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Business Succession – Selling Your Business

Last week I was asked to speak at a small business seminar on business succession as it relates to selling a business here in Florida. Succession planning in general is the process of preparing to hand over control of the business to others. Very often family may be part of succession planning and while most businesses do not have any plans for business succession, those that do, fall short in the planning and communication of those plans. So you are working hard on your business now, what is your plan?

-Build up your business to a nice size and sell your business for great financial gain?
-Pass your business on to your kids
-Arrange an LBO for key employees
-Work your butt off, make enough money to pay your bills and do this til you are no longer on this earth.
-We are all busy running and or growing our businesses, but last week a few business owner did consider this issue important enough to take a few hours out of their day to attend this workshop and begin understanding the process.

Presenting at this workshop were an Attorney, a CPA, an insurance provider, and myself. This seminar was attended by local small business owners seeking knowledge on this topic. What I found most interesting was that the Attorney, CPA, and I spoke on many of the same issue regarding selling your business We all spoke for about 1/2 an hour and didn’t coordinate on what we would speak on. While we touched on the the different aspects surrounding business succession, I found we spoke on many of the same points, but due to our professions we spoke on those point from varying perspective. When discussing seller financing for your business, the attorney spoke of the need for extreme caution when setting up seller financing, and additional care extended when family or fiends involved. The CPA spoke to the proper records to be kept to document what you have and be able to show what you had in the way of your companies performance. My discussion regarding seller financing addressed the prevalence of seller financing in the marketplace and the need to be able to offer it to help make a deal happen in to days tight credit market.

A few key points from this workshop:

-Most businesses do not have a succession plan.
-Planning is the most important first step.
-Seller financing can help facilitate a deal but one must do proper due diligence.
-Relying on your business as your only source of retirement funds is dangerous and mis guided.
-When doing your annual reviews of company numbers or tax preparation, use that as a good time to look at other matters as it relates to your biger picture

My suggestion is between handling your accounts receivables, accounts pay ables, other office paperwork, social networking, working with clients, and returning phone calls/emails, take a moment to consider what your exit plan may be. Even if you just give the subject a few moments of thought, you may find yourself ahead of most or your peers and fellow business owners. Also, the Internet is a great source of information on business succession and other business matters, but also keep your eyes open for the various seminars, workshops, and expos that may be in your area. They are not only a great source of knowledge, but also a great opportunity for the “other type” of social networking.

Popular Small Businesses to Start For Very Little to No Money

Starting Small Businesses on a Shoestring

If you’ve been out of a job and the expectations of job openings in your area of skills look depressing, take heart. Opening your own organization may not be as expensive as you might believe with these strategies on how to start a booming small business at very little to no cost. With Angel Lenders and government and SBA help, small businesses are starting up and and those that have been losing profits during the recession are getting back on track.

You need to comprehend what the marketplace and competition is for your manufactured goods or services first. If there is a community (or global) demand for what your organization offers, the next step is to create a business strategy. Without a business strategy or plan, you’ll run the risk of failure early in the game. Be clear in your mind that you have a passion for your small business ideas as well. This is of great consequence if your business is to have many years of growth.

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan or model outlines the arrangement of your business, methods for marketing and promotion, the purchase of equipment, and what your business’ objective is. A business plan is just that: a plan. You need to jot down all of your ideas and build your plan in an easily-understood format that will suit any intention, including for use in a lending situation.

Create Your Business Ideal

Besides having a business plan, you need to design your business model. Your business archetype should be geared around keeping cash outlay low without giving up quality so that the highest profits possible can be achieved. Although most businesses design this type of model as a course of action, a low- to zero-cost start-up business needs to be particularly creative since resources and supplies are limited in the beginning.

The Prime Principles for Starting a Business with Little Money

1. Set up a computer for online access (you may get a ‘bundled’ rate through your current residence or cell phone provider) and become acquainted with cheap or free software as well as free web-based applications.

Before buying anything, especially software-related, make sure there aren’t free counterparts to be had by running a search and checking out Google Aps and the Microsoft website. Also take a look at open-source (free) software such as OpenOffice.

2. Determine who your buyers are, where your expertise lays and what folks are looking for.

3. Find out who your vendors may possibly be for services (like flyer distribution) or equipment (such as a printer) and if you can work out a barter agreement.

4. Create a website and have it hosted for free. There are many very high-quality free website editors that also offer free hosting from the same site. Run a search on “free website editor and hosting” to find a company you like and is easy to work with.

5. Become a member of local network groups and online forums, and set up a free blog through or other free blog site. Some network groups could charge small yearly dues but, on the whole, online network groups and forums are free. These are your free advertising methods so be sure to keep this in mind when considering any costs or dues.

6. Get free business cards from sites such as VistaPrint.

7. Become an affiliate for products and services that complement your business and promote them on your website and blog(s).

8. Read everything you can about the business you’re in to increase your knowledge, know-how and expertise. Folks trust people who unreservedly give good advice and wind up buying from them.

9. Think about composing an informational booklet or how-to e-book and publish these for sale on your website and blog. Information sells.
While a few visitors may not pay money for a product, they might purchase your information on how to create their own product or how to do something without buying an encyclopedia. For instance, one small business proprietor builds and sells very small homes. When the recession hit, the home sales fell but the sales of the plans for the homes increased considerably and has kept his business going strong.

10. Try to set up a niche to make your business unique and set apart from the other guys. For instance, if you can’t afford to breed dogs, you could think about creating dog treats, collars, and toys cheaply to market to breeders and sell at pet and craft shows.

Low-Cost Small Business Ideas

If you have no notion what kinds of businesses are minimal and economical to start, look at retail trends on the Internet. You might be surprised at how many fun and cool business ideas there are that can be started for very little money—if any money at all—such as:

1. Logo Design
2. Website Design
3. Office and/or Building and Home Cleaning
4. Interior and/or Exterior House Painting
5. PC Repair
6. Landscaping
7. Credit Rating Restoration Assistance
8. Pet sitting, boarding, and grooming (I know a woman who goes to residences to groom their pets and she beats all the competition. In fact, she has more work than she can handle).
9. Courier for Businesses
10. eBay Consignment Sales for Others

There are many more low-cost businesses ideas out there. As long as you have the passion and desire to get going with your business ideas and plans, you can create profits you can live off of.