Kirk Michie_The Six Key Steps to Selling a Business

The 6 Key Steps to Selling a Business with Kirk Michie, Candor Advisors

September 20, 2023

Selling a business is more than just finding the right buyer; it’s about taking the necessary steps to effectively prepare for this major transition. In this episode, A.J. welcomes Kirk Michie from Candor Advisors to discuss the six key steps for a successful business sale. They talk about the importance of understanding your purpose in business, why entrepreneurs need to be more open to outside help, and the indispensable role that trusted financial advisors can play when you’re looking to sell your business.

About Kirk Michie:

Kirk Michie is the Founder and currently the Managing Partner of Candor Advisors, a company providing transaction advisory services to successful founder-led businesses. With 30+ years of industry experience, Kirk has built an exceptional career in strategic planning, investment, and legacy preservation. He has leveraged his entrepreneurial wisdom to guide business owners, entrepreneurs, and high-net-worth families through complex financial decisions. He has an impressive record, having managed over $1 billion in capital allocation and assessed over 2,000 direct investments. 

Kirk is also the Founder of EBITDA University, which offers learning programs about selling businesses. Kirk is not just a financial advisor but a thought leader, having spoken at numerous prestigious events and organizations, including Association for Corporate Growth events, Vistage, and Entrepreneurs Organization gatherings.

The six-step process of selling a business

The time has finally come to sell your business. But where do you even start? Yes, selling a business is a highly strategic process that requires a deep understanding of various aspects involved in the sale. It may seem daunting and overwhelming at first, but if you take the right, well-established steps, you’ll be much closer to a successful business sale.

Selling a business involves more than just finding a buyer. It is a complex process that requires understanding your purpose, matching your ‘why’ with your buyer’s ‘why,’ professionalizing financials, being prudent about disclosing information, seeking expert guidance, and setting realistic expectations. Understanding and implementing these six steps can help achieve a successful business sale that not only meets your financial goals but also ensures the sustainability of your cherished venture.

Episode highlights:

  • Entrepreneurs often find it hard to seek advice, especially when they’re faced with crucial inflection points in their business growth. However, if you want to achieve the right outcome for you, whether that’s the most money or the best legacy control, asking for help and finding a trustworthy person to lean on throughout the process is a necessary step. (05:09)
  • Effective communication is essential in every business aspect, and selling a business is no exception. One powerful technique that can significantly impact your business exit outcome is Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). It offers great tools for comprehending different communication styles and processing modes, leading to better mutual understanding and more successful sales outcomes. (09:52)
  • When you’re hiring an advisor for a capital event, it’s essential to look for someone whose expertise combines three different skill sets for different parts of the sales process. According to Kirk, the most successful sales outcomes happen with advisors who play these three roles: guru, guide, and gladiator.. (16:10)
  • Following the six steps that Kirk talks about in this episode is key to selling your business successfully. When you know your reasons for selling, can match them with a buyer’s interests, and have clear financial records, you build trust and smoother talks. Careful sharing of info, using experts’ advice, and setting fair goals help you cut a good deal. Together, these steps guide you to a worthwhile sale while ensuring your business thrives. (24:19)
  • Finding your ‘why’ is essential when selling your company or taking on investment capital. Understanding this will help you optimize your financial sale or process, ultimately leading to a successful sale and a smooth transition. (33:15)

Kirk’s best advice for entrepreneurs:

“If you’re the entrepreneur and you’re selling, you’re still Don Quixote; we’re Sancho Panza. It is your hero’s journey. But the critical thing is to pick your Guru-Guide-Gladiator and lean on them. […] Because if you’ve found the right advisor, you’re going to get to the right outcome for you, whether that’s the most money, the best terms, the best legacy control, you’re going to get to the right outcome if you collaborate the right way on your sale.” (05:54) 

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Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links in this episode are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Rest assured, we only promote products/services we believe will benefit your entrepreneurial journey. 


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