Why & how to buy your own business rev. 8-12-2013 3-columns
Why & How to Buy
Your Own Businessby Glen Cooper
Business Broker / Business Coach
Buying a business is the right thing to
do . . . for some people.
This article is about what you might
want, what you should expect to get, and
how you should go about getting it, if
you decide this unique “buying-a-
business” path is for you.
Those of you who are individual buyer
prospects are usually looking for a
business that will employ you as
owner/operator. Because you are
investing your hard-earned money, you
want to know that it’s worth it.
You want to “run your own show,” a
unique personal growth experience. In
Colorado, especially, we buy businesses
that improve our lifestyles. In some cases,
it’s more than lifestyle—it’s a personal
mission! We intend to leave our mark.
We want to have more life!
Can you reasonably achieve these
objectives with a business purchase?
Yes, you can!
But, things can also go terribly wrong if
you are not informed and don’t ask
For most, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime
experience. That means you need to
study the process! If you think you
already know all this, think again!
Every business is different and
circumstances are changing rapidly.
Businesses also sell differently,
depending upon the type and size of
Let’s start by exploring what most buyers
Job: Owning and running a business
is usually a full-time job.
It offers unparalleled freedom of action.
You may work very hard, but you will
enjoy freedom that no salaried position
can give. That’s worth a lot.
There is really nothing like being able to
start each day by planning your own
actions, then seeing what you can do.
Measuring your own performance against
your own plan is a way to improve what
you can do while, at the same time,
lowering your stress. That’s the ideal job.
Investment: Owning a business
offers a great return on investment. A
purchased business may return in excess
of a 15% pre-tax annual return on your
cash invested in down payment and
There are also legitimate expenses which,
when paid for by your business, will
lower your cost of living. This is often
left uncalculated by buyer prospects as
well as business owners.
Personal Growth: Owning
and running a business makes you
smarter! And, who among us doesn’t
want to be smarter? Working on, and in,
your own business will challenge you in
every way you can imagine.
Most of us don’t grow until we have to.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Owning and running your own small
business requires you to learn “Street
Smarts 101.” It puts you on a personal
Lifestyle: In Colorado, owning a
small business is “the way life should
be.” It really doesn’t matter precisely
which service you provide or product
you make, distribute or sell.
It’s your chance to use the skills you
love. It’s your chance to do the part of
the job that you like and hire someone to
do the parts you’re not so good at. If
your business is located near lake, forest,
mountain or open prairie, (as almost all
in Colorado are!), it really does allow
you to experience a unique “lifestyle.”
Legacy: Making a difference is an
everyday experience when you own a
business. Your family members,
employees, clients and customers are all
looking to you to set the pace. Solving
business problems always presents an
opportunity for deeply touching
Who doesn’t remember a teacher in
their life that made a difference?
Business owners are always teachers. It
happens at the workplace, but also in the
home. Nothing will instill the
“entrepreneurial spirit” in someone else
like watching you succeed at running your
So, what do you get, specifically, when
you buy a business?
Why not just start your own business?
Wouldn’t that be more fun? Aren’t you
just buying someone else’s problems?
For some, starting their own business is
the only way to go. Those start-up years
can be exciting. But, it takes more time to
get going when you start your own. It’s
riskier—the chance to fail is much
greater. It also costs more, not just in
time, but in lost financial opportunity. I
know this from personal experience.
In 1981, my wife and I had a chance to
buy what was then a very successful
business brokerage firm in for just
$125,000. Instead, we started our own
firm, largely for reasons of ego (mine, of
course, not hers).
In just the first few years, we made little,
but the firm we DIDN’T buy made a lot.
I can say now, that the decision NOT to
buy that firm cost us more than $1
million in lost income. We eventually
succeeded in our “started-from-scratch”
company, but it took many more dollars
and years than it should have.
Buying an existing business gives you a
leg up—several, in fact.
Immediate Cash Flow:
A going business provides built-in
customers and/or clients. No waiting for
your first sale. Vendors are frequently
willing to extend credit to a proven
business more so than a new one.
A “turn-key” business is what you get.
Starting from scratch can chew up
mounds of working capital before the
first customers and clients even realize
you exist. Buying a business provides
immediate cash flow.
Known Market Position:
“Location, location, location” can be
more than just a reference to the right
real estate choice. It’s also a position in
a business market—an “enterprise to be
considered” in potential customers’
purchasing decisions, if you will.
In a purchase, you know where you
stand. In a start up, whether or not you
will be able to create such a position is a
In selling businesses, there is always
major value when a business is
“dominant in its market.” Buying a
business gives you this known market
Don’t underestimate the importance of
operating systems that make it all
happen. In a successful, established
business, these systems are in place.
Remember the last time you did
something you never did before?
When it’s your money on the line, you
want a business with proven systems,
not a first-time-out experience. Buying
a business gives you working systems.
It takes months to train even one
employee. Even if the employees aren’t
perfect (hint: they NEVER are!), at least
existing employees can get from
opening to closing each day, probably
even without you.
There is an unrealistic fear among
buyers that employees will abandon a
new owner. In truth, when an existing
business is sold, employees often
respond with great enthusiasm to a new
Employees of a just-sold business are
often eager to tell the new owner their
ideas. The good ones see it as a second
chance for a new start, for them and for
Seller Assistance: After the
tensions of the purchase and sale process
subside, the seller may very well be a
fountain of wisdom, energy and help.
Even if you don’t follow all of their
advice (they don’t expect you to,
anyway), it is still worth listening to.
They know answers to questions you
forgot to ask before you bought—ones
that it might take you years to learn if
you were starting from scratch.
And, did I mention seller financing? Yes,
sellers will often even “play bank” for
you—becoming a “partner” in your
success. There is nearly always a good
reason to take advantage of a seller’s
So, why buy a business?
Buying a business is exciting!
Buying a business offers you a job and
an investment all rolled up into one,
with an opportunity for personal
growth, a unique lifestyle and a chance
to establish a rich legacy for yourself
and your family.
So, what are the advantages of buying
an existing business vs. starting one?
1) Immediate cash flow
2) Known market position
3) Working systems
4) Trained employees, and
5) Seller assistance
Note that if you start a business from
scratch, you get NONE of these!
But, before you start to buy a business,
you must get clear about who you are
and what you want to do.
To buy a business, you need money,
skills, energy and time.
Money is an obvious. You at least
need borrowing power. How much you
need depends, of course, on what you
plan to buy.
A quick “rule of thumb” for individuals
might be that the cash needed for a
down payment is often about 1½ times
the annual owner cash flow expected
from the business.
Skills required are mostly sales
skills, not accounting or even general
management skills. If a buyer knows
how to sell, everything else is made
Sales skills are toughest to teach. People
management skills are more important
as the business gets larger, but getting
the sales right is THE big deal for most
Energy is another essential. Buying
a business requires as much energy as
running a business. It’s not something
you do only on the weekends.
If you’re not full of enthusiasm and
drive, you just won’t survive the rigors
of looking for the right business, dealing
with the broker and/or sellers,
negotiating the right price and terms,
financing your purchase, closing the
deal and transitioning to your new role
Time, finally, has to be on your side.
It has to be the right time in your life.
If you have another major stress event
happening in your life, it may not work.
Divorce, getting fired from a job or
even just buying a new home—any
event that either damages your self
esteem and/or otherwise throws you off
your usual game plan—can make it the
wrong time to buy a business.
You must be flexible enough to survive
when things don’t go as planned. And,
in a business sale, they never quite do.
To successfully buy a business, you
need role models and a reservoir of
personal knowledge. You also need
sources of understanding and support,
and the ability to take a calculated risk.
Role models are keys to your
life. Have you known a successful
business owner in your family? Do you
admire a business owner? If not,
If you spend your days dreaming of
being someone’s top employee, you
may not have the right model for your
own future as a business owner.
You have to be dreaming of being a
business owner to be one. Motivating
day dreams and images are always
important predictors of success in
Personal knowledge is a
big factor. And, I don’t just mean
How well do you know yourself? How
good is your knowledge of others? How
well do you know how to advance your
ideas? How well do you listen?
These types of questions are just as
important as knowing about purchasing,
pricing, and how to “brand” or position
your product or service in a business.
Support on the home front
must exist. Does your mother know
where you are?!
Your immediate family members have
to “get it.” If your family history is
filled with models of employment and
of corporate career planning, but not
with models of entrepreneurship, that
could be a problem.
Those who are not themselves inspired
by the idea of running a small business
will not understand why you are. Those
not in small business often just don’t get
it. They may think that you should just
climb the corporate ladder and behave
yourself in your cubicle!
Risk taking ability –
creativity, but with a calculator – is
needed. Can you take the investment
risk of buying a business?
I’m not talking about gambling in Las
Vegas. That’s entertainment, not
investment. But, I am talking about
taking some risk.
Successful business people, despite the
caricatures, are not business gamblers.
They’re strategists, carefully weighing
odds and only taking those large risks
when the odds are in their favor, at least
by their own calculation.
You have to have the self-confidence
and decisiveness to move forward.
Business buyers who learn to run with
their strengths are successful.
Your experiences, talents, preferences
and passions should all merge in your
successful business purchase effort.
When you own the business, this will
also be a key to success.
Go with what you know.
If you have spent years in a specialty
field, buy a business that uses that
knowledge. If you are skilled at some
unique aspect of business, buy one that
needs that skill.
Don’t throw past experiences away.
Know your talents. Pay
attention to what others admire about
you. If you’re good at something, make
sure the business you buy puts you in a
position to demonstrate that talent.
If you have excelled at some task in the
past, make that part of the job you
assign yourself in the business you buy.
Know your preferences.
If you are an introvert, you’ll need to
learn to sell like an introvert, and not
follow the usual extrovert model.
If you’re a slow decision-maker, make
sure you have a way to make quick
decisions when that’s important.
Don’t know what I’m writing about?
If you’re not familiar with these
preference “types,” there’s a good
psychological test (the Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator - MBTI) that gives you a
language to understand your
You need to know about it.
The classic book on the subject is David
Kiersey’s Please Understand Me, now
in its revised Please Understand Me II
edition. Buy it. Take the test.
Get passionate about this.
Do what you care about.
If you can’t find a business in a field
that you care about, buy a business that
offers you a challenge you care about.
All businesses are unique and serve
unique markets. But, surprisingly, even
an everyday business can offer the
interesting challenge you desire.
After taking personal inventory of your
resources, background, support and
your ability to run with your strengths,
you are now ready to start contacting
sellers and brokers.
What’s for Sale? As you
begin to look for a business for sale and
respond to an ad or offering from a
broker or seller, the first question you
need to ask—on the first contact—is
“What’s for sale?”
How this question gets answered tells
you how organized the broker or seller is,
and whether or not they actually
understand what they’re selling.
Every business has tangible and
intangible assets to sell. The tangible
assets are the “things” that make up the
business: furniture, fixtures, equipment,
vehicles, inventory and real estate.
The intangible assets are the “goodwill”
or “going concern value,” the seller’s
agreement not to compete in the future,
and/or to consult with the buyer in the
business transfer process.
Searching for a business is always about
finding the one that works for you. It all
starts with getting a clear view of just
what you’re being asked to buy.
Opportunity? Buying a
business should create a new
opportunity for the buyer. So, that’s
your next question: “What’s the
opportunity for me if I buy this
Again, the answer tells you something
very valuable. Does the seller really
understand where the business can go
Many sellers put their business on the
market because they are “burned out.”
This “burn out” often creates the very
opportunity a buyer wants. Sellers are
sometimes so tired that they don’t see
market opportunities that are right in
front of them!
A competent business broker will often
be able to make up for the seller’s lack
of vision, but not always. If a broker or
seller, however, can make a good case
for the “upside” opportunity, you are in
good shape—ready to go on to the next
How was the Price
Determined? This is often
where the person responding will fail
the “sanity check.” It is also the
beginning of your negotiation.
The answer that you don’t want to hear
is: We added up the losses for the last ten
years and that’s how much we want for
the business! While this is obviously
intended to be a humorous representation
of what actually happens, it often seems
that this is, indeed, a valuation method
The preferred answer always has some
relevance to market information—what
buyers pay for such businesses, based
upon what is actually a fair return on a
I have covered this issue in my writings
on business valuation. If you don’t have
access to these, contact me and I will
provide them. Right now, the important
point is to find out if the person you’re
dealing with has any grasp—at all—of
this subject. If they do, you’re in luck!
On to the next question!
What Financing is
Available? A business owner
can’t sell it —and you can’t buy it—if
there isn’t a good source of money to do
Prepared brokers and/or sellers have
considered this issue carefully. They
should be able to explain how much
cash down payment you will need, and
perhaps how much working capital they
also expect you to provide.
Then, they should know how much
seller financing is possible, and how
much they expect to be available from a
bank or other source. If not, watch out!
Financing a business acquisition is
difficult if it requires the use of a third
party lender. Banks and others are not
excited about business loans to novices
that have never run a business before,
even if they have a great credit score.
Yes, they make loans to businesses—
just not too many acquisition loans to
inexperienced business buyers!
The road ahead is much smoother when
the seller offers reasonable financing
from the beginning. Seller financing is
common, seen by buyers and lenders as
a seller’s “bond for performance” that
the business is healthy.
Why is the Seller
Selling? Finally, you need to ask
about the seller’s motive for selling. It
should be something you can
If you don’t understand, keep asking
this question until you get an answer
that you do understand.
Seller’s who are “burned out” are often
reluctant to disclose this. First, it is
often just personally embarrassing.
Second, the sellers might assume—
perhaps with good reason—that what
they say will frighten you away!
Sellers who can’t see a future
opportunity are also reluctant to share
their lack of vision. Some other reasons
to sell—like divorce or health issues—
are also very difficult for sellers to talk
If you have gotten this far—to the fifth
question—because the answers to the
other questions were all acceptable to
you, then maybe it’s time to begin the
bonding process with the seller. Only
then, after you begin a relationship
which involves mutual trust, will you
get the “real reason” the seller is selling.
When you and the seller finally trust
each other enough to tell the truth, then
a good deal is possible. You’ll begin to
see the real opportunity a successful
transaction offers each of you. You will
get the business you want and it will
likely be a good deal for both of you.
So, you ask, what’s a good deal? What,
after all, is the business worth?
Business valuation experts agree: rules
of thumb are dumb.
But we use them anyway!
The most common rule of thumb for
what a small business is worth is three
times owner cash flow. It comes up all
the time because it is often a good
general measure of what might make
sense. It is sometimes used just to
explain why more than three times
owner cash flow is too much. Owner
cash flow, by the way, is just one of
many ways to measure the profitability
of a small business. Another name for
“owner cash flow” that you may hear is
“seller’s discretionary earnings.”
But is that this year’s owner cash flow,
last year’s owner cash flow, next year’s
projected owner cash flow, or what?!
How do you define owner cash flow?
For that matter, how do you define a
Does a value calculated using this rule
of thumb apply to all types and sizes of
Does it include furniture, fixtures and
Does it include inventory? Does it
include real estate?
Besides that, how does any rule of
thumb take into account all of the other
things that matter besides profit?
Is there any way to measure the
attractiveness of a business?
What about location of the business?
What about the stability?
What about the systems and the skilled
What about seller financing?
How do these things impact a rule of
A rule of thumb, however handy it may
seem, is an obvious simplification of a
much more complicated reality.
The truth, of course, is that only future
benefits create value. Business value is
a function of future benefits a business
offers its owner. Future benefits are
measured in many ways.
There are cash flow benefits, to be sure.
But there are benefits that relate to an
owner’s ability to realize his/her dream.
The personal growth and lifestyle and
legacy benefits are almost always just as
important as cash flow. Companies that
acquire other companies often
experience synergistic benefits.
Who says so? Well, buyers, of course.
There are, at any one time, at least 1,000
active business buyer prospects
(individuals, companies and groups)
roaming around Colorado with a variety
of wishes and needs.
They have their financial limits, of
course, but they are almost always
looking for a unique business that
matches the dream they have in their
mind’s eye, or gives them that
synergistic fit with the company they
A business buyer might pay three times
annual cash flow for a business if
his/her goal was purely a 33% pre-tax
annual return on investment.
But if another buyer wants it for non-
financial reasons of growth, lifestyle,
legacy and/or synergy, and can live with
only a 20% pre-tax annual return, they
might pay five times annual cash flow
to get it.
The day-to-day reality of business
buying and selling is negotiating all
these terms and taking into account the
many and varied motives of buyers and
Because individuals, companies and
groups measure and define all of these
terms a little differently, the range of
what people will pay for a small
business is usually pretty broad.
Someone may tell you that these
recessionary times have reduced
business values. Yes, on an absolute
basis, that’s true. But, multiples of
earnings, when there are earnings,
When one can still buy a business and
get an annual return on investment
which substantially exceeds returns
elsewhere, good businesses with
predictable profits are still selling at
multiples that have been relatively
stable for many years.
It might shock you to know that no one
really knows what a business is worth.
Even those of us who are veteran
business appraisers don’t really know.
Ultimately, only the person who is
making the buying decision can
determine value. And the value that they
determine is only good in that one
moment and may be unique to them.
To really figure out what a business is
worth takes in-depth knowledge of that
specific business. You can’t “drive by”
and figure it out. You can’t just read an
Internet ad and know. You can’t judge a
business’ worth from its website.
Even if you know some of the data—
like annual gross sales and annual cash
flow to the owner—you still can’t figure
You must know more than just facts.
You must know the subtle nuances of
why the business is what it is. You will
even need to make your best judgment
about where it is going! Where, indeed,
can it go under new ownership?
To understand a business takes in-depth
study of its markets. You must know the
customers and clients the business
serves, and their reasons for buying
from this particular business. You must
know who the competitors are, and what
they offer. You must know how the
whole industry works.
To fully understand how a business
works, there is a need for long talks
with an owner that trusts you. Yes, if
the seller of a business does not trust a
buyer, the information given to that
buyer will never be good enough.
Buyers, don’t bother to buy from people
who don’t like you or trust you. Sellers,
don’t bother to sell to buyers you don’t
like or trust.
I know from more than 30 years as a
broker selling hundreds of businesses –
and NOT selling hundreds of businesses
– that if buyers and sellers don’t like
each other and trust each other, it’s
really NOT possible to reach an
If the chemistry is not right between a
buyer and a seller, it takes an
earthquake to get a good negotiation
Finally, AFTER you have figured out
how the business works, how the
markets work, how the industry works
and determined whether or not you can
get along with the owner, then—and
only then—is it time to get busy with
the numbers crunching!
If you need to value a business—yours
or someone else’s—there is a process.
It starts with YOU taking control. You
need to read at least a few “how to”
articles about small business valuation.
You need to research the business. You
need to study the industry and its
If you are buying a business, all of this
starts with a long talk with the owner of
the business. Remember though, that if
you don’t like the business owner—or
the business owner obviously doesn’t
like you—then move on to seek another
opportunity. Life is too short—and the
odds are too long—to waste your time
trying to do the very intimate work of
buying or selling with someone on the
other side of the table that you don’t
Two sources of easy-to-find pricing
data are BizComps and the annual
Business Reference Guide:
BizComps is a market data study based
upon thousands of small business sales
last ten years. The study is available on
disk or in printed report format. There is
also a free BizComps user guide. Data
can be ordered from the BizComps site,
www.BizComps.com or from
This annual guide, now in its 22nd year,
is the essential guide to pricing
businesses with updated “rules of
thumb” for over 700 types of
Pricing data contains rules of thumb,
tips from industry experts, benchmark
comparison data, financing facts and
A “contingent” offer is one that is
subject to the completion of some step
that has not yet been taken. It allows the
buyer making the offer to get out of the
transaction if something goes wrong.
Before you complete your investigation
of a business, you may be asked to
make an offer. This is normal. Sellers
can’t be expected to give you absolutely
everything until you prove that you are
serious. Making a contingent offer is an
acceptable way to do that.
A startling fact is that only 2% - yes it’s
only 2% - of business buyer prospects
ever actually buy a business! Sellers
want to limit disclosures to someone
who will definitely buy their business.
They are looking for proof in the form
of a serious contingent offer.
Most offers made to business sellers are
contingent upon the buyer’s completion
of homework. Buyers need to verify that
representations made are accurate.
Buyers need to investigate. This process
is called “due diligence.”
Buyers also need to make offers
contingent on getting financing.
Sometimes that just means working on a
detailed proposal for seller financing.
Other times that means making
applications to lenders.
Offers can be made in three basic ways:
a “purchase and sale” agreement, a
“letter of intent” or just a verbal offer.
To avoid wasted effort on a proposal
that might not be accepted, I usually
recommend starting with a verbal offer.
Then, if it appears that your verbal offer
is acceptable, draft a “letter of intent.” It
is simpler than a full purchase and sale
agreement. You can find samples on the
Internet of both letters of intent and
purchase and sale agreements.
A verbal offer is obviously just that: the
price and terms with whatever other
understandings need to be made clear
up-front. Verbal offers are rarely
enforceable at any level. But, getting the
numbers and terms approximately right
can sometimes move a transaction
A letter of intent just spells out the basics:
identities of the parties to the agreement,
price and terms offered, details of what
assets of the business will be acquired,
contingencies needed and a timetable for
dealing with them, proposals required for
training or non-competition, and a
deadline for response to the offer.
A letter of intent can often be in a format
as simple as a bullet-point term sheet
delivered by email. It doesn’t always have
to be a formalized document. Some sellers
and buyers are quite comfortable dealing
with this informally.
Offers are usually met with counter
offers. There are some things that
shouldn’t surprise us. This is one of
those things. Don’t fight this process. It
Just like you, the seller is fearful of
making a bad decision! You have that in
common. This can be a tense time.
If there is a broker involved, use the
broker. Get the advice of the broker.
Consider taking any good advice given.
Brokers of businesses usually represent
the seller, but they also don’t get paid
unless there is a meeting of the minds.
They want both of you to succeed in
putting an agreement together.
Make offers that are reasonable. Make
offers you can afford. If you think the
seller has overpriced the business, make
your case rationally with evidence, not
emotion. Decisions in business are
made emotionally, but only after they
are rationalized with evidence. If you
don’t understand what the business is
worth, and/or aren’t prepared to present
the evidence for the reasonableness of
your offer, you are not ready to make an
Sellers often respond to well-reasoned
proposals. Sellers normally can be
expected to compromise a little. But if
you want them to compromise more
than a little, be prepared to make your
case. Then open your mind to their case.
That’s what an effective negotiation
involves: listening carefully and
reasoning out each little point.
This is good practice. When you own a
business, you’ll be doing it every day –
with vendors, employees, clients,
customers, and – yes – even with your
own family members.
After your offer has been accepted, you
now enter the real period of verification,
investigation and financing, the “due
diligence” and lender application phase.
The accuracy of everything you’ve been
told about the business needs to be
verified. Everything else that’s
important to your success needs to be
investigated. You really need to take a
close look at where the money is
coming from and where it will be going.
You may need help here. This is usually
the time to get legal and financial advice
Form your team now, unless you are
very experienced at this already.
Lawyers, accountants and even bankers
have lists of what you need to do at this
time. You can also find checklists on
There are usually two processes that
have to be completed simultaneously at
this point – the business due diligence
and the lending applications. You will
take too much time if you do them
sequentially, one after the other.
Even though it costs money, you won’t
be timely unless you proceed down both
paths at the same time. Get your facts
and financing together in efforts that
proceed in tandem.
Arranging the time to go over the
business’ accounting records and
reviewing them thoroughly takes
Market research, business plan
preparation, lease negotiations,
equipment condition inspections,
license applications, business entity
formation for your new company will
take you time.
The lender may also require appraisals,
inspections and credit reports that take
time to order, receive, verify and correct
Get to the
As you form your buyer team – lawyer,
accountant, banker and maybe another
family member or close advisor – make
sure they know your wishes and the date
you need to finish the transaction.
That’s called a “closing.” It needs to
happen on time.
Advisors left alone and undirected to
manage their own part are likely to slow
the process down. Sometimes your
advisors slow you down because they
don’t know the urgency. Sometimes
they slow you down by intent because
they don’t want to be held accountable
for advising you to take a risk. You
should be your own team captain. Set
the agenda clearly.
You are the risk-taker, not them. Give
them permission NOT to be negative.
But, don’t expect them to be
Attorneys, accountants and bankers
make lousy cheerleaders! Their job is to
warn you of danger. Your job is to make
the business judgment about what
business to buy and how to do it. ■
About the Author: Glen
Glen Cooper is an active Denver-based business broker, business
coach and public speaker. Glen specializes in helping business owners who are stuck. He
gets then unstuck.
In 2010, Glen sold the business brokerage and advisory firm he co-founded and ran for
29 years, and moved back to his home state of Colorado. He operates his own coaching
and business brokerage firm.
His website is www.GlenCooperColorado.com.
He offers one-on-one coaching, seminars, webinars, workshops and keynote speeches on
a wide variety of topics related to small business value drivers, predicting future business
trends, self-coaching and social networking.
In his talks, seminars, webinars, workshops and one-on-one coaching, Glen coaches
business owners and the professional service providers who help small business owners.
He revels in teaching and speaking about what he knows and continues to learn –
available to, and appropriate for, any business audience – combining his instinctive
humor, storytelling ability and the ”street smarts” of any salesman who has survived for
thirty years on commissions!
Born and raised in Colorado, he never-the-less ventured to New England and, in 1981,
co-founded what became Maine’s largest business brokerage firm. He sold his company
in 2010, returned to his home state, and now lives in Denver.
Glen is an active member of the Colorado chapter of the International Coach Federation
(ICF) and the Colorado Association of Business Intermediaries (CABI).
Although Glen has chosen not to maintain his many designations earned over the years,
he was for many years a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), senior course author,
instructor and Fellow of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA). Glen is
also a former Certified Business Appraiser (CBA) and a Business Valuator Accredited
for Litigation (BVAL), designations of the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA), and a
former Certified Commercial-Investment Member (CCIM) of the National Association of