I just got back into town today after going home to celebrate a relative's 75th birthday. The party was nice, but truthfully, I just wanted to get out of town again for a few days. Since the divorce, I've been thinking more and more about what is keeping me in this town — my wife's hometown — and I finally came to the decision that nothing is.
I finally got around to discussing new ownership shares with all of the current LLC business partners, and George poo-pooed the idea for everyone but one person. He didn't think one employee could afford it at all, so he said "Why bother offering it to him?" It's my impression that he doesn't like the second person on the list, and as I mentioned with an earlier employee, he won't work with this person unless I force him to. He also seemed very upset that I'm offering my ownership to Cooper, but not offering any more ownership to him.
David, Jack, and I talked last week about selling more ownership in our LLC to key employees. We have several other employees besides George and Cooper that have been very solid contributors for the last five years, and they deserve a shot. Whether or not they can afford it is something else, but they at least deserve the opportunity.
While I'm out of town our first business broker (Marty) calls me and tells me he's just checking in to see how things are doing. I tell him I'm having a great time out here in California, and that we don't currently have the company on the market with anyone else.
These are the diary entries for the HTML version of my book, How I Sold My Business: A Personal Diary, for July, 2005.
Almost two weeks have past since my last entry. For a few days there was a flurry of information exchanged with our competitors through Marty, generally trying to clear up some financial information. As usual they asked more questions and we replied "After the Letter of Intent." With all of this activity they certainly seemed like they were doing their due diligence.
Marty, Jack, and I had breakfast with the three owners of our closest competitor today, another LLC here in town. I tend to be very competitive, and at least from my standpoint this meeting began very uncomfortably. Greeting your competitor, then looking at them across the table, with the thought of them buying your company, isn't very pleasant, and pretty much made me want to puke. But I agreed to this meeting, and told myself to suck it up.
Marty told us that our closest competitor has been inquiring about this "mystery" computer business for sale in the local region. I don't know if he contacted them, or they contacted him, but since this has come up, Marty tells me we have to do something about it. Marty assures me he hasn't given them our name yet, and says that our options are (a) to give them the usual "blinded" information as Step 1 in the process, or (b) let him tell them that the mystery business isn't for sale to them. His advice is to meet with them.
These are the diary entries for my book, How I Sold My Business: A Personal Diary, for July, 2004.
After taking the time to answer all of those questions from the potential business buyer, discussing what we wanted to share and not share, nothing at all came from this other company, and I do mean nothing. There wasn't even a follow-up meeting, which really surprised me. Marty said he called several times to follow up with them, and couldn't get through to their owners until today, when he was simply told they "weren't interested." He said he tried to press them for any sort of feedback at all, but they didn't say anything other than "not interested."