Monday, June 19, 2006

Alternatives to Selling your Business

One of the more popular speakers at last week’s Small Business/Big Thinking conference, sponsored by Visa Canada, was Doug Robbins, a business broker from Hamilton. The buying of small businesses is about to become a big business, as more and more businesses come up for sale with their baby-boomer owners look to cash out while they're still young enough to rollerblade across Russia (or so they think).

I didn’t get to see Doug’s presentation, but I hope to link to a summary soon. Meantime, here’s a post from Robbinex’s website on “11 alternatives to selling your business.”

According to Robbinex, there are several reasons for a business owner to consider selling their business:

* Illness, Retirement, Lack of Capital, Burnout, Boredom;
* Partnership Dispute;
* Family Concerns;
* Too much equity tied up in the business;
* Business is not successful; or,
* Business has become too risky.

Based on Robbinex’s experience, “for each of these reasons, there are alternatives to actually selling the business. If you are thinking of selling your business, these are the 11 alternative options you should consider:

1) Recapitalization
2) Strategic Alliance
3) Amalgamation or Merger
4) Intergenerational Transfer
5) Management Buyout
6) Refinancing
7) Hire Competent Management*
8) Liquidate
9) Value Enhance to increase sales and / or reduce operating costs
10) Joint Venture
11) Create an advisory board to identify and manage problems.”

For more info on these and other strategies, click here.

(*I especially like the tactic of "hiring competent managment." It strikes me as something more companies should do.)

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