A professional service firm such as an engineering design firm or construction engineering and inspection firm can be thought of as a rocket ship. Looking at the business as a rocket ship, it gets easier to remember and share the elements of developing a successful business.
Like a rocket ship a business has two basic parts, the engines that power the ship, and the guidance systems to set course. Our rock ship has five engines and four guidance systems.
Thinking back to when you first started your firm, if you did not go through the checklist you see below formally, you did so informally.
There is nothing easy about deciding to sell the company you have poured much of your time and money into over the years. Your business was the center of your life, often coming first over everything else because you are the owner and had to get things done. Now you are ready to sell, enjoy retirement, focus on other businesses you own, or even work for someone else. Whether the decision was difficult or easy to make, you have a lot of work ahead of you.
Next on the list is finding a buyer. He or she could be closer than you think.
Businesses are being bought and sold every day. Data from the past three years show a record number of businesses sold. For the most part, owners received fair prices, and sellers were happy with the deals they made. Will that trend continue? Is now a good time for you to join the sellers and put your business on the market? Is there a definitive yes or no answer?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
An almost infinite number of factors play into whether a business should be sold, as well as when to sell. Some are totally beyond your control. Careful analysis can eliminate others from consideration. Trusted advice will help swing some factors into the yes or no column. The biggest determinant, and one that requires more thought than you might realize, is you.
When you first dove into entrepreneurship, your initial thought may not have been to build a sellable business. Most people are driven by the "freedom" associated with self-employment, and it takes a staggering commitment to build something that is sustainable.
But, whether you're starting a new business today or have an existing one, Michael Gerber, author of The E Myth, suggests that the only reason to build a business is to sell it. This makes sense if you take emotion out of the equation, but we're human beings.
Selling something you've become attached to can be challenging and looking at it objectively might be a tall order. But every business owner would love to get top dollar when they walk away. This generally doesn't happen by chance.
An exit plan for business addresses all of the legal, tax, financial, personal, business, and value problems during the transition of ownership of a private business. While you're exit planning, your main focuses should be to maximize the value of your business before you leave your company and make sure that you're financially stable enough to be able to leave your business. Are you looking to learn more about exit planning for your business and how you should go about preparing for the process? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!
Do you need a succession plan?
c. Maybe, probably, who knows
d. Meh, don’t bother me, I’m busy
Should an accountant have a role in your succession plan if you decide to implement one?
c. Maybe, probably, who knows
d. Meh, what does an accountant have to do with who succeeds me
Simply put, succession planning is preparing your company for changes. It’s usually thought of as training individuals to fill leadership roles, but it also includes transferring ownership of your business. It’s a process with both long-term and short-term facets.
You can probably name more than one company that’s no longer in existence because it didn’t adapt to change. Big companies must evolve just as much as small companies do. Markets change. Key employees leave. Regulatory agencies always have new or different rules. Your business goals aren't the same as when you began.
Unless you have a crystal ball, you can’t know precisely what impending changes, if any, will affect your company. You might see changes coming, but you can't predict their impact. Part of your succession planning involves calculating the probabilities of certain occurrences and how to survive them.
I have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life... If I die next Thursday.” - anonymous
I’ve been told , more times than once, “I do not plan to retire” or worse, “I have no plans to retire and I am not considering even thinking about retiring for the foreseeable future.”
But just because you will never retire, “never” does not mean you forget about goals and metrics to judge your success. And that is just what this article is about, The Earliest Possible, Maximally Strategic Date to Die
Your business is not perfect (whose is?) but your business needs you to make it at least perfect enough. How long do you need to hang on before you correct all of your “grave” errors? That is what you will learn below.
That’s right. Read on and when you are finished, you will have computed the number of months you must remain above ground.
But first, who is this dark dissertation not for?
If at first you don't succeed, give up and try something else.”
- Homer Simpson
It may seem counterintuitive to joke about throwing in the towel, but the truth is that not every business was meant to succeed. So many of us are given the advice that if we just try hard enough, work smarter, or are resilient, that success is there for the taking.
While it's true that you want to give any endeavor your best shot, you also don't want to lose everything or quit too soon. Many business owners seem to wear their own set of blinders that don't allow them to see when it's time to draw a line and give up.
But businesses do fail and with shocking regularity. If you wait too long, you could lose much more than if you had taken action just a bit sooner. Here are some eye-opening figures about business failures and a list of key indicators that it might be time to shut down your business.
Fifty years after The Beatles first sang, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?” baby boomers are asking the same question of the businesses they own.
Pre-recession business owners busied themselves growing their companies, often assuming their values would increase with a go-go economy and that they eventually could cash out with ample sums to live in comfortable retirements.
Unfortunately, those assumptions did not always hold true. Boomer business owners must now decide whether to sell their companies for less than they had once hoped or to work longer than they had planned.
Planning your exit from your business can feel at times like planning your will. Why do it today when you can do it tomorrow? After all, you are not planning on leaving this earth today, right?
Your exit from your company, however, is assured. Whether you leave it feet first or walk through the door, you will leave your company someday. Why not do it on your terms?
Owners depend on their businesses to support them today, and more importantly, they depend on them to support their families, their retirement, and their way of life in the future. What assurances do you have that things will go as planned? Reports have shown that 8 out of 10 business owners do not know what they need to do today to have a successful business transition in the future.
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