There are a lot of “experts” running around out there that know just enough to be dangerous. One area that really scares me is the number of entrepreneurs who have sold a company that they built and are now spouting off M&A and business sale advice. I mean, you don’t lose your virginity one day and then go author the sequel to the Kama Sutra, right?
M&A and selling a business is as much an art as a science. Not to say that you can’t learn something from another person’s singular experience, but every business situation is different. Maximizing value in a sale depends on the industry, the type of buyer (financial or strategic), the business’ market position, margins, customer concentration, sales mix, historical financial trends, growth projections and a whole host of other factors. Trying to take one special situation and applying it to your business may give you a helpful tip or two, but shouldn’t be the be-all, end-all of advice for you.
The takeaway- don’t take business tips (or sex tips) from someone who has only done it once.