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Business seller: “We implemented our plan, hit a speed bump, regrouped, profits are lower than per the plan, but pay me for the business as if all went well.”
Business buyer: “You’re (expletive deleted) crazy.”
You could substitute business owner telling a customer the price went up because of an operations issue no fault of the customers and get the same response.
The above was triggered by a flyer we received in the mail recently from Sound Transit. They’re hosting community meetings to discuss their $50 billion, yes, that’s a B, train project over the next 25 years. For a 19th and early 20th century technology in a time when Google, Audi, and others have logged millions of miles in self-driving vehicles. This from a group that:
  • In a 1996 tax and bond package promised light rail from the airport to the University District and virtually guaranteed it would be done in 10 years and within budget (no additional taxes the County Exec said).
  • In 2008 “rebooted” the project for a shorter run (only to the stadium), another eight years, and with a new budget (a lot more money).
  • A 2016 announcement they finished on-time and on budget.
Don’t you wish you could do that? “We rebooted your project and it will cost you more than you contracted for, it will take longer, but we’ll meet our new timeline and budget.” No, actually you don’t wish it, as your ethics don’t allow you to lie.
Back to the beginning, I do see a lot of business marketed with the premise of, “Ignore what happened last year, you’ll do a lot better.”
Advice: run your business to show a lot of profit, do so consistently, and you won’t have to struggle with ethics and integrity when it comes time to sell. You won’t have to “add-back” (to profit) phony items plus your salary to inflate the net income. And while you’re at it, don’t sell it when it’s not ready if you want “full price.”
“Success loves a witness, but failure can’t exist without one.” Junot Diaz

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