Hopefully you enjoy owning your business; financially it works well, it provides work and life satisfaction, and you get additional benefits of creating jobs and being a positive presence in your local community. Furthermore, within the company you have aspiring future business owners and entrepreneurs who have benefitted from your guidance, who may one day take it over.
A question: if you have another five years before stepping back or selling up how would you use it?
If the business is working well there may be little need to anything other than enjoy the journey and keep everything on track. Alternatively, you may conclude that there is ‘unfinished business’ you want to finish – something within the company, a project that never quite made it or a radical departure, perhaps a new product or service, even entering a new market. Maybe it’s not strictly business that’s unfinished, perhaps it’s a project in the community, supporting your stakeholders, a local school or college, or a charity.
The point here is that setting a specific time frame brings into focus what needs to be done, clarifies priorities and makes you define what success looks like. And if you have a finite amount of time left it creates pressure to make decisions. So how are you ging to use the next five years?
Here are some ideas to ponder:
- Final growth spurt – is there a revenue or profit target you can reach that will help boost the valuation of your business
- Develop a key member of your team to assume leadership of the business so that you are a better position to step-back from your leadership role.
- Prepare the business to become an employee ownership trust (EOT) which has distinct benefits for certain types of business and may fulfil your desire to leave a lasting legacy.
- Develop a collaborative relationship with a local charity in part to ‘give back’, to transfer knowledge and provide a connection for your team with a local cause.
- Provide guidance and support to students or young adults at a local college – the next generation of business owners will value your advice and guidance and that in turn provides great opportunities for you and your team.
The above all have an element of business development and value enhancement for your company, but you could undertake some projects primarily as ‘giving back’ or creating something new in your local community.
Since 2014, Henchards has been seeking to broaden its purpose and in recent years has built a strong collaborative relationship with Woking & Sam Beare Hospice. Whilst there is an element of ‘giving’ via fundraising the relationship is much deeper than that and contributes to our business success as well as supporting a fantastic charity. In a separate article we’ll explain more about the various ways we collaborate, and the business benefit it creates.
So with five years to play with what will you do? Contact us to share your thoughts.
(Photo by Elisa Coluccia on Unsplash)