A few weeks ago, Shaun Oshman sold iSupportU, a Colorado-based IT support business. Oshman started the business at the age of 32 and knew he wanted to sell before his 40th birthday. As that milestone approached, Oshman started getting his business ready to sell.
He started by focusing on selling recurring revenue services, like antivirus software, which offered their partners an annuity stream of revenue. Next, Oshman hired someone as head of business development to replace himself as the rainmaker. Finally, Oshman started to take one out of every six weeks off to see how the business would run when he was not in the office.
Since the business was running well without him, Oshman started marketing it for sale and, within three months, he had five solid offers. Oshman agreed to sell to one buyer with whom he felt a cultural fit. In this episode, you’ll learn:
- The definition of SDE and how to calculate it for your business.
- How a vendor take back works.
- The importance of bank financing for buyers and how to ensure your acquirer can get some.
- What a vision board is and how to use one to get what you want.
- How your ego can lower your company’s value.
- Two questions every employee will ask when you reveal you’re selling (and how to answer them).
- The surprising power of being vulnerable.
When Oshman was 30, he developed a vision board illustrating where he wanted to be by the age of 40. The board had a number of financial goals and a picture of Oshman living on a sailboat. As his 40th birthday approached, he knew he needed to sell his business and buy that boat to fulfill his vision.
What’s your vision for a happy and fulfilled life? How does your business serve that goal? Those are two of a variety of questions you’ll answer during The Vision Builder exercise, part of Module 1 of The Value Builder System™—get started now by completing your Value Builder questionnaire.
About Shaun Oshman
Cultivator. Educator. Learner.
Shaun has spent his career cultivating teams to do amazing things. He cultivated a team at YMCA Camp Ockanickon to develop and deliver the highest quality experiential education programs. While in NZ, he inspired the most fantastic group of 8 year olds to exceed their own expectations in the classroom. Today, he leads the team at iSupportU to provide the highest quality IT support and consulting.
Through all of these endeavors, learning has been a common theme. In order to truly know ‘how to learn’, he finished a Masters in Education to prepare him to teach. A thirst for understanding brought him to the field of technology. It was clear that the tool of tech can act as a powerful catalyst to learning and growth for people of all ages.
While teaching in NZ, one of the most rewarding experiences was seeing how empowered the teachers had become when they learned to fully harness the power of technology in their teaching. This experience was the inspiration behind starting iSupportU as a company. Shaun wanted to see that same empowerment in individuals and businesses. Technology should make life better and bring people together. That is the core goal of iSupportU.
The company has grown by an average of 200% per year since opening. This has resulted in being a top five fastest growing company in Boulder and Broomfield Counties in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2014, iSupportU sold off its web department to another firm, purchased a commercial building and discontinued doing repair work for residential customers.
iSupportU gained B Corp status in 2015. This formally made clear to the world the level of commitment the company has to social and environmental responsibility. iSupportU was sold in 2017 to Brett Ramberg.
Shaun is currently enjoying a mid life sabbatical aboard his sailboat, Breeze. Play is key.
Do You Know An Entrepreneur With A Story To Tell?
We’re constantly on the prowl for interesting stories from owners who have sold their businesses. We look for owners who have sold a business that was generating $1 million or more in revenue, who are willing to share their story candidly with our community. Forbes ranked Built to Sell Radio one of their top 10 podcasts for entrepreneurs and we have more than 100,000 downloads, so your story will get shared with a great community of like-minded owners. Nominate yourself or someone you know today.
At Built to Sell we’re all about shifting the balance of power from the buyer to the seller. If you support our mission, please write a review on iTunes—and if you have any comments or questions you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Tune in every Wednesday for another episode of #BuiltToSell Radio with John Warrillow.
Want to boost the value of your business? Focus on these three factors to attract an above-average valuation.
Joey Redner started Cigar City Brewing in Tampa Bay in 2009 with a vision of being the first quality craft beer in Tampa at a time when craft beer was gaining popularity across the country.
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