People are sometimes surprised to hear that the work we do at Chinook is driven by personal decisions, not business decisions, most of the time. Once they think about it a bit, it all makes sense.
The fact is that most business owners are not strategic business owners looking for that big cash out: they are in it for the long haul. The business that provides their livelihood becomes their identity in the community. It is what they do and many even think of their business as their baby.
In order to help you decide if you are ready to sell your business, ask yourself these questions:
- If I were not the owner/operator of my business what would I do all day?
- If I were not the owner/operator of my business how would I identify myself at a cocktail party?
- If I were not the owner/operator of my business how would my family life change?
- If I were not the owner/operator of my business how would my life derive purpose and meaning?
Now ask yourself: What’s next for me? Being confident in the direction of the next stage of your life will help you understand if you are truly ready to let go of the business that has defined you and that you have thought of as your baby. After all, it is the rare bird who can golf or fish every day and be happy. Be satisfied, not bored.
Is My Business Ready to Sell?
The best way to approach this is with your buyer’s hat on. It is difficult to be this critical, but worth the effort. Would you want to buy your business? No, really: would you? Even though you aren’t prepared to be critical of your business, potential buyers surely will be.
A good way to approach this is to consider various key aspects of your business. Chinook offers a free tool to do just that. Refer to the pages called Understanding Value Drivers and Value Builder Score.
A few of these key aspects to consider are:
- How important are you to the success of your business (less is more)?
- How diverse is your client base?
- Are your processes and procedures documented?
- Do you have a business plan? Is it in writing?
- How redundant is your supply chain?
- How would you do if you lost your best employee?
- How quickly are you getting paid? Are you always chasing money?
We don’t know what life will bring us. At Chinook, we believe you should always be ready to sell. A business that is ready to sell is also a joy to own. It is profitable, easy to run, and ready to withstand the vagaries of being in business.