This is a short series covering 4 problems that I see people have when trying to prepare their business for exit. I am covering each as a separate topic, so check back for the other blogs as they are posted.
Who are You?
Let’s look at two scenarios of why your business does not run without you.
1) You are The Product
You are the commodity that is being sold. By this I mean; you are a keynote speaker, trainer, consultant, author, etc. You are the expected result of the interaction with the client. You are who is expected and your expertise is what you sell.
If you are the product you cannot sell ‘you’, unless you think you would be happy being the product in someone else’s business. That is not likely. After running your business for many years, being told what to do and when to do it would not be ideal for anyone including the new owner. You are the product.
2) You are The Controller
You have always overseen the delivery of the work, conducted the day-to-day operations, landed the clients, hired the contractors, paid the bills, managed all the relationships and interactions, maintained the equipment, etc. You are in control of all the aspects of your business. You are the business.
What has to Change?
To be able to create a business that can be sold, the business must have a perceived value for the buyer. The buyer does not want your 5000 slides, they want your IP, your clients, your relationships, your processes and support systems, including your people. They want to know that if they buy the business it will be easy to step into your role without having to be ‘you’.
What May Not Be Changed
If you are the product, it may be very difficult to have any value in your business worth selling. Your transition from being in the business to not being in the business has a different path. It is not about creating a value for others to want, it is about winding down, connecting your good clients with alternatives, completing contracts, helping employees and contractors with their transition, and setting a path for own your transition.
The Series – 4 Topics
Watch for the rest of this series, in the following weeks.
- Your Business Does Not Run Without You (Today’s topic)
- Value to the Next Owner (Part 2 Article Here)
- No Team Spirit (Part 3 Article Here)
- The Succession Plan – What’s Involved? (Part 4 Article Here)
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