Future Business Owner Exit

Future Business Owner Exit

You’ve invested your blood, sweat, tears, nights, weekends, and a lot of money into your business.  Don’t you want to recoup some of that when it’s over?  You should!  There are so many reasons that support you selling your company versus closing your doors.  I’m talking about everyday businesses too, not necessarily the Shark Tank, M&A, or a unicorn acquisition, but your business. 

Many of today’s business owners don’t think about how they are going to end their ownership of their business until it is time.  By then, it’s often too late to do anything about it.  So, what can you do now to make your business better and an attractive company later, when you decide it’s time to sell it. 

Here are the 3 most important drivers in a business sale:

Positive Increasing Cash Flow.  This means that your business is profitable with extra cash at the end of each month, quarter, and year.  This money is not earmarked for improvements, investments, or debt repayment.  The cash flowing through the business shows financial and managerial strength and is the most attractive feature in a sale.

Future Potential.  Is the company or industry on a growth track?  Does your offering have an opportunity to continue or improve?  A declining market may be a killer unless you have a secret weapon ready to turn it around. Can your product or service be folded into or enhanced by the buyer's current offering?  Standalone businesses are sometimes consumed by the buying company as a new division.  Making sure that your company has future opportunities is key to holding its value at the sale.

Self-Reliance.  The business needs to be able to run without you, the founder.  Unless the buyer is just looking for your unicorn product or your client base, they probably aren’t looking to keep you on with the sale for longer than a short transition period.  Your most attractive move is to get your company self-reliant.  That means good people, knowledge-based systems, and repeatable processes with you leading the company.  Most buyers aren’t looking for another JOB, they want something that can run itself.

While these 3 drivers are great for a future sale, they are also fantastic features and benefits while you still own and manage your company.  It is never too early to start focusing on improving your business.  These are not the only important factors for a profitable and sale-ready business.  If you are interested in learning more and improving your company, we are happy to share some additional ideas with you.  Just ask.

Marcia Riner

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