Have you considered the impact of an “exit”?
This is a phrase repeated to me each and every time we meet by my coach. It sounds like it makes sense, right? But what does it really mean? I think fundamentally it is a statement intended to get you to think about how prepared, or unprepared, you are should there be an impending transaction in your near future, and then take those learnings and incorporate them into your normal business cycle. Not everyone is planning on selling their business. At least not right now. Maybe in 2 years. Maybe 5. Maybe 10. Maybe never. But not all sales are planned. There could be an “unplanned” sale.
What if something were to happen to you as a business owner that prevents you from continuing in the business? What happens to the business? Does it pass to your co-owner? Your estate? Your significant other(s)? What would happen if you received an unsolicited bid to buy your company tomorrow? How would you respond? Are you ready? Have you thought about all the possible implications? To you, your family, your colleagues and their families, your customers, your vendors? What is the actual “value” of your company? How might a third-party value your company and how might this differ from your perceived value?
These are all BIG questions. Every business owner will have different concerns, different priorities, and different dreams. But there is a fundamental truth. As a small business owner, either you will outlive your business or your business will outlive you. In either situation, being prepared for the transition will give you a competitive advantage.
There is a wonderful book on this topic, written in plain English, and full of examples of how you can “Run your business as if you were selling it tomorrow”. You can download it as an e-book right here for under $10. It is called “The Exit Strategy Handbook”.
If, after reading the book, you have questions or would like to talk, please feel free to give me a call at 978 621 2648, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.