Do you own your own business?
Smart business owners already have a long term exit strategy in place, like preparing to hand the business over to their children or planning to retire at a certain age.
Planning for your eventual exit is a good idea, but you should also consider an emergency exit plan. Ask yourself this question: What will happen to your business if you need to sell unexpectedly?
There are many circumstances where a business owner might need to walk away – like the illness of a family member or serious health issues of their own. If something comes along that will prevent you from sustaining your business, a pre-planned emergency exit strategy will allow you to walk away with a financial return instead of nothing at all.
“I don’t need an emergency exit strategy, I’ll just follow my long term plan and sell when I’m ready.”
An emergency exit strategy isn’t complicated and it isn’t anything like a long term plan. It just means that you and a business broker take a look at your business through a buyer’s eyes and make any necessary changes now instead of during a personal crisis.
“Why is it so important to look at my business this way now, when I have no intention of selling in the foreseeable future?”
It takes, on average, 9 to 12 months to get a business from listing to closing. This time frame can be lengthened considerably by having a business that isn’t in ready to sell shape.
To avoid any lengthy delays you need to think about a buyer’s eyes long before you have any buyers coming through the door. For instance:
What can you do to boost your numbers?
To answer this question think about your current marketing strategy. Are you hitting all areas of the market that you could be? Are you fully engaged on social media? Have you had any recent promotions to try and boost business? If you answered no to all of these questions, then perhaps it’s time to refresh your marketing strategy.
Are your financial records in an organized and easy-to-understand format?
If you think about your financial records and your first mental image is a cardboard box full of crumpled paper – now is the time to sort that out. A business broker and a CPA who specializes in business transactions will be able to help you organize your records and teach you how to keep them that way.
Is the place in total disrepair or in serious need of a deep cleaning?
First impressions last forever, so if your equipment has seen better days or the floor is so dirty it smells – you’d better believe that a buyer will have serious second thoughts about the rest of your business. Anyone who lets the physical aspects of their business fall into such disrepair probably hasn’t had an eye on growth, right? Fix what’s broken when it breaks and make deep cleaning part of your regular routine.
If these questions resonate with you, now is the time to implement changes – not when an impending emergency is forcing you to sell. Talk to a business broker now, even if you don’t plan on selling in the foreseeable future, so you can know how to be ready when and if you need to be.
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907
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