The most common 'roadblock' when trying to sell a business is the owner, or owners.
There is a book called "The Fish Rots From The Head" by Bob Garratt
It is a great little book! It has a simple but powerful message. Essentially it says if the Board (business owner) is dysfunctional then the rest of the organisation is dysfunctional. In other words, the rot starts at the top.
"But I am a small business and I don't have a board!" I hear you say.
"Then read on because the same principle applies to the 'head' of a business - the business owner. YOU!"
Over the years I have worked with many business owners and when they understand their 'real' role in the business, it is very powerful. A broad range of expertise with the right values all working for the benefit of the business or enterprise. Have everyone being very clear on the vision and direction for the business. Everyone going in the same direction.
When a business owner(s) get's it wrong with personal agendas, limited leadership and management skills, specific 'product or service' expertise they want to hold on to, inability or willingness to delegate - it rapidly develops a poor culture throughout the organisation.
I've worked with businesses where the partners could not agree on the direction, had differing 'personal' agendas and limited strategic expertise. They struggled to grow and move forward and the business was difficult to sell.
In smaller businesses, a business owner often struggles to "get off the tools". After all, they started the business and they are the expert. Nobody could do things as well as they - or so they think. This makes a business "really difficult" to sell.
Poor outcomes for all of them would have been inevitable and the businesses would have failed and failed to sell, had they not been open to seeking outside help.
My work with owners is to help them understand their true role in the business, how to separate themselves from the business and make it a valuable, saleable asset. It then becomes a business well worth keeping or being able to be sold when the owner decides to exit.
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