No one works forever. Regardless of how much you love your business, sooner or later you will have to step away. Owning a business can be very demanding. This fact can be doubly true for owner-operators of businesses. The simple fact is that you’ll have to embrace retirement at some point.
Most business owners have never sold a business before and may not know what to expect. The good news is that prospective buyers usually like the idea of buying an established business directly from a business owner. It is key, however, to do everything possible to make selling your business, as well as the transition period, as easy for a buyer as possible.
Prepping your business for sale has many diverse parts that need to be taken into consideration. Prospective buyers want to feel as though they will have a seamless transition, so it’s in your best interest to evaluate what steps you need to take to make the transition smooth.
You are the world’s greatest expert on your business. As a result, you are perfectly positioned to evaluate your business so as to ensure that it is both appealing to a prospective buyer and ready to sell. Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition.
The Top 4 Transition Tips
1. Automate as many processes as possible.
In this way, prospective buyers are less likely to be intimidated by the level of work involved in owning a small business. The odds are good that many of your prospective buyers have never owned a business before. One of the best ways to not scare prospects away is to make owning and operating your business as streamlined as possible.
2. Work with your employees, key customers and vendors to ensure a smooth transition.
Anything that can cause a potential disruption may scare off prospective buyers. Put yourself in the shoes of prospective buyers and think about what may cause you concern if you were evaluating a business. Once you locate those areas of potential concern, do what you can start to remedy them well before placing your business on the market.
3. Pick out your “second-in-command” before you sell your business.
Having a competent and proven “right hand man or woman” that can step in and essentially operate your business is a very attractive asset to have in place when it comes time to sell your business.
4. Consider working with a business broker.
Brokers are expert in the art and craft of buying and selling businesses. They will be able to help you evaluate your business and address areas that need improvement so as to ensure a smooth transition.
Taking these steps will not just make your business easier to sell, but it will also shorten the amount of time it takes to sell. The last thing you want when you are ready to sell your business and retire is for the selling process to drag on forever.Read More
Are You Ready For Your Second Half? One of the greatest social developments of this century has been the extension of lifespan, especially of working lifespan. As a result, a growing number of people expect to find enjoyment in their work. Additionally, as they reach their mid-forties and beyond, the work they have known and loved during their First Half, may no longer be as challenging or hold the same allure as it once did.
A seed begins to grow – an increasing awareness that new stimulus and growth is needed. This is where we begin to take stock of our life and career as we move towards our next major life stage. As “Half Time” author Bob Buford says, “For the Second Half of life to be better than the first, you must make the choice to step outside of the safety of living on auto-pilot. You must wrestle with who you are, why you believe what you profess to believe about your life, and what you do to provide meaning and structure to your daily activities and relationships.”
According to an article that first appeared in Financial Executive Magazine, every day 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 and face the question of what to do after retirement. Some of them may be selling a family business or are laid off without much hope of obtaining a comparable job. Many, perhaps most of this group have no idea about what to do next – especially if they don’t want the second half of their lives to be characterized by decline, boredom and increasing ineffectiveness.
Most men and women in their 50s and 60s are immersed in their business or profession and have given little or no thought to the next phase of their life. Their First Half may have been too busy and they just never seemed to find the time to stop and reflect. Finding a new career, parallel career or new life mission means restructuring one’s life and that does require time and self-reflection. If you cannot afford to take the time and solitude necessary to discover your next great thing, then you are not ready to find it. Taking stock provides retiring Baby Boomers with a real opportunity to consciously shape their next major life stage – their Second Half.
What’s a good first step? Set aside some time to spend in solitude with a journal – preferably out in nature. As theologian and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I should reply, Create silence.”
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you take stock of where you are at this moment:
- If my life was absolutely perfect, how would it look?
- What are the values that give purpose to my life?
- What are my passions?
- Am I missing anything in my life right now that’s important to me?
- What do I do so well that I would enjoy doing it without pay?
- What causes do I care about in the community? The world?
I partner with clients that are asking: What now? Where am I headed? What will bring more purpose and meaning to my life? After all, it is only after developing a complete perspective of where we’ve been, and where we stand now, that we can begin to move forward into a new vision for our life. Let me help you create a customized performance roadmap that will help you live out and create inspired impact!
Blog provided by Diane Sansom
When the day comes to sell your business, it is important that prospective buyers understand why you have made this decision. Having a valid reason why it is time for you to sell can make your business more attractive to prospective buyers. After all, it is only natural that you will have to retire at some point even if the business is thriving. In fact, it is safe to state that buying a successful business from an owner that is retiring is just the kind of the situation that most buyers like.
Owning a business and retirement, of course, is far different than retiring from a job. You likely have many friends ranging from vendors and employees to customers, clients and other business owners. It is vital that your departure does not disrupt the operation of your business and that prospective buyers understand that you have taken steps to ensure a smooth transition. In short, you want to create a situation in which everyone is happy once you have sold your business.
Helping to ensure a smooth transition has many parts. One of those parts is finding a buyer who will treat your people well. Another key aspect of a smooth transition is to automate as much of your work as possible before you leave. No one knows your business as well as you do, which means that you are the best source to automate and simplify the processes of your business. Outlining what steps you’ve taken to automate and simplify your business will help make it more attractive to buyers.
A key aspect of streamlining, simplifying and organizing your business is to pick out, well in advance, your second in command. Once you have decided on which person would be the best candidate, it is important that you begin grooming that person so they can take over day-to-day operations once you leave. Having a capable person who is committed to staying is a very attractive commodity for prospective buyers. A capable second in command can prove invaluable not just during the transition period but also for the long term operation of the business.
Finally, you should have set up a retirement account on which you can draw upon. Statistics indicate that roughly 50% of business owners do not have a retirement account set up in advance. If you don’t have an account set up, don’t panic, instead set one up as soon as possible.
Working with a business broker is one of the single best ways to handle the process of selling your business and getting ready for retirement.
A business broker can help you with everything from finding qualified prospective buyers to establishing the value of your business. The sooner you begin working with a business broker, the easier your transition will be.