Seven Reasons to Grow Your Business to Prepare for Transition

Wednesday, August 17 2011

You may be in limbo about what to do with your business. Do you sell it to a stranger, a supplier, a competitor or your employees? Do you sell it or give it to a family member? Do you just keep it and continue to harvest the income while someone else runs it?

Regardless of which option you choose, growing your business must be one of your immediate priorities.

  1. A prospective purchaser will be looking at the three-to-five-year trend lines. Are your revenues and profitability going up, dropping or staying flat? Assuming you don’t want your business devalued and sold to a bargain hunter, the trends should be upwards.
  2. Your employees are watching. When trends go the wrong way, they may fear for their security and begin looking elsewhere for work. Losing key employees is never good, but it is especially burdensome when transitioning a business.
  3. If you anticipate selling to family, you want them looking into the future with pride, envisioning success, not imagining the burden and toil of turning the business around.
  4. If you want to keep the business so it can provide you with a sustainable, predictable income you’ll want it to grow. Once a business stops growing, it’s not long before it begins a backward slide and it takes greater effort to turn it around.
  5. You’ve probably worked long and hard to develop your business. It’s your baby. A business that is stagnant or going backwards is not the legacy you want to leave.
  6. If you need as much capital as you can get from the sale of your business in order to fund your retirement or other important projects, any growth in earnings will be multiplied in the final valuation of your business. A little effort now can pay big dividends later.
  7. It’s hard to keep your balance on a bike that is standing still or rolling backward. The same is true in business. When you are moving forward and growing your business, everything works better. Problem-solving, decision-making, planning, nearly every aspect of business is easier when you’re growing.

As you look to the future you’ll have your own reasons for growing your bottom line. Take time to reflect on those reasons and do what you do well; make it happen.