Selling a business is not just about finding a buyer and closing a deal. It’s about finding the right person to carry on the previous owner’s legacy. This was the goal of Ed and Mary Antonowicz when they sold their successful home care business in 2015. They didn’t want to just hand the company to any buyer that came along.
“When you’re an owner of a business—this is your baby. This is your child. It’s living and breathing 24/7,” said Ed as he explained why finding the right individual who had the “tool set, emotional set and commitment” to continue what they had started was important.
In 2003, Ed and Mary bought a ComForCare franchise in Scottsdale, Arizona. ComForCare is one of the leading home care franchise companies in the U.S. As an occupational therapist, Mary knew that the business was a perfect fit for her. She managed it on her own beginning 2003 until Ed joined her in running the company full time in 2009. In 2006, ComForCare Scottsdale won the 'Franchise of the Year’ award.
Although coming from the IT industry, Ed had a sales background. He led the company to new heights by building relationships. “I went out and I started doing community marketing and building strategic alliances.” With Ed on board and with the couple's shared passion for providing quality care, they received another ‘Franchise of the Year’ award in 2009.
Ed attributed their success to the company’s organic growth grounded on strong business ethics and values. Just like most owners of health care franchises, Ed and Mary’s personal experiences dealing with other home health agencies prompted them to venture into the home care industry and to make sure that their own franchise would be a success. And indeed, a few years after owning ComForCare, they reached that milestone as ‘Franchise of the Year.’ So, how did the couple do this?
“You want to do business with the people you like and the people you trust, and selling a business is probably the most difficult thing you can do as far as stress level is concerned...”
To successfully sell your business, follow these tips from Ed and Mary Antonowicz:
Be prepared to work with a team.
Be persistent. Find an advisor you can fully trust.
Be ready to give your 110% commitment.