Many CEOs and business owners will agree that the benefits of ownership far outweigh the struggles and daily challenges. While entrepreneurship is still one of the best ways to fulfill the American dream, only a small percentage of companies are truly “great to own.”
Is your company valuable to someone else?
Creating value in a company is still considered by many to be one of the great ways to create wealth, create jobs and realize the American dream. However, many businesses are not sellable for a value that would motivate the owner to sell and others are not sellable at any price. Are you creating a company that will realize its full sales value without you? Is your hard work focused in areas the marketplace will value most and reward with you with a premium valuation? Do you have a clear strategy to not only create but maximize company value?
Does your company provide unique benefits for founders and owners?
You have sacrificed a great deal to build your company, is it reciprocating in the most creative, effective and important financial areas? Beyond a nice company car and expense account, is your company taking advantage of available planning opportunities to create a tax efficient liquid asset base, helping to protect your assets, protecting your family and partners? Have you taken the time to insure your company is providing for you as well as you do for it?
Does the company creating tax efficiency?
Business ownership is one of the great tax planning vehicles available today. Beyond expense reimbursement and the benefits mentioned above, are you structured properly to maximize tax efficiency at the time of an eventual exit from your business? Has your company taken the steps to ensure maximum efficiency of annual distributions and provide downside market protection on investment assets? The tools and mechanisms exist to allow your company to create greater tax efficiency for a higher tax environment in 2013.
Is the company vulnerability free?
Are your officers and directors properly protected personally from frivolous lawsuits? Does the company and your partners have the immediate liquidity to acquire the shares from a deceased or disabled partner? Are important personal assets creditor proof? Once your organization is past the survival stage and moves into maturity, these are important questions that will protect your most valuable asset and allow you to sleep easier at night.
Do you have a great culture?
You probably spend more time with your company then anywhere else, and creating a great culture may be the most important ingredient for a company that is great to own. Entrepreneurs talk a lot about culture, yet it is rare to experience a great corporate environment. While compensation and benefits are a component of great culture, it is often the little things, the creative policies and flexibility that create a great corporate culture.
Your business impacts every other aspect of your life. Having a company that is great to own will likely make the other areas of your life more rewarding and enjoyable and will enable you to realize full value for your business when you eventually decide to exit your business.
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I think the title question. It is a great question to ask yourself as a business owner. If you can’t answer affirmatively to the question “is your business great to own,” why are you in business? Thanks for the post.
I think another key component to building a business that is great to own involves building something that can be run without your direct involvement 24/7. It must also be able to scale to millions to be truly valuable for someone else to buy. Most entrepreneurs make a mistake by violating either one of these two things when they first start out.