A Really Sad Story: Owner Sells His Business on 12/31/18


A company owner works his entire life taking care of his customers and never taking care of himself. He generates over $1 million a year and is ready to retire. Unfortunately, despite all of his hard work, his business has an IRS tax lien payment schedule, shows little profit and few maintenance plan customers (how most companies in his industry are valued today).

The business is worth very little and the contractor gets depressed because he thought that he would have a great retirement. Reality hit him right between the eyes.

The business sold on December 31, 2018. The company that bought it put nothing down (they actually got a check from him). The new owners are making payments based on a percentage of revenue from that business customer base. And, of course, they didn’t assume the tax lien. Luckily, the customer base looks loyal and as a result, the previous owner will get much more than he would have based on profits alone.

So, if you don’t want to work your entire life and have nothing to retire on, then instead of making New Year’s Resolutions, make a life changing resolution: a profitable business NOT dependent on you.

Since this is the time that we usually make and break New Year’s Resolutions, first resolve not to break these:
Operate a profitable business with a growing, thriving recurring revenue program that has 90%+ renewal rate.
Find a hobby – when you retire you want to have something to do that you enjoy. You don’t want to die of boredom because your entire life was your business.

Even if you love your business, you have a hobby if it is not profitable. Profitably love your business and love taking care of your customers profitably.

If you are absolutely miserable, figure out why and do something about it. If it is time to get out, then find a way out. Life is way too short to be miserable.

I wish you a prosperous 2019.