Establish A Vision.
Plan For the Unexpected.
Look at Your Industry Broadly and What the Future Will Likely Bring.
Most of my career in technology has been focused on serving the needs of entrepreneurial business owners who have chosen to compete in the SMB ERP marketplace serving their individual clients. Over the course of time representing major software publishers, I have taken pride in helping these business owners fulfill their dreams, ambitions, and goals. In the process I have developed long term relationships of trust with them and have accumulated “best practices” knowledge and understanding that I have shared numerous times.
Today’s Major Business Disruptions
One of the common threads that has appeared over the course of time, that has presented obstacles to those businesses, has been dealing with major disruptions. These have been both technology driven, and market driven. Technology changes have been things such as: introduction of GUI, introduction of Windows, emergence of SAAS (software as a service), introduction of Hosting, and Cloud Computing to name a few. Market disruptions have been marked by things such as: changes in publisher programs resulting in shrinking commissions and/or margins, introduction of subscription pricing, increased competition in SMB by enterprise publishers both through direct sales and channel partners, and clients moving to consolidate technology providers to name a few.
Many business partners who have longevity in this business are considering whether now is the time to consider an exit plan. Technological disruptions are continuing with the maturing of Artificial Intelligence and the growth of the Internet of Things and there will be more. Will these disruptions make it difficult to compete or require significant reinvestment or a complete restructuring of the business.
When is the Right Time to Consider a Business Exit Plan?
As a business owner, ask yourself early on “How, when, and why do I want to transition or sell my business, and to whom?” / “Do I want to remain involved in the business after the transition, or step away completely?” / “Does the potential buyer share my business and personal values?” / “Is the potential buyer financially sound?” / “If you want to keep the business in the family, does the next generation want to be involved, and are they ready and capable to take over?”
These are questions that should ideally be asked years in advance of any transition.
Entrepreneurs start businesses for many reasons; to pursue aspirations and dreams, create a lifestyle, and/or build wealth. But the sale or transition of a business can take a myriad of different forms. It is critical to carefully think through your objectives and have clarity around what you want to happen and when. Only then can you realize the payoff for all your hard work.
Stay tuned as we explore many of these topics in future posts. If you have any immediate needs or want to schedule a meeting to discuss your specific business, please don’t hesitate to email me today.