Will You… Exit, Sell or Retire? - and how much do you think you’ll get?

By Robert Craven, MD of The Directors' Centre

I've just come back from a most depressing two days in North Wales (Bangor and Wrexham) - the area and the people were great: real warm hospitality. The problem was the subject I was discussing... succession planning.

Like writing a will, you can always put off succession planning till tomorrow... and that is the problem.

Roughly three-quarters of business owners expect to have a big pay-out when they sell their businesses... but roughly the same number don't have any plans in place for their exit strategy.

The result is that the majority of business owners (as much as 75%, according to the research!!!) get next-to-nothing for their businesses when they retire - a couple of old Dell computers and some staplers is hardly fair recompense for the years you have put into growing your business.

The chances are that you will be one of those who get next-to-nothing when you sell/close your business.

And how much is your business worth? Most people have hugely inflated ideas of what they will get when they sell their business - I mean totally unrealistic!

Doom and gloom or what!

However, it is never too late. Ask yourself:

• How much do you think the business is worth right now?

• How much would someone realistically pay you for it right now?

• How much do you want it to be worth in x years?

• What do you need to do to create the business that someone will pay that amount for?

• Who do you need to talk to in order to make sure that your sums really will stack up (business growth adviser, banker, accountant, lawyer, business transfer agent)?

If you don’t start planning your exit right now then you may well have a very impoverished retirement!

To find out more about increasing sales and profits in your business, please visit our website www.directorscentre.com or contact me at rc@directorscentre.com 01225 851044.

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