Posts tagged with: continuity planning

Building Wealth and Exiting Your Business Don’t Start on the Finish Line

Don’t start on the finish line. There are five arts to master to build wealth and exit your business. That takes time.

Strategic Planning – The Art of Direction and Decisions

Building wealth and exiting your business don’t start when you are closing in on the finish line. It’s proven that when you focus on selling your business two to five years before initiating the sales process, you will almost certainly realize a much larger return. Developing a systematic approach to growth with a focus on your long-term goals makes every decision along the way easier, even in the face of risk, incomplete information, or unexpected change.

Continuity/Succession Planning – The Art of the Changeover

A systematic approach to succession planning gives you control, choices and sufficient time to choose, train and transition management, of your business. Your job here is to maximize the value you receive when you sell or transfer your businesses. You need to identify an owner-centered approach to exit planning based on your goals, objectives and concerns.

Exit Planning – The Art of Monetizing Your Business

Exit planning for wealth is all about maximizing and preserving the transferable value of your business. It’s extremely important to integrate personal, financial and estate planning goals; and then coordinate them with the growth goals and opportunities of your business; to maximize profit and minimize tax liability on both sides. Your fiduciary objective is to transfer ownership and corporate value as profitably as possible.

Contingency Planning – The Art of Structuring Your Business For Opportunities, Possibilities And Growth

CEOs in general never take time to develop contingency plans. They are building a prosperous business not planning for a crisis or its demise. Skipping this one element of their business minimizes the value they can expect a buyer to pay for the business. You must develop those contingency plans and build the foundation elements to maximize valuation and make the business buyer ready.

Transition Planning – The Art of Reinvention

When you stop and think about it, most entrepreneurs do not measure success in terms of the financial rewards, but rather by the freedom and potential legacy that these financial rewards confer. But entrepreneurs often postpone transition planning because they struggle with how they would use their new freedom and how they want to define their legacy. You need to learn to find new purpose, community, and structure for your time; and then how to master wealth management and its new challenges and responsibilities.

Mindset

Your mindset going in to exit planning is the most critical determinant of your successful outcome. There are a number of mindset factors that you must recognize and consider. Your mindset will determine your ability  to set and achieve your hopes and dreams. You have to be able to recognize and adhere to the process to achieve them. Most CEOs have dreams and goals of the outcome they want from their business. Many fewer CEOs reverse engineer their goals into a timeline, process, and a sequence to get to that exit.

Challenges will occur that could derail your exit plan, guaranteed. Fighting or resisting those challenges is an unproductive waste of time and energy. Instead, install and master a mindset to address, overcome, resolve, and circumvent each challenge as it arises.

Attitudes/mindset are often ignored or minimized when exploring what we need to learn to achieve our goals and get to an exit.

Most CEOs trained to emphasize the strengths of left-brain thinking, resist addressing or developing the right-brain skill of mindset readiness. Mindset readiness requires the most time to develop and is not easily measured or demonstrated. But your mental and emotional attitudes are the most important of all learning components because your attitude/your mindset is the gatekeeper that determines how well you acquire, master and apply any other skill set and knowledge.

Entrepreneurs stubbornly adhere to tired outdated thinking which in turn sets up their business to continually struggle, not achieve its full potential and settle for selling their business for only a fraction of its worth. That downfall is totally preventable.

In the area of mindset, attitudes and beliefs, do you experience any of these? Make note of the ones that apply to you.

  • Have no exit goals
  • Can’t set exit goals
  • Don’t know how to set exit goals
  • No consensus on exit goals
  • Can’t delegate/afraid to delegate
  • Prisoner of the entrepreneur’s trap  – Trying to wear all the hats
  • Scared to grow – because of past experience, old belief systems, systems or staff that slow or prevent your growth
  • Scared to share control, responsibility, ownership or profits
  • Scared to lose control
  • Easily distracted – by environment, people, events, equipment
  • Minimal goals/easy goals/short-term goals that don’t stretch individuals or the organization – to play it safe
  • No personal accountability of the leadership team/ of you
  • Still running the business as an opportunist
  • Resist building a strong business foundation for growth or increased value
  • Ignore or deny the need for exit planning
  • Ignore or deny the need for contingency planning
  • Ignore or deny the need for continuity planning
  • Ignore or deny the need for succession planning
  • Ignore or deny the need to plan for your transition
  • Ignore or deny the need to plan for your reinvention

You’ve heard the phrase:

Your attitude determines your altitude.

Your mindset is the key to everything you will achieve to exit your business when you want to. When you decide each of these elements is important enough to the business and to your future beyond the business, only then will you take action and:

  • Develop the skill sets
  • Acquire the necessary knowledge (direct learning or surround yourself with experts)
  • Develop plans, strategies, and tactics to achieve everything you want for your business and from your business when you exit.
  • Apply the discipline and leadership to accelerate growth and maximize value on your timeline.

“It’s a mindset – you’re only limited in scope by your own imagination and your ability to see through problems, challenges and roadblocks to the opportunities.”

 

Why Are Exit Strategies So Difficult?

Working in a vacuum, the assumption is that Exit Strategies Are Difficult.

Most CEOS assume exit strategies are difficult. That assumption discourages anyone who is considering an exit from getting started early.

As the CEO of your growing enterprise, it’s easy to be so consumed with the day-to-day operations of the business, that you never find time to think about your exit strategy (knowing it is going to be difficult). So naturally, it simply gets shuffled to the bottom of your TODO list and never rises to the critical path until it’s too late.

You can minimize how difficult your exit is by being proactive, starting early and committing to the bigger plan to achieve your ultimate goal. As a discerning entrepreneur, you know your business is your largest asset that you need to monetize if you are going to secure your reinvention (fka retirement).

Exit planning requires numerous conversations and then an integration of solutions in all the following areas:

  • Peak performance
  • Succession planning
  • Contingency and continuity planning for management and leadership transition
  • Business valuation strategies to make the business buyer attractive and buyer ready
  • Transition planning to your reinvention (fka retirement)
  • Tax planning for both the business and the CEO
  • Estate planning goals and options from wealth advisors and insurance advisors
  • Deal structure options both legally and financially

Your exit strategy will be specific to you, your business, your timeline and your goals.

  • There is no ‘cookie-cutter’ approach.
  • It doesn’t happen overnight.

The difficulty in exit strategies comes from the multitude of possibilities and recombinations you have to explore and choose from. That’s also where the fun and freedom come from.

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