They’ll neglect several important areas:
● They won’t put a solid transition team in place
● They won’t prepare their own company for the culture shift
● They won’t keep growing the business
Why? Because business owners lose their passion for their own business as they begin to ride off into the sunset. The reason why this happens was summed up quite succinctly by this sixth grade teacher I once met.
Would you work hard with two weeks left in school?
I asked this teacher how he could keep his students interested in school as summer vacation neared. He shrugged his shoulders, and told me he honestly didn’t try. “Would you work hard with two weeks left in school?” he asked.
His point wasn’t that the kids were lazy, or that the building was too hot. For the kids, he reasoned, there was nothing for them beyond that final day of school. Nothing to keep them jazzed up to keep pushing forward and learning.
The same can be said for business owners on the verge of retirement. For many owners, they can’t see beyond the sale of their baby. All they’ve known, and the entire life they’ve built, is slowly slipping away from them.
Their own last day of school is rapidly approaching.
Create a vision of what your summer vacation will be
It seems ironic to many of us that an owner wouldn’t be completely excited about getting to retirement. The reason why is that many of them have no idea what they’ll do with themselves when that day arrives.
At least kids have plans for summer vacation. Business owners think about playing some golf or reading some books, but that’s where it ends.
It’s why you need to build a vision of what your own retirement will be well before you put the wheels in motion to sell your business.
With a vision of future waiting for you on the other side, you’ll work diligently to ensure that your business transition is a success. Everything will run smoothly, and your profitable business is thriving on the day you sign the bottom line.
A vision of the future will help you think clearly about what needs to be done for today. It was true when you started your business, and it’s especially true when you’re selling your baby, too.
Rock LaManna, the author of L&NW's popular "The Bottom Line" column, empowers label company owners with 35 years of print industry experience. With the LaManna Alliance, you’ll make smart decisions about growth, selling, or succession plans. Let’s talk: Rock@RockLaManna.com