The last time I checked, the mortality rate continued to hover right around 100%, which means your business isn't going to be yours forever. You're going to sell it, shut it down, or pass it down a generation. An estimated 70% of businesses don't have a family member capable or willing to assume responsibility. What are you doing to plan for the sale?
When it comes to planning for the future of the family business, do the hard math. Some day you are not going to be there to run it. It is just a matter of time, and there may simply be no family member there to step up to the task, which is something even further from your control. For many a business, and for the betterment of the family, this means a sale. So what are you doing to prepare the business for sale?
It is, indeed, a hard math, and not something that comes easy to most of us. Nor does selling the business you worked so hard to create. Nevertheless, when so much of the family wealth is locked into the business, be sure to consider proven, practical tips for preparing it for a sale.
To get you started, consider a recent Forbes article titled "10 Simple Tips To Make Your Business Acquirable."
The problem shared by most sales is that a business is only valuable if it is "acquirable." The 10 tips largely speak for themselves, but you will want to read the description of each in the original article.
Here they are:
- Check Your Ego
- Be Irrelevant [aka, do not personally be the "value" to the business]
- Become Known
- Develop Great Systems
- Clean Up the Financials
- Make a Profit
- Develop Reasonable Expectations
- Focus on Continuity
- Be Transparent
- Maintain Perspective
Remember: selling the business is crucial to your own retirement and the future of your family. Approach the process realistically and early.