The hidden goal of the smartest business owners
What are your business goals for the year? If you’re like most owners, you have a profit goal you want to hit. You may also have a top line revenue number that’s important to you. While those goals are important, there is another objective that may have an even bigger payoff: building a business that is valuable to someone else.
But what if you don’t want to sell? That’s irrelevant. Here are five reasons why building a valuable business should be your most important goal, regardless of when you plan to push the "eject" button:
1. Value means freedom
One of the fundamental tenants of a valuable and sellable business is how well your company would perform if you were unable to work for a while. As long as your business is dependent on you personally, there’s not much to sell. Making your company less dependent on you by building a management team and creating just-add-water systems for employees to follow means you have the ability to spend time away from your business. Think of the world of possibilities that would open up if you could choose not to go into the office tomorrow.
2. Valuable businesses are more fun
Running a business would be fun if you were able to spend your days on strategic thinking and big-picture ideas. Instead, most business owners spend the majority of their day on the minutia: the government forms, the employee performance reviews, bank reconciliations, customer issues, auditing expenses. The boring details of company ownership suck the enjoyment out of owning a business—and it is exactly these tasks you need to get into someone else’s job description if you’re ever going to sell.
3. A Valuable business is financial freedom
Each month you open your brokerage statement to see how your portfolio is doing. Not because you want to sell your portfolio, but because you want to know where you stand on the journey to financial freedom. Creating a valuable and sellable business also allows you peace of mind, knowing that you’re building something that—just like your stock portfolio—has value you could choose to make liquid one day.
4. A Valuable business is a gift
Imagine that your first-born graduates from college and as a gift you give him your prized 1967 Shelby Ford Mustang. Your heavily indebted child takes it on the road, but after a few miles, the engine starts smoking. The mechanic takes one look under the hood and declares that the engine needs a rebuild. You thought you were giving your child an incredible asset, but instead it’s an expensive liability he can’t afford to keep, and nor can he sell it without feeling guilty.
You may be planning to pass your business on to your kids or let your young managers buy into your company over time. These are both admirable exit options, but if your business is too dependent on you, and it hasn’t been tuned up to run without you, you may be passing along a jalopy.
5. It Takes time to build a valuable business
There are some things in life that take time, no matter how much you want to rush them. Making your business valuable and sellable often requires significant changes; and a prospective buyer is going to want to see how your business has performed for the three years after you have made the changes required to make your business sellable. Therefore, if you want to sell in five years, you need to start making your business sellable now so the changes have time to gestate.
How You Can Benefit
Most business owners count on the value of their business to improve borrowing power, attract strategic interest or help fund retirement at some point in the future. Take the time now to contact us for a free assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your business.