With the knowledge of your options for business destinations, the question becomes, what do you do now?
You have a list of nine options for how to transfer your business and convey the value of your business to others, and how to receive value in return. You can consider the options of public offerings, franchising, sales to somebody who wants to buy your business, sales to competitors, sales to key employees, sales to your employees, sales to business partners, sales to family members, or leaving it as an inheritance.
Upon making the list of those nine categories, many people struggle with which one to choose. I suggest to you, take the opposite approach.
Do not try to pick one. Look through the list and decide which one you would easily cross off. Any business owner can identify one to remove from the list, for which the owner has no interest whatsoever. Then, pick the next one that you could easily cross off. Continue to whittle the options down. When you have none left that you would cross off the list, hopefully you will have three or fewer left on your list. You will at least know the range of options to keep in play. This process will tell you what type of business structure you should have, and what business planning you should do.
The process will also tell you what type of documents you need. If selling to partners is still in that list of possibilities, then you know to have a buy-sell agreement with business partners. If franchising remains within the realm of possibility, then you know to have all the policies and procedures detailed so that they are easily duplicated.
It helps you determine how to set up the structure of your business. Do you want to structure it and identify key employees, who over time have more and more ownership level responsibilities? Do you want to structure it so that it is fully independent with C-level executives? Are you preparing for the options of selling as an independent entity?
Do you know what you want to do in terms of your business structure? What business size do you want? What is the importance of your brand as compared to valued and trusted employees? Where are those priorities as you develop?
And who do you want to groom? Do you want to groom competitors to buy out your business? Do you want to groom key employees? Do you want to groom all the employees to be invested in the core values and the mission statement of your business so that they are going to stay around and be participants in the buyout? Do you want to groom partners? Do you want to groom family members to be a part of this business and take over the business?
Those are the key factors that you need to keep in mind. And once again, deciding on the destination makes that all happen. Once you whittle it down, the answers fall into place.