May 30

Daydreaming About Your Exit Strategy?

Stressed Business Man“Do You Own a Business or a Job?” was the title of an informative article in the April issue of Doors & Hardware Magazine.  It was written by Jason Bader, the current principal of The Distribution Team, a firm that specializes in helping distributors be more profitable.

In the article, Jason teaches us that regardless of how long we intend to stay in business, our businesses should always be “sellable”.   A key test to determine whether a business is sellable is whether or not the business can function without you, the owner, playing a daily role in the operations.   He bids us to ask the question, can I go on vacation for one month without any noticeable drop in revenue?

OK, enough with the HAs and snorts. Let’s get serious. Do you just day dream about your exit strategy or can you envision it? Are you planning for it?

“The first step in creating a sustainable business is to become willing to delegate responsibility.  For self-professed control freaks, that is no easy task. Let’s face it: this is your baby.  It’s hard to let go.” 

Are you turning over more responsibilities to your team or are you afraid they will screw things up.  Are you creating an atmosphere where your employees are encouraged to learn and grow, both professionally and personally?  Do you invest in their education? Or do you manage from a state of fear that they may quit and work for your competition?

This may lead to the question are you a manager or a leader?  There are many opinions on what makes the difference between a manager and a leader.  The general consensus is a manager’s focus is on tasks, a leader’s focus is on people.

In order for your business to be sustainable and thus sellable, you must learn to be a leader not a manager.  Jason reminds us that this is not always an easy set of skills to acquire.  Jason offers his services,  you can find him at The Distribution Team.

There are endless resources to help you start on the path of learning this crucial skill.

Books I recommend by Dr. Stephen Covey, they are timeless and a must read.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The 8th Habit – From Effectiveness to Greatness

There are also endless free Podcasts on leadership available through iTunes and other platforms.  For example, I enjoy the Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Podcast.

Yes, it’s your baby, but don’t worry about empty nest syndrome.  When your baby can stand on its own you will be full of pride and able to take that month long vacation!

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