We stopped about 38 minutes through our coaching time and one of the Owners asked, “could you help us just sell our business?”
He was frustrated with his construction company because construction is hard. With all of the lead hunting, bidding, questioning, job costing, crew recruiting, scheduling, material ordering, monitoring other people’s schedules, weather delays, and market variations…construction is hard.
Instead of selling your business out of frustration (not usually a good idea), what if you proactively designed your business to sell and then stuck with it?
If you want a business that could sell here is a roadmap that is easy to follow and requires loads of vision, discipline, and repetition to implement.
Put in the work now, and you will see the returns later.
Here are a few items that are non-negotiables in order to lead a business that you can sell…
First, you must write your vision story.
The wisdom is true, if you do not have a written vision you (and others) will scatter. There are seven categories to think through when writing your vision:
- Duration: How far out do you see your vision? Usually no more than 36 months.
- Family & Freedom: How does the vision for your business impact your family and your personal time?
- Financials: How do you make your business profitable so you can serve both inside and outside of the business?
- Products & Services: What do you offer the market and what do you not offer the market?
- Team: What roles will be needed to serve those products and services to generate the defined financials?
- Client & Customers: Who do you serve best and who do you not serve best?
- Culture: When someone comes into contact with your business what words or phrases do you hope they would use to describe your business?
Second, you must write and constantly repeat your mission and unique core values.
Whereas your vision story is a detailed, multi-page description of the future of your business, a mission statement is distilled from your vision and should pack a massive punch!
A mission in the well documented writings and talks of Simon Sinek is simply “your why”. It is a short on sentence phrase, less than 10-15 words telling us exactly why you got out of bed this morning.
For Business On Purpose we liberate business owners from chaos. That’s it. Our vision is four pages long and takes a longer time to reveal. If you are not interested or impacted by our mission, if it does not grab you then you will likely not be interested in our vision story.
By distilling our vision into a short, punchy mission we have been gracious and saved you time so you can either go deeper with us or move on to something else.
Your unique core values are the guardrails of decision making in your business. When we make a decision at Business On Purpose we run each of those decisions through our vision, our mission, and then five unique core values (unique values are not integrity, responsibility, and excellence…we should ALL value those).
Here our five unique values:
- Work IS Faith
- On Not In
- Automated Strategy
- Relentless Learning
- Full Implementation
You will make haphazard, confusing decisions that violate your vision if you are not constantly reviewing and repeating your mission and values.
Third, you must have a documented set of repeatable and trainable systems and processes.
This is typically where most owners begin to really nod their head in agreement and internally battle because they know that the intention to build systems and processes does not equal the actual work it takes to build them.
Some of the systems and processes that must exist and be used regularly are items like…
- Delegation roadmaps
- Tracking Dashboard(s)
- Team Meetings process and agendas
- Training, training, training
- Weekly schedules
- Org Charts based on needed roles
- Master Process Roadmap
- Documented processes (we use screen capture video as our primary form)
- Job roles
- Hiring, Onboarding and Retention Processes
- Separation Processes
Fourth, you will be well served to have a team of professionals around you (all can be engaged by contract or retainer and are worth their weight in gold), whether you sell or not.
A Business Coach will be the Bill Belichick you need to keep you locked in and focused on what’s next and what’s now. A great coach studies, gameplans, encourages, motivates, designs, and holds you accountable to maximize your capacity. Your coach will also help facilitate discussions between you and your team (you know, those tough conversations you don’t want to have:), as well as the other contract professionals on your team.
A Business Attorney will allow position you to make sure your “i’s” are dotted and “t’s” crossed with agreements, contracts, wills, trusts, liability (see an Insurance Pro to help), power-of-attorneys, and overall legal plans.
A CPA and/or virtual CFO will make sure that you are budgeting, projecting, tracking, monitoring, maximizing profit, paying your taxes, and retaining cash to fund the future.
A Valuation Specialist has the skillset to walk into your business and determine how much the business is worth to the market. Again, your goal may not be to actually sell the business, but instead to offer ownership to others who can help you grow.
Fifth, you must be willing to grind for a while.
The more you build your business to sell, you will actually end up building a business where people thrive. Sure, you can throw a bunch of borrowed cash at a business and flip it, and that is fine if that is what you are into. Our business is our platform to serve people.
Mod Pizza’s mission is brilliant, “we make pizza so we can serve people.”
A business with great vision, mission, values, systems, processes, and professional support will require a heavy volume of fuel for a while. That fuel is your time, care, and expertise. Be cautious about buying into the “scale-quick” mantra. Again, it may work for some, but likely if you are following the Business On Purpose values…we actually like working.
When you build a sell-able business, over time you will find that you will likely want to hang on to it and share the wealth!
If you want to begin building your Business On Purpose go get my book Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters. It is a step by step approach to building a business that you could sell…or hang on to.
Scott Beebe is the founder of Business On Purpose and the host of The Business On Purpose Podcast. He can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com.