Do You Want to Sell Your Business? Is it Ready to Sell? Part 1
Too often small business owners create a business and then want to sell it. But they have not taken the time to think through what is valuable in selling a business. When you consider scaling your business and eventually selling your business, it is helpful to think about how you will make it easy to step into. One way to think about this is the franchise model. There are 7 steps to consider as you scale. They are:
· Your Primary Aim
· Strategic Objectives
· Organizational Strategy
· Management Strategy
· People Strategy
· Marketing Strategy
· Systems Strategy
Today we will explore the first three.
Your Primary Aim
It’s essential in business development to set goals and see a vision for the future. This needs to go beyond the business. You also want to think about what you desire out of life. If you are just thinking about the business, you might as well be in a job. What do you dream about? How do you see your success unfolding? Who is with you to celebrate your success? What is the impact of success on you, your customers, your employees your family? Understanding these things will give you the momentum to get started and the stamina to see it through. Now take a minute to write them down and tape this to your desk for a constant reminder of what you’re aiming for.
My primary aim is to create a business that helps the business’ on Main street thrive so that regardless of what happens on Wall Street our community thrives. To do that I help a number of small business owners create millions of dollars in new revenue without spending more money on marketing or advertising.
The Strategic Objectives
These are essential in taking your business from surviving to thriving. These objectives should offer a path to get to your primary aim. There are many things you can use to set strategic objectives, but here are a some of the most popular:
- Money: Setting income goals is a simple way to see how you are doing at any point in the game. It’s easy to measure and easy to find adjustments to help meet this goal.
- Worthy Opportunities: When considering partnerships and other business opportunities such as new product or service development, you want to think about whether they will help you reach your primary aim. Those that will are the best opportunities to seriously consider. All too often I see small business owners distracted by the next shiny thing.
- Customers served: Tracking the number of people your business has served. I have a colleague that wants to reach 10,000 women through her work. And in the process of serving, you create a business.
The key to setting standards and goals is not to limit you or stress yourself out. You need to find some quantifiable things you can use to measure your progress toward your primary aim. I know one business owner that uses bananas as a measurement. You’ll have to ask me for more details. 😉 These are just a few suggestions, but make sure no matter what standards you set you are paying attention to the details, as these are one of the biggest keys to your success.
The strength of your organizational structure can make or break your business, so it’s important to take the time to put together a solid structure for your business to grow from. Generally, a company is organized around the roles and responsibilities that need to be taken care of daily and the personalities that need to fulfill those roles. These might be:
– Sales & Marketing
It might even be helpful to create an organizational chart and slot people in these roles. Even if it is a business of one right now. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the roles will move your business forward. No matter what roles and responsibilities you’ve defined for your employees, you must always keep your own personal primary aim separate from your company’s primary aim or mission statement. Once you’ve identified the primary aim for your company, it will be easy to set up a position structure that will work.
Don’t forget to put together position contracts. Your employees should sign a statement of their roles and responsibilities. This leads to a key distinction that often causes strife. Expectations versus agreement. All too often people have expectations for their partners and employees. But they have not reached an agreement with those parties. Having a contract helps make this an agreement and it makes it easier to hold each other and ourselves accountable.
By now you can see how these areas all work together to build a solid structure on which to build your business. If you need help defining any of these areas, you can check out the resources and tools and then check out our FREE test drive.