The American economy is experiencing an unprecedented changing of the guard as baby boomers gradually retire and Gen Y and Z enter their prime earning years.
Nowhere is this influence more evident than in business owners. Hundreds of ostensibly successful small and medium-sized family businesses close down each year due to financial hardship, young family members' disinterest in taking over the business, and many other factors.
Most owners want to avoid this fate. Rather than closing up shop when they're ready to retire, they use long-term succession planning and exit plans to keep the company in good shape while providing reasonable financial compensation for years of hard work. Develop a strategy.
Of course, exit planning is not only for business owners looking to retire. These are suitable for business owners at all stages of life and any stage of their entrepreneurial journey. But they all have one thing in common. That means coming together over years, not weeks or months. The time to start planning your exit may come sooner than you think, especially if you're planning to sell rather than pass on to the next generation.
When the time comes, open any or all of these five books. Each can help businesses (successfully) at nearly every stage of their lifecycle, whether you've spent decades building your business from scratch or just a few years adding value. Contains helpful tips for selling.
1. Randall Childress – Selling Season: Four Key Steps to Maximize Sales and Protect Wealth for Your Family Business
Building a business is a journey. The same goes for marketing and sales.in sales seasonTexas-based financial advisor Randall Childress guides business owners through the daunting process of preparing for a sale, pitching to interested buyers, and maximizing the value of the sale.
Childress is above and behind the tactical aspects of the process. These aspects are explained in detail in other books (including those on this list). His focus is on the overall arc of the journey from concept to completion.
This arc curves through the four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Business owners face unique obstacles at each stage. They also experience unique and complex emotions. Like Seller's Regret (“Winter”), sellers often face an identity crisis when leaving a business that has dominated their lives for many years.
but sales season Ultimately, this is a hopeful text, and one that will be helpful to any business owner looking to the next stage in their life.
2. John M. Leonetti – Exit your business and protect your wealth: A strategy guide for owners and their advisors
Childress's “sales season” covers the period before and after the sale ends. If you want to know more about the latter, check out John M. Leonetti's book. Get out of business and protect your wealth is a must-read.
withdraw from business is a comprehensive guide for business owners preparing for life after ownership transfer. As Leonetti points out, sellers often have a hard time transitioning into a world they don't work in, or in which they don't deal with the business day-to-day.
For some, this is an existential challenge defined by the search for new meaning. For others, watching their new owners make decisions they don't understand or agree with can grow into a journey marked by loss of control and even helplessness.
Leonetti helps business owners and would-be sellers anticipate, recognize, and process these emotions. He also offers a more tactical roadmap for sellers to consider their options and set realistic expectations for a process that can take years and rarely goes according to plan. doing.
3. John H. Brown – Exit Planning: The Definitive Guide
John H. Brown's withdrawal plan Perfect complement to Leonetti's work Get out of business and protect your wealth. This is a roadmap for business owners preparing for a sale, starting years before the main event.
Brown covers almost everything a business owner needs to do before selling. He starts by reviewing the “why” and “how” behind selling. That means he sets realistic yet actionable goals, evolves his role as owner (and key employee roles as well) as the sale date approaches, and develops strategies to achieve his ultimate goals. stand up. Transfer of ownership.
Next, we'll dive into the key value factors that can make or break a sale, as well as common pitfalls that can lead to failure. Finally, he lays out a decision tree that guides the reader to the best exit according to their needs.
Brown identifies four main exit routes: sales to advantaged insiders, intrafamily transfers, transfers to third parties, and transfers of employee ownership. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Brown walks the reader through each explanation without bias or complicated jargon.
4. Jeremy Harbor – Go Do Deals: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Buying and Selling a Business
Entrepreneurs who start from scratch know that there are no shortcuts to success. Building a business takes years of grinding and the rewards are not guaranteed.
Jeremy Harbor's go do deal does not provide any warranty. But it provides a shortcut for business owners who don't have the time, expertise, or passion to build their own.
Harbor covers the entire lifecycle of business ownership from purchase to exit. He speaks to entrepreneurs looking to acquire, improve, and ultimately exit an existing business. go do deal From evaluating opportunities (and finding businesses that aren't for sale), to identifying leverage points within the acquired company (and avoiding “buying yourself a job”), to when to sell (and how to maximize profits) ), we provide practical advice every step of the way. during the process).
5. Dennis Logan – The Seller's Journey: (Smart) How Sellers Overcome the Obstacles of Exit
Most books on succession planning focus on strategy and tactics. That makes sense. A sound strategy is invaluable when the stakes are high and failure is costly.
But some of the best insights for owners looking to retreat come not from tactical texts but from narrative fables like Dennis Logan's. seller's journey. Surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of Montana's Glacier National Park, seller's journey is a fictional (but realistic) retrospective from the perspective of a business owner one year after a successful sale.
Logan takes the reader through the owner's multi-year journey to and through the exit, highlighting what went well and what (mostly) didn't along the way. She devotes more space than most business writers to the emotional obstacles that slow or derail sales.
But her largely positive story reminds readers that they are not the first people to consider selling their business: if others can successfully sell, so can they. It reminds me of that. This is an important lesson for owners themselves and for business advisors, whose work is equally important to their success.
Selling a business is a process that can take years, even if everything goes smoothly. It starts years before you receive your first offer and ends months or even years after the sale closes. It's a journey and probably the most important one in your professional life.
These five books will help you prepare. Read all of them if you can, and read others too. Remember: If you do this correctly, you only need to run it once.
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