Listen to STS Founder & Chairman Rob Follows on The Culture Club

The Culture Club podcast, hosted by The Evening Runway with Elliot Danker, focuses on discovering how entrepreneurs can make the best possible exits walking you through the strategic journey of selling off your business.

In this episode, Rob shares the key reasons for selling his business, his exit journey, and pivotal learnings that every entrepreneur should consider when planning an Extraordinary Exit. Here is a hint: It’s not your EBITDA or the value of your assets that determine the value of your business, but rather the Rembrandts in the Attic.

Here are three key takeaways from the podcast:

1. The importance of knowing the difference between investors: The most common aspect entrepreneurs overlook when selling their business is understanding the difference between a financial investor and a strategic investor. Entrepreneurs often approach financial investors without recognizing the misalignment of interests, they seek to purchase at low prices and sell for their own gain. By aligning with strategic investors, entrepreneurs can typically secure deal outcomes 200-300% higher.

2. By having a philanthropic mindset, you avoid dropping off the purpose cliff: Most business owners struggle with the question of “what do I do now” after selling their business. While the sale consumes your focus, finding purpose post-sale can be daunting. As you prepare to exit your business, it is essential to work on developing a purpose in life and explore opportunities for legacy work to keep your mind active. As business owners, we hold the power to contribute positively to the world, inspiring not just our workforce but also finding fulfilment through philanthropic initiatives post-exit.

3. How to manage the emotional rollercoaster of selling your business: Firstly, integrate the concept of an eventual exit into your business mindset from the outset. This proactive awareness allows for preparation towards achieving an Extraordinary Exit, rather than waiting for triggers to prompt a sale. Secondly, get an advisor who resonates with your reasons for selling and has your best interest at heart. This will result in receiving a higher multiple and better deal terms, which helps with the emotional rollercoaster that you are on. Lastly, be able and prepared to walk away from deals that don’t match up to the vision you had for your business. At STS we conduct an Owners Outcomes Exercise with entrepreneurs at the beginning of your exit journey to understand exactly what you want as the outcome of the deal.

Rob wraps up the session with three questions to ask yourself when Selling to Strategics: What are they going to do with the business? How much money will they make owning it? And what assets of yours are they really going leverage?


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