She quit a six figure job to become an entrepreneur. Michelle Seiler Tucker risked it all. It paid off. Today, she is an authority in the business of buying, fixing and selling businesses. Now she has over 15 years experience buying and selling businesses. When she decided to quit her job, her family and friends thought she was crazy. She partnered with a franchise for six months as she sought to find out how the business was performing. Within the six months, she had made more money than she had done in a whole year with her six figure job at Xerox. This gave her the motivation she needed to quit her job and concentrate on building this business.
This is how she transitioned into buying and selling businesses. Michelle says there are about 30 million businesses in the United States. 25% of these businesses are at any given time up for sale. Eight out of ten of them will not sell. Using this information and her contacts in the franchises community, Michelle became a prominent figure in the business of buying businesses as more people came to her asking for her help to sell their businesses.
There are many reasons why Michelle is different and better than others in the business. Prime among these reasons is the fact that Michelle owns multiple businesses. Most other business brokers have no experience owning and running businesses. This gives her insight other brokers don’t have. Michelle also notes her ability to obtain 20-40% higher selling price for her customers than other brokers. And then there is this; most business brokers have a 60% failure rate. She has up to 98% success rate.
Michelle says she sits down with her clients and discusses what their desired result is. She discusses the price the client wishes to sell their business at, evaluates the current value of the business and using reverse engineering determines the rate at which the business needs to grow to sell at the desired price. This explains why she has been described as the business broker who sells businesses more than they are worth.
Some people contact her to help them sell their business but her evaluation of the prevailing circumstances may lead her to make a different recommendation. Recently, she partnered with a business owner who had called her with an intention to sell his business. She felt selling the $400,000 worth business would work against the business owner and he would not get enough money for his family after paying his taxes and the business brokers. Michelle brought in the resources the business needed to transition to its next phase. She projects the business will be worth $5 million by end of 2015. Within five years, she believes it will be worth anything between $15 million and $20 million.
Most people looking to buy a business buy businesses directly from the business owners. Michelle says this is a huge mistake. This is because typically, most business owners will be trying to sell their business because it is not doing well, or the financials are not going to substantiate the price they want, or they can’t prove their income, or something else is wrong with their business. Using a business broker ensures confidentiality. The business owner would be concerned about their employees, customers, vendors and competitors. They should hire a business broker to ensure confidentiality during the buying process.
Michelle also says most buyers don’t know what they’re doing. They will hire a business broker who does not know what they are supposed to do. She advises people to interview business brokers before hiring them. She also advises them to change their approach while looking to buy a business.
“Don’t be industry specific; be cash flow specific. Know the cash flow that you want to generate and buy the cash; don’t buy the industry,” she says.
Michelle’s book “Sell Your Business for More Than It’s Worth” has been a huge success. She is currently working on another book called “Quit Your Job, Buy a Business”. The book addresses the issues of concern people have when trying to quit their jobs and start or buy a business. It also seeks to help people get in touch with themselves and their passion to be more productive.
Michelle discourages people from being quick to start a business. She says it is preferable to buy a business than starting one from scratch. She compares starting a business to gambling, given the high rate of failure for startups – 85% to 95% of all startups fail. She advises people to choose from the millions of good businesses up for sale. These businesses have proven track records, have been in business for years, have employees, most will have a management team, and have a healthy customer base and even a proven cash flow.
While most people think business owners sell their businesses because they are not doing well, Michelle says the truth is far from it. She outlines other reasons people sell their businesses. These include divorce, retirement, partner disputes and the yearning to venture into other businesses.
Michelle’s parting thought: “Business owners need to stop working in their business and start working on their business. They need to duplicate themselves. They need to delegate.”