“Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.” – Simon Sinek, Start With Why
Retirement as a business owner often requires:
- a vision of the world that does not yet exist for you
- the ability to communicate your business’s value to potential buyers
Realizing these two goals can be challenging, but they are achievable if you move forward with a clear picture of your why, followed by solid planning, finished with execution.
Business Succession Planning
You may be reluctant to let go of the reins of your business when you are ready to retire. A sense of responsibility for your employees, partners, and customers can make it feel like your needs should be an afterthought. To overcome this feeling and make your and your family’s needs the priority, you will need to assuage the fear of letting others down by knowing that the company is in optimal shape to succeed when you step away. What the buyer may do with the business after you take your leave is out of your control, but what you do to position your business to be in its best possible position for success is all that you owe anyone else.
This is where a succession plan comes into play. Prospective buyers may have different ideas than you on how to carry on with the business, but having a plan in place that lays out how the business can successfully move forward shows a level of commitment and forethought to your team and potential buyers. Frequently the fear of how a business may progress after the owner sells it off can be enough to dissuade someone from moving forward with the acquisition, and having a succession plan can ease any reservations that the buyer may have as well.
No matter what your company’s fate may be, doing your due diligence in advance to help ensure its success moving forward is worth the time and energy spent to make sure you have left your livelihood, your employees, and your reputation in the best possible position for a new owner.
Financial Security Planning
Once you know that your business is in capable hands, you will be forced to reconcile the status of your retirement income, and how it will provide for you and your family in the future. While business succession planning may be focused on your former business’s survivability, your financial security very much focuses on the well-being and providence of yourself and your family, as far out as you may see as worthwhile. That means paying attention to capital gains taxes and inflation rates is a primary focus to help ensure your current lifestyle is achievable in your golden years or until you find your next project.
Foresight of A Retiree
When considering if you are in a position to sell your business and retire, you must know your why just as strongly as the buyer does. Knowing your why will help you make the right decisions when it comes to selling your business, and help avoid the emotional hangups of walking away from something you have put so much of yourself into.
Why are you retiring now? Asking yourself this one question will guide you toward the proper resources for selling your business and ensuring your family’s well-being. You will also start to realize how much work goes into selling a business, and how many areas one can err in that could have serious financial repercussions. The process of selling your business may start when you decide to retire, but the true work comes with understanding the value of your business and what you can expect to receive from a buyer. This requires accurate valuation and strategic positioning of your business to help maximize your returns.
Deciding to retire is rarely easy, and obtaining maximum value for your business when it sells is also a difficult undertaking that should be overseen and orchestrated by true experts in the field of brokering business sales.
If retirement is around the corner for you and selling your business plays a part in that retirement, contact us at Apex and let us work with you in realizing your dreams.