Is It Time to Let Go of the Company?
Maybe it’s time to stop. Has that thought gone through your mind? Perhaps you’ve been thinking about transitioning the business to your children or offering it to your management team, or maybe about selling it.
It’s a big decision. You’ve spent years working to control the business. All that effort and energy and sacrifice was to create something that would matter and that would lead to a return on that investment. And it’s bigger than the business, isn’t it. Our businesses express who we are and what we stand for. Transitioning out isn’t just one more business deal. It requires a shift in mindset, not just a shift in ownership.
In all our years of working with business owners, we’ve found that while most have become proficient at running their business, few have put serious energy into preparing to exit the business. It’s a different skill altogether, and one that’s becoming more important than ever.
Where Are You Today?
At any given moment, we’re all at different stages in our business. You might even wonder why you’re looking at this right now.
Maybe it’s because the pressures are growing and you’re uncertain about your own future. Maybe the family sees that you’re getting ready to transition out of the business and their starting to jocky for position — or worse, outright fighting for control. Maybe your facing depression or anxiety … or just feeling stuck.
There are moments when we simply must look for outside support. For leaders who understand exactly what we’re going through and have the resources, models, and training to help. People you can talk to openly and candidly.
No matter where you find yourself today, we’re here to support you.
Here’s a quick place for you to start.
Click on the statement below that best describes where you find yourself today. We’ll offer a few thoughts for you to take into consideration and give you a clear action to get started.
“I’m just starting to think about the idea of transitioning my business. I don’t have any plans to do anything in the next six months or so. I think there’s more I need to learn before I explore it much further.”
Choosing to transition out of your business doesn’t just happen. It takes time to prepare yourself and others before that happens. Otherwise, you risk introducing confusion and unnecessary risk into the business.
If you’re just starting to think about it, then it’s important to make sure you’ve got the information you need so you can get the best possible results.
Maybe you find yourself “getting ready to get ready”. You starting to think about the change but concerned about what will happen when you start down that road. If that’s where you are now, you have some important conversations ahead of you because this isn’t just about your business, this is about your life and what’s ahead.
A powerful first step is a conversation with Sherry Cain from our team. Dr. Sherry has extensive experience working with leaders to help them get clarity on the first steps they need to take as they consider transitioning out of their business. Reach out to arrange a quick call with Sherry now.
“I’m starting to think about the pros and cons of making changes in my business … and my life. There’s a lot on the line with this decision but I feel I’m getting ready.”
You may well feel that you’re approaching the right time to make changes in both the business and your life. And if you’re already thinking about the pros and cons of transitioning out of the business, then you probably have a lot questions.
In fact, some leaders have so many questions they end up feeling stuck and unsure of the right next step. Then the pressure and anxiety start to build — and instead of getting clarity and feeling confident about stepping out of the business, you feel lost, diminished, or bitter.
To start cutting through all the questions you may want to have a short 15-minute conversation with Dr. Sherry from our team. Sherry works with business leaders who are contemplating major changes to their business. You can reach out to her now.
“It’s time for me to start my transition out of the business. I’ve thought about this long enough. It’s time to get a plan in action, get some help, and make this happen.”
Leaders who know it’s time to begin the transition of the business need to act with clarity and purpose.
Handled well, this can be one of the most powerful moments in the history of the business—but only if it’s handled carefully. There’s a lot on the line — your legacy, your reputation, and the future of the company. You need the right plan and the right support to make it happen.
If you know this is the time, then we’d encourage you to give Coach Doug a call. Doug knows what it’s like to run major companies and is focused on guiding leaders as they transition out of their business. No nonsense. No pressure. Reach out to Doug.
“I’ve started to take steps to transition out of my business. My team and my family know that this is happening. But things aren't going the way they were supposed to—for me or for them.”
If you’ve already put the wheels in motion to transition out of the business then you know just how complex it can be at an operational level. Put another way, it doesn’t take long for the wheels to fall off. You may have underestimated the breadth and depth of your impact on the business.
Now the business is starting to suffer. The team is confused, the clients are confused, and you may be uncertain about whether this is going to work or not—and you have to get this right.
You need specialized support to get things back on track. To bring clarity and focus to the business. To eliminate the chaos and manage the transition effectively. You don’t need just anyone to support you. These are special circumstances and you need specialized help.
Get things back on track. Have a conversation with Coach Doug. Doug works with leaders like you who are in the midst of what is likely the most important transition of their life. This is what he does.
“I was well on my way to transitioning out of the business. But I'm slipping back into the weeds. And to be honest, things are starting to go sideways."
Maybe you’re starting to wonder “What happened?”
You started making changes in your life and business. You were getting ready to step away and transition the business. It was supposed to be your retirement—your graceful exit—and it’s falling apart.
You’re getting drawn back into conversations and decisions that you were trying to leave behind. The team isn’t working. The plan isn’t working. You’re feeling that the crisis is growing and realize that this could quickly move from business failure to personal failure.
Now is the time for outside support. You need an honest, unbiased perspective. If this is where you find yourself today, reach out to Dr. Sherry. Her depth of experience, insight, and knowledge might be just what you need right now.
What’s Really At Risk?
Everything you’ve worked for.
Every weekend you sacrificed.
Every relationship that suffered.
Your reputation, your future, and your legacy.
That’s what’s on the table here.
A misstep now can put it all at risk.
Investors are going to look at every single facet of your business. Do you know what they’re looking for? Do you know what they will find? Until you do, you can’t get top dollar—you won’t get what your company is worth.
Consider this: The average company is leaving approximately 35% of their value on the table. This is the gap between what the company is worth now and what it could be worth if it was properly prepared for transition or sale. If your company is doing $19 million in revenue, then you’re leaving about $6.6 million on the table.
Did you work that hard to walk away from over $6 million?
Exit Your Company in 12 Months or Less
Most owners never actually prepare their business before they transition out of it. That’s one reason 80% of businesses never actually get sold.
Like everything in your business, you’ve got to do the work—but while you may not be ready to sell right now, it doesn’t have to take years either.
You need a plan and you need a team. We’re ready to get started.
Bottom Line Results. Period.
Let’s face it, you’ve probably been at this a long time. Building. Growing. Working. By this point, you may just want out. Enough is enough and t’s time to be done.
If that’s where you are today, then let’s make sure that you get top dollar for your investment. This is not the time to be leaving money on the table. This is the time to get out everything you put in, plus more.
This Isn’t Just About the Bottom Line
It’s About Your Legacy
How many years have you poured into your business? How much have you sacrificed? If you’re like most leaders we work with, you’ve put everything you’ve got into the company.
Maybe you’ve done well financially. Maybe you’ve accomplished the goals you set for yourself and the company. And you deserve it.
Now you’re looking at the next big step—legacy. Your legacy begins as you start to hand over control to others. It’s when you watch what you built move beyond
Red Flags Stop Transitions in Their Tracks
Do you know what Red Flags you face?
– Is there a pending lawsuit?
– Are you behind in your taxes?
– How well does your Senior Management Team operate?
These Red Flags wont just lower the value of your company; they can stop your transition plans immediately. A potential investor will take one look at these and walk.
Other approaches might deal with one or two Red Flags, but not all of them. You’ll still be leaving money on the table and wondering how to transition out of the company.
Our team brings the breadth and depth of experience you need to tackle these head on and get your plans back on track. All while making sure you get the full return on investment from your business.
This Has to Happen Now
Each year, more Baby Boomers are transitioning out of their business and the competition is getting more fierce.
As each month passes, it’s becoming more of a buyers market.
Your time to act is now.
What Else Happens When You Prepare Your Business?
Here’s the worst-case scenario when you prepare to transition out of your business: You have a better business.The basic question of due diligence is this:
Can this business, in its current state, reliably produce profit in the future?
Everything you do to prepare your business for sale or transition is designed to make the answer to this question an unqualified “Yes”.
This means the business will run smoother, it will be stronger, and you will have a more successful company. It’s that simple.
Transitioning Your Business is More Complicated Than You Think
Gone are the days when a business was sold on a handshake. Investors are doing their due diligence and looking carefully at every part of the business before they finalize an offer.
Research shows that between 1,360,000 and 2,000,000 businesses owned by Baby Boomers will be for sale over the next five years—and you’re competing against every one of them. (*https://valueplan.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/baby-boomer-sell-off.pdf)
If you’re serious about getting the full value for your company—whether you’re transitioning to your children, enabling a management buy-out, or selling to an investor—you can’t just get a few things right: You have to get everything right.
There are 18 categories that get thoroughly tested during a serious due diligence process. No single person has competency in all 18. You need to work with a team of experts if you’re going to get this right.
Growth—How has your company grown over time? How does it stack up against your competitors? Will future growth outpace the industry average?
Market Size—Is there still room for significant growth in your industry?
Market Share—Do you own the highest percentage of the available market relative to your competitors?
Revenue—Can you rely on future revenue from contractually committed customers?
Barriers—Are there significant barriers to new entrants in your company’s market?
Differentiation—Do you have products or services that are unique and give you a competitive advantage?
Brand—Does your company have a recognizable brand that reinforces your presence in the market and supports the company’s objectives?
Margin—Are your gross and net margins better than the industry norm?
Customers—Do you have a well-diversified customer base?
Company—Can an outsider easily obtain a complete understanding of your company including its performance, practices, culture, discipline, and mission?
Financial—Are all of your financial matters in order, taxes current, and are you following best practices?
Marketing—Can you produce revenue in a proven and systematic way and not simply based on the efforts of individuals in the business today?
Operations—Can you deliver on the sales promises made to the marketplace in a systematic and process-driven way?
Satisfaction—Are you using and tracking key metrics to meet customer expectations at all levels?
Management—Do you have the leadership team in place to realize the company’s vision and mission while helping the owner achieve his or her goals?
HR—Are you able to easily find, develop, and retain quality individuals who enable the success of the business?
Legal—Do you have all your legal matters in order and documented, and are you following best practices?
Innovation—Do you have a proven and systematic way to drive and capture innovation at all levels and areas of the business?
One More Thing
Transitioning out of the business has another aspect to it as well. It’s not just about the financials. For most people, their business is an expression of who they are and what they stand for. It’s the legacy they leave and the difference they make.
That kind of transformation requires a shift in thinking. It requires letting go, relinquishing control, trusting others, and recognizing that you are, in fact, not your business. There are — without a doubt — important psychological changes that we all have to undergo in order to successfully transition the business. Changes that let us step from one world into the next. That let us embrace the person we are going to become once the transition is complete.
Don’t underestimate this. If you’re not fully ready for this part of the transition, we have the team to support you.
By Now, You Know You Can’t Do It Alone
Ultimately, the success of our businesses come from what we do with and through others. It’s how we grow, how we scale, and how we improve.
The best leaders master the ability to draw on other people’s strengths and capabilities to accomplish their goals. They don’t have to do things themselves—they just need to get things done by the right people.
When you’re leading the business through a transition, you need more than a single person. You need more than your business broker.
We’ll work with you and your broker. Our experienced, professional team will give you the support you need to get the full value of your business as quickly as possible.
Coach Doug has the experience, leadership, and insights required to guide seasoned operators through the transition of the business. He has assembled diverse and effective business professionals who will work with you to prepare your company for transition quickly and for maximum return.Doug Christy
Jon’s years of experience and impeccable financial credentials — as an accountant, VP Finance, CFO — make him an indispensable part of the team and a critical resource during the transition of your business.Jon Best
Dr. Sherry provides unparalleled support to leaders as they transition their business. Letting go of the company and relinquishing control to a new leader requires a major shift in thinking. Dr. Sherry helps leaders make the internal transition necessary for the business transition to take place.Dr. Sherry Cain
Trefor is an award-winning leader who works with companies on strategy, communications, and marketing. His work helps businesses in transition clarify their value to the market and express that value most powerfully.Trefor Munn-Venn
Can You Prove it?
Owners know how their business runs. You’ve been at it day-in, day-out for years. But knowing how your business runs and proving how your business runs are two different things.
Earlier, we educated you on 18 different things that will get examined during due diligence. Financial statements are not enough. They don’t want to know that you have a process for bringing on top talent, they want to SEE your process—written down, step-by-step.
Do you have that?
To transfer your business successfully, you need to provide the buyer with PROOF of value through a reliable measure of future profitability.
Fast Transition Methodology
If you want to quickly and successfully transition your business, you can’t do it alone. Many leaders spend as much time assembling the experts they require and bringing them up to speed as they do actually transitioning the business. We’ve taken care of that for you.
We’ve brought together a nation-wide group of professionals who are each experts in their field. Their combined expertise in legal, marketing, tax, sales, operations, product differentiation, family dynamics, and HR is unparalleled.
They’ve seen it all and worked with organizations of all sizes in all industries. We work closely with you and your broker to make sure your company is ready.
If you want to move quickly and with confidence, these are the experts you want to work with.
We will guide you every step of the way and show you how each action you are taking is increasing the value of the company.