This past week, I readdressed the exit plan for my brother and me. Nope, we are not retiring yet; heck, I’m only 48, and the way things are going we may not be able to retire until we are in our 80s! But that does not mean we can procrastinate on our disaster plan and our exit plan. First, the disaster plan. Nobody wants to be negative or think of the worst, but the facts are: I have lost a few close friends this year to cancer and one to a tragic accident. Maybe it’s not even death; what about a surprise surgery? Or an unexpected illness?
A year or so ago, I came down with pneumonia that absolutely put me in the deep weeds and laid me up for three weeks. Now, I’m one of those freaks who don’t miss work; I come in whether I am sick, bleeding, have stitches, broken bones or you name it. But if you have ever experienced pneumonia, you really don’t have a chance to argue with yourself.
Now my question to you is, could you be gone from your shop for two or three weeks … unplanned? Would checks get deposited, bills paid and payroll handled? Would the techs even know what is scheduled and what you promised Ms. Jones on the Malibu?
Now to the exit plan: the time to think about and plan for your exit is now, not when you are 65 or 70. Are you grooming someone to buy you out? Are you making your business appealing for someone in the market to purchase? Or are you hoping some big conglomerate will come to you and want to buy your property at three times the value? If I were you, I would not hold your breath on the latter.
I will give my dad, Dave Nagy, a lot of credit here. Back in the ’80s, he and I attended an Automotive Management Institute class on this very topic. Immediately after getting home, he researched it, contacted a credible attorney and put the wheels in motion for a future buyout between him, my brother and me. In this month’s issue, we look at exit plans. I recommend reading it and then, ACT!
Editor's Note: AMI offers several courses that address exit strategies for businesses. In addition, AMI offers an affordable, monthly webinar taught by some of the best trainers and professionals in the automotive service and collision repair industries. Visit www.AMIonline.org for a full list of available courses.
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