Why Can’t I Sell My Profitable Business?

A profitable business is usually a good sign that things are going well. But sometimes, even profitable businesses can’t seem to find any investors or buyers.

Patrick and the Chocolate Factory

When Patrick started his chocolate factory ten years ago, everyone thought he was crazy. But his dedication paid off with a thriving business.

People loved his exquisitely flavored chocolates and he had a loyal following, but more importantly, they loved Patrick because of his unique touch. No one could replicate that.

But when Patrick decided that he wanted to sell the business, he couldn’t find any buyers.

Sharon’s Field of Coffee Dreams

When Sharon opened a small café, she never imagined it would become as successful as it did. She started with just two tables and a few paninis, but soon enough, word got out, and the café became the go-to spot for the neighborhood.

Sharon was a big fan of Kevin Costner’s line “If you build it, they will come.” She focused on growing out the business as fast as possible, sacrificing margin for growth, and soon enough, it became a chain of coffee shops.

It was exciting but also exhausting – but when she went to sell her franchise, no one was interested…

When Harry Passed on to Sally

Harry was the founder of a successful and bespoke architecture company. He groomed his daughter, Sally, to be his successor and she stepped in when he died.

Sally was talented, ambitious and genuinely thrilled to carry on her father’s legacy and grow it to the next level.

She was successful in transforming the Bespoke company into an award-winning company with some significant Clients.

Sally however, like her father, hated bureaucracy and she prided herself on growing the business based on her gut and spontaneity – and her staff were given free reign to trust theirs too.

Eventually, she felt she wanted a change of direction. With high profit margins, Sally decided to sell, but when asked who could take her place, she had no answer.

And no investors or buyers who were willing to commit what she asked.

 

What’s the moral of these three stories?

Owning a profitable business doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to attract investors or sell your business when you want to.

Patrick was his business and so no one was interested. 

Sharon didn’t balance growth with profitability so the ROI wasn’t attractive to buy her coffee empire at the price she wanted.

Sally had no structure or systems in place. Spontaneity was cute but not something serious investors or buyers would want to take on.

 

The Key takeaway?

Owning a Business you want to sell one day requires more than just profits to fulfil your dream.

How about you? Do you have a sellable business today?

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