Owner Operator businesses- seller aware!

Owner Operator businesses- seller aware!

With most small businesses, the owner of the business, is for all intensive purposes the operator of the business as well.  While this scenario is totally understandable, when the time comes to a sale of the business potential buyers worry that the owner "is the business", and once they exit the business won't be the same.

How do you as the business owner safeguard this buyer concern?  

* Empower employess to manage the business, and be an integral part of the day to day operation, and be front facing with customers.

* Spend more time out of the business, take vacations!  If buyers know that you are taking time away and aren't always operating every detail of the business, this will provide assurance to the buyer that the business isn't as reliant on the ownerbeing there every minute of every day.

* Have processes and procedues in place- job descriptions for employees, etc. again another assurance to a buyer that the business operates effectively independently of the owner.

While these seem like simple suggestions, the fact is that many smaller businesses never get sold, as buyers can't be convinced that the business succeeds solely on the efforts of the owner, and once the owner is no longer involved, the business will suffer.  It is ok to be an owner operator, but be sure that your business can survive and thrive when you decide it is time to sell!