191 - Interview with Amber
On today's episode I chat with Amber Anderson, Owner of Refine for Wedding Planners, about business acquisition and trademarks.
We should all run our business with a long-term perspective of "do I want to run this thing until I'm ready to retire?" or "do I potentially want to sell my business one day?" Even if you think you don't want to sell, it's good for business to run it in a systemized way that it could one day be sold.
Amber Anderson sold her wedding planning company, Heavenly Day, in January of 2020. She said it was easier to sell the company since it was not tied to her name directly, though the name was not trademarked. When she was ready to sell, it all came down to timing and who was ready to buy at the same time Amber was ready to sell. As for pricing, Amber calculated based on 3-4x annual revenue. Depending on your timing and if you had a broker and how much time you have will also play a factor in the money you will get and if you can get more. If you don't have solid bookkeeping, you won't be able to calculate this. Amber sold in a self-financed deal.
Amber now owns Refine, an online community for new, aspiring and struggling wedding planners with coaching, retreats, and templates. When buying the business she received a flat offer and put in a bid above that offer since there were others interested.
When evaluating a business, it's important to take a look at what the business owns, including intellectual property, courses that have been created, assets, and goodwill which is how well you are thought of by your community. In buying the company, Amber recreated the courses and assets to be her own.
Upon buying Refine, trademarking the name was on Amber's radar immediately because of the numbers and trajectory of the business. Amber also saw other educators using Refine's first in use terms and was advised by her lawyer that she needed to protect her business each time because if she didn't protect it with the first person, it would be harder with the next.
The USPTO is backed up and the first step of trademark applications can take up to a year, or longer if you mess up the application and have to start all over, a common occurrence if you try to do it on your own without the help of an attorney. It also depends on how layered and complex your name is, as was the case with a more commonly used term like "refine."
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