A sensible cynic

December 6, 2019

Australia has a wonderful enthusiasm for business ownership. Many of us want the thrill of controlling our own business, watching it grow and reaping the rewards just before retirement (the exit).

The reality could not be further from the truth.

Owning and operating a business is bloody hard work. You have to deal with demanding staff, pesky clients and a minefield of business rules.

What about the exit?

Every business owner will exit….eventually.

Most business owners only go through an exit once in their lifetime.

For the majority, when it comes to reaping the rewards from business ownership, there is no magic elf that sprinkles gold-dust and makes a business purchaser appear from the trees.

The elf suddenly turns into an overweight ogre and punches you in the guts with the realisation that achieving a business exit (a sale) is also bloody hard work.

On the flipside, there are plenty of fantastic privately owned businesses in Australia. I have seen and valued several, particularly in regional Victoria (my home state). These can be hidden gems that are occasionally dug up by cunning prospectors and sold for a decent fortune.

The point is, a business exit is ideally planned and voluntary.

Alternatively, you can wait for one of the D’s to happen:

  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Dispute

Business valuers work with pro-active and reactive (the D’s) clients. Regardless of how we get involved, we need a keen eye for bullshit and a steady hand to calm down irritable clients when they are provided with a business valuation well below their expectations.

We are sensible cynics.