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BoomerPreneurs: Can they really sell their business?

My business reading this morning ran across the same statement from unrelated sources.

Owners working ‘in’ or ‘on’ the business

An interview with Michael Gerber of ‘E-Myth’ fame reminds business owners that they need to work ‘on’ their business, not just ‘in’ their business. I had heard that before and despite mostly working ‘in’ my business, I do raise my head up frequently and work ‘on’ my business, too.

But when I read that same phrase again within hours, I decided there must be a reason.

]]>Read this blog post by Craig Dickens of OneAccord, a consulting company that focuses on building revenue for clients:

BoomerPreneurs – Securing Your Future

Is your boomer borrower ‘banking’ on selling their business?

What is the importance to lenders considering a loan to a business owner? Or a business loan that relies on the guarantee of the owner? If your borrower/guarantor is in the boomer generation, take a look at the balance sheet. If their business is the biggest asset and selling it is the only way to secure their retirement, consider that accoding to Dickens only 20% of boomers will successfully sell the business.

Most will simply liquidate and retire.

That can work just fine if the borrower made boat loads of money, invested it wisely, and survived the recession with enough retirement assets intact.

“What are your retirement plans?”

I remember when my commercial lender, Kathy O’Neil, asked me that routine question when re-upping a commercial line of credit for our family construction company. I had been working with her for over ten years and she had not asked it before. It was a good question, even though at the time I was just hitting 50. Are you asking your borrowers? If they say they plan to sell their business, consider if they are working ‘on’ their business or ‘in’ their business.

About the Author
Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis. She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans. Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.