Insights & News

What We Can Learn About Selling A Business from Fishing


It’s no secret — there’s almost nothing we’d rather do than fish. And like most other fishermen, we’ve found that there’s a lot to be learned about life and business while out on the water. It takes patience, focus, trust, and experience to come home with a cooler full of fish (or a full day of “catch and release”). When you apply those same principles in a business deal, you’ll come home with a prize payout.

Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or a homebody, here are just a few lessons from fishing that can come in handy when it’s time to sell your business. 

1. Practice patience

You probably aren’t going to catch anything the first time you cast… or the second. It takes a lot of patience and perseverance to finally reel in your biggest catch of the day. Remember that same patience when you decide to sell your business. 

For one, it’s a long process with quite a few steps, some of which will require a heavy lift on your part. In the middle of wading through financial statements and locating old legal documents, you might be tempted to quit altogether. 

You might also get a few tire-kickers who offer to buy your business before you engage with an advisor. Their initial offer might make your eyes bug out, but without proper representation, you’re probably not going to get a square deal. We understand the temptation to take the offer and run, but having the patience to market your business and explore your options will ultimately yield a better deal for you and your employees. 

2. Focus on your goals

If you’re distracted by everything else going on around you, you might not notice that big fish pulling on your line. Fishermen block out the noise and keep their focus on the task at hand.

You’ll probably initiate the sale of your business with specific goals in mind, whether that’s a target sale price or terms for your employees. But as you move through the process of selling your business, it’s easy to get caught up and distracted by self-doubt, questions from employees, and internal disagreements. 

In those moments of frustration, think back to your goals. Letting these other distractions overwhelm you will only set you back. Instead, take a breath, refocus, and block out the noise.

3. Cast a wide net 

It’s pretty simple: a bigger, wider net brings in more fish. While you might think that your ideal buyer is in your industry, exploring your other options could bring in the perfect buyer. 

Just ask our client, Gary Yamamoto, who created the iconic “Senko” fishing lure. After nearly 30 years of running Yamamoto Custom Baits, he decided to sell. Rather than selling to an established fishing brand, he sold to GSM Outdoors, which specialized in hunting and sport shooting products at the time. Looking to expand their brand, GSM Outdoors purchased Yamamoto Baits and thus planted their flag in the fishing industry.

4. Trust your guide 

If you’re anything like us, you know that some of the most fun you can have is going fishing somewhere new. And while it’s exciting to explore unfamiliar waters, it can also be dangerous. That’s why we usually turn to an experienced guide to show us the best spots, teach us about the area, and keep us out of harm’s way. 

Selling your business is no different. Sure, you can always venture out on your own, but you probably won’t end up getting the best experience or best price — or worse, you and your employees could be taken advantage of. That’s why you should look to the experts to guide you through the sale of your business. 

Any time that you’re unsure or feeling overwhelmed, your advisors will be there to point you in the right direction, help you refocus on your goals, and mediate internal disagreements at your company. They’ll also steer you clear of lowball offers that don’t meet your requirements, even if it takes more work. 

With a team like FourBridges, you’ll get quality advice from people who’ve been there, exposure to potential buyers across the country, and a team of supporters who will be there through the tricky parts of a sale and to celebrate your big catch.

Interested in selling your business this year? We want to be your guides. Drop us a line today.  


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