What's the end game?

Right, you have a profitable business, it runs relatively smoothly (with the normal set of problems that crop up) and is manageable. But how often do you consider the end game?

When will be the right time for you to exit the business? How will that happen? Who will buy it? Will it go onto the open market or be sold to an employee(s)?

More importantly, will it be ready to sell? When should you get it ready?

The answer to that is NOW!

When you sell your home or your car, the most natural thing is to have the asset operating and looking at its best. (You don’t want a prospective buyer turning on a light switch to find the globe is blown or that the car does not start immediately.) So why not manage your business so that it, too, is running at its best?

A set of documented systems will show your people what is expected and a buyer how the business generates its revenue and profits. That a good starting point, but there’s much more….

What do you need to do today, to optimise the sale price of your business?

Starting on it today will provide immediate benefits, so why not start? NOW?

Assuming that you take up the challenge, what’s the starting point and what should be addressed for a business that is ”sale ready”?

  1. Write (if you haven’t already done so) a vision statement, that identifies the potential of the business

  2. Complete a SWOT analysis that shows what needs to be addressed before the business can act at its optimum

  3. Detail your strategy for overcoming existing obstacles and for taking advantage of the opportunities you have identified

  4. Express the Core Values of the business, how those values play out in the workplace culture of the business and how the behaviour of the people represent those values

  5. Start working on a fully documented procedures manual that shows how every aspect of the business operates – if you do not already have this in place

  6. Show how you treat your people to optimise on their individual strengths, including the portion of turnover you allocate to staff training

  7. Show the various market segments, and identify how much each segment contributes to revenue and profitability

  8. Detail your marketing strategy and show how you target your marketing to the various market segments

  9. Explain how financial statements and other business reports are reviewed to drive growth and rectify any issues as they arise

  10. Show what business activities are measured and how the outcomes are used in business operations.


    This is not an exhaustive list of what will make your business completely “sale ready”, but it goes a long way down that track.

    Try putting the boot on the other foot and looking at it through the eyes of a buyer – as if you were actually purchasing the business. What would you want to see? Most business owners do not go through this process and, as a result, often do not achieve as much as they could for all of their years of work.

    And as a side benefit, if these processes are implemented sooner rather than waiting until the time has come to actually sell, there is a great chance that the business will improve as a result.

It’s called a win-win, so START NOW

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What John Matthew believes about small business

That the owner has risked many things that others take for granted;

That there is no guaranteed income or reward for the considerable effort that is required;

That often, the family home is on the line to support the business and its constituents;

That there is a dignity and self-respect that is earned;

That entire communities would be better places if there was an increased appreciation and respect for small business.

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