Whether you’re just starting a law firm or have many years of building one up, most of us never think about selling the firm we’ve built. If you’ve never thought about it before, now is the best time to start. Remember: putting this off can be tricky. When you’re desperate to sell, you’ll accept any price, devaluing the effort and years you’ve put into the firm.
The solution? Plan with the end in mind, even if you think you’ll never sell your business.
In this episode, Victoria Collier joins us to share her insights on the value of having an exit plan. It’s not just about selling — it’s about creating a valuable law firm. Victoria also shares the ins and outs typical of a law firm purchase or sale.
We never know when we’ll need to sell our law firm, and whether or not it happens, planning for it is important.
If you want to build a more valuable law firm and learn about exit strategies, then this episode is for you.
Victoria: “If you’re not happy, you need to go. Don’t make yourself miserable or anybody else miserable . . . That was my first indication that maybe things aren’t quite as good as I think they are.”
Victoria: “I would have used technology much sooner [rather] than trying to recreate everything myself out of arrogance. So that’s the number one thing I would have done . . . invest in systems that make things go more efficient so that we are more profitable.”
Victoria: “We want to know: What is that net? . . . What’s the take-home? Because a buyer wants to know what they’re going to be able to put in their pocket, not just what they’re putting into the firm itself.”
Moshe: “This idea or concept of having a four-week vacation . . . is that you’re not taking a four-week vacation because you’re taking a vacation from the business. It’s giving the business an opportunity to have a vacation from you.”
Victoria: “We need to know what the value is. We need to know what systems they have and what team they have in place, whether we’re on the buying end or the selling end.”
The Investors’ Perspective
Victoria: “We should look at shared risk . . . If you’re a buyer that doesn’t want any risk, then you shouldn’t be in the business of buying any kind of business, much less a law firm.”
Victoria’s Tips on Selling a Law Firm
Victoria: “You may feel done. You may be like, ‘I cannot do this anymore,’ and yet, do everything possible to sabotage the sale, unintentionally, unconsciously. Because you don’t know what’s next for you. You don’t have an identity outside the law firm.”
Victoria Collier is the founder of Quid Pro Quo, LLC, a company dedicated to help lawyers build a valuable law firm and help them sell it. The company is also actively representing clients in sale and purchase of law firms.
Before Quid Pro Quo, Victoria built a seven-figure estate planning elder law firm right out of law school and sold the firm after 18 years. She’s a certified Exit Planning Advisor, certified in business valuations, and a co-owner of an eight-figure business helping veterans.
Want to know more about Victoria's work? Check out Quid Pro Quo and the Smart Lawyers Position to Transition podcast. You can also join the Art of Buying and Selling Law Firms Facebook group.
Connect with Victoria on Facebook.
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