Ultimately, the overall, overriding goal of most every business owner is to increase their company’s value for an eventual successful exit. There are many facets involved in reaching a goal of value that is satisfactory to the owner and allows them to exit on their terms. Of course, chief among these is a well established diversified customer base, a continued strong demand in the future for the company’s product or service, high profit margins, and strong, positive cash flow now, and in the future.
Although all of the above facets are important, there is a key that unlocks the door that leads to a company of high value and ensures the above benchmarks are obtained. That key is simply less or virtually no dependence on you, the owner, for the company’s success or survival. If you want to exit quickly, profitably, and at the highest value, ensure the company is not dependent on you for anything. Now, that is easier said than done but everything you do each day should be driving the company to be less dependent on you. This can only be accomplished by the following actions:
- Hiring, training, and incentivizing the very best people– This is the most important step of the key. Make sure that budgets and long term plans incorporate and consider the resources needed to maintain your people at the very highest levels. The goal is to get your people to feel and act like owners.
- Implementing and maintaining processes, controls, and checklists– Your Company is unique and there are certain minimum guidelines and actions that are necessary and must be done each day to maintain that unique status. These processes must continue without your involvement or micro-management if you are ever able to exit the company on your terms. Make sure they are written and your key management people trained to implement them throughout the company. It is all about the process.
Use the key to unlock your company’s potential and your successful exit.