When successful business owners are getting started, they know they need to put together an advisory team of professionals to help them navigate the things they do not know. A CPA and attorney are the first to come to mind in forming as reporting are the natural first steps.  Then comes the insurance, what needs to be covered, how much is too much etc.  Having their team of experts in place allows them to have confidence they can focus on what they know better than anyone else, running and growing their business.

Fast-forward 20 – 30 years…as a business owner you have given it your all and the business has grown and become a huge success.  In fact, as the owner you are now starting to want to at least slow down a little and have more time to enjoy with your family. Ultimately you might like to try something new or at least have more time for yourself.  Either by backing away from the day-to-day operations or potentially selling the business outright can accomplish this transition. But what seemed simple in the beginning is now much more complex and the stakes much higher than you had ever imagined.  What can you do to be confident you are making all the right moves to make this transition work for yourself, your family and your company?

Below are five key steps to a successful transition.  In this article we address the first two.  Later, we will dive into the other three as they require more detail and we like to keep these articles short for our busy entrepreneurs.

The 5 Steps Are:

  • Plan Ahead – Give yourself the time to make it work
  • Choose a “Quarterback” – Select someone to lead the charge on your behalf
  • Know Your Numbers – Understand how the transition will impact your plans, financially as well as personally
  • Assemble the “A” Team – Bring all of the expert advisory resources together
  • Communicate – Let your employees and clients in on the plan and how it will or will not affect them once implemented

Transitions under duress never work well for anyone.  We recommend giving yourself 3-5 years to plan and execute the transition.  History tells us that the more time we allow for both the business and person to plan and implement the more valuable it will be.  It starts with assessing what you will need and who you will need to make it a smooth and profitable transition.

Time is the one resource that is impossible to control given you cannot increase or decrease the amount given to you.  If you are like most business owners, time is a scarce and precious resource.  We encourage you to leverage a trusted resource to assist you with this process.  At Optimized Business Transitions we become the proverbial “quarterback” of these transitions for our clients.  Helping them coordinate the plan and its implementation, allowing our clients to continue working on the areas of the business that need their attention.  We have yet to meet a business owner that has sufficient time and/or capacity to manage their business while also optimizing their transition.

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