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The Wall Street Journal reported on October 3, 2011 that even with high unemployment many jobs are hard to fill. In this era of specialization, technology and the need for more education we are at both ends of the spectrum simultaneously.

The lesson here for business owners to make the skills it takes to run the company as general as possible. Make the business as easy as possible to slide in new management or a buyer; so those people don’t need industry specific skills or narrow technological abilities.

When someone with good business sense can successfully run your company you have created value and that means a higher price when you exit. If it takes a person with a high level of industry knowledge you have a dependency, buyers will be cautious and not willing to pay as much, if they will even be willing to make an offer.

In addition, even if they do make an offer their chances of getting a bank acquisition loan are greatly reduced so you’ll finance more of the price (banks like a buyer to have industry experience unless the owner’s role is strictly general management).

“LIfe is the art of drawing without an eraser” John W. Gardner

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