What Baby Boomers Must Know Before Hiring Someone to Help Them Sell Their Businesses

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve certainly earned your right to a healthy dose of skepticism. Most business owners have endured more than their fair share of eye-glazing, brain-numbing sales pitches and vendor-sponsored events. They’ve been pushed to try numerous products, procedures, and systems; many of which have failed to deliver anything but mediocre results.

That’s why, even though you might be near retirement and more than ready to start the process of selling your business, solutions presented to you that promise a better, more financially lucrative, and less stressful way of doing so might you on the immediate defensive.

“Too good to be true.” “Heard it before.” “If this works so well, then why doesn’t everyone do it this way?” are a few of the familiar, yet understandable, responses that Baby Boomer business owners give when urged to look into alternative selling strategies.

Business owners over 50 are looking to sell their businesses without encountering adverse tax consequences and without having to pay commissions and unnecessary fees. They also want to sell within a more reasonable time frame than is usual and they want the fairest price for the business.

Perhaps most importantly, sellers fear outliving the proceeds from the sale of their businesses and seek a way they can create a lifetime income which they cannot outlive.

These are concerns which, unfortunately, the old school method of selling a business is simply unable to address.

Pre-retiree business owners are slowly coming to grips with the consequences of a huge demographic shift, not just in the United States, but in the entire world.

For many years, there has been a dwindling supply of qualified business buyers. That lack has been exacerbated by the simple fact that the generations following the Baby Boom are getting smaller and smaller.

Unfortunately, the shrinking pool of buyers, coupled with economic uncertainty and tighter credit, has created an untenable situation for boomer sellers.

Increasingly, they are having to make tough choices when it comes to retiring.

Boomer business owners who are not leaving the company to their heirs are often finding themselves:

  • Running the business for a lot longer time than they ever planned.
  • Selling the business in hurry at a bargain basement price, thus increasing the odds that they will not have enough money to retire comfortably.
  • Resorting to using a business broker and having their companies on the market for months, perhaps even years.
  • Closing down and walking away- even though the business is still profitable.

Within a few years, the number of business owners ages 55-75 who want to sell, or who must sell due to health or other adverse life circumstances, will double.

For many of these owners, the successful sale of the business is the cornerstone of their retirement plan, comprising the bulk of income they expect to receive in their later years. Most of these pre-retiree entrepreneurs have just one shot at selling their companies. A small mistake could cause them to run out of money in retirement or have to drastically alter their lifestyles to accommodate limited income.

Unless there is an actionable exit plan in place at least two years before they want to retire, boomer owners could face a truly painful situation when the time comes to leave.

After all, the current “old school” sales process has a lackluster 3% success rate right now. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to suggest that this rate could go even lower as the critical mass of pre-retirees wanting to sell builds.

If you are a business owner over 55 who is planning on selling a business to fund your retirement, then you need to find a qualified mentor to help guide you through the complexities of the exit process.

Business brokers should always be the LAST resort if you are serious about selling your business for more money, with less stress, and with a view to creating a stream of income you can’t outlive. Most brokers cannot do that for a seller, even if they want to. It’s better instead to seek guidance from an experienced business owners who has been in the trenches and understands what selling a business is all about.

If you do, however, decide to use a broker, or if you seek the advice of a business acquisitions mentor, you must exercise due diligence or risk an adverse outcome.

Be certain you thoroughly check out the qualifications of these advisors.

Always insist on someone who:

1. Has a minimum of 10 years experience in the real business world. An MBA is nice, but ask your mentor about actual businesses he or she has bought and/or sold. Theorists and philosophers have zero value when the time comes to actually SELL a company. Look for solid, quantifiable experience.

2.Can produce verifiable client testimonials. Any worthwhile mentor or broker ought to be able to produce real clients with whom you can speak. If the only thing he or she is willing or able to give you is some vague written testimonial from “Sam S.” (who may or may not be a real person) then you should avoid that consultant.

3. Asks you important questions about your desires and goals for the sale. Part ways with any so-called expert who doesn’t want to hear your wishes, concerns, and ideas.

4. Has the knowledge, tools, and business acumen that are essential to a successful business transition. This is no place for hobbyists or dabblers. Demand someone who specializes in buying and selling successful businesses. Don’t be afraid to ask the question, “How many deals have you personally done?”

5. Knows how to structure the sale proceeds so that you get a predictable, reliable stream of income for life. Ask potential mentors the question. “What can you do to help me ensure that I never outlive my retirement income?”

There are several other important factors to consider when partnering with an expert, including some less tangible, but nevertheless important factors that should be present.

For instance, is it easy for you to tell that this person actually enjoys what they do? Does he or she seem to radiate genuine enthusiasm for helping retiring business owners build a prosperous, successful life after business? Are they truly grateful for the opportunity to work with you? Does this person respect your achievements in building the business and seek to preserve its’ legacy of success?

Pairing a worn-out, frustrated seller with a mentor who is equally burned out, distracted, or just not that in to helping others, is a recipe for failure. You need a fresh pair of eyes focused on the most important transition of your life- not someone with a cynical, jaundiced view of things.

Any expert you hire to help you transition out of your business must be capable of crafting a workable blueprint for selling success that is the direct result of their own experiences and passion for business. They must be able to translate this real life experience into a plan of action that does not frustrate or confuse you. They must also be 100% committed to your vision of success, whatever that vision may be.

Remember, you probably only have one chance to sell your business the right way. It pays to plan, prepare, and partner with an expert on whom you can rely until the deal is done.. and after.

Forex Education Tips – 5 Steps to Successful Forex Trading

Close to 95% of all Forex traders will lose money. We’re not just talking about novices, either. Whether you trade Forex for a living, as a hobby or just for fun, odds are against your success. That’s a simply astonishing fact. However, the remaining 5% of Forex traders somehow manage to break even and there are those lucky few that actually make money in the currency market – consistently!Like the TV show says … “How’d they do that, anyway?”That’s the million dollar questions, isn’t it? Countless books, seminars and expos have been hosted to answer this very question. That sad fact is that thousands of books have been written and countless seminars and interviews have been conducted in an attempt to answer the magic questions. The reality of the situation is that there is no magic formula; no one single Holy Grail of Forex trading.So what do the successful traders do that the rest of us have simple not comprehended. They have mastered a process of winning where they combine and customize several factor to produce consistent results. They have mastered the Process of Trading.The Process of Trading is:Strategy > Money Management > Self-MasteryHere are some simple Forex Education tips to help you master the process of forex trading:Success Tip #1 – You’ve Got To Have a PlanYou must have a written business plan that will detail all aspects of your trading. When are you going to trade, how much to risk, strategies for entries and exits are just o name a few. To become a consistent (profitable) Forex trader you have to plan your trade sand trade your plan.

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Simplicity rules! Don’t make this plan too complicated. One sheet of paper for you mission statement and another for your trading plan should suffice. Anything more is probably too complicated.Success Tip #2 – Focus on Your Personal PsychologyKnowing yourself will allow you to master the discipline necessary to execute high quality trades with solid money management techniques. Lack of discipline is fatal in Forex trading. Go on a personal journey to identify you attitudes towards risk and money. Get intimate with your strengths and weaknesses as a trader and build in to your trading plan strategies to minimize those weaknesses and maximize your strengths.Different personalities lend to different trading styles. Get familiar with all the different styles and over time you will begin to gravitate towards one particular style. Don’t fight the urge like I did. I insisted I was a day trader, but had only limited results. I found my winning percentages were much higher when I entered swing trades. Guess what’s my bread and butter strategy now!Success Tip #3 – Be Realistic About Your ExpectationsThis is a hard one, I know! I am on the internet every day and the amount of advertising is staggering. Brokers are offering free education (fox in the hen house if you ask me), forums of all different trading styles and points of view. Gurus pushing their system as “the one” that will make you the big bucks. How do you get through all that noise?Let me tell you loud and clear right now – everyone is right and everyone is wrong. You have to make a personal commitment to become a successful trader, find a trading style that works for you and expect a slow and steady approach to wealth building through Forex.What works for me may not work for you. Expect to go through an exploratory period where you are learning and at the same time exploring yourself as a trader. Keep an open mind and don’t pay attention to all the noise out there.Success Tip #4 – Exercise PatienceRome was not built in a day and neither will your trading account. In fact, I tell all of my students that while they are studying to become successful Forex traders they should not look solely at their account balance as an indication of success or failure.By tracking and increasing your percentage of high quality trades you execute is a far better barometer of your progress than your account balance. Cause and effect rule here. Over time when you increase your probabilities through the execution of high quality trades your account balance will respond accordingly.Keep the focus on the process and with time your results will blow your mind.Success Tip #5 – Money Management Is Top PriorityI would rather have a shaky strategy and excellent money management techniques than the other way around. This topic warrants its own blog post to do it justice. Limited your exposure (read “risk”) allows for you to stay in the game and allow the laws of probability to work.

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Let’s take a casino for example. They need gamblers to frequent their slot machines to make money. Why? They have a game that has a greater than 50% chance of making money for the house. The more people that play the slots, the greater the casino’s profits.The casino controls risk by payout tables (always favoring the house!) and increases their probabilities by keeping gamblers at the slot machines (read “free drinks”). As a trader you must limit your risk by committing only 1% – 3% of available capital to a single trade. When you execute enough trades with a high probability strategy you too can clean up like the casinos – but only by staying in the game long term.In conclusion, Forex trading is not easy. It’s hard work and will test the limits of your patience and perseverance. If anyone tells you otherwise .., buyers beware! It can be a very rewarding and profitable venture if done correctly. In the end it is a profession that requires a learning curve and practical experience, no different than an airline pilot or engineer. Understanding how to approach and learn this game will allow you to reap all the benefits advertised. It is your Forex Education that you will master the Process of Forex Trading.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.

Skip The Lines – Bring The Amusement Park Right To Your Own Back Yard

There’s no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. From professional sports to amusement parks, there’s something for everyone. In fact, Atlanta is proud to house some of the nations largest amusement attractions, including the ever popular Six Flags Over Georgia. Children (and adults) love the thrill and adrenaline rush of the large roller coasters. However, one thing most people don’t like about amusement parks is the long lines. By the time it’s all said and done, you can spend several hundred dollars for your family to have an afternoon of fun, and only get a few rides in. This year, instead of spending the day waiting in long lines for short rides, why not bring the fun right to your back yard? With today’s technology, you can literally do just that! One of the advantages of living in a large city like Atlanta is that we have large rental companies that can make your special event feel just like a trip to Six Flags… complete with a train and an ice cream cart!

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If you’re trying to replicate the amusement park feel, there are definitely specific items that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. As mentioned previously, ice cream carts and trackless trains help make the special event feel more like a day at Six Flags.In order to make your next special event more special, try some of the following tips:

Head online to do some research on the party rental company that has the selection your looking for. If you want an ice cream cart to complete your theme park adventure, look around until you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for the first website you see. There are literally hundreds of inflatable party rental companies in Atlanta. Keep looking for a website that offers a wide variety of rental items that you’re looking for.

It’s better to rent everything from one company. Renting in bulk can help you save money. Larger companies will offer discounts for larger purchases of multiple units and rental items.

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Having a day of amusement park fun is cheaper and easier than ever before. By bringing the amusement park to your front door by using a party rental industry, you can include more people at a lower price. So next time you’re planning a special day, instead of spending tons of money for just a few people and braving the long lines of amusement parks, invite the whole neighborhood and bring the amusement park right to your own back yard!