Alternatives to Retiring for Good | Machias Savings Bank

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Alternatives to Retiring for Good

Sep 25, 2023
ui/icon-clock@2x 4 MIN READ

Machias Savings Bank

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There could be any number of reasons for you to leave your business. You might have achieved all your goals and feel like a change of scenery, or you may be facing health problems that will make it more challenging for you to run your business in the near future.

You may have sold your business earlier than you intended to. Someone might have made you an offer out of the blue, and although you hadn’t considered selling at this point, the offer’s made you re-evaluate your future. Or you might have decided that now’s the time for that family member you’ve been grooming to take over, because you’ve got new opportunities you want to pursue.

Whatever the reason, it’s never too early to start planning the next stage of your life – and it doesn’t have to be retirement.

Going part-time

In this instance, you might still want to work but set your own schedule other than the usual 9 to 5. You’ve delegated people to take over your management role as you step down from it. This gives you the freedom to reduce your involvement and enjoy more leisure time while still maintaining a role with your business.

Merge with another business

This option also means you might be able to take things a bit easier while still retaining some involvement in the business. Merging with another company could offer the opportunity to let others take over the day-to-day business, while still allowing you to be as involved as you want to be. Just make it clear when you merge that your goal is to step away somewhat from the business, so your new partner knows exactly what your goals are.

Selling and walking away

If you’ve been fortunate enough to have built up a business that you can sell for a considerable amount, well done! It’s the goal of most entrepreneurs to not only run a successful business, but also to realize a capital gain at the end which can see them onto the next stage of their life with a sizeable nest egg. The next step is to decide what you’re going to do with the proceeds of the sale – and those options could include investing in the next phase of your future.

Protecting the proceeds

You’ve worked hard to build up a successful business, and you’ve been able to sell it for a good price. Now it’s time to protect those proceeds, so that you can be sure of a stable future. The best ways to do this are:

·         Consider a diversification plan. Your financial advisor will help you to put together a diversification plan that’s tailored for the amount you’ve received, your age and your future plans.

·         Consider passive income options, such as commercial real estate.

·         If you’ve received a mix of cash and shares in the company that bought you out, check to see how you can realize gains, such as the dividend policy. Determine the best way to hedge against a downside on the stock you receive, because the last thing you want is seeing what you thought was a significant return evaporating if the stock takes a hit.

·         Review what exposure you have to any liability, especially if you’ve left money in the business that the new owner is paying back. If you’ve left significant assets in the business, make sure you retain the ownership until you are paid up. Resign as a director or owner, so you have no liability from trading.

Investing the proceeds in your next step

You’ve sold a successful business, but you’re not ready to move into the retirement phase of your life yet. Using the proceeds from your sale, there are any number of other options you could consider:

Become an angel investor

Angel investors are successful entrepreneurs in search of investment opportunities with promising businesses. They’re looking for a piece of the action, but they also have investment criteria and expectations.

As an angel investor, you should expect:

·         An equity stake in the business you’re considering.

·         A return on your investment – angels invest in promising companies with an expectation of making money within a reasonable time frame.

·         A plan for your exit from the business.

When you’re considering businesses to invest in, look for:

·         A sound business plan.

·         Working prototypes.

·         Customer contracts.

·         A record of sales.

Become a venture capitalist

Venture capitalists typically invest in young companies they anticipate will be sold to the public, or to a larger company, at a high rate of return. Like angel investors, venture capitalists (VCs) provide funding in exchange for shares in a business. Unlike angel investors, VCs invest on a much larger scale – typically millions of dollars. They rarely invest in an untested idea, preferring businesses that can demonstrate rapid, consistent growth and guarantee a worthwhile return. As shareholders, venture capitalists earn a portion of annual revenue – but the real profit isn’t made until the company is sold.

If you’re considering becoming a venture capitalist, look at businesses that are:

·         In a fast-growing industry (for example, information technology or biotechnology).

·         Part of a large market (for instance, one that generates $1 billion or more in revenue).

·         Poised to take first or second place in that market.

·         Have a solid and up-to-date business plan for continued sales growth.

·         Supported by a proven management team that can generate high revenue.

·         Able to bring in investment returns of 20% to 30% each year.

Buying another business

During the time you spent running your previous business, you might have spotted an opportunity to purchase another one, such as a competitor or a supplier – or something entirely unrelated. You’ve decided to use the proceeds of your sale to fund the purchase of the new business, which you’re intending to run. If you are buying a competitor, think carefully about how you’ll feel about going into competition against your previous business.

Starting a new business

You may have decided to sell your business to fund a new one, to get a new idea off the ground and take it to market. It can be daunting starting from scratch again, but this time you’re entering the marketplace with a solid business background behind you. You’ll still need to go through all the steps of starting a new business – business plan, marketing strategy, funding options – but you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect. And you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve founded and run more than one successful business – a true entrepreneur!

Becoming a consultant

Being a consultant allows you the freedom and flexibility to take on the projects you want while sharing the expertise and knowledge you’ve gained as a business owner. As a consultant you can offer guidance and mentorship to other business owners, or you can offer services advising business owners on the optimal ways to run their business and set themselves up for success.

Next steps

If you’re looking to remain engaged in work, there are many things you can do to keep yourself busy after you step back from your business. Whether you stay with your current business part-time, start up your business or consulting agency, or invest your money into someone else’s business, you can find the option that works best for you and meets your needs. 

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