Business owners deal with this question daily. It can be the question asked when a significant account is landed and there is now a need to figure out how to deliver. It can be the question asked in exasperation when a series of unfortunate events happen in rapid succession.
It is also the question asked after the sale of a business. Better yet, ask it before the sale.
During Beacon’s initial meeting with a prospective seller, we always ask, “What are you planning to do after you sell the company?”
We sometimes get fascinating answers about long deferred adventures, crossing off items on the Bucket List or touching answers about spending time with family. Most of the time we get an unsure look and “it depends on whether the buyer wants me to stick around or not”.
After years of being an entrepreneur, suddenly owners are willing to do what someone else wants? To quote my 11 year old, “Really?”
Be proactive about your post-sale role in the company and consider:
The answer to “what’s next?” can change the sale of the business in many ways. In most cases, having the owner remain with the business is attractive to buyers. Your presence can enhance the value of the business while you continue to work at something you love without all the ownership responsibilities, on a schedule you negotiate in advance.
Knowing the answer to what comes next for an owner after the sale can provide piece of mind for a major life transition and add to the value of the business.