Every business needs a plan. Not a plan to as a startup business but a plan for growing your business. A plan to make sure you stay on track for an end goal, whether that’s retirement, a buyout, a 3-5 year exit strategy or a business you can hand down the generations. Without a plan you are simply working day to day without focus.
It’s a little bit like driving a car. You wouldn’t get up every day, put petrol in your car and drive off for the day without planning a route and a destination. You need a destination in business and a route to get there.
If your destination like so many is to build a business of real tangible worth for an exit strategy then there are some things you should consider now if you haven’t already done so.
If an investor or buyer comes along and shows interest in buying your business there will be some factors that will help the sale and the business retain as much value as possible.
1. Does your business have a product or service which is specific to your business? If so think about giving that product or service a name and an identity of its own now. This will add worth to the assets of the business, the Intellectual property.
2. Make sure you register any sub brands or products that your business has created. By way of a simple application to www.ipo.gov you can easily and cost effectively apply for a trademark. Web domains, software programs, products and more. If your business has one then protect it with a trademark.
3. If designing any products or services for you business took time and resource you could be in line for research and development tax relief. Talk to your accountant about this as you may have a ‘positive’ surprise when it comes to your next tax bill. Be sure to claim tax relief before selling your business. The investor who is buying can claim for it after you have sold it if you don’t now.
4. Does your business own all web domains and social media accounts associated with your business? Maybe you own a .co.uk domain. Think about buying the .com if possible. Register social media accounts even if you don’t use them.
5. Start looking at replacing yourself in the business. Think ahead, does your business need you. Are you the one with the contacts, the know how, the skill sets and so on? If so you are putting a risk on the business and for a buyer you will be difficult to replace. If you have someone in early and you show them the ropes then when it comes to your exit strategy you will be in good shape to let go of the reigns.