The Conways are enjoying life, having spent the first six months of their retirement travelling across the United States and strolling along the beaches of Jamaica. Harley and Cheryl officially began their retirement on January 5, 2016 when they sold their small business, Bootlegger, a package store located in St. Paul, Nebraska.
Their journey to retirement began in May of 2013 after Harley read an article in St. Paul’s newspaper about how Nebraska Business Development Center worked with a regional grocery store to establish a value for the business in preparation for a proposed sale. “We were considering selling our business to a family member or an employee, but we wanted to work with a professional to establish the fair market value for the business,” Cheryl says. “Then we saw the article about how NBDC worked with the grocer on a valuation, we decided to call and see how they could help us transition our business.”
Step one in the exit planning process was an assessment of the business including a determination of the current value and opportunities for improvement. Next, Odee Ingersoll and Sara Bennett, Certified Exit Planning Advisors with NBDC offered solutions about how to improve the value of Bootlegger in preparation for a sale. Harley and Cheryl were also presented with types of buyers to consider as well as multiple deal structures to make the purchase financially feasible for the buyer, yet mutually beneficial to the seller.
The Conways worked with Odee and Sara from 2013 through 2015 asking important questions about investments to make in the business, timing of the sale, and how to make the transition smooth for employees and family members. Once the plan was in place, sales went up, and so did their business’s value. “We had an excellent experience and we appreciate all the times they came out [to our location] and answered all the questions we had, and agreeing to meet with the sellers to explain the sale process. NBDC made everything click into place.”, says Cheryl of their experience in working with Odee and Sara.After careful consideration, Harley and Cheryl decided that an employee, would be the best buyer for the business. The store’s success is what prompted the buyer to take an interest in purchasing the business. Bootlegger’s great selection of beer, wine, and spirits, excellent customer service, plus their ever-changing, always engaging marquee sign make the store a “must-stop” for residents within the St. Paul area and for travelers along Highway 281. Beverage catering services provide customers with experienced staff for all types of events.
Harley and Cheryl are ready for more adventures with plans to take a month-long trip across Alaska next year. They’re enjoying this new chapter in their life thanks to the help of Odee and Sara. Cheryl remarked, “NBDC made a chapter in life that you don’t look forward to ending, into something manageable and pleasant.”