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.
The sellability of your company is a gift and is just one of the four reasons why building a sellable business should be your most important goal, regardless of when you plan to push the eject button. It should also be a hidden goal.
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 sellable business.
But what if you don’t want to sell? That’s irrelevant. Here are the other three reasons why building a sellable business should be your most important goal, regardless of when you plan to push the eject button:
- Financial freedom.
Freedom goes back to the “you-proofing” concept. Making your company less dependent on you means that you actually have an enterprise that stands alone and gives you the freedom to step away or look at it differently.
Running a business should be fun–thinking and acting strategically, solving problems for your clients and customers and working on your business rather than in your business. Passing on the drudgery of your business to someone else in your organization is part of making your company sellable.
By creating a sellable business, you shape and mold your enterprise into something that is not unlike a financial portfolio. It is an asset working for you rather than you working for it.
Keep in mind these things take time. but patience and persistence and doing the work are all a part of successful business. Remember, it is a goal.