If you are a Baby Boomer, you may recognize this song from 1982 performed by The Clash. As it applies to your business, you may be asking yourself this same question. All privately owned businesses have a life cycle. Current demographics point to a mature stage for many businesses. Is your business in sync with the direction you want to be going?
All business owners should engage in a planning process that identifies what happens to the business in the future and how they want to their ownership to transfer.
To make decisions about the future of the business and themselves personally, the business owner should address a variety of issues.
Ask yourself these questions:
If you plan to keep your business:
- Is there successor management in place?
- Are they prepared to take over?
- What is in the best interest of the owners, the business and its employees?
- Can I afford to retire?
- What is the best way to transfer ownership?
If you plan to sell your business:
- When is the best time to sell?
- What needs to be done to prepare the business for sale?
- Who are the buyers?
- How do I present the company to potential buyers?
- Who should be engaged to assist in the sale?
- What is the market for the company?
- What are the current trends in our industry?
- What do I need to do in order to maximize the value of the company to be ideally situated, whether I keep or sell my business?
- If we need to grow, what is the best way to do this, acquisition, merger or organic growth?
- How do I finance growth?
Like any key decision in life, it helps to spend time reflecting in private; however, it is also important to surround yourself with people you trust, and value their advice, to assist with the decision process. Trying to make important decisions without seeking advice and counsel does not always yield the best results.
So download this classic from The Clash and begin to think about the future.