My Teenager Just Predicted the Death of My Small Business
Driving in the car, my wife and I were discussing our schedules for the next week. I mentioned a need to be in the office on Tuesday for a podcast interview.
“Wait . . .what?” My sixteen-year-old daughter injected from the backseat.
“What, what?” I responded.
“YOU’RE being interviewed for a podcast?” (Translation: Dad clearly isn’t podcast interview material.)
“Yes. A podcast. I’ve been interviewed on podcasts you know.”
“Wait. . .what? What podcasts?”, she asked, incredulously.
“Well, for example, I was on a podcast called . . .” I trailed off as I heard the clicks that indicated her cell phone had entered the conversation.
“Found it”, she said, and mysteriously took control of the car sound system from the backseat.
For the next 5 minutes we listened to the podcast.
And then, just as suddenly as she’d turned it on, my daughter switches off the podcast and turns on a song from a Frank Sinatra playlist on her iPhone.
“What gives?”, I asked feigning hurt feelings.
“To be fair Dad, I’m not planning on selling a business any time soon”, she retorted.
The song continued, it might have been “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, but I’m not certain, because I was reeling from her comment.
I’m Not Planning on Selling a Business Any Time Soon
That’s it. That’s the likeliest fatal blow for my business, Exit Oasis. If I can’t figure out how to penetrate that response from small business owners this effort of ours is screwed. My business will be dead . . . but then, so will the retirement dreams of most small business owners.
How are small business owner retirement dreams tied to Exit Oasis success? Let me state my case:
- Currently, less than 20% of small businesses sell successfully.
- Most don’t sell because they lack even the basic elements required for a business to sell.
- These basic elements take time and intention to create in a small business.
- As owners, we usually wait until we are “ready to sell” before we discover our business is not “ready for sale.”
- For most, by then, it’s way too late.
Small business owners ignore this topic. It costs us our ability to successfully exit our businesses.
Essentially we wait, and then we fail.
Why do we wait? Because . . .
- 100 other things scream for our attention.
- Those things have advocates. Employees, customers, vendor reps . . .they demand the owner to pay attention, commit time, and dedicate resources to the topic that they want addressed. They push you to pay attention to their issue.
- At the same time, no one advocates for your successful exit, except you.
- But you’re too busy.
- And you think you can wait, so you switch off this topic because you’re “not planning on selling a business any time soon.
You have your reasons for putting this topic aside. You have reasons for shutting off the podcast. I know. I’ve been there. But I know something about your future. I lived the harsh reality of realizing l had built an un-sell-able business.
That’s why we put the message out there, but my daughter reminded me how easy it is to turn the message off.
What if you hold on to your belief that . . .
. . . I can get to this later when I’m ready to sell?
What if 80% of small business owners continue to believe . . .
. . .this simply doesn’t apply to me now?
We started Exit Oasis to help the truly small business owner engage this subject in an easy to understand, simple-to-consume, inexpensive way (like our free newsletter). My daughter reminded me of the challenge we face.
Is my business doomed? Are the retirement plans of 80% of small business owners destined to stay just dreams? Will the majority of small business owners continue to “switch-off” this topic, until it’s too late?
I believe there’s a different path . . . I’m almost certain of it . . . but I’m going to check with my daughter again first.