Listen to the Story
Life is short. Don’t wait too long to retire.
After developing a successful franchise business for 27 years, Janie and Dale Burch were prepared to sell. It was time to reward themselves, putting the priority of spending time with family first. They spoke with advisors and prepared themselves mentally, emotionally, and financially to put their business on the market.
The Burches weren’t familiar with selling a business. When they consulted with their franchise’s national office, they were referred to Morgan & Westfield, who had recently helped another franchisee sell their business. The Burches spoke with this former owner, who gave them valuable insight into what to expect and how to prepare. Then, the Burches called Morgan & Westfield. “We trusted Morgan & Westfield,” Janie said, “because they were recommended to us by the national office, and we trusted our national office.”
As the sales process unfolded, prospective buyers began to submit rejections with a variety of reasons why they were not going to purchase the business. “It took some thick skin,” says Janie, about hearing details of the rejections from potential buyers.
But, the Burches took that feedback and decided to adjust their business and management strategies to improve their company during the sales process. “It took 25 months to sell our business, but we raised the price the second year. And we were very happy — thrilled — with the sale price.”
Working with a professional team
Morgan & Westfield simplified the pre-screening process for the Burches as potential buyers expressed interest. In coordination with the franchise’s national office, Morgan & Westfield pre-screened incoming buyers simultaneously, then forwarded fully approved candidates to the Burches to schedule a showing.
“We knew our business better than anyone,” said Janie. “It was exciting. We knew what kind of candidate would be capable of owning and managing our business, and we cared about our business.” As they worked through the intricacies of the sales process, Morgan & Westfield led the way and kept the focus on what was important, including ensuring compliance with corporate franchise policies.
In addition to finding the right candidates to look at the business, Morgan & Westfield made sure the business had an appropriate valuation and price. Throughout the time it took to sell the business, its value increased. In the end, the Burches were “very pleased with all the services” provided.
Janie described working with Morgan & Westfield to hit on the marketing solution that led to the right buyer. “There were certain things we didn’t need,” she explained. “The a-la-carte type of service was perfect. We had our numbers and our documents, but they wrote the business presentation, managed the advertising, pre-screened buyers, helped with the due diligence and the closing … we felt that it was a very good value. We probably saved tens of thousands of dollars from a full-service broker!”
Life after business ownership
The one word to sum up the feeling the Burches experienced the day after closing on their business sale: Grateful. “We were extremely pleased with the price we got for the business. No other broker could have done better for the price.”
As Janie says, now that the business has been sold, she and her husband focus on enjoying time with their grandchildren, aging parents, and volunteering in their community. “Every day feels like a vacation,” she says.