Exit strategy
Photo credit: Adib Roy on Visualhunt

Always start a business with an exit strategy in mind

I read a great book years ago, it was called Built to Sell by an American author by the name of John Warrillow. His logic is quite simple, that you always start a business with an eventual sale in mind.

As you create your business, you’re thinking about the ultimate goal, which could be 5, 10, 15, 30 years down the track. But eventually, you want to be able to sell your business so that you’re getting some return for this amazing business that you’ve built.

In order to do this, you need to have great systems and processes, you need to have less reliance on you as the business owner, you need to make your staff accountable for their own actions that give them the ability to make decisions. Here at HBA Encompass, we have a rule that if you make a decision, and you run with it, and I’ll review it, and I disagree with it, that’s fine. We can have a chat about why I don’t agree with it. But I will never, ever be mad at you for actually making a decision, I would rather you made a decision. It’s better that we change something down the track before any work is compelte, than not make a decision at all.

This is because if you don’t empower your staff to make decisions, everything comes back to you. You are the bottleneck in your business, which you don’t want to be. You don’t want to have every decision in your business reliant on you. You want to make sure that when you’re ready, you can step sideways, you can sell that business, you can get the best possible return.

Empowering your staff and having awesome systems and procedures  also means that your handover time to the new owners will be reduced. It means the sale value will be higher than a comparative business with no systems that relies on the business owner. Whether you sell to an outside person, whether you pass it down to the kids, you want to make sure that you always start your business with the end game in mind.

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