Business Staging; What Am I Talking About? by Jim McClain
In today’s tough home market, a term that we have become familiar with is “Home Staging”. It has become popular not only to make a home more “sellable” but also to make “top dollar” – and statistics have shown that it really does work.
Now if I asked you if you were familiar with the term “Business Staging” what would you say? Probably you have not heard of this phrase and that makes sense – because I made it up. But it is easy to understand where I am coming from, because you can conclude that I am using it in the same vein; except in this case I’m referring to the sale of a business. However, that is where all the similarities end.
With that said, let’s take a look at “Business Staging” and see exactly what makes up this phrase that I’ve borrowed from the housing industry. I hope they don’t mind.
Unlike a home that you can spruce up in a couple of weeks before putting the sign in the ground, “Business Staging” is a lot more complicated as I will now detail. However, the good news; it can sometimes be more profitable due to the fact that typically our business may be more valuable than our house.
Business Exit Planning
First, “Business Staging” (some call it an “exit plan”) ideally needs to start the first day that the business opens its doors. However, I would have to be dreaming to think that this ever happens, because a business owner is not thinking about staging; but rather that other word that starts with an “s” – “survival” – and that’s OK!
Then after that comes the business “rat race.” Every business owner becomes familiar with that. All of a sudden we find the years “flying” by at “warp speed”. This is the phase where most business owners spend their time working “IN” the business not “ON” the business. I am not here to blame, but this has become kind of the “norm”.
Sprucing Up Your Business
Unlike a house that we can “spruce up” in a couple of weeks, a business “spruce up” could take years. Making the balance sheet, income statement, and owner roles look good to a prospective buyer takes time and careful planning. If you want to get the most out of your business when it comes time to sell, it has to start sooner rather than later.
Sometimes, the real world doesn’t afford us “our timeframe”. Unforeseen things like illness, death, and other unpleasant things do happen. So having our business ALWAYS “spruced up” is just sound business practice.
Now I leave you with a business decision question, one that can be quite profitable I might add. When will you start your “Business Staging”? The clock’s “ticking”!