The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 14, 2008 • Issue 08:07:01
P-R-E-P that portfolio
||It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.|
– Mark Twain
By default, all ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) are working toward selling their portfolios. It's the grand reward for working so hard lo those many years to build up portfolio value.
Selling a portfolio may be a sound business decision, but to you, as ISOs and MLSs, it may feel like selling your firstborn for cash. But no one is immortal, and there will come a day - either next week or in 20 years - when you will need to make a decision about the future of your portfolio and, perhaps, your company as a whole.
But how do you transition from owning and operating a thriving bankcard portfolio to selling it for maximum profit? For starters, the process is not going to be easy, fast, or without risks and setbacks.
No plan is guaranteed, but it's better to start prepping that portfolio now, before that selling day comes. Take the following steps today to help P-R-E-P that portfolio for tomorrow.
Cozy up to potential buyers. Identify companies that you envision purchasing your portfolio, and build relationships with them now. Give them the opportunity to learn about you and your company. If, in the end, one or more buyers are ready to make an acquisition, they will already have a solid understanding of you and your business, making their purchase decisions easier.
Anticipate issues involving the health of your portfolio and address them now. If you have troublesome clients, debt or bad publicity, resolve those problems. All negative aspects of your portfolio should be taken care of before any talk of selling it begins.
Of course, issues will arise that you won't be able to resolve in a timely manner. That's life. But it doesn't mean you have to close the book on your plans to cash in. If you can't solve a particular issue, understand the problem inside and out, and be able to explain it to others.
And be honest. If difficulties regarding some of your merchant accounts cannot be solved, investigate the problems and learn all you can, especially about the obstacles to resolution. At least acknowledging and understanding a thorny issue is better than professing ignorance when a potential buyer starts asking questions.
Finally, consider that you may change your mind. When an offer comes for your portfolio, you may decide you don't want to sell after all.
Maybe the time just won't be right. Or maybe you'll have another buyer in the wings ready to offer more money. Perhaps you'll realize you don't want to sell at all. After all, you've been enjoying yourself and making a healthy profit.
If you are working strictly toward the end goal of selling your business, and the cash windfall is all you have in mind, the journey toward that pay day may not be personally satisfying. Then, in the face of a satisfactory purchase offer, it would make sense to take your money and run, because that is your priority.
But if it's taken you years to build a solid portfolio brimming with great merchants and worth a ton of money, chances are you love your job. So, when you are on the verge of selling that portfolio, do yourself a favor and ask, If I enjoy the ride, why get off?
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