On top of that, most businesses aren’t even ready for sale because they are flawed in ways that make them unattractive to the market. It’s much like trying to sell your home. You have to fix the leak under the sink, repair the fence in the backyard, prune the apple tree, and replace the tile on the kitchen counter before a buyer will consider a purchase. It’s the same with your business; only then can you expect to achieve your sale, and hopefully your retirement security.
Most business owners who sell their business soon regret their decision; they believe they did not receive the full value of their business, or their timing was poor, or they didn’t realize they had more options, or did not receive good advice. They suffer seller’s remorse and wish they could go back in time and sell their company again, and they would prepare more thoroughly and be better rewarded for the years of hard work they invested.
Can you imagine the disappointment of these owners? Years of labor with only a portion of their dream fulfilled? Watching their business die, or selling for only part of what is needed? This is a heart breaking situation and is fast becoming an unavoidable reality for the tens of thousands of business owners who will soon be offering their company to an unresponsive marketplace in the next five to 10 years. Time is a commodity, and for many owners there will be no second chance, and no margin for an error of this magnitude.
Exit planning is an essential activity for every business owner, and must be regarded as a business best practice. By establishing a comprehensive exit plan with the guidance of a certified professional, you will benefit by not only having put your house in order, but also by possessing more control over the timing of your sale, have access to increased options and opportunities, and create more capacity for the financial and personal outcomes that serve you most.
Of course, the sooner you write your exit plan, the better. Not only can good intentions get shelved, but the longer you wait, the less capable you will be with taking advantage of opportunities that will come…and then will go.
Excerpt from Exit Insight: Getting to “Sold,” pp. 17-19
Copyright © 2014 by Joseph M. Maas. All rights reserved.
For more information on the exit planning process, refer to author Joseph M. Maas’ new book Exit Insight: Getting to “Sold!” in which he explains how business owners can determine their firms’ worth and prepare for a successful exit.
To order your copy of the book, visit Merrell Publishing online or Amazon.com. Have questions about Exit Insight or Exit Planning? Want to schedule a call or plan an exit planning workshop with author Joseph M. Maas? Call Joe at 206-275-5455 or send him an email.