BriefcaseI’ve talked with a lot of people looking to sell or otherwise retire from the business they own.  The image is that someday, someone’s going to come in with a briefcase full of hundred dollar bills.  The owner will gladly walk away, their future now secure.

But we all know it doesn’t happen that way.

What that briefcase really represents is the security that you have your future in hand, and no matter WHAT happens with the business, you don’t have to worry about it.

It’s about removing risk.

If you think about it, rarely would you WANT it to work that way.  Your customers might be disrupted.  Your employees might lose their jobs and livelihood.  Your reputation might be destroyed.

A more thoughtful approach is in order:

  • What are your real goals?
  • What’s your realistic timeframe?
  • What do you really need from selling your business?

Often this will lead you to the conclusion that taking time and making careful decisions will end up with a better long term result.  I’ve worked with clients on 2- and 3- and 5-year timeframes for their exit strategies.  And believe me, that’s not too long.  Even 10 years can be a wonderful planning horizon.

If you care about the future of your company.