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  1. #1
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    Selling a business???

    I'd like to know what roads you guys have taken (or considering taking) when going to sell your business? I had one business broker tell me it was "unsalable" because I WAS the business! I'm like, yeah, but its not like it's not duplicatable??!!
    Its been very profitable, especially in these later years, so I'm hoping somebody with half a brain wants to run a business that has a future.. thoughts?
    OC

  2. #2
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    Selling a business???


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    Re: Selling a business???

    Quote Originally Posted by Oystercopy View Post
    I'd like to know what roads you guys have taken (or considering taking) when going to sell your business? I had one business broker tell me it was "unsalable" because I WAS the business! I'm like, yeah, but its not like it's not duplicatable??!!
    Its been very profitable, especially in these later years, so I'm hoping somebody with half a brain wants to run a business that has a future.. thoughts?
    OC
    I was ready to link this recent robust discussion on the topic and realized you started that thread too, what gives?

    Sale of a Copier Business...

  3. #3
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    Re: Selling a business???

    Quote Originally Posted by JR2ALTA View Post
    I was ready to link this recent robust discussion on the topic and realized you started that thread too, what gives?

    Sale of a Copier Business...
    Well I went looking for another thread related to this and didn't see one, so my apologies for irritating you for starting a second thread!
    Thanks for nothing!

  4. #4
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    Selling a business???


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    Re: Selling a business???

    I recalled a thread on the topic, searched for it to help you as I try to help everyone. I then saw you started both threads so I was wondering what gives. But I'll just step aside and hopefully you get the answers you're looking for.

  5. #5
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
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    Re: Selling a business???

    Quote Originally Posted by Oystercopy View Post
    I'd like to know what roads you guys have taken (or considering taking) when going to sell your business? I had one business broker tell me it was "unsalable" because I WAS the business! I'm like, yeah, but its not like it's not duplicatable??!!
    Its been very profitable, especially in these later years, so I'm hoping somebody with half a brain wants to run a business that has a future.. thoughts?
    OC
    Hey Oyster, haven't seen you around on this forum for awhile. Hope all is well.

    I recall this being discussed on this forum before but no harm in posting a new thread. I was thinking the same thing, if there was a formula or something. I know with some business's it's selling price is like 2.5 times what the 1040 tax forms show. Haven't been able to get a definitive answer on this.
    This is reason I was trying to show all $$ on the books these last few years to make business worth more on paper when ready to "try" and sell.

    I know with some other small copier companies like myself they ended up selling their accounts to big dealers. And didn't get much for them! And right away big company tried to upgrade all of the accounts!

    One idea I had when ready to sell is find another tech and introduce them to my accounts and then have them take over after a few months. It would have to be the right person that won't hurt my customers! Most of my 200+ accounts have been with me for 20+ years and many are like friends so don't want to throw to the big company sharks and their scumbag salespeople! I've even thought about perhaps being paid half up front and hold the rest of note for 3-5 yrs. Have in writing that if they screw up and don't pay I get the company back! Also offer to stay on part time with minimal pay.
    A great concept would be an experienced tech and "honest" salesperson buy it together and build it up with a nice base to start. I never wanted to get much bigger and why I never hired a salesperson.

    Just some thoughts as I'm getting close to retiring in next few years. If I hear or think of anything else with selling will PM you as well as post in this thread to help others.

    Best of luck

  6. #6
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    Re: Selling a business???

    Quote Originally Posted by copyman View Post
    Hey Oyster, haven't seen you around on this forum for awhile. Hope all is well.

    I recall this being discussed on this forum before but no harm in posting a new thread. I was thinking the same thing, if there was a formula or something. I know with some business's it's selling price is like 2.5 times what the 1040 tax forms show. Haven't been able to get a definitive answer on this.
    This is reason I was trying to show all $$ on the books these last few years to make business worth more on paper when ready to "try" and sell.

    I know with some other small copier companies like myself they ended up selling their accounts to big dealers. And didn't get much for them! And right away big company tried to upgrade all of the accounts!

    One idea I had when ready to sell is find another tech and introduce them to my accounts and then have them take over after a few months. It would have to be the right person that won't hurt my customers! Most of my 200+ accounts have been with me for 20+ years and many are like friends so don't want to throw to the big company sharks and their scumbag salespeople! I've even thought about perhaps being paid half up front and hold the rest of note for 3-5 yrs. Have in writing that if they screw up and don't pay I get the company back! Also offer to stay on part time with minimal pay.
    A great concept would be an experienced tech and "honest" salesperson buy it together and build it up with a nice base to start. I never wanted to get much bigger and why I never hired a salesperson.

    Just some thoughts as I'm getting close to retiring in next few years. If I hear or think of anything else with selling will PM you as well as post in this thread to help others.

    Best of luck
    Thank you so much Copyman! This is the kind of information that is most helpful. The problem now is, finding a tech that would be willing to work this business the way I have, although they'd be starting in a MUCH better position than I did when I first bought it!
    OC

  7. #7
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    Re: Selling a business???

    Quote Originally Posted by Oystercopy View Post
    Thank you so much Copyman! This is the kind of information that is most helpful. The problem now is, finding a tech that would be willing to work this business the way I have, although they'd be starting in a MUCH better position than I did when I first bought it!
    OC
    The office equipment business was insanely profitable up until the last few years; some would say
    almost idiot proof. Itís a different world out there now, I canít imagine going door to door trying to
    drum up new business in todayís world.
    The entire business model is based on selling maintenance contracts, basically a recurring revenue
    stream. Once a customer stop buying contracts, they never go back. Your business worth is simply some multiple of this revenue stream, nothing more.

  8. #8
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    Selling a business???


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    Re: Selling a business???

    Quote Originally Posted by joeh View Post
    The office equipment business was insanely profitable up until the last few years; some would say
    almost idiot proof. Itís a different world out there now, I canít imagine going door to door trying to
    drum up new business in todayís world.
    The entire business model is based on selling maintenance contracts, basically a recurring revenue
    stream. Once a customer stop buying contracts, they never go back. Your business worth is simply some multiple of this revenue stream, nothing more.
    My business model has acutally gone the opposite direction the last several years. I've sold less service contracts and made more money with sales! Upgrading my exsisting customer base and a few new customers thrown in along the way. I use to be mainly a "service" business but realized the real money is with "sales". I could of probably kept renewing the service contracts on most older machines still making money but once I see those older models on the "end of life list" I start to get nervous. How do you tell a customer you took their money for a service contract and now can't get a part because it's in end of life status with parts discontinued!

    Agree about going door to door, those days are gone! Especially now a days with Covid19, they won't let you in the door! Plus most local laws prohibit soliciting and have signs on doors.
    I find word of mouth references work best and maybe a few calls from website. Some swear by social media but I haven't done much with it because my business was fine and wasn't trying to grow it.
    Also try and remember every service call to remind your customers to keep you in mind anyone they know needing service or to buy a machine. Forget yellow pages, another thing of the past that don't work!

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