Most owners have a dream of running their business for their working career, finding a buyer and then riding off into the sunset with no other planning. But without proper planning, the notion that your business is all it takes to get to retirement is usually a myth. Josh Patrick, financial planner, offers some strategies that will help ensure that you can afford to leave your business.
How long do we routinely drive through a place before we stop and get to know it? For me, the answer is about eight years. That’s how long I’ve been driving West on Highway 412 – usually on my way to Tulsa – and zipping through one small stretch of Siloam Springs, Arkansas without much more than a glance.
One of my first posts at the New York Times was titled “Buying a Business Instead of Starting One.” I illustrated the reasons for buying an existing business by telling the story of a business owner named Sam. At the end of the post, Sam is revealed to be none other than Sam Walton — founder of Walmart Stores, Inc. — who bought a Ben Franklin variety store in 1945 and turned it into the world’s largest retailer.
When I first meet with business owners they have many of the same questions. How long will it take to sell my business? What is it worth? How will you find a buyer? But after all the initial concerns have been addressed, I invariably get asked one more question: So, how did you get the New York Times gig?