What do you expect your company’s revenue to be in three years’ time? Who is the next hire that will support company growth? Most importantly, how will you exit your business when the time comes to depart?
If you stumbled on the answers to any of these questions, it is likely you don’t have a business plan. There are lots of reasons why you should have a plan in place, but many company owners find excuses to avoid doing so:
These are conclusions reached by Jon Umstead in his article for the National Center for the Middle Market. But, without this essential plan in place, how do you know where your business is going to be one year, five years or ten years down the road?
A business plan provides the blueprint for your business operations – your comprehensive guide to what your business does, what it’s going to do, and what it's going to achieve.
How much detail you put into your business plan or what outline or template you decide to use is up to you. But, we can’t stress enough how valuable this is to company growth and building your company’s value to buyers.
Creating a plan like this is a key part of our process to selling a business through Generational Equity. This demonstrates to buyers what your company is worth, and more importantly, what it hopes to be worth in several years’ time.
However, this process shouldn’t start as soon as you’re ready to sell – ideally, it should start the day you open for business.
A standard outline of a business plan will include a number of important details, including:
All are important, but where do you start?
Although it seems counter-intuitive, most are in agreement that any solid business plan starts with your exit strategy. Why would you start by imagining the time when you’re no longer in charge? Because, above all else, an exit strategy represents your end goal, and so you will approach company growth by ensuring you can exit in the most beneficial way for you and your family.
After all, isn’t it much easier to decide how you are going to reach your destination when you know where that is? Because as Lewis Carroll once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”!
Plus, there are two more extremely valuable reasons to include a clear exit strategy in your business plan:
This makes your company more “investment ready” to buyers than a competitor without this forward thinking. By organizing your exit strategy from the start, you demonstrate to buyers that your business has been built with them in mind, and that they would be ideally suited to choose your company over another.
For more information on developing your business model with an exit in mind, download our free white paper How To Make Your Company “Buyer Ready”.
If you’d like to learn more about what to include in the essential exit strategy section of your business plan, join us for a complimentary executive conference. These are held regularly across the U.S. and Canada, and equip you with the knowledge and tools to sell your business for an optimal value. In just a few short hours you will understand when the best time to sell is, what buyers are looking for, and how to build your company’s value.
Discover what you can expect at our conference and when Generational Equity will be in your area next on our website. Alternatively, you can reach us at 972-232-1121 where one of our team can help with any inquiries.
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
Dear Chris and Andre, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help. Even though this process was not an easy one, it was comforting to know that I had a capable team standing beside me. You made me feel like we were almost your only client or at least the most important one. Thanks again, and I will recommend your service in the future.Shenille Engelhart, Owner – CLS Technology
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.Pete L.
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
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