such a dilemma

lizzy

New member
Mar 6, 2006
88
0
I've posted about this before, I think.

I am in the process of buying out my business partner. we have reached an agreement that is fine with both of us.

In the process of discussing the agreement, several times the idea of selling has come up. Both of us would sigh and think about it. She is as half hearted about selling as I am. Selling out to me is different than selling to someone else.

So a week or so ago, someone called and said he wanted to buy our shop if it was for sale.

I am so torn. half of me wants to keep the shop, spiff it up, change a few things and keep going. the other half wants the money and out.

Our location is so good, our street is undergoing major growth, we own the building, so our overhead is low. I'm just tired and I am afraid I will regret it if I sell.

has anyone sold and missed it? regretted it?
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
The main question is....are you enjoying it?

From what you say everything sounds absolutely perfect for creating an extremely high value asset for the future, sell it now and your selling it short. If you enjoy it....stay and add value to the business.

Every one will have a story about a missed opportunity, most of us are very wise in hindsight. You said you were tired, but mabye spiffing up the shop and changing the way you do business a little will help a LOT. Running the business YOU want (your vision) and running the business both of you have created are two different things.

Good luck
 
OP
L

lizzy

New member
Mar 6, 2006
88
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
yes, you are right. over the weekend, I thought a lot, made lots of lists, came up with a price that was high enough to overcome regrets, and decided that if he would pay the price, I'd sell. He probably won't, but in a few years there will be no problem getting that price. thanks
 
OP
L

lizzy

New member
Mar 6, 2006
88
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
I'm a bit grumpy. I guess I shouldn't be, but the who approached me about buying my shop came in, we talked a long time. He asked me all sorts of questions that were in line and appropriate for someone who wanted to buy a business to ask. Recipes, methods, sales per hour, plans for improvements, overhead, etc, etc.

I also mentioned some of the other locations I've seen for sale, he's seen it all, and we discussed the market in our town, it became clear that he has researched the local market ALOT, and wants my location or something near mine.

After our time visiting, where I was completely honest and open about a whole lot about our business, my Sysco rep came in to take the week's order, and he left.

Not knowing why he was there, she asked how I knew him, I told her. She was really surprised and told me he was the owner of a coffee/ice cream shop that had recently opened in town. Someone who is in every sense of the word, a competitor.

I feel odd that I told him so much about my little business, and I don't know what to think about selling now.
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
lizzy said:
Not knowing why he was there, she asked how I knew him, I told her. She was really surprised and told me he was the owner of a coffee/ice cream shop that had recently opened in town. Someone who is in every sense of the word, a competitor.

I feel odd that I told him so much about my little business, and I don't know what to think about selling now.
People who know me well, will also know I have a favourite saying.....don't give out free information. Now don't misunderstand what I mean about this, I give free information out all the time, but when I was working/in business, it was a maxim I lived by. If you don't need to say it...don't say it, it's just free information and can bite you. It has to be applied rigorously to all communications....no matter how ridiculous it may seem.

e.g. Your supplier is chatting with you and asks hows business (free information), hows personal life (free information), customers favourite drink (free information), is that your new car (free information), are you going on holiday (free information). Avoid these topics and don't answer them. This is because potentially they can tell a person something about you and how your doing, that information is potentially valuable for a competitor. Questions such as, do you think it will rain tomorrow, is probably OK, it's not free information, it's public domain....an opinion though, is not OK e.g. what do you think about the war in Iraq (it's OK for me to say, not for you because you're in business).

A prime example is the "free information" your supplier gave to you! Use this as a learning experience. 2 things

1. Don't give free information
2. While your not giving free information, you are in a position to get free information


At the moment this won't have done too much damage and hopefully is a cheap way for you to become a lot more business savvy (not intended to be a derogatory remark). This chap could have found out much of this by just sitting in your shop having coffees for a few days and may have already done this or sent someone in to do this.

Also turn this to your advantage. Yes you have told him what your doing today, but that's not what you are going to be doing tomorrow is it. If it was, you would be bust within 5 years. In addition, remember the free information you now have.

1. You said you were re-engineering your business, so great, he has the old business model that wasn't serving you as well as the new one will.

2. You know what questions he was asking...make a list, remember, these are the things he wanted to know...why, is he weak in those areas, people issues, complaint procedures..etc..

3. You gave him answers, so what decisions might he make as a result of those answers...chance to anticipate his moves and counter them

4. You know he runs a shop across town, but was insecure enough to try and shaft you, who else has he done this to....ask your Sysco rep, remember you gave the rep free information about what he did to you. The rep will have said to others "do you know the guy that owns the ....." Buttonhole the rep and ask if she has heard of this happening to any other business

5. Business can be old school or new school, I prefer the old school approach, "you dont sh&t on your doorstep" and "you don't shaft people", it's always worked well for me. Unfortunately a new less honorable breed of businessmen (usually younger) don't work on mutual trust and respect and shaft everyone they see. Word will get around about this guy...i'd make sure it did (so will the Sysco rep).

6. Make a list of everything he was asking you, and pay for a close friend to sit in his shop and have some coffees over a few days (ensure they have a knowledge of your list). Let them report back on whats going on. Encourage them to chat to this chap and his staff (get free information for you).

7. You might want to even start selling Ice-cream as well! :lol:

In retirement, I enjopy a relationship of trust with many people in business, this has and still serves me well. When I have a problem, I take the "old school" approach and work with the vendor....this has resulted in many suprising and beneficial outcomes. So stop being "grumpy" and start "getting even" (make it one of the most expensive deceptions he ever did) :)
 
OP
L

lizzy

New member
Mar 6, 2006
88
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
thank you, good advice and I'll take it. This man first called me asking to buy my shop. otherwise I wouldn't have told him anything.

I'm glad I gave him a figure that was my very top asking price. I suppose selling to him would be one option.

I know what you mean about the business ethic. Most of the businesses in our little tourist town are very respectful of the other's "territory". but one guy has to try everything everyone else does. he has even been spotted going through trash dumpsters behind stores to get supplier addresses.....

no body likes him.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
lizzy said:
I'm a bit grumpy. I guess I shouldn't be, but the who approached me about buying my shop came in, we talked a long time. He asked me all sorts of questions that were in line and appropriate for someone who wanted to buy a business to ask. Recipes, methods, sales per hour, plans for improvements, overhead, etc, etc.

I also mentioned some of the other locations I've seen for sale, he's seen it all, and we discussed the market in our town, it became clear that he has researched the local market ALOT, and wants my location or something near mine.

After our time visiting, where I was completely honest and open about a whole lot about our business, my Sysco rep came in to take the week's order, and he left.

Not knowing why he was there, she asked how I knew him, I told her. She was really surprised and told me he was the owner of a coffee/ice cream shop that had recently opened in town. Someone who is in every sense of the word, a competitor.

I feel odd that I told him so much about my little business, and I don't know what to think about selling now.
That was pretty under handed of him. I would go to his shop and ask him the same about his shop for a long time and watch him squirm.
BTW, I recently had a similar visit from someone who wanted to buy my place, but he was up front about looking to have a shop in Hartford, be it buying or building one.
 
OP
L

lizzy

New member
Mar 6, 2006
88
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
my niece, who works for me, didn't like him right from the start. Now we are all feeling indignant. I had to look up pretexting, and that seems to be a good description of his plan. Although if he honestly wants to buy my shop, his questions were valid. he just wasn't forthcoming about his identity. I have to admit, as I passed the part of town where his shop is, I was quite temped to go in.

I must admit, finding out that someone who, according to the grapevine, has money, has researched a lot of locations, and "knows the business" and really wants to buy mine...well it makes me feel like hanging on!

Today I took some first steps toward some of the improvements I've been procrastinating about.

thanks all, for the support[/i]
 
Top