Regardless of Their Age, Business Owners Need To Take Action Now!

As a trusted advisor in-house or outside you need to be as up to date on business transition as you can. Want a seat at the table? Bring something of value specifically related to business transition.

I’ve noticed lately how older Owner/Operators tend to view business transition differently than younger. It has been interesting to watch the changes in attitude over the past few months, as it relates to their opinion on transition.

Some older, late 60’s into their 70’s and even 80’s are just now taking the whole I better think about succession and transitioning my company idea seriously. Usually the conversation quickly jumps to how fast can I sell.

Conversely, my conversations with younger Owner/Operators in their 40′, 50’s and early sixties have demonstrated that they realize now is the right time to plan ahead. Typically they are thinking about a 15 year window to transition. Asking about growing the business significantly, either organically or through acquisitions and generally running a growth oriented, tighter ship are key talking points. Being prepared mentally and physically for serious scaling is also important.

There are always exceptions and regardless of company size or age and your age or ambition it’s never too early to start working on your succession plan.

Here are 3 steps you can take right now to grow the value of your company whether you plan to sell or not.

Step 1 – Clean Up

After several years of running a successful company it’s easy to keep relying on the old proven ways. Maybe the time has come to clean up the office physically, update finances in general, improve operations, re energize sales and marketing, get rid of the people holding you back and bring in new blood where required. Basically put your house in order. Position yourself for growth and or transition.

Step 2 – Grow Up 

If you want to be a bigger more valuable business you need to act like one. Don’t be afraid to go after bigger projects or sales. Present yourself to customers and prospects as you want them to see you. One of the many things you’ll need are better processes, well documented and executed by everyone in the company including you.

Step 3 – Scale Up

Get aggressive, plan big and don’t be afraid to fail. Years of success can make us lazy and fall into a cruise control style of running the company. Who better than the Owner knows where the hidden opportunities are and what needs to be done.

Then go and help your client or boss sell the company for 300% more than its current value. Owners can leave a legacy their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will talk about for years to come.

Owners need you to step up and sometimes go outside of your personal comfort zone. No risk, no reward. Add business transition to your portfolio of knowledge.

Eric Gilboord
CEO, Warren Business Development Center Inc. &

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