Key Defects in Your Business (Oversights) Part 3

The problems, excuses and barriers to achieving big hairy audacious goals boil down to three underlying defects. These three primary reasons are broad umbrellas covering dozens of other reasons.

  1. Self-sabotage
  2. No strategic focus
  3. Risk averse

We complete the set here with the third reason.

 Risk Averse

Everyone who starts a business, launches a product, or opens a storefront takes a risk. It’s an inherent part of business that we take risks. So owners convince themselves that because they take the risk of being in business that they are risk-takers. That conclusion prevents consideration and recognition of all the myriad of fears, challenges, responsibilities and opportunities that they face and never resolve. Risk aversion can take many forms that are deeply rooted in our core values and our life experiences to date. For example:

  1. Afraid of failure. Fear of failure haunts many owners whose businesses – from the outside – appear to be thriving. Some fear of failure can be good – if it drives you to deliver, get resourceful and hit your numbers. But when fear of failure is a symptom of being afraid to take risks, that’s when fear of failure turns into a self-fulfilling prophesy. When owners don’t even recognize it, they make decisions based on the wrong reasons (e.g., what we did last year) and the wrong inputs (e.g., outdated research), because they’re still asking the safe wrong questions to justify their cautious decisions. (e.g., How can we get our clients to buy more replacements? vs. What can we do to provide a 100% solution for the client?)
  2. Afraid of the embarrassment of failure. When owners announce and broadcast their launch, their goal or their ambition for their business, their excitement and drive can boost the business to their first milestones. As more and more people start watching (family, friends, peers, competitors, vendors, clients, prospects, investors), pressure to deliver can get in the way of hitting the next milestones. Fear of the embarrassment of failure in the eyes of these people who trusted and respected the owners can be harder to face than an actual failure. So much so, that owners will do many things to avoid the perceived or potential shame. They’ll work harder at avoiding this embarrassment than at avoiding failure. In the extreme, they are paralyzed from setting, let alone achieving, real goals.
  3. Afraid of success. Yes, fear of success is a problem of being risk averse too. This too is a mindset issue to break through. But if it’s a blind spot owners continue to overlook, it’s a symptom of being afraid to take the risks that could result in really big successes. It’s also a symptom of self-sabotage. Fear of success, like fear of failure, can be a result of being risk averse.
  4. Afraid of wealth. Surprisingly, many people create amazing businesses of great value to their clients, with no intention or conscious effort to make money. They don’t want to be burdened by the responsibilities of wealth –  in the business, in the community or maybe in their family. They just want to do their thing so they find ways to avoid structuring the business as a business or grow the business to its full potential, thus bypassing the opportunity for wealth.
  5. Afraid of trying for big goals. This can be tied to fear of failure, fear of success, or fear of the unknown. It may be tied to past experiences of success, or striving for big goals. But if the owner settles for small goals to avoid the risk of not achieving big goals, they are shortchanging the whole business.
  6. Fixated on and paralyzed by money or lack of cash flow. Money is a tool and a measure in business. It’s a medium of exchange that’s widely accepted and understood. But many owners are consumed by the cash flow statement and don’t share concerns or tradeoffs to be made with the team. That type of extreme control and privacy can restrict choices and hinder growth. To grow a business or to achieve goals, owners have to be willing to take reasonable risks and trust the team they’ve built to support goals and growth.
  7. Refuse to ask for help or listen to advice from an expert advisor or a board of directors.Too many entrepreneurs define themselves as the business and if they ask for help, then they must be a failure for “not knowing it all’ already! Stubborn, willful controlling owners can’t hear that people around them sincerely want to help, and want them to succeed. Truly the adage applies to business owners as well: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
  8. Refuse to be accountable. Many people start a business with the mistaken idea they won’t have a boss any more to tell them what to do, how to do it or when. owners who rebel against the discipline of accountability can’t build a business of any size or success. In business, to thrive and prosper, you must recognize and accept that you are always accountable to your customers. And if you want the business to produce financial independence, you must keep your financial records in a very systematic, organized way, following all the reporting rules. Rebelling against accountability is playing at business, which is another way of murdering your business.
  9. Avoid making decisions. Owners who avoid making decisions, defer decisions, or allow the group to always take a consensus, are risking the direction and drive to achieve their goals. In their attempt to avoid confrontation, avoid risks, and minimize personal risks, they are putting the business at greater risk.
  10. Afraid to take initiatives, or try a different approach. There’s a difference between leadership and management. A good manager does not always make a great leader. The organization needs both. Great leaders must be willing to take chances in propelling the business ahead of the competition, to take the steps that lead to fulfilling their vision – even if it’s a risk. An owners who is resistant to change, or avoids trying something new, is setting up the business to be bought out.
  11. Don’t know what they don’t know and are afraid to ask/find out what they’re missing. The best owners and entrepreneurs are perpetual students. Owners who deny their blind spots and don’t reach up and ask for help are not being responsible to their business. They can’t see that this face-saving mindset is crippling their businesses for no good reason. What they don’t realize is that contrary to their risk-averse beliefs, they will actually elevate themselves in the eyes of all their stakeholders when they ask for help and learn from experts to fill in the gaps.
  12. Get paralyzed by guilt and embarrassment over their indecision, or not taking action. This is another one of those circuitous arguments. Being risk averse, often owners are indecisive, doubtful and reluctant to take action. This paralysis creates guilt, awkwardness and shame, which perpetuates inaction. It’s all because they don’t recognize their deep aversion to risk.
  13. Don’t know what they don’t know and deny it. Insisting on keeping blinders on and overlooking what they don’t know handicaps the whole business. When you do this out of ignorance the first time, you learn and grow and the business benefits. When you dig in your heels and deny it, you are increasing the risk of murdering your business.

“You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time
and
build your wings on the way down.”

Ray Bradbury: American author

So if it is important for owners to have an entrepreneurial mindset, building their business and their team around their strengths.

Key Defects in Your Business (Oversights) Part 2

The problems, excuses and barriers to achieving big hairy audacious goals boil down to three underlying defects. Dozens of other reasons can be collected under the umbrella of these three primary reasons.

  1. Self-sabotage
  2. No strategic focus
  3. Risk averse

We continue here with the second reason.

No Strategic Focus

Ninety-five percent of all owners don’t have a strategic focus for their business. They don’t know what they should be doing as the leader of their enterprise. They are more than busy, scrambling hand to mouth or from fire to fire, with no time for anything more. They believe there’s no time left for planning, strategy, scheduling, budgeting, forecasting, contingency planning or succession planning – never mind exit planning. Their priority is always tactics and today; the future can wait. For example:

  1. They don’t know what it will take or cost them to achieve their goals. They are running blind. Either they don’t know it or they avoid thinking about it so they don’t have to see their risky behavior.
  2. They are still stuck being the technician, the expert, the professional in their business. That’s a great place to start your business but based on that paradigm, you can’t build a business that will produce the wealth and financial freedom you need in the long run.
  3. They are very good at what they do but never took time to set up the business to support that expertise/offering. When your time is consumed in delivering product or services and there’s no time to structure the business to run independently, you haven’t built a business, you’ve simply hired yourself for your technical prowess. Without a strategic focus and a systematic plan to work yourself out of a job, you can never retire and you can never maximize the valuation of the business.
  4. They have no clear focus on what they should be doing. They are comfortable in the everyday “busy-ness” working in the business. Their effort has no larger, longer-term objective.
  5. They have no clear focus of what they are driving the business to achieve. When you don’t have a long-term goal, you will never know when you get there. And you can easily drift in any direction that a “new shiny object” takes you.
  6. Even if they have an overarching goal stated, it’s not broken down to meaningful and achievable milestone goals. Thus, no one takes action to achieve them. owners have the business in their head. Their team doesn’t. So even if they share their big hairy audacious goals with their team, unless they can break it down to what that means for each department and each team member, these people don’t know what action to take to achieve the owner’s goal, because it wasn’t explained in terms on which they could take direct action. Therefore, nothing happens.
  7. They have no tracking and measuring in place. Without tracking and measuring tools to monitor results, the CEO has no information on which to make decisions, develop a strategy or set even bigger goals. Without the reports and data, no decisions are made and no actions are taken.
  8. They don’t have metrics or key performance indicators in place. Every business has metrics and key performance indicators. But most owners don’t know what they should be or even ask for them. Without a dashboard of key performance indicators to focus on, the owner is left blind in making decisions to move ahead.
  9. They still run their business as a hobby, not a business. When this is the case, the marketplace treats them as a hobby business too. Sadly, too many owners excel at creating and selling their products but neglect building out the foundation for their business. By not focusing on the business as a business, they stumble forward by luck with no plan, constraining growth and minimizing the company’s value.
  10. They never accepted the mantle of ownership and leadership. Entrepreneurs who won’t lead, should not claim the title of owner of a business. Even with the best product in their market and great team players, they can’t maximize profits because they lack the business acumen to grow or sell the business. Their narrow focus prevents them from achieving the financial freedom they wanted their business to produce.
  11. They lack, or never learned, the skill sets required for leadership and team building. Not everyone is a born leader. Not everyone has an aptitude to learn these key social skills. Owners who are not interested in developing key leadership and team building skills struggle in the role, resisting what it takes to excel.

It’s natural to focus on what you know and what you do best. However, it’s irresponsible for so many owners to avoid, sidestep and procrastinate about laying a business foundation and a strategic focus that could totally prevent their demise.

“You must remain focused on
your journey to greatness.”
— Les Brown:a top Motivational Speaker and Best-Selling Author

Key Defects in Your Business (Oversights) Part 1

Clearly, 95% of all business owners (large corporations, small businesses, even family businesses) are still in denial of why their businesses are not growing explosively, achieving the goals they laid out in their business plans. Otherwise, they would have fixed these handicaps long ago.

I want to suggest that all the problems, excuses and barriers to achieving big hairy audacious goals boil down to three underlying defects in their thinking.

When you take ownership of these key defects in your mindset and take action to banish them from your business, only then can you break through to grow your business faster (and easier) than you ever thought possible. These defects are a minefield for all size businesses.

These are the same gaps in mindset, skill set and knowledge that ultra-wealthy owners experience in their businesses. The difference is that to join the 5 percent-ers, they were willing to take action to purge these defects in their business in order to achieve their wealth and abundance.

Three Crippling Reasons

There are dozens of reasons why owners don’t achieve the goals they set for their business. I only want to discuss the overarching problems that prevent the majority of owners from building the business they wanted to lead, businesses that would provide financial independence and the lifestyle of their dreams.

Dozens of other reasons can be collected under the umbrella of these three primary reasons.

  1. Self-sabotage
  2. No strategic focus
  3. Risk averse

Some of you will immediately say, “but that’s not me, I don’t have that problem.”

Let’s explore each one in more detail to see if any of these are relevant to why you are not on course to achieve the goals and growth needed to make a planned, financially independent exit from your business. Each one is a flag (some obvious, some subtle) that you are murdering your business.

  1. 1.     Self-sabotage

Owners frequently self-sabotage any lofty dreams and goals they had when they started the business. It’s certainly not intentional and sometimes not even conscious. They hurt themselves and the business in a myriad of big and small ways. If it was only one little thing, their strengths would carry them through to lofty heights. Instead, it’s a range of self-defeating beliefs and habits, one on top of another, that bring them down. A few of them are: attitudes, assumptions, ego, capacity, strengths, resources and timing.

In addition, what allows owners to perpetuate this self-sabotage is that every one of these beliefs is a blind spot. They don’t see it. Or if they do see it, they are good at denying that it’s a problem. For example:

They think it takes great luck to achieve big goals. This is a nice safe excuse to avoid looking in the mirror. Owners who believe this self-talk aren’t serious about doing what it takes to achieve the profitability that will provide their financial independence and true wealth.

They try to go it alone. In my book, this is the most crippling sabotage problem and the easiest to fix. Owners who try to do everything themselves, wear every hat in the business and control everything, limit the business potential simply by their own capacity and the hours in the day. They persist in taking the hardest road possible in the mistaken belief that that’s the role of the entrepreneur.

They are rigidly settled in current routines. Have they ever heard of the definition of insanity?

“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” — High-tech variation

You can’t grow a business to get the returns you seek by perpetuating a business model or systems that you learned 10 or 20 years ago or in a different industry. Being close-minded cripples any business. Business vitality and inspiration starts with the owner. The owner’s indifferent attitude and assumptions about what can be done, how to get things done, and their lassitude about what it will take to achieve goals and success can wipe out all opportunities for growth and revenues.

They don’t know how to plan for and implement a plan for goal achievement. Owners who leap into business without a plan have no direction, no preparation, no forecast, and no expectations. They launch like a ship without a rudder. They can’t steer. And if they could steer, they don’t know where to point their ship because they don’t have a goal to aim for. Arrogance and ego can help them bluff for a while. But soon, without planning and systems implementation to achieve clear goals, the business can turn to dust or disappear. The market will move on.

They burn out, go broke or give up before building a foundation to support the business of their dreams. Most owners launch their business with all the passion, commitment, and drive they possess. After the honeymoon, they get consumed in all the work – often more work than they ever thought possible – but don’t see the rewards.

Because of sheer love of the business and dedication, this can go on a long while. Without laying a business foundation under every element of the business, the business is coming up short of their expectations and they get disheartened. When they are too tired, too strapped for cash, have a really bad day or their health fails, they want to quit instantly. They haven’t set the business up as a business. These owners are still integrally involved in everyday operations – they’re a prisoner of the business. They haven’t built up cash or equity in the business. They haven’t cleaned up or documented systems in the business. As a result, they’ve put themselves in the worst possible position to sell their business on the least appealing terms.

They lack confidence in their ability to succeed. They are unsure that all their efforts will pay off. Self-doubt is a poison that seeps into every decision, every action and every dream. When owenrs perpetuate a lack of confidence it permeates the entire organization, setting up a self-fulfilling prophesy of failure.

Regardless of how self-sabotage presents itself in your business; it boils down to a lack of absolute clarity and commitment to your goals. You’re just going through the motions.

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”
Nolan Bushnell: Founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s

Three Fatal Flaws Business Owners Don’t Know They Make

Three Fatal Flaws

Most entrepreneurs have blind spots. Before we even address the core mistakes entrepreneurs consciously make, I want to expose the three fundamental flaws most business owners don’t even know they are making. They are:

  1. Weak Plan
  2. Weak Team
  3. No Communication

Indeed, there are other factors. We’re focusing on the three most widespread. And they are connected. How well, or how poorly, you do any of these feeds the other two.

These three flaws are almost universal in businesses where owners are consumed with crisis management and operational details on a daily basis. These flaws are so prevalent because of the blind spots we’ll address in a later post.

Weak Plan

Talented, educated people with 10-20 years industry experience leap into starting their own business, creating a product, or hanging out their shingle in the previously disproven belief “if I build it, they will come.

In their past lives, they never had to prepare product plans, project plans, marketing campaigns, cost and sales projections for the company’s product or service. They had a team and resources in the company to do the research and prepare these plans.

In their own business, they have a choice. Either shoulder all these jobs/responsibilities themselves and slow down the release of their product or hire a team to help.

The Opportunist, without planning beyond a conversation or back-of-the-envelope bullet list:

  • Boldly leaps into building product
  • Confidently closes sales
  • Maybe racks up huge credit card bills to finance the company with no short-term or long-term plan determining:
    • Who or what constitutes their market
    • The size of the market
    • The revenue potential for the company
    • Their break-even point or
    • Any other key performance indicator

This is the No. 1 flaw in the foundation of more than 90% of all businesses (not just startups or small businesses). If this describes your business, you are not alone.

Weak Team

Far too often, that same Opportunist who’s reaching for the brass ring is the owner who leaps into his or her business willing to do everything, wear every hat, with a solid “do whatever it takes” attitude to make the business a success.

In principle, that is a necessary commitment to ensure the business will succeed. However, there’s a secret these entrepreneurs learn fast or the hard way. I want you to learn it fast.

The sooner and faster you ask for help and
surround yourself with experts
so you can focus on what you do best,
the farther you will take your business.

That’s a key element to long-term goal achievement and every success in your business and beyond.

Very often, the entrepreneur who gets overwhelmed and recognizes it, will proactively hire a team. But there’s still a problem, it’s still the wrong team.

They need a team they can delegate pieces of the business to who will “own” the job and get things done, and not require close supervision and training. This applies equally to your:

  • webmaster
  • graphic designer
  • office manager

as it does to your:

  • Design engineer
  • Sales manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Attorney
  • Tax advisor
  • Experts on your Board of Directors

That is,

you need to surround yourself
with experts – not subordinates.

Good owners lead their teams well. A great business owner inspires team members to lead themselves to excellence.

Other entrepreneurs, in the false belief that they are being responsible and frugal, don’t hire anyone. They don’t ask for help and drag the business down by getting no help, or relying completely on books and courses, attempting to become a master of all things in their business.

This is the No. 2 flaw in the foundation of more than 90% of all businesses.

No Communications

A lack of communication can be a serious obstacle to taking the business all the way. It can be a hidden flaw owners don’t even know they have.

Most companies fumble communications because most entrepreneurs do not have a background or focus on communications. Communication seems trivial and not the best use of the owner/engineer/inventor’s time. Entrepreneur/owners are so consumed with the business, holding the entire business in their head, that even when they do speak, they know all the implications and facets of what they are saying – but no one else does. They know what they’re talking about but their various audiences don’t!

Because they have no communication skills, never developed a communications plan and do not implement communication procedures, it’s a problem for everyone else. The problem is that no one else has any context for any announcement, decision, plan or offer the owner does remember to share.

Admittedly, most entrepreneurs are so busy in the business that they feel they can’t afford to take “time off” to document everything about the business, never mind debrief the team after a major milestone or client success. Lack of good communication creates the following risks:

  1. It creates a void between the entrepreneur and everyone around them (staff, advisors, investors, vendors, clients, media, Board of Directors). That void opens the opportunity for misunderstandings, miscommunications and totally preventable problems.
  2. This lack of communication to/with any stakeholders in any form, puts the entire business at risk until communications systems are fully implemented. This is critical, even if the CEO does not recognize it, because if that same brilliant CEO who carries the business in his or her head were incapacitated for any reason, or unreachable for any reason, no one else in the business has enough information to make a decision, take action or solve a problem.
  3. When the entrepreneur insists on tight control of intellectual property, financial data, and how to run the business, he or she actually restricts growth and reduces the market value potential of the business. It’s the exact opposite of what the entrepreneur expressly set out to do!

This is the No. 3 flaw in the foundation of more than 90% of all businesses.

Moreover, there’s actually a fourth flaw.

Develop Only an Income Plan

Most people instinctively start and launch their business as fast as they can to get revenue in the door. They implicitly understand the principle: “Nothing happens until you sell something.”

They get so busy in the business making money; they don’t develop a financial plan, living out of the checkbook. A few years down the road, they are in the same place, making good money (income), but working harder than ever, not getting ahead, with no end in sight.

That’s because their unconscious business model is based on an income plan, not a wealth plan. They are still running their finances on a cash flow statement (maybe even out of the checkbook) and never planned for or implemented any strategies to put a wealth plan into motion.

It’s the single biggest financial mistake you can make – regardless of the size of your business. That’s because you have not created your exit strategy, the essential component of the wealth plan that lets you scale or sell the business profitably.

Form your clear mental vision of what you want,
and begin to act with faith and purpose.
Wallace D. Wattles

 

How to Set Goals That Ensure a Successful Exit Strategy

It takes a big commitment to start and grow a business.

You need to be clear on your mission and vision, business model, market research, marketing and sales strategy, and operations to implement your business plan.

You take risks and set goals.

You can be consumed by the day-to-day responsibilities and urgent demands.

All of this eats up time.

There’s another critical piece that gets put off but is as essential to achieving your long-term goals. That is your exit strategy. If you include your exit strategy as part of your initial goal setting, then all of your goal achievements will line up and lead toward your ideal exit strategy and you will have a much greater likelihood of monetizing the business you built. Here are a few guidelines to start:

  1. Choose the right exit strategy for your goals
    You have monthly and annual goals for your business. Commit to these intermediate goals only if they are aligned with your long-term goals and the ultimate goal achievement of your ideal exit strategy. Otherwise, they take you down rat holes or dead end tangents.
  2. Set business growth goals aligned with your exit strategy
    Your growth goals are essential to the health, strength and survival of your business. Look at your growth goals in the context of the exit strategy you want to implement. Be sure your growth goals are taking you in the same direction. Growth that is in conflict with your exit plan or competes with your long-term goals will hurt the business and limit your ability to achieve your exit strategy.
  3. Identify goals to increase value
    The value of the business is not just in terms of assets or cash flow. It’s also in your intellectual property. A lot of your intellectual property is stuck in your head. Your intellectual property could also be in your team, your processes, and in the relationships you cultivate and maintain with clients and vendors, etc. So your objective to increase value before your exit could be to capture the intangible value in these less quantifiable areas. This will translate into a much higher valuation of the firm.
  4. Plan your exit strategy by intention rather than by default
    This sounds like a lot of work. In fact, it is. Nevertheless, if you don’t do the work to plan your exit – your dream of achieving an ideal lifestyle, living your legacy and leaving a dynasty – then you are abdicating both the responsibility and the reward. If you don’t plan your exit by design, then you will settle for what you get by default.
  5. Systematize your exit strategy to maximize value
    The more you can systematize your business so someone else can run it equally well without you, the more a buyer will be willing to pay you to keep it going.

    The better you are at systematizing everything, the easier it is for a broker to pitch and leverage that value for a higher price. This step takes discipline and consistency that starts long before you intend to exit.

That’s how you ensure your own successful exit strategy.

Pain of External Factors Discourages Business Owners Preparing to Cash Out

Are you uncertain about the future for you, your family, or your business? If so, your instincts and intuition are on target – you can’t afford to ignore the facts. There’s an unavoidable confluence of factors that require your immediate planning and action.

  1. Sellers’ Competition Increasing - 8.1M Baby-Boomer Business Owners think they will sell/scale or in some way cash out of their business by 2018. It takes 2-5 years to prepare the business so you can achieve the maximum returns. Another 8.1M Baby-Boomer Business Owners intend to sell in 5-10 years. Anyone in the first group who was slow to market will now compete with an added group of 8.1M peers – likely even more desperate to get out quickly and seeing how difficult it was for the first group of Baby-Boomer Business Owners to transition.
  2. Seller’s Window in the Market is Shrinking – 2013-2018 is a seller’s window (sellers have the advantage in a transaction, buyers have the liquidity, and this is the leading edge of a huge selloff/transition of ownership across industries). If you wait too long, you’ll miss this window. In 2018, the market itself flips and becomes a buyer’s market until 2022 (buyers will have the dominant advantage in a transaction, there will be even more sellers than buyers, and buyers will have more choice and can drive prices down).
  3. Inflation Will Wipe Out Any Leverage – Quantitative easing will not solve the US debt problem. The only option the government has is to allow inflation to rise – some say up to 50% – in order to wipe out the debt. Inflation, which is being held down artificially, will rise to heights we have not seen since the 1980s within the next five years. After that, inflation will wipe out any leverage or advantage that sellers have in a transaction.
  4. Longevity – In your retirement and investment planning, your business will likely be a dominant source of the cash to fund those plans. Do your reinvention plans assume you’ll live three years beyond your exit? Until age +/- 85 as some of the newer data suggest? Or do you want to be on the other end of the curve suggested in a recent TV commercial by Prudential and live to 100 or 110? The bigger question then becomes, have you indeed made adequate plans for your resources to provide for the lifestyle you want for another three or four decades? Or to leave a legacy that will last another 100 years?

There’s no denying these trends are happening. As much as business owners are taking a beating from all these factors, a wait and see approach is about as effective as hiding your head in the sand like an ostrich. Rather, look at these external factors as a warning bell to plan now so you get to cash out and move on to your transition on your terms and your timeline.

It’s never too early or too late to plan your exit. At Exit This Way, we can help you through this minefield with strategy, tactics, and much more, the sooner you call.

Successful Entrepreneurs as CEOs

If you really own the CEO role and responsibilities, you always have an eye out for the bigger picture of what you want your business to become with a purpose much bigger than yourself. Successful entrepreneurs know their strengths and build on those strengths to successfully achieve their vision. The most successful CEOs are very disciplined strategists who stay focused on their own goals, their own “blue sky strategy” and are not easily distracted by “new shiny object syndrome.”

If this were the only secret to being a CEO who launches a business that explodes in the marketplace, then indeed we would see the 95% failure rate dip a bit. But that’s not the only secret you need to know to make a dent in that statistic.

The problem for the majority of CEOs is that they never grasp the elements that are central to their long-term success. They unintentionally and unconsciously set themselves up to never achieve their goals and never realize the wealth and freedom their businesses could provide.

Ninety-five percent of all entrepreneurs are locked into running a business that perpetuates the three fatal flaws compounded by the three biggest oversights.

By bringing each flaw and oversight out into the open and identifying each one, entrepreneurs wearing their CEO hats can take the first steps to reverse course. Instead of murdering their business, they can lay a foundation for success, prosperity, achieving goals and transitioning out of the business on their own terms.

Obstacles to Achieving Success in Your Business

To achieve your ultimate goals, to join the 5% of businesses that achieve their goals in business and beyond, you must focus on building a real business and be aware of a few of the barriers that can set you up for failure.

There are two often contradicting approaches to building business.

The most common approach, the Idea/Opportunity approach, takes no training, no lead-time and requires minimal cost. If you are an opportunity seeker (a term coined by Rich Schefren), you may leap in and try to take advantage of an idea ahead of the curve, hoping to catch the wave as it hits the market. Often this approach is about the product or service itself, not the need it may/may not fill in the marketplace. I’ve seen this with many software companies and restaurants. Just look at all the iPhone apps these days. Or look at how short-lived most restaurants are (measured in months not years).

This is a hit-or-miss approach because the market window can be very short or even fizzle before you get to market. And while you’re focused on creating your offering for that niche, another better opportunity can come along. If you’re always looking for the brass ring, you’ll always be tempted by the next “new shiny object” and not finish what you start. This is the trap most entrepreneurs succumb to, leading them down a path that ends in failure.

There’s another approach to starting and building your business. It’s a more disciplined and strategic approach that addresses a problem and provides a solution. If you are a strategist like me, you start with your end goal and your vision of what you are building toward.

Across the board, the most successful entrepreneurs take the time to be thoughtful upfront and prepare options, offerings, alternative approaches, competitive research, market opportunity and team requirements to achieve their goals, short-term, long-term and exit goals. They do their homework; they research and plan first.

They take the time to continually and consistently ask the question:

“What are the best opportunities to achieve my vision of
where I want to take my business and what it will become
?”

They know they must continually “sharpen the saw,” as Stephen Covey tells us, and raise the bar all the time.

So the primary obstacles to achieving your business success are not in your experience, education, expertise, funding or financing.

Your primary obstacles to the business success you desire and the outcome you want to achieve are the mindset and skill set you bring to the game.

Which raises the question …

QUESTION: If the strategy for ensuring a successful exit strategy is that simple and clear,  why do only 5% of all businesses get it done?

ANSWER: The other 95% know what to do. They know they should do it. However, they don’t follow through. They lack the mindset and skill set of a CEO who truly wants to build a wealth-producing business.

Which one are you?

RFF2SRZFTTBZ

Time Is Running Out

I love entrepreneurs. I’m addicted to entrepreneurship. But the days of building a business from scratch with just a prototype widget, without a plan or a proven concept that delivers results for clients, are behind us.

Your clients don’t care what you are selling. They want to buy the results that your product or service WILL (not CAN) deliver.

The burden is on you. Your business must look like a business and act like a business that should be taken seriously. Because you are indeed competing for customers and clients with the big names in your industry. If you don’t think you have competition, you are in denial.

If you don’t have a strategic business plan and if you resist systematizing your business, the big guys won’t just eat your lunch, they’ll eat you for lunch.

In my experience working for dozens of high-tech startups for 10 years on the technical side, I saw this repeatedly. I had numerous clients who developed brilliant, clever and innovative products, but didn’t build the business itself in parallel. These companies did not survive. Just months after first product launch, they were sold or bought out by direct competitors.

You want to build a business that works so well, where you have such a full menu of product and service offerings to serve your niche, that your enterprise empire itself discourages competition. That same approach will also increase the value of your business, positioning you for an exit on your terms.

Intellectually, this is a straightforward solution documented from many angles in numerous best-selling books.

So if this is what it takes to catapult your business to the next level, and join the 5% of all businesses that thrive and grow to achieve their goals; why don’t more CEOs build their enterprise empire to outperform their competition? Why do they murder their businesses instead?

95% of all CEOs murder their business because
they hold fast to three fundamental flaws
and succumb to three underlying defects
(or oversights) in their business.

Time In Business and Beyond

As Rich Schefren says:

Big business always ‘beats up’ and steals the lunch money of the small independent operators.
And if you know anything about business or have witnessed the birth or growth of an industry you have already seen the pattern play out
time and time again.”

When you know the value of your time, when you know your worth in the market, it changes how you think about time. It changes how you think about free time, family time, vacation time, and beyond.

  • Do you know what your time is worth?
  • Do you know what your time needs to be worth to achieve your income goals?

These two are starting points. You need these two answers before you can make effective decisions about what activities you should spend your time on and what activities to delegate, outsource and automate.

It also takes discipline, learning new habits, and teaching those around you to value and respect your time. If you don’t value your time, no one else will. Therefore, your time management and concentration on your most valuable activities – or lack of either one – may be the reasons your business is not generating the desired income or growing.  Yet you still might be working harder and longer than you want, with no end in sight.

This should be a wakeup call to use your time more wisely: eliminate switch-tasking, stop multi-tasking and hone in on what you do best. Your most important skills add value to the business every minute you are working. You must discipline yourself to focus on your most valuable activities, schedule everything you do, and delegate everything else. This will continually increase the worth of your time and add value to the business, enabling you to achieve your ultimate goal – cash out on your terms on your timeline.

Prevention IS Better Than Cure

To grow a valuable business – one you can sell – you need to set up your company so that it is no longer reliant on you. This can be easier said than done, especially when, like a PR consultant or plumber, what you are selling is your expertise.

To scale up a knowledge-based business, you first have to figure out how to impart your knowledge to your employees, so that they can deliver the goods. However it can be difficult to condense years of school and on-the-job learning into a few weeks of employee training. The more specialized your knowledge, the harder it is to hand off work to juniors.

The key to scaling up a service business can often be found by offering the service that prevents customers from having to call you in the first place. You have to shift from selling the cure to selling the prevention.

Fixing what is broken is typically a hard task to teach; however, preventing things from breaking in the first place can be easier to train others to do.

For example, it takes years for a dentist to acquire the education and experience to successfully complete a root canal, but it’s relatively easy to train a hygienist to perform a regularly scheduled cleaning.

It’s almost effortless for a real estate manager to hire someone to clean the eaves trough once a month, but repairing the flooded basement caused by the clogged gutters can be quite complex.

For a master car mechanic, overhauling an engine that has seized up takes years of training, but preventing the problem by regularly changing a customer’s oil is something a high school student can be taught to do.

For an IT services company, restoring a customer’s network after a virus has invaded often takes the know-how of the boss, but preventing the virus by installing and monitoring the latest software patches is something a junior can easily be trained to do.

When you’re selling your expertise, it can be tough to hire a team to do the work for you. As ironic as it sounds, sometimes the key to getting out of doing the work is to offer a preventive service, which not only maintains your business income, but also eliminates the need for someone to call you in the first place.

Obstacles to Achieving the Ultimate Success of Your Business

To achieve your ultimate goals, to join the 5% of businesses that get to cash out on their terms and on their timeline, you must focus on building a real business and be aware of a few of the barriers that can set you up for failure.

There are two often contradicting approaches to building business.

The most common approach, the Idea/Opportunity approach, takes no training, no lead-time and requires minimal cost. If you are an opportunity seeker (a term coined by Rich Schefren), you may leap in and try to take advantage of an idea ahead of the curve, hoping to catch the wave as it hits the market. Often this approach is about the product or service itself, not the need it may/may not fill in the marketplace. I’ve seen this with many software companies and restaurants. Just look at all the iPhone apps these days. Or look at how short-lived most restaurants are (measured in months not years).

This is a hit-or-miss approach because the market window can be very short or even fizzle before you get to market. And while you’re focused on creating your offering for that niche, another better opportunity can come along. If you’re always looking for the brass ring, you’ll always be tempted by the next “new shiny object” and not finish what you start. This is the trap most entrepreneurs succumb to, leading them down a path that ends in failure.

There’s another approach to starting and building your business. It’s a more disciplined and Strategic Approach that addresses a problem and provides a solution. If you are a strategist like me, you start with your end goal and your vision of what you are building toward.

Across the board, the most successful entrepreneurs take the time to be thoughtful upfront and prepare options, offerings, alternative approaches, competitive research, market opportunity and team requirements to achieve their goals. They do their homework; they research and plan first.

They take the time to continually and consistently ask the question:

“What are the best opportunities to achieve my vision of
where I want to take my business and what it will become
?”

They know they must continually “sharpen the saw,” as Stephen Covey tells us, and raise the bar all the time.

So the primary obstacles to achieving your business success are not in your experience, education, expertise, funding or financing.

Your primary obstacles to the business success you desire and the outcome you want to achieve are the mindset and skill set you bring to the game.

QUESTION: If the strategy for ensuring a successful exit transition is that simple and clear,  why do only 5% of all businesses get it done?

ANSWER: The other 95% know what to do. They know they should do it. However, they don’t follow through. They lack the mindset and skill set of a strategic CEO who truly wants to build a wealth-producing business.

Which one are you?

Time Is Running Out

Big business always ‘beats up’ and steals the lunch money of the small independent operators.
And if you know anything about business or have witnessed the birth or growth of an industry you have already seen the pattern play out time and time again
. “
-Rich Schefren

When you know the value of your time, when you know your worth in the market, it changes how you think about time. It changes how you think about free time, family time, even vacation time.

  •  Do you know what your time is worth?
  •  Do you know what your time needs to be worth to achieve your income
    goals?

These two are starting points. You need these two answers before you can make effective decisions about what activities you should spend your time on and what activities to delegate, outsource and automate.

It also takes discipline, learning new habits, and teaching those around you to value and respect your time. If you don’t value your time, no one else will. Therefore, your time management and concentration on your most valuable activities – or lack of either one – may be the reasons your business is not generating the desired income.  Yet you still might be working harder and longer than you want, with no end in sight.

This should be a wakeup call to use your time more wisely: eliminate switch-tasking, stop multi-tasking and hone in on what you do best. Your most important skills add value to the business every minute you are working. You must discipline yourself to focus on your most valuable activities, schedule everything you do, and delegate everything else. This will continually increase the worth of your time and add value to the business, enabling you to achieve your ultimate goal.

Time Is Running Out

I love entrepreneurs. I’m addicted to entrepreneurship. But the days of building a business from scratch with just a prototype widget, without a plan or a proven concept that delivers results for clients, are behind us.

Your clients don’t care what you are selling. They want to buy the results that your product or service WILL (not CAN) deliver as a solution to their problem.

The burden is on you. Your business must look like a business and act like a business that should be taken seriously. Because you are indeed competing for customers and clients with the big names in your industry. If you don’t think you have competition, you are in denial.

If you don’t have a strategic business plan and if you resist systematizing your business, the big guys won’t just eat your lunch, they’ll eat you for lunch.

In my experience working for dozens of high-tech startups for 11 years on the technical side, I saw this repeatedly. I had numerous clients who developed brilliant, clever and innovative products, but didn’t build the business itself in parallel. These companies did not survive. Just months after first product launch, they were sold or bought out by direct competitors.

You want to build a business that works so well, where you have such a full menu of product and service offerings to serve your niche, that your enterprise empire itself discourages competition. That same approach will also increase the value of your business, positioning you for an exit on your terms.

Intellectually, this is a straightforward solution documented from many angles in numerous best-selling books.

So if this is what it takes to catapult your business to the next level, and join the 5% of all businesses that thrive and grow to achieve their revenue goals so they can cashout; why don’t more CEOs build their enterprise empire to outperform their competition? Why do they murder their businesses instead?

95% of all CEOS murder their business because
they hold fast to three fundamental flaws
and succumb to three underlying defects
(or oversights) in their business.

Later posts will reveal these flaws and defects.

What You Can’t Do Is Create More Time

Time behaves like money – it’s a scarce resource.
Anything you achieve in life can be valued
by how much time you invested to acquire it.
Do you know the value of your time?

Procrastination vs. Productivity

You can’t hoard time from yesterday to use today. You can’t borrow time from tomorrow to use today either. You need to leverage your time, and how you spend your time, to deliver the maximum value for the business now, not someday.

Your own productivity is the standard for your entire business. Productivity is the time you apply to your most valuable activities – those tasks and responsibilities that generate the most or highest revenues for the business. Staying “busy” with tasks you can hire out at $12/hr. or $25/hr. is not being productive.

Do you know what percentage of the time you are productive? Really productive in your business? To put your answer in context, consider this:

One study of Fortune 500 CEOs estimated they had 28 productive minutes a day. Another one estimated it at 38 productive minutes a day.

You’re thinking, those CEOs put in such long hours, that can’t be right. Only 28 or 38 minutes a day? Now think about what these CEOs of the most successful companies do, how much they get done and how much (little) time they actually get to focus on profit-building activities.

You don’t have nearly the responsibilities of a Fortune 500 CEO. You should be able to carve out a lot more productive time. When you do increase your productivity, consciously using time more wisely:

  •  What will your day look like?
  •  What will get prioritized on your schedule?
  •  What has been siphoning off your valuable time that you can delegate more?
  •  How will this increase in productivity impact your bottom line?
  •  How much more time can you focus on the CEO role of strategy vs.
    management?

You need to stay focused on your priorities and your most valuable activities. Therefore, to scale or sell the business on your terms, you must leverage what you do best to achieve your most ambitious goals.

To leverage what you do best, you must view you and your business in a different way.

  •  You must stop seeing you as the sole resource in your business
  •  You cannot be the hub of every decision
  •  You cannot wear every hat
  •  You must start looking at how to leverage who you are and what you do to
    serve a larger audience and play a bigger game.

To do that, you must build an actual business and a team around what you currently excel at doing.

Stagnant 95% Statistic

It’s devastating. Ninety-five percent of all businesses never achieve their goals for the business and beyond, not to mention the long-term financial expectations for their families. This 95% statistic is widely accepted as an unchangeable fact and “the risk of doing business.

I can’t understand why it is still the accepted norm. Just like you confront and address every other risk you face in business, why not illuminate this gap, address it and fix it. I want to help you minimize the risk and overcome this statistical barrier to your success, to fulfill your dreams.

The core causes of this problem have been around since you launched your business. The solutions aren’t easy but they are so inexpensive that you can afford to implement every one and still stay within your budget. The key is, that we must reveals the flaws of businesses today and owners’ biggest self-imposed barriers.

The solution I present is a system that builds a strong foundation for your business, whether:

  •  You are just starting out, or you’ve been in business a while
  •  You have a team or no team
  •  You have revenues less than $100K or more than $10M
  •  You are on a fast-track to be acquired or want to cash out to pursue your reinvention

When you systematize your entire enterprise for long-term results, it will transform your business and your life. You will gain time, control, freedom and flexibility all while the business prospers, grows and breaks through to achieve new heights of success you didn’t dare dream of – until now. Everything you do to accelerate growth and maximize value makes the business more buyer ready and buyer attractive.

If you are in business delivering product, content or services, then you have a few options to grow your business exponentially. Simplistically, your choices are to:

  •  increase the number of clients
  •  increase the volume you sell/client
  •  increase prices
  •  decrease costs
  •  or a combination of these four

When you take action to build a sale-able business, you join the 5% who successfully complete the transaction and transition to their reinvention.

Your Window of Opportunity Starts Now

Window of Opportunity quote from Rapunzel

Without a doubt, when you lack the knowledge to build
a strong foundation for your business,
you commit yourself to more struggles, wasting time
and making everything harder.

This is your opportunity. Before it’s too late for your business. Before you murder your business.

If you take action to prepare your business now, over time, you will join the 5% of all businesses that succeed.

Heed the mistakes made by more than 90% of all entrepreneurs that prevent them from achieving their goals, fulfilling their dreams, profiting from their business and designing an ideal exit strategy on their terms.

By doing this kind of strategic thinking with clients, we help many struggling entrepreneurs and owners to develop a business foundation that enables them to  make their business a success and achieve their goals in the business and beyond.

Everything we offer on this website is here to help you. The website, my book, HARVEST Your Wealth, the whitepapers, are all designed to propel every owner/entrepreneur to success. What we offer is an antidote for the 95% failure rate.

Just like the medicines your doctor prescribes, solutions and strategies offered here only work if you take them (take action).

The 5 Ps of Long-term Prosperity

[Aaron Young, CEO Laughlin Associates shared this article this week.
I could not Not share it with you.]

It takes a great deal of focus and determination to keep a business running strong and it starts with having a clear understanding of the 5 P’s,  purpose, preparation, protection, passion, and profits which all play an equal part in your business success.  Each category comprises a specific portion of the business which characterizes the steps needed to create long term growth and prosperity.

Prosperity

PURPOSE

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.”– Brian Tracy, Author

Defining the purpose of your business plays a critical role in the success of your company. When you started your company you had a reason, you had a vision, and you had a mission. Your business purpose should be what drives you every day and provides you with the framework to make smart decisions that are aligned with your business goals. When evaluating next steps, new products, services or affiliates you should compare them against your company’s purpose. If they aren’t aligned then don’t do them.

PREPARATION

“By Failing To Prepare, You Are Preparing To Fail” – Benjamin Franklin

 Preparation is critical for long term growth throughout the business life cycle. It’s always good to be prepared for the worst, natural disaster, litigation, financial failure but it’s just as important to be prepared for growth.  Preparation starts with planning. If you have data, back it up. If you are getting ready for expansion make sure the systems you have in place can be duplicated. If you depend on one supplier, get a back-up in place.  Being able to manage change, good or bad, no matter what the circumstance can save you from devastation.

PROTECTION

“Making money is only as good as your ability to keep it.” -  Kevin Day, Esq.

 Running a business is risky, but you can greatly reduce that risk by establishing layers of protection between yourself, your business and your assets. The willingness to take risks is what separates entrepreneurs from the rest of the world but successful business owners know the difference between intelligent risk and waving the red flag. Asset protection starts with a strong foundation that separates out your assets. By utilizing a corporation or LLC you can eliminate the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket. Risk is part of business but you can greatly reduce the risk by putting the right pieces into place to ensure the continuation of your business into the future.

PASSION

“A person can succeed at almost anything for which they have unlimited enthusiasm.”  Charles M. Schwab

When you are able to align your passion with your business all of a sudden you start to manifest results. The passion for what you do, how you do it and who you serve will be the driving force to your success. The passion is what carries you through the tough times. If you are feeling lost, bored or stuck in your business, it’s time to reconnect with your passion. Take the time to listen to your inner voice, love what you do, embrace your calling and keep pushing forward.

PROFITS

“Entrepreneurial profit is the expression of the value of what the entrepreneur contributes to production.” Schumpeter, Joseph A.

Profits are the benchmark of business. Profits can only be obtained when the revenue out paces the expenses, taxes and costs of running your business. Without profit your business won’t last long so keeping a close eye on your expenses and profits plays a big part in the long term sustainability of your business. You should know the cost to produce every product and service you offer. How can you cut costs? Can you raise your prices? If there is an upsell service you can provide, would that add to your bottom line without increasing your costs? These are just a few of the questions you should be evaluating on a day to day basis to drive profit to your bottom line.

Operating a successful business starts with staying focused, having a plan and being prepared. The decisions you make should be centered around your purpose and aimed at fulfilling your passion.

Aaron Young, CEO of Laughlin Associates can be contacted at aaronyoung@laughlinusa.com, 1-800-648-0966, www.laughlinusa.com.

Why Do Most Entrepreneurs Fail or Fold?

The reason most entrepreneurs and CEOs fail or fold is the same reason they went into business in the first place. In fact, the answer to why most entrepreneurs and small businesses fail or fold is that they start with what they love or what they are very good at BUT they never build a solid business foundation to grow the business.

They unknowingly set themselves up for failure.

It’s the reason why the overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs (more than 90%) fail to achieve their dreams. They wind up failing, even if they have a great idea, buy lots of good products, tools and training, and read all the books in their field of expertise.

All this applied effort is essential, but working very very hard is not enough. And it’s not good enough.

I take it personally when I see so many businesses fail and fold when I know it doesn’t have to be that way.

  • I cannot sit by and watch so many businesses and hard-working smart entrepreneurs make critical mistakes in building the business of their dreams to achieve financial freedom. Especially in this wacky economy.


  •  I can’t keep quiet when the majority of entrepreneurs and CEOs have invested their time, energy, and irreplaceable net worth into the business to build an income plan, only to realize that it will never produce a wealth plan. 


  •  I am sickened that more than 90% of all entrepreneurs and business owners do not have an exit strategy. They blithely accept the inherent risks of not planning for the future by justifying that they are consumed with the present.

That’s why I write this blog, why I wrote my book, HARVEST Your Wealth, host my radio show, Exit This Way. I want to reach as many business owners as possible with a clarion call – that it does not have to be that way. And if you use these tools and resources, they can make a dramatic difference in the outcome for your business and your future.

Four Ways To Protect Your Turf

Warren Buffett famously invests in businesses that have what he calls a protective “moat” around them – one that inoculates them from competition and allows them to control their pricing.

Big companies lock out their competitors by out-slugging them in capital infrastructure investments, but smaller businesses have to be smarter about how they defend their turf. Here are four ways to deepen and widen the protective moat around your business:

 Get Certified

Is there a certification program that you could take to differentiate your business? A Canadian company that disposes of radioactive waste decided to get licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.  It was a lot of paperwork and training, but the certification process acts as a barrier against other people jumping into the market and competing.

Is there a certification you could get that would make it more difficult for others to compete with you?

Create an Army of Defenders

Ecstatic customers act as defenders against other competitors entering your market, a factor that has enabled companies like Trader Joe’s to defend their market share in the bourgeois bohemian (bobo) market, despite a crowded market of stores hawking groceries

Get Your Customers to Integrate

Is there a way you can get your customers to integrate your product or service into their operations?

The basic switching costs of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software are virtually nil.  Everyone from 37signals to Salesforce.com will give you a free trial to test their wares.

The real expenses associated with changing CRM software only come when a business starts to customize the software and integrate it into the way they work. Once a sales manager has trained his salespeople in creating a weekly sales funnel in a CRM platform, try to convince him to switch software.

Can you offer your customers training in how to use what you sell to make your company stickier?

Become a Verb

Think back to the last time you looked for a recipe. You probably “googled” it.  Part of Google’s competitive shield is that the company name has become a verb. Now every time someone refers to searching for something online, it reinforces the competitive position of a single company.

Is there a way you could control the vocabulary people use to refer to your category or specialty?

Widening your protective moat triggers a virtuous cycle: differentiation leads to having control over your pricing, which allows for healthier margins, which in turn lead to greater profitability and the cash to further differentiate your offering.

If you’re wondering how differentiated your businesses is, take the 13-minute Sellability Score questionnaire and find out….

Business Owners Are Not Prepared To Sell, Scale or Cash Out

sellers' window

Irrefutable statistical evidence confirms that business owners are not prepared for the current market window to sell a business 2013 – 2018.

To take advantage of this sellers window, business owners need to get started formalizing a strong business foundation (e.g., strategic planning, contingency planning, succession planning, transition planning) at the same time as they balance accelerating growth and optimizing value in the business itself.

The research to date suggests that most business owners do not believe this strategic effort is important for them, their company, their  team or their family’s future. Just to recap:

  • In a 2008 research report entitled Business Transition/ Succession, research by ROCG Americas LLC confirmed that CEOs lack urgency because of the belief that “we can always do it tomorrow – a general feeling of invulnerability.” Survey participants’ No. 1 excuse for not having a written plan is still the same in 2013.
  • In the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) survey in 2005, “the No. 1 reason given for not having a written plan was that it was too early to plan. This reply was head and shoulders above every other reason given.” Yet, this feeling is contradicted by the facts which show that time is not necessarily on the side of the selling owner.
  • Findings by the Mutual Survey of American Family Business in 2007 confirmed the statistical lethargy: “Almost a third have no plans to retire, ever; and another third report that retirement is more than 11 years away. Since the medium age of the current leaders is 51, this means that many people plan to die in office.”
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers states in its 2007 report on Canadian businesses succession plans that owners over age 50 “seem unwilling to seriously look into options to transition ownership before they are forced, by age or illness, to give up the business.”
  • A full 34% of the CEOs over age 60 in the ROCG 2008 study felt that it was still too early for them to plan their exit!

This “feet first” plan of going out with their boots on (providing no liquidity event, no succession planning, and no future for employees when they close the business) is prevalent. Not planning for the inevitable is equally absurd and irresponsible. And yet this is what 95% of all business owners do.

They are murdering their business. And it is totally preventable.

Change does not come easy or fast. To truly maximize the value of your business and walk away with the highest returns, you need to commit to a 2-5 year timeline that gives you the leverage you can’t get after a trigger event (health, family requirement, corporate or market changes, etc) precipitates your exit.

It’s never too early or too late to plan your exit. Our team at This Way Out Group LLC will take away the fear and frustration and facilitate the exit process and timeline with you.