Episode 196:

I know a lot of agency owners think about selling their shop. But do they think about it strategically? Or soon enough? Do they execute on a plan that will set them up for success 5-10 years before they’re ready to sell?

Usually, the answer to those questions is no. And on the flip side, how many agency owners think about growth through acquisition? Selling is a big part of the conversation but buying should be on the table as well.

In episode #196, I talk with Terry Lammers, who has been buying and selling businesses since he sold his family fuel company. We talk about the monetary and non-monetary aspects of getting the most from your agency or being a smart buyer if you’re on that end of the transaction. Most importantly, we dig into how, why, and when to start planning your exit strategy as an agency owner.

Terry Lammers grew up in a little town of 600 people. His family owned a wholesale fuels and lubricants company and when Terry took over as president of the company, he had some big ideas for growth. Out of that experience developed a fascination with the process of buying and selling businesses.

Since then, Terry has formed a business brokerage that helps people who want to buy and sell businesses. He also has his designation as a certified valuation analyst, accreditation through the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. He is the author of You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Sell a Business.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Why it’s never too early to plan your exit strategy
  • How to value a business (like an agency) with little regular recurring revenue
  • Who to have around the table to plan your exit strategy
  • Nonfinancial elements of your agency that add or subtract the value
  • Why culture is so important and why blending two company cultures is so difficult
  • How agency owners can start thinking about the acquisition as a growth strategy
“If you are the hub of your business and you have no leadership team around you, that negatively affects the value of your agency.” – @terry_lammers Click To Tweet “If you allow your clients to pay you late, it's very problematic for the potential buyer of your agency.” – @terry_lammers Click To Tweet “When it comes to your exit strategy, the further ahead of time you plan, the more opportunities you're going to have to find a perfect fit.” – @terry_lammers Click To Tweet “When you start planning to sell your agency, you have to have the right people at the table. You want experts, not generalists.” – @terry_lammers Click To Tweet “You’ve got to have the awkward conversations sooner rather than later, so you know the true value of your agency, and what you need to do to increase that value.” – @terry_lammers Click To Tweet

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