Does your General Manager know you are going to retire?

Exiting your business – the biggest fear of all business owners?
March 22, 2018
Ascend Partners - Successful team
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Are you one of the many business owners who knows that your eventual retirement is looming closer but have chosen not to discuss this with your key personnel?

It’s fascinating to meet so many General Managers or nest generation family members who have aspirations to take the reigns on running the business only to be held back by indecision and procrastination by the owner(s) on when they will step away from running the business.

Most of the owners I meet that are in this situation often have a successful business that has provided well for them over the years, have created independent personal wealth and have made the step to appoint key personnel to help run the business. It’s interesting that having built a good business they have little understanding, and often great reluctance, on how to make a successful exit.

That’s Fair Enough I hear you say. You founded the business and you built the business so why shouldn’t it be your choice as to how and when you step away. And of course there are a whole stack of things to consider to enable you to do this. So most of the time the matter is put into the “too hard basket” and left for another day. For some of you the timing of your exit may in fact be taken out of your control, so wouldn’t it in fact be better to have a plan?

But there’s another side to consider other than your own. What about the key stakeholders in the business whether they be your General Manager, children or other key stakeholders? If you don’t know your exit strategy then obviously they don’t know it either, so they are left in the dark often feeling uncertain and frustrated. Wouldn’t it be best to simply have the conversation?

Aah, the conversation. Just what every business owner does not want to have. This is partly because talking about your own exit necessarily means confronting your own mortality and having to make decisions about a future phase of your life that you prefer to put off. Maybe it will all work out, but far too often it doesn’t and the impact of not getting your exit right can mean that you end up destroying a lot of the business value you have worked so hard to create.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your management team will understand that making plans for ownership transition is hard, especially if you are open about the challenges you face. If you are over the age of 55 then succession planning should be agenda on your regular Board meeting (yes, of course you have a regular Board meeting,, that’s how you communicate important business decisions).

For most owners, and General Managers, you will need expert help to get your succession plan right. The most successful entrepenuers I have met always surround themselves with experts to provide good advice. Your Certified Exit Planner is another member of your expert team who will work closely with your accountant, financial planner and lawyer to ensure you do everything necessary to plan a happy and fulfilling retirement, whatever that may look like for you.

Planning your eventual exit may not be urgent but it sure is important. Don’t delay talking about your future plans with your management team irrespective of how long away they may be.

For assistance on considering what is important to you personally You can complete your own free personal readiness assessment to help you consider some of the things you need to consider

Time to REFIRE

Our book titled Seven Steps to REFIRE will help educate you on how to prepare your business for a successful transition as well as helping you to address critical personal goals and business factors that should be tied into the process. You can buy the book at:

Who are Ascend Partners?

We are experts in helping business owners build their business and supporting them to get ready to sell, exit or transition their business.

Our commitment to you is to create a plan that will give you the best possible chance of achieving your business, personal and financial goals.. Using our systematic approach we work with business owners to increase the value of your business and improve your profit, which allows you to exit your business and move on to the next phase of your life with confidence and certainty. Contact us for a free consultation

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