The Business Transition Blog

Time To Transition Your Business? Get Innovative!

If you think you only have one option for what to do with your business, when it’s time to slow down, think again. There are many possibilities. Unfortunately, a recent survey found that 40% of business owners don’t think they can sell their business so they plan to just wind it down and close it. But, if they think ahead and get innovative they might find other options.

If you are considering a change, here are ten options you could choose for your business in the next few years. If you think of others, please share!

  1. Sell it to a relative; maybe a son, daughter, former spouse, cousin, nephew, sibling, or a combination of these. You might be surprised at who is interested in taking over your business – if they were given the chance.
  2. Sell it to an employee, a group of employees or all the employees. This can be done through a buy-sell agreement, an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) or by turning your company into a co-operative (Co-op) business.
  3. Recruit someone to start as an employee with the intent of him/her learning the business, becoming a partner, and ultimately buying you out. Think of a former employee who was ambitious and left you to work with another company at a higher level.
  4. You might choose any of the above ideas, retain a percentage of the shares and continue to work part time, just for fun or to continue receiving income from the business. Set a buy-sell agreement in place and fund the buy-out with life insurance when you die.
  5. Buy your competitor(s), grow the business, and sell at a much higher price than if you were just selling your existing firm.
  6. Wind down the business quickly or over time and focus on serving a small group of customers part time, until poor health or death makes it no longer possible.
  7. Break your business into two or more separate entities. Keep one to play with and sell the others.
  8. Sell to an investment group, a competitor or a supplier.
  9. Hire a consultant to help you improve your business, then sell it to him/her.
  10. Contract a business broker or an investment banker to sell it for you.

Set a target date for transitioning the business. Then, get innovative and think about your options beyond just selling or closing the doors.

The Most Important Question You Can Ask About Your Business

You can see my latest article in ProfitGuide here.

You already have processes in your business, whether you know it or not. Employees already follow certain steps to get through the day, much of the time without really thinking about it.

Are the processes that your employees habitually engage in the best, most efficient, most effective and most productive steps they could be taking? Are they, in fact, processes that still make sense? Check out the question that will drive continuous improvement and make your business more saleable.

How’d You Like to Sell Your Business – Twice!

Here’s my latest article published on ProfitGuide. A successful entrepreneur gives some great tips on selling your business. In his case, he sold the business twice and more than doubled his original price.

New Year’s Resolution #3

I will read at least 30 new books this year on subjects that I believe will be of benefit to my clients. They include the following:

The Power of Habit

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Psychology of Executive Retirement from Fear to Passion: Escape the Rat-Race & Save Your Life

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

The Complete CEO: The Executive’s Guide to Consistent Peak Performance

Linkage Inc.’s Best Practices in Succession Planning

Saving the Family Cottage: A Guide to Succession Planning for Your Cottage, Cabin, Camp or Vacation Home

Effective Succession Planning: Ensuring Leadership Continuity and Building Talent from Within

New Year’s Resolution #2

Have at least one day per week in which I can say I’m in “Flow” as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his books and in this TED video. Here’s a summary of what he defines as Flow:

Flow:

  1. Completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated.
  2. A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.
  3. Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.
  4. Knowing that the activity is doable – that our skills are adequate to the task.
  5. A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego.
  6. Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present, hours seem to pass by in minutes.
  7. Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward.

My New Year’s Resolutions (Goals for 2015) #1

I’m going to check my email less often. Here’s why

Check your email only 3 times per day.

:

The Habits You Want To Develop in 2015

First we make our habits, then our habits make us – or break us.

Our habits have the potential to be our servants or our masters. Growing up, you didn’t know that. But now you know it to be true.

Your good habits, the ones that others admire in you and you use to your benefit are ones that you might wish you could expand and improve upon. Your bad habits, those that get you into trouble, are hard on your health, cause rifts with other people or stand in the way of your progress, are the ones you wish you could eliminate.

When I first read, Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, I was struck by six magic words: “We become what we think about.” Over the years I’ve tried to use that to my advantage. I felt that if I could control what I think about, I could control what I become. Choosing my habit of thinking; thoughts of positive expectancy, optimism, persistence, buoyancy, resilience and determination, took me a long way from where I had started.

That meant reading good literature and books that were enlightening and inspiring. It meant listening to books on tape (now Mp3s) and attending seminars with top thinkers and successful people.

Here’s a question for you: Is your future smaller than or bigger than your past? When you look ahead, do you see bigger and better opportunities, or diminishing returns? Are you ramping up, or slowing down?

As you look forward to a new year, consider what habits you’d like to address. Which ones expand your future and which ones cause it to contract? Which habits reinforce what you want, vs. what you don’t want?

What do you do every day, without effort, that helps you to succeed? Remember when you didn’t do that? What did you have to do to make it a habit? In most cases, it was determination, persistence and repetition.

What do you do every day, without effort, that causes you not to succeed at something? What habits prevent you from losing weight, getting fit, improving relationships, building your business to its potential?

If you want a different future than the trajectory you’re on, much of it will be determined by your daily habits. If it’s true that we become what we think about, what are the dominant thoughts in your mind? Which ones are your masters and which are your servants? As we head into 2015, take back control and decide the habits that will expand and create an even better year for you.

Make The Necessary Changes Happen

Here’s my latest article in PROFIT Magazine on using proven Change Process to transition your business.

Please join me for a free educational webinar

If the thought of slowing down or transitioning your business has crossed your mind and you’re looking for information about why and how you should get started, please join me.

If you’re an advisor and deal with business owners who are or should be considering the transition of their business and you’d like to engage them in that conversation, please join me.

If you are the spouse or child of a business owner and believe it’s time for him/her to start thinking (and talking about) transitioning themselves and their business, please join me.

This webinar will:

  • ask 8 key questions that every business owner should be considering,
  • outline the 5 most common reasons business owners are hesitant to address such an important issue, (and what to do about them)
  • explain why talking with your lawyer and accountant is important but won’t get you where you want to go,
  • provide 7 steps you can take right now to enhance the value and strength of your business,
  • explain why only 1 in 5 businesses will get sold and how to increase your chance of success
  • explain how you can leverage your time, making it worth thousands of dollars per hour if it’s not too late.

Date: June 12, 2014

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

More information, please go here and here to register.

Thanks,

Wayne

Retirement? Don’t Do It! (At least not in the traditional sense.)

Here’s an article I wrote recently for PROFITGuide.com.

The Positive Power of Gaps – We still need to be active, engaged and have a purpose as we continue to age and look for ways to slow down.

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