Entrepreneurs take pride in addressing issues head on, taking risks and making the tough calls that ultimately yield business success. But when it comes to thinking about what it takes to transition a successful enterprise, many entrepreneurs do not ask the tough questions. Many - myself included - hold unrealistic expectations about the time commitment involved in planning a successful transition.
Time is not on your side
Many of us Baby Boomers love the Rolling Stones adage "Time...Is on my side. Yes it is!" We are forever young and believe it is too early to plan what we do with our business and our lives. Who has the time to plan when there is so much work left to do? Owners often think it will take no time to sell their business. The fact is, if owners fail to take the time to plan, they have created a plan to fail. Overnight transactions are not based in reality. It takes time to create a strategic game plan so the owner can get the company into the best business and financial shape possible in order to realize the maximum amount of profit.
Owners will need time to meet with professional advisors such as credentialed business valuation advisors, accountants who are CPAs, business and estate lawyers, financial planners and others with expertise in the succession and exiting process.
Avoidance does not innovate
A chief characteristic of being an entrepreneurial businessperson is one’s spirit of innovation. You have created a better solution, a more effective process or have developed a product or service that people value and are willing to pay you money for. Just as it took you time to use your imagination and resourcefulness to do the preparatory work to transition your creative idea or solution into reality, you need to apply that same diligence and creativity to personally transitioning out of your role as a business owner.
I’ve found that avoiding conversations about business exit planning has more to do with entrepreneurs feeling uncomfortable about the transition process itself. Many fear looking foolish or fear they may fail in transitioning their business. Some may even fear success itself and the psychological impact of starting a new chapter that may change how they are defined (by themselves, by their family, and by their community).
But deep down, many owners know that they are avoiding dealing with issues that need to be addressed, which causes them to feel powerless when faced with the question of what’s next for my business and my life.
To learn more, register for the 30-minute complimentary webinar, Strategic Thinking About Your Business and Personal Future, hosted by Boston Private on May 24, 2017 at 3 p.m. EDT and 12 p.m. PDT
To read more about this subject by the author go to Amazon books:
7 Principles For Living with Authenticity: Discovering Your True Self When Facing Life Changes
Finding Your New Owner: For Your Business, For Your Life