When you’ve been running your own business for many years, at some point you’ll want to step back. You may just need a break from the daily grind and frustrations of the workplace. Perhaps you’re looking for a new challenge. It could be time to travel the world and enjoy the spoils of your labour. Or possibly a health issue needs your attention, whether its yours or someone else’s.
There are so many reasons you might want to step back from your company – and there are plenty of options, too. The obvious exit strategy is to sell the business through a business broker or similar. But that’s far from your only choice. You might like to consider other possibilities. This is a trio of ideas for stepping back from your business, starting with:
#1: Passing your business to the next generation
When you sell your business outright to a fresh face, it’s a relatively clean break. In contrast, passing on your business to your children or other relatives is more of a gradual process. It requires tact, generosity and negotiation on all sides.
I’ve helped business owners work through this transition before – it’s never without its ups and downs. That includes taking into account the company’s financial position and the finances of all the people involved. Younger generations may be highly indebted and take time to be able to shoulder all the financial responsibilities of the company. Hasty decisions can be costly.
But it’s not merely financial. As the owner, it’s easy to insist on doing everything the way that works for you. However, at some point you’ll need to let the new owner make his or her own mistakes and discover new innovations. You can’t be forever offering unsolicited advice at every family dinner – nor should the new business owner be constantly calling you for help when you’re out sailing.
Having a plan to follow, and taking the time to do thorough training, helps the handover go as smoothly as it can. Get it right, and you can build a legacy company with considerable heritage and experience. You can go sailing and your kids can continue building the business you started.
However you want to transition your business, it starts with planning and good advice. Give me a call if you want to talk.