategic relationships in place that you can leverage?
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO TAKE OVER?
The more the business depends on you the harder it is to raise capital to grow or sell the business.
Is there specialized knowledge that someone needs to have from the outset?
Are there special approvals that someone would require?
How dependent is the business on the operator?
WHERE ARE THE RISKS?
You’re an entrepreneur and are accustomed to your business and the industry in which you operate.
What would you see if you removed yourself from the equation and objectively looked at it all? Business, industry and future potential…
Is it more profitable or less profitable than when you started?
Why is that?
Are there more changes to come?
How could they impact the business/industry?
Marcin has been instrumental in building several businesses including commercial & multi family real estate investment partnerships, a consulting practice and a smart home security business serving customers nationwide. Marcin has secured over $100MM in growth capital for various businesses and has collectively spoken in front of thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, investors and those just starting to explore living life on their own terms. Outside the office Marcin can be found at the gym lifting heavy things or on the road zipping along on an extended bicycle ride.
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