A lot of Florida business owners think through every aspect of selling a business. They are careful to choose the right time to sell. They spend time getting their financial records in order. They research the market to price the business right. They work closely with their business broker to find the exact right buyer for their business.
The one thing they don’t do is plan for the transition from business owner to….what, exactly? Transition planning consists of prepping for that post-sale time. This is a time when the new owner may still need you as a mentor and guide in their new venture. A time when former employees and long-time customers may seek you out to discuss the sale and the changes it has brought.
This is the time for you, the former business owner, to figure out what’s next for you and your life.
Creating A Transition Plan
- Prepare to let it go. The first thing you need to do when creating a transition plan is to be prepared to let go. Even if you think you are emotionally ready to stop being a business owner, it can be very hard to watch new owners come in and start taking over “your” business. If you plan to stick around and be available to help the new owner out, it is especially important that you are 100% comfortable with no longer being the one to make the decisions.
- Develop a new vision. It’s very difficult to walk way from a business you’ve spent years developing without any idea of what you are going to do next. If you can’t imagine not being the owner of your company, you need to ask yourself if the time is right to sell. If you are committed to selling, have some options in mind for what you will do next in your life. Do you have another job/career in mind? If you’re retiring, make plans for a long vacation or project to keep your mind occupied as you transition from being the boss to being a retiree. Too many business owners have no idea what they will do once the business sells and develop cold feet at some point in the process, eventually pulling out of the sale. Take some time for introspection to prevent this from happening to you.
- Develop an actual transition plan. It can help to spell out in detail your actual plans for handing over the reins of your business. Think about how involved you can and want to be and for how long. Develop a list of important contacts for the new business owner so they can rely on these individuals instead of you if you are trying to ease your way out. Make sure to discuss this plan with potential buyers so they don’t walk into the deal thinking you will be more available than you have planned.
Talk Through Transition Options With A Crowne Atlantic Properties Business Broker
If you are ready to sell your business but aren’t sure how to make a clean break, talk to the business brokers at Orlando’s Crowne Atlantic Properties. We have worked with hundreds of business owners who have successfully made such transitions. Our brokers can help owners develop suitable transition plans or even put them on the path to a new business opportunity.
Contact Crowne Atlantic Properties at 407-478-4101 for help planning the next stage of your life.