And there I was, standing on the bridge of a 35 foot sport fishing yacht tentatively pushing back on throttles of the dual engines as I faced backwards and took directions from my husband down in the pit.
His arms were outstretched and he shook his right hand indicating I should move the boat that direction. Then, he pointed his left hand in the opposite direction indicating a counter thrust to bring us closer to the empty little water bottle that bobbed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Madeira Island; 669 miles off the coast of mainland Portugal.
The sport fishing yacht rocked back and forth as the waves tossed us around. I widened my stance on the bridge and bent my knees to keep from being knocked off balance in the turbulence.
I had never run a boat like this before in my life! In fact, I'd never run a boat in my life! Nor did I have a single moment's experience operating large equipment.
When small business owners sell their company to someone else, we call it exiting their business. Exit plan coaching is specifically designed for people who are within 3 - 5 years of wanting to sell and exit their business.
There are four main factors an exit depends on: the preparation of the business (how ready it is to be transacted), the available buyer pool, the available financing, and the expectations of the owner.
But did you know there are certain practical things you can do to prepare for that exit, increase the valuation of your business, and increase the likelihood your business will sell? Yep, and today we’re talking about four easy steps to take to sell your small business.
My clients always ask me how to increase their small business’ value and honestly this is where I spend a majority of my time helping you when you’re preparing to exit. Driving more value helps to increase the likelihood your business will sell so that your business is one of the 13% that successfully transacts. (Bonus: increasing your business’ value also brings you more money from your exit.)
So where do you start?
Put yourself in a business buyer’s shoes: think about what would be important to them and what would cause them to pay more money for your business.
We've all heard it said, "it is lonely at the top". And that is so true for many of today's business leaders.
As a modern business leader you are responsible for all.the.things. Making sales, increasing profitability, staying healthy, retaining top talent, giving back to the community, spending QT with your family, the list goes on.
The problem is that this is that it is A LOT to be responsible for; I'd even argue that it is TOO MUCH for one leader to be responsible for.
Let's take a quick look at the main points to consider if you're beginner considering your options for a small business exit. He said, "the reason you exit a business is not the same reason you start a business." And that really resonated for me because I'd never taken the time to really consider the difference between the two. And if you're like most small business owners I work with, maybe you haven't considered it either.
Chances are if you're considering exiting your business, this is a relatively new concept for you. You've spent many years working in your business, working on your business, hiring, firing, and putting out fires. You always envisioned that you'd work forever, right? And now, something's changed and you want to know how to get off this darn merry-go-round! Right?
The problem for most business owners who've decided now is the time is exit, is they've been singularly focused on the easiest and most efficient ways to run a profitable business. They have spent little to no time considering the factors and logistics involved with selling (and transferring) a successful business to a new owner.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to identify the root of this problem. Simply put, small business owners rarely have the bandwidth to plan that far in advance. And frankly, small business ownership is a leadership role that's constantly evolving and demands 200% of your time and attention. Finding balance between working ON your business versus IN your business continues to be a challenge for many, if not all, small business owners. And so, we put off exit planning until there is no other choice.
If this describes you, you are not alone. I want to give you hope by reminding you there are resources, tools, and advisors that can make these next steps easier (and more profitable) for you.
Let's take a quick look at the main points to consider if you're a beginner considering your options for a small business exit.