Retirement may be a long way away or just around the corner – depending on how well you prepare it may be a dream or it may be a nightmare.
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Since there are many different retirement options you can pursue, it’s worth exploring the variety of paths before you decide. No matter which path you choose, when you leave your business, there are some basic things that need to be done. Getting started is often the hardest part, but just getting started as soon as possible is imperative. No matter if you are going to retire in a decade or within the year, you must start putting these steps in motion now.
Experts say if your plan is to retire within the next six months to a year and you haven’t properly developed a strategic plan, you probably don’t have enough time to retire in that short a time frame.
It won’t necessarily be easy, so if you’re starting this process from the very beginning, prepare yourself for the very real possibility that true planning will take at least a year – and likely more, depending on the condition of your books and other business factors.
You’ve put so much work into building your business – it’s only right you put effort into passing it on. And that starts with your business assets.
It is important to identify all the assets and processes that comprise your business and the value each brings to your shop. Those assets may be soft – including the size of your customer database and how you communicate with them, the type of shop management systems in place, the expertise and skills of the staff, any marketing campaigns aimed at increasing new and repeat visits – or hard, including the property, structure and equipment.
Once you understand your shop’s assets, you can begin working on improving anything that is lacking in order to ensure the maximum return on your investments.
Real estate can be the largest asset you stand to benefit from, but it can also cause an additional headache as you’re looking to wind down towards retirement. Be prepared to deal with the inner workings of a volatile real estate market on top of everything else.
Your employees are a crucial asset of any business as well, and the goal for any owner, not just an owner looking to sell, should be building a team that can operate efficiently and successfully without the need for you to be on-site all the time.
Don’t forget, just because you’re not retiring yet doesn’t mean it is too early to start formulating a plan for when it IS time.
No matter the path you ultimately end up choosing, remember to begin by assessing where you currently stand — what you own, what you rent, your processes, your employees, what works, what doesn’t, your KPIs, what can be measured and what isn’t quantifiable. From there you can devise a plan of attack.
As you begin to understand that path and the processes you will be undertaking to wind down your shop, remember one thing: you’re not in this process alone. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and ask advice from those who have already been through this process if you’re unsure of how to proceed.
Give yourself every opportunity to see a satisfactory return on investment for all your years of hard work and success.
This video is sponsored by BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY.