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Exit Strategy-Step 3: Establish Your Goals It's no secret that having clearly defined, written goals, sets you apart from other business people. You will achieve greater success, have less stress and build greater wealth for you, and for your family. Start today; create your 5 year, 10 year, 20 year plan. Be specific about what you want to accomplish. And commit to these goals each and every day. Don't worry about life's obstacles and challenges that may throw you a curve ball. Having goals is far better than not having goals, and those goals can be adjusted along the way. With regard to your retirement, give a lot of thought to your future, and what that looks like. And create a goal for that too. It may seem far in the future for many of you reading this, but trust me, time goes by fast and preparing now for the sale of your business or succession will pay off. Remember, build your business as if you are selling it tomorrow, and you be more successful while you own it, have more options in the future, and your business will be worth more when the right time arrives. Stay tuned for Step 4!
Exit Strategy-Step 2 Have Clean and Accurate Financial Statements The value of your business will be determined by your net profit, cash flow and a strong balance sheet. Having clean and accurate numbers will be more attractive to a potential buyer, especially if your business shows growth over time. While you may value your loyal customer list, and your tools and equipment, it's the profitability of your business that will be used to determine how much someone will pay for your business. As an added benefit, having clean and accurate financials will also help you through tough economic times, and if you ever need a bank loan. Get your books in order and work hard on your business to show a profit.
This forum will outline the steps that I took the past three and half years, working toward my exit strategy. I will outline each step, each week, to give you information that I know you will find informative and useful. Please note, these steps are the ones that I took, and your situation may differ. However, you will find so many similarities, that I am sure you will obtain a ton of great information. Ok, here we go... STEP 1 - Get Your Business Ready to Sell Today You are never to young to begin thinking about your retirement or sale of your business. Work hard on your business to get it to run on its own. For quality of life, and to grow a sucessful business, requires having the right people, the right systems, a knowledge of the numbers, and a plan. Also, the more you are removed from the day to day operations, the more sucessful you will be and the more your business will be worth to a potential buyer. Here's another important reason to get your business to run on its own: A health crisis may leave you sidelined for months or longer, or may even leave you disabled to a point where you cannot perform the necessary duties as a shop owner. We all have heard of shop owners that either became seriously ill, were in a bad accident or passed away, leaving the business in a state that it cannot run by itself. Or, not worth much because the shop owner did not take the necessary steps to build the business correctly and not having clean and accurate financials. Begin today to start thinking about your business and when you want to sell, have family take over the business, or other options. Start getting all your financials in order, set your long-term goals, work on your business plan, review and refine all your systems and procedures, and talk to your family about your long-term plans. With each step, you may need help from either an accoutant, broker, attorney, or a business coach. Please don't make the mistake of thinking you can everything on your own. That's it for today- Next week I will discuss The Importance of Having Clean Financials and Showing a Profit Thank you and Stay Tuned!
I cannot reveal all the details yet, but I am in contract to sell my last location. The deal is set to take place by the end of the year. I will use this forum to outline my journey the last 41 years in business and the steps I took to exit out of the business. My objective is to share my experience so that others can learn from my ups and downs and also to learn about the importance of an exit plan, no matter how old or young you are. I will give details on how I prepared my business for sale, how I negotiated with different companies, and different people, and how you can get the most for your business when the time comes. Plus many behind the curtain details on how to sell a business- the good, the bad and the ugly. Please feel free to contact me with questions. So stay tuned for more details, week by week! Oh, by the way, I am not going anywhere. I will still be active in the industry, invloved with Auto Shop Owner, continue to work with Bob Cooper and all the great people at Elite as a business coach and trainer, writing articles for Ratchet and Wrench, remain invloved with the Service Stations Dealers of Greater New York and more.