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April 7, 2021 28 min

Our show today featured Chris Jones, President and co-owner of Sunbelt Business Advisors, a business brokerage firm with a long track record for helping both sellers and buyers of companies. Chris joined the firm in 2001 after several years working as a Mergers and Acquisitions adviser for a Fortune 200 private company. He loves putting deals together and helping sellers achieve their hard won goals. 

We talked about value drivers and value detractors; what drives value in an enterprise and what depletes it?  Chris said the number one value detractor in his opinion is owner centricity. When a company is overly dependent on the owners for day to day operations, it not only depletes the value of the business, but makes it very difficult to sell. 

Flat or declining sales is another value detractor, and the reasons why sales are flat or declining are many times unknown to the owner due to lack of measurable results or underperforming salespeople. Conversely, when growth strategies are in place and the company can track how they are proactively seeking new business, a buyer can feel more confident that the company will prosper under new leadership, and thereby be more prone to make an offer. Chris said "There's no replacement for the confidence of a buyer". 

When an owner focuses on driving value in the business it's not just for the purposes of a successful exit. Once some improvements are made, profits are up and the owner is sleeping better, it's a lot easier to get up in the morning and go to work. Having a well run business is fun, and sometimes can even cause a seller to push a transaction further into the future; and that's OK. "Pretend you're never going to exit" Chris says, and enjoy the ride. A well run company provides its' seller with more options when the time comes to move on.

Sunbelt Business Advisors runs a professional process that personalizes the desires of the seller. The broker gets to know his or her client, their needs and wants. When the relationship between the owner and broker is strong, the broker can more readily determine who the best types of buyers1 are by factoring in what's most important to the seller. 

Chris shared some great stories and more tips, listen now. 

Sunbelt's "Elevating Business Value" tool can be downloaded here.

Find Chris here:
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Thank you to our Sponsors! Sunbelt Business Advisors and BakerTilly 

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