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“DIY” (Do it yourself) - A big mistake when selling your business

After spending years convincing customers that DIY is no way to provide vending, pantry service or OCS, some operators forget what they have been preaching when it’s time to sell their own business. It’s a potential disaster, with guaranteed stress.

DIY warnings

Operators issue dire warnings to office and facility managers who threaten to operate their own coffee equipment, fill their own vending machines, buy their own point of use water filtration equipment and order from Costco instead of using an operator for pantry service.

The selling points are powerful:

  • You have better things to do than count stir sticks.

  • If you do it yourself, there will be no maintenance.

  • Leaks are a real concern and without ongoing maintenance, it could happen.

  • Isn’t your goal to provide the best possible amenity?

  • If your employee hurts themselves hauling product around – it’s a costly decision for your company.

  • You may save a few dollars, but how much is your time worth?

  • If you try to fill a vending machine for one location, you will have spoilage issues.

There are so many reasons to use a service for office refreshment and operators know them by heart. Yet, there are some operators, when looking at the biggest business decision of their life – a decision that can create multi-generational wealth, take the route of a headstrong office manager and choose to go the “DIY” route.

“I can do this myself”

I saw it happen recently with a large, very successful company that had a partner who simply could not wrap his head around paying for M&A support. While his company certainly uses a real estate broker, a CPA and an attorney, because he is an experienced “businessperson,” he was confident that no support would be needed for the most important business deal of his life – the sale of his business.

It defies logic.

I can understand the concern that surrounds using a business broker who is representing both the buyer and the seller. That’s a nerve-racking position for the seller, since it is obvious that a broker who works on two sides of the table is interested in one thing only – getting the deal done. Even that choice of broker is better than having no intermediary at all.

Sell side support matters

At VBB Advisors, we are the only “sell side” business intermediary in the industry. I am fully invested in making sure that sellers in the convenience services industry receive the best possible price, along with the terms and conditions that satisfy their needs. My interests and the seller’s interests are completely aligned. As an intermediary, you can’t serve two masters.

No baggage

As an operator, you can sell anything yourself, but will you get the best outcome? There are some major reasons why you don't want to do it yourself, and the first is objectivity. An objective third party is able to execute a transaction without all the emotional baggage that goes along with being the owner.


The second reason: I have done hundreds of transactions, so there's the factor of experience, knowledge of purchase agreements and considerations relating to allocation of the purchase price. There's a whole multitude of considerations that are often overlooked by sellers. That is a major reason why large operators, sophisticated businesspeople, are using VBB Advisors.

VBB Exit Advantage

The third reason: How can an operator pass up the value associated with the VBB Exit Advantage - a program that defines the meaning of “best practice?”

The VBB Exit Advantage is a customized approach that emerged in 2022, created for a couple of very smart operators who recognized that if you want to maximize the selling price of your business, you need to take a deliberate and thoughtful approach to your exit plan. It worked so well, we decided to make it the standard approach for any operator who wants to take the most professional route and ultimately, experience a business sale that will exceed expectations.

Operators who choose the VBB Exit Advantage, do so with the understanding that you don’t sell your business with the flip of a switch. Our approach involves months of planning and careful analysis. It starts with a professional valuation to establish a baseline. After the valuation is completed, we ask, ‘Where do we want that valuation to be when we market the company and what do we need to do to get it to that point over the next 12 months?’ Then, we establish key benchmarks to enhance the value of the company along the way.

Setting the table for you

The VBB Exit Advantage gives operators access to our team and our resources. That means quarterly calls to review the financials and periodic conference calls to discuss capital expenditures. We’re looking at every aspect of the business, positioning your company for sale. The VBB Exit Advantage sets the table for prospective buyers with steps that will make your business as desirable as possible. It works.

DIY special features

The DIY approach to selling a business has some features that operators can do without. A slower deal, a limited number of buyers, confidentiality issues, the added stress of trying to sell and run your business at the same time, and the one nagging question that can haunt a DIY seller – “Did I really make the best deal?” That’s why smart operators choose to get some help on the most important deal they will ever make.

Our Philosophy at VBB Advisors

“No matter what is going on with the economy or the world, it is time to sell your business if you are ready and we can make the right deal, a deal that makes sense for you, your family and your company.”

Buyers come to me because they know that I serve sellers who have thoroughly and thoughtfully considered their exit strategy with my help. That is the type of seller that you want to be – a seller who has their ducks in order, has taken steps to make their business as attractive as possible and a seller who values their employees enough to make a deal that everyone will feel good about.

Take that critical first step. That is often the toughest one to take.

Order my free 2023 Exit Strategy Planner. At the very least, it will provoke some thought, and this is a good time to think about your future.

Whatever your reasons are to sell your company - the timing, a sense of frustration, the desire to enjoy life or an interest in rewarding yourself for years of hard work – VBB Advisors can help you realize your goals.

I am Mike Kelner, the leading sell side intermediary in the convenience services industry. Let’s sit down and have a conversation. Use this appointment scheduler to set up a meeting with me.

Or – give me a call at 704-942-4621.

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