Reinvention or Harvest Is Where You Are Now
Don’t Discover Too Late Your Business Is Not Going to Deliver What You Expect When It Comes Time to Sell
What to Do If You Want to Reinvent and Remodel Your Business to Put It on A New Growth Trajectory
For many, the question is already decided as they have always been in business so experiencing the challenge, joys and creativity of owning and running a business is not something they would want to live without.
For others, they may be ready to sell their business and enjoy life. Either way, you need to understand the process and problems that can occur before you encounter them at a time when it’s too late to fix them.
Click on the following buttons for an in-depth dive into what you should consider and options for making the most from your decision.
I PLAN TO SELL
Selling May Not Be as Quick or Easy as You Think
Understand that selling your creation is sometimes not an easy task. You know how much sweat you put into your business and are proud of all the things you’ve done, but others may not agree. All they want to ask about is “where is the money?”
It is not simply a question of a multiple of what you have in the bank and what you make every year.
It is also a question of where your organization fits in the competition for any available dollar. That can be much more difficult to justify than your paper assets because new inventions and fads can demand value that does not recognize your hard work and creativity.
How fast you are growing and in what market may be more consequential in determining value than anything you have control of. It can also be a question of how well you have positioned your business for the future. Often it simply comes down to the luck of decisions you made years in the past.
What If You Can’t Get an Acceptable Offer or ANY Offer?
You need to be prepared for the reality that your business may not be an easy one to sell.
There are several key factors buyers look for in the evaluation of a purchase and your love of your business is not one of them. There are at least 40 areas that can devalue your business in the eyes of buyers. Some of them are:
- Industry – is it growing, interesting, trending up?
- Growth – How stable, predictable, how fast?
- Revenue Model – Are sales one time or are they recurring or not? Contracts?
- Customer Risk – How dependent are you on one customer? If it’s more than 10% of total revenue, it’s problematic.
- Scalability – Is your business scalable? How “cookie cutter” is it? Do you have the team, processes and procedures in place to support rapid growth?
- Financial Statements – How clean are your financials? Are they audited? Do you have a clean balance sheet and profit and loss statements that are detailed and verifiable? What is the reputation of the CPA firm that produces your financials?
- Team – How dependent is your business on YOU? Do you have a team of managers already running the company without your intimate involvement in day to day decisions? Who can step in and run the business after you leave? (Believe it or not, you’ll want to get the heck out after you sell, and the buyers will almost always want that too.)
- Systems – Do you have smoothly functioning processes, procedures and departments where functions are documented and updated continually so steps are repeatable? Is your IT infrastructure modern and up to date with cybersecurity safeguards and professionals operating it?
- Competition – Who is or could become your competition? How do you match up to them in visibility, reputation, resources, innovation and sales ability?
- Intellectual Property – Do you hold any patented processes, formulas or other intellectual capital? Are your business and product names trademarked? How about your web domain? Do you OWN that and all the .com, .org, .biz or dot whatever that someone could grab?
- Documentation – If you have never experienced what you will have to prove and document in the due diligence phase of selling your business, get ready to find, produce and prove everything. It’s an enormous task. Of course, it’s easier if you run a clean and well-organized business where records are at hand but it’s a big deal.
- What happens to your people? – You think of them very differently than the buyers will. To them, they may be little more than a statistic on a spreadsheet. Consider your feelings about what may happen post sale early on.
Of course, there are taxes and family hands out to help you divide up life’s work as well. – We’ve been here, too because we’ve worked with many other owners and sold our own businesses.
- And there are many more…
Evaluation of your efforts, therefore, can be complicated and time consuming.
An even more challenging question may be what you do with the assets you receive.
They may determine your future more than what you receive for your past efforts as they open avenues of creativity and leisure you never thought about previously. Here some cloud gazing may be in order.
We can help you find many pictures of real and imaginary clouds that will compete for your interests. We also have contacts with other entrepreneurs who might be able to use some of your assets to help them grow into places previously unimagined.
Having money is not an end in-itself, as you well know. There are fewer dollars than there are places to put them for business, pleasure, or benevolence. We can help you discover other ways and places in the world that will make you happy. You have been successful up to this point, you want to remain happy and engaged in life after all is said and done.
Remember, we are there with tips and suggestions to guide your decision making and help reveal your alternatives and new opportunities.
Where Do You Go from Here?
If you would like to discuss this further, give us a call or send an email for a confidential exploratory conversation about how to make your business one buyers clamor to purchase and where you get the maximum value from your years of hard work and sacrifice.
I PLAN TO REINVENT, REINVEST AND LAUNCH A NEW GROWTH OPPORTUNITY
Renovating, Reinventing, Revitalizing to Get a New Growth Engine Have Potentially Business Killing Risks and Finding Something Entirely New Has Special Problems.
Here Are Major Pitfalls and Factors to Consider for Either Option. Find Out What to Do Even If You Have NO Ideas.
Congratulations! You are contemplating staying in the game and can’t wait to get moving on a new growth track. Maybe that means revisiting an Idea you have had for a while and Revitalizing it; or maybe it means Remodeling and Reinventing what you have, or Inventing something new.
Regardless, your heart says make it something that you can grow with for a long time into the future.
All of these approaches are great approaches but they all need some concentrated brain stimulation, investigation and reworking.
Here are some things to consider as there are pitfalls in each approach:
First Option: Reinvent and Remodel Your Current Business Model
Before you leap into trying to invent something new, test your idea against new opportunities to serve your existing customers or the markets you know well. Or do you think there may be a way to reach entirely new customers, creating new markets that may disrupt what you know.
- Are there opportunities to serve your existing customers and solve other problems they have?
- Is your business model obsolete or are there opportunities to revamp and extend it with new technology or distribution/sales channels?
- Are there potential areas in your product line or services where fresh, innovative approaches could bring new growth and sustainability?
At some point, your market has changed, or products and services have reached maturity and further innovation, reinvention or investment is not going to move the needle. No amount of advertising, dancing cat ads on social media or coupons will save an obsolete product or service. No amount of “innovative” financial accounting will change reality.
No matter what you do, revitalizing the buggy whip industry just isn’t going to work.
Recognize that at some point, simply tweaking a formerly good but obsolete business concept is a Guaranteed Business Bocker.
Waiting too long to begin the process of reinvention kills companies who otherwise could fix things. Harvard Business Review recently noted that a company that has a stall in growth has less than a 10% chance of successfully recovering. (Study by Matthew S. Olson and Derek van Bever, authors of “Stall Points.”)
Second Option: Start Something New – Get a New and More Powerful Growth Engine
Commoditization, technological discontinuities, disruptive threats, changes in government policy or society’s expectations, and intensified competition may mean your current growth machine is old and tired but the flip side is these disruptions open huge new markets for those who see innovation and opportunity where others see problems.
Have a new “growth engine” in mind now? How old is your idea? What were the considerations that you looked at when you started thinking about it? People? An unsolved personal or public problem? What was the response from your family, business associates, investing associates, professionals in the field when you first thought of it?
If it is an old idea you have had for some time, why did you not pursue it? Are those considerations still alive, or have they changed with the times and what might have changed for you and the market?
Why does it still stick out in your mind? Is it at a peak level of got to do it, or just kind of simmering? Does that thermometer tell you anything about pursuing it now or throwing it away? Remember the feelings you experienced when you first got into business. Is it like that, more driving or less?
At this time in your life, how you feel about your future is the first thing you should know thoroughly in deciding what you should be doing. You have the experience of realizing a past dream. Some people can’t get being an entrepreneur out of their system. It’s a wonderful place to be because few people have really lived it. But you, if anyone, should know its costs as well as its promise.
But what do you do if you don’t have that new idea or insight to get on a new growth track?
There are changes in government policy, new technologies, new markets or shifts in market demand and new horizons everywhere; opportunity abounds for those who look.
SpaceX, Tesla, and the Boring Company are innovations of Jeff Bezos; Amazon’s rise, Virgin Galactic’s space tours, AI, Alexa, on and on – opportunity is everywhere for those who don’t follow the herd, innovatively solve problems by taking friction out of processes and don’t listen too hard to the critics.
This is the moment when you must be innovative and think about many possibilities, inside and outside of your business.
Start by inventorying what you have to work with and consider the effects change will bring.
Think about what kind of new business your assets would support.
- What talents does your team possess that could be redirected?
- What do you do “better than the average bear?”
- What financial assets are available to stand up the next opportunity?
- What are you and your company not good at?
- Do you have a plant, equipment or proprietary technology that could be redirected or repurposed?
- How much time do you have left to make things happen?
- What will be the reaction of your current employees, especially key employees to the idea of a new direction? What resistance to change will you encounter?
- What skills will you need to develop in your team to take on a new business direction? What attitudes and beliefs will need to be different to make the new opportunity function successfully?
Your imagination will require consideration of the usual business boundary considerations such as patents, regulations, taxes, competencies new and old, technologies, vision, and leadership present and future to get something new off the ground.
There are times when new thoughts about new things or new thoughts about old realities need to be examined. It will take more than a couple of meetings to find your path and scope it out.
A decision is not enough because you will need a realistic time frame and money to even begin building your new growth engine.
If you are in this stage of your business there are two paths forward, if you’d like to discuss your idea with those who have helped others, we’re here for you.
Simply schedule a confidential call or drop us an email. Either way, you’ll have taken an important step toward the reinvention, revitalization and renovation of your new growth engine.