Peter Roper The Family Business Man
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Nine things we've learned from 2020: Part Six - Don’t sign your life away!

Nine things we've learned from 2020: Part Six - Don’t sign your life away!

Here at the practice, we have lots of sessions where we ask challenging questions of ourselves and our members. One of the key Check-ins we had in January looked at what we all learned from the previous year and I have been asked on several occasions to publish the discussion.

This would take ages to do so and frankly my experience is that most people would not stay the course so for the next few weeks I will list one of the nine keys that came from the discussions and my take on them.

This week: Don’t sign your life away!

Family businesses are rarely built to sell. They start on a kitchen table to put food on that very table. With luck and perspiration, the business grows and perhaps over a generation it becomes substantial. But then that generation finds it has done enough and wants out. The next generation doesn’t want the business, so they have some simple choices… Close it. Stay with it until they can’t work any longer and then close it. Sell it.

Trouble is selling it to an outsider if not prepared for rarely works. Yes, the business might survive and even thrive in the hands of a new owner but probably not purchased at the price the owner expected to get for it. The reason being a plan wasn’t executed years before to build the business in a way it would be more attractive to gain a higher price.

The answer is simple: don’t just sell the business at the point you have had enough!

Decide some years before if that is a course of action you want to follow and build the business to the specification a buyer would be interested in. Then you can sign the business away but at a price more relevant to the hard work and toil you have put into it.

So, don’t just sign your life away…

There are many people in the practice that can help with this process. Why not ask their advice… You know where we are.

Until the next time,


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