May 042017

So You Want To Start A Business

Ok, so you’ve made the decision that you want to start a business. That’s great! Congratulations! Being an entrepreneur and living the “startup life” can be great! It can also, however, be extremely challenging at times, so you’ll want to make sure that it is the right decision for you.

Since starting a business is a decision that some people learn to regret, I want to encourage you to ask yourself three very important questions before you take the plunge. There are many more questions you should being asking before starting a business, of course, but these are three critical ones:


Why do I want to start a business?

There is a variety of reasons to start your own business. Maybe you are tired of working for and lining the pockets of others. Maybe you believe that being your own boss will be less work, or at least if you do have to work hard, you’ll be working for your own account. Maybe you’ve seen others enjoy extraordinary success as entrepreneurs and you’d like in on that action. The list could go on and on, but let’s address the reasons above, for starters.

Being tired of working for others can be a great motivator! Just realize that even if you don’t have a direct boss as an entrepreneur, there will always be people you are “working for,” including, and especially, your customers. Depending on the industry you’re entering, the level of competition and how demanding your customers are, you may find out that sometimes it doesn’t feel like you are your own boss, even if you own the business!

We won’t spend much time here on the idea of being an entrepreneur as being less work than working for others – it’s not! It starts and ends with you, so you are “on” 24/7. As an entrepreneur, you will likely find it very difficult to get mental health time to just relax and rejuvenate.

What if you’ve seen others be very successful, perhaps in a short period of time and you want to get in on that? Some entrepreneurs do reach extraordinary levels of wealth and success, but realize that usually those who appear to have gotten there quickly have most likely been at it, usually with a history of learning through mistakes, for a long period of time! There are very few instant successes in entrepreneurship!


What is my commitment level to the startup I’m about to create?

Following on what I said above about there being few instant successes in startups and entrepreneurship, realize that you are most likely in for a marathon, not a sprint! That’s true even if you feel like you’re running so quickly most of the time that it’s hard to catch your breath!

So, I ask again, what’s your commitment level to the business that you’re considering starting? Is it something that you can picture yourself doing, day and night, for many years to come? Could you be happy over a long period of time working in the business you’re looking at starting? If not, I’d strongly encourage you to rethink whether it’s the right business for you!


Is there an exit strategy for the company I am creating?

No matter how much you think you’ll love your startup and the business as it grows, at some point you are going to want to or have to get out of it – you will have to make an exit.

Is there a potential exit strategy for the business you are starting, or will you “be the business”? It’s not necessarily a non-starter if you can’t see a clear exit from your business for the get-go, but I can tell you from experience that it will become a lot more relevant as time goes on!

Some of the potential exit strategies would include selling your business to a third party buyer, or to employees, or even to your family members. In very few cases, you may also be able to take the company public or find other ways to refinance it to achieve some level of liquidity. However you think you may be able to exit the business, other than simply shutting it down and selling the assets, if any, for pennies on the dollar, you’ll want to consider that ahead of starting the business and factor that into your decision on whether it’s the right business for you to start.

Consider the questions above and other factors that are relevant to you, before you start your business! Be thoughtful in the startup process and you’ll greatly increase your chances of starting and building a business that will meet your financial needs, and equally important, allow you to be happy over the years to come.


Paul Morin


Dec 082010

Hi, folks. Paul Morin here. Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Robbie Clinger regarding selling your company. This is the second interview with Robbie and today we walked step by step through the process of selling a company. The steps we covered are as follows:

1.) Making the decision to sell.
2.) Understanding the value of the company.
3.) Developing the deal book (a/k/a the Selling Memorandum).
4.) Identifying potential acquirers.
5.) Sending out non-confidential summaries.
6.) Obtaining NDAs from interested parties.
7.) Providing the deal book to those who have executed NDAs.
8.) Scheduling site visits with interested potential buyers.
9.) Providing preliminary due diligence information to those interested in going to the next step.
10.) Receiving and analyzing LOIs from interested parties.
11.) Providing full due diligence information to the party who makes the “best” offer.
12.) Closing the deal.

The roughly 40-minute audio interview with Robbie goes into greater detail on each of these steps.

You can access the Robbie Clinger interview here.

We look forward to your comments and questions.

Paul Morin

Nov 182010

Hi folks, Paul Morin here.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Robbie Clinger, business valuation expert, regarding how companies are valued and other related topics. (See below for a list of the topics covered.)  We tried to keep the content relatively basic, for those who have not had much exposure to valuation, but a good bit of the content will be relevant not just to newbies or startup entrepreneurs, but also to established entrepreneurs who are wondering what their company is worth and/or considering exiting their business.

During the roughly 45 minute interview, among other topics of interest, we covered the following:

-What is business valuation?
-Why should you care what your business is worth?
-How early should you start planning to maximize the value of your business?
-What are the three main approaches used to estimate the value of a business?
-Which approach is most relevant for early stage businesses?
-What is a discount rate and how is it used in valuing your business?
-What are the common situations where a business owner needs a valuation of their business?
-What are the common exit strategies for business owners including, selling the company to another company or individual buyer?
-What is the difference between a financial buyer and a strategic buyer?
-What is an ESOP?
-How are entrepreneurs funding the startup and/or growth of their businesses these days?
-Is it possible to fund your business with money from your 401k?
-What are some of the key issues with funding your business this way?
-What is the status of the SBA lending program these days?
-What are some of the issues with this type of funding?
-How important is planning in the business startup and growth process?
-Several other relevant tidbits.

A while back, Robbie and I were in business together, and we have known each other quite a long time (roughly 10 years).  I have a lot of respect for Robbie and believe that the info and insights he shares in this interview will be of value to entrepreneurs in the process of starting, running and maximizing the value of their small businesses.  You may access the interview by clicking the link below — no registration required.  Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. Also feel free to Tweet it, Like it and send it out to your friends.  I think you will find the content very informative.

Paul Morin – Robbie Clinger Audio Interview [click this link to access the audio interview]

Yours in entrepreneurship,

Paul Morin.