As a baby boomer business owner I know I will need to develop an exit plan when I decide to sell my business.
- That is, if I decide to sell.
- I really mean if I find my chair a tad too uncomfortable.
- Seriously, do I really need to think about the Monday morning after I sell?
- Besides, who invented this exit planning strategy anyway?
Random thoughts – right? Perhaps, but then I think about the perception that an exit plan conveys – when you run for the exit you are running away from something, usually something tragic or life threatening.
Perhaps the name does not work, but it has legs. It gets used a lot. And, truth be told, having a well-developed exit plan for your business does benefit you as the business owner in the long run. As long as you don’t have to think about all those personal things that get in the way.
I thought I’d get a little personal in this article so that baby boomer business owners can think more strategically about the Monday morning after – and what you should consider developing in order to make the exit a positive experience.
Develop A Personal Purpose
That’s right – focus first on the personal purpose of your exit. It’s not sitting on the porch all the time, it’s not playing tennis and golf all the time (even with all the recreational facilities nearby). Perhaps it’s about defining a purpose: maintaining your physical health, maintaining intellectual stimulation that will diminish once you stop working, developing with your spouse or significant other activities that you both will enjoy, and determining what type and kind of recreational and creative activities you want to pursue, to name a few. Done right, you can develop a great personal transition and exit plan.
Look At The Business Alternatives
The last time I looked there were quite a few options you could evaluate when you are ready to think about your business transition plan (exit plan). It could be you have a business partner and you could sell your shares to him/her. Or, you might have the option of passing your company on to family members. Or, you might want to sell your company to an outside buyer, to name a few.
Which one is the best for you? Ah, the devil is in the details, and that requires some well thought-out and structured planning.
What Is Your Time Frame?
Now, next year, 3 or 5 years, 8 years? Is it too soon – or too late for you to plan? In my case I found it quite helpful to put a time frame around it. Now I know what I need to do to build the value of my business. And what about you? Have you thought about having a business valuation performed so that you can get a sense of your company’s actual value now – and what steps you need to take in order to increase its value over your chosen time frame? Or will your value expectation set the time frame? Are you counting on your business sale to help fund your retirement years? Hmmm.
Decide To Sell For Success – The First Time!
If you are going to sell, you want to get it done right – the first time – right? If you can work through a process that achieves clarity, allows you to explore new opportunities, helps you to find new meaning in your life, and enables you to discover a new sense of purpose – would that work for you?
It’s An Awesome Opportunity
As a business owner, and most likely a baby boomer business owner, I bet you’ve been thinking about leaving your business – and you may have even decided to avoid thinking about it. But if you are avoiding thinking about it, who really wins?
I often think of that half-full glass as full of opportunities, not problems. The key to your exit plan might just be in striking a successful balance between the water in the glass and the air above it. If you can develop a great transition strategy it increases your chances of successful implementation of both your personal and business transition – and, get this, will lead to an exciting and fulfilling new life. Pretty cool right? I’m here to help.