When you first started your business did you think about how it would end, or if it was to continue without you how you would exit from the business? We all figure that at some point we will retire but what happens to the business. This seems to be easy when you work for someone else, you make an announcement or tell your boss “hey I’m retiring” they throw you a big party and you are on your way. This is not the case with a business.
Do you expect to hand your business down to your children? This can be a problem if your children are not particularly interested in your business. Now if you happen to own Coors then your children will be expected to take the rains some day but I know that neither of my children wants to be an accountant. If one or more of your children is interested in your business how do you turn it over and what would the other children think if their entire inheritance was handed over to one sibling. Have you even asked your children if they want to continue the business?
What if you sell your business? Before you can sell a business you have to be able to put a value on it. If you’re the key component then what, have you put plans, procedures and strategies in place that would allow someone else to take over and know what happened before? Will you sell it to your employees, a family member or a complete stranger?
What if you just close the doors and walk away? This is harder than it sounds because most of us have developed friendships with our clients.
The answer is to think about this from the beginning and put an exit strategy in place. How you will exit the business is often in the original documents, did you even read them or did you just let the lawyer put in the normal verbiage. We not only work with businesses just starting but also with those exiting.