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  • Writer's pictureDave Fuller

You saved my Life When You Sold My Business!



I bumped into Bill (name has been changed) the other day at the gym. I hadn’t seen him for a few years and he hurried over to see me. As I greeted him, the next words out his mouth were “ Dave You saved my life when you sold my business!”.  I am not sure he meant this literally or figuratively but I could see that his lifestyle was completely different from when he was running his business. He was healthy, happy, and content. 


 This was a big change from the Bill I had worked with 7 years ago when he asked me to help him sell his business after he had been working with a business broker for over a year with no success.   At that time, Bill in his late 50’s was tired, frustrated and overworked. He wanted to move on with his life but couldn’t because he was chained to the business.  I could see that his business was making money and had potential to grow but at the same time, Bill was ready to tap out.  I went to work building a prospectus of the business, added in the financials and built a package that prospective buyers would find interesting. Then I started marketing the business.    While most businesses take longer to sell, Bill's business was in an industry where there seemed to be a considerable amount of prospective buyers and we had multiple potential buyers. While we advertised it in the $600k range, because of the way the sale was structured, Bill ended up taking home even more than that.  Bill was happy and I can tell you that the new owner told me he was able to grow the business substantially and paid it off within 2 years. He had the energy that Bill had been lacking. 


Right now there are many business owners in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s who are aging out of their businesses and ready to move on. These sellers are open to creative financing and in many cases are bank financiable, usually with the BDC, because of their long profitable history. I have several of these listings.  


Why would you buy a business like this rather than start a new business? 


  1. They have a history of success and loyal customers.  You might think you can start a business and get customers within a short period of time, but I can tell you from experience that this is easier said than done.  Most businesses take 3 years of hard work to get to break even. Buying an already established business can save you years of hurt and heartache. 

  2. Training: Successful business owners want to see that their business continues to flourish and they are willing to train you as you take over. This will not only save you years of struggle but thousands of dollars in courses to get you up to speed. 

  3. Experienced staff: Many established businesses come with experienced staff like Bills did that are trained to work. They already have relationships with customers and suppliers and can keep your business running and on track without you trying to find labor. 

  4. Vendor financing:  In many cases if a business owner can sell his or her business they may be required to finance a portion of your purchase. They are often willing to do this (usually with some security) because they know that the business has the cash flow to pay the loan off. 


Men like Bill and women like Alison are ready to sell their businesses for very reasonable prices so that they can move on with their lives.(You might be too and wish to reach out). The result can be life-changing and perhaps life saving for them. This leaves opportunities for a younger generation ready to take the business to the next level. If you are looking to get into business or diversify your business portfolio there are many opportunities right now  that you can buy and generate wealth for you and your family for years to come….. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open and have conversations with aging entrepreneurs.


Dave Fuller, MBA is an Award Winning Business Coach, author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy and a Commercial Realtor with Team Powerhouse Realty in Prince George. Check out his website www.businessrealtor.ca or email him at dave@businessrealtor.ca


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