The #1 Thing Buyers are Looking for is Future Value.

As business owners, we take great pride in our past, our business’ accomplishments and our own – association awards, anniversaries, and employee/customer success stories.  
 
But the reality is buyers don’t buy the past. Whether they are family or a third party, the #1 thing a buyer is buying is the future stream of profits.  For the owner it is an end, but for the buyer it is a beginning.
 
In order for a business to successfully transfer to the next generation of ownership (internal or external), buyers must see future growth, or there will be no deal.  Any wise buyer would only invest in something he could see growing.  Your job is to make sure your business is in that position at transition.
 
In fact, as I’ve stated several times in this Value Builder series, value acceleration is for the ‘now’.  This is about putting your business in the best possible position now, so that you can harvest value now – not just tomorrow. 
 
This is why a written strategy that outlines your pursuit of growth potential is NOT OPTIONAL. It is a MUST. If you want to maximize the value of your business, you need a tangible plan. Trust me, a buyer will ask, "Show me your strategy, how you are executing and the results." And if your answer is, "Well, we just kind of go with what the market tells us,” the buyer is going to discount your business immediately, because the risk just increased.  You need to show them the path.
 
To drive growth potential, look for these 7 opportunities:
 
1. Cross-sell possibilities
2. New products
3. New markets – geographic, customer type
4. Different cultural markets
5. New channels to market
6. Partnerships
7. Scalability
 
The game of business ownership is to create wealth. Unfortunately most owners, assume the wealth they want will just magically be there to harvest when they exit. It is a costly assumption. Building value into the business is not an end game – it’s an ongoing growth strategy. It is about what you are doing now to drive value that provides income today and – more importantly – wealth options for tomorrow.
 
Check out my video on Growth Potential.