InTents August/September 2023 - 22

ENHANCING THE APPEAL
A
situation common to many small business owners
is that they tend to resist delegating to others.
It's a reluctance that can prove disastrous if something
unexpected happens that either temporarily or permanently
takes the owner away from the company. This is why
succession planning-designating a person or persons to
take over in the owner's absence and establishing a chain
of command-is essential. Ditto the ongoing training and
information-sharing necessary to ensure business continuity.
Such a strategy can also make a business more
appealing to potential buyers, says Kevin Zwierzchowski,
owner of Z Rental Consulting (ZRC) in Novi, Mich. This is why
he advises establishing a " second-in-command, " someone
who can step in and take over the business for the owner if/
when necessary.
" In a number of cases, the majority of the business can
revolve around the current owner, " he explains. " He/she has
all the customer contacts, all the vendor contacts, makes
all the hiring/buying and other decisions for the business,
not delegating authority to someone else on the team.
Depending on the future buyer, this will have a negative
effect on the sales potential of the business. "
By designating a second-in-command, the owner stands
to increase the number of interested buyers and will also
help ensure the business runs more smoothly during the
sales process, Zwierzchowski says.
current management in place under the
seller (is there a second-in-command),
the experience of the buyer, the type of
buyer, the complexity of the operation,
the current systems in place and so on. "
For example, after the purchase
A look inside the impressive tent erected
for the Uline Distribution Center employees
honoring their sales achievement. The tent
was fully decorated throughout, including
DuraTrak flooring and carpeting.
Photo courtesy of Tents For Rent LLC.
by Sunbelt, Smith ran the day-to-day
operations at the Memphis and Houston
locations for about a year to assist in the
transition. But now he works strictly
on an as-needed basis. As mentioned,
Sensenig plans for a gradual departure,
allowing him to " make changes without
making waves. "
During the sales process, it's essential
to keep the attention on the business,
says Zwierzchowski, adding that not
doing so is one of the most common
mistake owners make.
" We tell owners we work with to
focus on continuing to run the business
and drive revenue, profitability and
customer satisfaction and let us
focus on selling the business, " he
says. " By not focusing on running the
business, results suffer and potential
buyers do not see its true value. "
22 intents aug-sept 2023
They should also continue to invest
as if they were still going to own and
run the company, since failing to do
so will negatively affect valuation,
Zwierzchowski adds. Also, they should
expect the selling process to take
anywhere from nine to 12 months, but
possibly longer.
" The size and complexity of the
business, the structure of the selling
entity, the type of buyer can all factor
into the time it takes to close a business, "
he says. " In addition, with the current
borrowing environment, the loan
processing time has been taking
longer than historically, adding to the
transaction time.
" Buyers will spend time looking
at the seasonality of the business to
understand any ups and downs, " he
continues. " Many times, for smaller
businesses, potential buyers are looking
to close a transaction as the business
enters into its busy season. "
Pamela Mills-Senn is a freelance writer
based in Seal Beach, Calif.

InTents August/September 2023

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InTents August/September 2023 - 1
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