Exit Successfully Selling Your Business
It’s not common for business owners to have an exit strategy for their businesses, whether it’s when they retire or in the event of their disability or death. To exit successfully selling your business you still need to concentrate on keeping your business thriving and growing. One of the reasons is that the buyer may require you staying on after ‘retirement’ — and so a business exit strategy is critical for a smooth succession or sale.
Of course, your exit will have a tremendous impact on your employees, your business structure, company assets, and your tax liabilities. Prior to trying to create your exit strategy on your own, speak with a business evaluation expert. A business broker is an expert on business transitions who can help you explore all the options that you have available.
Create an Exit Plan and stick to it.
However, one problem that even the savviest and best-prepared business owners may experience when transitioning their businesses is going back and undoing their exit plan. This frequently occurs with Baby Boomer owners who become anxious or have doubts about the sale. These folks need some closure in order to say goodbye to a business in which they’ve sweated for many years.
To help these reluctant owners feel better about the transition and to help them move on to the next stage in their lives, they need a strong sense of closing one door and opening another. Some experts suggest a simple transition tool for these boomer owners: a letter to the new owner in which they can relate their feelings and concerns. The thought behind this is that writing down your thoughts and reflections can be a cleansing and liberating way to achieve closure. In addition, it can help the new owner to have a better understanding of your efforts and to more fully appreciate the historical context of the business that he or she will be operating.
As opposed to a handwritten or typed letter, some folks now are using their smartphone to make a video communication to the new owner.
Here are some ideas for organizing this message—hard copy or electronic—to the new owner:
- State the reason for the letter or video, as well as your thoughts and concerns, and why this will bring some closure;
- Present the big picture to the new owner in order for him or her to fully appreciate the significance of the business from the founder’s point of view;
- Provide specific encouragement to the new owner;
- Give him or her your insights and rationales as to what’s made this a successful business;
- Offer advice on any key issues with a positive spin; and
- Try to do this in a personable and sincere manner.
This letter can be a part of your exit plan now that you’re thinking about selling, or you can even start the outline of this letter some time before—like when you know that you’re thinking about retiring.
Andrew Rogerson is happy to help you sell your business in the Sacramento area and throughout California. To learn more, visit this web page Successfully Sell Your Business.
For more immediate help, please send an email to Andrew or call him at (916) 570-2674.