Hi, I'm Feri Lorincz (founder of The Time to Sell and INCz, author of Prepare to Sell Your Business)
I'm glad you stopped by to read this page.
Have you read the book ZAG?
It's one of the 100 best business cards of all time, according to Porchlightbooks.
It says that in business you have to choose between two strategies:
You do what others do, only a little better, a little cheaper, or you deliver it a little faster.
Or you do something DIFFERENT and truly distinctive. Something that stands out. Something that produces an exponential result and not just a "little better" one.
Disruptive strategies start with the courage to zig when others zag.
When all your competitors start moving to the left, you look to the right.
And vice versa.
You will be able to create so much value for yourself and for the people you are looking to serve… just by looking to the right when everyone else is looking to the left.
It's not that difficult.
You don't need a crystal ball or an exceptional forecast.
It doesn't ask you to look at what others are doing.
Just see what the crowd is doing.
When all your competitors start running in one direction, just ask yourself:
What if I ran in the opposite direction?
This is not the path for everyone–because it takes courage.
It takes courage to stop following the masses, to take the paths less trodden and recommended by most.
And that can be damn scary.
But it's a good sign. A sign to follow, not try to avoid. It's the only way forward if you want to do something remarkable, or at least 10 times better than the others.
The herd mentality creates an opportunity for anyone who wants to stand out, for those who are looking for other ways to follow.
It's a path that might not work.
We deliberately chose to remain a small company.
We believe that "small" is the key to serving and making a difference in a world full of noise and distractions.
Being small, we have the courage to do something that matters.
Being small, we will be able to create an impact, a meaning in the world; even if the impact is small.
For us, "small" is normal and desirable.
These are the things that excite us; that makes us sweat under our shirts.
In this way, we help people just like us to get out of their business successfully when the time comes.
We do not help most Entrepreneurs - that is, those we call Basil - who always "think about selling their business if they receive a good offer" but do nothing to make it happen. And good deals are often traps, as you can read in another article of ours here.
We value the test over theory, even if we fail.
Our brand (The Time to Sell) was born 4 years ago. So far it has been a long journey, full of valuable experiences and lessons. And with some success.
If you're interested in learning more about us, keep reading our origin story below. It's quite interesting. Start with a story about verifying a statement.
We love what we do.
We wake up every morning excited about the possibilities of helping others get out of their business with a big smile on their face, satisfied with the results of their work over the years and even decades.
Maybe you are here simply out of curiosity (Hello!)
Or maybe you are here because you have a certain need. That’s great! Maybe we have something that would be perfect for you.
You can contact us directly and have a discussion helping you to solve whatever it is you need to solve.
Origin Story: I Wanted to See If I Could Sell Something with a Story
Yes, that was the original idea.
But not something small, something very expensive.
Maybe you've heard that "stories sell" ... I wanted to convince myself if that's the case, not to go after folklore.
Good. But what could I sell with a story?
Well, a car, a house, a castle...
From castles I got to luxury apartments of over 10 million Euros in Paris. However, I was not taken seriously by French real estate agencies.
The idea of selling the villas and guest houses in Băile Felix and the 1 Mai came somehow naturally, living in Sînmartin, the commune to which two tourist resorts belong.
I didn't like the idea too much, although I got to know the field and almost all the guest houses for sale in the area.
I remembered that I was an entrepreneur. "What enlightenment!" Just kidding :-) (The simple and obvious things are the ones we tend to overlook.)
So why not try to sell a business with a story? A business is very valuable; you don't buy it on impulse and I thought I was good at doing business.
I started with a Facebook ad.
In one month, I got 46 requests from entrepreneurs who wanted to sell their businesses. I was not bothered by the fact that everyone wanted to pay me only on a success fee basis, just like in real estate.
I chose a few bigger businesses: a cow farm in Brașov and a fish farm of about 80 hectares of water in the center of Transylvania.
One of the two cow farm associates proved to be an extremely difficult person. And I was a fool. Nothing came out of that deal.
Coming back from Brașov I met the owner of the fish farm. He was a massive man of about 60 years old. It was hot. He told me how he "stepped" every millimeter of his lake at least 3 times, what it was like when he was hired as a trainee fish engineer on that farm more than 30 years ago, how he always dreamed of getting that farm after the Romanian Revolution from 1990, and what he did for it ...
He had a severe illness: Parkinson's. He didn't leave the house for two years because of depression.
I felt a great empathy for this entrepreneur.
He had managed to bring his dream to life, but he had paid dearly for it.
All he wanted now was to sell the lake, which had meanwhile become a burden to him, and to be able to buy a decent home in which to live the rest of his life in the most dignified way possible.
He always thought of his wife, a warm and very kind person. He wished for her to have no financial problems when he was gone.
I found a moral story for adults on the internet that matched his lake very well and I translated it into Romanian and Hungarian. At the end of the story I added the link to the lake for sale and my contact details.
The promotion on Facebook was an unexpected success.
Unfortunately, I was not able to sell the business, although I spent my own budget (equivalent to a mini-vacation with the family).
But at least the idea had been tested: a story sells if you have a good strategy and some money for promotion.
Although I later sold several small businesses, I kept thinking about why I couldn't sell the fish farm.
I probably didn't know how to do it. I didn't have much experience selling businesses. Until then, I had managed to sell only mine.
But the 46 requests for the sale of the business made it clear to me that it is a great struggle in the field, just when it would be most important for everything to end well.
I promised myself I would do something to change the situation, where possible.
Since I couldn't find a mentor to help me along the way, I read about and experienced as many ways to sell a business as possible.
I later realized that experimenting with ways to sell a business is solving only half the problem.
It is similar to the stage of painting solid wood doors. Since I also worked as a painter in my own carpentry workshop, I know that the success of this stage depends in overwhelming proportion on the quality of the “white” preparation of the wooden doors. That is, the completion of all stages of sanding and repairing defects. If the preparation "in white" has been done properly, the painting is light, and the fineness and final quality is practically guaranteed.
This hit me like a ton of bricks! It was one of the most important lessons for me. (Nobody does that in Romania–or at least not seriously and comprehensively.)
So I chose to do this for myself.
It's exactly that zag when everyone else was zig.
It has shaped my trajectory so far and has become my superpower.
That's what I do now in business sales.