As Mike Tyson so eloquently stated "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face".
Extended Version: Many boomer age business owners have been putting off transitioning their company for so long, it's now the accepted status. Or they promised their spouse, the team, advisers and most importantly themselves, five more years and I'm out.
But suddenly circumstances change and you're faced with an unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach. You want out, but you're trapped, for at least a period of time. And it's always longer than you want it to be.
Could be changes in the business environment are making it too much work. New competition is coming out of nowhere. They're well funded, younger or seasoned owners getting back in the game, more aggressive and kicking your butt. Higher interest rates, cross border restrictions and you get the picture.
You Can Handle the Truth (about selling your company) I Know You Can
The first thing I'm consistently told by my readers, when we meet in person or speak on the phone, is they respect the honesty and tell it like it is attitude in my writing. I take that as a badge of honour. So thank you.
The truth and cutting to the chase is and always has been important for any successful business owner. I respect you by offering the truth and I expect to receive it back. Trust is earned over time and we slowly develop an honest relationship.
I think you do want it and you can handle it. One of the tools you used to build your successful business was and still is a strong BS meter.
My son and I got into a conversation about Trump the other day. And of course the inevitable what do we do here in Canada about our own leadership.
As we talked I realized that our discussion was less about the specifics and more about our own generational concerns and how the implications would affect us personally.
So with that clarity I understood we likely would never agree on everything and we both need to work hard to appreciate the impact the upcoming changes will have on each other.
An email I recently received. I am expecting an offer from my partner to possibly buy me out. If this falls through I will contact you.
My response. Thanks for the update. Food for thought. I recently had a conversation with another Owner we have been talking with over the last couple of years. His plan was to buy out his partner of 30 years or have the partner buy him out. The partner chose to be the Seller.
The Buyer, our contact, chose to do the deal on his own. We offered our services but he declined as he knew his partner well and they have had a 30 year relationship. After literally a couple of years of discussion the deal was supposed to finally close on January 2, 2017.
It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day only to miss the big picture. Consequently, opportunities can disappear as quickly as they came. As a business Owner, this can be an easy trap to fall into. We all do it. I'm not suggesting you ignore the small stuff, just don't get personally involved in every decision. Have someone else take care of it.
Why would you hand off important and not so important decisions? Because if you and your staff continue to run the business as if you're the only one who can make the right choices or solve the problems, you will live to regret it. If you don't already.
Eventually the reality will hit you, you're not running the company, it's really running you. Instead, you should be thinking about the bigger, more important issues. Like how exactly you're going to get out.
Unemployment Going Up, As Boomer Owned Businesses Shut Down,
Unless They Start Preparing Properly For Sale
TORONTO, ON, January 25, 2017 - Boomers (born 1946-1964) own about 63% of private companies in both Canada and the United States. Of the businesses available for sale, 70-80% don't sell. Incredibly 44% of Owners say they aren't familiar with their transition options, 24% do know what their choices are and 32% are not sure. As for getting help, 88% have not yet established a formal transition team.
Author Eric Gilboord says "Owners need to get started now, preparing their business and themselves for transition." Or the impact on families and local communities will be devastating. We need to create jobs not lose them. Shuttering the doors of long-term businesses should not be the go to option considered by Boomers."
FREE 50 page sample and table of contents for my latest business growth book.
Download sample here.
Put on your earbuds and grab a snack. Listen to my interview where I talk about leading edge thinking on buying and selling businesses. Runs exactly from 5:30 to 28:00.
I strongly recommend you listen a few times. With your work partner, spouse and your selling or acquisition team.
Some food for thought before handing your business over to a next generation family member.
I remember meeting the Owners of a small business. He had worked hard and the company had provided his family with a comfortable life.
There were 3 sons. One worked occasionally in the business, wasn't suited to take over and never really did much with his life. A second son had other ambitions and enjoyed a very successful career in law. As for the third son, unlike his brothers, he worked in the business full time, made a living and started his own family.
So when it came time to think about transitioning and rather than selling the company to an outsider, the Owner along with his spouse made a decision based on emotion and blood.
When it comes to your future, you can hope for the best and plan for the worst or ... you can spend some time looking into your options.
As a boomer aged business owner, you may be feeling like time is starting to get away from you. The weeks and months are flying by and believe it or not, you're not getting any younger. Retirement planning is top of mind. How you'll spend your time and finances are both key considerations.
It's inevitable you will be participating in a transition, of one kind or another, out of your business. But will it be financially responsible? Will you walk away with the funds you need to enjoy the balance of your life? What will you do with your time if you're not working 'in your business'. Who will you be? What will others think?
Boomer Business Owners Are Missing Out On Cashing In,
Unless They Start Preparing Properly for Sale
TORONTO, ON, March 31, 2017 - Boomers (born 1946-1964) own about 63% of private companies in both Canada and the United States. Of the businesses available for sale, 70-80% don't sell. Incredibly 44% of Owners say they aren't familiar with their transition options, 24% do know what their choices are and 32% are not sure. As for getting help, 88% have not yet established a formal transition team.
Author Eric Gilboord says "Owners need to get started now, preparing their business and themselves for transition." Or the impact on their personal finances will be devastating. Many Owners are carrying on business as usual. The current thinking of many smaller Owners is to take as much money out of the company as they can for the next few years, and then sell for what they can get or simply close down. Neither solution is in their best interest."
We make decisions all day every day. What to have for breakfast, who to call, emails to send, customers to take on or drop.
Usually it's a combination of our mind and gut feelings required to choose which way to go. Gathering information online, talking to friends and seeking the experience of professionals all add to our final choice.
At the end of the day it's up to us. So we can take the easy way out and go with a recommendation from someone else. The added benefit here is you have someone to blame if it doesn't work out. Or we can take total responsibility for our actions and consult our gut.
Typically this premise works best when you have no side motive. Help for the sake of helping and if some benefit comes to you be grateful.
Do you know a 60+ year old owner of an established business? Perhaps a friend, spouse, parent or client.
Are they feeling 'a little stressed about transitioning out of their business'? They may not say it out loud, but you know them well enough to be concerned.
If yes, please click here and find out how they can turn that stress into happiness. Or simply forward this page.
As the Owner, you know all the wonderful things about your company. But that doesn't mean a Buyer automatically does. You will have to tell them. Making someone work for it isn't the smartest strategy. It's not just numbers Buyers need to consider purchasing your business.
You know who your best technical staff are, the ones who are the most loyal and the small circle you can count on any time. The folks I like to describe as 'in a crunch it's always the same bunch'. The staff with huge potential who are consistently growing and assuming more responsibility. The key people you've been grooming to take over management. The loyal, hard working day to day heartbeat of your organisation.