Listen to the Episode Below:
Can you capture lightning in a bottle … twice? Nellie Akalp may be on the way to doing just that, so you’ll want to tune in to hear her story.
From starting her first business during law school in a two-bedroom apartment with her husband, to selling it to Intuit for a v-e-r-y- comfortable “never-have-to-work-again” (undisclosed) sum, to starting a new business in a similar industry, Nellie shares the ups, downs, and lessons learned the second time around.
Lessons From a Serial Entrepreneur …
- Keep it clean. One of the things that made Nellie’s first company so attractive to Intuit was that the books were “clean” and in order, and that the company carried no meaningful debt. That’s a huge selling point for acquirers–not just your gross revenues.
- Have some vision for what’s next. Even if you don’t want to–or don’t feel you have the skill set to–shepherd the company into the next phase, create a business plan that projects a few years into the future. That shows potential buyers you are aware of upcoming trends and possibilities. They want to get a vision for how your company can grow with them before they consider acquiring you.
- Engage. The days are over where just being “first to market” was enough to make the cash register ring. Engage with clients and customers online. Spark conversations that cultivate you as an expert. When you share your journey and experiences–whichever medium you choose (blog, Instagram, etc.), potential clients can start to trust you and your brand. And don’t forget the power of personal service in a world of automation.
- Keep your mouth shut. Early stages of acquisitions are usually hush-hush, so this may not be the time to shout the news from the rooftops. Sometimes not even to key employees. Be diligent about who you can talk to and what you can talk about. Make a plan with your advisors for the best way to share the news.
Want to know the secret to keeping a business partnership on an even keel? Tune into this week’s episode of Business Breakthrough where Nellie shares how she’s managed to do that with her business partner (who’s also her husband) for over 20 years.
Nellie Akalp is a serial entrepreneur, small business advocate, speaker and author. Through the various “Do-It-Yourself” and “Business-Startup” services she has founded since 1997, she has formed over 200,000 corporations and LLCs for small business owners.
Her last company was acquired by Intuit in 2005. Today, she and her husband, Phil, operate CorpNet.com where they help entrepreneurs start a business, incorporate, form an LLC, set up sole proprietorships (DBAs), and maintain a business in compliance with state filing requirements for a new or existing business.
Nellie shares her expert tips with readers at Forbes, Entrepreneur and Mashable and is a regular guest expert on the Fox Small Business Center. She was named a Top 100 Small Business Influencer in 2012, 2013, and 2014 by Small Business Trends. Nellie has presented a workshop at Small Biz Expo and sat down with members of Girls in Tech, General Assembly and more to inspire and motivate others to make their business dreams a reality.
“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”–Mark Twain”
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