Perhaps you are one of those business owners who feels you have plenty of time to think about exiting your business. You consider yourself lucky, and whenever you feel it’s time to leave, you will be able to do so with ease.
Why it may not be so – This is not one of those articles about how long it takes to leave a business, or how hard and expensive it can be. Instead it’s about the false impression many business owners have of life after the business – all wine and roses (PS it’s not).
My business partner, the author Jack Beauregard, and I recently had breakfast with Lorraine McGregor from Vancouver, BC Canada. Lorraine is the author of books on Exit Planning and Entrepreneurship, as well as an experienced business consultant. We were all discussing why so many business owners were delaying (the inevitable) transition planning from their businesses.
Today I fired LinkedIn. This might not jibe with the title you were expecting. To be technically accurate, I “merely” cancelled my “Premium” LinkedIn account and downgraded to a free “Basic” account. But I just stopped a recurring payment to LinkedIn, possibly forever. I consider a non-paying “member” not a customer, but maybe that’s semantics.
When an asset has a grossly inflated price, it is by definition an asset bubble. Does this apply to many small businesses in the US? Probably yes, in my opinion. Most small businesses have a balance sheet listing some assets; therefore they are subject to being part of a bubble.
A friend called me recently and asked a question: Do you think you could help a young man, he has a big problem? It turns out that my friend’s friend knew this young man and his father. The father is a well-regarded attorney who has a solo practice – sounds like thousands of other attorneys in the US.
Some entrepreneurs claim to not be ready to plan a succession. Some know they need to, but are scared to even think about it because “they don’t know, what they don’t know”. Some are simply in denial, “why would I leave?” they ask, “I love my business”.