The initial step is to truly recognize that you are going to have to move away from your baby at some time: that fact is inevitable. This active realization is a big step for anyone; especially, if it is still a long time away.
Determine that you don’t want to be one of the 75% that end up regretting that they exited – yet, eventually you must.
Talk about it to family, friends or colleagues, who might have already been down that path.
Understand that most professional service advisors such as your accountant, lawyer, banker, brokers, financial advisor, and the like, largely advise on the transactional side – and at some point in the process, you will almost certainly need each one of these. Whilst the transaction is the culmination of your exit, it’s effectiveness in keeping you out of the 75% will mainly be influenced by the implementation (or not) of a well thought out and implemented Transition Planning Program that is conducted over at least several years.
Plan some regular (even if modest) time away from the operational side of the business. Use this time to think about what your future life might be like; how long you think you want to continue in business for; what funds you might need; what your business might be worth right now; what might you really need to achieve your goals; what barriers might exist – but don’t let barriers imperil your thinking; what unfulfilled ambitions do you have for the business; whether you have plans for family succession of the business, or some other form of exit.
Have a chat to someone like BF strategic; someone who has the experience and background in not just the transactional side, but in the entire process of succession and transition planning: someone who can assist in project managing the process with you, as you still have to run the business.
Engage experienced resources that can help you gauge the value of the business, and its attractiveness to a buyer as it stands.
BF strategic offers a free, no obligation consultation to assist you to take that first step, and at the moment, will also undertake a GAP analysis and 90 Day Action Plan for you, at an unbelievably nominal cost of only $100 plus GST.
Above all: make that first footprint in the sand, and get started – right now! You owe it to you!