In April, we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of our monthly business lunch. It doesn’t seem any time at all since we were setting out the idea to bring together business owners and create a relaxed, informal lunch event. We quickly settled on a formula and ten years on we are meeting for the 110th time, with some original guests back then still attending regularly now.
As with many events in business – and in life generally – the view when we started didn’t stretch ten years but looking back, time has raced by. Of course, it’s all perception – each year lasts as long as any other – it’s just our sense of passing time, the accumulation of experiences and sometimes the sense of how much better we might make use of our time in business.
When you started your business, however long ago, what did you set out to achieve? Did you plan your exit i.e. stepping back from owning and running your business, or a sale – or didn’t you consider it back then?
And what about now? Do you have the sensation that ‘time flies’ (when you’re having fun!) and the business has its own life and momentum now? When do you now think you might step back? Will you have achieved all you want (or need) to support the next stage of your life?
The point here is that without conscious thought and the commitment to building a plan, you can lose track of time. Before you know it you may be thinking about stepping back, how much your business is worth and who might succeed you. No-one wants this to be left too late so that either you leave the business not having achieved what you need or perhaps having to stay involved for much longer than you wish.
You have two precious and valuable assets tied up in your business ownership: the time you commit to running the business and the money that may come your way. Both aspects need a plan to release these assets in a controlled and effective way. Your time can be yours again with a management transfer strategy and your money can be realised with an ownership succession strategy. Our role is to help you clarify your objectives, develop these two strategies and support you in making them happen.
As business advisers, we actively encourage our clients to prepare for the next stage of business ownership – typically two to five years prior to the eventual exit. This means our clients are clear about their end goals and have time to prepare themselves and their businesses.
The passing of time is an inevitability, how you make use of that time is your choice. The end of your tenure as the owner of your business is an inevitability, how you make it happen is up to you.
At our tenth anniversary lunch in April, we will no doubt comment upon how time flies and how it seems only yesterday we were having our first meal. And with several guests who were with us in the first year of our lunches there will be plenty of reflection and humorous anecdotes. It will be fun and no doubt time will fly and the meal will be over before we know it.
If you’d like to start planning the end of your business sooner rather than later, please reach out to us. We’re here to make sure our strategy delivers the best possible outcome for you and your business.