Being an entrepreneur and running your own business can be one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life. But it can also be extremely difficult. You are responsible for every aspect of the business from establishing products and services to sell, to hiring employees, managing day-to-day operations, ensuring customers are happy, and paying the bills to keep the lights on. When successful, you’ve built an asset that supports your family and can have significant value to an acquiring company down the road. But do you have an idea of where you’d like to take your business in the short and long term?
Most entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily thinking about the bigger picture because they are focused on daily challenges. They feel satisfied with earning a living, supporting employees, and building a satisfied customer base – all critical to supporting a long-term thriving company. There are, however, questions every business owner should ask themselves so they can properly plan for the future.
Whether your business is worth $100,000 or $10 million, it’s important to think about the direction in which you’d like to take it. Is this a business you’d like your family to run for many years? If that’s the case, then getting family members involved early is important. They should be trained to handle all facets of the operation and be empowered to make important decisions when you aren’t available. You should also have a succession plan in place, so family members know who will take the reigns when you wish to move on.
Would you like to sell your company to another firm, so you can retire? If so, what do you want your business to accomplish prior to your exit? How do you want to exit – in one event or over time? How much money do you need from your business to meet your long-term personal financial needs? Do you know how much your business is worth and how it is valued? Are all your financials in order so a proper valuation can be completed? These are all important questions that you should answer sooner rather than later. Being prepared for the future is important for you and your family.
No matter what phase your business is in, you should have answers to these questions. Be sure to talk to your advisor for help in planning accordingly.
What do you think? Do you have a clear idea of where you want to take your business and have a plan to get there? Touch base with Pete to let him know your thoughts and some of the ways you’ve prepared your business for the future.