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One of my complaints with the exit planning community is their language is often about selling a business.  I understand that at some point we’ll all leave our businesses.  I also have seen a significant number of business owners who haven’t developed an urge to think about selling their businesses yet.

I encourage business owners to have their business ready to sell at all times.  Not because I want them to sell their business, because it gives them more options.  I also often see that when a business is ready to sell the owner has a lot more fun running the business.  Some of the things that happen when a business is ready for sale is:

The owner has made themselves operationally irrelevant.  We know that buyers don’t really want the owners of the business they buy.  I observe that those owners who get themselves out of operations find they have many less headaches than owners who have to make day-to-day decisions in their business.

Having fewer headaches allows the owner to stay energized and excited about what their business does.  When one has to deal with daily issues and problems for years, there is a good chance burnout is going to occur.

Your business has a good chance to produce more cash.  When an owner changes their relationship to their business they will have time to be strategic.  It’s strategic initiatives that allow the business to move from a good job to one that produces excess cash. 

Excess cash allows the owner to diversify their investments.  When there is cash besides business value an owner can decide how they want to spend their time.  If there is a hiccup in the business, the owner has cash to cover the shortfall.  I find that business owners who have excess cash available are calmer about their business and the business’ prospects.

Your business will have become systemized.  We believe a Stage 1 businesses main job is to achieve predictability.  Those businesses that haven’t achieved this state are tough to mange and tough to sell.  Predictability not only lives in cash flow.  It also lives in having systems to run your business.

I believe that businesses that have good operating systems are predictable and easier to manage.  Employees want to know what they’re supposed to do under a variety of circumstances.  When you’ve systemized your business you’ve made it easier for your people to deliver excellent products and support.

I’m expecting that many business owners who read this will resonate with the idea of keeping their business and at the same time having it ready for sale.  Businesses that are ready for sale are often more successful and easier to run.  What are you thoughts about having your business ready for sale?

To discover how saleable your company is, get our complementary Exit Planning Assessment. This process provides a coaching call on eighteen key areas a buyer would look at in your business.  You will have a call with no charge as well as a report that outlines a projected value of your business, the gap you could fill and strong and weak parts of your business.  Click on the button below to start the Exit Planning Assessment process.


Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

This article is published for residents of the United States only.  Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered.  Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed.  Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed.


Topics: exit planning, business exit planning, Exit planning for advisors, exit strategy business plan, exit readiness

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