For business owners, the end of the year and early January are times of reflection and anticipation. As you finally found some time to unwind, you are simultaneously proud of all that you have accomplished and anxious about the year ahead. We all know that it’s not what we accomplished last year or even last month, but what is coming ahead. It is just how you are wired.
People say business is business and not to make it personal, but in 2020, we want you to break that mantra. Deciding where you want to take your business in the future—both immediate and long-term—is really a matter of personal perspective from you, the owner. As we enter this new year, take some time to reflect on your personal goals for your business and consider the following:
What Are Your Personal Goals?
Your personal life and business are inherently joined. An event in your personal life, such as a family or personal conflict, loss, or simply a change of heart affects your outlook on your company. Life changes, the world changes, your business changes…your goals can change, too. A new year brings the opportunity to evaluate where you are and where you want to go. Funnel this introspective energy into creating clear, measurable goals that you want for you and your family.
Use Your Goals to Drive Business Decisions
Your goals involve the business because both are intertwined, but they should derive from the personal side. For example, passing the business down to the next generation is a personal goal, even though the company is at the center. We can work with that and engineer an exit strategy that begins with discovering your own exit readiness.
If you find yourself considering an exit of any sort right now, know that you are not alone. We see a huge spike in phone calls during December and January. Again, it is the downtime giving owners the opportunity to reflect. We can help you decide what to do with those thoughts.
Believe It or Not, Execution is the Easy Part
Following an exit strategy is surprisingly straightforward. We know what we have to do to prepare the business for a transition, whatever form that takes, and we set milestones and make sure we meet them along the way. It is the emotional side that often holds owners back. Selling your company, whether to an outside party, key employee or your children, is no different than deciding you want to lose weight, stop smoking, or run a marathon. You have to be 100% invested emotionally in order to follow through and succeed physically.
We are suggesting that you be a little selfish with your decision-making right now because we want you to be emotionally prepared to plan your exit. Remember, exiting is inevitable. Either you take control and work toward your ideal transition or it happens on its own and you (and your family) live with the consequences.
Just Get Started
2020 does not necessarily have to be the year you go all-in for an exit. If you know you’re ready, by all means, let’s get after it. But for most entrepreneurs, it starts with recognizing the thought, aligning it with a personal goal, and beginning to explore the options.
When you are ready, we offer a personal, proactive exit assessment to help you own your decisions and proactively determine your future and the future of your company.