Coasting – Downhill

A business owner told me his sales were X dollars – put in whatever figure you want, $100,000, $1,000,000 or $10,000,000. His actual sales were:

  • 2017 – 90% of X
  • 2018 – 75% of X
  • 2019 – 65% of X
  • 2020 – on track for 50% of X 

The abovementioned owner is coasting and the business is going downhill. And once on the slope it’s tough to recover. I’m sure there’s not a lot of calling to customers, much less prospective customers. I can’t imagine there’s much marketing at all.

What’s compounding this is he has no idea of what’s really going on. Yet all it takes is paying attention to the financial statements. He doesn’t need to have management reports, although they would add a lot of value and clarity.

Business buyers want one of two things:

  • A well-oiled machine with room to grow.
  • An underperforming business in a solid industry (coasting).

What they rarely want is a damaged beyond-repair business. Whether you’re an owner or advise owners, keep these points in mind. Coasting (downhill) doesn’t let you exit with style, grace, and more money.

“If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not what to hear.” George Orwell

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