Here's my personal story about how Exit Consulting Group was born...
I am a serial entrepreneur who learned early that working for myself offered the type of life that I wanted to live. I’ve been the owner of large and small companies with 1-50 employees.
I formed Exit Consulting Group after my own bad experience in selling my business. I was extremely disappointed, and actually angry, at the quality of the service providers available due to the size of my transaction. I hired the typical Business Broker, Attorney, Financial Planner and CPA to assist me in the sale transaction but quickly learned that none of them talk to each other. No one had the creative solutions I needed.
I’ve since learned that transactions below a $5M sales price generally don’t get the attention of Investment Bankers, Transaction and Tax Attorneys, CFP’s and qualified buyers. So, as a typical entrepreneur, I decided to learn to do it myself. To my surprise there was little information on the Internet. Brokers just wanted to list the company online and wait for a buyer. Financial planners wanted to sell me insurance. Attorneys and CPAs told me to bring them the deal once I had it secured. Eventually I had to negotiate my own transaction.
It’s hard enough to work 60+ hours a week in your business, attend to family obligations and have some balance in life. Much less add the transaction of your own business to the mix. My objectivity, understanding of the risks and limited knowledge of the process at the time hurt me a few years after the close. It's a very difficult process, one that I would do differently if I knew then what I know now.
After selling my business, I helped a friend who decided to sell his business to a key employee. I enjoyed the experience of working collaboratively with both the buyer and seller to obtain their personal objectives. I helped clean up the books so the buyer could get bank financing and worked with attorneys from both sides to draft a Letter of Intent. It was a great win for both sides and Exit Consulting Group was formed.
From that day forward I have focused my consulting practice on assisting fellow entrepreneurs in exiting their business. I consider it transition consulting because whether it is selling, closing or transferring the business, the owner is often too emotionally engaged to understand the process and risks. I represent the seller by first understanding their personal objectives and then design them an honest and straightforward plan to make their exit and achieve their goals.
Since that first transaction, I have worked with business partners splitting up, parents transferring to the next generation, owners selling to key employees, owners setting up an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP), partners buying in or selling out, outside sales transactions, long term exit planning and business foreclosures.