Why did you go into business?
Most owners go into business for similar reasons: To be the boss and not answer to anyone; make more money; do what I’m great at; choose my hours.
Basically, we want a more flexible and rewarding lifestyle, and the freedom to live life on our terms. (I started The Practice when I realised it would take me forever to become president of Ford Motor Company where I was working as a graduate accountant.)
So... how’s that working out for you?
The reality of business ownership is longer hours, often for less reward, and definitely for a lot more risk and stress. According to The Huffington Post, forty-four Australian small businesses close their doors every day.
So why do we put ourselves through it? Why not pack it in and go work for someone else, with a regular pay cheque, super and guaranteed paid leave?
Because when it’s done right, the rewards (financial and lifestyle) can be amazing.
However, most business owners I meet don’t get the rewards they deserve from their business. Some make perfectly healthy profits, but are slaves to their business. Others have great lifestyles, but no cash to enjoy it.
And the hidden killer: most businesses have their potential sales price reduced simply because the business relies on the owner, so it’s less attractive to a buyer.
I believe you can have your cake and sell it too: build a highly profitable business that’s a delight to run and own, while simultaneously growing a valuable business asset that others want to buy.
A desirable business to a buyer has:
- Solid cash flow and significant profits that grow year on year
- A loyal, growing customer base
- A well-trained team that follows clearly defined processes
- A low reliance on the owner, so a buyer can pick up where you left off
You'll note that these are also the attributes of an awesome business to own: profitable, well run, and it won't suck the life out of the owner!
‘But I don’t want to sell my business!’ I hear you cry.
That’s fine, you don’t have to sell right now… it’s all about being ‘sell-ready’. If you have a business others want to buy, it’s most likely a business worth holding onto until you’re ready to sell: you choose to stop working; you want to try something new; or you get an offer that’s simply too good to refuse.
Being ‘sell-ready’ gives you the choice to one day sell the business for a truckload of money… or keep doing what you’re doing, but with more profits, less stress, and lifestyle freedom.
Those choices sound pretty good to me.
Jason Cunningham’s latest book, ‘Have your cake and sell it too: the 7 key ingredients of business success’ is a must for any business owner looking to get full reward for all your hard work. Get it at www.jasoncunningham.com.au.