I have not found a cure to stop people from dying, so your life will end at some point in the future. So… most people I talk to have no idea what they are going to do with their business when they decide to call it a day. Now you might call it a day for various different reasons, you might want to retire, you might want to do something a bit different, on a slightly dour note you might come down with a serious illness or even worse it might be your time to go.
I suppose this question does also depend on who is reliant on the business. If you have a self-employed job ie: you work on your own and only get paid when you work, then apart from letting your customers down I suppose you can just shut the doors and call it a day, because you’re the only one reliant on the business. Now let’s just think a bit bigger, you have a business: i.e. you earn money even if you’re not there everyday but it’s still your input, what then? Well the good news is that you have a saleable asset, so if you want to you could sell your business or pass it on to your children.
When you start getting to this point you do need to think about your exit plan, let’s be honest you don’t want to be working forever! Just imagine spending a few more days on the golf course, or with your other half shopping, ok… you might want to work more lol. Did you read my blog on “why systems are so important” if not I suggest you read it. Systemising your business will give you the freedom to go and do whatever you wish with your life, it also secures the jobs and livelihoods of your staff.
Some of you are still not even going to consider your exit at the moment, however, I highly advise that this is something on your “to do over Christmas” list. If you know you want to be out of the day to day side of the business in 10 years, then you need to plan for it.
If you are serious about selling the business then you will need 2-3 years to prepare for the sale of the business, if you can. This is where you start increasing your profit figures on paper and stop paying for the husband’s or wife’s car, the kid’s private schooling and that boat in the south of France, all this now has to go back into the business to create a more saleable asset. I’m not saying that not doing this is going to stop you from selling, but I am saying that you will not receive the price you want to achieve without increasing the profits on paper.
It’s simple, purchasers want to buy businesses cheap, and sellers want the best price for their business, so make it the best price and the buyer can’t argue with you. Purchasers really don’t care about your lifestyle and the big house, and nice cars, they will only look at what’s written down on paper.
Please look at your exit plan and have an idea of what you are going to do with your business, don’t just really on hope.