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Meet Armin Laidre – Helping Business Owners Sell Their Companies At Less Cost and Friction

Today we have selected Armin Laidre to take his interviewHe is the CEO of ExitAdviser.

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

ExitAdviser is all about selling a business. Our customers are small business owners, mostly in their early 60s. So the pandemic has caused a two-factor impact on our business activities:
Firstly, due to uncertainties, limitations, and lockdowns, business owners have put their exit strategies on stop.  It’s more or less a “watch and waits” situation right now.
Secondly, due to their age (60+), sadly, covid-specific issues have caused a remarkable drop in our business revenue. This started in April 2020 and hasn’t recovered yet.

Tell us about you and your career, and how you founded or joined this company?

ExitAdviser was brought online in Spring 2014 with a single goal in mind: to make selling a business much easier and less costly for owners around the globe.
My background is a mixture of engineering, software, and business administration. At a certain point in my career, I got interested in exit strategies, business transfers, and small business sales, so ExitAdviser was a logical outcome of that. We did with my team a DIY business-selling platform aimed at skipping [costly] intermediaries and providing an all-inclusive framework for sole owners.

How does your company innovate?

We strive for business process innovation. That is, making the journey of selling a small business more efficient for owners. The idea is to combine the structural approach (we provide a robust, 4-step sales plan) with a comprehensive set of online tools and resources for sale. This includes business valuation, routes to market, legal documents, access to nearby advisors, etc.
ExitAdviser is not just a global marketplace for businesses being sold, transferred, and leased, but a fully-featured selling platform that owners can sign up at the early stages of their business transfer process.

How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?

Thanks to our business model, we’ve been less vulnerable to the pandemic’s ‘classic’ risk factors. ExitAdviser is 100% cloud-based “by design.” Our advisors and support personnel strive to stand very close to our customers, but all that happens fully online, using tools like Skype, Zoom, and MS Teams.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

Not really. Probably due to having had plenty of good luck so far 😉

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

Please don’t take it promotional, but due to our business model, we had all these systems and administrative processes in a place far before the pandemic from the start. So there really wasn’t anything to change or implement. ExitAdviser is an automated platform of various value-adding services that connect real people with the help of machine learning, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

ExitAdviser competes head-to-head with leading business-for-sale marketplaces and brokerage firms around the globe. The competition actually gets more intense, especially because baby boomers are now entering the market. We need to sharpen our focus in terms of customer targeting, platform functionalities, and, of course, the quality of our services.

Your Final Thoughts

The ongoing pandemic has changed the lives of small business owners a lot, and there are new challenges and new opportunities ahead. Nevertheless, every business owner faces the “what next” question at some point in time, and our mission is to make transfers of ownership less costly and frictionless.

Our latest innovation in selling a business – the Pitch-to-Brokers tool

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