And you thought creating your initial business plan was a big undertaking? If you’re ready to sell, it’s time to create your transition punch list. And expect it to be a long one.
One of your first tasks should be to build the right transition team. You should agree on which responsibilities of the transition you want to take on, and which are best handled by other professionals. Your transition plan should cover all the legal and financial angles, including employee and vendor contracts. If others have an ownership stake in the company, they’ll need to be completely on board with the moves you’ve determined. If you can, get all decision-makers in the same room to hash out the details.
If you’re staying on as a consultant after the sale, make sure that your roles and responsibilities “under new management” are clearly and contractually set out.
If you’re launching a new business, you’d better get started on that punch list.
…And particularly if you plan to retire, don’t be surprised if your transition into greater freedom is a bit rocky – emotionally. You’ve probably invested a lot of yourself in your business, and leaving it behind may not be an easy transition, at least not at first.