Have you thought about life beyond your business? Experts suggest planning for your exit strategy from day one in your business. What value have you gained from planning for your exit?
Aisha Murff, Haire’s Gulf Shrimp
I’ve certainly had to consider life beyond my business at Haire's Gulf Shrimp. Last year, my husband (who founded the company) passed away. Now that I have taken over the business, I want to preserve my family's legacy. Once I semi-retire, I plan on passing the torch to my younger family members and then one day pass the business along to the next generation. In all of this, I have gained knowledge and learned how to utilize a succession plan to sustain the business when planning an exit from the business.
Aneesa Muthana, Pioneer Service
After 30 years with Pioneer Service, it would be unfair to my employees to not be considering my succession plan. If I don’t make these decisions, they’ll be made for me anyway – but will they suit the best interests of my employees and partners? These are not things one leaves to chance.
My son, Yousef, represents much of my succession plan. As someone who served in the US Army and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, his journey to the industry was different than my own. Not better or worse, but different!
As the “boss’s son,” it might sound like a no-brainer, but I consider bloodline only part of the equation. Any successor must also demonstrate their commitment to our company core values and Amanah. Yousef himself understands this and agrees, which makes me ever more hopeful for the outcome.
I’m also looking to include Anisa, my daughter-in-law, as well as my grandchildren. Anisa has proved herself through thick and thin, and my grandkids, like Yousef, deserve an opportunity to inherit our family’s legacy of touching lives through manufacturing.
This is a spectacular question for me since I help people to design more of their lives (things that support and invigorate them) into their businesses. Life beyond my business is a little hard to imagine because every day, I am doing the things that give me life. And while I find it a bit paradoxical to, from day one, consider how one will exit the very thing they are trying to get off the ground, it is also a very practical thing to do.
Planning your exit – to sell, merge or end the business – means that, depending on what you choose, you will take different paths and make different decisions along the way. Knowing in advance what you want to do makes the transition significantly easier and helps to maximize your return.
Generally, I would say, plan your business to be an ongoing concern, one that can live on after you’ve moved into “life after your business” for the greatest flexibility. If you decide to shut it down instead, no problem. It is more difficult to make a business saleable that has not positioned itself to be saleable along the way.
Kate Vrijmoet, necessary & sufficient coffee
Yes, I have thought about life beyond my business. necessary & sufficient coffee is a tiny, walk-up take-out neighborhood specialty coffee shop that focuses on community, sustainability and craft. We’ve recently procured (and were early adopters of) our Living Wage and Oceanic Global Blue Action Sustainability certifications.
By planning my exit at the start, I am empowered to assess opportunities and make decisions that will aid me towards my goal. For example, I can determine which assets would make my company more valuable to a potential buyer, such as trademarking my logo, developing a clear brand, selecting our business partners, and targeted investments in our facilities. Knowing where I want to end informs my decisions along the way. Developing and documenting systems, policies and processes, clearly articulating and living our values, and marketing ourselves well all increase the value of my company and help us position ourselves for a successful acquisition.