Welcome back to Brave and Boss the Podcast! If you’ve ever wondered about what it takes to build businesses that are not only successful but scalable and sellable businesses, then this episode is for you. Michelle Seiler Tucker is the Founder and CEO of Seiler Tucker Incorporated. As a 20-year veteran in mergers & acquisitions, Michelle and her firm has sold over a thousand companies in almost every vertical. Her passion is to save businesses that might otherwise close.
Full Show Notes at https://www.kristisoomer.com/blogs/retail/how-to-build-a-sustainable-scalable-and-sellable-business.
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How To Build A Sustainable, Scalable, And Sellable Business
On this episode, I am super excited to bring our guest on because she is an expert in building a scalable and sellable business. If you’ve ever thought about what you are going to do in 10 years or 5 years in your business, this is the episode for you. She’s a mega-celebrity in the business buying and selling space, and I’m excited to share all her knowledge with you. Let’s get into it.
I am elated for you to be joining me again. Thank you to all of the repeat readers. Thank you for all of your reviews and ratings. That means so much to me because it helps more people find the show. It helps me help more entrepreneurs, which is what I’m doing this for. Before I get into the introduction of our guest, which is a big one, I want to talk about a couple of things based on the date of airing this episode. If you are reading this real-time on the release date or week off, I want to share with you a couple of fun opportunities where you can connect with me outside of the show.
The first one I want to share with you is QuickBooks Connect Canada Conference is coming up on Wednesday, June 2nd. That is a free conference hosted by QuickBooks. I am speaking at that conference, so I have basically an hour Q&A session that’s running on that day. Again, totally free. You can register online at QuickBooks Connect Canada. Put that in Google, and you can get there super easy.
I’m also doing an Ask Me Anything. I believe there are still spots left. That is the day before, on Tuesday in the morning. It’s at 11:00 AM. Go to QuickBooks Connect Canada, register, and then you will get a link for these brain dates. You can book a brain date with me for free through that platform. There’s limited availability. I can only take five people for the hour but it’s basically a power hour where you can ask me questions for free on your business. If you’ve ever wanted to pick my brain, this is a great opportunity to do it. Part of the conference and supported by QuickBooks as they love supporting entrepreneurs.
The other opportunity I want to mention to you is from June 1st to June 3rd. There is a free summit called the eCommerce Launch Grow Scale Summit, created by Deirdre Tshien, The Growth Boss. I’m also a speaker at that one. There are over 33 incredible speakers, and the topics range from product photography to paid advertising and everything in between. I personally am going to be speaking on email marketing and raising capital. You can sign up for free. Again, free. Amazing. Free education. Go for it.
I want to talk a little bit about what this episode is all about before I get into introducing our guest. We will keep it super succinct. The title of this episode is all about how to build a sustainable, scalable, and sellable business. I know, personally, when I started Encircled, I was not starting this business to sell it necessarily. I was starting it to follow my passion but at the end of the day, you start thinking about it. I’m eight years into this business. Where is this going? How long am I going to be in this business? Do I want to do this for the rest of my life?
Our guest is going to help you think through the answers to those questions because one of the things I learned from this interview is that a lot of us aren’t asking these questions, so we are not even planning for the future. Oftentimes, the plans get made for you. If something happens in your life, your family or your health, all of a sudden, you have to figure out a way to potentially dispose of your business.
It’s better to go into this with having a plan and a vision and making those types of goals in your vision for your business so that you can make sure that you set yourself up for success because, after all, we are putting in so much effort into building these businesses. We want them to be successful but we also want them to have a positive impact on the world. You deserve to be rewarded financially for your efforts as well.
We are going to talk all about that with my guest, Michelle Seiler Tucker. She’s the Founder and CEO of Seiler Tucker Incorporated. She holds the M&AMI, Merger & Acquisition Master Intermediary Title. That is super fancy. She’s a Certified Mergers & Acquisitions Professional and a Certified Senior Business Analyst. Michelle also owns businesses and several different industries. She has been in the industry for many years. Buying, selling, fixing, and growing businesses. Between her and her firm have sold over a thousand businesses and pretty much almost every vertical and have a big track record of success.
She also has a book coming out very shortly, which we are going to share details on in the interview, as well as a link where you can get an advanced copy with a bunch of bonuses. Her book is called Exit Rich, which sounds so enticing, and it’s all about how to build that sustainable, scalable, and sellable business using her principles. Without further ado, let me introduce you to Michelle Seiler Tucker.
Everybody, I’m super excited to welcome our guest. She is an M&A expert and adviser and the author of the upcoming book Exit Rich. please welcome to the show, Michelle Seiler Tucker. Welcome, Michelle.
Thank you, Kristi. Thank you so much for having me.
I am super excited to have you because when you popped into my inbox, I realized we have never had anybody on the show talking about buying, selling, and valuing a business. Like you and I chatted about briefly before this interview, my audience is new to all of this but it’s definitely a topic that they are going to be excited to learn about. Let’s kick off with an intro. Tell me a little bit about yourself, who you are, what you do, and why?
I’m Michelle Seiler Tucker. I typically start with. I’m a Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediary. I’m going to start by saying I’m a mom. I always say she’s more complicated than any transaction I’ve ever done. I’m a proud mama of my princess, Arabella. I’m a Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediary and Senior Business Analyst, along with many other acronyms.
I have been in Mergers & Acquisitions for a little over twenty years. I’ve personally sold over 500 companies. My firm has sold probably a little over a thousand. We have done thousands of business evaluations. We don’t just sell businesses. We also buy businesses and flip them. I partner with business owners, investing my capital, resources, expertise, and core competencies, and sometimes I bring in other partners and put them on a build-to-sell program.
At any given time, I will have five to ten companies that I own that I’m actually building to sell. We specialize in not just selling but buying, selling, fixing, and growing businesses so business owners can exit for their desired price check so that they can exit rich. I’ve written three books. One is published, one is coming out in June, and I have about seven more books in me. Plus, I’m an international speaker, mentor, and wife.
What don’t you do? I’m very lucky to snag you as a guest on the show. Your website is beyond impressive. Tell me how you got started in this. Did you just pop out of university, your college, and you were like, “I’m interested in business?” How did you get involved in M&A?
I didn’t just pop out of the university or my mother’s womb and say, “I’m going to sell businesses,” but I knew it as a little girl. I wasn’t your typical little girl. I didn’t walk around and play with toys and dolls. I walked around with a notebook and a pen, and I would walk up to strangers at the grocery store, at the bank, anywhere, and I would start asking them questions. “What do you do? How do you do it? How did you get started?”
I was doing it at a very young age, at 6, 7, and 8 years old. I was always being fascinated with entrepreneurship. I have always been interested in people. I’m a people person. I love people, and I have always been interested in writing. I knew I was going to be an entrepreneur from early on because, number one, my biggest pet peeve is that I don’t like to be told what to do.
My husband and I have been together for 25 years, and he still tries to tell me what to do. I’m like, “Gosh, when are you going to learn?” I knew I was always going to be an entrepreneur. I’ve owned several different businesses. I did go to work for Corporate America. Actually, Xerox recruited me, and I went to work for Xerox within six months. My nickname became The Closer because every time someone couldn’t close the deal, they would say, “Call the closer. She can do it. She can close anything.”
Within six months, my supervisor came to me and asked me to interview for a regional vice president position that was coming up in Xerox, which was a very high-up position overseeing a hundred sales reps. She said, “It’s a three-month process. You will never get it but you should do it. You will never get it because Xerox’s policy is you have to be here for two years before they promote you.”
I said, “Why would I waste three months of my life to interview for something I’m never going to get? That’s a colossal waste of time.” She says, “No, Michelle, it’s the experience. You will learn more through this experience than anything.” She was right. I threw my hat into the ring and was interviewed by all the high levels executives for Xerox around the country, around the United States, and went through Q&As, presentations, and demonstrations. It was a three-month ruling process, thinking I would never get it but I always acted like I was going to get it. I believe in the Law of Attraction. I saw myself in that position, and I did get it.
Xerox changed their policy for me, and I got it. I guess I truly am the closer but then I realized very quickly that I didn’t like it. I love meeting with clients. I love figuring out what their problems are and coming up with solutions. I like building friendships that last a lifetime. When you are working as a high-level executive for a Fortune 500 company for Corporate America, you are not really doing that. You are not solving problems. You are having meetings to schedule follow-up meetings to schedule more meetings.
There’s much paperwork and red tape, and nothing ever gets decided upon. I missed entrepreneurship. I started looking for entrepreneurship opportunities and stumbled across a franchise that my husband and I knew the owner of. Actually, my husband knew the owner of it. They had a few locations, and I said, “I want to buy your franchise.” I was going to keep my six-figure great benefits position because I knew I was going to move up that Xerox ladder really quickly but entrepreneurship runs in my blood, so I needed my fix.
I wanted to franchise, and they said, “We don’t want you to buy a franchise. We know of you. We know of your reputation, and we want you to partner with us.” I said, “I don’t know if I want to partner with you and give up my six-figure position because you are not even successful. You have a couple of locations. Let’s try it out for six months.” I tried it out for six months.
Within six months, I kept working at Xerox during the week. On nights and weekends, I would go to trade shows and franchise shows and hold events. Within six months, I sold 50 franchises. I made more money in six months than I made in an entire year at Xerox. I knew it was the right move for me to leave Xerox. They said I was crazy.
I did that and sold hundreds of franchises. I started my franchise development, franchise consulting, and franchise sales company. I found myself, again, here we are in the Law of Attraction moment when buyers kept coming to me asking for existing businesses, and all we had was new franchises. I kept saying no. I’m a yes person. “Yes. Let’s make it happen. Let’s figure it out.” I was then like, “I need to stop saying no. I need to start saying yes.” That’s how I started my M&A practice.
That’s amazing. I’m inspired by what you’ve done so far. The book title of your upcoming book, Exit Rich, says it all. I definitely am going to buy a copy of this book at 1,000%. Even though a lot of the audiences I talked about are startup entrepreneurs, and personally, I got into entrepreneurship because I was very driven by my passion for sustainability in the fashion space. At the end of the day, we all want to make a good living and be rewarded for our efforts.
Thinking about my audience a little bit, they are early stages. They are getting going. Maybe they are doing a couple of $100,000 a year in revenue or maybe below that. A few of them may be cracking that million-dollar revenue figure. At what stage should a business start thinking about their plan for exiting? Is that something that’s a revenue thing or is that more of a life plan? How does one even start digging into that process of exiting your business?
Let me answer that for you. You said process. Are you Canadian?
Yes, I’m Canadian. I’m an ex-management consultant, and I’m Canadian. I say process instead of a process.
I did a podcast with a Canadian earlier, and I said, you must be Canadian with that process.
It’s a dead giveaway.
Anyway, I love Canadians. Some of my best friends are from Canada. Let me answer that in a couple of ways. First and foremost, Steve Forbes who endorsed Exit Rich. He says, “Eighty percent of businesses will not sell. 8 out of 10 companies will not sell.” The number one reason that businesses don’t sell and they certainly don’t sell for the price tag that the owners want to sell for so they can retire on. The reason they don’t exit rich is that they don’t plan their exit.
They never think about selling until a catastrophic event has occurred, whether that’s internal or external. Internal meaning health issues, partner disputes, divorce, burnout, competition, business not doing well, and death. External is this pandemic that we have been in for a few years. The worst time to sell your company is during a catastrophic event.
The best time to sell your company is when your company is in its prime. Many brokers and advisors give bad advice. There’s a business that says, “If it’s a cash cow, if it’s in its prime, you need to keep it.” No, you don’t need to keep it. You need to sell it when it’s in its prime. There are reasons for that. You are going to get maximum value when the business is in its prime, and businesses don’t stay in their prime forever. What goes up must come down.The best time to sell your company is when your company is in its prime. Click To Tweet
I take my clients through what’s called a GPS Exit Model. When do you start? Stephen Covey says, “Start with the end in mind.” My ST GPS Exit Model that we talk about in Exit Rich is basically that. When you want to drive somewhere, Kristi, in Canada or America, what do you do? You pull out Google Maps, and you plug in yours.
If you don’t plug in destination, where do you end up?
Nowhere, probably. Lost, maybe.
Nowhere, lost. That’s where most business owners are. They don’t have a destination, so they end up lost. They end up driving around in circles, driving up and down the financial hills. They end up broke. Many of them ended up selling for pennies on the dollar. Closing their business or, even worse, following the bankruptcy. They need a destination from day one of buying or starting their business.
Now, you can adjust yourselves along the way but you need that endgame. You need that desired price. I always tell my clients, “Pick a number.” They always get hung up on a number. I’m like, “Don’t get hung up on a number. You can always change it.” Let’s say your destination is $10 million. You want to sell for $10 million. What does the GPS Exit Model need to know now? Where you are starting from. It always needs your current location. Have you ever noticed when you are in Downtown Chicago or Downtown New York or downtown a major city that when you go to Uber, Google Maps or something, it always asks to clarify your location?
The GPS Model needs to know what your current location is. What is your current evaluation? Most business owners never ever have had an evaluation done. I met with an owner who has been in business for 40 years. I never had a business evaluation. We go to the doctor once a year. Us, women, go to multiple doctors once a year. We go to the doctor once a year to make sure our heart is still ticking, and we are still kicking. We take our car to the shop to get an annual tune-up but we don’t take our most valuable asset, which is our business and get an annual valuation checkup. That’s financial suicide.
Every year you need to know what your business is worth because there are events that increase evaluations. There are events that decrease evaluation like this pandemic, that we are all in. You must know what your business is worth. Let’s say you want to sell for $10 million. That’s your destination. Your current location, your current evaluation, let’s say you are worth $2 million.
The next thing you want to know is the timeframe. Let’s say you want to do this in ten years. You need to know, “Who are my buyers going to be?” Notice, I said buyers, not buyer, because clients come to me all the time and say, “Michelle, I need you to represent me with this one buyer.” I’m like, “No, I won’t do it.” They are like, “Why not?” I go, “Because I’m not doing you any service. It’s because 90% of the time that one buyer will not close on a sell of your business, and then you have no backup buyer. I will represent you for that one buyer but we are also going to put it on the market and bring you, backup buyers.” You never want to put your eggs in one buyer’s basket. Plus, how can I maximize value on the sell of your business if I can’t create competition because I have one buyer?
There are five different types of buyers. Your audience needs to know about the five types. Ninety percent of buyers are first-time buyers. When you are trying to build your GPS Exit Model, one of the steps in the model is to determine who the buyers are going to be. What type? They don’t buy $10 million companies. They buy small businesses. Maybe you can roll them out.
The second type of buyer is turnaround specialists. They buy distressed assets. They don’t buy $10 million companies. The third type of buyer’s PEGs, Private Equity Groups. Private Equity Groups buy based on platforms and add-ons. For platform, let’s say they want to get into the eCommerce space, and they don’t have a platform in the eCommerce space. They won’t even consider your company unless it has at least $3 million in EBITDA.
EBITDA is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization. Now, let’s say they already have an eCommerce platform. They will look to buy smaller eCommerce businesses as what’s called add-ons for the current platform, and then they will consider businesses under a million in EBITDA. You will have strategists and competitors. They pay the highest multiple.
They typically will pay the highest multiple because they are buying synergies, contracts, trademarks, patents, customer base, databases, and brands. Plus, they take advantage of economies of scale. Plus, they look at the core infrastructure and say, “I don’t need this distribution center or this fulfillment center because I have fulfillment.” They will look at what they can cut in operations so that they can increase EBITDA from day one.
The fifth type of buyer or the last type of buyer, is sophisticated entrepreneurs. They are industry agnostic. They chase EBITDA. Those are your five types of buyers. Now that you have your plan, I want to sell for $20 million. I’m worth $2 million. I want to do it in ten years. My buyers are going to be either a PEG, strategic/competitor or sophisticated entrepreneur. Now, you need to know what do my numbers need to look like. Where are my gross revenues need to be? My COGS. Most importantly, my EBITDA. How much EBITDA do I need? You are going to need between 1.5 to 2 million in EBITDA.
Is it a year?
A year. Depending upon your synergies. Some buyers will look at a 2 to 3 average. Some will look at twelve months of trolling. It depends upon the buyer. The last equation in that model is the “Why.” Why? If it were easy to sell for $10 million, everyone would be doing it. Why do you want it to sell for $10 million? Why it has to be powerful enough to keep you in a game, to keep your weather in all the financial storms, and to keep you motivated? That’s the GPS Exit. Everybody should do it now.Your 'why' has to be powerful enough to keep you in the game. Click To Tweet
There’s so much to unpack there. You dropped probably about an MBA there in your last few sentences for all of our readers on how to go through this process. It’s interesting that you talk about that evaluation and how we go to the doctor and take care of our health but we are not looking at the health of our business. I want to start there a little bit. Who would be that person who would look at, let’s say, my business on an annual basis and tell me if it’s healthy or not or give me an evaluation? Is that an accountant? Is that typically somebody like yourself or a wealth advisor? Who does that work?
No, I would not say it’s an accountant because accountants typically do not have their core competency. They might do evaluations as a small part of their business. Evaluations are more of an art rather than a science. We use six different approaches but we know who the buyers are. We know that these buyers will pay more for those synergies. We are going to go to market without a price and create a bidding war.
Accountants don’t know how to do that. Neither do wealth advisors. An M&A advisor is who you should align yourself with. We have a program that we work with clients on where we put them into a road-to-sell program. We call it a road-to-sell. We do the evaluation at the beginning. We take them through what we call the six Ps. We do annual checkups on our business. You have to align yourself with an advisor who knows the buyers, the synergies, and how to get you to build upon the right synergies so you can increase value. Not everything increases value.
You talked about EBITDA being a key metric for evaluating a business and that you have six different approaches to that evaluation. Our audience would be familiar with evaluations from shows like Shark Tank and, up here in Canada, Dragon’s Den, where brands go on and say how much their company’s worth.
Oftentimes, the Dragons or the Sharks will say, “That’s insane,” somebody’s valued it way too high or sometimes somebody is giving away a massive portion of their business for very little. It’s very hard to nail that number. Personally, I was on Dragons’ Den a long time ago with my business, and I nailed my evaluation. The only reason I did was that I had found some random calculator online and then added a 20% or something like that.
The deal didn’t go through on Dragons’ Den full disclosure but eventually, I took on an investor at a higher evaluation. That’s muddy water for a lot of our audience. They are like, “If I’m doing $200,000 in revenue right now and maybe, let’s say, $50,000 in EBITDA, that would be a pretty profitable business. How do I even begin to put together even what I’m worth?” Even at a high-level cursory. Is there any way to do that by estimating it or do you need that expert analyst to come and do that?
You need an expert, and here’s the reason why. Most business owners, rather it’s at $200,000 in revenue and $50,000 in EBITDA or it’s a $5 million company and a million in EBITDA. Most owners are not crystal clear on their numbers. They don’t know what their numbers are. We go through a process called normalizing the financials. We go to EBITDA, where we add back interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
We also add back personal expenses, non-reoccurring, etc. A lot of business owners are so used to running personal expenses through their business that they forget what they are running through their business. I don’t know if they do that in Canada but they do that in America. A lot of times, I forget, “I had to replace a roof, and that cost me $30,000.” We don’t replace a roof every year.
I had a client who moved their business. It cost them about $50,000 to move their business. They don’t do that every year. Most business owners don’t understand the numbers. You need an expert to do that, normalize the financials, and pull market comps because we looked at discounted cashflow, the asset approach, the sold approach, and the market approach.
We also take our clients through the six Ps. The six Ps are what add value. EBITDA and numbers are important but the way that you get a higher multiple is by building the synergies. Businesses that trade for under a million dollars in EBITDA will typically trade for a multiple of anywhere from 1 to 3. Maybe 3 and a half to 4 but you better have a lot of synergies and be well-branded. Businesses that have over a million in EBITDA will typically go for a five and up. Big difference. Those synergies are what will take you from a 5 to 6, from a 5 to an 8 or from a 5 to 9. Building your business on the infrastructure of the six Ps that we will talk about in Exit Rich is what builds your evaluation.
Without giving it away because we want people to go out and buy your book when it’s ready but can you talk about maybe one of the other Ps that you talk about in the book?
Here’s the bottom line. I could give you all the six Ps but I’m still not giving a book away. There are six chapters and a book that’s 23 chapters and 325 pages, half of the book is about building your infrastructure. The other half is about evaluations and normalizations. Packaging your business for sale or negotiations, the non-negotiables with the five types of buyers, and due diligence, we would have to talk for hours upon hours for me to give the whole book away. I will start with the very first P, probably the biggest P, which is where most business owners fell. That P is People.
Most business owners, especially eCommerce businesses, SaaS businesses, digital marketing businesses, and even service businesses dentists, don’t all have people. I had a dentist come to me and he said, “Michelle, I want to sell my business. I have been in business for 50 years. I have three dental hygienists, no other dentists.” I said, “I can sell it.” By the way, these three dental hygienists are his daughters.
I said, “I can sell it. We are not going to be able to maximize value because you are the business but you need to stay for 2 to 3 years and a purchase price will be contingent upon such.” He said, “No, we are not staying.” I said, “Well then, you are not selling.” Number one is people. You don’t build a business. You build people, and people build a business.
You have to have a business that runs without you. If you are the business, your business is going to be very difficult to sell. Now, eCommerce is a little bit easier because those eCommerce businesses are gobbling up other eCommerce businesses. They have the people and the infrastructure, so it’s not as imperative as other industries. We are selling a business between $50 to $70 million now with 300 employees. That business would never survive without the owner because he has relationships with the clients. That part, he never duplicated. He’s got so much IP in his head that has never been documented.
That speaks to the importance of hiring a team to support you. I’m going to use the P word again, process. Having systems and processes in place to support the business as well so that it can run without you, which a lot of the readers may not have. That’s an important point that you are making.
The people is huge. Processes are the third P. Let me tell your audience this. Entrepreneurs got to focus on their strengths and their weaknesses. You got to. You will never grow unless you let go of the control. You got to put the right people in the right seats. Now, eCommerce is fortunate because you can hire subcontractors. You got to ask a who question. “Who handles customer service? Who handles marketing, billing, legal, fulfillment, distribution, manufacturing, and quality control?”
The list of tasks goes on and on. The clue here is that you should never be next to the who if you want a business run without you. If you are ever going to build a business to sell in the millions, you need a management team as well. The entrepreneur should be the visionary working on the business, not in it. A lot of business owners have created glorified jobs which go to work every day versus a job that a business works for them. Buyers don’t want to buy a job. Now, I did tell you that eCommerce is a little bit easier because there are so many eCommerce businesses that have the infrastructure that will gobble up those eCommerce businesses that don’t have it. You might not be able to maximize value but you could still be purchased.
That’s such a good point. I have a small team. We have sixteen people at our company. We are hiring two more. For a very long time, I had no leadership team. It was just me. I was the who in all of those seats so that is definitely not scalable from a selling perspective and also from a personal, self-care, and work-life balance perspective either. You can be on the fast track for burnout, which probably makes your business not so attractive either.
We all go through that. All entrepreneurs go through that in the beginning. As you grow like I always say, “If you don’t have an assistant, you are the assistant.”
That is quotable. That one, we are going to lock down. I will quote that one out.
I was on a podcast. They do coaching in the digital marketing space. He goes, “I’m going to double-click on that one.” Every time I say something memorable, he’s like, “I’m double-clicking that.”
I don’t know if you’ve ever read the book, The E-Myth. It’s such a great book. It talks about if you are not creating these positions and are in all these seats, you’ve become the world’s toughest boss on yourself. You’ve created a job where you are being managed by yourself, who’s also very hard on you, and you’ve essentially created another 9:00 to 5:00 job, which is not why we often start as entrepreneurs as you talked about in your startup journey. A lot of us join entrepreneurship for that freedom lifestyle and that ability to direct the ship and the sails. He makes such good points there.
The visionaries too. Think about this. Entrepreneurs and visionaries are not good at the day-to-day. We are not good at details. It doubles in the details. We are good at visionary. We are good at growing. We are good at coming up with ideas. Every visionary needs an integrator.Every visionary needs an integrator. Click To Tweet
We talk about that a lot on the show because I use Traction, EOS, and Entrepreneurial Organizational System in circles. I talk about Gino Wickman’s book a lot here. I’m a visionary integrator but I’m hiring an integrator starting this week.
It’s hard to find a good integrator.
It’s hard. It’s a specific skillset and one that I don’t possess. I’ve had to flex to do it, and I’m not doing it very well. I highly recommend that book, too. Is that something that you tell people about, too? Is that a system that you recommend?
Rather it’s Traction because an integrator can be an integrator without necessarily being in a Traction Model. We have also done a lot of work with Brad Sugars with ActionCOACH. He’s endorsed Exit Rich. He’s given us a glowing testimonial. There are a lot of different systems out there. I like Traction. I like Action. Whatever system works best for you.
I also have a system for my clients to get them through, what we call, the road to sell, build-to-sell, to get their business in tip-top shape so they can maximize value and exit rich. I have that, too. I always recommend everyone to get an integrator and implementer, whatever you want to call it. Someone that can take your visions and make them happen.
The point is that whatever system you have, whether it’s your system or somebody else’s system, you have a system in place because a lot of business owners reading this may not have that system yet. That in itself brings so much ease to the business by focusing and prioritizing what’s most important and getting everybody aligned to the objectives.
I also have my own ideas of what makes processes good and not good. That’s the third P if you want me to talk about processes real quick.
If you can do that real quick, that would be great.
Here’s where a lot of business owners get this wrong. Processes are like exit strategies. Business owners don’t think about it until something bad happens. They are like, “We need to process for that.” We had a client who had horrible bashing on the internet because their customer service was terrible. They said, “We need a process for customer service for client care.” I’m like, “Really? You needed that beforehand.” That’s a little late.
Another client had a catastrophic event happen on the manufacturing floor where an employee lost a limb and was getting lawsuits, and everything else handed down that’s going to have to file bankruptcy. He goes, “Michelle, we need a process for manufacturing for health and safety on the manufacturing floor.” I’m like, “It’s a little late for that. You are going to the bankruptcy court.”
Processes are like exit strategies. You got to think about them from the beginning of buying or starting your business. Here’s where everybody gets it wrong. Not everybody but most. Most business owners look at their business, come up with a mission, come up with a vision, and they are like, “What are our processes?” They start trying to design processes but processes come out of necessity. “That’s an issue. We need a process for that. That’s a problem. We need a process for that.” Processes should be designed with the customer experience in mind. What you should be doing is, getting a pen and paper and writing down what your customers want to experience, what you want your customers to experience. Did you ever watch a movie, The Founder?
Yeah, I’ve seen it.
One of the best movies ever. Back in the ’50s, the McDonald Brothers said, “We want a fast-food restaurant” because there wasn’t one. “We want a fast-food restaurant and design a fast-food system with processes but we want to design it around these experiences. We want our customers to experience great-tasting food that’s hot, fast, 30 seconds or less.” Do you remember that? Do you remember that they took all their employees and went to the tennis courts?
The empty tennis courts, they took chalk, drew out the processes, and all bumped into each other. They were all stepping on each other’s toes. Even one of the McDonald brothers was standing up on a high ladder, looking down, and orchestrating what they should be doing. It was like a symphony of processes. They spent nine hours there until they figured out who takes the order, who toasts the buns, who cooks the burger, who puts the two pickles in the bun and gives it to the client in 30 seconds or less.
Those processes were designed back in the ’40s and ’50s. Even though they have been tweaked along the way, you can eat at McDonald’s anywhere on the road and still get the same experience because they designed their processes around the customer experience. They can also fire somebody quickly and get somebody up and running that front counter or that drive-through window within 30 minutes because of their SOPs.
They designed it with a customer experience. Have you ever dealt with a company where you have issues, a bank, social media, retail, and you call and have to push 2 for this person, 3 for this person, 6 for this person? You finally get a live person, you got to tell your story, and then they want to transfer you to somebody else. Now, you tell your story again, and they want to transfer you to somebody else. Has that ever happened to you?
Usually banks, for sure.
Banks and social media companies are the worst.
Banks are notorious for this in Canada.
Yes, and so as retail companies. Have you ever been to a doctor or a chiropractor where they say, “My hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 to 12:00, and then I come back from 3:00 to 5:00? Those processes are designed around the owner’s, the board’s, and the employee’s agenda. It’s not designed around the customer experience.
It’s definitely not customer-centric. I used to work at management consulting, and that’s all they talked about in retail like how everybody wanted to be a customer-centric retailer but nobody could actually do it because the board, the CEO or the C-level had a totally different idea of what that looked like. Nobody talked to the customers to ask them what they wanted, which is so basic.
That’s what I say all the time. Talk to your clients. Ask them, “What do you want? What do you need? How can I make it easier for you to do business for me?” If you design your processes around your customer experience and deliver wow experiences, then somebody will be happy to do it for you. Whoever makes it easiest for the consumer to purchase products and services is a company that’s winning.Whoever makes the easiest for the consumer to purchase products and services is a winning company Click To Tweet
Amazon is winning because they make it so easy to practically purchase anything. You can practically buy a horse on Amazon and have it delivered in two days. They make it easy. You can do it through Alexa. They got the lawn. They deliver in two days. Now, they bought a bunch of planes, and they are going to deliver in one day. You got to stop and ask yourself, “What do we want our customers to experience?” Everything should fall from that. Of course, your processes should be productive and efficient because they should be cutting costs, increasing profits, increasing EBITDA, and they should be well-documented and well-papered in policy procedure manuals, SOP checklists, and employee handbooks.
Yes to all of this, Michelle. I want to be respectful of your time because I know we only have a few minutes left. I feel like I could talk to you for hours and geek out on all this stuff. I’ve learned so much from you. Maybe before we jump into a few hot-seat questions, I want to ask you a little bit more about what’s next for you. Maybe you can talk a little bit about your book that’s coming out and when that’s launching.
What’s next for me? Getting this book launched. We had to pivot a couple of times too because of this pandemic. That’s what’s big and next for us. Where can people get the book? Let me tell you a little bit about the book. Exit Rich was endorsed by Steve Forbes. Steve Forbes says Exit Rich is a gold mine for entrepreneurs because they leave way too much money on the table to sell out their business, plus 8 out of 10, their business will not sell.
Sharon Lechter is my co-author who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad with Robert Kiyosaki. She’s a New York Times bestselling author five times. We are trying to make her number six with Exit Rich. She is also a CPA financial literacy expert and advisor to different presidents. In addition to that, the original Shark on Shark Tank, Kevin Harrington, wrote our foreword. Jack Canfield, and Mark Victor Hansen from Chicken Soup for the Soul, gave us a glowing testimonial, and so did Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Les Brown, Brad Sugars from ActionCOACH, and Grant Cardone’s team.
Exit Rich comes out in June but you don’t have to wait until June. You can go to ExitRichBook.com and order Exit Rich for $24.79, which is less than Amazon. I’m so happy to say that. We will email you the digital download so you don’t have to wait to read Exit Rich. Let me give you a quick case study. We have a company that we are going to be selling in the pharmaceutical industry.
He bought the book and printed it out because it’s digital. He said, “Michelle, I started using it as a workbook. It’s the best business book I’ve ever read.” Exit Rich is not just about selling. It’s about building your infrastructure. It’s about building a sustainable, scalable business. He said, “I started using it as a workbook. I went through every chapter, and I put my exit plan together based on your book,” and I said, “In addition, I got to hire Michelle.”
He went through everything and went through the six Ps. He sent me a huge spreadsheet of all of his six Ps for his three different companies and where each company is. He then told me what each company needs. Now, we are working together to strengthen his weakest Ps, and we will be putting them on the market for probably about $50 million. That’s a case study. You can start reading Exit Rich now, the digital version. You can use it as a workbook as he did, and then we will ship the hardcover to your doorstep for anyone that lives in America. Sorry, Canada. For anyone that lives outside America, there is extra additional shipping, of course.
We will also give you a lifetime membership into the Exit Rich Book Club and the Exit Rich Book Club. There is video content of me doing deep dives into these different strategies and techniques and things that I have been teaching for the last twenty years in the trenches. Plus, there are documents to run your business and documents to sell your business. We have sample policy and procedure manuals, org charts, employee handbooks, sample letters of intent, sample purchase agreements, due diligence checklist, and sample closing documents.
All of these documents are there for your review and your download. You can use them but remove Seiler Tucker. I had a lady email me. She goes, “Can I use this?” I go, “You have to remove my company name.” She’s like, “I’m sorry, I forgot.” If you went to an attorney to recreate all this stuff, it would cost you thousands upon thousands. Plus, we also will give you a 30-day free membership in the Club CEOs, which is an entrepreneur mastermind that I founded where we help business owners get unstuck and pivot, and build that sustainable, scalable, sellable business. All for $24.79. What can you buy these days for $24.79?
Not much. Maybe two lattes from Starbucks, potentially. That’s amazing value for all of what you said there. Let’s jump into a couple of hot-seat questions, and then we will go into where people can find you online if they want to follow you on social media, your website or whatnot. What’s one non-negotiable step in your morning routine?
If you had an extra thousand dollars in your business now, what would you spend it on?
Probably my employees.
I love it when people say that. I’ve heard that a couple of times. It always warms my heart. Employees are important. My last question. What’s your favorite podcast that you are listening to now?
Exit Rich. That’s my own show.
Other than your own?
I’m going to be completely transparent. I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts. You are going to laugh at me. I don’t know if you can laugh at me but I listen to a lot of audio tapes and audiobooks. Now, I’m listening to Bob Proctor who’s Canadian, by the way.
I love Bob Proctor. He’s great.
I’m listening to Bob Proctor. I probably should listen to more podcasts but I will put on Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor or somebody who I feel resonates with me. My daughter, I want her to listen to different influencers like Bob Proctor.
Bob is amazing. Super inspirational.
I love Bob. I’ve met him a few times. In fact, I spoke on stage with him.
I didn’t know he was Canadian. I feel very ultra-proud now.
As we wrap up, where can people find you? What’s your key website? What are any social media accounts that you want people to give you a follow at?
My main website is SeilerTucker.com. I’m everywhere. I am on Instagram. I do know what it is now. I am on Instagram so that you can follow me there. On all my social media, it’s always @MichelleSeilerTucker on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and on my LinkedIn. I’m everywhere.
Thank you so much, Michelle, for your time. I personally learned a lot, and I know my readers have found so much value out of this episode. I encourage everybody to go and pre-order her book, Exit Rich. Have a wonderful day. I appreciate your time, and good luck with everything.
Thank you, Kristi. I’m forever grateful to you. It was an absolute pleasure to be here with you. I hope I provide a massive value to your audience.
Amazing. You were great. Thank you.
- QuickBooks Connect Canada
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- Exit Rich
- GPS Exit Model
- Six Ps
- The E-Myth
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Chicken Soup for the Soul
- Club CEOs
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