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I was attending a recent TECH NET council meeting a few weeks back and one of the topics discussed was Exit Strategies. One of the members spoke about finding a key person in your company, if there is no one in your family to consider. There are many shop owners out there that are near retirement. It would be a good idea to share a few ideas. I know many shop owners may not even have a plan. My lawyer approached me about a year ago and insisted that I sit down with him to plan out my future. I am 59, been in business for 34 years and been in the auto repair business since high school. If your story is similar to mine, it's something we need to start planning. Thoughts? Comments?
Think you're too young to start planning for retirement? Think again! How many times have we heard about a shop owner that had an unfortunate accident, serious illness or even worse, death? Make it one of your goals to starting planning for your exit, and for life after auto repair, no matter how young you are. Create your exit strategy. Speak with an attorney, a financial advisor, a business coach. Make sure that not only you, but your family, will be taken care of should something catastrophic happens. Life sometimes throughs us a curve ball. Be prepared!
Last October the doctors found a large infection and abscess in my large intestine that perforated into my abdomen. I required emergency surgery to remove the abscess; removing about six inches of my large intestine. That was step one: This past January, I needed an additional surgery to remove another 4 inches, and repair other areas of my intestines. Thankfully, I am fine, with no lasting issues. It will take about a year to fully recover, but all is well. I am telling you this for one reason: What if something were to happen to you? Will your shop survive? What about your family? These were the things I thought about when I was laid up in the hospital. Create a continuity plan to prepare for a crisis. Make sure you have a will and enough life insurance. Build a business where it can be run by the systems and procedures you out into place. Lastly, ENJOY the fruits of your labor! When I woke up after the surgery with tubes inside me and in my arms, It became clear that the things we worry about in business are really not that important. Take care of yourself !