I think it is a safe assumption that you started your business because you had a lot of industry experience or a passion for your craft and wanted to be your own boss. Maybe you have a talent or skill that has been painstakingly perfected over the years and there is market that and there is a desire in the market for this and you can fill it! But for how long? Will your role change? Can you retire, take a vacation, or create a legacy? Strategic planning for the future of your business is often overlooked in the day-to-day hustle of business. But it is the pivotal plan that can define your life.
Around here, we aim to help business owners create sustainable business models. The part that some don't understand is we also encourage and design sellable businesses. Here's why you need to do this as well:
1. "Be My Own Boss" that mindset still implies you are an employee. Starting a business you love is great. But in 10 years do you want to be an employee in your business or do you want to be a CEO and have a trusted team in place? If you have a business that has a sellable model, it doesn't mean you have to sell it. it means you created options. You created a team and a growth strategy that takes you out of the day-to-day operations and focus on the big picture and enjoying the fruits of your labor.
2. Following your passion can lead to burn out. Hear me out! Having a passion for a craft is a lifelong love for sure, but as a business and a hobby it can quickly lead to overload. Creative inspiration can be stifled by the mundane requests of the market and your love can turn into resentment. The point of those couple of negative sentences is that this is avoidable! With a sellable business, you can have employees to run the parts you aren't in love with, or be able to take a vacation or regular time off to focus on passion projects.
3. Thinking too small can lead to "what ifs". I don't know about you, but I like a lot of stuff. I have tons of passions and ideas. If I wasn't cooking up new revenue streams that I enjoy or starting a new venture, I know there would be regrets later. I help a lot of female entrepreneurs harness their current passion and create a business model that allows them the time to explore other passions or reformulate what they already have. Having the ultimate goal of being a serial entrepreneur is the big picture goal that can open up a whole new future full of opportunities!
4. Your kids may not be interested. Have you ever envisioned a family empire you can share with your family for generations to come? You may think you are grooming the future leader of your company, but really they are on their own journey and the best you can do is support them and foster their sense of creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit. That still leaves this business you built. Your company is an asset and it's worth something. From your loyal client list to the filing cabinets, don't let it all fade away, prepare for an acquisition that rewards all your hard work.
Creating a sellable business is not actually selling your business, its creating future options for the twists and turns life will always throw our way. My best advice is to set plans for the 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year mark and reevaluate regularly and create action steps that will get you there.