When life is busy and we seem to have way too much going on, we don’t take the time to stop and think about the “what if’s” of life. Recently I had the opportunity to work with an amazing lady whose husband had passed away on Christmas Eve. They both had separate thriving careers and successful businesses. Her husband owned a donut shop that he totally operated and made a great income. Unfortunately, he died and the wife was left inheriting the business but not having any working knowledge about the business and she knew it needed to be sold as quickly as possible.
When I was asked to contact her and see if my CBI team could help, she was ready to answer any questions she could. However, there was no established documentation in place to determine values/costs and operational procedures. We pieced what we could together with the help of the bookkeeping company, the wife’s help and a few other family members to determine the estimated value of the Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E) and inventory. A price was established and the business was listed in a few short weeks.
The process hit several bumps along the way since the deceased owner was really the only one with the answers to specific questions that came up. This unfortunately lowered the price the wife was able to get for the business. In the end some very qualified buyers did come along and were able to purchase the business, assume the existing lease, obtain training from the regional franchise office and will be re-opening the business in the next few weeks.
What preparations should have been in place that could have made the sale process much easier on the spouse, especially during this time of sorrow and adjustment, to achieve a higher sales price and smoother transition to a new owner?
This is the first part to a multiple step succession planning process story that will be featured in upcoming newsletters. Subscribe today to learn more about preparation planning from Carol Gresham and The CBI Team. Congratulations to the new owners of Daylight Donuts as well as the wife of the previous owner of Daylight Donuts.