Are you passing your business on to the next generation? Will you be selling to management or an employee group over time? Would you like to maximize your net proceeds on a sale to an independent third party buyer?
Whether you plan on selling your business to an internal party over time or to an external third party for maximum proceeds, your success depends on how much effort you put into your planning and preparation.
Getting started is often the hardest part. We learned from Newton that, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion….” Excuses are your biggest roadblock to getting started. It’s too early for me… I’m too busy... It’s too complicated… It’s too expensive... and so on.
What’s really behind these excuses? Understanding this may be just what you need to set in motion something that will “stay in motion” until your goals are achieved.
Here are some tips for overcoming the most common excuses that are preventing you from getting started:
- Your mind - Your mind can be your main ally when it comes to achieving your goals. If, however, your mind is not programmed for success, it will do more to derail your efforts than to help you. Visualize where you want to be after you exit your business and how it will feel when you get there. This will give you the motivation to act.
- Your fear - Change makes most of us nervous – even if it is a change in the right direction. You may not be consciously aware of the fear you have over leaving your business. Until you conquer this fear, your exit planning efforts will be blocked by self sabotage and procrastination. Tackle your fears by believing that something must change, that you must change it and that you can change it.
- Your commitment - We live in a commitment-phobic world, so it's no wonder that people routinely abandon their goals. If you truly want to achieve your goals when you exit your business then your commitment to the process is critical. The margin between success and failure is bridged by your commitment. Don't give up until your goals have been achieved. If you don't give up, then you'll never fail. There are two options in life, excuses or results. Which do you want?
- Your patience – Exit planning takes time and there are a number of issues to address. It took time to build your business and it will take time to exit the business – that is if you want to exit on your terms. When you find your patience wavering, review your goals - are they specific, measurable, realistic and attainable? Remember, slow and steady wins the race. You will be surprised with how much can be accomplished within a three year period after 12 quarterly meetings!
- Your support network – Taking on this task alone will leave you less challenged, less accountable and more likely to fail. There are many helpful resources out there. Reach out to experts to assist you through the process. Do some research and speak with colleagues and/or other business owners that have been through the process successfully. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Look for a professional advisor with exit planning credentials and experience to guide you through the process and involve the specialists where and when needed.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.vspltd.ca to help you kick-start the exit planning process. We can help you set your exit plan in motion and assist you with the implementation to ensure you exit on your terms at a time of your choosing.
1. Inspired by Daryl Devonish, Co-Owner, Body Pump Inc. (www.bodypumpinc.com).