How ready is your company to be sold? If yours is like most, there is probably much to be done. A primary reason for the lack of readiness is that the business is often too dependent on the owner. Consequently, millions of business owners will never maximize the value they have worked so hard to create over years and years of effort.
To prepare your business to be sold for top value, consider these three keys:
- Develop the right mindset. Your success largely depends on what goes on between your ears. Many business owners stumble into a trap of keeping their businesses dependent on them. Have you ever said or thought, “I can’t trust anyone to do the job the way that I would”; “It’s got to be perfect”; “This is my baby and I can’t give up control”? Business owners who realize the most value for their businesses have a different way of looking at things. They empower others to take on more responsibility and trust their decision-making. They give up full control. They refrain from micromanaging. They recruit people who are smarter than they are and provide the time and resources to prepare and develop them for senior roles.
- Create the infrastructure to recruit, retain and develop leaders who can seamlessly keep the company growing on their own. A company that establishes a strong infrastructure sets the stage for success by making it possible to develop a talent pool of leaders who are capable of successfully running the company without you. Key elements of this infrastructure include:
- clear roles and responsibilities,
- performance metrics for accountability,
- a clear organizational chart,
- a recruiting process that brings in top talent,
- a talent development process,
- a culture that engages and retains talent,
- clear career paths for key roles,
- systems and processes that allow for efficient company operation,
- a performance management system that is fair and stretches people to grow and
- the encouragement of behaviors that create cohesive, team performance.
- Implement an ongoing succession planning process that continues to develop and grow new leaders. Once you have the previous pieces in place, the final puzzle piece is an ongoing succession planning process. In some businesses, succession planning is only visited when a need arises, such as the retirement of an executive. Instead, succession planning must be a regular process to identify high potential performers, develop them, and continue to challenge them with the learning, assignments and opportunities that will prepare them to move up.
Companies that have done the hard work to have these three keys in place are in a position to keep growing. Consequently, the business owner is now freed from the weeds of day-to-day operations and can focus on strategy and setting standards of excellence. Also, when leaders within the business are empowered, it offers the owner a better integration between their work and personal life. Finally, the company is made more valuable with these elements in place. This sets the stage for the owner to gain a substantial return on their investment of time and effort over the years and to leave behind a thriving company for their team.
Adapted with permission by Center for Executive Coaching
About the Author: Sherry Dutra is a Talent Development, Career and Retirement Coach and Facilitator who works with corporate leaders in small to mid-size businesses, across the span of their careers. She helps them to accelerate business outcomes and team performance, navigate their own career path, and transition to retirement with ease using proven methodologies and strategies that get results. If you would like to uncover and address hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your success, leverage your strengths, and accelerate your progress toward the results you desire, contact Sherry for a complimentary consultation.