Attention: Business Owners Who are Ready to Exit – Walk Before You Run

You are not alone – tens of thousands of Boomer business owners are eyeing the door – wondering what is on the other side of the door.

In a recent study, one of the top reasons for selling is burn out.

You have put your heart and soul into your business. I know that as a recovering business owner!

So, how do you exit. PLAN AHEAD. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

Here are three scenarios that show how that pays offs.

  • Life happens – catastrophic health issues where you are literally fighting for your life. Couple that with a contentious divorce. You step back into your business and find that the contingency plan of filling your leadership role while you were out failed. You have to reinvest time and resources to build back the trust of clients, employees and success.
  • The world beckons – you are ready to travel the world and experience new cultures and amazing events. Managing people has never been your strength. You are ready to relinquish that authority. You would like to still be in the game but on different terms. You look at potential industry colleagues as a way to continue forward.
  • The grass is greener – your industry is changing. No longer does the business model you have return the profits they once did. You are a recognized expert and wish to share your knowledge on a national level rather than fight the day to day fight in the 24/7 trenches.

What should you do to plan ahead and do your homework?

  • Start planning for it now – if the idea is in the back of your mind it is not too soon. Waiting until you are burned out may reduce your options and the value of your business.
  • The need to get your financial house in order which may include separating personal expenses from the business; culling unprofitable products or services; building on an asset you do have to capture greater value.
  • Research compatible industry partnering options, holding exploratory conversations and finding common ground and ways to “date” before you marry; formalizing and following through on a due diligence process so you have greater confidence that this avenue will work.
  • Set your own personal strategic plan – take inventory of your skills and expertise, consider what you are passionate about, identify ways to explore and experiment the ideas you have for the future, then set an action plan (something you have done for years for your business and now you need to for yourself).

Walking through the door rather than running through the door will increase your appreciation of what you have created and will better prepare you for what’s next. Enjoy!

Susan K Spaulding is an Author, Facilitator, Researcher, Strategist, Consultant, and Coach.

I work with businesses and leaders to take inventory, uncover the possibilities and navigate a path forward. Storytelling is fundamental to learning, teaching, connecting and inspiring.
Twitter: @SusanKSpaulding
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