Business Planning to Help Build Your Business for Sale

The holidays are over, and New Year’s resolutions have faded away. The start of a New Year is the perfect time to revise (or even re-do) your business plan to maximize your strengths and address areas where the business needs improvement. Every business has goals, but if you fail to take time to evaluate your progress toward those goals, you are less likely to achieve them.

Here are some areas to assess to help build your business:

Mission Statements: Mission/vision statements are usually created at the founding of the company and remain the same in perpetuity. Perhaps the reason is that some business owners are superstitious or just believe the original statement is sacred and cannot be changed. However, most businesses make adjustments over time; such as the markets they are in, products they offer, etc. And these changes can sometimes change the core identity of the company. It may be true that mission statements are somewhat symbolic, but they still provide an overall vision for what you want the company to be about. For this reason, it is worth taking the time to look at your mission statement and see if it still reflects the vision of your business.

Marketing/Promotion: Marketing is clearly among the most critical activities of any business. You only have so much money to spend promoting your company, so you best know the results you are getting from each marketing method so you can decide what to continue and what to eliminate (going forward). For example, ten years ago your premium Yellow Pages ad might have accounted for 50% of your leads/customers. But today, maybe it only accounts for 10%. Given this change, does it still make sense to keep renewing this ad? Or are there more effective ways (such as online marketing) to produce a better return on investment (ROI)? These kinds of questions need to be answered in order to effectively maximize your promotional dollars.

Finances: Speaking of maximizing your dollars, the New Year is the time to look at how you are spending in all areas of the business. For example, are you getting the best prices on your phone and Internet services? Technology costs are always dropping, so you should be looking for better options in this area at least once a year. How about the rest of your vendors/suppliers? Are they offering the most competitive prices for their products or services? Now is a good time to look at ways you can reduce costs and maximize efficiencies toward a better bottom line.

Exit Planning: Are you thinking of selling (or retiring from) your business in the near future? If so, it is essential to begin planning at least six months to a year in advance. Speak with a business broker (preferably one that specializes in your industry) about your options and the best ways to plan your exit strategy. The sooner you start the process, the better off you and your company will be.

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