One of the first questions I ask clients when I start working with them is “what is your strategy to exit your business?” Most of them say “I don’t know” or more frequently “I am just getting started, why would I think about how I will exit my business now?” A fair question but there is a VERY vital answer to this somewhat puzzling question.
I was at a networking event this morning for business transition planning. The statistics were shocking as to how few small business owners really think about transition planning, or more traditionally referred to as exit planning.
As the speaker referred to these statistics my recent post Entrepreneurs Build an Asset NOT Just a Job came into clear focus.
In the past few weeks I have had several small business owners who I’ve met with that were interested in creating self-sustainability in their business. They loved the idea that the freedom and independence which they wanted when they first started their business could be close at hand.
They, like most business owners, thought their business revenue needed to be $5 or $10 million annually in order to get there.
In a previous post titled Getting Beyond the “Survival Stage” of Growth in Your Business, I touched on the process by which you begin building systems which your business can operate on its own. Here I want to focus on how you actually do it.
First, the process is pretty simple:
- Do It
- Document It
- Test It
- Train It
- Delegate It
Sounds simple enough, so why do so many business owners struggle with completing it?
The Hit by a Bus Scenario
Anyone that owns a business has heard about the hit by a bus scenario at some point in time. The problem is we all deny it will ever happen to us. But, is that a realistic way to look at it?
Business succession planning is how you address the risk.
These are all good things, but be careful! If you’re focused just on achieving growth without a reason you could be just as miserable with a growing business as you are with a stagnant one!