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  • #997258
    GaryGlass
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    Hi Forum Users

    What to do ? My husband has had a good small business for the past nine years, we are the only Glass, Glazing, and Security/Flyscreen/Shower Screen supplier and installer on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

    The work has been constant and the business has a good reputation and hubby is very well known for his workmanship and his relationships with his clients. Recently his health took a turn for the worst, with a 2 week stay in hospital and now a slow recovery, this along with previous spinal problems over the years and chronic pain, he is now a bloody mess and is struggling day to day.

    This last health scare, we contacted all our current customers who are waiting for work to be done, they have all been sympathetic and patient. Others are willing to wait, they would rather use him. My husband does not want to employ a subbie or anyone else to to the work for him – it is his business and he will not have his reputation tainted by bad work. I believe it is time for him to stop work and give his health no 1 priority.

    What advise can anyone give me on what documentation is required and figures to put into a presentation folder ? and how do I calculate how much his business is worth? He has no overheads like rent as he works from home, owns his glass truck, stock, aluminium extrusions, components, tools, etc etc. I have all his bookwork on MYOB as well.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers

    Deb

    #1211096
    Mischelle
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    Hi Deb,

    I am really sorry to hear about your hubby’s injuries/illness.

    IF you have made the final decision that selling is the only option then I 100% recommend you get your accountant to put everything together, you can get a lot of the paperwork ready so reduce the accountants costs.

    You will need your last 5 years financials (the accountant will have those)

    You need to put together all your paperwork and figures. The link below maps them out for you to help with your valuation:

    https://www.business.gov.au/Info/Exit/Value-your-business

    For more generic information about everything go to the link below:

    https://www.business.gov.au/info/exit/sell-your-business

    You need to decide how you are going to sell it. Either a broker or yourself, I think using your own network of people and friends is a good choice for a smaller location.

    It can be difficult to sell a small business, BUT if there is a demand and your figures look good, you might be in a better place than most.

    Good luck and I really hope everything goes well for you.

    Cheers
    Mischelle :):)

    #1211097
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    I echo [USER=60404]@Mischelle[/USER] thoughts and feelings and I hope your husband has a better than expected recovery.

    In order for you to receive the maximum $$$ from a sale, I *feel* you would be better served by running the business now so that your numbers don’t completely break down, eg your business will be worth less to a buyer if it does not trade for 6 months than if it continues trading.

    Unfortunately, your circumstances have changed and you do not have a choice to change that.

    However, your husband’s “OLD” thought pattern,

    “My husband does not want to employ a subbie or anyone else to to the work for him – it is his business and he will not have his reputation tainted by bad work.”

    Served you both when he had a choice to keep the business small and do the work himself.

    His attitude may have been an asset when he had his health, may be a liability now – it is worth re-visiting given current circumstances.

    I feel you need to have a very firm grasp of what your business is worth and why the valuation is fair (and hopefully also know some negotiating skills as well) to do a good job selling the business yourself.

    Otherwise, you might be better off with a business broker – you should contact several to get a feel for how they value the business and what approach they would take.

    I am hoping for the best for you.

    #1211098
    bb1
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    As it could take a while to sell, I would overcome the concerns of putting on a subbie and keep the business running as long as possible, at least you have turnover and constant clientele. If you don’t the point will come where potential clients will start seeing you as unreliable and go elsewhere, do one bad job or be late and they tell 10 people, do a great job and they tell 1.

    Put on a subbie, between you and your husband keep him/her on track and keep your business performing until you can make the sale.

    Better still if you happen to get a good subbie they may even be interested in purchasing the business.

    #1211099
    IronMaiden
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    Deb I can totally relate to your situation. As others have said it’s your husbands attitude that needs a turnaround, however I know how hard this can be. My husband had to have a hip replacement a number of years ago. My health is pretty poor, so the only alternative was to close down or find an employee/subby to help out. I convinced him, or rather advertised and found someone, to help out and he started a few weeks before the op. The reluctance has got a lot to do with pride (no one can do it as good as I can), and the fear of losing control.

    We manufacture a range of items unique to us so there was a steep learning curve for the employee.

    Hubby now admits it was a good move. He was struggling to work on his own as it was, and our business has profited from having another pair of hands on board. In your case you could both ease up on your roles and still be involved in something hubby obviously enjoyed and values.

    #1211100
    tshsr
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    Hi Deb,
    This is a déjà vue post for me, 7.5 years ago I had a similar issue, after running my business for 15 years doing Screens, Security Doors and Glass door and window repairs, an old injury caught up with me.
    I am in a regional town in NSW
    Over the years I had employed a number of tradies but keeping work up to them and myself, reliability and customer acceptance issues meant that I never made money while they were with me, so worked the last 6 years by myself.

    Unfortunately I discovered as you now have that the “business” you have is really your husband alone. Take him out of it and there is not much left, he is what the customers want.
    After 7 years I still have my old customers ringing and calling into home to see if I could help them out, but I am just not physically able to, they even come into the business I now work for asking me about doors etc, and I sell tractors now!

    In the end I could only sell my business name (trademarked), the phone numbers and the customer list to a competitor who was a small player doing partly similar work and the vehicle and stock online.
    All up for not much money, but I just had get out of the work, as you do.

    My suggestion is to do some research on other tradies and their employees or a related business in your area, Curtains or Carpentry etc and call them all to see if someone will take it over, or if there is an employee working for someone who would like to have a go on their own.
    The downside is that you will be unlikely to get anymore than Stock, plant and equipment value, and there will always be a number of customers who just don’t like the new operator.

    Sorry I cannot help with a golden idea, just my reality, I hope yours works out better.

    Regards
    Tony

    #1211101
    GaryGlass
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    tshsr, post: 252281, member: 100986 wrote:
    Hi Deb,
    This is a déjà vue post for me, 7.5 years ago I had a similar issue, after running my business for 15 years doing Screens, Security Doors and Glass door and window repairs, an old injury caught up with me.
    I am in a regional town in NSW
    Over the years I had employed a number of tradies but keeping work up to them and myself, reliability and customer acceptance issues meant that I never made money while they were with me, so worked the last 6 years by myself.

    Unfortunately I discovered as you now have that the “business” you have is really your husband alone. Take him out of it and there is not much left, he is what the customers want.
    After 7 years I still have my old customers ringing and calling into home to see if I could help them out, but I am just not physically able to, they even come into the business I now work for asking me about doors etc, and I sell tractors now!

    In the end I could only sell my business name (trademarked), the phone numbers and the customer list to a competitor who was a small player doing partly similar work and the vehicle and stock online.
    All up for not much money, but I just had get out of the work, as you do.

    My suggestion is to do some research on other tradies and their employees or a related business in your area, Curtains or Carpentry etc and call them all to see if someone will take it over, or if there is an employee working for someone who would like to have a go on their own.
    The downside is that you will be unlikely to get anymore than Stock, plant and equipment value, and there will always be a number of customers who just don’t like the new operator.

    Sorry I cannot help with a golden idea, just my reality, I hope yours works out better.

    Regards
    Tony

    Thanks Tony, you have been in a similar situation haven’t you. My husband is old school, and will work until he drops, but that is not helping his health and wellbeing. He has been in the trade since he was 14 and is now in his late 50s.

    To spite all that he has returned to work and will do what he can to complete a couple of jobs per day. He has an offsider – a retired mate of his, who does what he can to help, but is not a tradie. But will take your advise and ring around. We have no competition here, and the work is there for someone who will put in the extra hours, the population is around 22000 for the 4 islands, and about 70% of them know of us or Gary, most of our work is word of mouth. Even when he was in hospital recently for 2 weeks, people wanted to wait, but I had to tell them he still had recovery time to do, no we’ll wait, which is loyalty and nice, but I still gave them the opportunity to try elsewhere.

    I will let you know how we go. Cheers Deb Usmar

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