Michelle Seiler Tucker, Mergers & Acquisitions Specialist | Lessons Learnt From Selling 1000+ Companies

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Michelle Seiler Tucker is the Founder and CEO of Seiler Tucker Incorporated. She holds a M&AMI (Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediary) title and as a 20-year veteran in the M&A industry, she has a wealth of experience regarding buying, selling, fixing, and growing businesses. Her and her firm have sold over a thousand businesses in almost every vertical and have a remarkable track record of success.

In addition to being featured in INC, Forbes, and USA Magazine, Michelle is a Keynote Speaker and makes regular radio and TV appearances on Fox Business News and CNBC. She has spoken alongside many prominent speakers: Eric Trump, Kathy Ireland, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Donna Karen, Stedman Graham, Randi Zuckerberg, Steve Wozniak, and more. She is the Best-Selling Author of the book “Sell Your Business for more than It’s Worth” and has a new book coming out called “Exit Rich®.”

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business, sell, business owners, processes, entrepreneurs, book, buyers, clients, m&a, people, buy, teachable, exit, company, amazon, contracts, franchisees, build, years, scott


Scott D Clary, Darren Marble, Michelle Seiler Tucker


Scott D Clary  00:05

Thanks again for joining me today we’re sitting down with Michel Seiler Tucker who is the founder and CEO of Siler Tucker Incorporated, he holds an M and A M I’m mergers and acquisitions master immediate immediately title as well as certified mergers and acquisitions, professionals of cm and a p. She is a certified Senior Business Analyst CSB a and she has been working in not only the startup space, but more exciting for me really is the the exiting. So where you bring that startup once it scales and grows, and now you want to have an exit event. So she is a 20 year veteran in the m&a industry. He’s regarded as leading authority on buying, selling, fixing growing businesses. Her and her firm have sold over get this 1000 businesses in almost every vertical and have a remarkable track record of success. She’s going to speak about like I said, sustainable scalability, a sellable building sellable businesses, and basically the technique that she has repeated again and again and again with lots of entrepreneurs. So this is an interesting one, because like, Michelle, thank you for joining me, but I’m curious to speak with you because most people speak about how to build a business. And they don’t have that vision or that exit event in mind, which I think they should. But you know, I want to hear more with that. First, tell me your story. How do you get into this?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  01:26

Alright, well, thanks, Scott, for having me. It’s a pleasure to be with you. So I didn’t wake up one day and say, Oh, my goodness, how businesses, but I always knew as a kid, that I was going to be my own boss, I was going to be an entrepreneur. And I never really come from a family of entrepreneurs. I mean, my dad owned his own business. And that was about it. But you know, I always knew that I knew what I like to do. You know, even as a kid, I never play with toys and never play with dolls. And my mom, my mom’s like, why? What’s wrong with you? I know, Mom, that’s the wrong question. You should be asking what’s right with me. So I walk around the notebook and a pen and everything and ask everybody a million questions, right? I would just walk up to strangers and start asking questions. And so my mom’s like, oh, my gosh, she’s gonna be the next Barbara Walters. So I knew I liked people. And I knew I liked writing. And I would always ask people, what’s your problem? Let me let me fix it for you. And this was that seven years old, eight years old. So always know it’s gonna be a people person, a problem solver, a writer, and entrepreneur because I don’t like you know, I don’t like anybody telling me what to do. Like, that’s my biggest pet peeve is somebody telling me what to do? I mean, even when my husband and 25 years, I’m like, Donald, tell me what to do. And so it’s so anyway, so I’ve always owned businesses. I’ve owned businesses in different Canada in different industries, different verticals. But I did kind of get caught up in corporate America. Xerox recruited me, I went to work for Xerox, I said, You know what, let me try this corporate position, fortune 500. And so I did that I was there for about six months in cells. And my neck name became the closer because every time they couldn’t close something, they will come to me and say, Michelle, go close this deal. You’re the closer, so I was a closer, and then my manager came to me and she said, You should really throw your hat in the ring and interview for the vice president regional position for Xerox, she goes, You will never get it because you’ve been here six months. And Xerox doesn’t promote somebody who’s only been here six months you’re up against people have been here 510 15 years? I said, Well, if I if I’m not gonna get it, why would I do it? You know, why would I waste my time? And she says, Well, it’s a three month grueling process. She goes, but it is a learning process. And you’ll learn more doing this than anything else. And you know, everybody knows ROX has like one of the best training programs in the world, right? So I threw my name in the hat. And she was right, it was a three month rolling process. And you know, we had to meet with all that top level executives at Xerox are all around the world, and do Q and A’s presentations, demonstrations of their equipment to Gan. So it’s very pressure and a lot of pressure. And I ended up getting it when everybody said I wouldn’t get it. So I guess I truly am the closer. So


Scott D Clary  04:12

zero is not bad.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  04:15

I know. But and then, but what happened was Xerox, do what most companies should never do. You don’t take your top salesperson and promote them the management, big mistake, and I didn’t like it. When I went into management like oh my gosh, all we’re doing is setting meetings, to have more meetings to schedule more follow up meetings. All we’re doing is meeting so we weren’t doing what I love anymore. Like we weren’t meeting what the clients want building lifetime relationships. So I told my husband, I said, I really, really miss entrepreneurship. But I don’t want to leave my six figure career with great benefits. Right? And so I stumbled across a franchise that had two locations. And my husband knew the owner and I said look, I want to buy a franchise operated on the side and they said no, we don’t want you to buy a franchise. We want you to partner with us. Because we know of your you your reputation, we know you’re the closer and partner with us, and we’ll give you a franchise. And I said, Wow, I said, Well, I’m gonna leave Xerox for a franchise word, it has two locations, you know, cuz you’re not very successful. So I said, I’ll do it, what I’ll do, I’ll try for six months? Because you don’t have to say yes, or say no, sometimes there’s a metal road, right that you can take. So I said, Let me keep my great position here because I was climbing up the Xerox ladder really quickly. And I said, let me try for six months and see what happens. Within six months, I saw so many franchises, I quadruple my salary at Xerox. So then it became a no brainer to leave Xerox PARC with this franchisor. And, and they gave me a franchise. Now, here’s the problem. A lot of business owners will start a business, but they never build the foundation. They never put any infrastructure for it to succeed. So they focus on sell, sell, sell, sell, sells. But what happens when you get all these clients coming in, and you don’t have the infrastructure? So they were over promising under delivering they weren’t servicing their franchisees? And I realized very quickly that our values weren’t aligned. So at that point, I said, Buy me out. And then I said, Well, gosh, what am I gonna do now? So then I said, I’ll just transition to selling businesses, how much harder can it be? So then I transition to selling companies, small businesses at first, and I transition very quickly to selling large businesses, and then learn that was Steve Forbes said is true. Eight out of 10, businesses don’t sell and by the way, Steve Forbes endorsed my book exit read. So I said, If I don’t fix them, and grow them and build to sell, I’m going to starve to death and have to go back to zero. So that’s my story.


Scott D Clary  06:46

I like the story. And it’s interesting how one point that I want to take out of that is that you didn’t go full into entrepreneurship, and just totally negate your job. Like when you did that, when you took the franchise and you started and you were successful at it, eventually, you still did it smartly, did it the correct way. And you sort of dipped your toe into the water, you know, so to speak. And then you found out it was successful, you sort of took that that’s that’s a smart entrepreneurial lesson. Because I think that people sometimes like you said, they start businesses, they don’t know what they’re doing, they put all their life savings or their energy into it. And they just quit their job and they go full tilt. That’s, that’s usually if they don’t have the right mentorship, that’s gonna screw them up, screw them over. Really? Okay, so you found out that you’re good at selling businesses? What what is the what is the market? What is the industry? Well, who are your competitors? Are you are you competing with lawyers or who else does what you do?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  07:38

Now, I’m not competing with lawyers at all. I never compete with lawyers. I’m typically other m&a advisors. You know, I belong to m&a source, so other m&a advisors, other brokers, and from time to time, sometimes investment bankers. Those are my competitors, really. But it’s not really competitive industry. It’s not like a lot of other industries, like real estate is so competitive, everybody sells real estate. So it’s not as competitive as as you would think. I mean, there’s 32 million businesses, the United States, and there’s probably 3000, you know, brokerage firms, m&a firms.


Scott D Clary  08:16

So how do you choose which businesses that you want to help sell? What’s the business


Michelle Seiler Tucker  08:23

so after? Yeah, and I don’t just sell businesses, I want to just make that clear. I also I really specialize in buying, selling, fixing, growing, so I buy businesses and flip them. I also partner with business owners, because there are a lot of businesses that are not sellable for the price tag that the owner needs to exit his their business. So I’ll partner with business owners investing my money, resources, time, energy, effort, and expertise. Or like I said, I’ll buy him flip. Or I’ll say, Look, this is your plan. Build this what you need to do. Come back to me when you’re done. Yeah. And now we have an online Built to Sell course that we’re finalizing. So business owners can walk through that course. So the way that I decide who I’m going to sell is me personally, my my businesses that I focus on are typically $10 million, and not been purchase price. But I have a team of analysts and a team of agents, and they’ll sell smaller businesses. But for me, for my company to decide to take on a client, you know, they’ve got it, the owner has to be realistic. The owner has to understand valuation, and they want $20 million from the business and our businesses were 5 million then in and they’re gonna have to work with us at 5 million or not work with us at all. There are plenty of brokers and advisors that will take that engagement and just put it on the market and hope somebody educates their Salo. I don’t do that, at my sellers are not coachable from the beginning. And if they’re not going to listen to my expertise, then I really don’t want them as clients. They’re going to move my statistics to


Scott D Clary  10:00

It’s pretty good. It’s a good point actually, I started got ahead of myself, I got excited about trying to figure out, you know who your target customers. You mentioned, I was actually watching before we jumped on into watch your scissor your sizzle reel on your on YouTube, I think. And you made a really good point. And you do a lot of keynote speaking, which is that, you know, that’s impressive, because I think that this is something that entrepreneurs have to hear. He said, a lot of people build themselves a job, and not a business. Let’s start that’s like, sort of like the basic. So what does that mean? What do entrepreneurs screw up?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  10:31

So that is the basis and that’s one of the biggest reasons that businesses are not sellable that eight out of 10, businesses don’t sell, because entrepreneurs have built themselves a job meaning that the business is attached to them. They’re doing everything. And I’ll give you some examples. Let’s say you have a dental practice, one Dentist, Dental hygienist, you pull that one sentence out of the dental practices or business know, the dentist has created a job to where he goes to work everyday hasn’t created a business that works for him. He can’t take long vacations, he can’t leave his practice. And that’s a job. That’s not a business. Same thing with chiropractor, you know, we’re trying to sell a chiropractic clinic right now, they have two chiropractors. And the owner was just so confident that those two contractors were staying and guess what they’re not. So now we’re back to square one. So you got to build a business, they can operate without you and ask the first P that we talk about the six PS, the st. Six PS and exit Rich is people. You got to build a business, you don’t build a business, you build people and people build the business, otherwise, you just have a glorified job.


Scott D Clary  11:39

Yeah. Yeah, I like and actually, you know, that I was gonna, that’s a good segue into that point, because you have frameworks and models. And of course, these frameworks are meant for exiting, you know that that is your bread and butter, like you have 1.1 Other Transaction for the business. But there’s two models that you mentioned. And we chatted before there’s GPS exit model, and six P, these are proprietary, sort of built these over your career at this. We teach entrepreneurs, I think these are good models to go through regardless of having that exit plan today, because I think these are just really, really good frameworks for building successful businesses, period. And I don’t know what your thoughts are on that. But I would love to like just sort of dissect at a high level, obviously, you can’t with all the detail on the podcast, but at a high level, what are these frameworks? Which one do you want to start with?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  12:25

Yeah, what’s the GPS exit model? Because then it kind of leads into the six PS. Okay. Alright, so an exit Ridge is not just about selling your business, because like you said earlier, rather, you want to sell now or later. Excellent, which is actually about building a sustainable scalable asset, so that you actually have something to sell when you’re ready. There are so many business owners that would love to sell, but they’re being forced to sell for pennies on the dollar closer business or file bankruptcy. You know, when I wrote sell your business for more than it’s worth in 2013, I did the research back then. And I, you know, found out that 85 to 95% of startups were closed, right? We all know that startups are always at great risk. But those one to five years, are the most vulnerable or startup will go out of business. But guess what, Scott, when I wrote exit rich in 2019 and 2020, I did the same research. And I learned that the business landscape has changed dramatically. It’s only 30%. It’s a flip flop. It’s only 30%. Now that I’ve started, so we’ll go out of business. Only 30% of startups are at less risk. But out of 27 point 6 million companies, those businesses have been in business for 10 years or longer. 70% of those businesses will go out of business 70% of


Scott D Clary  13:42

their fails. Later, they’re failing.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  13:44

only much later you say you just hit the nail on the head. It used to be Scott that if you were in business five 610 years, you’re golden, right? You can write your ticket. That’s not the case anymore. The business landscape has changed. Now you hear about the public companies all the time like Toys R Us been in business 70 Years Gone. Kmart gone, Sears having trouble JC Penney’s Montgomery Ward imar Pier One GNC closed on 900 locations. But what you’re not hearing about are the private companies. Those are public companies. You’re not hearing about the private companies on every street corner in every state, you know, across our great nation so that the reason for this is because business owners are not they stopped doing one thing I call aim, which is always innovate and market always innovate and market because Amazon has changed the way that consumers purchase products and services. Amazon has made it so easy to purchase anything you can practically buy a horse on Amazon and have it delivered to you in two days. You know, so cut so business owners have to keep innovating. Okay. So the GPS exit model is set up for success. And and the problem with business owners is they don’t think about selling until category Topic event has occurred. You know, they’ll call me up. When I say, look, there’s a death, there was a death, you know that the owner died? Or there’s health issues, or there’s marital issues, we’re gonna have a divorce COVID. Yeah, I’ll call that Yeah, yeah, hurricane or a tsunami or tornado or fires in California. I mean, the list goes on and on. The worst time to sell your business is when a catastrophic event occurs, because the business is typically turning downward. So business owners don’t have a plan, and the GPS X’s design to plan your asset from day one to starting or buying your business. So number one, when you want to drive somewhere, what’s the first thing that we all do? Now, we don’t pull out maps anymore, you’re too young to remember maps. Now we pull out our phone, right? We pull out our phone, we plug in our destination, it’s so easy. These days, we’ll plug in our destination. And we tell our GPS where we want to go. Well, same thing in business, the business owners need to figure out their end game, they need a destination to drive to, they need to figure out what they want to sell their business for. So if they say, look, I want to sell my business for $20 million. Right? Now we have a start of a plan. And we have a number we have a target right? Now, what is the GPS need to know? The GPS needs to know? Where are you starting from? What’s your current location? So business owners need to know their current valuation. Now, Scott, I’ve been in this industry for 20 years, humans get physical annual checkups every year, right? The humans that want to stay on this earth for a long time. We take our cars into the shop and we get checkups on our automobiles, but we never get evaluation checkup on our business. It is financial suicide, because there are things that happen that increase valuation and decrease valuation and COVID has decreased valuation for a lot of companies. But there’s other industries is increase the valuation for so know your end game, I want to sell for $20 million. Know where you’re starting out. What is your business worth today, let’s say it’s worth $5 million. The problem is that business owners don’t have a roadmap. So they drive around in circles going up and down to financial hills to end up nowhere or out of business. And that’s what we want to prevent. So once you know your endgame $20 million, you know your current valuation $5 million. Now you need to know timeframes. Let’s say you want to do this in 10 years. Now we have a startup plan, we need to reverse engineer it. Now guess what you need to know who your buyers are going to be. I say buyers not buyer. So many sellers put their eggs in one buyers basket and I can promise you, and all likelihood that deal will fall apart. So you need backup buyers, there’s five types of buyers. Let me tell you who’s not going to be your buyer. A strategic I’m sorry, a startup is not going to a first time buyer is not going to buy your business because your business is $20 million startup. first time buyers cannot afford a $20 million company. So first time buyers is one type of buyer. Turnaround specialist are not going to buy your company. So it’s either going to be a private equity group strategic slash competitor or serial entrepreneur. Now you need to know what what’s the numbers need to look like for me to sell for $20 million? Where’s the gross revenues have to be? Wasn’t profit profit margins? Most importantly, where does the EBITDA Earnings Before Interest Taxes, Depreciation Amortization have to fall? So if you’re gonna sell for $20 million, you’re even just gonna have to be around three to $4 million? Then you need to know what’s the characteristics? What are the synergies that buyers will pay top dollar for, and then you build that business based upon based upon that blueprint of what buyers are looking for. That’s how you create a bidding war. So when you’re ready to sell that asset in 10 years, you’re ready. You’re not having to start from the beginning. And then you need to know your why. Why do you want to sell business for $20 million? Because how many people come up with goals or New Year’s resolutions? Scott and a never keep up? All of the Oh, that’s right. So you have to have and the reason I don’t keep him is because I don’t have a powerful why your why has to be so strong there has to keep you motivated, it has to keep you in the game. It has to keep you you know whether in a financial storms and all the catastrophic events in a car, because they will occur. So you got to have a powerful, powerful, why to keep you motivated. And then once you figure that out, start building a business on the six PS. Any questions on that?


Scott D Clary  19:44

No. Well, I’m gonna ask what the six Ps are. I guess my question because you work with a lot of entrepreneurs. Is Why is this not more common sense. Why is this not something that people like? It makes sense to me when you explain it in makes sense to me to have the vision? It makes sense to me that even if you don’t know if you want to sell the aim for the KPIs and the milestones that would that an investor would deem to be a purchasable business? Because if your business purchases purchasable, you’re probably doing pretty well. Right, you’re probably doing pretty good to have. So why not? Why do people not take this into account?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  20:22

You know, common sense is not very common.


Scott D Clary  20:27

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Michelle Seiler Tucker  22:22

And I think why happens a because like you said to me, it’s so logical, it’s so common sense that build a business, even if you don’t want to sell it at least you got a profitable asset that’s making you money and is on cruise control, right? So I think the reason why the biggest reason why is because business owners just get so stuck in the mentality of running our business, you know, and I call entrepreneurs, firefighters, because what do they really do? They’re the business putting out fires every day, lots of fires occur, right? So a lot of entrepreneurs are in a lot of different hats and are putting all these different fires, and they’re working in the chaos in the business versus on the business. You need to work on the business as the visionary and have an integrator, they can carry out your vision and make sure it gets integrated, make sure it gets implemented. So I think business owners just go so stuck in their head plus, they think, Oh, this is my baby, I’ll never sell my baby. You know, it just makes no sense. It’s the same thing like a parent that has kids, what do we do we plan for our kids, right? Where they’re going to go to school, where they’re going to go to college. And you know, if we have, we do estate planning, we have a wheel, but we don’t plan for the biggest asset. And I think it’s just because business owners just have these blinders on and they don’t, they’re not thinking about their future, all they’re thinking about is today. And that’s why we have to change it because if we don’t change it, we’re gonna have a lot more than 70% of businesses go out of business, and a small business is the backbone of our economy employing over half the US workforce. If we lose small business, we lose our economy.


Scott D Clary  24:00

Yeah, well, not only and that’s now now with the the tumultuous nature of brick and mortar and wherever that’s gonna end up after you know, pandemic and lockdown. I think that this this future proofing and planning is probably more important than ever. So absolutely.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  24:14

And you just made a great point. This pandemic also changed the way that we purchase products and services, a purchase, what’s it’s changed what’s important to us. It changed how we buy things, you know, Amazon changed at first and now the pandemic changed even more. Nobody even wants to go to the grocery store anymore.


Scott D Clary  24:32

No, I’ve gotten good at grocery delivery. You know, I’m really good at it. It’s it’s interesting, how much we’ve shifted like our habits just in the past year



Abascal shift very quickly, but the problem is business owners are not pivoting enough to keep up with the shift in habits


Scott D Clary  24:48

and that’s the you mentioned that I’ve you know when you said that aim, what was it? What’s the acronym I


Michelle Seiler Tucker  24:54

like? Always MA and market. Yeah,


Scott D Clary  24:56

I love that acronym. It’s so relevant. I think the last year John, that is more relevant than ever. But that’s, that’s one of the best acronyms I’ve heard to teach over to entrepreneurs for sure. Okay, the other thing I want to touch on, because it’s obviously, you know, this is part of this framework like this part of, you know, exit rich and, and what you do for entrepreneurs is six PS, what are the six PS? I’m sure they’re very valuable for entrepreneurs as I want to go into them.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  25:22

So yeah, they are very valuable. And let me tell you, even if you’re not gonna sell your business, if you use this foundation, you’re gonna have a profitable business, they can operate without you. So number one is people, right? People is number one, you know, you don’t build a business, you build people and people build the business, you got to make sure that the business is not dependent upon you because buyers want to buy a business, not a job. So you have to have the right people in the right seats. So many entrepreneurs want to do it, they do everything you need. entrepreneurs need to focus on their strengths, and hire their weaknesses, focus on strings, harder weaknesses, and make sure you have the right people and the right see and as got most importantly, asked the who question, who opens the door who handles customers who deals with marketing, who handles customer relations, customer service issues, legal accounting, you know, workers comp, who handles environment, all logistics transportation manufacturer, I mean, that list just goes on and on. The clue is you should never be next to the who, Scott. That’s the best way they build the business without you is to make sure you have answered the who and put the right people in the right seat and have a layer of management. Most entrepreneurs are not good managers. A lot of entrepreneurs are not always good leaders are not always good at operations. So focus on your strengths, hire your weaknesses. And then a second P is product. And product is more crucial now than ever before. And as the industry you’re in, so you have to ask yourself, Is your industry on the way up on the way out? Are you thriving or dying? Do you have an Amazon or a blockbuster and if you have a blockbuster, don’t panic. This is not the time to panic. This is the time to align yourself with an expert and try to you know a lot of times an expert an outsider can see things that you cannot see. Because when you’re in your fog, it’s foggy right? In the middle of the chaos is hard to read the label from the inside of the bottle. Yeah, so always say get an outsider’s perspective and ask three transformational questions. If you’re an industry that’s dying, number one do what Amazon did. Number one, Amazon asked themselves, what business are we in? This was years ago? We’re in a book selling business. What do we do really, really, really well better than anybody else? We do fulfillment better than anyone else. What business should we be? We should be in a fulfillment business. They moved that quickly into fulfillment, those three transformational now remember, transformational so many business owners are in transactional. You got to get out of transaction and become transformational. Those three questions took Amazon from a small bookseller to a multi billion dollar role why conglomerate that they are today? Okay. So those three transformational questions and then the therapy is processes. obsesses. So so many business owners got never really think about processes, processes and tell somebody something happened. You know, let’s say let’s say all of a sudden, somebody gets hurt in a warehouse. Oh my gosh, we need a process for our health and safety. Our clients get upset and are bashing a company on the internet. Oh my gosh, we need a process for client. Customer Appreciation. You know, processes need to be designed from the beginning of your company. Have you ever watched a movie that found or based upon the McDonald’s brothers? McDonald’s with with Ray Kroc? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ray Kroc, did you watch? Yeah, I


Scott D Clary  28:57

did. I did. And that he was it was almost like, obsessive about process where he was timing how people were moving around the kitchen. That’s


Michelle Seiler Tucker  29:07

before even before right. Then McDonald brothers, back in the 40s. They had the drive up Sonic type restaurant. Yeah, but back in the 40s. They never really perfected the processes. So the food was always cold. The order was always wrong, and it took so long. So McDonald’s back in the 40s, without Ray Kroc said, we want to design a restaurant fast food restaurant with the customer experience in mind. What is our customer objective? We want our customers to get great tasting food. That’s hot. And two minutes or less. How do we do that? Do you remember when I went out to the empty tennis courts? This is way before Ray Kroc.


Scott D Clary  29:48

I do actually I do I know I’m thinking back I had watched on Netflix A while ago, I think but I can’t remember what they did. I remember the scenes.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  29:55

They wanted to enter tennis courts. I took all their employees. And I said okay, let’s go figure this out. And I drew it out and erased it and drew it out. And it were there all day, finally figured out who takes who takes the order? Who toasts the bottles, who was who cooks the burgers, who puts the pickles on the bonds? who gives the order to the clients, to manager less those processes? Now? Yes, they get perfected as you go, Yes, I get tweaked as you go. But those processes is why you can eat at McDonald’s and Singapore McDonald’s and, and Australia, USA, because of processes are designed with the customer experience and I no matter where you are, it’s the same experience.


Scott D Clary  30:33

Yeah, it was almost like, um, yeah, there was almost like they got it. They were choreographing almost the the workflow of graphing Yeah, yeah,


Michelle Seiler Tucker  30:43

absolutely remember, and they did it with the customer experience in mind. This is a point I want to drive home to your listeners. So many business owners map their processes with their objective, not with the customers, and ask why they have a lot of unhappy clients. So there are a lot of processes that really alienate us think about when you’re trying to call your credit card company and you have to push all these buttons to push buttons before you can get a live person. That’s not a good process. And there’s so many processes, think about how much business you do with other companies that really are like, Oh my God, that’s a terrible process, I really should think rethink that. Right? Masa says should always be designed with the customer experience in mind, be proficient, productive, efficient. Here’s the caveat, well documented and a policy procedure manual. With SOP checklists, you’d be surprised how many companies 1020 3040 $50 million. They don’t have good documented processes. I can’t even emphasize enough,


Scott D Clary  31:50

it doesn’t matter if it’s stuck up here in the CEOs head, it has to be something you can teach. And someone asked


Michelle Seiler Tucker  31:55

another, that’s another brilliant point, we have a fabrication company we’ve been trying to sell for a little while. And apart and I knew it was a problem when I took took took it on but I took it on as a paper to a friend to owners been in business 35 years got four employees, where’s all the data. And they’re the reason we haven’t been able to sell it is because the owners like almost 80 and the buyers, like there’s so much information in their head, none of its documented. We don’t know what to do, after we would buy the business how we would operate that business. So it’s really important to get that document out of the CEOs head onto paper. So it’s so it can be duplicated.


Scott D Clary  32:39

I know very good. Okay, we got three pieces left, I want to I want to make sure that we don’t run out of time, because it’s really good stuff, but you could probably go for longer. Anyway.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  32:47

So what I did last year quick. proprietors gonna take me a little bit of time because proprietary is our highest value driver. Proprietary can take you from a five multiple 10 10x Multiple like that. So number one proprietaries branding, how well branded Are you? The bigger the brand, the bigger the price? You know, as long as that brand scar is relevant in the minds of consumers? Is anybody gonna pay anything for blockbuster?


Scott D Clary  33:18

No, not today? Not today. turned it down a few times for sure. A couple? Or who was it? Was it? No, no, it wasn’t that Netflix could be who was the one who? There was one company who? I think I think it was I can’t remember. I mean, there was a blog, there was a company that offered blockbuster to purchase the purchase blockbuster, and I think they turned it down.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  33:41

Yeah, they should have taken an offer to buy Netflix and they turn that down. That’s That’s what I meant. Yeah, so they could have bought Netflix and they turned that down big, big big mistake and also didn’t aim they didn’t innovate. So So branding is huge. The biggest brand in the world is you know


Scott D Clary  34:03

I don’t know the like the well, I guess Amazon like everybody knows Amazon. I don’t know, Tesla’s up there right now.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  34:11

i What is this? Apple?


Scott D Clary  34:16

Oh, yeah, no, no, I see. I was sorry. I was looking up. I was looking up who offered to buy blockbuster. I was trying to figure out the name of the company. There I switched off I switched off the video my


Michelle Seiler Tucker  34:29

Apple was the biggest brand in the world Apple brand is worth 189 billion with a B billion dollars that’s without cashflow. That’s without equipment and the toy receivables assets anything real estate. So build your brand build your ACCET trademark Scott very important trademarks. Here’s the problem in America. Business owners go start a business or they buy a business. This works on the buying side too. And they never check that out. Database they go and get a state trademark that a company name. They’re in business 510 1520 years, all of a sudden they receive a letter in the mail that says you have to cease and desist. Stop using his company name. Because somebody else has your federal trademark. Spend 1500 to $2,000 and protect your company name. If you have a podcast and you’re starting to build some momentum, you better go trademark that get a federal trademark. I registered exit retro registered the six PS and did GPS exit model. Go protect your IP, also patents huge, huge. Do you watch Shark Tank? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I do. Every shark always asked what question to mentors. Do


Scott D Clary  35:41

you have a patent? You have a trademark yet? Yeah. Do you have?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  35:44

Do you have a patent? Yeah, yeah. So go out and get those patents very, very important to get those patents. I and we sold a company for $18 million dollars, it was losing money. But they had 18 patents with sort of 4 million patent. The other things that are valuable are contracts, manufacturing contracts, vendor contracts, distributor contracts franchisor. If you have a bunch of franchisees, the most valuable of all contracts are client contracts because buyers want to buy cash flow and want to make sure you have reoccurring revenue. You got customers on contract. So you know, they’re gonna continue to get money for a year, two years, three years. Here’s the caveat to contracts. They have to have the two centers transferability clause, if y’all haven’t learned anything yet, learn Nat, the two sentence transferability clause because 99.9% of all sales or asset sales, not stop. And if you have 300 contracts and are not transferable, it literally could stop the deal in its tracks. Okay, and in database. So


Scott D Clary  36:46

when you sell Is it is it normal that when you create these contracts, that’s what you’re setting up ahead of time so that the client can exit the contract when the business though?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  36:55

Correct. There was a franchisor that saw that had 1500 franchisees, the buyers, net private equity group, by the way, never did their due diligence. The legal side never did all the due diligence. They never they did due diligence, but they never looked at the contracts. None of the contracts were transferable. They have this big party for all the franchisees to franchisees transferred over, all the rest of them started their own franchise together. Because they didn’t have a non compete because the franchise agreement was null and void because it was not transferable. And the asset cell, that pet private equity group ended up going out of business and not filing bankruptcy and suing entire legal department. Well, we’re not Porto, so make sure so databases, really important databases, databases are typically overlooked by most advisors. You could be losing money, but you could sell this is what we’re talking about right now our synergies database. This is a synergy contracts. Our synergy patterns are synergy. So you could be losing money and sell your database. Facebook paid one $19 billion for WhatsApp. WhatsApp was hemorrhaging. But that a billion users, right? So what I’m trying to get your listeners to understand is build these synergies because this is what gets you the highest price. And this is what creates a bidding war. And then last but not least, and proprietary and I’m almost done with this is what I call IP real estate, IP real estate. Let’s say that you have a skincare line, and you’re on Oprah’s Favorite Things, and Oprah Winfrey has endorsed it. Do you know how much money that’s going to get you for the sell of your company? Yeah, let’s say that you manufacture couches, and furniture, and you’re number one on Wayfair. Number one on Wayfarer number one to Etsy number one on Amazon. Any of those search engines is huge. TJ will play a huge penny for that. Okay, so that’s it for proprietary, my four fee as patrons. And as your customer database. Most business owners follow 8020 rule where 80% of their business comes from 20% of their clients. Yeah, as they lose a couple clients and they can literally be out of business. So you want customer diversification, not customer concentration. A lot of businesses have customer concentration. Plus, if you’re aging if your businesses, you know 1520 30 years, guess what, your clients are probably aging out. So you always have to aim innovate so you can get the millennials the Millennials don’t buy the same way that Baby Boomers and Gen X buy. Okay, and then the last fee. The most important piece to entrepreneurs is profits. Everybody’s in this to make money. But profits are never the problem. They’re always the symptom of not operating on one or the other five Ps clients will come to me as me Chava Prophet Paul, I’m like no, you have a people problem. The wrong people you’re trying to do everything yourself or no you have a process problem. Your processes cost Use this much waste, which is causing you to lose money. So profits is never the problem, it’s always the symptom. So making money, go back and look at those five P’s.


Scott D Clary  40:10

And so that’s that’s, that’s really it. If somebody is focused on the profit, then they’re all about the the lagging indicators for why their business is failing,


Michelle Seiler Tucker  40:17

and is a good KPI. When you’re if you’re not profitable, that is a key performance indicator that you’re missing some of these five P’s.


Scott D Clary  40:27

Yeah, very, very smart. And that’s, like I said, I knew it was gonna be a good framework, those are all like, those are all very good points. And I think that it’s common


Michelle Seiler Tucker  40:34

sense. All right?


Scott D Clary  40:36

It is, it is until it is until you’re stuck in the day to day, you don’t have time to think about it, or you’re stressed and you don’t, you know, you keep putting it off, I’ll I’ll reevaluate my, you know, my, my standard operating procedures later on, I’ll reevaluate, you know, I’ll read look at my workforce, I’ll make sure that I’ll audit my team, like all that I was set out to later for them chasing the big client, I’m, you know, I’m doing all these different things that I probably shouldn’t be doing as a CEO, or a founder.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  41:02

That’s why you have to have an integrator? Yeah, you have to have somebody because visionaries are typically not the end riders, and you can’t do everything yourself. So you have to have somebody else that makes sure your policies and procedures are intact. Make sure that your IP is protected. Make sure you got checks and balances as somebody who’s not stealing money in your company. I mean, this happens all the time. You know, I would say probably one out of five companies I’ve worked with had an embezzlement problem.


Scott D Clary  41:27

Geez, that’s, it’s surprising that it’s at that level. But if you know, it’s, if the entrepreneur is not paying attention, then you can’t just assume everyone’s going to be trustworthy. If they’re given the accounts, the books all that for years, and nobody’s paying attention to what they’re doing.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  41:42

That’s fine. You’re gonna have checks and balances and what you expect trust but verify.


Scott D Clary  41:48

Very good. Okay. Um, to close up, I have a couple rapid fire questions just to bring up some last insights from you your career, is there anything that was from your book or something, something to do with what you do that you wanted to bring up that we didn’t talk about?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  42:03

I do want to tell your listeners where they can go by accident rich, because we’re in the middle of pre sales.


Scott D Clary  42:08

Okay, let’s do it. But I actually you know, what, tell them at the end, tell them at the end, because you’ll give your social stuff and they’re gonna go check you out and go get the book probably on Amazon or wherever it’s listed. But I’m just what I’ll ask you now in just a few rapid fire questions from your career, because I want to draw out some lessons. So somebody who is looking to work in m&a, right, I actually made the mistake of saying, are you competing with lawyers, investment bankers, is probably a smarter thing to compare your work with, I guess I’m just thinking suits for whatever reason. But if somebody wants to work in m&a, well, you know, what do they do? What do they have to learn? How would they pursue a career like yours?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  42:48

Yeah, so the m&a world is not an easy road, it’s actually a pretty tough road with about a 98% failure rate. So the first thing you want to do is not do it alone. You want to you know, maybe find an organization that has, you know, multiple locations or somebody is opening up multiple locations, or go work in an m&a firm, you know, we’re, we, we, we have a partnership program. So somebody is looking to get into m&a, they can partner with us. And we have, you know, a five day training course, we have a 600 page training manual. We do all the evaluations all the Sam’s all the corporate had all the corporate legwork here. And we provide all the leads and everything else. So I was just say, don’t do it alone. Go into business with somebody. So your business, you know, for yourself, but not by yourself. Because it’s a tough industry. There’s credibility, the most important thing in m&a is credibility.


Scott D Clary  43:41

What is one myth about selling a business that you want to debunk?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  43:48

Um, one myth about selling a business I want to talk about but the sellers think they can do this on their own. It’s like if you need heart surgery, you’re gonna rip up in your chest and pull your heart out and operate on and stick it back in your chest. No. I mean, selling a business is your most prized asset, you need an expert. There’s too many things that can go wrong. Good advice.


Scott D Clary  44:14

A lesson that you would tell your younger self.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  44:18

Get a mentor early on. Align yourself with mentors and experts who’ve been on your path early on, you know, I didn’t really start getting a mentor start working with any type of mentors or leaders until probably 2011 2012.


Scott D Clary  44:34

Or that earlier. Yeah. Um, and then last question.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  44:37

The president the United States Department started Yeah. Although they don’t make enough


Scott D Clary  44:46

um, last question, in business or career. What does success mean to you?


Michelle Seiler Tucker  44:54

Success to me means lots of referrals. It means that I really I’ve made an impact on somebody’s life on that I’ve really helped somebody succeed or help somebody, you know, sell their legacy. Success to me means that I help business owners exit rich when so many of them are, unfortunately, extreme poor.


Scott D Clary  45:16

I like that. I like that a lot. Because you know, you’re killing it. from a professional point of view. You’re making money, but it’s a feel good story at the end of the day, too. So it’s, it’s it is also very unselfish. When you think about like what you’re doing. It’s a good feel. Good feel. Okay. Most importantly, where can people get the book, preorder the book, check it out on social, I have all your handles, but let list them off. And I’ll put them in the links do.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  45:41

Okay. So first and foremost, let me just tell them a little bit more about the book. I’m really proud that Steve Forbes endorsed the book. But that means Steve Forbes doesn’t put his name on everything. Plus the book as the ink original. I was surprised that he endorsed it when it was an encouragement. But and because they published books to Forbes does. And then Sharon Lechter is my co author who wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad with Robert Kiyosaki. She’s a five Times best selling author, but she’s written several books in Napoleon Hill Foundation. She’s a CPA, a financial literacy expert, the adviser to many different presidents, and her husband as an analog to property attorney. So at the end of every chapter, you will have her wisdom at the end of every chapter from her perspective, and sometimes her husband’s perspective, especially when we talk about proprietary and then we have some really heavy hitter testimonials from like Les Brown. I love and adore. Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Mark, Mark, Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield. And four giant big names on there.


Scott D Clary  46:42

You got some very big names on there good for you


Michelle Seiler Tucker  46:45

got David Meltzer. Yep, some really, really big names. And then, so what can I get extra rich I can go to and by the way, excellent. Rich also is not just about selling, it’s about building that foundation. But there’s six or seven chapters dedicated to valuations, and how to negotiate with each of the different types of buyers. And what’s the important negotiating techniques to each one of those buyers. Okay, so anyway, go to exa, Rich book.com, we’re in the middle of pre sales, I can get the book right now for $24.79, which is less expensive than Amazon, we will email the digital download to them immediately Scott, so they don’t have to wait. And then when the book is launched, we will send a hardcover to their doorstep to anybody in the USA, outside the USA, we’ll send them the Kindle. And then they will all get a lifetime membership into exit which book club expert book club is video content, a me training all of these different principles, strategies and techniques that I’ve built over the last 20 years. Plus, even more importantly than that, is documents. So a lot of business owners like Michelle, what you have it as an example of an employee handbook or not a p or not org chart policy and procedure manual. And then a lot of business owners like I don’t even know what as a letter of intent looks like or what a purchase agreement looks like or sample due diligence checklist or closing docs. And here’s the thing about all these documentation, there were 1000s upon 1000s upon 1000s of dollars to get him created or to look for him on the web. And I have them all right there for your media download. So that right there was worth probably $25,000 Right there. And then we also give them a free membership in the clubs. Theo’s, which is a mastermind. It’s an entrepreneurial group, where we do hot seats, Q and A’s and things of that nature.


Scott D Clary  48:39

Awesome. I’m glad you I’m glad you broke that down. I didn’t realize there was so much to it. So you get you get the book, but then you get a whole bunch of other


Michelle Seiler Tucker  48:48

you get a bunch of other and you get the whole bunch of other now, you don’t have to wait till the launch date. You get it all right now and then we we send this beautiful 360 Page hardcover to your doorstep.


Scott D Clary  49:02

Yeah, amazing. And just to reiterate, it’s not you know, a lot of people come on the show and speak about books and some of the books, you know, some of the books are just based on their life. And some of the books are highly specific to what they’ve done in their career. Just from talking to you, I feel comfortable saying that this is for any entrepreneur, not just if you’re exiting, obviously, but really like the principles that you’re discussing. I’ve worked with entrepreneurs I’ve worked with in a lot of different business environments. And these are all things that people have to learn. So I think that, you know, that’s a lot of value for a book. And I think I’ll probably end up checking it out after this because there’s a couple things that I want to learn. I think I might have access to that mastermind group do that’d be useful for me. So that’s, that’s really good. That’s really, really good.


Michelle Seiler Tucker  49:47

Awesome, wonderful. Well, thank you. So we’re always adding more content to the library too.


Scott D Clary  49:52

What are your What are your outside of the book, give other places that people should go to connect with you social


Michelle Seiler Tucker  50:00

So my website is silo talker, calm. Seiler talker.com. And they can also text Michelle to 888-526-5750 and all of my social media will will pop up so I have Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, I have all that stuff.

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