“I remember one weekend during the early days in my business. The few employees I had left at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and I was left sitting alone in the office. I remember looking at the huge pile of work that needed to be done and thinking there was no way it would happen. It was impossible. Then, between Friday at 5:00 p.m. and Monday at 9:00 a.m. I worked over 40 hours by myself, and got the work done. It was exhausting and exhilarating – and it was just another normal week as a small business owner.”
It's Hard Work To Be a Small Business Owner
Long days, high pressure, hard work . . . all these are part of the job. The small business owners story above will seem very familiar to you. You work harder. You work more. You often do the jobs no one else wants to do. This is the life of the small business owner.
You Know the question. Here’s the Answer
Are your results desirable? That’s one of three questions you must answer about the results your business generates. For your results to be desirable you must:
- Increase your SDE
- Improve your job
Why do you need to improve your job to be able to sell your business someday?
#1. Your buyer is making a choice of how to spend their time.
As you deal with the trials and struggles of your business, you are dealing with them because this is your business. You own it. It’s all yours – the good and the bad.
That’s not the case for your potential buyer. Your buyer is making a choice. They still have options. They are probably looking at other businesses for sale, and they are asking “What would my life be like if I bought this business?”
Say the prospective buyer looks at two similar businesses. Yours requires 80 hours a week and the other has a more normal, 55-hour owner’s schedule. There’s one with a clear advantage.
You are selling your business, but you are also selling how you spend your time. Your buyer is deciding if they want to spend their time the same way.
#2. It’s all new for them.
Everything about your business will be new for the buyer. They will have to learn about the people, the systems, the customers and every other aspect of the business. So, they come to the table with a massive learning curve to overcome – they know that everything you do right now will take them longer.
Your buyer is making a choice that will define their life for the foreseeable future. Because of that they are going to pay special attention to what your job and life look like right now. After all, you’ve been there for years. You know all the people, the systems and the customers. Your life, and your job right now is what they aspire to be able to be in 2-3 years after they’ve overcome the learning curve.
So, if it takes you 80 hours of physically and emotionally draining effort to survive a week, what hope does a buyer have to fill your shoes given the learning curve they bring to the table?
If you’ve got it all figured out and you are still overworked and miserable, what chance do they have?
Is your job attractive?
Have you created a role for yourself that is rewarding? A job that offers flexibility, and independence? Can you get away to family gatherings, go on vacation, or just find time to think? What are their perks of your role?
If your job sucks, why would someone else want to do it – let alone pay you to do it?
Improving your job offers two huge benefits.
- It improves your life which preserves your sanity and improves your satisfaction of what you are doing.
- It also increasing the desirability of your business for your future buyer.
It might seem selfish, and it might take some getting used to, but if you want to create desirable results, you need to improve your job.