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Contemplating a different future

Updated: Jan 12

So, you’re starting to think about a future that doesn’t involve the relentless grind of running your own business. It seems almost impossible to imagine a life where your attention isn’t constantly consumed by cashflow, keeping customers happy, managing the balance between people who never seem to turn up and people whose leave balance is always in danger of blowing out, what and how to do marketing and whether it makes any difference at all, whether to invest in new plant, machinery or vehicles.



But, hard as it is to contemplate, you kind of realise that exiting your business is happening sometime. It’s death and taxes territory no matter what you think. The first question you might consider is a tough one. Am I going to leave under my own terms, or am I leaving on a stretcher?


So, you’re starting to think about a future that doesn’t involve the relentless grind of running your own business. It seems almost impossible to imagine a life where your attention isn’t constantly consumed by cashflow, keeping customers happy, managing the balance between people who never seem to turn up and people whose leave balance is always in danger of blowing out, what and how to do marketing and whether it makes any difference at all, whether to invest in new plant, machinery or vehicles. But, hard as it is to contemplate, you kind of realise that exiting your business is happening sometime. It’s death and taxes territory no matter what you think. The first question you might consider is a tough one. Am I going to leave under my own terms, or am I leaving on a stretcher?


You’ve taken the first tentative step towards exiting your business. You’ve chosen option 1, leaving on your own terms and not option 2 – on a stretcher. That’s the easy part out of the way. Now you need to think about what that might look like. The options are many. If you have a family with kids that might be interested in taking over the business, that’s a possibility. You don’t have kids but you do have a business partner. Do they want to buy you out, or do you even want to sell to him or her? You might like the idea of selling a minority shareholding and remaining involved but less hands-on. You might want to sell a majority shareholding and stay involved at a governance level. More often than not, you may decide that you have had enough and just want a clean break.

Weighing up the options

All things are possible but none of them will happen if you don’t think carefully about what you really want and begin to plan for how to make it happen.

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