Republished with permission from Built to Sell Inc.
Most people think of starting a business as risky, but unless you invest a significant amount of start-up cash in your venture, you’re not really risking much other than your time.
That changes if you’re lucky enough to get your business off the ground. As your company grows, you start to risk more and more of your wealth because the business you’ve built is actually worth something. The longer you hang on to it, the more you have to lose.
This phenomenon makes owners become more risk averse as their business grows, potentially squeezing off growth to avoid risking what they’ve created. This can mean the owner goes from a company’s great asset to its biggest liability.
Cigar City Brewing
For an example of how growth can impact an owner’s appetite for risk, let’s look at the case of Joey Redner, the founder of Florida-based Cigar City Brewing. Redner’s craft beer operation started off in 2009 with the relatively modest goal of selling 5,000 barrels of beer per year.
Cigar City proved popular with the locals and Redner was able to sell 1,000 barrels of beer in his first year of business.
Cigar City Brewing continued to grow but was thirsty for cash, eventually forcing Redner to take on an SBA loan. Redner quickly surpassed his 5,000-barrel goal, and by 2015, had scaled all the way up to 55,000 barrels per year, at which point he ran out of capacity in his brewing facility.
To get to the next level, Redner would have had to find another $20 million for a major expansion, but he was tired of the feeling of being “all in” at the poker table. He had built something successful and wanted to enjoy financial security rather than having to roll his winnings into even more debt that he would have to personally guarantee with the bank.
Redner decided to sell even though his business was still growing and he had built a brand Floridians loved. And therein lies one of the hidden reasons owners decide to sell. They are tired of shouldering all of the risk. Most of us have a limited appetite for risk, and as the Bob Dylan song goes, “When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”
Start-ups aren’t risking much, but when you build something successful, every day that you decide to keep it is another day you have all (or most) of your chips on the table, and no matter how strong your hand, eventually we all decide to cash in.
Whether you’re in a subscription business, or still using a transaction business model, how you treat a customer in the first 90 days will go a long way in determining their overall satisfaction. To benchmark your customer satisfaction against world class brands, get your Value Builder Score now http://www.ironshield.ca/sellability-score/
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This Sellability Score you instantly receive is a critical component to any business owner’s complete financial plan and is something that, until now, we have only made available to existing clients.
However, we recognized that there is value in knowing in advance of working with a financial planner whether or not your largest asset is ready to be exchanged for your retirement nest egg. Our view is that you are better to learn more about your businesses sellability today and find out how your business scores on the eight key attributes so that you can ensure you obtain full value.
If your business part of your retirement plan, finding out your sellability score will be the best 10 min. you could ever spend working “on” your business.
Take the Quiz here: The Business Sellability Audit
For more free information on Creating A Business Owner’s Dream Financial Plan, you can listen to a free, eight part series we did exclusively for business owners. The show is also available to subscribe to for free via iTunes.