Ep. 16 - Refine Processes Before Selling Your Business
The Ripcord Moment

Ep. 16 - Refine Processes Before Selling Your Business

Ep. 16 - Refine Processes Before Selling Your Business

The Ripcord Moment

“These business owners, they just have a lot of grit.” – Joe Gerber, CEO at Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc.

Joe has over two decades of C-suite experience and over a decade of buy- and sell-side M&A investment banking and private equity group experience. In this episode, Joe offers his expertise in bringing high-level strategy and operational experience to building, restructuring, and scaling businesses, providing them with strategies and initiatives that drive company growth with proven results.

Joe discusses the path that led him to his current role as a sort of “CEO for hire.” He details some of the lessons he’s learned from working with business owners, including the grit and willpower that it often takes to move the needle and get things done. He says that he quickly discovered issues constantly arise in a business and he needed to step back and create a process that could continually assess and improve the business.

Joe dives into an overview of his process, mainly focusing on the first one hundred days. He likes to start by organizing issues into bucket lists, and then force ranking each bucket for what needs to happen, who needs to work on it, and what the timing is on a solution. He then follows this up with weekly meetings where he can assess each department and keep them on track.

Joe goes deeper into the importance of creating an action plan for those first one hundred days. He likes to interview the board, senior management, etc., upon his arrival to truly find out what is and is not working and follow that up with a solid plan. He says that if a reset of the management team is necessary, it will happen within the first one hundred days.

Joe discusses how he builds trust with a business owner from the start when coming in to a new company. He knows that handing over the reins of a company can be a huge step for an owner, so he likes to include them in his first one hundred days process as much as possible. Joe likes to remind owners that change is a constant. He is coming into a business because something wasn’t working or the owner wanted certain things to change from the start.

Joe shares what he looks for when hiring a CEO. Beyond experience, Joe likes to look at personality, cultural fit, adaptability, how goal-oriented the person is, and the balance between the industry knowledge and the financial knowledge. He stresses the importance of considering what you as the owner want to accomplish by hiring a CEO and deciding which of the above characteristics will help you achieve those goals.

Lastly, he shares two action items for owners:

1. Using a process like this allows an owner to be objective about what's working and what's not with the company and to figure that out well in advance of the five-year last growth period before selling a business.

2. Augment the management team and get the floor laid out properly, really getting the company buffed and polished well in advance of a sale or exit.

Watch recent episodes of The Ripcord Moment:

Ep. 15 - Evaluate ESOPs as an Exit Strategy Before Selling Your Business

Ep. 14 - Align Your Organization Before Selling Your Business

Ep. 13 - Create Brand Awareness Before Selling Your Business

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