PREPARING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS FOR RETIREMENT March 16, 2021 | Business Tips , Franchise | inspection industry , small business , entrepreneur , money management By Roland Bates, NPI, Inc.'s Founder & CEO If you’ve started thinking about retiring from your small business, congratulations! Building a company from the ground up takes years of hard work and is a major accomplishment. Transferring ownership is a lengthy process and can be made more complicated without a definitive course of action. Picking the Right Time You’ve probably thought about the day when you decide to walk away from your business. But that day may move closer or further away depending on a multitude of factors. Although it’s difficult to lock down a definitive date, here are some things to keep in mind to know when the time is right: You’ve reached the goals you set for yourself as an entrepreneur. You’re financially ready and have saved enough to support your retirement. You’ve reached a certain age or aren’t physically able to continue the workload. You want to spend more time with your family. You have goals outside of work that you’d like to pursue. Whatever your reasoning, it’s all about what feels best for you and your situation. Devise an Exit Plan To make sure that you’re ready for the day when you step aside, begin the process as soon as possible. Envision how things will look like after you’ve retired and what your goals are when you leave. Do you have a family member you’d like to pass the torch to, are you handing it off to an employee, or are you selling to another business owner? What if something such as a health problem causes you to retire sooner than expected? While you can’t know exactly what the future holds for you, creating a strategy today will help you be better prepared for tomorrow. Know the Value of Your Business Having an idea about your business’s value is key when mapping out your retirement plan. Your business might be priceless to you, but overestimating its worth is as bad as underestimating it. You could be in for a shock if you’ve based your retirement on getting top dollar from selling your business and then find out you’ve overshot the price point. Getting your business appraised will give you better insight to help you increase your business’s value and ultimately, optimize it for selling. Remember that your business is your biggest asset, and keeping track of its valuation is important. Consider the “Attractiveness” for Buyers Not only is it essential to know the worth of your business from a bank’s viewpoint, you also need to consider its worth through the eyes of a buyer. A buyer will be visualizing what they want to turn their new acquisition into just like you will be. Some of the things they’ll be taking into account are: Brand strength/recognition Opportunity for growth Growth consistency Strong business/client relationships Finances Additional resources Being in the buyer’s shoes so to speak gives you direction on what to try and improve upon before finalizing a sale. You’ll be making your business more enticing for a buyer and increasing its value by putting in the extra work. Be a Friend Until the End When you get everything finalized for your retirement, your job still isn’t quite over. You won’t be going to work in the same way you did before, but there are some last housekeeping items you should plan on completing. Don’t just rush out the door as soon as the check clears. Be available to assist the new owner(s) as they get set up and get started. You’ve been the one to build relationships with your customers and other businesses, and someone they don’t know may make them wary. Help put their nervousness at ease by assuring they’re still going to get the same quality from the new management. Nobody knows your business and the people in it better than you. Taking the time to train and pour into the new proprietor(s) will help them succeed, and it’s a small gesture of goodwill. If you’re ready to start planning for retirement from your NPI franchise, contact Bill Erickson at 800-333-9807, ext. 19. About the Author Roland Bates, Founder & CEO Roland Bates manages the day-to-day operations of National Property Inspections, Inc. and devotes his time to planning long-term goals for the business. He also works hands-on with new franchise owners, training them on industry practices and business management. Roland’s high energy, willingness to work hard and optimistic outlook are the cornerstones of NPI’s success. His easy manner and family attitude inspire a friendly, upbeat atmosphere within the company.