This Owner’s Thinking Cost Her Dearly

A business owner, Lisa, told me that she sold her business because she “wanted her weekends back” and I thought of this poem:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

In her case, the nail that was missing was outside bookkeeping and accounting services.

Imagine, in this day and age, doing business entirely on paper!

She told me she sold because “she wants her weekends back” and hated doing all the bookkeeping and keeping track of estimated tax payments.

This business is booming.

It’s a dog grooming business that I’ve patronized for more than a 15 years. We have to make appointments for the whole year because there is such demand.

And yet she books all appointments in a paper calendar.

We’re talking about over 11,500 unique appointments per year!

She takes in about $1,500,000 in revenue.

Only cash or checks–which means a ton of manual recordkeeping.

No wonder she never had time off.

Shaking my head

Many of us professional and business services providers shake our heads when business owners refuse to buy outside expertise.

They want to do it themselves, or don’t think it’s ‘worth it’ to spend for outside help.

We know that we do our work better and faster than anyone who’s not an expert in our fields.

We know that this frees the owner to do more of what they are experts at…

And have time off!

For fees that are relatively small given the huge IMPACT they deliver.

Thinking about selling?

Many of my friends who advise owners about how to get ready to sell their businesses emphasize that having up to date records that are easily reviewed and verified adds a lot to the price a buyer is willing to pay.

When I asked this owner if she’s going to retire now, she said she can’t–she needs to keep working.

What does that tell you about how much she sold the business for?

–More than 20 years of hard work,
–A business with long time returning customers,
–With a wonderful staff that has worked there for years.

And she couldn’t sell it for an amount large enough not to have to work.


If she had consulted with me a year ago, I would have helped her SEE that her way of doing things was outdated and would reduce the price someone would be willing to pay for the business.

Unfortunately she feels the same about outside consultants as she does about bookkeepers and accountants!

Don’t be like Lisa


–Reduce the value of your business because “you always do it this way.”

–Tie yourself to the idea that doing it yourself is somehow noble and thrifty.

–Find yourself saying “I have to have my weekends back and the only way to do that is to sell my business.”

I am here to help you adopt a new mindset.

If you’re at risk of settling for less than you should in any area let me know.

I will always get you the nail that saves the horse that saves the kingdom.

Email or text NAIL to 703-801-0345

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Articles

IMPACT Based Pricing

Subscribe to IMPACT Based Pricing, TCG’s original content newsletter that helps Business Owners and Executives understand everything about pricing for impact, not for inputs.