If you want to increase your enterprise value you must have your business run without you.
Does this sound too simple?
Don't confuse simple with simplicity.
Most business owners, regardless of size, run the business. These business owners are the center of the universe for their businesses.
You make five costly mistakes when your business doesn't run without you. These mistakes will either cost you the deal or lower your enterprise value.
Who am I, and how do I know?
I said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to mastering the art of the sale. Two years later, I said "yes" to a 9-figure offer.
What made the difference?
I created a 9-step road map of preparation that gave me the certainty to capture maximum value. Today, I pay it forward and help business owners prepare through a 90-day system.
The 90-day system, called the Deep Wealth Experience, teaches you the 9-step road map. You create a blueprint to help you optimize value. You also have the certainty of capturing maximum value on your liquidity event.
The 9-step roadmap helps you think like your future buyer. You learn how to find and remove the skeletons in the closet. You also learn how to find the hidden Rembrandts in the attic and put them out for public display.
When you master the 9-step roadmap, you're now in a position to increase your enterprise value.
Why must you have your business run without you to increase your enterprise value?
Lasting business success is finding and solving new painful problems - Jeffrey Feldberg
You get back your time when you have your business run without you.
Your currency is not money, and instead, it's time.
When you have a talented and strong management team run the business, you get back your time.
You now work "on" the business instead of "in" the business.
You started your business by solving a painful problem you were passionate to solve. You solved the problem so well that your business grew and prospered.
Here's the irony. Your success can lead to failure.
To your customers, you are only as good as what you do today. Your competitors will offer a similar service with better pricing.
The question is, what are you doing today to solve your customers' new problems?
You get your time back when you have your business run without you. And with more time, you can do what you do best. Find new painful problems that you're passionate about solving.
Step two of the nine-step road map is all about X-Factors. One X-Factor is a "blue ocean." A blue ocean is where you have no competition.
You now have the time to find blue oceans when you have your business run without you.
If you do things right, you will create a market disruption. From the market disruption, you'll catapult your revenue and EBITDA. And while you're at it, your enterprise value increases.
Solving new painful problems helps both your EBITDA and ensures your business longevity.
How do you find new and painful problems to solve and create a market disruption while you're at it?
You learn when you listen. You earn when you listen - not just money, but respect - Harvey Mackay
Have your business run without you so you can take the time to listen to key stakeholders. You'll find new problems to solve, increase your EBITDA, and create a market disruption.
What your business did yesterday doesn't ensure you'll keep your customers today.
You enjoy the luxury of time when you have your business run without you. With the time you now have, there's one powerful question you can ask:
What business issues are keeping you up at night?
This one question transformed my eLearning company Embanet.
A quick story.
On a regular customer service call, I asked my client the "one question." My client shared his latest challenge. Long story short, we created "Embanet 2" and launched a new service.
Embanet 2 created a market disruption and made Embanet 1 look like a rounding error.
When you have your business run without you is you're not bogged down in the day-to-day.
Take your time to explore, observe, and ask questions.
One of the stakeholders you must speak with is your employees. Listen to your employees and find out what's slowing them down or frustrating them.
Listen as though your business depends on finding solutions to your employees' problems. Because it does.
Since your business runs without you, delegate the issues to your management team.
While you're at it, speak with another stakeholder, your management team. Listen to the management team's issues and help them solve the problem.
Solving problems for your stakeholders keeps everyone happy, increases revenues, and enterprise value.
If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room - Marissa Mayer
When you have your business run without you, ensure you're not the smartest person in the room.
Ensure your management team is smarter than you. Your future buyer will pay a premium when your business runs without you.
Step two of the nine-step road map focuses on X-Factors that increase enterprise value. A talented and successful management team is one such X-Factor.
A management team that demonstrates successful year-over-year results achieves three things:
When it comes to your management team, be vigilant and ensure you only have A-players. Ask your management team to do the same with employees.
Dominate and win in your business when you're not the smartest person in the room. Smart people drive results, otherwise known as profits and enterprise value.
Enhance and create a rich and vibrant vision when you have your business run without you. Better yet, have your management team lead the charge to enhance the business vision.
The right vision ensures that everyone is on the same page to dominate and win.
A rich and vibrant business vision also does one important thing.
Do you know what this "one thing" is?
Culture eats strategy for breakfast - Peter Drucker
You have a golden opportunity to enrich your culture when you have your business run without you.
The luxury of a talented management team that runs your company is getting back your time.
Besides finding and solving new problems, you can also enrich your culture with your time.
Money buys many things. Your competitors can deploy their capital to copy your technology. But your competitors cannot deploy their capital to copy your culture.
In the 9-step roadmap, step 2 is X-Factors to insanely increase enterprise value. Culture is one such X-Factor.
A rich culture ensures that your business has accountability from top to bottom. What gets measured is what gets done. A rich culture is at the foundation for creating key metrics.
From your front-line employees to your CEO, everyone is accountable. Everyone in the business has the autonomy to improve their performance.
With a focus on improving performance, your business is set to find new blue oceans. From your new blue oceans, your business creates market disruptions.
Creating and maintaining a rich culture takes time and effort. You are not tied down to enriching your culture when you have your business run without you.
It's essential that your management team drives your culture instead of you. Your enterprise value increases as a result of your culture being independent of you.
Your future buyer takes comfort in knowing that you do not need to be in the business to drive culture and results. At the same time, your future buyer has hope that tomorrow is brighter than yesterday.
Speaking of your future buyer, do you know what can do when you have your business run without you?
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often - Winston Churchill
You welcome the opportunity to think like a buyer when you have your business run without you.
With your management team running your business, now have the time to think like a buyer.
When you think like a business owner instead of a buyer, you can lose the deal or lower your enterprise value.
In the 9-step road map, step five focuses on developing a winning mindset. Part of a winning mindset is tuning into your future buyer's favorite radio station.
The What's In It For Me (WII.FM) radio station for your buyer has you look at your business through a different lens. Tuning into WII.FM helps you create a narrative for your business that instills hope.
Your future buyer has many choices in the marketplace. Thinking like a buyer combined with preparation does two things. Both of these action items are step eight in the 9-step roadmap.
First, you find and remove skeletons in your closet. Second, you find the hidden Rembrandts in the attic and put them out for public display.
Removing your skeletons and displaying your Rembrandts increases EBITDA and enterprise value. At the same time, you position yourself for a successful liquidity event.
Thinking like a buyer takes considerable time and effort. You now have the time and can make the effort when you have your business run without you.
You rely on your management team to drive results year-over-year. It's also your management team that will remove the skeletons for your business.
The bottom line is the bottom line. You can have it all when you have your business run without you.
If you want to increase your enterprise value, have your business run without you.
A talented and strong management team to run your business opens the door for more success.
You welcome more success as a result of getting your time back. For starters, you are not the smartest person in the room. You now have the time to listen to your stakeholders.
Your stakeholders help you find and solve new problems to create a market disruption. Your culture improves and embraces accountability. At the same time, your point-of-view changes to think like a buyer.
You now have time to prepare for your liquidity event when you have your business run without you. When you master the 9-steps of preparation, you achieve two important things.
First, you create a blueprint to optimize the value of your business. Second, you now have the certainty of capturing the maximum value in your liquidity event.
The best time to prepare was years ago. The next best time is today. Whether your liquidity event is in one year or ten years, the time to prepare is today.
Increasing your enterprise value comes from preparation itself and not the liquidity event. Preparation positions yourself to secure the best deal and not any deal.
Your liquidity event is the most important business event of your life. Make your liquidity event count through high-quality preparation.
Here's to you and your success.
Your Raving Fan,