First, let’s start with what we believe about being an Entrepreneur…
Here’s what we do…
Exit Promise offers small business owners resources to start, grow and ultimately sell a valuable business.
Small business owners rely on us to cut through the noise, confusion and unfamiliar terminology to find and deliver experts–at the end of their keyboard–they may rely on to help them learn and solve problems. And help for the small business owner comes in the form of blog posts, online tools, e-books, e-courses and Q&A.
That will become clear if you allow me to share a story with you…
I’m pleased to meet you… My name is Holly Magister and I’m the founder of Exit Promise. By the summer of 2008, I had been operating my tax and financial planning practice for nearly twenty years when we began a research project with a college student intern. We wanted to learn more about the possibility of delivering financial services via the internet.
During our research, I would often chuckle as I thought back to meetings on Saturday mornings with my first tax clients. The notion that financial services could be delivered through the internet seemed very far-fetched as I recalled how I started my practice. You see in my early days, I met my clients in my dining room and stored their records in a neatly-packed fashion under the table in corrugated boxes. Nothing fancy whatsoever.
I didn’t own a computer. Everything was done with a pencil, calculator and a typewriter. Over the next twenty years, my client base grew eventually to several hundred business owners along with a half dozen employees.
During this time and while I worked with business owners as their tax and financial advisor, I handled many business sales in a supporting role to other advisors. Eventually, I began to represent clients as their lead advisor, or intermediary, in the sale of their businesses. It was through these experiences that I recognized how virtually all of them would make a similar statement to me. It would go something like this: “Oh no, we’re going to have to change this deal. I promised two employees …” You may replace the words ‘two employees’ with ‘my wife’, ‘my partner’, ‘my children’ or whomever you like. While they were selling their businesses, the conversations with my clients would be about the ‘promises’ they made to others when they started and/or while they operated their businesses.
During these years, many entrepreneurs also expressed their deep desire to sell a valuable business when the time was right for them. In fact, they would tell me they ‘promised’ themselves they would ultimately sell a valuable business! Equally frustrating to many of my business clients was the sad fact that their businesses were financially broken. What I mean to say is this: I found many entrepreneurs, small and large in size alike, didn’t know the source or root cause of their financial struggles. It became very clear most entrepreneurs did not have the financial, tax, or M&A education and experience to grow a valuable business or adequately prepare to sell their business. Despite their good intentions, keeping their promises would never be possible.
As our student intern was busy exploring new ways to deliver professional services to entrepreneurs through the internet, I was pondering the sad reality that most entrepreneurs, regardless of their education, background or industry, made promises they may never be able to keep at the end of their entrepreneurial journey.
After much deliberation, I sold my tax and financial planning practice in 2009 and devoted myself exclusively to helping small business owners prepare for the sale or transfer of their business. And in 2010, we launched ExitPromise.com which offers free small business help online so business owners may learn how to start, grow and ultimately sell their own valuable business.