One thing business owners rarely talk about is succession.
We are so busy building our businesses that we fail to think about how we will move on to our next project, will our businesses to our children or sell the business to retire.
In truth we never start with the end in mind. And if we do we consider the destination to be a profitable and successful business. Unfortunately profitable can mean just one cent more than we spend and the definition of success is relative!
Unfortunately, when I start talking about succession - I get a lot of push back from entrepreneurs.
"Why should I already be thinking about closing or selling my business - I am just starting to build my business?"
Succession planning is not just about quitting, retiring, closing or selling your business. Succession planning is about how you BUILD your business
. When you build it with the end in mind (eg selling it for a profit) you build it so that it is turn key.
What is a turn key business? It is a business someone can buy with little or no training. In other words it is set up so anyone can take it over with a little education and knowledge.
Yes, right now your business has a little of your personality in it, and that is ok. Bur have you looked at the structure of the business? Is it operated and supported by manageable systems? Or is it simply, find customers, sell product, find more customers. If it is the latter - it is not a sustainable or a turn key business.
What systems do I need?
A business that is supported by systems includes automated list or data base building systems, automated communication systems, automated or scheduled follow up systems, customer appreciations systems, automated financial systems and standardized processes for all activities. In addition to having these set up a business also needs a manual (policies and procedures) to explain these processes to anyone new coming on board, and anyone who may be interested in buying the business.
It's never too late to start
It's true - it is never to late to start. Building your business with a succession plan can also free up your time and help your business to become or to be more profitable regardless of whether you want to sell it, give it away or just close it down when you decide to retire or move on to something else.
My business is too small
I hear this all the time. No business is too small to build into a turn key business. Again it simply require that the business owner set up systems to make it turn key. And most times - doing that surpises the business owner by making it more profitable!
How do I begin
Think about how you could turn what you do or offer into a standard offering, and think about how it (or part of it) can be delivered by someone other than you. Most often a business coach can help
you to see how you can do just that.
Succession planning really encourages us to build a business that we can sell - and what better way to end your career - with a healthy cheque in hand!
If you are interested in business coaching or assistance with succession planing - why not book some coaching. You can learn more here.