Selling Your Business – The First Steps [THA 183]

Bob Ward is the President of Wardden LLC, Bob began his business career at a franchised car dealership, overcoming obstacles to learn and earn the required skills to become Controller, General Manager and then, a minority owner of Tacoma Dodge in Washington.

A native of Seattle, Bob serves as a financial advisor and consultant to small business owners throughout the United States. He believes that your business should always be ready for expansion or sale, you should get paid for what you built and, when you decide to leave it, your company should continue to prosper. He believes in a Perpetual Business where there is Value, Continuity and Legacy. Look for Bob’s Previous Episode HERE. Warden LLC website HERE.

David Justice has been an auto care professional for over 30 years. He grew up in the family business working for his father. At, a young age David purchased his father’s business and went on his own. Over the years David had multiple Shell Gas stations. Find David’s other episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • David sold 3 stores to a big box concernHe owned the properties and got a 15 year guaranteed lease
  • You plan to sell your business on the day you open it. Bob Warde
  • You are going to sell through liquidation, successor, or outside party.
  • 85% of businesses never get sold. Bob Ward
  • IF your business can run without you, you have a great chance to sell. You’ve developed a great team which is attractive to a buyerYour people make the business


  • You plan to sell your business the day you open it. 


  • Always be looking for a successorAsk your people what their plans are
  • Ask in employment interviews what their future plans are
  • Buyers buy the cash flow of the business and assetsYou have to prove the cash flow
  • Financial statements must be part of the equations
  • Finding an internal candidate is an extremely viable planYour internal candidate has the skills or you can provide them/ It can makes them a credible candidate.
  • Ask them: What is most important to their career? If they ask that they would want to own a business someday that is a key market for future development for the opportunity for succession
  • Provide a timeline to earn ownership
  • Bring a business coach into the equation to teach business skills
  • David asked his buyer to provide the right pay and benefits for his people. He made sure his people were taken care of
  • Actionable:You need serious financial statements, accurate
  • Consider who is going to buy the operation
  • Where is your buyer going to come from
  • An outside buyer or big box or franchise is rare
  • Your buyer may already work for you.
  • Bob feels that ¾ of businesses sell to an internal candidateIt is a natural transition for someone who has worked for you for years to ease you out of the business via a sale
  • If the candidate has the passion it will work
  • The buyer can earn credits toward equity ownership and for down payment
  • It is the growth and development of people that is the highest calling of leadership. Harvey FirestoneOur business needs to be independent of us
  • Same with parenting
  • What you do today takes care of tomorrow. David Justice
  • People of passion want to buy businesses but have no money. There are ways to make that happen
  • Start getting ready to sell your business. Look for your internal candidate or hire him/her

Bob Ward website

David Justice website


  • A special thanks to Bob Ward and David Justice for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!