Business Edge News Magazine

Timothy A. Brown was an impressionable teenager when he started working with his father Roy in appraising the value of dental practices.

His immediate impression was that the dentists were selling themselves and their businesses short. Really short.

“I could see right away that these dentists were sitting on extremely valuable assets, and they seemed to have no idea,” says Brown, president, CEO and broker of record at ROI Corp. “Dentists used to just get older, get tired and then walk away with little or no reward after many years of building solid, profitable businesses.”

Brown discovered that it was very gratifying to help dentists realize substantial profits and exit their businesses with honour, pride and a nice financial payout.

A few decades later, Brown boasts a track record of great success in helping entrepreneurs in various industries formulate and execute effective succession strategies. Methodology that worked well in dentistry also produced excellent results for optometry and veterinary practices as well as in other fields.

In recent years, however, Brown has observed a troubling trend.

“Logically, in our role of business owner, we should be asking ourselves, ‘How much longer am I going to be doing this—three, four, maybe five more years?’ and planning accordingly,’” Brown explains. “But 80 per cent of business owners have no formal succession plan.

“It’s shocking! We become married to our businesses and we just think it will always be there for us. If we don’t have a plan in place, the results can be horrendous. Not only could you be leaving a ton of money on the table; you could be leaving behind a complete disaster for those around you to deal with.”

The good news is that there is an enormous amount of foreign investment and immigrants who want to purchase Canadian small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs). The recent U.S. presidential election provided a major boost to the number of foreigners aiming to hang a shingle in Canada.

The potentially bad news is that there will be a “stampede to the exits” as a glut of aging business owners awaken to the opportunities available to them.

“Billions of dollars in value will be exchanged as the baby boomers sell their businesses in the coming years,” says Brown. “The CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business) and all major banks have done studies that indicate a massive transfer of wealth as Canadian SMEs owned by boomers hit the market.

“The people who get on top of things and prepare their businesses for sale now are the ones who will profit the most.”

ROI Corporation, Brokerage enables business owners to maximize profits while avoiding the inevitable disaster that comes with failure to prepare for the uncertain and unknown. Brown and his team of accomplished professionals will assist at whatever level necessary in getting your business ready for sale.

“At times, it is similar to home staging in the sale of a home,” Brown says. “You may just require cosmetic adjustments that make the business much more attractive to the prospective buyer.

“In other instances, we may need to help guide the owner through more significant changes. It could be everything from selling assets to reducing overhead to purchasing a company to grow value or to even finalize a major business reorganization. We will provide a full appraisal and with that comes prudent advice that will help you prepare your business for sale at top value.”

In closing the interview, Brown provided three “essential” tips for the baby-boomer business owner:

  1. Prepare a will that contains a definitive letter of direction!
  2. Contact a professional to help you begin the process. Start planning your exit!
  3. Every business must be ready for sale at all times, because anything can happen. All baby boomers know someone who dropped dead or became suddenly ill for whatever reason. Do everyone in your family and your business a favour; prepare your business for sale!

For more information, call 416 520 7240, email or visit