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Entrepreneur’s M&A Journal Episode 29—Interview With Diane Gardner

Diane and Jim talk about Diane’s M&A journey …. from the mistakes she made selling her accounting practice in California to the wise choices she made when buying an accounting practice in Idaho.

Main Questions Asked:

➢ What made you want to sell?
➢ Were you thinking about an exit when you started your firm in CA?
➢ How did you determine valuation?
➢ Were you thinking about an exit when you bought your new business?
➢ How did you determine your valuation when you bought out your partner in Idaho?
➢ Are systems the essence of what you have done to prepare yourself to sell one day?
➢ Tell us about your book you have coming out.

Key Points made:

➢ I have been hanging out in the tax world for over 30 years now. (1:13)
➢ I went through humongous mistakes selling my first business. (2:38)
➢ I ended up walking away from that business. (3:01)
➢ I was burned out. (3:35)
➢ I had no idea I would be selling my business 13 years later. (4:10)
➢ I determined my valuation at 1x’s my valuation. (4:43)
➢ I was supposed to be paid over a 5 year time frame, but only received the down payment. (4:48)
➢ When it came time to buy out my competitor, I was much more prepared. (5:15)
➢ I only started thinking about an exit about 3 or 4 years ago. (5:55)
➢ I realized I didn’t have any systems in my company. (6:15)
➢ The more I dug into it, I found it if you had a turnkey operation, you have a much better chance at getting top dollar when you sell. (6:40)
➢ I gave her $.60 on the dollar because she had no system, she had no records and nothing to give me. (7:05)
➢ The systems will allow me to sell and get he most money. (8:50)
➢ I’m hoping it will bring a better price when I’m ready to exit. (9:40)
➢ Business owners are not aware of deductions they can use for their industry. (10:45)

Resources Mentioned
800-841-0212 – Free Tax Analysis

Books Available by Diane
Stop Overpaying Your Taxes
Stand Apart
Why Didn’t My CPA Tell Me That
Survival Guide to ObamaCare
The Ten Most Expensive Mistakes that Cost You Thousands

Thank you for listening! Please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and if you enjoyed this interview, leave a 5 star rating and review!


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Tennessee Valley Group

Jim Cumbee established Tennessee Valley Group to help business owners fulfill their dreams for life after business ownership. It’s a mission that his 30+ year career history had prepared him well for—in addition to being an attorney, transition mediator and business broker, Jim has been a buyer, seller, and entrepreneur. His broad range of experience gives him unique insight into how business buyers and sellers can achieve their goals.

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