Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Bereavement is a Symptom

With the growing number of owners of established businesses reaching the retirement age of 50 years old or older, it is likely that many will be ready to leave their business within the next decade or so.  What have you done to plan for that day?

Planning for what is typically the biggest financial event of your life is worth your time and effort.  It should not wait till the day you hand-over the keys.

Exit planning is not mysterious, time-consuming, nor just a clever way to sell you another product.  It is, however, a way to help you achieve your financial and lifestyle objectives.

One of your first steps in your plan should be to take a hard look at yourself!

Building a business is an emotional commitment.  Your whole life is wrapped up with your business.  Your partners, suppliers, customers and staff become part of your extended family.  Many business owners mourn the loss of status and purpose that running a company can bring.  Most imagine that financial security is what they wanted, but find out establishing, building and meeting the challenges along the way mattered most.

Business owners who successfully and happily make the transition typically have plenty of friends, hobbies and outside interests.  They devote more time once they have left their company to these efforts.  They donate their money and more importantly their knowledge to good causes.  They spend time with their family and devise a worthwhile second chapter rather than a desolate retirement.

If you do not prepare yourself for life after your business transfer, you will not truly enjoy the fruits of your labour. 

Take the first step in your plan and image what your days and weeks will be like without being first to the shop…. How will you feel?  What hobbies would you spend more time at?  Are their charitable causes you could devote a regular part of your week or month too?  Have you discussed your plans with your family?

Finally, secure the services of a good business broker/exit planner to help you navigate through your exit plan; it can be good preventative medicine.  Although there are no guarantees, sound guidance when it comes to goal setting, strategic planning, and the step-by-step execution of your plan can go a long way to maximize your financial payout and minimize the likelihood of seller’s remorse, after you transition out of your business. 

Do you have small business questions you would like answered about this article or others?  Please visit www.VRWindsor.com or call 519-903-7807. 
William Sivell is a sales representative of VR Windsor Inc., Business Brokerage; his blog appears every Tuesday.


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