Especially right now, we know that lots of owners are in a fight for their very survival. It’s difficult to think about planning for a year or three or five from now when you don’t know what might happen tomorrow.
Which is why we’re encouraging you to shift your mindset and view the overwhelming process of rebuilding your business as distinct, achievable steps with your exit in the long view.
Some of you may remember the show tune “Putting it Together” by Stephen Sondheim; it was a big hit for Barbra Streisand back in the 1980s. It’s a frenzied piece of music that’s supposed to express the feelings of an artist who is struggling to create art while trying to make a living from it. It could be described as musical acrobatics.
Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art
Every moment makes a contribution
Every little detail plays a part
Having just a vision's no solution
Everything depends on execution
Putting it together, that's what counts
It’s evocative of the situation many owners are dealing with right now; we’re feeling this immense pressure: “Everything depends on execution/Putting it together, that's what counts.”
We would go one step further and argue it’s the way you put it together that really counts. We get that it’s very easy to get mired down in the day-to-day – especially given where we are at present – but you need to be mindful of the long term.
While you’re in the middle of trying to rebuild, don’t do it in a vacuum. You don’t want to do anything now that you’ll regret later on – like the owners we talked about in a previous article who couldn’t sell when they wanted to because they didn’t do any research about what buyers were actually looking for.
Planning for your exit is as much an art as it is a science and you want to ensure that you’re armed with the knowledge, tools, resources, and advice you need to get your plan started.
One BTA member recently told us that our exit planning courses and workshops were an eye-opening experience for him even though he’s owned businesses for decades. He just didn’t realize all the steps that need to be taken, how much time it would take, and all of the people who need to be involved the exit planning process. “As owners,” he said, “you need to get educated about the entire process so that you understand what you need to do and who you need to work with. It is a worthwhile investment to ensure a successful transition to the rest of your life.”
The benefit of taking a step-by-step approach to developing your plan is that you can create your plan on your own specific timeline and tailor it to your specific needs.