You’ve started a business and you’re making money. Now what?
You should be planning a business exit strategy so your business is liquid and flexible just in case you need to make a change. Having a five year plan is one way to ensure your success. If you’re like many, you don’t want to be doing all the work yourself; eventually you want to do more of the business planning and managing, which is exactly what someone wants to see if they were interested in purchasing your business.
Don’t get me wrong; if you have stable clients who have been with you for a while, you could actually sell the “contracts” to larger house cleaning businesses that are expanding, or even to new cleaners who have money to invest.
What’s the 5 Year Plan?
If you have small children, you may need more free-time as they get older and have more activities they’re interested in. This is when you become the chauffeur, driving them from one event to another. By establishing a five year plan, you will be positioned to sell your business or work your way to more freedom than you currently have.
What Exactly Does “Positioned To Sell” Mean?
This is exactly like deciding to sell your house. You need to have curb appeal and put your house in order so it is at its best before you list it.
It’s a fact that most small and even medium sized business owners are so busy running or trying to grow their businesses, they don’t have time to think about what they’ll need to do if they ever decide to sell it.
That’s a shame because thinking about it from the get go is actually what will help maximize what you can sell for, if and when the time comes that you want to. In the meantime though, taking care of the things that will help you sell the business, in most cases are the very same things that will help you realize bigger profits while you still own it.
Now that sounds like a win-win to me.
Whether you’re making $100 a week or $1,000 a day (gosh – if you’re that last one, I really hope you’re taking care of this stuff already) start right now to get your business organized.
Use this check list to be sure you’re set up and positioned to sell by addressing each of these elements of your business – because you never know when selling may be exactly what you want or need to do:
- Net Profit
- Website Design
- Content Quality
- Search Engine Ranking
- Vendor Relationships
- Customer Database
- Marketing Systems
- Social Media Engagement
- Lead Volume
- Lead Sources
- Keywords & Rankings
- Hours Required to Run
- Ease of Transfer
- Growth Opportunities
- Documented Procedures
This stuff gets pretty boring, but I guarantee paying attention to this will put money in your pocket and profit in your P&L.
And if you ever do sell your business down the road it’ll make the process easier and very likely increase the price you can ask as a result of doing it.