Many small business owners start businesses not because they are fabulous business owners or budding entrepreneurs, but because they are passionate technicians. They have a particular skill that they know they can market and sell without working for someone else. But, for many of those business owners, that skill that sets their business apart can also be their Achilles Heel.
It’s easy enough to tell small business owners to build systems, grow their staff, cross-train employees, find and support dependable managers, trust your leadership team, delegate, get out the weeds, focus on strategy… but sometimes those things either feel out of reach, out of budget or even just out of focus when you’re stuck in the day-to-day operations of the business. So what can you do to wrap your head around these challenges (and solutions)? Think about selling your business.
If you decided to sell your business tomorrow – would someone buy it? Do you have the systems, staff and structure in place to hand someone the keys and walk away? Can the business succeed without you or are you not only the business owner, but also the lead technician and Chief Everything Officer? Have you spent time building a loyal customer base and a strong reputation? Have you invested in marketing and growth or are your competitors on your heels?
All in all, would buying your business be a wise business decision or would it be a liability?
As business coaches, this is a conversation we often have with our clients, either in group workshops or individually. Helping them find ways to get out of the day-to-day operations of the company not only gives them the freedom to have a business (rather than a demanding job), but also makes the business more valuable.
So, if your business would be a liability, create an honest list about all the things that you, as a potential buyer of your business, would see as concerns and opportunities. And, once you have that list, start working toward improvements either on your own, with your team, with a mentor or with a business coach.
And, if your answer is that buying your business would be a wise business decision, then you come to another important question… If someone did buy your business, would they pay enough to either sustain you moving forward or give you a strong start for your new business venture? How much is your business worth when you don’t consider your own emotional attachment? You can work through this on your own or with an accountant, but The Growth Coach offers a Business Valuation program. This program is designed to help you come up with a value and a plan for increasing that value so you can get the biggest return on your investment whenever you do decide to sell your business.
Whether you’re planning to sell the business in five or 25 years – or you’re thinking about passing it down to a family member – thinking through selling your business can help you build a stronger foundation and prepare your company for growth.