A Second Chance

In spite of all the clichés that we hear about banks lending money as an umbrella and wanting the umbrella back when it rains, there are many great success stories about how bankers can help a businessperson.

For example, they can help owners make a quick solution.

The following is an excerpt from Doug’s book “There’s Always a Way to Sell Your Business

A Second Chance

A number of years ago, Brian, about forty-eight years old, arrived at our offices unannounced. It was on a Thursday morning, at about nine-forty-five. He told us he wanted to sell his business. He came prepared with brochures, financial statements, the lease on his building, and lists of his equipment and employees.

Everything seemed in order.

It was a nice little business, doing about $1.2 million in revenue, showing a reasonable profit. There was no bank debt; accounts payable only thirty-five days old; accounts receivable had been properly aged an average of forty-five days.

Brian signed a Listing Agreement and then inquired if he could have the money from the sale by noon on Friday, the following day. We asked why noon on Friday and he said he needed the money to meet payroll for Friday at four p.m.

I then asked the obvious question.

“Brian, if you could meet payroll tomorrow, would you still want to sell the business?”

“No way.”

He had tried to collect his receivables early without success. He had used all of the company’s free cash and his life savings and could see no way to meet payroll other than a quick sale of the business.

I called a young, enthusiastic bank manager at the local bank and asked him if he could spare half an hour … now. He came right over and arranged an operating line of credit. We tore up the Listing Agreement.

Brian came to see me about fifteen years later. We sold his business, then doing $2.5 million in revenue, and helped him retire.