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Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here once again with Matt Goldston, an Entrepreneurial Advisory Services Director and one of the faces of PKF Texas’s Transaction Advisory Services Team. Matt, welcome back to The Playbook.

Matt: Thank you, Russ.

Russ: You bet. So, share with us, how do you mentally prepare a founder to be ready to really talk about and negotiate the sale of a company?

Matt: Early on, it’s important that a founder remove the emotion from the business and look at the business as though it’s an asset, one that can transact. Buyers often appreciate blood, sweat and tears that have been put into the business, but they don’t often pay for that. They pay the value of the business. An owner knowing that is key.

Another driver to that is knowing the pitfalls to avoid. Staying away from those while knowing your value really can frame up a good value, an achievable value, in a founder’s mind.

Russ: Ok, do you always have founders, sellers able to emotionally remove themselves from the company? I mean, I would expect sometimes they just can’t do it.

Matt: That is a very difficult part of the process. I think engaging early is the key. Having them look at their business pragmatically. Oftentimes, if they can’t, bring in an outside company to do that for them can pay huge benefits in the process.

Russ: Ok. As an advisory in this capacity with PKF, I mean, do you sometimes actually say, “Well, let me help explain this,” and get into the discussion with the buyer?

Matt: Yeah, we certainly can represent a client through the process, through both introduction to a buyer, or in the event that the call comes in, help them in representing the client through that.

Russ: Ok. I’m ignoring your suggestion to ignore or stay away from the pitfalls of the business, demonstrating that I’m staying away from it, but man, isn’t the buyer who is going to try to find those, too, aren’t they?

Matt: Absolutely. I often will coach a founder to say, “If you were to come in to buy this business, what would you look for? How would you negotiate against someone that is expecting too high of a value?” If they can put that hat on and look at it as a businessperson, which they are, it helps them look at their business differently.

Russ: Well, thank you so much, Matt, I really appreciate it.

Matt: Thank you, Russ.

Russ: You bet. For more information about this topic, visit PKFTexas.com/TransactionAdvisoryServices. This has been another Thought Leader Production, brought to you by PKF Texas – The Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.