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Entrepreneur – What Value Does Your Business Have?

It is probably not worth what you think it is.  There has gone a lot of water under the bridge since you as an entrepreneur started your successful venture. Sometimes time between your business start up and business succession is even 40 years, or more.

The world hasn’t stopped turning and many things have changed. A business that in the beginning did not have the smallest threat or risk, has become a risky business, in the worst case. Nobody can polish the crystal ball shiny enough, but every now and then a “health check up” for your business is worthwhile.

One good way of doing this, is putting your business for sale and let for instance a private equity buyer run a due diligence. They will be blunt enough to tell you their view on your business. Listen carefully, because it could reveal a lot issues you need to pay attention to.

Just recently, I was advising a successful a 70 years old entrepreneur. The sales had slumped. It was the first real crisis for this entrepreneur. Sales had gone down really fast, 35% in one year. He never before had to make any sales efforts, business was just coming. But he continued believing that business will come back just like that.

I managed attract a family office to make a very lucrative offer for his business, however he declined. Now the business is in an even worse situation. He thinks he can fix it himself!

So now all potential investors consider the business worthless, because so much cash is needed for investments.

Entrepreneur, think early about your successor and plan it well. Do have a plan B or even C, if plan A is suddenly not viable anymore.

There are hundreds of thousands interesting SME businesses in Europe waiting for a successor. But, entrepreneur first you have to make a decision and potentially face the music!

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