How to Get Top Dollar Selling Your Business

I interview Joe Valley of Quiet Light Brokerage on how to get top dollar selling your business.

Joe is a serial entrepreneur, EXITpreneur, author, advisor, and partner at Quiet Light Brokerage, one of the leading online-focused M&A firms in the world. He has built, bought, and sold over a half dozen companies of his own, and has helped thousands of online entrepreneurs achieve their goals. In his recently published book, The EXITpreneur’s Playbook – How to Sell your Online Business for Top Dollar, he shares real-life stories of successful and failed exits, and teaches you how to reverse engineer a pathway to your own incredible exit.

In this episode, Joe Valley covers:

  • How to sell your online business for top dollar by reverse engineering.
  • The definition of an aggregator and what it means for you.
  • Why a million-dollar business is less risky than buying a $100,000 business.
  • How to increase the value of an online, service-based business.
  • Why the business owner’s reputation matters.
  • How some business expenses can DECREASE the value of your business.
  • 5 Risks you MUST be aware of and what you can do to reduce the risk.
  • How to create a plan to exit your business.

 

Build a great business for a great buyer to take over at a great price.
– Joe Valley

 

To learn more about Joe and his book that will teach you how to go from Entrepreneur to EXITpreneur, visit https://exitpreneur.io/

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–  RAW TRANSCRIPT –

Joe Valley: [00:00:00] And we set an exit goal and and they’re marching towards that goal. And they’ve gone from two years ago thinking their businesses will with $200,000 to now they’re looking at a $10 million exit in 2022.

David Wood: [00:00:12] Welcome high-performing entrepreneurs and business owners. Do you suffer from shiny object syndrome?

Do you often feel scattered and distracted making it hard to implement your plan with all the ideas and strategies coming at you? Do you often wonder if you have the right goals and plans. Welcome to Extraordinary Focus with David Wood, where we help you achieve way more in less time. Get the laser focus you need

so you can double your business, double your impact in the world and be an even more extraordinary entrepreneur and human. Let’s dive in and stay tuned at the end for your gift.

Welcome everybody to another episode of Extraordinary Focus with David Wood. And I have a guest today. His name is Joe Valley and he helps people get top dollar by selling their online business.

And a lot of what we’re going to talk about is going to apply to your business, whether it’s an online business, whether it’s e-commerce or not e-commerce but we’re going to dive into it. Firstly, before I read a little bit about your bio, Joe, I want to say welcome. Thanks for being on the show.

Joe Valley: [00:01:19] Good to be here. Thanks for having me David.

David Wood: [00:01:21] All right. Joe Valley’s a serial entrepreneur. An exit preneur advisor and partner at Quiet Light, which is one of the leading online focused merger and acquisition firms in the world. He has built, bought and sold over half a dozen companies himself. And he’s helped thousands of online entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.

So, Joe, I met you at Blue Ribbon Mastermind, which is Ezra Firestone of Smart Market. He has a mastermind for rockstar entrepreneurs, and we met at that event just before the pandemic hit. Is that right?

Joe Valley: [00:01:59] Yeah. We were at a beach somewhere St. Petersburg, maybe. Yep.

David Wood: [00:02:03] Yeah. Yep. And we had a good conversation and we connected and I’ve been, you know, I coach a lot of entrepreneurs and one of the things that often comes up is exit strategy.

How am I going to prep my business to get top dollar for it. What adds value, what doesn’t, what plummets value. And so I’m excited to get into that with you. Is there anything that you want to add about your background that people should know about you so that they know they should listen very carefully?

Joe Valley: [00:02:34] Yeah. As you said, I’ve bought sold over half a dozen of my own companies. I sold my last e-commerce business through Quiet Light back in 2010. In November of 2010, then joined the company in early 2012. I took a little break there for about a year. So I went back to doing something that I used to do and realized David, why I stopped doing it because I hated it.

But I joined the company in 2012 because. Such a great experience in the process of selling my own. And since then I’ve sold about a hundred million in total transactions and through the company, as a partner now we’ve touched another half billion. The industry is changing dramatically. We were just doing some numbers in 2017.

We closed a total of 17 million in transactions in June of 2021. One of our advisors. Is scheduled to close $21 million in transactions. So we’ve grown a little bit. The industry has grown a little bit and we’ve learned a lot along the way the. Pleasure and pain of what we do or what I do individually.

You know, I’ve had probably 8,000 one-on-one conversations and I did this math in my head trying to figure this out as I was writing the book, but literally over 8,000 one-on-one conversations talking about, you know, what brings implements value what people should do to prepare their business for sale.

And most of them don’t right. Nobody wants to do that work and think about the acts that they just went. One day and you say, all right, I’m done. I want to move on. And so I took those 8,000 conversations and I expanded it and I put it in the book, told some of my own personal success stories and some of my own failures and some of my clients incredible success stories of their incredible exits and some of them.

Epic failures. And I did change the names to protect the innocent but everything really that somebody should know about an exit aside from the emotional aspect of it, which is something else altogether, is that there it’s a you know, Walker Deibel call the ultimate guide to selling your online business.

And again, it’s not, it is online focused, but the lessons in information there in terms of deal structures, how much it’s gonna be left over after taxes how to negotiate with individual buyers, all that can really be applied to just about anybody that owns any kind of business. Great. So the

David Wood: [00:04:46] name of the book is the exit preneurs playbook.

How to sell your online business for top dollar by reverse engineering, your pathway to success by Joe valley. And I’ll give you the link now, and we’ll give you the link at the end of the episode, too. You can get it@exitpreneur.io that right, like entrepreneur, but exit.

Joe Valley: [00:05:08] Yes. Well, the printer part is hard.

You know, I had remedial English when I was in high school and I spelled it wrong. The first time I was so proud of myself, I bought ecopreneur.com and I was psyched, except I spelled it wrong. I spelled it U E R instead of E you are so right. I ended up with.io. You know, the owner of a.com wanted $250,000 for the URL.

So I passed on that.

David Wood: [00:05:34] Good move. So exitpreneurs,  exitpreneur.io. And I like that. You just revealed that you are a partner now in the company, but you started as a customer. You went through the experience and the experience was so good for you. You’re like, Hey, I want to be involved in this.

And you also brought up that the industry is changing. I just heard at the blue ribbon mastermind in Miami, they were saying that the value of online businesses has gone up during the pandemic. Is that right?

Joe Valley: [00:06:11] Yeah. Yeah. It’s a combination of Businesses growing because of the pandemic, because more people like my 84 year old father shops online now.

Right, right. And because of the aggregators that have come into the space, you know, they realize if you look at the typical private equity world, when they’re buying a business, that is a manufacturing company, they trade for fairly high, multiple. And relatively speaking and online business trades at a fairly low multiple.

And so there are some aggregators that have come into the space that have raised billions of dollars, literally. And there are rolling up starting with FBA fulfilled by Amazon businesses, buying them at what initially was. Two to two and a half times discretionary earnings bringing them into their portfolio.

And because of the size of the portfolio, now it’s immediately worth 10. So they’re gaining some tremendous instant equity. The multiples are going up and up because there’s more competition among the aggregators and the individual buyers. And. Everybody’s maturing. Right. When I started doing this in 2012, I think my average transaction size was like $125,000.

Now we’re doing transactions that are on the upper side of 25 million and the low side of 250, I think the average transaction value in 20 20 was 1.7 million. And it grows every year.

David Wood: [00:07:33] I understood that more people are buying online now. And so therefore the value. Online businesses in general is going up.

I didn’t understand the aggregate point. I’d like to understand that. So aggregate is how would you define an aggregator?

Joe Valley: [00:07:48] I think of them as holding companies or companies that are rolling out. A number of individual brands, if you will. They’re intelligent, well-educated charming people that have gone out to investors, people with lots of money and said, Hey, look, here’s the concept.

I’m going to buy a hundred FBA businesses. I’m going to buy them at three times.

David Wood: [00:08:13] What’s an FBA business. I’m going to, I’m going to call you on all the acronyms.

Joe Valley: [00:08:17] Do, cause they do it to everybody else. And more often than not, they can’t say what they are. So you’re probably going to catch me one of these times, FBA is fulfilled by Amazon.

Okay. And so they look for businesses that are majority Amazon based, right. They can be sold off of Amazon, but they’re majority Amazon, and they buy them again at two to three times discretionary earnings. And when they get into that larger portfolio, they become more valuable because it’s lower risk, right?

The same thing. If you’re buying an individual company, if you buy a company, a lot of people will say, well, I just want to start small because it’s less risk. I’m just going to buy something for a hundred thousand. Well, a business that is worth a million is actually less risky than a businesses worth than that.

That is worth a hundred thousand because it’s larger, more diverse, more well-established right. And so the same goes for somebody that. Five, $1 million businesses. Now they have a business that’s doing a million in discretionary earnings that immediately gets a bump in the multiple versus a business that it’s just a hundred thousand in discretionary.

Wow.

David Wood: [00:09:21] You bow, like you get five together. Now the multiple goes up because you’re you got a Commonwealth scale, I assume as one thing, but also you’ve got diversification of risk, maybe one drops and dies, but the other four are going to be good.

Joe Valley: [00:09:38] Exactly. Exactly. So there are lots of folks out there that have what’s called a hero scale, and this could be on or off Amazon.

It could be assessed SAS company wouldn’t matter, or even a content site, you know, being a software as a service. Yep. Okay. Thank you. Stop with the acronym. You’re going to catch people with these times.  in

David Wood: [00:09:58] acronyms. We’ll just define them for everybody.

Joe Valley: [00:10:01] You know, all of these could have what we’d consider a hero skews, right?

So it’s the same concept. If you have a business with two skews, but one is generating 85% of the revenue. It’s a risk, right? Because if competition comes into play, the supply chains gets disrupted. You’re not going to have the inventory or you’re going to be dropping your price. So you take that one skew and you diversify and you end up with 15 or 20 over the course of a few years.

Well, the aggregators are doing the same thing. They’re buying up these individual brands and diversifying and, you know, creating a a booming industry. You know, the first one was a company called one-to-one commerce and their goal was to buy 101. FBA businesses in 2014. Fulfill

David Wood: [00:10:46] by Amazon. Yep.

Joe Valley: [00:10:49] the founder of the company was a guy named Richard, jolly Chandra RJ, a call me tells me about it and you are crazy and it’s never going to happen, but he was a pioneer in the space.

He didn’t succeed at it. They bought about 13 of them. Their goal was actually his personal goal was to never log onto a seller account. And that was just a nod. You know, part of the business model, they ended up selling their portfolio to another aggregator, but the next one that came along. Was a company called brassio thoracic.io and they did it right.

They raised a lot of money. They bought them slowly and methodically and now have a portfolio of about a hundred FDA businesses. They’re able to expand them off of Amazon because they’ve got the team and the resources to do that. Over a billion dollars now, and they have over a billion dollar valuation someday they’ll either go public or get bought for a much, much larger multiple.

And the news of that kind of broke in the spring of 2020 when their initial valuation was 786 million. And what that did was had one investors giving them more money, but it also had other people that are also very smart and talented in the investment banker space. Well, I can do that. Right. It’s a flip it’s entrepreneurs.

Right? I can do that. And that’s what’s happened. And so now there are probably 85 aggregators it’s exploded in 12 months. Well, I don’t want to go

David Wood: [00:12:22] too far into the aggregator pop quiz. Do you know what SKU center.

Joe Valley: [00:12:28] Stock keeping unit. Nice one. I had to look it up. So

David Wood: [00:12:33] skew as is pretty well known. It, it represents some code that tracks track something.

So I like that you pulled out a hero SKU, which I assume is a product that’s doing really well. Yeah. I want to know how, like, let’s say we’ve got a business owner with an online company could be selling widgets or it could be selling services. Right? I mean, my, my company is an online company since I do nothing.

Face-to-face pretty much and I sell coaching. So let’s suppose you’ve got someone running an online company water, what do we need to do to get that company be worth more to somebody?

Joe Valley: [00:13:13] Well, there’s lots that can be done. And the first thing I would actually tell somebody with the top three, okay.

First you got to set a goal, right? It’s not make it worse as, as much as going to somebody else. That’s part of it, but the number one is you’ve got to, you’ve got to set a goal. What is my exit goal? What am I striving towards? How much do I want to sell this business for? And then you’ve got to reverse engineer a path to where you are too.

So if your goal is to sell the business for $10 million, you’ve got to figure out what it’s worth today. And that’s going through a full understanding of fill analysis of the P and L the risk, the transferability, the growth all of these things that buyers look at without even knowing it and determining where you’re at discretionary earnings wise.

And where you’re at valuation wise today. So if your goal is to exit for 10 million, but you’re only doing a half a million, a discretionary earnings, you know, your business might be worth three and a half to $5 million. Well, you’re halfway there sometimes going through that. Understanding of where you are today leads you to an immediate path to that exit, because sometimes you’re already growing at a rate where you might be there in 18 months and all you have to do is make sure you trim the fat and make sure your investments are intact.

Short term return on investment intelligence the things that you did. So number one, set it exit goal. Number two, figure out where you are today. Number three, go through an education process of understanding. What buyers are looking for, right? There’s risks, there’s growth, there’s transferability, there’s documentation, all of these things that buyers look at without even understanding it, we call them the four pillars of value, but there’s a fifth one, and that’s the individual person behind the business.

They’re the mortar that keeps the bricks in the pillars together. And so you’ve got to make sure that all of these pillars are strong and. Make sure that you are your public facing person is a good person. And that you’re building a business not to sell it just for maximum value for you, but you’re building a business, a great business for a great buyer to take over at a great price.

It’s a bit of a mind shift, great buyer to take over at a great price. And it’s a great business versus. I just want to sell it for myself. And I want to bank a whole bunch of money. When you think of others, it’s going to come back to you, creating a better business, that buyers are going to get more excited about it.

You’ve got to build that trust, and then you’re going to go through the P and L David in great detail. And you’re going to understand that. You know, little things that can add up to a lot, like cash back credit card points. Everybody generally just slides that over to the personal account and it’s never on the P and L, but if you’re spending, you know, $5 million a year on advertising, you’re getting 1% right.

Cash back, it adds up. Right. So it should be in the add back schedule because if you’ve got $30,000 in credit card reward, In actual dollars. I mean that the, and your business is worth a five-time multiple, that’s adding appropriately adding $150,000 to the list, price of your business. What

David Wood: [00:16:36] is an add back schedule?

Joe Valley: [00:16:39] So profit and loss statement. And the bottom line is your net income. Yeah. That’s not what your business is valued off of. It’s not valued off of EBITDA either in this space, in the sub $25 million range, it’s valued off of seller’s discretionary earnings. Most of these businesses like the guys at blue ribbon mastermind, it’s owner operated and they put themselves on salary.

So if you’re running a business and your net income is zero, but you pay yourself as an owner operator, a half, a million dollars a year. It doesn’t mean your business is worth zero. Your owner salary would be. Really obvious add back in the book, we talk about the three different levels of add backs and there’s six components to each level.

And really it’s level three that are the ones that you’ve got to really focus on and dig deep. So really obvious ones are. Amortization interest expense owner’s salary, the oldest car, you know, personal things that get run through the business meals and entertainment and things of that nature.

Okay. Blowing your mind right now.

David Wood: [00:17:43] Yeah. Cause yeah, cause you know, I, as a sole trader, I often I deduct so much of my life. On my tax return. And so at the end of the day, it doesn’t look like a lot of money was made, but this add back schedule as critical as a whole bunch of stuff that fuels my lifestyle that’s actually would be an asset of the business to anybody

Joe Valley: [00:18:05] else.

No question because the expenses that you run through the business for your own personal benefit do not carry forward to the new owner of the business. A really simple, obvious one is your mobile. It’s a business expense because that’s where you do your business today. When you transfer control of your business, to me, I’m not going to use your mobile phone.

Expense is not going to carry forward to me. I’ve already got one, right? But you do that on a you know, on a level times. Right. Cause there are certain other expenses, your trip down to blue ribbon mastermind. You’re a member of blue ribbon mastermind. So you pay a monthly fee for it. You travel to the events twice a year.

Those expenses do not carry forward to the new owner of the business. In fact, you have to qualify. You have to apply in order to be a member of a mastermind like blue ribbon. The new owner may choose to do that or not. But they, you know, if they choose to, you know, those things don’t necessarily carry it.

But the big picture is that

David Wood: [00:19:02] there are things in the business that may me won’t show as profit, but could be added back. So that sounds very valid.

Joe Valley: [00:19:11] It’s incredibly valuable data. You know, I’ve seen valuations jump, you know, 150 $200,000 with one line, one add back line. And these are the things that individuals don’t understand or do when they sell their business on their own.

And. They don’t. Okay. One of the blue ribbon mastermind members, I talked to a couple of years ago and he was, he built a great brand. He’s got a partner and they’re they like the business, but they don’t feel like it’s worth much. Right. And we can go through the analysis and it’s, he was thinking maybe it was worth three or $400,000.

It turned out it was probably worth about a million dollars. So all of a sudden they get more passionate and excited and motivated about the business. And then we see where it’s grown. And we set an exit goal and the, and they’re marching towards that goal. And they’ve gone from two years ago thinking their business was worth $200,000 to now they’re looking at a $10 million exit in 2022.

Right? So in a period of three years, and it’s not because of anything I did necessarily, it was just helping and educating them. And by understanding where they were trying to go and where they were at today. Motivation and excitement and path to that goal becomes much more clear. The decisions that I make are all targeted towards that exit goal.

And I’m pretty sure that when they hit that exit goal in Q1 of 2022, they’re going to move the goalpost because they’re really enjoying it.

David Wood: [00:20:39] Okay. So discretionary earnings. Could you say it’s the earnings on the profit and loss. Plus these things in the add back schedule is that roughly.

Yeah.

Joe Valley: [00:20:52] It’s exactly how it works. But the simpler term we used to call it owner benefit, which is much, much easier to understand. So what’s the owner benefit to David Wood in his business. Yeah. You know, you’ve got your home office that you’re writing off, you traveled to Miami last week and you spend an extra five days there.

These are personal things that expenses that don’t carry forward to a new owner. They’re also things that. Well, you know, you’re launching a new podcast for instance, and you’re making an initial one-time investment in the launch of that podcast and the development of the creative and things of that nature, that expense doesn’t carry forward every year.

It’s a one-time expense in this calendar year. So that would be an add back cause it’s a one-time expense that does not carry forward. If you redesign your website every five years and you spent 25 grand each time. It’s not it’s not, it doesn’t help you in every year. So the very least it’s a partial add

David Wood: [00:21:45] back.

Right? So I might’ve taken the expense upfront for tax purposes, but some of these things could be amortized more for calculating discretionary earnings,

Joe Valley: [00:21:56] right. And it’s complex and nauseated and can make your eyes bleed so I can make

David Wood: [00:22:02] you more money. If someone like Joe is handling it for you. Okay. I want to talk, let’s get into these pillars and maybe we can and use my business as a cause I want to benefit from this and maybe we can use my business as an example.

So the pillars that I wrote down with risk and I got a lot out of you just rattling them off risk transferability, growth documentation, and then the fifth one was public facing posts. Yeah, right. Yeah. So, and then I’d imagine earnings would be, I would call that a pillar too, like,

Joe Valley: [00:22:34] you know? Yeah.

Well th yeah, so there’s two different things that buyers look at. I mean, obviously they look at the dollars and cents. That’s just math and logic, right. But Y you know, the valuation of a company I would say is 10% at math and logic and 90% art. And the art comes into understanding what buyers want, what brings or plummets value.

And they always focus on risk, growth, transferability, and documentation. These four things can make or break the value of a company. Okay, great. And so let’s focus in on you. Yep. There’s one of those pillars that is problematic. You know what it is, transferable. Absolutely. Yup. Businesses, David Wood. Yeah.

So how do we transfer, you know, your charisma, your charm, your personality, your experience, you know, your company is you. So, you know, you’d have to the long-term look at how to make yourself replaceable. Or David, if you will love the coaching aspect of your business, but you hate all the other things.

Then you remain with the company as a coach, but you don’t have to do all the social media stuff and banking stuff and all the other ugly stuff that you feel like you’re just grinding it out. And you do what you love, which is helping. Then you stay on afterwards or at the very least you stay on for a transition period.

Afterwards, I sold a prepper company once, you know, what a prepper company, as you know, preppers are. Okay. It’s it’s dooms day, a type mentality, right? That’s interesting. In 2021, but there are people that are writing content and selling products that are all around the apocalypse is coming and you need to prepare, be prepared for it, but it’s storing gasoline and 55 gallon drums on your property and having weapons and having food.

That’s going to last for three years, that kind of thing. It was all done by one individual. And of course, you know, buyers were worried that the audience loved her and loved her background and story on every new article came out from her. And so there was a concern there and the transferability just like your business would.

So she ended up having to stay on for 12 months, only as a figurehead, only had to approve each article that was written because her name was going to have her name is going to be on most of them. And what they did was they slowly started it introduced a new individual or individuals that would become the name and face of the business.

And instead they went with caricatures cause that would, could easily transfer their book. We talk about, instead of cooking with Jennifer, maybe it’s cooking with Jennifer’s right. And it’s caricature. So people named Jennifer instead of cooking with David, if you will. So the transferability aspect of your business would be the biggest one.

David Wood: [00:25:19] Oh, that’s interesting coaching with David’s. I like that. So, yeah, so in my business, I imagine I’d get other coaches and it’d be less about David would doing it. And it’d be more about the David would methodology. Right. Yeah. So to transfer. All right. So that’s transferability documentation, I assume is pretty clear.

I have a training document for my social media person. We were talking about that just before we started. That was a lot of work. It’s detailed, every single thing that she needs to do to take this interview and chop it up and put it out on social media. So I’m assuming clear documentation is better than fuzzy documentation, right?

Joe Valley: [00:25:58] Yeah. And you would think it’s common sense, right? I would say that 75 to 80% of the profit and losses that I look at are a total mess. They’re using cash accounting instead of accrual accounting. And you know, in a business, if it’s got physical products, it must be yeah. Cruel Connie, you gotta flip it that way.

Even a content or SAS business that’s growing rapidly. Be done in accrual accounting, because it’s, if you’re doing cash, you’re not going to capture that growth in the, you say

David Wood: [00:26:26] a content business or assess business. Yeah. SAS being software as a service and a content business would be something selling like information.

Joe Valley: [00:26:35] Yeah. Yeah. I sold it could be anything. I sold a content site dedicated to soap operas. Yeah. For you know, just under nine bucks a few years ago. And it was growing like crazy, but it was. And it was a cash accounting instead of a, so the documentation is yeah, SOP records, you know, things of that nature, but the most important part is clear financials, not clean because you’re all going to run personal stuff through the business.

It’s clear spilled that, you know, your advisor, or you can identify all the add backs in there and get to the true seller’s discretionary earnings. So you understand where you are today in order to get to your goal. And what

David Wood: [00:27:12] about the pillar of growth?

Joe Valley: [00:27:15] Yeah, that’s all about timing, right? So you don’t want to sell the business when it’s on a downward trend or even flat, right?

You want to sell it while still growing? And there’s still some growth left for the new owner of the business. You know, you don’t want to sell it when it’s at 99.9% of its capacity. You know, an example would be, we’re both on our computers now and there’s a computer monitor in front of us. So we, you could have privacy screens.

All right. So, so, so the company that had 17. I think in terms of privacy screens in different sizes and shapes, and six of them had been launched in the six months prior to listening to business for sale. They already represented 20% of the trailing 12 month revenue because they’ve grown so much, excuse me, David that’s built in growth.

Right? All the new owner had to do was let time pass, but the old owner of the business also identified another 22 skews. That could be expanded. This is different sizes of monitors, privacy screens for your phone, that kind of thing. So that’s growth opportunities for the new owner of the business and the business had been growing consistently.

David Wood: [00:28:22] Love it. So that’s the sweet spot you need to have already demonstrated growth. You’re currently in a growth mode, but you haven’t exhausted the growth. There’s lots of potential. That makes sense. Risk in my business. How would one identify and diversify or reduce the risk for say a coaching based

Joe Valley: [00:28:40] business?

Yeah. So again, you know, you are part of the risk, you know, what happens if you just decide you’re done, that’s the risk, you could put something like that or get really sick or something like that. You could also have, you know, an example of risk with a SAS business would be that let’s say you’ve got 400 people subscribing to your product, your SAS product on coaching, right.

Or your newsletter or on coaching, but 378 of them come from one company that is paying for all of those individual subscriptions that’s risk, right? Because you’ve got a hero client versus a hero skew. Yep. That’s definitely risk you. Look at back at that FBA right fulfilled by Amazon. The risk there is that you don’t own the customer.

Right.

David Wood: [00:29:31] And that was a change. Shut down your company, shut down your account in a blink,

Joe Valley: [00:29:36] boom. Yeah. There’s less fear of that these days. Cause there’s lots of aggregators that are pretty damn smart. They know that Amazon’s really only going to do that. If you screw up or you cheat or your lie and do something else,

David Wood: [00:29:47] someone else’s trying to set you off.

Joe Valley: [00:29:49] You know, I have seen that happen. I have seen that happen and that’s unfortunate. It causes a temporary blip, but man, yeah. That’s that’s stressful. Okay.

David Wood: [00:29:59] So we’ve got risk transferability growth documentation, and then. The public facing person. I imagine, because I’d been around for 20 years, I’ve been a semi-public figure.

It’s not as risky as if I would have just appeared on the scene for, you know, with skeletons in the closet kind of thing.

Joe Valley: [00:30:18] Is that yeah. So just got to think of. You know the fact that when you and I were kids, there was no show social media, right. We could say, and do anything stupid and it’s not recorded.

Right. Thank goodness. Today it’s all recorded. You know, people are being kicked off of American idol because of, you know, something right. Stupid that they did, you know, eight years ago. Yep. Celebrities are being dethroned instantly because of something extremely stupid that they did. It’s all recorded now.

I had a client, this is an extreme example and a client with listed his business for sale. And I great business and I get an email within 24 hours and it says, Hey, Joe, is this so and so the owner of the business period, if it is, I’m not interested. And he shared a link with me and I clicked the link he’s on the the child sex offender registry, like, okay.

That is something I missed. And then I have to have a conversation with this individual about it and hearing his story and background and make a decision whether or not you know, to sell, to continue listening to business for sale. So if you’ve got skeletons in your closet and you’re working with advisor, get ugly fast and tell them about it.

If you are just simply very political, you might want to tone down the political stuff while you’re listing your business for sale. Easy to eliminate half your buyers by saying something really stupid. Or maybe it’s not stupid, but it’s going to offend half of the buyers and you need to, you need it.

You need to be somebody that people trust more than anything else. Full disclosure, build a great business for a great buyer to take over at a great price. They need to trust you when they trust you. Not only will they pay you more, but they’ll give you a better deal structure as well.

David Wood: [00:32:03] Joe, this is amazing.

Before we wrap up, I got so much out of this. I got these pillars written down here. Is there. Is there anything else burning that you think people should know as they start to plan to create a plan to exit the business?

Joe Valley: [00:32:20] Yeah, don’t don’t wait. I don’t as there’s trends with a guy named Mike Jackness and Mike said to me, one time general, I knew what to do and I was going to get to it someday.

And then I woke up and Sunday we was here and then he wasn’t fully prepared to exit three of his brands were on the sellable because of the transferability issue. One was sellable. So we sold one of his brands and now we still operating the other three. So we didn’t achieve his goals. He knew what to do.

And he was going to get to it someday. And then he woke up and Sunday was here. Don’t wait. You know, th the book itself is it’s there to help. It’s a resource guide. It will give you everything. David and I have talked about in, you know, 30 minutes you know, times of that. And you’re not going to read it all at once, because there are parts of it that will make your eyes bleed, but they’re the most important parts.

You’re you’ve risked everything, blood, sweat, and tears to build a business. And it’s likely your most valuable asset. You should know what it’s worth and you should know what is going to bring or plummet value in what buyers are looking for. Install there in the book.

David Wood: [00:33:23] Awesome. And how can people find out more about you if they want to work with the great job.

Joe Valley: [00:33:30] Ah, thank you, David. Finding me on LinkedIn obviously or the company that that I’m a partner at is quiet, light.com. We focused on online businesses only, and we only represent the sell side and just by the book, honestly, it’s all in there in the book as well, and I’m not making any money off the book folks.

It’s an educational tool. That’s going to help sort of raise the bar of individual business owners ability to sell their business. Easier with better deal structure and for maximum value.

David Wood: [00:33:57] Wonderful Joe. Oh, and get the book. Yeah, the book guys, exit  P R E N E U R.com. Exit preneur.com sorry, dot IO, exitpreneur.io  going, go and grab the book could be a really great resource for you guys.

And then if you want to go further and really get your business prepped for sale, have a car. I have a session with Joe. He’s a great guy, Joe. Thanks for being on the show.

Joe Valley: [00:34:23] Appreciate.

David Wood: [00:34:24] You’ve been listening to Extraordinary Focus with David Wood. Now to achieve way more in less time, to double your business, the impact in the world, and to be an even more extraordinary entrepreneur and human .

Make sure you get your gift basket. It includes a cheat sheet to double focus, a short video to implement the steps and a free focus audit to identify the number one focus, leak in your business and how to plug it, to get all three of these. Just go to myfocusgift.com. If you’ve gotten value out of this episode, tell your friends and nothing says, keep up the good work, David, like a review, which helps us climbing the rankings and reach more listeners.

Now let’s be extraordinary.

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