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5 Minutes with a Mentor: Gail Payne

Gail Payne owns All People Yoga Center, but only until June 30th of this year. After owning the studio for 2 ½ years, she realized this was not her true calling and decided she needed to sell, but where to begin? She gives her expert advice and tips in this interview.

1. What are the top things to consider when selling a business?

“It’s greatly important to consider hiring a business advisor; they are basically realtors for businesses. They can help you determine how much to sell your business for, manage parties and agreements between the seller and buyer, etc. They can be very useful but very expensive, you must determine if this is within your budget.

If you can’t afford a business advisor make sure you know exactly what you are selling. Things to consider are, what do you own within your lease, the assets, software, mailing list, followers, the brand, intellectually property, how long have you owned and built the company, etc. These are all factors in determining how much your business is worth.”

2. How does the timeline of selling a business work?

“You have to realize that your business could sell right away or it could take a year or more. You have to be prepared for any type of time frame and what that means. I honestly thought my business would sell faster than it did. When I knew I was selling Jan. 1, 2016, I gave myself an end date of June 30, 2016. In other words I would commit to my employees and customers until June 30th, after that the doors would close.

Since I had this deadline I made a strategy plan for how I was going to execute my plan to communicate with others that I was selling. For me it was a huge decision to decide when to announce that I was selling, and to what groups. It is a ripple effect, you must carefully manage expectations; who needs to know, when they need to know, and what they need to know. Make sure to plan for all different types of reactions and emotions.”

3. How did you know you needed to sell?

“I realized I had a limited time to do what I truly love, and that is singing. My husband Brian and I often think about opportunity cost when making decisions. In this case, I could have hired someone manage the business but ultimately I would be responsible and I would be putting my time into All People Yoga when I knew it was best for me to put my time into my singing career.”

4. What is your biggest advice when selling your business?

“Being organized is best advice I can give to others, having all financials, business documents, photos, etc. in order. I had a Drop Box file that I had all the documents in so I could easily send and share the link through email.

You must also be responsive, but make sure to use a non-disclosure agreement before communicating with any potential buyer and before sending any proprietary information. This also gives you credibility and shows the potential buyer you are serious and they should be as well.”

Get to Know Gail Payne

  • Lifelong Singer: Gail has been singing all her life in Indy Opera Chorus, Second Presbyterian Church, weddings, and special events. She’s been a solo cabaret performer since 2012.

  • Advice for Entrepreneurs: "Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be prepared for the unexpected, how to roll with things that didn’t go in the direction you had hoped."

  • Why Indy: “It’s easier to effect change here than other cities of similar size because I think the city is genuinely open to anyone being involved. However, we need to do a better job – at all levels of business, nonprofit, and government – to be more diverse and keep the doors open to new people."

  • Exciting Things Ahead: "Going to the St. Louis cabaret conference in July, looking to more deeply study the art form of cabaret with other professionals across the nation. Seeking new opportunities to perform in Indy!"

  • Where can you find Gail now? Performing in St. Louis Nov. 5 at The Emerald Room at the Monocle (!

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