Recently I asked one business owner, when he wanted to retire.
“Retire,” he said. “I can’t play golf!”
Tennis, Bowls, Gardening…there are other ways to spend your retirement!
When we got chatting we discovered he dreamed of building a property portfolio. I reccommended he look at building a portfolio of HMO cash-flow positive properties.
From my experience I knew that would give him a healthy passive income.
I helped him workout what his family needed on a monthly basis to live comfortably. Then we worked it back to see what size portfolio he would need.
This gave him a target figure and time scale to work towards. With the capital he made from the sale of his business he had enough to buy his first property – and there he had a new business that didn’t need him to be there 24/7.
It was the perfect solution for someone who wanted to retire but didn’t want to play golf or sit watching Loose Women all day!
Over the Horizon Thinking starts by asking you – to put yourself in the present moment.
Until you can understand where you are today, in relation to where you want to go, you will find it hard to realise yours, and your businesses – full potential.
It is virtually impossible to build a plan unless you have that knowledge. So the first question is how do we get that knowledge?
It’s easy really – by being aware of our fears and frustrations, dreams & wishes!
Sounds a bit deep but if you can find the time to sit down and work out what you really want, you will have an advantage when building your master plan.
I found out what I wanted by being aware of those thoughts throughout a busy day at work. I discovered that – what I wanted, and what I thought I wanted – were two different things!
You too might find that some parts of the business still get you excited and other aspects fill you with fear. You might like dealing with staff – but hate dealing with customers. You might like being outside in the yard but hate being inside working on the computer.
This information can be very valuable, not only when building and delegating, but also when looking for the next step.
Pausing to take a look at where we are, and where we want to go is a great start, because we are prioritising ourselves first and foremost.
I believe that as the owner of the business you have a duty to care for yourself. If you are not fit, healthy and enjoying work, then your staff won’t either, and your customers will sense it, leading to the business suffering.
Often – when I visit business owners, it is the first time they have sat down to talk about their current situation and thought about when they want to get off the merry-go-round.
Whether you decide to sell the business, restructure the business, grow or close the business and walk away – will depend on your motivations.
Make no mistake if you give yourself this window of awareness and opportunity to take a clear look at the current situation you will not regret it. But my advice is; act now – not later!
How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.” – Martin Luther
Lets assume – you decide to restructure then exit – identifying a target exit date is the first key step.
Once you have a date in mind we can help you work towards that – the exit planning process is about having the business ready for a sale even before the “target exit date.”
At OTHT we use a process we called Reverse Due Diligence. We use a standard due diligence questionnaire that a buyer might use in a Merger and Acquisition (M&A) transaction. We complete it as if we were the buyer – then we analyse the gaps and work with you to fill them in. We take on certain tasks and we assign tasks to the client.
We prepare an Information Memorandum and due diligence pack in advance, so we can identify problems that will cause roadblocks in the sale process and correct them before a buyer is performing “real” due diligence”.
By having this process completed before the target selling date also allows the company to capitalize on unexpected opportunities, such as an unsolicited offer from a Private Equity firm.
Our main focus is on the balance sheet to make sure the value of the business is maximised.
It’s having all the necessary work done in advance that will make your company look prepared and professional and is likely to get better results.
So even if golf isn’t for you and you are not ready to let go of your business – start asking yourself the questions – what do I want, and when do I want it…!