“I lucked out.” Will You?
In 2006, Mark Topping had just sold his Chrysler Jeep Dodge Dealership after more than 20 years. As if he’d had insider knowledge, he sold just prior to the financial system collapsing. Dealerships were terminated, Chrysler and General Motors went into bankruptcy and the dealers that stayed in business shrank overnight to a small portion of what they were only months earlier.
“I’d like to tell you I had a crystal ball and saw the downturn coming,” he says. “And I’d like to tell you I executed my exit plans and it went exactly as I intended, but I just lucked out.”
His family had owned an automobile dealership and he had worked through most of the positions, bottom to top. He knew how to manage a dealership, how to develop and maintain relations with the manufacturers, lenders, vendors and clients. He served on Dealer advisory Boards and Executive Committees at a national level and understood the need to be involved both with the industry and community. He had a Retail Management degree from Central Washington University and a career full of experience.
“What I didn’t know was how to sell my business,” he admits. “I sold cars and trucks and felt I could just sell the business too.” This is where he lucked out. He didn’t know what he didn’t know and it could have been a disaster. And the disaster can hit you if you are selling or buying a dealership!
Don’t count on luck to get the best result when buying or selling your dealership. Let us share the “right” way to prepare for buying or selling your business.